How to Manage Your Emotions when Dealing with a Narcissistic Ex-Spouse

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Dealing with a narcissistic ex can be a laborious and mentally exhausting task, especially during a high-conflict divorce. While you cannot control or reason with a narcissist, following the guidelines below may help put you at ease during the process of dissolving a marriage.

Understand Who You’re Dealing With

A narcissist can exhibit some or all of the following traits, making them difficult to effectively communicate with:

  • A need for admiration;
  • A need to be right;
  • Inability to feel remorse;
  • Envy of other people’s success;
  • Disinterest in solving problems; and
  • Desire for emotional control.

These behaviors can make it feel impossible to reason with a narcissist, let alone compromise with one. However, this does not mean you need to concede and give your ex whatever they want. Anticipating their attempts to anger you could help you keep your composure in an argument. Your narcissistic ex may try to use your emotional reactions against you in court, so do your best to stay calm and collected.

Establish Firm Boundaries about Communication

A narcissist will always put their needs above yours. You may not be able to get your ex to respect your boundaries, so staying true to your personal convictions is crucial to protecting your own best interests.

When it comes to communicating with your ex, you should set a specified schedule and method of speaking. The best mode of communication is through email; this allows you to take time to formulate a well-thought-out message so that you do not say something out of emotion. Email also establishes a paper trail that can be used as evidence in court if necessary. Establish times when you or your child can respond to your ex, and refuse to communicate outside of those times. This is the best method for asserting your boundaries without actually saying anything, and it should also help reduce your stress.

Hire an Experienced Divorce Attorney

While it may be important for you to go to family and friends for advice when dealing with your narcissistic ex, it might be hard for them to understand the challenges you face. An experienced attorney with a thorough understanding of narcissistic personalities can help you deal with your ex-spouse during your high-conflict divorce.

It is crucial to understand the traits behind narcissism and who to go to for help. At the Atlanta Divorce Law Group, our attorneys have worked through countless cases and acquired the experience needed to help you navigate a high-conflict divorce. Give us a call to find out how we can help.


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