According to Wikipedia, narcissism is “the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes. The term originated from Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.”

Equating this to modern times means that a narcissist is most concerned with him/herself and everything they do or say is with the sole intent of making themselves happy. That being said, being married to a narcissist can be very trying, and divorcing one could even make you question your own sanity.

Signs of being a narcissist include seeking admiration from others and failing to empathize with other people. According to Psychology Today, the hallmark symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder include grandiosity as well. If your spouse is often described as arrogant, demanding or manipulative, he or she may suffer from this disorder.

How Does a Narcissist Handle Divorce?

Narcissists do not handle any type of rejection as well, as this leaves them feeling empty and humiliated. This can lead to them expressing their anger about this rejection through violence.

Most narcissists will attempt to sling mud at you for as long as they can, and keep some type of interaction going on in the court – whether it be a complaint, custody battle, property settlement or other hearing they initiate. So, you should prepare yourself and your family for the legal battles that are likely ahead.

Even if the narcissist doesn’t resort to direct violence, your life could still remain in danger. Following are some examples of covert psychological abuse by a malignant narcissist:

● Consider the case of Jessica Haban, 28, who committed suicide on December 16, 2015. Her ex-husband, who was an abusive narcissist, was charged with causing her to kill herself. The case was dismissed a year later, but this is just another example of how a narcissist can cause irreparable damage.

● In March 2016, a U.S. Air Force veteran took his own life after he and his wife were chronically bullied and harassed by a narcissist in several smear campaigns, causing him to lose his job and resulting in hacked financial accounts. This case led to a petition to enact “Shane’s Law,” which would protect victims from the bullying methods used by narcissists to emotionally harm them.

How to Approach a Divorce with a Narcissist

Contact Law Enforcement

If you believe you’re married to a narcissist, law enforcement and medical personnel should be consulted before even filing for divorce. Make sure you’re protected with a legal protective order or at least ensure there’s a viable report on file with police about their behavior and how it has threatened you.

Enlist Medical Help

If the damage is mainly emotional, the statement of a medical professional may be necessary to gain support from police without physical abuse. Seeking the help of a domestic violence group can also help to keep you safe while going through a divorce with a narcissist, as many with this disorder are largely undiagnosed.

Utilize Your Attorney

Never, ever approach a narcissist with news of a divorce filing. Allow your lawyer to do their job and serve papers without involving you directly. Also make sure you have somewhere to stay that’s safe, such as a friend or family member’s home while the divorce proceedings are happening.

How to Survive Emotionally

Consider Domestic Violent Groups

Surviving a divorce with a narcissist is going to require some very hard work on your part. Putting your physical and mental health first during the process will include enlisting the help of local domestic violence groups, a mental health professional, and even your general practitioner. Knowing that a narcissist hates to lose and will do anything to make themselves look superior to you, the first order of business is to create as much distance between the two of you as possible.

Continue to Avoid Confrontation Directly

Any correspondence should be done with an attorney and/or health professional in the loop, which could mean simply copying them in emails. Meticulous records of any text messages, social media interaction or other harmful actions taken by the narcissist should also be immediately relayed to your attorney and health professionals. All of this will help to reinforce testimony at any hearings and give professionals evidence to support your claims should the need arise.

Author's Bio: 

A passionate writer and a blogger. She started freelancing as a way to connect to other people, to reach to their hearts and make a difference with her word. The blog was born out of a pure desire to connect… to have the freedom of writing what really matters, what actually makes a difference.