Divorce cases by definition represent legally complex and emotionally challenging proceedings, according to "Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce" by Emily Doskow. The essential difficulties of divorce proceedings magnify if you are a woman facing a husband with self-centered or even narcissistic tendencies. Specific tips and strategies exist to allow you to best protected your rights and interests in this type of marriage dissolution situation.
Despite possessing the right to represent yourself in divorce proceedings, when there is a narcissistic man on the other wide of the aisle, seriously consider hiring an attorney. Perhaps no other tip is more important than engaging experienced legal representation to act on your behalf.
Local and state bar associations maintain directories of attorneys in different practice areas, including divorce law. Indeed, in many locales attorneys specialize even further in representing the needs of women in divorce proceedings.
Contact information for these organizations is available from the American Bar Association, abanet.org.
With or without legal representation, another strategy to employ as you proceed to divorce a narcissistic man is mediation. The mediation process involves the appointment of a trained mediator—who specializes in family law matters—to work with you and your husband to resolve issues in your case, according to the American Bar Association Section of Family Law. Although the mediator does not make decisions for you, she works to assist you and your spouse in negotiating a settlement of issues in your case.
A mediator is a valuable resource in cases involving a spouse that is more focused on himself than on what is legally permitted or even in the best interests of children.
A helpful tip regarding communication with a narcissistic husband is to put everything in writing. Written communication serves a number of objectives, including relieving you of what very well may be unpleasant phone or face-to-face conversations with your husband.
Email is an acceptable form of written communication; text or instant messaging are not appropriate. Through email communication, you do not need to make immediate responses to communications from your husband. With text or instant messaging you can fall victim to making knee-jerk responses to your self-centered spouse, communications that might not be in your own best interests.
Counseling or Therapy
After living with a narcissistic husband, you may have developed self esteem or other issues. Consider seeking out a counselor or therapy to assist you with any emotional matters afflicting you in the aftermath of your marriage. By addressing these issues you will find yourself empowered to better protect your rights and interests in your divorce proceedings.
- "Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce"; Emily Doskow; 2000
- American Bar Association: Section of Family Law
- "The Divorce Organizer & Planner"; Brette McWhorter Sember; 2004