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How to survive a divorce from a narcissist

Narcissistic personality disorder is a real psychological problem that can have devastating emotional effects on the entire family.

Studies indicate that about 8 percent of men and 5 percent of women have narcissistic personality disorder -- and it's a condition that really has no cure (especially because the narcissist is never convinced that he or she has a problem). If you've finally decided that you need a divorce, you can just about guarantee that you aren't going to have an amicable one that's resolved through something like mediation.

Here are some tips for surviving a divorce from a narcissist:

1. Expect the narcissist to treat the divorce like a stage.

Your divorce is now the biggest dramatic event in history, and the courtroom is just a stage on which the narcissist can perform the dual role of victim and martyr in front of a captive audience. In order to keep the plot engaging, the narcissist will portray you as a miserable low-life and a horrible human being who has been a monster to live with all along.

How do you deal with this?

-- The first thing you can do is get into counseling, if you aren't already.

-- Second, remember that just because your spouse is saying these horrible things doesn't mean that the judge believes what he or she is hearing. Judges are pretty savvy, and they've heard it all. Unless your spouse can back up the horror stories with evidence, don't engage in the drama.

-- Finally, try to separate yourself emotionally from the staged show in front of you. The more you think of it as a melodramatic soap opera, the easier it is to disengage yourself.

2. Avoid communication about anything other than necessary issues.

The narcissist is adept at bringing the focus of every conversation back to what he or she really wants to discuss: why you are such a horrible person.

While you may have to communicate in order to discuss settlement offers, division of assets, and (if you have children) visitation times, try to ignore any communications that aren't on point.

That may mean blatantly ignoring questions, baiting comments and entire emails. Just remember that you have the right to refuse to engage or discuss issues that no longer matter now that you're divorcing.

For more help with divorce issues, consider talking to an attorney today.

Source: Elite Daily, "Things Your Narcissist Ex Will Do Post-Breakup That Prove You Were Right To End It," Vishal Sharma, April 09, 2017

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