Divorcing a Narcissist Will Require Perfect Timing (Part 1 of 3)

By now, you know that narcissists are highly manipulative, controlling, and abusive. You have thought about divorce throughout your marriage, and most likely, the narcissist has threatened separation or divorce. Very frequently, you will have been through multiple cycles of narcissistic abuse of idealization, devalue and discard. Think about the hundreds of silent treatments you’ve endured. If you are married to a covert narcissist (although, many other types of narcissists are guilty of this manipulation tool, too), you will have gone through rounds of disappearing acts. The narcissist will suddenly manufacture an argument, get upset about some slight issue, causing a narcissistic wound, and he will leave, bags packed, and you will not hear from him for a little while. I’ll talk more about this later.

First, to understand how to perfectly time your divorce or separation from a narcissist, you will have to become familiar with the narcissistic cycle of abuse and the narcissist’s cycle of intimate relationships. The narcissist will go through this cycle in every relationship, and by now, he has perfected it. You will not be the first, and you will not be the last.

Understanding the Narcissist’s Cycle of Intimate Relationships and the Three Phases of Idealization (Love Bombing), Devalue, and Discard

To perfectly time your separation or divorce from a psychopath, narcissist or sociopath, you need to understand that every intimate relationship he has will follow three distinct phases. Once you really understand this, you will see it play out in your relationship over and over again, and if you’ve been with the narcissist for any length of time, you’re likely to have repeated a very watered down version of phase one, followed by phase two and phase three repeatedly, until you have the courage to jump off of the train to hell. You will be bruised and injured, but you will recover. I love Shannon Thomas’ writing about her recovery from narcissistic abuse and her perspective as a licensed social worker. She has a wonderful essay comparing leaving a narcissistic relationship as jumping off of a fast train.

You need to understand that the narcissist, psychopath, or sociopath will believe that he owns you, and that you are just property to him. He does not see you as another human being with your own individuality or uniqueness. You are to have no wants or desires. You are there simply to serve his needs. You will be forever responsible for all of his happiness, and you will be solely blamed for his constant state of misery. A narcissist has no real “self” or soul. Without a true ego, the narcissist is a bottomless pit of anxiety, anger, and very little self-worth. All of his validation comes from others. I want you to understand that a narcissist’s emotional intelligence was stunted at a very young age, and because of his pathology and his family of origin, the young child decided that to avoid the intense chaos in his home and lack of true nurturing, he had to destroy his inner child or self and create a new image or false self that could not feel hurt, abuse, or harm by his violent father and cold mother.

The covert narcissist that I’m divorcing developed a shy, false self, and the mask he wore to the outside world was one of kindness, chivalry, and extreme shyness. He truly believes that he is an introvert or INTF, one that feels so much empathy. The mask he wore was created to help him remain out of his mother’s hair, and to receive her attention, he had to become a shy, meek boy. She praised him constantly for his quietness. In fact, to this day, at middle-age, he still calls her “momma.” Male narcissists have really sad relationships with their mothers, which explains why they are ALL misogynists.

Read Part 2: Here

Read Part 3: Here

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.