Understanding the divorcing a narcissist game
Narcissists hate to lose at anything and everything becomes a game. If you haven’t seen this yet, stay tuned. Divorce will bring this out in them.
The victim card is the first game you can expect
Regardless of who instigated the divorce it, causes a narcissistic injury. They cannot be responsible for the failure of a marriage, so they must start “operation smear campaign” to blame you, call you crazy and accuse you of everything they are doing or have done. The narcissist knows time is of the most importance to convince your family and friends of the terrible things they have endured while married to you, so expect them to try to get to them.
This tactic of getting to your family and friends may very well be covert in the messaging strategy. They might call your friends and family telling them that you have been drinking and that they are so concerned for you. They aren’t directly telling them you are a drunk, they are building a dialogue that comes across as caring, but also makes them the victim of your drunken behaviors.
Get to your family and friends early and prepare them to hear from your soon-to-be-ex partner. Listen closely to your conversation with them to see if the narcissist has gotten to them already and be cautious of over-sharing until you have absolute conviction that they are loyal to you only. Expect to lose friends, neighbors, and possibly family, as the line in the sand gets drawn early and often without your knowledge. Narcissistic people have been planning for this since the day they met you. They have identified which of your family and friends buy their bullshit and which ones will always be true to you. Proceed with caution and always be on alert as to whom you can trust until they have proven their loyalty.
A nugget of truth makes everything so much more believable
My ex-husband told our friends that “I was so distraught that I was threatening to kill myself.” While that was true, he took it one step further telling them I was using this as a tactic to get him back again. I remember a conversation with a close family friend of his; she was accusing me of using this tactic to hold onto someone I needed to let go of. The whole thing confused me, because I really did want to die that night. If not for the suicide hotline that one night, I would be dead. It wasn’t a tactic, it was the bottom of the bottom and it was turned into a weapon to use against me, to call me unstable and crazy.
The next narcissist in my life (ex-boyfriend) told our mutual friends not to believe my story of how he had me arrested because I was a such a good storyteller and that I was making it all up. I guess I am a good storyteller, yet this was used against me and that friend never believed the true version of that day; he is no longer in my life. The nugget of truth in their stories can make the lies they are going to embellish the truth with that much more powerful.
The need to win no matter what the cost
The laws of splitting assets and separating lives is the purpose of a legal divorce. Not when it comes to a narcissist that demands the attention of being the victim. Regardless of the facts, their need to win becomes a life or death fight. Expect no middle ground, no compromises, no negotiations, no mediation and no empathy for your needs or the needs of your children.
Proving themselves right is their goal and using tactics like outright pathological lying is sadly more the narc-normal then trying to make an easy and civil break. Understanding that truth does not have a seat at the narcissistic divorce table is hard to accept, but a reality you must understand and prepare for.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU START THE PROCESS
Hire a divorce attorney that understands the battle of the narcissist in court
Let me be clear here, do not try to divorce a narcissistic person without the right attorney. Do not listen to your spouse as s/he says they will do things amicably; that is just a trojan horse keeping you unprepared for the battle you are heading into. You need to get the best attorney possible to protect your assets, your children and your future. Attempting to do this without a lawyer will put you at great risk because you are unfamiliar with the process, tricks and games that will be pulled on you. This may be the most important thing to learn, so learn it early. The person you married is not the person you are divorcing. Get rid of any preconceived notion that s/he would never hurt you.
While the idea of finding a lawyer that specializes in narcissists is a great idea, most attorneys do not advertise a specialty of “understanding the narcissistic abuse” so that task will lead to many disappointing calls. Instead, seek out recommendations from friends and put calls into as many attorneys as you can to ask them some basic questions.
Contrary to the logic that hiring a “shark attorney” is a good idea, one must remember that narcissists love conflict, they love a battle and they will do anything to win no what matter the cost. Most shark attorneys also love a good battle, so unless you have unlimited money, you need to find a lawyer that can balance the crazy demands with logic and the tools of law to stop the narcissistic divorce train from running you into the financial graveyard. Your lawyer needs to understand when to push the button of law and when not to react. Remember the narcissist’s goal it to get you to react. Your lawyer needs to be your rock.