Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Divorcing a Narcissist

Divorcing a Narcissist

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Divorcing a Narcissist and Winning

While divorce is inherently overwhelming and emotionally challenging, those of us who are faced with divorcing a narcissist experienced a heightened level of fear and frustration.  By the mere definition of a narcissistic, self-absorbed, self-obsessed, self-centered, it is impossible to engage in a dialogue where both parties needs are heard and acknowledged.

I am divorced from a narcissist.  Often our ‘conversations’ are simply me listening to his monologue. His ability to dialogue, to hear my perspective and consider it is severely limited by his narcissistic personality disorder.  The other challenge is because their perspective is the only one they are capable of  seeing, they are 100% sure and confident that they are right.  A healthier person considers the other perspective and as a result might question and adjust their own.

An understandable question is how to divorce a narcissist and win when the narcissist is wired to need to win and often will fight to the detriment of the children and finances.  They may even feel like the victim throughout the process, again due to their single minded belief that their needs and opinions are right and are all that matter. They also see your concerns as unfair criticism and are unable to look at the possibility that they are part of the problem.  

So what can you do if you are divorcing a narcissist?

First, it is vital that you have a healthy sounding board.  You most likely have ‘lost yourself’ amidst your spouse’s certainty that s/he is right and you are wrong.  You also need to look at your ability to set boundaries…and uphold them as most narcissists are boundary oblivious.  Finally, you are well served to notice your own behavior.  

  • Are you surprised or angered each time he or she does not acknowledge your perspective or needs? 
  • How long has this been going on for?  
  • And why would you expect them to behave differently now?  

I am speaking about acceptance.  When you accept that a narcissist cannot and will not see your perspective (because that is how they are wired) you stop trying to shove a round peg into a square hole. By accepting the limitations of your narcissistic spouse, you free yourself to find new solutions.  He or she will continue to behave the same way.  

When divorcing a narcissist, notice your insanity…doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

It is up to you to change the dance you have been engaging with your spouse.

One thing I changed was I began to hang up on my ex (after numerous warnings that I have to do).  It stills feels bad.  However, I know that if I don’t I will be kept on the phone for hours.  It is my responsibility to set my boundaries and to uphold them.  

  • Where are you still feeling like the victim of your narcissistic ex?  
  • What is your role in your frustration?  

Find new ways of behaving to minimize the pain of divorcing a narcissist.

Finally, for those who feel deeply victimized by the narcissist, a shift in perspective is valuable.  Your narcissistic ex did not ask to be born with this personality disorder.  There is no talk therapy nor pharmaceutical drugs that can help him or her heal from this disorder.  When I learned this, I found my way to have compassion for my narcissistic ex.  It took a long time and it feels great to be rid of my ‘I am a victim of him’ mentality.  He must live with this disorder for the rest of his life and all the damage it does to his relationships.  I on the other hand, am healthy and free. He is my teacher, my Buddha, my Cross and I get to work on my patience, compassion, acceptance, expectations and boundaries  regularly because we will be connected for the rest of our lives through our children.  I no longer hate.  I no longer hurt. I am at peace.

You have a choice about how the rest of your life will be impacted by your narcissistic ex. Create a healthy support network, join a community of peers today.


Karen McMahon, Journey Beyond Divorce Founder

KM1 3_16Our team of coaches at JBD is passionate about helping men and women navigate the emotional difficulties of relationships, breakups and divorce. We work together with you to open the possibility that your current relationship challenges can lead to a rewarding voyage of self-discovery and an immensely more pleasing life experience. Together we create a path to clarity. Find out if Coaching is right for you, and accept my gift of one FREE session.

De-escalate Divorce During the Holidays

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By Lisa Brick


This is the Holiday Season, the season that bombards us with songs of peace on earth and goodwill to humanity and images of happy, laughing families and perfect gifts to buy and receive. Rather than being able to retreat to a cave to figure yourself out and how you got where you are, you’re thrown into planning and appearing in social situations where conversations can go from neutral to crucial in the blink of an eye, destroying anything enjoyable.

This season can be different because you can be different.   Continue reading

musings of a recovering perfectionist

Musings of a Recovering Perfectionist

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By Karen McMahon


Perfectionism and divorce are a lethal combination.  We begin with an impossible task.  We are going to do this divorce thing right…the best…unfaltering.  What does that even mean?!

  • Make the best decisions
  • Handle everyone’s reaction perfectly
  • Say the right thing
  • Do the right thing…always
  • Pick the best attorney and expect perfection from him/her.
  • Negotiate the best deal
  • Be the perfect STBX…the perfect divorcing parent
    • no arguing,
    • no ‘bad’ choices,
    • no hurtful words spoken

OMG…as if divorce is not hard enough!!  We, the proud perfectionists of the world, will do this thing perfectly! Continue reading

Connecting Time : The 7th Practice for Creating a Life You Love Post Divorce

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By Lisa Brick


 

The way our culture and technology have developed it is possible and easy to spend days face to face with our smart machines indoors.  While we connect with people digitally, on phone, facebook, through pictures and video, there is an increasing tendency to move through our days with our headphones on, viewing small, medium, and large screens while avoiding eye contact or communion with the environment or the actual living, breathing human beings around us. Connecting Time, the sixth of the wellness practices we’ve been exploring, is an antidote to isolation and alienation. Continue reading

My Ideal Life

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By Patty, a JBD Client


I asked a good friend of mine if she had a good day last Friday and she replied ‘it was okay, I’ll forget it’…and that got me thinking. I want ALL my days to count. No more going through the motions, day in and day out, spending my time doing life-draining tasks because I think I have to, working towards an end that I am not even really invested in or excited about.

Okay, back to what I DO want. I want to feel free. Free to be who I am, authentic in each moment, and discovering more about what that means each day. I would like to wake up in the morning and create my day, inspired by my environment, surrounded by nature, a loving environment that reflects who I am, places I’ve been, people I love, and of course, the pets I adore. I have 5 kitties and 2 that live outside that I absolutely love and are such a joy in my life. Continue reading

Unearth Your Deepest Desires: An exercise in heart-centered new beginnings

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By Karen McMahon


During my years of coaching I have been fascinated at how often as adults we forget how to dream.  When asked what their ideal is where a job, relationship, home or life, clients more often than not, “I don’t know”.  When we dig deeper, most discuss what they don’t want and that is what they focus on.  When our attention is focused on the very thing we don’t want, we unconsciously manifest it.

 

What We Appreciate Appreciates!  What we focus our attention on grows! Continue reading

An Antidote to Divorce Depression!

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By: Lisa Brick


 

While navigating divorce there is a strong tendency to ruminate on what went wrong, why your marriage failed, who’s to blame, what you or your spouse could or should have done differently, etc. it doesn’t help. It leads to depression. It hurts you and your family.

There is immense value in investing a small portion of your attention in becoming mindful of the part you played in the dissolution of your marriage and discovering the distinctions of relationship which allow you to create and enjoy sustainability rewarding relationships now and in the future.

Coaching is an invaluable tool for investing less of your energy in reflection and reaping much greater rewards as insights flood your awareness resulting in actions that transform you into an appreciative and fulfilled human being! It’s possible and can happen sooner than you imagine.

So what will you do with the time you used to spend ruminating ad-nauseum? Check out our series of articles on Creating an Awesome Life and read this article from The Washington Post on the positive effects of getting yourself out into nature below:

Continue reading

Physical Time – One of Seven Practices to Build an Awesome Life

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By: Lisa Brick


 

“Moving your body grows your brain.”  – Daniel J. Siegel, MD

It’s as simple as the statement above.  Physical stimulation, both passive and active, supports creativity, mental and physical health, happiness, and brain growth.   Exposing yourself to new physical experiences, learning new skills, practicing and refining existing skills, expanding your capabilities ever so gently from wherever you are now, results in your brain releasing certain neurohormones.  These neurohormones  support your brain in laying down new neural networks. The laying down of new neural networks is how your brain stays healthy and grows!

Continue reading

Creating An Online Profile: Sharing Who You Are With The World

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By: Karen McMahon


 

Writing a profile can be uncomfortable

What can I say about myself that is unique and interesting? I don’t want to appear boastful, complicated or have a generic profile.  Having fun with it and making it a ‘want to’ rather than a ‘have to’, will make a huge difference.  How do you do that when you feel intimidated and resistant? Continue reading

7 Secrets to Self-Care

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By Lisa Brick


 

YOU are the kingpin of your life, the main axle, the engine, the foundation…not a significant other, not your kids, not your parents, not your relatives, and not your friends. YOU are the most important person in your life and therefore the primary person to maintain yourself well.  The 7 Secrets of self-care can be seen as seven practices which will support you in creating the life you’ve identified and  desire for yourself. Continue reading

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