Dealing with a narcissistic spouse can be an emotionally challenging journey. Understanding the dynamics of narcissism and recognizing the signs in your partner’s behaviour is crucial for making informed decisions about your relationship.
In this guide, we’ll delve into the nuances of narcissism, help you identify the tell-tale signs of a narcissistic spouse, explore your options for addressing the issue, and provide tips for navigating a potential divorce with grace and wisdom.
Let’s start with explaining the following words:
“Narcissism” involves cockiness, manipulativeness, selfishness and underlying motives.
“Narcissist” means a person having high self-esteem and self-importance.
“Narcissistic Personality Disorder” means a long-term pattern of abnormal behaviour characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration and a lack of understanding of others’ feelings.
People affected by if often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power or success. They often take advantage of the people around them for their own gains.
So, how can you spot a spouse who has these traits?
Easy, look out for these tell-tale signs in the treatment you receive.
- Always insisting that he/she is right;
- Carrying grudges against you;
- Not willing to listen to you;
- Belittles you, making you feel inferior;
- Manipulates you and you feel used;
- Blames you when something goes wrong;
- Always controlling and domineering over you;
- Criticizes you and your appearance;
- Does not show TLC (tender love and care) towards you.
Read more: What to Expect When Divorcing a Narcissist
So, what do you do when you have identified at least 80% of the above traits?
- See a marriage counsellor to work on your marriage;
- Accept your spouse’s behaviour, hoping that he/she will change;
- See a therapist to boost your morale and confidence and to acknowledge that it’s not your fault;
- End your marriage and put your own personal well-being first.
If you have decided to end your marriage, let us explain why it is okay to divorce.
The Right to Emotional Freedom
: No one expects you to be trapped and suffer in a relationship when it is no longer sustainable and meaningful.
Prioritizing Well-being Over Prolonged Struggle
: If you have tried to save your marriage, sought counselling and realised that for your sanity and your well-being and that of your children is important, then it’s perfectly fine to divorce a spouse with narcissistic traits. No one expects you to live in marriage hell.
Financial and Emotional Toll of Divorcing a Narcissist
: Many fear that a divorce with a Narcissist spouse can result in an expensive, prolonged and highly contested proceedings.
Personal Growth and Development
: Holding onto a relationship that doesn’t serve your best interests can hinder personal growth. By freeing yourself from such bonds, you open the door to self-discovery, new experiences, and the potential to foster relationships that uplift and support you.
Physical and Mental Health
: Prolonged exposure to a toxic relationship can have adverse effects on one’s physical and mental health. Chronic stress, anxiety, and depression are common in those who feel trapped in unsupportive marital dynamics. Prioritizing your health is not only brave but necessary for a fulfilling life.
Setting an Example for Children
: If children are involved, staying in a harmful marriage can inadvertently teach them that such dynamics are normal. By choosing to step out, you’re setting an example that teaches them about the importance of self-worth and healthy relationships.
: Financial manipulation is often a tool in the hands of narcissistic spouses. By seeking divorce, you pave the way to regain economic independence and control over your financial destiny.
Reclaiming Peace of Mind
: A tumultuous relationship often comes with constant anxiety and unrest. By choosing to divorce, you’re giving yourself the chance to reclaim your peace, calm, and stability.
Opportunity for a Fresh Start
: Life is filled with new beginnings. Ending a marriage that no longer brings joy provides an opportunity to start afresh, to build new memories, and perhaps, to find love and understanding again.
Support Networks Exist
: Remember that you’re not alone. There are countless support groups, therapists, and communities dedicated to helping individuals navigate the complexities and challenges of divorce, ensuring you have the resources and support you need during this transitional phase.
Let us give you some tips
- Listen to your voice and act level-headed;
- Do not let emotions overcome you;
- Do not react adversely to any action/reaction from your spouse;
- Always put yourself in your spouse’s shoes and think what he/she is likely to do and use that thought to your advantage and strategize a counter-attack by applying logical steps and moves;
- Plan and have a bottom-line on what you wish to have as a full and final settlement of your ancillary issues. You need to know what you need to have for your future without your spouse;
- Hire a matrimonial lawyer that is able to safeguard, negotiate and fight for your rights without pushing the matter for trial;
- Hire a divorce lawyer that has training in negotiating and knows how to act in your interests;
- Prior to commencing action, meet your lawyer and discuss your rights and options and start gathering important financial information and evidence to support your case and claims;
- Have an open mind to resolve matters via the mediation process and keep litigation as a last resort;
- As much as family and friends support is important, do not let them dictate how you should run your matter;
- Do not involve and put your children in the middle of your dispute;
- Always ask yourself, am I acting reasonably or unreasonably?;
- Bear in mind that you have the control and you can manage the outcome of your future.
Read more: How can I avoid a high-conflict divorce
In conclusion, recognizing and addressing narcissistic traits in your spouse is a crucial step toward preserving your well-being and sanity. Whether you choose to work on the relationship or decide that divorce is the best path forward, remember that your happiness and that of your children should always be a top priority.
By staying informed, seeking support, and approaching the situation with clarity and empathy, you can navigate the challenges of dealing with a narcissistic spouse with strength and grace. Your future is in your hands, and you have the power to shape it positively.
At the free consultation stage, our Divorce Lawyers will:
- Assess if you can file for divorce in Singapore.
- Help you understand each step of the divorce process.
- Address questions & concerns related to divorce process.
- Help you explore your divorce options.