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Beware when divorcing a narcissist

You obviously didn't discern the signs of your soon-to-be ex's narcissism prior to your marriage — or there wouldn't have been a marriage. However, since then, you have had many opportunities to see of what he or she is capable.

But be forewarned — "you ain't seen nothing yet."

Saving the worst for the divorce

If narcissists have a "tell," it's their utter disregard for the rules we all must follow. While they may have given lip service to obeying laws and following rules in the earlier phase of your marriage, don't expect that this will end now that the gloves are off.

Narcissists believe they are above the law. They will likely continue these same behaviors as the divorce wends its way through the Florida civil court system.

Address any concerns about your physical safety and that of your children and other family members or friends to your Florida family law attorney.

While most narcissists' behavior will not escalate to the next level of domestic violence, you don't want to become the latest statistic.

Still not certain if you are dealing with a narcissist? Check off each narcissistic behavior or characteristic that rings true:

  • Possessiveness
  • Jealousy
  • Rages out of the blue if some unknown precondition hasn't been met
  • Exaggerated need to be perceived as special, to be honored and adored
  • Grandiosity, e.g., huge ego, fishing for compliments
  • Relies on others to give narcissist self-esteem
  • Controls others by imposing limits on telephone or actual contacts with support system
  • Makes others responsible for the narcissist's reactions and feelings
  • Refuses to accept responsibility for own behavior
  • Passes the buck endlessly
  • Believes him- or herself to be the center of the universe who must be catered to at all times

Gather evidence

After you make the decision to divorce — but while you are still in the home and have not yet filed the petition — it's time to become a detective in your own home.

Copy photos from personal collections, snap screenshots from social media sites. Save threatening voicemails to you and any to the kids where your spouse makes promises that don't get kept. Any evidence of adultery should also be preserved.

You want proof that your narcissistic spouse is unreliable and without moral principles, and hence, should not be trusted to tell the truth under oath in depositions or on the witness stand.

Divorce is rarely easy, and divorcing a narcissist is always fraught with difficulty. Take the step to protect yourself and your rights.

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