Divorcing a narcissist can be a long and emotionally draining process. A narcissistic spouse can be very manipulative, controlling, and may try to intimidate you or make you feel like you are the one to blame for the divorce. They may also try to gaslight you, lie to you, or use financial abuses to keep you from seeking a divorce. In this blog post, we will discuss some crucial tips for women who are divorcing a narcissist, especially those who are stay-at-home moms or have financial concerns. There are things you can do to protect yourself and come out the other side strong and independent. As a Divorce Coach and Certified Divorce Financial Consultant, I've seen many women navigate the tricky waters of divorcing a narcissist. In this blog post, I'm going to share some tips that can help you through this challenging time.
Get organized and informed:
The first step to divorcing a narcissist is to gather all your financial documents, legal papers, and create a support network. Get in touch with an experienced and compassionate Divorce Coach and/or a Certified Divorce Financial Consultant who understands the legal, financial, and emotional aspects of a divorce. Also, do your research on the divorce laws in your state, including the legal process, property division, child custody, and spousal support.
If your narcissist ex-spouse is untruthful or manipulative, which they very well be, make sure you document their behaviors. Save emails and text messages, take screenshots, and anything else that can help prove their dishonesty. This evidence may come in handy should you need to present your case in court.
One of my clients organized everything in a bankers box she’d take with her with folders labeled about bank accounts, lies told, abuse emails and text copies, and parenting issues so she could pull them out anytime needed. Duringone meeting, much to the narcissist surprise, she pulled out harsing messages about child custody and was able to prove the narcissist was manipulating the agreed upon custody calendar to “get back at her.”
Protect yourself and your children:
If you think that your narcissistic spouse may become violent, make sure that you and your children are safe. Document any instances of domestic violence, keep a record of all harassing or threatening behaviors, and get a restraining order if necessary. Also, consult with a mental health professional if you or your children need help dealing with trauma, anxiety, or depression caused by the divorce.
Set Boundaries You're Comfortable With:
Set clear boundaries with your narcissist ex-spouse about communication, shared custody, and anything else that is important to you. However, make sure you can maintain these boundaries and stay consistent with your expectations. Narcissists often try to break boundaries and push limits, so don't be surprised if your ex tests your limits.
For example, one of my clients had an ex who would often arrive 30-45 minutes for custody exchanges so they modified the exchange routine in the Parenting Plan to prevent that from happening,
Don't fall for their traps:
Narcissistic spouses may try to bait you, provoke you, or play mind games to keep you on edge or make you look like the “crazy one”. They may also try to drain your finances, hide assets, or refuse to pay child support or alimony. Therefore, don't engage in arguments or respond to their provocations. Keep your communication brief, clear, and business-like, and stick to the facts. Also, you can have your CDFA help you if you believe your narcissist spouse is attempting to hide assets.
Stay focused on your goals:
A narcissistic spouse may try to distract you from your goals, make you feel guilty, or tempt you with false promises (called Future Faking). Remember that your goal is to get a divorce and move on with your life. Stay focused on your priorities, such as your children's well-being, your financial stability, and your personal growth. Also, seek counseling or join a support group to help you cope with the emotional stress of the divorce and strengthen your resilience.
I have my clients write their goals out so that they can remind themselves what they are.
Create Your Own Financial Identity:
Many women who have spent years in a marriage with a narcissist may have let go of all financial control. It's time to take charge and create your own financial identity. You might seek the advice of a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, who will be able to help you understand your financial situation, create a realistic budget, and plan for the future.
Believe in yourself and your future:
Divorcing a narcissist can be a challenging and exhausting experience, but it is not impossible. Believe in yourself, your resilience, and your ability to rebuild your life. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people, take care of yourself, and pursue your passions and dreams. Remember that you deserve to be happy, healthy, and loved.
Divorcing a narcissist is a necessary step to regaining your freedom, peace, and dignity. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or have financial concerns, there are ways to protect yourself and your children and achieve a fair and equitable divorce settlement. You can overcome the challenges of divorcing a narcissistic spouse and move on with your life. Remember that you are not alone, and that there is hope for a better future. These tips will help you survive and thrive during your divorce, so you can journey on with financial and emotional clarity.
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