What does divorcing a narcissist have in common with triathlons? Both require a great deal of strength and endurance. While I have never personally competed in a triathlon, I do happen to know a lot about the sport. I also know a great deal about divorcing a narcissist.
You are probably wondering what swimming, biking and running have to do with battling a narcissist in divorce court? If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of going up against a narcissist in court, you will need to put your game face on and gain an intimate understanding of the sport.
Just like a triathlon, there are three stages to divorcing a narcissist:
1. Swimming–Keeping Your Head above Water
Float when needed: There are times when you will feel like you are sinking. This is the time to flip over and float for a few minutes to regain your breath and your composure. Breathing techniques are essential to a successful swimmer and they are also critical to keeping yourself centered and above water.
2. Biking–Using Support, Tools, Rest, Logging your Progress and “Drafting” to take you far down the road
- Support: While there are a plethora of support groups for divorce in general, there is a huge need for support from people who understand the intricacies of divorcing a narcissist. Finding an online support group will provide the knowledge and tools needed to weather this storm. Aligning with a therapist who understands personality disorders is also crucial to your healing.
- Tools: Find an attorney who understands Narcissistic Personality Disorder may be your most important tool. Your energy is not best spent trying to explain the behaviors of your ex-husband to your own legal team. A narcissist’s conduct is baffling to those who are uneducated on the disorder. You need an attorney who is skilled at honing in on the narcissists weaknesses and untruths.
- Rest: Divorcing a narcissist requires the strength of an endurance athlete. Taking downtime and regrouping in between the inevitable narcissistic attacks is critical. Embrace the quite moments and find calming activities such as yoga, meditation or other a warm bubble bath.
- Logging: A logbook is another essential tool whether competing in a triathlon or divorcing a narcissist. Solid documentation will paint a picture that is difficult for the Family Court System to ignore.
- Drafting: Having a support system of friends to take the lead during portions of the race will allow you to save your energy for the uphill sections that await you. This is the time to put your pride aside and allow others to assist you whenever possible.
3. Running–Pacing Yourself
There is a reason why triathletes are called, “endurance athletes”. The endurance needed to withstand the trials and tribulations that accompany a high conflict divorce could be classified as superhuman. Heed my advice when I say to pace yourself because burnout is inevitable if you don’t take it slow and easy. Don’t leave the gate running at a high rate of speed. Remember the tale of the tortoise and the hare. Keep your pace slow and steady.
One Mom’s Battle: Our mission at One Mom’s Battle is to increase awareness of Cluster B personality disorders (Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder) and their impact upon shared parenting and the Family Court System which includes Judges, CPS workers, Guardian ad Litems (GAL), Parenting Coordinators (PC), Custody Evaluators, therapists and attorneys. Education on Cluster B disorders will allow these professionals to truly act in the best interest of the children.
History of One Mom’s Battle: In 2009, One Mom’s Battle began with one mother, (Tina Swithin), navigating the choppy waters of a high-conflict divorce in the Family Court System. Since then, it has turned into a grassroots movement reaching the far corners of the Earth. Tina’s battle spanned from 2009 – 2014 during which time she acted as her own attorney. Ultimately, Tina was successful in protecting her daughters and her family has enjoyed complete peace since October 2014 when a Family Court commissioner called her ex-husband a “sociopath” and revoked his parenting time in a final custody order.
Tina Swithin: Tina Swithin’s books are available online at Amazon (print, Kindle or audio format). Each year, Tina offers life-changing weekends of camaraderie and healing at the Lemonade Power Retreat. Tina also offers one-on-one coaching services and a private, secure forum called, The Lemonade Club, for those enduring high-conflict custody battles.