Many of the people I meet with tell me they are married to a narcissist. As cutting as this may seem, many people are divorcing someone with a personality disorder. One therapist we refer states many people who divorce have issues like narcissist personality disorder because the people who do not have this or other personality disorders are able to work through problems in the marriage and stay married. So, if you are married to someone you think is a narcissist, know you are not alone. Also know there is a way out of this with your sanity intact, it will just take a little extra effort.
What Is A Narcissist?
A diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder can only be given by a mental health professional. There are signs and symptoms you can identify and read about all over the internet. A general internet search will typically identify this as a disorder in which a person has an inflated sense of self-importance. Narcissistic personality disorder is found more commonly in men. Symptoms include an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others’ feelings, an inability to handle any criticism, and a sense of entitlement.
Although understanding and recognizing the characteristics involved is helpful, this knowledge will not give you the help you need to divorce and save your sanity. It can be frustrating and emotionally draining.
It did not start out this way. They may have started out showing you how much they loved and cherished you. You believed it would always be that way. When did it change? Do you wonder if maybe they will change their mind and go back to loving and cherishing you like they used to? It is normal to hope for that, but it is likely keeping you frustrated and stuck. And, if you are reading this, it is probably not going to happen.
And Here’s Why . . .
If you are dealing with a narcissist, you have likely already tried everything! Not only does it get tiresome it can wear down your own self-esteem. It takes a massive amount of your time and energy with nothing in return! Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq., creator of New Ways for Families and founder of The High Conflict Institute has 4 Tips on How to Deal with a Narcissist Without Getting Stuck and Disliking Yourself:
Do not call them a “narcissist!”
As tempting as this is, it absolutely backfires and makes things worse. Instead, they become obsessed with proving you are the one with the problem.
Do not argue with them.
You do not need to defend yourself because it is not about you. It is about them and their personality. They have no insight into their own behavior and see things in all or nothing terms. They see themselves as the victims and they feel it is your fault.
Set limits on what you will do.
You have probably spent years trying to figure out how to placate a narcissist, right? Bill Eddy has a saying he uses…”FORGETABOUTIT!” You are not going to change them so work on changing how you react to them.
Do get support and consultation.
Your self-esteem may be worn down from all the insults, criticism, embarrassment, and shame. Bill Eddy suggests getting help from professionals like a coach or therapist.
How to Move Forward
You will need a step-by-step course of action. You may have to cut ties and build some distance emotionally. The key takeaway is you will need support and guidance on how to successfully navigate this difficult time. You will not want to do this alone.
Please reach out for your complimentary initial consultation. We will give you the information and confidence to decide how to best move forward and have the life you deserve – a life of joy, love, and peace of mind. Contact us today!