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There are undoubtedly readers in Washington and beyond who see the title of this post and immediately begin to relate to its content. Those who are married to narcissists understand what it is like to struggle through life feeling as though they never measure up. That is usually because their spouses degrade and emotionally abuse them, which strips their confidence away a little at a time. Divorce is often the ultimate outcome of a narcissistic marriage.

Coping with divorce after living with a narcissist can be challenging. There are several things a person can do to activate a healing process and to lay the groundwork for a new, happier lifestyle. One thing is to acknowledge one’s emotions and to allow them to unfold naturally, perhaps keeping a journal to track one’s feelings on a day-to-day basis.

Many people who divorce narcissists say they found therapy or joining a support group tremendously helpful. It is comforting to know there are others out there who have gone through similar experiences. A spouse whose goal is to leave the past behind and move on in life may also want to indulge in a new hobby, career or other personal endeavors that perhaps he or she set aside to please a narcissistic spouse in the past.

When divorce is a consequence of a narcissistic relationship, it can take time for an emotionally abused spouse to get to know him or herself. It can also get messy if there are disagreements regarding property division, child custody or other issues. Washington is a community property state, meaning marital assets are typically split 50/50 in divorce. No matter what obstacles arise, a person severing marital ties after living with a narcissist may want to rely on an experienced family law attorney for support.