It is not an easy process to separate from a narcissistic spouse. They often see the divorce as a destoolment from their imaginary throne. This threatens their very essence as the looming reality of losing control over the person closest to them is never welcome. This is why some often seek vengeance and may use kids as collateral. 1 to 6% of the UK population is diagnosed with this personality disorder. However, there is little information about what to expect when leaving one. So, if you’re separating from one, here are a few things you will likely experience.
Due to their egotistical traits, it is difficult for them to accept the reality of the separation or divorce. They refuse to acknowledge the change and the impending legal change in their marital status. Usually, because their real narcissistic trait is well-hidden from society, their marital status becomes a well-worn cloak. Therefore, as divorce looms with the likelihood of others knowing about their weaknesses, they live in denial. This may present in two ways. The narcissist may continue to operate as though all is well even though the marriage is beyond repair. Alternatively, they may self-isolate and try to make the other spouse feel guilty.
According to narcissistic behaviour experts, the denial stage is only the prelude to what is to follow. This is why at this stage, it may be highly recommended to leave home with kids (if any) before realisation finally hits. It’s important to have a clear plan of your next line of action before vacating your home. It’s also crucial to inform your divorce lawyer before leaving with the kids. Your divorce lawyer should know your every move because of the high possibility of a narcissistic spouse accusing you of kidnapping. It is worthy to note that the denial stage doesn’t last long.
Vengeance and anger
Vengeance and anger often follow immediately after the denial stage. In a bid to seek self-righteousness, they feel the compulsion to hit back. Through people’s experiences, it is easy to say that narcissists will fight for everything they can lay their hands on. The property, children, any assets, custody, etc. Their main mission is to get all these away from you in hopes of continuing to indirectly control you. At this point, everything is an uphill battle, and you will need to be ready for the stress and long ride.
Another thing worth mentioning is that during the divorce proceedings, certain truths are unearthed, which may infuriate a narcissist further. For example, in several court cases, it was discovered that narcissists hid assets from their spouses. The existence of these assets only becomes known in court during proceedings. Having been exposed, the narcissist spouse may deliberately delay the divorce process to frustrate the other partner.
They may have accepted the reality and finality of the divorce at this stage. At this point, the only weapon in their armoury is the blame game. A narcissist will lay blame on everyone else but themselves. Their now ex-partner becomes the target of the blame game. By projecting their weaknesses onto others, they manipulate others into thinking that the other spouse was at fault.
Dealing with a narcissist can be a tricky one for many families. Therefore, if you’re divorcing one, ensure you have enough evidence to prove their narcissistic personality in court.
If you are going through this process right now and would like to talk things through, why not book a free coaching call? Book here.