Being in a relationship with someone who is a narcissist can be challenging, intense and emotionally draining. But how can you tell the difference between narcissistic behaviour and just "having a bad day"?

Narcissism falls under the category of personality disorder. There can be a number of tell-tale signs of a narcissist and some are that they:

1. Has feelings of entitlement.

2. Uses manipulation to get what they want.

3. Lacks empathy.

4. Exhibit manipulative behaviours.

Can you divorce a narcissist?

There is one ground for divorce in Scotland – "irretrievable breakdown" of the marriage. One of the ways that you can show irretrievable breakdown is by establishing that your spouse's behaviour is such that you cannot reasonably expect to continue to live with them. This is referred to as 'unreasonable behaviour'. You can then apply for a divorce immediately. Unreasonable behaviour can be physical abuse, and can also cover issues such as coercive control and emotional abuse. These are traits that a narcissist would commonly exhibit in their relationships with others.

Tips when divorcing a narcissist?

Divorcing a narcissist can be more challenging than divorcing a "regular person". Here are some important tips you can use to keep conflict in your divorce to a minimum.

1. When communicating, stick to facts. 

Try to avoid getting into a dialogue with your spouse which is not constructive and does not lead to a resolution. You may wish to involve a mediator as a third party. Most of our family law solicitors are also trained mediators.

2. Maintain boundaries. 

If there are children involved, ensure that contact is agreed and planned beforehand and try to avoid sporadic contact on your spouse's request.

3. Document everything.

Ensure that correspondence via email etc has a respectful tone.

4. Develop a style of communication that is free from drama. 

Take a breath before responding.

5. Practice self-care. 

Divorcing a narcissist is exhausting so make sure you take care of yourself by exercising, eating regularly and sleeping. Speak with a trained professional if required. We can put you in touch with a trained professional.

No matter what your circumstances are we are able to advise you to ensure you are moving in the right direction. Divorcing or separating from any partner can be an emotionally stressful time. Speaking to a lawyer ensures you can regain control of the situation. Get in touch and we can help.