Kelly Byrnes & Danker, PLLC continues to be fully available to serve the needs of both our existing clients as well as new clients for their family law matters. Although we are primarily working remotely due to the impact of COVID-19, we remain fully operational and accessible to meet with clients via video and telephone conferencing during this time period. Read More

Divorcing a narcissist? Keep these 2 things in mind

You either suspect or know that your spouse is a narcissist, so you’re already pretty certain that ending your marriage isn’t going to be easy. You expect their reactions to your decision to be fierce.

So what can you do to make this process easier for yourself? You can ensure that you’re taking steps to protect yourself from the havoc that your ex is going to cause during the divorce. Here are two ways to do it.

  1. Control your surface emotions

Most narcissists get a sense of power from invoking reactions from others. One way that you can stop them from feeling empowered is to take away that satisfaction. The narcissist will likely say things just to make you upset once the marriage is over. Don’t let that happen.

Find ways, such as deep breathing or thinking of something else, to control your surface emotions when you’re with them. There will be time to deal with your feelings about the situation later.

In some cases, it may be best to limit communicating with your spouse during this time to either written forms (like email or text messages), using a neutral third party (such as a therapist or mediator), or hire an attorney to help negotiate a settlement.

  1. Keep proof of everything

Narcissists aren’t shy about bending the truth, so keep every scrap of paper that proves what actually happened. That means you need to retain your receipts for every payment you make on the bills, records of all your expenses and every text message or email you receive from your spouse.

In addition, never agree to anything your spouse proposes without putting the exact terms of the agreement in writing. This is not the time to trust to their better nature.

It’s always wisest to let your attorney know what you expect from your spouse — and why. That can help you plan an effective strategy for minimizing the complications in your divorce from the very start.