Even on a good day in the best possible case scenario, divorce is one of the most stressful things a person can experience. But when your divorce is feudal, bitter, and involves the dissolution of a relationship with a narcissist, the stress is amplified exponentially.
In my case, I had no idea what I was getting into until I began to experience things I would never have fathomed, despite who my ex actually was. I knew he was unstable to say the least, but I could have never prepared myself for the lengths he was willing to go through, just to win.
That’s why I want to share these tips with anyone who may be experiencing the same thing I did in the hopes that you can avoid these mistakes and not have to endure the same pains and humiliations I did when divorcing my narcissistic ex-husband, Alex Jones.
First, it’s important to recognize the signs of a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). According to helpguide.org, people with NPD:
- Have a grandiose sense of self-importance
- Live in a fantasy world that supports their delusions of grandeur
- Need constant praise and admiration
- Have a sense of entitlement
- Exploit others without guilt or shame
- Frequently demean, intimidate, bully, or belittles others
Don’t accept the narcissist’s version of history
A narcissist will have their own version of the truth and, since they have a persistent and pervasive need to always be right, they are going to distort, twist, and turn everything to that end. Stay true to your own truth and be consistent in your assertions. It’s likely they’ve spent years distorting reality so make sure you keep your feet firmly planted to the ground. They have also possibly gaslit you. You know who you are. Don’t let the narcissist create a false narrative about you as a person or as a parent.
Beware Out of Court or Non-Mediated Agreements
Narcissists are masters of manipulation. Never agree to any terms or arrangements without legal representation, make sure it is in writing (and that you understand it) and make sure you understand your attorney’s role and that they are fiduciary to you so that you can be protected.
Don’t get sucked in
Narcissists are adept at gaslighting their victims, especially when they know your hot button issues. If possible, try to avoid any kind of private contact with your soon-to-be ex. Record your interactions, document aggression, stalking, privacy invasions.
Don’t fall for their script
Narcissists are surprisingly predictable in some ways. That is: never believe for one second that anything is beneath them when it comes to “winning.” You can always count on them changing the course of a conversation to something completely different. Be prepared with your own script: “Can we please get back to…” or “How does this relate to…?” are just a couple of examples. Be aware if you have been abused or gaslit, the narcissist is looking for ways to get you to react. The reaction is something they use to justify their gaslight: don’t fall prey.
Make sure you have a supporter because you can’t expect to be believed in court
Even though corruption is rampant in family court across the country, even the most scrupulous judges, attorneys, and professionals can be fooled by a motivated and clever narcissist. After all, narcissists have been practicing the art of self-aggrandizing their entire lives so it’s second nature for them to be believable. Have a professional in your corner – preferably someone who is familiar with the patterns of a narcissist – and who can help validate and redirect you.
Your abuse did not end with the marriage
By nature, a divorce indicates “losing” which is an unbearable experience for a narcissist. They will already be lashing out in unpredictable ways because of their perceived failure. Especially when things are not going their way, a narcissist will use every possible means to reach through your separation and continue to badger and abuse you. Sadly and horrifically, they will often engage in psychological abuse against your children to turn them against you and even ask or demand they make up false allegations. Be prepared to stay strong through their continued abuse and lean on those for help who are there to support you.
Don’t assume all attorneys are created equal
In my case, my ex’s attorney was working despite a clear conflict of interest (he was working with my own attorneys in another case) and they were very clearly corrupt. Just because you have an attorney that you got because someone recommended them, be sure to vet everyone on the team of your divorce before proceeding so you can avoid the corruption I endured. Do online searches and don’t rely on AVVO.com’s ratings, which can be padded or outright false. Follow me on Facebook to find the community of people who have experienced injustice or malpractice and ask about your attorney before hiring them (non-legal advice- I’m not an attorney).
Don’t expect a narcissist to co-parent
Narcissists cannot stand to lose. Sharing custody with a narcissist is essentially impossible because they perceive it as not winning. Consequently, they will do all they can to disrupt your relationship with your child(ren) and challenge any and all decisions that are made in your favor. Be prepared for this by realizing you do not need to interact with your ex beyond the needs of your children. Just be there for your children because that’s the best thing for them. You cannot control your ex or their behavior, but you can love, support, and guide your children.
I am still in an exhaustive battle with my narcissistic ex, Alex Jones. It is my hope that these tips will help guide you if you are experiencing the same things. It is my goal to help anyone else who is experiencing these types of abuse and corruption. If you are able, I welcome and appreciate any donation that can help me overcome the devastating costs of my bitter divorce dispute and continue my campaign to stop the family court corruption in our country.