Strategy for Separating from a Narcissistic Personality
Narcissist. We hear this term often in our consultations. When asked whether the other party has been medically diagnosed as a narcissist, the answer is unanimously, "no." What exactly is a narcissist? Other than they are one of the most challenging personalities to tolerate, they deliberately cause conflict in any family law matter.
When we Google the term, in less than a second, Oxford defines it as "a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves." According to the MayoClinic, this is a personality disorder where one is impatient or angry when they do not receive special treatment, can easily feel slighted, react with rage, try to belittle others so he/she can appear superior, unable to regulate their emotions, unable to adapt to change, need to be perfect so they are moody, and secretly feel insecure, ashamed, vulnerable and humiliated.
Do you relate?
Ironically, when someone thinks their ex is narcissistic, they are hopeful that they can settle their family law matter. Somehow there is this belief that years of feeling defeated by their ex is now going to change during their a legal process. While that may be possible, it is very unlikely that your ex is going to change. Your ex is probably furious that you are leaving them. He/she will do everything possible to delay the process, and make it numbingly painful for you.
While there are four ways to navigate court procedures (self-represented, mediation, collaborative, and litigation), the only way to be successful against a narcissistic is through litigation. A narcissist does not operate on logic, compromise or empathy. For more information about the different procedures when separating from a difficult personality, then watch our video on YouTube below.
What does that mean for you?
You will need to pick and chose your battles wisely. You need to have a goal in mind, and make every informed decision with that goal in mind. Think about whether your reaction will get you a step further to your goal, or will it stir more conflict? This is when you need a mental health professional as part of your support system. He/she will give you coping skills to deal with the frustrations that you will inevitably face during the separation process.
You need a clear plan of action. If you have children, then your children should submit to therapy because there is going to be a lot of co-parenting disputes. Figure out the pro's and con's of sharing an equal timeshare with the co-parent. Don't forget to balance the best interest of children. Is the co-parent an abusive parent towards your child? Do you need to assess whether psychological testing is needed against your co-parent?
Additonally, for support, figure out the income of the other party through formal discovery. For property division, make sure you prepare formal discovery requests asking for documents relating to assets, expenses and debts.
If you need assistance strategizing the best plan of action against any difficult personality, then contact My Legal Warrior for a FREE consultation TODAY!