A narcissist may come across as arrogant and selfish. They undermine others to inflate their own sense of self. They truly believe that the world revolves around them. People and things are there for them to use when and if they please. They are unable to show true empathy for others, which make it difficult to maintain a loving, healthy relationship.
When you first met your ex, he was probably a charmer. You truly believed that you had met your prince charming. In time, the fairy tale began to crumble. He began criticizing you for the tiniest little thing. He blamed you for everything that he perceived to be wrong in his life and would point out all of your faults — real or imaginary. He became manipulative and controlling.
At one time, you may have believed that he loved you. It is important to ask yourself if he really loved you or if he was in love with love, or just in love with the fact that you worshiped the ground he walked on.
On the other hand, your ex could have been self-centered during your marriage but would communicate and appeared to act relatively normal during the marriage. Then the stresses of the divorce took over and unleashed a monster within. You may be wondering what happened because your ex has no resemblance to the man you married.
Your ex can become increasingly manipulative during and after divorce due to the stress he may feel because of monetary issues, legal issues and custody battles as well as feelings of abandonment, betrayal and loss of control.
When dealing with the narcissist ex, it is important to remain calm. The calmer you are, the more in control you will be. It is important to stop letting your ex push your buttons. Here are nine tips for dealing with the narcissist ex:
- Get a good attorney. Find one that will look out for your rights regarding spousal and child support as well as equal division of the marital property.
- Accept the fact that you will not change him or his beliefs. Most, if not all, of his demands during the divorce will be about what is convenient for him without regards to the feelings and needs of others involved.
- Refrain from the temptation to make other people see your side of the story. Your narcissist ex may be so charming that he has convinced other people that you are in the wrong and crazy for leaving him. People that never lived with him will find the truth hard to believe.
- Learn from your past mistakes. You may have been co-dependent with him, or your own dependency may have given him complete power over you.
- Stick to your ground and do not let him sway you to give in. If you give in once, you are giving him power over you, and it may lead into a cycle of him blaming and you giving in. Keep your power!
- Meet him in public places when it is necessary to see him. Discuss only the matter at hand. Before your meeting, visualize yourself remaining calm and in control. This will help you to maintain your composure when he tries to take control by pushing your buttons. You might also consider getting a mediator.
- Block his number. He will still be able to leave messages and/or text you, but you will be in control as to when you speak to him. When you hear him ranting or raving, remind yourself that you are responsible for your own actions, thoughts and feelings, and he has no power over you unless you give it to him. Believe that you can and will control this situation in a matter that will continue to empower you.
- Keep a journal regarding all contact you have with him. File a restraining order if he begins to threaten you or has became physically abusive.
- Establish a “no contact” rule. This is the easiest way for you to deal with your narcissist ex. Do not contact him for anything, and do not expect anything from him. Of course, this only works if you are fortunate enough not to have young children with him.