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3 ways to handle narcissistic gaslighting in divorce

Divorcing a narcissistic partner, diagnosed or not, can profoundly destabilize you and the entire process.

Contrary to popular belief, narcissism can extend beyond simple vanity. It is a personality disorder that covers a broad spectrum of potentially damaging traits. Any trigger that questions a narcissist’s unreasonably inflated sense of self-importance may lead to extreme emotional responses.

If you initiated the divorce, your ex may have taken this as a massive hit to their fragile self-esteem. In effect, they might have engaged in gaslighting. It is a manipulative tactic that distorts reality to make you doubt your own.

It is critical to learn how to manage this harmful behavior to protect your well-being.

Addressing gaslighting red flags

Gaslighting is a power move almost synonymous with brainwashing. It usually comes in the form of blatant lies, contradictory words and actions, and projections of one’s misconduct.

If you do not remove yourself from the situation, they may draw you in and wear you down. The earlier you learn how to tackle narcissistic gaslighting, the sooner you can focus on moving the divorce forward.

  • Document everything: Clear and compelling evidence can conquer their repeated deception
  • Surround yourself with supportive friends, families and professionals: You can find reassurance with the people who know you best and advocate for your interests
  • Limit contact to urgent matters or emergencies: Frequent exposure to toxic energy only opens doors to unwanted interaction

Depending on the severity of your family’s situation, you can always keep your composure and counter the attacks with the truthful side of your story. But if you realize that you and your child are in imminent danger, you can seek legal representation to guide you in filing a restraining order for your protection.

Drawing boundaries

As extremely tough as it is to deal with narcissistic gaslighting, it is not insurmountable. Your narcissistic ex may thrive in conflict, but you must not take the bait. Instead, redirect your attention to working on more pressing issues with your Massachusetts divorce representative. They can help you in ways you need most, starting with setting safe boundaries.