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Are You Going Through a Divorce from a Narcissist?

Whether your soon-to-be ex was clinically diagnosed or you simply recognize the symptoms of narcissism in them, it's important to understand what to expect out of the process. Divorcing a narcissist isn't the same as getting a divorce from someone without a serious personality disorder. At Keithley Law, we understand the complications that can arise during the divorce process when one spouse is a narcissist. We may be able to give you tools and advice to keep a problematic narcissist in check during your divorce.

If you would like to seek an experienced Fairfax divorce attorney's perspective, reach out to us today at (703) 454-5147.

Understanding the Complications of Divorcing a Narcissist

Negotiation is always favorable to taking your divorce to court, but coming to an agreement with a narcissist can seem close to impossible. Narcissists constantly try to exploit you or avoid the rules, leading to little to no results. You may need to go to trial, which means you need to prepare for the emotional difficulties that could arise. Ultimately, a judge may be able to see more clearly than your ex can, especially about contested issues like child custody.

By choosing an experienced Fairfax family law attorney who is familiar with the process of divorcing a narcissist, you will have someone who understands the challenges of your ex's personality and how to navigate them. At Keithley Law, our lead attorney also understands psychopathologies and can help from that perspective.

There are a few important things to know about divorcing a narcissist, such as:

  • Look at their actions, not their words
  • Toxic, exploitative relationships can create trauma bonds
  • Narcissists often act like they are the perpetual victim
  • Stunted emotional intelligence can lead to denying, reflecting, and minimizing
  • Threats of abandonment or the silent treatment
  • Narcissists often use a form of manipulation called gaslighting

Protecting Your Child from Abusive Behaviors

It may seem terrifying to have to raise your child with a narcissistic, toxic individual. However, in some cases, you may not have a choice. It is important that you spend your time with your child wisely and not spend any more time than is necessary to talk about your ex. Your ex may try to twist the situation and manipulate your child, which can be highly destructive.

If you are trying to share parenting with your soon-to-be ex, keep in mind that:

  • Adults who are insecurely attached may raise their children with insecure attachments
  • Parental alienation, which is a form of child abuse, can result from flawed parenting
  • Narcissistic parents can lead to children who develop attachment traumas

Attempting to Parent with a Narcissist

If you have decided to co-parent or the court has made a decision regarding shared custody, there are a few things you can do to protect your child. For one, as your child gets older, you can work with them to help them recognize toxic behaviors. Ensure they know that their needs and concerns are important and that they should not be brushed aside due to any small perceived slight.

You can also help your child feel empowered to express their needs to the safe people in their life, such as you who will not abandon them. Our Fairfax divorce lawyer at Keithley Law can work with you and help you gather information which is useful to the divorce and child upbringing process.

We're here for you, even when your spouse is unwilling to work with you. Give us a call at (703) 454-5147.

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