In the emotional chaos of a marriage to a narcissist that has soured and become very ugly, it is difficult to think clearly about how to make an exit that will benefit you the most. First, pay close attention to the signals and red flags you have been getting all along that the person you married is a narcissist. He/she is self absorbed, selfish, given to rages, secretive, a chronic liar (who plays the part beautifully) manipulative, exploitive and completely lacks empathy. You have seen these behaviors throughout the years and they are escalating. If you have researched this personality disorder, you have all of the information you need to make your decision. You can stay with this person and talk yourself into believing that he is going to change at some time down the road or be convinced that you can alter him. This is never going to happen because this disorder is fixed. The false self of the narcissist develops very early and the defense mechanisms these individuals use are impervious to change. They believe that they are superior, perfect and over-entitled. They have no motivation to change.
If you decide to break up the relationship, do all of your homework in advance and detail. Interview several attorneys and choose one who has a lot of experience with divorce and has worked with clients who have this personality profile. Your attorney needs to be highly self confident, well trained, intuitive about human nature, have superior communication skills and an excellent legal temperament for times when the narcissist and his attorney come down very hard. This is the time of reckoning when your attorney is being tested and will either win with flying colors or fail to represent you properly. Get all of your financial records in order. Get your support group in place of friends you can completely trust--one is enough. Keep yourself in good physical condition. Do cardiovascular exercise like walking or going to the gym. Do not wear yourself out. Get quality sleep and make sure that you following an eating plans that provides your body with the nutrients it requires. Dial down the fight or flight syndrome with practices like gentle yoga poses, forms of meditation that work for you. Appreciate what you are doing. Don't share your exit plan with anyone unless you are sure you can trust them completely. I know you can do this. You are beginning a new cycle of your life that is richer, deeper, more meaningful, creative and peaceful. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, 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