It isn’t always easy to deal with an ex, and it’s made that much worse when your ex is a narcissist. You probably didn’t realize that your ex was a narcissist when you first met him. He probably seemed perfectly nice and even charming. Slowly, though, that façade melted away to reveal a person who believes the world revolves around him. He may have accused you of stopping him from fulfilling his dreams, pointed out every flaw of yours he could find, or controlled and manipulated every aspect of your life. While a divorce might have been the best thing for the two of you, it likely only brought out the worse in him. A narcissist doesn’t deal well with being rejected or being told he’s wrong. Here are a few tips for dealing with a narcissistic ex:
Understand Her. You’ve heard the old phrase, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” It’s the same with a narcissistic ex. Know her game so you can recognize it when she tries to get you involved. Narcissists often like to portray themselves as the victim, which puts you in the position of villain. Also know that logic holds no value for someone who will completely ignore reason to get her own way. It won’t matter how you present the facts if they don’t work for her agenda.
Don’t Stoop to His Level. If you need to communicate with your ex, say to discuss the children’s schedules, he may try to bait you. He may insult you, berate you, or try to start an argument. Don’t fall for it. Don’t even bother trying to defend yourself or negate what he’s saying, because that only means he is succeeding in manipulating you. Simply ignore anything he says that doesn’t have to do with the matter at hand, even if you have to walk away or hang up to do it.
Don’t Do Her Any Favours. Narcissists thrive on constantly taking from people who constantly give. Unfortunately, this means that they usually don’t give back. If you let your narcissistic ex think you’re a pushover, she will only continue to take advantage. Set your boundaries and be prepared to dig your heels in a little when you need to stand your ground.
Know That You Can’t Change Him. You might have tried to get him to see reason when you were still in a relationship, and it didn’t work. So how is it possibly going to work now that you are no longer together? He’s never going to put other people before his own needs or play by the same rules that everyone else does. Accept that you’re going to have to deal with him the way he is.
When you break up with or divorce someone with this type of personality, it makes them feel unstable and out of control, a situation they don’t handle well. It’s important to remember that even though you aren’t together anymore, your previous partner may still be trying to manipulate you on a regular basis, even if it’s only to build up their self-esteem. Keeping your distance and your cool will help you keep your narcissist at bay.