Healing, Living and LearningThe Healthy Recovery for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse,
to Love Again
Divorce and Betrayal Trauma
The Dance of the Cycle When You are In a Relationship with a Narcissist
Narcissism: The Abuse Cycle
The Marriage: Do I Stay or Do I Go?
This is Divorce
Surviving the Divorce: Yes, you will!
Pick your battles wisely, there will be times when it’s to your advantage to give your partner something they want, let them feel that they won that round. You set your boundaries as best you can, and stick to them. And don’t forget to focus on self-care as you move along the process (i.e. meditation, therapy, hot baths, massage, walks at the beach and spend time with friends.)
- A Legal Team that understands how to deal with high-conflict narcissistic behavior during the legal process.
- A Trauma Therapist that understands narcissistic survivor abuse.
- Therapy for the children.
- A Forensic Accountant to uncover any hidden assets you may be entitled to (because the narcissistic partner will try to deny you your fair share of the assets)
Handling a Divorce with a Narcissist
Narcissists may struggle with the idea of divorce because it challenges their sense of control and superiority. They may view the divorce as a personal attack and experience what is referred to as a "narcissistic injury." As a result, they may engage in behaviors aimed at seeking revenge or maintaining their perception of victimhood.
Narcissists may resort to manipulation, lies, false accusations, and other tactics to gain an advantage or delay the divorce process. They may attempt to seduce the court or use mind games to undermine your credibility. It is important to stay calm, stick to the facts, and document any evidence that can support your case.
Remember that narcissists thrive on drama and attention, so it is crucial to focus on maintaining your emotional well-being and prioritizing your own needs and the needs of any children involved. Seeking support from a therapist, lawyer, or support network can be beneficial during this challenging time.
Co-Parenting with a Narcissist
If co-parenting becomes impossible because of feuding, then a better and safer option for you and the children may be to employ a “Parallel Parenting” process. For co-parenting to work, both parents need to be able to co-operate together for the welfare of the children. Parallel parenting, on the other hand, is doing everything separately, but still sharing in the responsibility of the children. The idea behind this is that you want to keep the children away from their narcissistic parent’s bad influence without the constant rows that are very upsetting to the children.
Parallel parenting allows feuding parents to have significant roles in their child’s life without interacting much with each other. Parents choose how to raise their child within their household and agree to only collaborate on major decisions together (i.e., child’s health and welfare issues, etc.). The main advantage of parallel parenting is that it allows the children to remain close to both parents, which means they won’t feel as though one parent has abandoned them. It also helps prevent the children from becoming too attached to one parent over another.
Although parallel parenting is not a legally recognized concept, it is a parental style that may work better when having to deal with a narcissistic ex-partner. This style of parenting may mean that you and your narcissistic partner may both get what you need from parenting together while maintaining separate lives. Even though you don’t live together, you still share the children. So, you have to find a way to make it work, otherwise, the courts may become involved and take charge, where you could find yourself going through custody battles. This process may allow you to maintain some semblance of sanity and self-respect while your ex-narcissist is still having a somewhat toxic relationship with your children.
The beauty of this arrangement is that each parent raises the children independently of one another. Both parents have their own set of parental guidelines, which they follow in when it is their turn to have the children. It is a way to keep both parties from interfering in one another’s business. However, you are going to need a good parallel parenting plan since each parent will have their own set of rules. I would recommend that you may need to see a licensed therapist or parenting coordinator to help you reduce any unreasonable expectations that you may have. They will also be able to help with building your sense of security having come through high conflict divorce or separation that goes on in narcissistic domestic abuse. They can also help you deal with any difficulties arising out of this new co-parenting relationship, and of course, develop a comprehensive working plan that will require minimal contact.
Healing, Living and Learning to Love Again
The Road to Recovery: Rebuilding Yourself and Your Life
Recovering from the aftermath of a toxic relationship is a challenging journey, but it's one that will help you become the person you were always meant to be. It begins with breaking that trauma bond and detoxing from the effects it had on your brain chemistry. With a support system and therapy; you will shape up, woman up, man up, get up, and walk away not in shame, but because you are a true human. Throughout this recovery, you will find yourself asking countless questions and experiencing a range of emotions. Confusion, pain, anger, and tears may overwhelm you at times. This is normal. You will ask yourself; how did this happen to you? And the answer is simple initially; because they could.
Recovery is a process that centers around focusing on yourself. It involves finding your voice, learning to trust your instincts, and recognizing the red flags that you ignored. It means breaking free from isolation, shedding self-judgment, and letting go of any embarrassment you may feel. Remember, YOU DID NOTHING WRONG. You will learn the concept of cognitive dissonance, which can make the recovery process even more painful. But as you persevere, prioritizing yourself and your children, you will grow stronger day by day. With the help of evidence-based treatments and trauma- informed approaches, you will work through the trauma and emerge on the other side, ready to embrace a brighter future.