There is no such thing as staying married to a narcissist without losing your self-worth, your entire personality, your health, dignity, and your sanity. If these things are important to you (they should be!), then you will need to proceed with divorcing the narcissist to reclaim your life.
Top 3 Things to Know When Divorcing a Narcissist or When Divorcing a Psychopath
1. Yes, He Was and Will Always be a Narcissist or Psychopath
I have met dozens of women in my law practice seeking to divorce their narcissistic spouse. Men comprise over 75% of all narcissists, so most of my clients are women. Almost from the outset, these wonderful women who have been abused for many years, often start with, “I don’t know if my husband is a narcissist, but I think he is. I mean, he fits all of the characteristics.” I tell these women, “You don’t need a clinical diagnosis to label him a narcissist. You won’t get one.”
Narcissists believe they’re the victims! They won’t ever go into individual therapy, and if they do, they will not stick with it, and their general complaints will be of anxiety or depression. They have no insight and lack any meaningful remorse for their behavior, which means, not only do many therapists refuse to work with narcissists, but narcissists don’t ever go into therapy. You have had your lightbulb moment. That’s all you need. According to a very recent study from the National Institutes of Health, narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) affects as much as 6.2% of the population. Given the different percentages of those with anti-social personality disorder (ASPD), borderline personality disorder (BDP), and histrionic personality disorder (HPD), the actual percentage of psychopaths in our society make more than 10% of our world’s population, and I would venture to say that America has a large concentration of them. Think about that number the next time you are in a crowded elevator – not a pleasant thought!
2. Starve the Vampire/Go Gray Rock/Refuse Supply/Go No Contact
The narcissist in my life discarded me, after devaluing me, and he left/abandoned without even a goodbye to me or my children, at the worst time of my life, and while I was on my death bed – quite literally. If you’ve been discarded, it will be a blessing. Otherwise, you can use the following methods to get them to leave.
This tip goes out the window if you are actively being physically abused. In this case, seek help now. In my professional and personal experience, emotional abuse leads to physical abuse, and there will be financial abuse. Seek legal advice, and come up with an exit strategy with your attorney. We can talk to you about going “grey rock” or “no contact.”
Narcissists want your supply or ego fuel. Most like adulation and praise, but supply is anything you provide them, including money, shelter, a mom image, good cooking, whatever, and negative supply is also supply. So that chaos that narcissists manufacture, crazy arguments that come out of nowhere, and constant testing your boundaries, was intentional. If you yell or express any other negative emotions, you’re providing supply. Narcissists are emotional vampires, and because they lack most emotions, and they’re easily bored, they love drama. Whatever emotions you can give is fine with them. Do not believe it when they say, “I hate drama! You are so dramatic! You cause me so much drama!” Trust me, when the narcissist leaves, the drama will leave, too. This is what my soon-to-be ex-narcissist always
proclaimed. Bad narcissist! So, if you want them to leave, refuse to provide any emotions and simply walk away. The emotional vampire will look for another victim to provide ego fuel. You will be too boring!
3. They Will Engage in Character Assassination and Use Smear Campaigns
You cannot prevent a narcissist from unleashing his fury on you for not living up to his perfect image of an ideal mate, and his never-ending search for narcissistic supply cannot be provided by you alone. You will be sucked dry trying to feed his insatiable ego and demands. His goals will change daily. He will engage in a vicious character assassination of you and engage in smearing your good reputation and your decency. Remember hearing how bad his exes were? Weren’t they all bipolar, crazy, abusive, and then, for just good fun, he may even pull out the cheating card, and that they were all “whores!”
They are notorious for projecting. So, you will be labeled and accused of being crazy and bipolar. You will be accused of being physically and emotionally abusive, even though it was always the narcissist abusing you. Yes, you may have yelled back in disgust and horror, but the harrowing experience justified you sticking up for yourself once in a while. They are all master manipulators, liars, and cheaters. Welcome to the psychopath’s smear campaign, aka character assassination.
Unfortunately, narcissists have perfected their craft over their lifetimes, and they have dozens of victims in their wake. We will all be the same type of crazy, bipolar, abusive, and manipulative, according to them. They don’t expect their relationships to last, so ladies, be aware that unfortunately, the character assassination of you began long ago. Narc mom has heard all about how controlling/mean you were to her precious narc boy!
Do not worry about what the narc says. The narcissist is the lifelong victim and will project everything he feels and knows about himself onto you because they lack an understanding of boundaries, and since spouses are only extensions of the narcissist, he doesn’t know where you begin and he ends. I will write more about their smear campaigns later, but for now, just worry about you. Attorneys with a firm understanding of psychopathy will help you navigate their ludicrous accusations.
I have helped women leave these abusive relationships many, many times, and I have helped them obtain favorable custody orders and settlement terms. I have been where you are. I know how difficult the journey is, but I promise you a better future that is free from abuse, drama, and chaos. I recommend reading materials by the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. This group literally saved my life. Leaving these types of relationships will entail healing from trauma.
If you’re ready to get a divorce, Contact Keithley Law, PLLC, PLLC today by calling (703) 454-5147 and schedule an initial consultation in our Fairfax law office with one of our Virginia divorce attorneys. We can walk you through the steps to get the most out of your divorce.