Ending a marriage is rarely an easy process, but there are additional factors that can make it even more complicated. If you live in Michigan and are divorcing a narcissist, you may be facing a high-conflict situation despite your best efforts to dial it down. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself financially and emotionally.
Understanding the narcissist
First, it is important to understand how a narcissist thinks. This is a person who is determined to win at all costs, who lacks empathy and who is very good at manipulating and game-playing to achieve their goals. They may try tactics such as continually filing expensive and time-wasting motions and delays, smearing your character and refusing to negotiate.
What to do
The first thing you should do is make sure that your attorney is aware of how your spouse may behave during the divorce. It is generally easier to discuss this as a pattern of behavior than as a psychiatric diagnosis, so talk about the spouse’s typical responses. Document everything you can since this can be helpful in resolving issues in court if the other person is untruthful. Finally, although it is difficult, you will need to keep your emotions in check, including in any communications with the other person. Furthermore, if you have children, try to avoid badmouthing the other parent, which can cause a number of additional problems, including the possibility of retaliation from your spouse and upsetting your children.
It is important to keep in mind throughout this process that the only person’s actions you can control are your own. Although the emotional and financial costs of divorcing a narcissist may seem high, there are strategies you can employ to get through it and start building a new life on the other side.