Divorcing a Narcissistic Spouse in Texas, Cedar Park, Austin, and Surrounding AreasKeesha Montoya
Getting a divorce is emotionally challenging, but divorcing a spouse who is narcissistic is particularly challenging because they can resort to abusive and bullying tactics just to make your life miserable.
Let’s walk you through the essential things that you need to know to protect yourself when divorcing a narcissist.
How do I know if my spouse is a narcissist?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition in which people have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance.”
- Narcissistic spouses lack empathy and may switch from being loving and kind one moment to lashing out emotionally and physically the next moment.
- They have a high sense of their own importance such that the act of divorcing them is seen as ultimate betrayal and criticism, so they fight back dirty and hard.
- Narcissistic spouses resort to gaslighting—the behavior of denying realities and truths and minimizing the pain they inflict on others.
- Counseling rarely improves the relationships with narcissistic spouses as they often are not truthful in counseling sessions. They present a distorted perception of what is really happening in the marriage with gaslighting and minimizing the damage they are creating to their spouses.
Narcissistic spouses can be covert or subtle. They can appear to be nice and loving people, yet they engage in sabotaging and hurtful behaviors deliberately. Covert narcissists engage more in emotional abuse and gaslighting where they deny they are harming you emotionally.
Narcissists can also be overt, blatantly displaying the grandiose image of themselves through excessive control and severe criticism of others. Overt narcissists tend to engage in physical as well as emotional abuse.
The end impact is that you end up feeling depleted, exhausted, physically ill, and wondering if the abuse you are experiencing is just in your mind—because they consistently deny any wrongdoing.
Divorcing a narcissistic spouse is challenging because they will not hesitate to engage in:
- Gaslighting and lying in court and to your friends and family.
- Attempting to annihilate your personal and professional reputation.
- Ignoring court orders.
- Escalating physical and emotional abuse.
- Stonewalling with signing required legal papers.
- Using every opportunity to use the legal system to make life difficult and damaging to you.
The good news is that you are not at the mercy of a narcissistic spouse. We can help you.
How to Exit a Relationship with a Narcissist
Now that you know the signs of narcissism and how they behave through a divorce, it’s important to protect yourself.
Before announcing your intent to leave or leaving the marriage, consult with a professional therapist to help you develop a safety plan for exiting the relationship safely.
If you cannot afford a therapist, these organizations can steer you toward resources that are free or low cost:
NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness
Consult an attorney who has extensive experience with helping people divorce from narcissists so they can help you plan a strategy to protect not only your property and rights as a parent—but also safeguard your overall wellness with the proper legal steps to keep you safe.
At Keesha Montoya law firm, we understand the tactics that narcissistic spouses may take legally and behaviorally to harm our clients. So, we build a legal fortress around our clients to safeguard them throughout the divorce process.
For instance, one of our clients, who has given us permission to share her experience, admitted that she did not realize that her husband was a narcissist.
She believed him when he said that he was willing to amicably part and hire a mediation attorney to draw up the divorce papers. Our client spent hours negotiating peacefully with her spouse and truly believed that he was committed to being fair and parting without a legal battle.
However, at the last moment, he blindsided her by hiring an extremely aggressive attorney to bully her during the Christmas holidays so that this cruel twist of a betraying surprise attack would have its highest impact to hurt her.
Since we are experienced with narcissistic spouses, we were there to immediately wrap around our client as she experienced emotional devastation and the sense of the rug being pulled out from under her feet.
We met with her not only to plan legal strategy but to help her prepare mentally for the road ahead by helping her to understand what tactics her husband might resort to so that she could be well prepared and proactive through every step of the divorce process.
No matter how much her spouse thrashed legally, we were there to aggressively advocate for our client and protect her so that she could focus on healing and moving forward in her life.
In cases where the custody of children is at stake, narcissistic spouses will often attempt to use children as a means to getting back at the spouse who has asked for the divorce without regard to the wellness of the children.
In these instances, it is especially important to work with an attorney who is experienced with nuanced legal ways to protect your rights as a parent and safeguard your children’s well being.
Schedule a free consultation today to discover how we can prepare and protect what is most important to you during a divorce with a narcissist.
Heal Narcissistic Abuse
Check out these resources to start preparing yourself for the process of exiting a relationship with a narcissistic spouse.
NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Divorcing and Healing from a Narcissist by Dr. Theresa J. Covert
- Divorcing Your Narcissist: You Can’t Make This Shit Up! By Tracy Malone
- Co-Parenting after Divorcing a Narcissist by Isabella Francis
- Recovery from Gaslighting & Narcissistic Abuse, Codependency & Complex PTSD by Don Barlow