Divorcing a Narcissistic Wife in Arizona
Yes, women can be narcissistic too!
While approximately 4.8% of women have narcissistic personality disorder, compared to 7.7% of men, there is still a solid chance that the woman you’re married to is a narcissist. The only thing worse than being married to a narcissist is getting divorced from a narcissistic. It is practically guaranteed that your spouse will make the divorce a terrible process. However, there are tips you can use to prepare yourself and make the divorce a smoother process.
Recognizing a Narcissist
The only way you can ever truly know if your spouse has narcissistic personality disorder is if they are diagnosed by a license professional. However, many narcissists go their entire lives without being diagnosed.
Some signs you can look out in a Narcissistic Wife Include:
- Obsession with her appearance: Narcissists love attention and will often use their appearance to garner it. Narcissistic women may have an extensive beauty routine or get plastic surgery, and feel a sense of superiority due to their appearance.
- Spending money: Maintaining a glamorous appearance isn’t cheap. Narcissists may spend money frivolously on other items because they’re “worth it” and to feel superior to others.
- Self-centeredness: This trait stems from the need for attention that most narcissists have. If you forgot your cell phone at the office, your spouse might remember that she wants a new cell phone case. Your wife may think her acquaintances post things on social media specifically to annoy her, or have extreme expectations on days that would usually be about her (think birthday weeks or extravagant Mother’s Day gifts).
- Child favoritism: Narcissists may try to raise a child to be just like them so they can always have support for their selfish and reckless actions. If you have multiple children with a narcissistic wife, she may pick one as the “golden child” and ignore or abuse her other children.
- Extreme competitiveness: Everyone knows someone who has to make everything a competition. If your spouse always to make more money, have the bigger house and more expensive belongings, work out harder and faster than her peers, etc., this could be a sign of narcissism. Extremely competitive narcissists can also be extremely sore losers. Narcissists will typically view others of their own gender as rivals.
- Lack of empathy: No matter how hard you try to express your viewpoints, narcissists will never be able to see from a perspective besides their own. A narcissist may still be loving and nurturing when you are upset, but that doesn’t mean they are truly empathizing. Narcissists enjoy seeing their spouses upset because it gives them a sense of power.
Obviously, all of these traits can contribute to an especially nasty divorce battle. Narcissism manifests differently in males and females, so these signs may not be present in a narcissistic husband.
Hire an Experienced Arizona Family Law Attorney
Some uncontested divorces can be completed without either party hiring an attorney. This is unlikely to be the case if your spouse is narcissistic. Hiring an attorney is always a good way to set yourself up for the best possible outcome. However, attorney representation brings a special benefit when divorcing a narcissist- all correspondence for the divorce must be through your attorney. Narcissists are manipulative and dramatic, so simply not having to communicate with them for the most part during a divorce is worth the attorney’s fees by itself.
Narcissists may lie during divorce proceedings to get their way or to tarnish your reputation with your children and your community. Whether you need to present evidence of this to a judge, include special provisions in an order or agreement, or even get a restraining order against your spouse, these are all situations where it is best to already have an experienced Arizona Lawyer on retainer.
Other Tips for Divorcing from a Narcissistic Wife
- -Remain unemotional whenever possible: Eliciting an outburst out of you is a narcissist’s goal. If your wife does bait you into an emotional argument that is witnessed by the wrong people, it can negatively impact your case. Text message conversations can be screenshotted and framed in ways that are detrimental to you.
- -Only let your kids know what they need to know: Disparaging your spouse to your children can actually hurt your custody case, which in turn would affect how much child support you have to pay. While it may be tempting to vent to anyone who will listen, your children are the last people you should turn to for this. If your spouse has lied about you to the children, you can correct those lies. Otherwise, they will appreciate that their time with you isn’t a constant reminder of their parents’ painful divorce.
- -Document everything possible: Because narcissists are prone to dishonesty, you should always get written confirmation of any verbal agreements or promises. Otherwise, these issues will be a he said, she said situation at trial.
- -Tread lightly with mediation: Many couples choose to use a mediator to dissolve their marriage because it is quicker and more amicable. However, mediation is not recommended for abusive relationships. A narcissist may be able to temporarily win over an unsuspected mediator. Consider having an attorney present with you if you do proceed with divorce mediation.
- -Set boundaries: Sometimes during a divorce, there is no way around communicating with your spouse for the sake of your children. That doesn’t mean you need to respond to hurtful text messages or take calls from your wife at 2AM. Voice your boundaries, and more importantly, follow through with them. Your wife will tire herself out eventually, or your attorney may need to step in with more drastic measures to limit contact.
- -Don’t cede on important issues thinking it will ease your wife’s wrath: Giving in on an issue will just let a narcissistic spouse know that their behavior worked and they got what they wanted. This means she will do it again when it comes time to resolve the next issue. You don’t need to die on hills you don’t care about, but hold your ground on things that are important to you.
Are you ready to file for divorce from a narcissistic wife? Our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with difficult spouses, and offer affordable hourly rates and monthly payment plans. The initial consultation is confidential and free, so call and schedule today. My Arizona Lawyers are experienced family attorneys serving Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties in Arizona. Including, but not limited to the following cities: Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Glendale, Gilbert, Peoria, Avondale, Chandler, Scottsdale, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Surprise, Goodyear, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, Higley, San Tan, Tolleson, Buckeye, and Casa Grande,