Divorce Mediation in Cleveland: Strategies for Mediating a Divorce With a Narcissist
Only around 1% of US adults are diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). However, this statistic does not consider the undiagnosed people running around with narcissism.
Narcissism is highly prevalent in our society. Odds are you have come across at least one narcissist in your lifetime. And unfortunately, many people marry these entitled, self-important individuals.
If you are preparing to file for divorce from your narcissistic spouse, you should consider getting divorce mediation in Cleveland. Mediation is one way to protect people who are married to narcissists.
Want to know why your divorce could benefit from mediation services? Then keep reading this guide to learn more about the challenges of divorcing a narcissistic spouse and how a divorce mediator can help.
What Is a Narcissist?
Narcissists have what’s understood to be Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Yet, many narcissists do not have a diagnosis but display highly narcissistic behaviors. These behaviors include but are not limited to:
- Lack of empathy
- Fantasies of power, beauty, success, or popularity
- A belief in one’s specialness
- An intense need for attention and admiration
- Extreme sensitivity to criticism
- Extreme sensitivity to rejection or perceived rejection
- Outburst of rage
Sadly, many narcissistic behaviors come from a deep sense of unworthiness. Narcissists tend to have low self-esteem and may even feel inferior to others despite what their sense of superiority might imply.
Narcissists are also highly unlikely to change. This is because these individuals typically believe nothing is wrong with their behavior, and instead, they believe that all of their issues arise from other peoples’ problems.
This lack of change is one of the main reasons why spouses of narcissists eventually file for divorce. The behaviors can become so problematic that the only solution is to get out.
Challenges of Divorcing a Narcissist
As you can imagine, the above behaviors and personality traits can wreak havoc on divorce. Here’s how.
They May Lash Out at You
Not all narcissists are verbally abusive, but many use language to insult and control you.
As mentioned, many narcissists struggle with rejection. And divorce is a primary form of denial. That is why many people who struggle with narcissistic tendencies may use the divorce process as an opportunity to lash out.
Lashing out can occur as verbal insults and abuse. But narcissists can also lash out in more underhanded ways.
For example, your narcissistic spouse may attempt to rob you of assets that are rightfully yours or blame you for debts you did not incur.
They May Use Triangulation Tactics
One of the most devastating things that can happen when divorcing a narcissist is that they can turn your children against you. Turning others against you when you reject the narcissist is a classic example of triangulation.
Triangulation is a manipulative tactic. The triangulator’s goal is to bombard you with people who defend them, and they can eventually wear you down and force you back into their control.
If you have children, your narcissistic co-parent may try to foster negative feelings toward you. And this is a twisted strategy to get back at you for filing for divorce.
Triangulation by using children can also be a way to leverage you so that the narcissist can persuade you back into the marriage.
They May Not Uphold Their Promises
Narcissists often struggle with something called future faking. Future faking occurs when someone promises to do something (or not to do something) with no intention of upholding the promise.
During your marriage, this could look like you are asking your spouse to change how they treat you.
The narcissistic spouse may promise to do so, then return to normal behaviors as soon as the argument is over.
You can imagine how future faking can become a significant problem in divorce. Your spouse may promise to negotiate fairly. But when it comes time to create the divorce agreement, they may return on those commitments.
They May Drag Out the Process
Divorces are expensive. But uncontested divorces can help you cut costs. An uncontested divorce does not go to court, allowing the couple to create the agreement with the help of their lawyers or mediators.
Contested divorces, on the other hand, can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and this type of divorce happens in court.
Your narcissistic spouse likely knows about the high cost of divorce. And if they make more money than you, they may purposefully draw out the process to cost you more money.
Worse, your narcissistic spouse could refuse to cooperate. A refusal to create an agreement amicably will land you in court. And the more decisions the judge has to make for you, the higher the overall cost of divorce.
The Benefits of Mediation When You’re Married to a Narcissist
Filing for divorce with a narcissist can be a scary and lonely process. But it does not have to be. Going through the mediation process can help you feel supported and confident during your divorce.
How exactly do mediators help with the challenges of divorcing a narcissist?
Here are a few of the top benefits:
Mediation Can Keep You Out of Court
Uncontested divorces can cost as little as $4,100. But adding even two contested issues during a divorce can increase that cost by nearly $20,000. This is why keeping your divorce out of court is so important.
A mediator can help keep your divorce costs low. Mediators are lawyers or other experts in divorce law.
Mediators are neutral parties, meaning they work for neither you nor your spouse. Instead, the mediator’s sole goal is to help couples reach divorce agreements without going to divorce court.
Even if your partner tries to return on their promises, the mediator can ensure this future faking behavior does not drag out the process.
Mediators Can Protect You from Abuse
As we mentioned, lashing out via verbal abuse is commonly seen when narcissistic individuals experience rejection. This abuse can retraumatize you, even if you have been working hard to heal from your marriage.
A mediator can help to protect you against your spouse’s abusive behaviors. They can ensure the conversation remains constructive and productive.
Like a therapist, a mediator will moderate conversations during the divorce process. The mediator can step in when arguments crop up or insults arise. That way, you will feel safe during your divorce.
Plus, mediators have skill sets enabling them to settle these disputes in the first place. Mediators’ primary goal is to reach a mutually-favorable divorce agreement in as little time as possible.
Mediators Are Experts at Divorce Law
In Ohio, you can get a divorce for as little as $300 without legal assistance. You may be tempted to take this route, thinking an unmediated divorce will get your marriage over with as soon as possible.
Yet, you may not understand the intricate details of the divorce process in Ohio, which could result in your narcissistic spouse taking advantage of you.
But mediators are experts in divorce law. They know all the small legal details you must include in your divorce agreement. And they will ensure the deal is airtight, so your partner can not weasel their way around it.
Mediators are not only experts in divorce law but also highly skilled at negotiation. Your divorce mediator can help you get the assets you deserve that are rightfully yours.
Mediatiors Do Not Take Sides
One of the biggest downfalls to unmediated divorces is that the best lawyer usually wins. If your spouse has more money to spend on the divorce, that often means they will win regardless of their behavior.
But mediation is different. As mentioned, mediators are neutral parties who work for both spouses, which means your mediator will look out for the best interests of you, your spouse, and your children.
Not only does this mean a more fair divorce. But it can also help the divorce process feel much less stressful.
Even more importantly, mediated divorces are almost always easier on the children. Unlike litigated divorces, mediation is private and encourages cooperation. And both of these features can help protect your children.
Next Page: Divorce Mediation in Cleveland
Divorcing a narcissist can feel impossible. But you deserve to start the next chapter of your life stress-free, and that is why you should consider divorce mediation to help you overcome the challenges of leaving a narcissist.
Are you searching for divorce mediation in Cleveland, Ohio? At Next Page Mediation, we offer online divorce mediation services. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation to get started today!