Your divorce from your narcissist is over, and now it’s time for repair and self care.
The narcissist’s abuse – some combination of emotional, physical and financial – caused you to question your reality, have difficulty setting boundaries (for fear of repercussion), and tolerate mistreatment. It’s time to recover your sense of self. If you have to co-parent, you will need to find ways to psychologically disengage from your ex. But even if you didn’t have children together, and are fortunate to never see your former spouse again, you still may struggle with the residual effects of narcissist abuse.
Here are five ways to heal and protect yourself after divorcing a narcissist.
Know what to expect. Narcissists don’t “get over it” or “put the children first.” They are incapable of taking accountability for their actions and will project their own shortcomings on you. Because they can’t tolerate the thought that they might be imperfect, they will blame you for the marriage that ended, any ongoing conflict, and issues with co-parenting. Narcissists need targets of blame so they can always feel superior; expect criticism, but don’t take it personally.
Trust yourself. You know the truth about your narcissist. So do the people closest to you. Don’t allow the narcissist’s propaganda to make you question your own reality. Another tip, and this is important: don’t waste any energy trying to talk sense into the narcissist. A team of mental health experts could tell your ex what’s wrong with them, and your ex still wouldn’t change. Trying to give your ex an epiphany is futile, and will exhaust you. Instead, direct your energy towards rebuilding your own life.
Set boundaries. One reason your self-esteem took a hit during your marriage is because the narcissist trampled over your boundaries. He or she disregarded your rights. But make sure to own your part: you may struggle to assert yourself or stick to your guns, making it easier for the narcissist to abuse you. Now that you’re divorced, you’ll need to get comfortable setting limits, and adhering to them. When co-parenting in a high conflict situation, use the principles of parallel parenting to help enforce boundaries.
Practice effective communication. Be on guard that exchanging lengthy emails and texts with your ex opens you back up to the narcissist’s verbal attacks . Only correspond when it’s necessary. Be brief, informative, neutral in tone, and firm: don’t waffle or participate in a protracted negotiation. The narcissist wants to hook you by luring you into conversations, and then turning on you on emotionally. Don’t take the bait!
Focus on healing. Even if you need to remain in touch over co-parenting, your marital relationship with this person is over. Let the past go and concentrate on your own healing. Practice self-care, go to therapy, nurture your relationships with friends and family. You spent years doing what the narcissist wanted; now is the time to reflect on what’s important to you. Get clear on your values and goals so you can create a meaningful future.
Read more: How to get a narcissist to reveal themselves
Are you divorcing a narcissist? Have questions about post-divorce legal issues, including custody and parenting time issues? To get answers to all your questions, please contact us to schedule your initial attorney consultation. Take the first step towards securing your future. Call us today: 888-888-0919.