Strategy to Beat a Narcissist
Your spouse may be a narcissist. It’s important that you make this determination before seeking a divorce attorney because this is the time you need to collect as much information as possible so you can then pass along this information to your attorney who will better serve you after seeing the bigger picture.
You will NEVER convince your narc spouse to see a therapist for a proper diagnosis. Most narcissists see themselves as the textbook example of good mental health. In fact, everything that is wrong with this marriage is a direct result of your cognitive undoing. That all being said, you should familiarize yourself with the common traits of narcissistic personalities then tell your divorce lawyer that your spouse exhibits this behavior and this behavior , all indicative of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Before you reach out to a lawyer you should also document every “argument” between you and your spouse. I put “argument” in quotation marks for a very specific reason. It’s during this time you should learn a very important technique when dealing with a narcissist. It’s called “observe but don’t engage” and it works like this – your narc spouse has an offhanded comment about your parenting. In the old days , you would sling mud right back and point out the flaws of their parenting skills. The volume of your argument would quickly go from inside voices to yelling and screaming. The narc would yell at you and call you derogatory names then you would fire back with some choice labels of your own. Next thing you know, 8 hours of arguing has gone by and you need to get some sleep so YOU apologize to the narc just so they would leave you alone long enough to get some rest.
That’s how arguments went BEFORE “observe but don’t engage”. Now let’s take the same scenario but use O.B.D.E. the narc spouse has an offhanded comment about your parenting and you say……….NOTHING. Then the narc says ” your not saying anything so you MUST agree” and you say…….NOTHING. They give you a version of past events trying to rattle your cage and you can tell them your version but do so in a calm, cool voice. They won’t give up easily, they will try anything, they will say anything to get you aggravated but you can NOT show them ANY emotion.
A narcissist is in constant need of praise, validation and control. When you give them the power to upset you with the words that are coming out of their mouths, you gave them control.
Getting back to documenting everything – when the narcissist finally gives up and leaves you alone this is the time to write down everything while it’s still fresh in your mind. Write down in great detail how your spouse tried to start the fight; what you were doing when they tried and don’t forget to include if they tried doing it while your children were present.
I can only imagine what a humongous blow-out would arise if your narc spouse happened to come across your notes so I suggest getting a journal app on your phone with a password. If that isn’t ideal for your situation then what you might also consider is getting a second e-mail account. From your first one you would send an e-mail to yourself of the events as they happened but don’t forget to erase any drafts or “sent” copies lingering in the first e-mail account.
Do NOT Violate Wiretap Laws-Even in Your Own Home
Never, and I mean EVER, record your spouse on audio or video unless your attorney says otherwise.
After you have compiled about 10 examples of your spouse’s behavior and any other evidence (text messages for example) demonstrating that you were interested in keeping the peace while your husband/wife exhibited narcissistic abuse , then you should seek out a lawyer.