Divorcing a narcissistic spouse can be one of the most harrowing and painful life experiences. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't go ahead with this process. You have to in order to preserve your life and that of your children. I am in communication with individuals who are going through this ordeal. They are ready for the battle. In some cases, the narcissist want to make you disappear so he/she pays you off--you are a discard, not even a faint memory in a life you have shared with this person for more than a decade. Count yourself fortunate if this break is made cleanly. The biggest reward is that this person is out of your life. Quite often the opposite happens. The narcissistic moves into Crusade mode and will fight you on every battlement. He is determined to wear you down to nothing, to destroy your spirit and sense of hope, besides taking all of the financial resources--especially those to which you are entitled. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of choosing the sharpest, savviest attorney you can find--some one with high ethical standards and a mastery of family law but in addition, a person who has a clear understanding of how the narcissistic personality operates---the darkness in their character, their sense of vanquishing their victims (and that includes you) completely. Narcissists with the bit in their mouths over a divorce will not quit. They lie, cheat, fabricate, terrorize, cajole, threaten, use emotional blackmail--do everything possible to make sure that you lose and are thrown to the wolves. That is their intention--This doesn't mean that they will succeed.
Most people are naive about human nature. They cannot believe that narcissists intend to destroy others--not with physical violence (although some of them are known to beat their spouses and not get caught) but with the master plan they put into place to bring you down. The attorney you choose must have an insider's understanding of the true nature of the narcissist--his treachery, non stop attacks, his conniving, his damnable lies and fabrications that are designed to destroy the other spouse's reputation--personal and in some cases, professional.
Despite the time you have spent going through the ordeal of living with a narcissist, you will find that after severing the relationship, you have talents, creative gifts, dreams and the drive to continue to evolve as an individual. Start thinking of your personal needs, your professional and creative aspirations, what you enjoy for recreation, the kind of people with whom you will surround yourself, becoming stronger and healthier physically, learning how to calm your nervous system through gentle yoga, meditation (in a form that works for you) creating a circle of support among those who are deeply about you and are loyal and empathic. Your life is opening up for the first time in years. Take time to appreciate being with yourself. Write down your thoughts and feelings, spontaneously. You will discover facets of yourself that you didn't realize were there. The growth process moves forward throughout our lives. Take hold of it and remain open to all of its opportunities in your life. Visit my website: thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life