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How to Deal With a Narcissistic Ex

Law Office of Richard M. Abdallah  April 5, 2023

Divorce is never an easy process, and when you add a personality disorder on top, it can become even more challenging. Narcissism is one personality disorder that can have a significant impact on divorce proceedings.  

Narcissists have a distorted sense of self-importance, lack empathy, and crave attention, which can cause problems during the divorce. If you are dealing with a narcissistic ex, you may need the assistance of an attorney to help you navigate the process.  

At The Law Office of Richard M. Abdallah, I know how to assist clients who deal with ex-spouses with all kinds of personality disorders, including narcissism. From my office in Sacramento, California, I provide personalized service to clients throughout Yolo, Alameda, Placer, San Joaquin, and Eldorado Counties.  

Personality Disorders and Divorce

Narcissism is a personality disorder that affects a small percentage of the general population. Narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and an overwhelming need for attention and admiration. They lack empathy, have a grandiose sense of entitlement, and often exploit others to get what they want. They also have fragile self-esteem that’s easily bruised, which can make them react aggressively to perceived criticism or rejection. 

If you are going through a divorce with a narcissistic ex, you may notice some common signs. Narcissists tend to see themselves as superior and may belittle or demean their ex-partners. They also like to control situations and may use manipulation or deceit to get what they want. Narcissists tend to focus on their needs rather than those of their children or ex-partner. They may also struggle with empathy or refuse to take responsibility for their actions. 

How Does Narcissism Affect Divorce?

Narcissism can significantly affect the divorce process, making it more challenging and time-consuming. Narcissists may try to manipulate the situation to their advantage, making it difficult to negotiate fairly. They may refuse to communicate or become abusive during meetings, making it hard to reach an agreement. Narcissists may also use their children to manipulate their ex-partner or refuse to abide by custody agreements. 

To navigate divorce with a narcissistic ex, you need to be prepared. It’s important to work with an attorney who understands narcissism and can help protect you and your children’s interests. You may also want to consider counseling to help you cope with the emotional fallout of dealing with a narcissistic ex. Set firm boundaries and stick to them, and try not to engage in their manipulative behavior. 

Steps You Can Take to Deal With an Opposing Party With Personality Disorders 

Although dealing with a partner with personality disorders can feel impossible, there are steps that you can take to make the situation more peaceful: 

1. Hire an Experienced Attorney

The first step toward a peaceful resolution is hiring an experienced attorney who specializes in family law. Personality disorders often mean that your partner may not be willing to reason with you, and therefore, you need a skilled professional who can handle any situation that may arise. Your attorney will be able to advise you on what is best for you, whether that’s negotiating or building a case for you in court. 

2. Make a Record of Important Documents/Information

In the case of a partner with personality disorders, it is essential to maintain an accurate record of all significant details that may arise during the trial. This includes financial statements, asset details, and any communication between the two of you. By keeping an accurate record of events, you will be better able to negotiate your settlement and make your case in court. 

3. Take Steps to Prove the Disorder

If you believe that your partner has a personality disorder, it is essential to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor to help you navigate this challenging situation. Moreover, it’s important to document the behavior that signals a personality disorder. Your therapist or counselor can also help you evaluate the behavior as well. In court, you can use this evidence to show the judge how their behavior has affected your life, your children’s lives, and your family’s well-being. 

4. Gather Evidence of False Statements and Patterns of Abuse

At times, individuals with personality disorders use false statements and patterns of abuse to control the situation. This can include false allegations, threats of violence, and financial abuse. It’s important to document all of these incidents so that if they arise, you can provide a detailed account of what happened. Your attorney will help you build a case around these incidents so that the judge can see how your partner affects your life negatively. 

5. Seek Safety Measures if Violence Is Possible

If you feel that your partner is a threat to you and your children’s safety, it is essential to seek protective measures. Inform your attorney of any potential threats so that they can take the necessary steps to protect you and your family. In some cases, this may mean seeking a restraining order from the court. 

6. Protect Financial Assets

If you have financial assets that you feel your partner would manipulate or jeopardize, it is essential to safeguard them. Your attorney can provide advice on how to do this, as well as provide you with the necessary paperwork to legally safeguard your finances. 

7. Remain Calm and Let Your Attorney Deal With the Opposing Party

Handling a partner with personality disorders can be frustrating and stressful. However, it’s important to remain calm and let your attorney handle the situation for you. Do not engage in any behavior that may escalate the situation further, and if you feel you cannot handle the situation well, seek professional help from a therapist, counselor, or coach. 

Protect Your Peace With an Attorney’s Support

With preparation, patience, and support, you can successfully divorce a narcissistic ex and move on with your life. As an experienced family law attorney at The Law Office of Richard M. Abdallah, I can help you navigate the challenges of divorcing a narcissistic spouse or dealing with other family law issues. Reach out to my office in Sacramento, California, to get legal guidance you can trust.