Dealing with a Narcissistic Ex

Going through a separation or divorce is never easy, and it’s even worse when an ex is a narcissist.  Because narcissists often initially come across as model citizens, often even charming, the spouse of a narcissist might not have initially picked up on the narcissism. Slowly, though, the façade melts away to reveal a person who believes the world revolves around him or her. They may accuse their spouse of preventing them from fulfilling their dreams, or claim that he/she controlled and manipulated every aspect of their life.  While a divorce might have been the best thing, it likely only brought out the worst in a narcissistic ex.

At Gelman & Associates, we often help clients who find themselves in a challenging situation with a narcissistic ex or soon-to-be ex. Our team of experienced and compassionate family lawyers has helped numerous clients who are leaving challenging situations.  We regularly provide forward-thinking legal advice. We are not afraid to get tough in negotiations or in court, if necessary.

Some Tips for Dealing with a Narcissistic Ex

Understand Them

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is a commonly uttered phrase. The same approach applies to a narcissistic ex. Narcissists often like to portray themselves as the victim, which puts their spouse in the position of villain.  Spouses of narcissists must also know that logic holds no value for someone who will completely ignore reason to get their own way.  It won’t matter how facts are presented if they don’t work for the narcissist’s agenda.

Don’t Stoop to Their Level

The narcissist may try to bait the spouse during necessary communications, such as discussions about their children’s schedules.   He or she may be insulting, berating, or try to start an argument.  Spouses of narcissists should not try to defend themselves or negate what is being said. They should stay calm and unemotional and simply ignore anything that doesn’t have to do with the matter at hand.

Don’t Do Them Any Favours

Narcissists thrive on constantly taking from people who always give.  Unfortunately, this means they usually don’t give back.  If a person allows their narcissistic ex to think they are a pushover, the ex will only continue to take advantage. Boundaries should be set and spouses should be prepared to dig in their heels and stand their ground.  Setting clear boundaries can limit the extreme emotional disturbance that arises when dealing with a narcissist, and can help provide some much-needed structure for children.

Know That You Can’t Change Them

A spouse may have tried to amend the behavior of their narcissistic partner when they were still in a relationship, and it didn’t work.  Spouses should therefore ask themselves whether their ex could possibly change after they are no longer together.   A narcissist will never put other people before their own needs or play by the same rules that everyone else does, and will therefore likely never amend their behaviour.  This should be top of mind for anyone dealing with a narcissistic ex, and should inform their strategy in moving forward.

Gelman & Associates:  Compassionate Family Lawyers Advising Clients on How to Deal with Narcissistic Exes

Going through a separation or divorce with a narcissistic ex can be downright exhausting.  That’s why, at Gelman & Associates, we offer a free consultation with a psychological professional if required.  We have the legal knowledge to ensure you are receiving sound legal advice, and we want you to have the same peace of mind when it comes to your well being.  We are conveniently located in Aurora, Barrie, Downtown Toronto, Mississauga, North York and Scarborough. Call us at (416) 736-0200 or 1-844-736-0200 or contact us online.

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