The idea of leaving your narcissistic relationship might seem like a daunting one. Although it won’t be easy, it will definitely be worth it. Narcissists never change and so long as you are attached to them, you will be a source of supply until you have become completely depleted. It might be decades before you are no longer of value to the Narcissist so it is important to get out as soon as you can to ensure at least some years of happiness and fulfillment.
The beautiful thing is that once you get to the point where you are ready to rid yourself of the narcissist, you will know peace and sanity like never before. You will be able to find yourself and feel whole again.
It is important to remember that the narcissist always has a plan. Narcissists will not stop their pursuit of acquiring Narcissist Supply. During a separation, narcissists will acquire supply by taking you down, making you look as bad as possible, and making your life even more miserable. Having a clear plan will ensure that you are better equipped to be on the offensive rather than on the defensive during the separation.
If you’re ready to get rid of the paranoia, trauma, depression, and everything else that comes with being in a relationship with a narcissist, there are some very specific things that you should do to make the transition as seamless as possible so that you can reach freedom sooner rather than later.
Stash Your Cash
Because many narcissists use financial abuse as a form of acquiring supply, it is vital to start thinking about your financial security immediately upon deciding to leave the narcissist- especially if you are not the monied spouse. One way to go about ensuring this is to start stashing your cash! You are going to want to save up at least 3 months worth of money prior to the departure of your relationship. If you are planning on acquiring an attorney, it is important to start looking up attorney’s fees in your area and start saving accordingly.
Once you obtain a lawyer, you will potentially be able to go to court and ask for temporary support, temporary attorneys fees, and things of that nature. Remember that it will take time for your lawyer to file this request with the courts, for the court to rule on it, and to get the money into your hands. Be as financially prepared as possible for this lag.
Prior to any court ruling, you are going to want to have a certain amount of money under your control and in your name. If you are having trouble doing this, it will be important to line up possible resources to help you. Start asking family members or friends for their financial help and/or support until you are able to acquire access to the funds you are entitled to.
When preparing to leave a Narcissist, you will more than likely be the one to have to change your living situation. Some important questions to think about as soon as you know you want to leave them are:
Where are you going to live?
Are you going to stay in the house?
Is the other person going to stay in the house?
How are you going to serve them with the divorce papers once you’re ready to leave them? Are you going to serve them while you’re still sitting in the same house? Or are you going to leave first?
If you are a homeowner, it will be important to find an attorney and to know the laws in your state. You will want to ensure that if you do leave the home, it won’t change your ownership interest in the house or your ability to get back into the house and gain exclusive occupancy in the future.
If you have children with a Narcissist and are planning on separating, you are going to want to have a parenting plan set up prior to your departure. The best way to co-parent with a Narcissist is to have as little contact as possible, very strong boundaries, and everything in writing prior to your separation. This is going to be imperative when the Narcissist tries to gain supply by withholding your children from you and the other horrible things that they tend to do.
Change ALL Logins and Passwords
Narcissists have no boundaries. Hacking into your email or social media accounts is certainly not something to put past them. They will do everything from stalking you to deleting information prior to you seeing it. So, you are definitely going to want to change ALL of your logins and passwords (don’t forget iCloud) so that you can maintain privacy while you are preparing to leave and for once you do leave the Narcissist. You may want to do this several times. I suggest making these changes at least once a month for at least six months to ensure your safety and privacy.
Especially if you are not the monied spouse, you are going to want to gather financials. If you don’t typically have access to bank and credit card statements, tax returns, property deeds, and other important documents, you will need to get a hold of these things. Although it will be mandatory for both parties to disclose this information in a divorce, you will want to have all of this information so that you can be better prepared and two steps ahead of the Narcissist at all times. You can either make copies of these documents or take photos of them – you will need the information at your disposal for when you begin to strategize.
Find an Attorney who is Equipped to Handle Narcissists
If you are planning on hiring an attorney, it will be a good idea to start interviewing and vetting them as soon as you are able to. You are going to want to make that, in addition to feeling safe and comfortable with your lawyer, they are experienced and qualified in handling narcissists.
It is important that you document everything- even the most mundane of things. This will be absolutely critical when it comes to dealing with a narcissist- especially in a court setting. Document everything from expenses, conversations, to the times you drop off/pick up your kids from school. This documentation will be the framework for developing a strategy and creating leverage to strengthen your case. You are not going to want to have anything unaccounted for because Narcissists will weaponize any missing piece of information.