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The importance of self-care when divorcing a narcissist

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2024 | Divorce

If you’ve been married to a narcissist for any length of time, you probably think that nothing can be more exhausting than the relationship you shared. However, trying to leave one can be just as, if not more, emotionally taxing.

You may find yourself experiencing defeat and despair. It’s crucial to remember these feelings won’t last forever. So, here are some tips for getting through this challenging time.

Understanding narcissistic behavior

People with narcissistic personality traits can confuse you and make you believe you are the problem. Recognizing the characteristics of a narcissist can provide reassurance that choosing to divorce is the right decision. They typically exhibit the following:

  • A lack of empathy and inability to understand or care about other’s feelings
  • An inflated sense of self-importance and superiority
  • They believe they deserve special treatment and recognition
  • They are masters of deceit and manipulation and use both to control situations and people
  • They refuse to take responsibility and will blame everyone else for their problems

Before, during and after your divorce, they may try to use guilt, fear and intimidation to control you. A narcissist will attempt to prolong legal proceedings to wear you down emotionally and financially.

Therefore, it’s crucial to practice self-care to build emotional resilience, which will enable you to cope with stress, anxiety and depression. You will want to get plenty of sleep, regular exercise and maintain a balanced diet to lessen the physical symptoms that accompany stress.

Meditation, journaling and a gratitude practice can help you stay grounded and maintain mental clarity. A clear mind also contributes to better decision-making.

Taking time for yourself and practicing self-care can foster a sense of empowerment and self-worth. It reminds you that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. Self-care can reinforce your determination to resist the narcissist’s tactics and prioritize your own needs.

You will also want to work with someone who understands narcissistic behavior. They can provide a buffer between you and your ex-spouse and protect your interests throughout the legal process.

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