Divorce is a process that drains even the most upbeat person. The stress of splitting one life into two fair and equal parts is something that takes time, patience and energy.
What happens, however, if your ex has a difficult personality? Those who possess narcissistic tendencies tend to put on a show to the outside world, but behind the scenes often take on a negative and combative attitude. Take a look at these four tips for dealing with a narcissist during your uncoupling.
1. Rely on support
During separation and divorce, you need to find people you can lean on for support. When dealing with a narcissist, this becomes even more critical. The constant battering of negativity spewed by your ex takes an emotional and psychological toll. This leads to mistakes or missteps during the proceedings. Having people to help you stay focused means the world.
2. Document every detail
When interacting with your ex, it is a good idea to insist everything occur over digital mediums. Email and text messages can provide some of the best evidence you have of your former spouse's tendencies. Have this condition proposed by your attorney during the proceedings.
3. Avoid getting baited
Narcissists love to drag people into heated exchanges that often result in the other's retreat. Your ex may know precisely what buttons to push to elicit a volatile exchange or an emotional breakdown. Keeping the context of the conversation in mind is a great way to avoid this.
4. Ask for a psychological exam
When trying to decide things such as visitation and custody, you may worry that your former spouse's personality flaw will harm your children. Ask for a psychological exam by a court-appointed practitioner who is well-versed in dealing with family law issues and high conflict. Narcissists typically may not fool a pro.
Remembering what is at stake during a divorce proceeding may help you stay focused and away from harmful situations. Knowing you can and will make it through this process even with a narcissistic ex makes all the difference.