Divorce is a difficult process, the ending of something you had committed to, but when you factor an Emotional Abuser it takes the process to a different level.
They are competitive and will not be fair, their goal is to win and at any cost. Because of their controlling and manipulative nature, they have already gone through the negotiation process without you, and they find it hard to understand why you don't or won't agree with them.
And because of their childish nature, they will stop at nothing and change the story so they are victim smearing your character.
What they did to you they turn it around it and this is what you did to them.
They want to hurt you, they want to see you in pain and this is the perfect place for them to do it in full view of others, claiming they are the ones in pain.
They need their supply and the divorce process is the perfect arena for them. It will come from you and the way you react to their stupid demands and silly remarks. It will come from their solicitor who is being paid. They will have their entourage around them, the people they claim are friends but are really, just like you were in a relationship with them not realising they are being used. Bowing to them and following them around cleaning up their mess and agreeing how unfair this is for them and massaging their egos.
KEY THINGS YOU CAN DO TO SURVIVE
1. DIVORCE THEM EMOTIONALLY
Make sure you are in a place that you are not affected by the smearing of your character, you have realised who they are now so don't get drawn into their games. Divorcing them emotionally means when you receive an email or any correspondence from them it does nothing to you.
If you get that lurching feeling in your stomach or chest when you receive something from them, you might still have some wounds to heal.
Remember, they know everything about you. They know how you are going to react and what your triggers are, they made it their mission to find those out, this is how they created the Trauma Bonds they you have been untangling from.
2. REACTING V RESPONDING
Because they know how to trigger you, they will. Their aim is to ensure that you are still there for them, still wanting them back, still in pain, and still willing to do everything they ask of you. They will use this process to know how you will react and they will want to trigger those wounds, it tells them how much power and control they have over you, and possibly can be used by them to determine how much they can get away with. Think Julia Roberts in Pretty Women with the snails... Slippery little suckers.
If you can, please get someone to deal with all the correspondence for you, a solicitor and divorce consultant, or even a friend. If you haven't divorced from them emotionally, you might say or do something you later regret.
They may try to convince you not to use a professional, telling you they are expensive and that you don't need that additional cost, that you can sort this all out between yourselves, ignore them, remember they don't want to negotiate, they want to control.
3. SAY NO TO MEDIATION
If you are aware you are divorcing an Emotional Abuser, do not even consider mediation, it is not going to work. Don’t waste your time or money. I promise you it isn’t worth attempting it.
You will come out of the process wondering how they always manage to get away with their behaviour they lead with their wounded child and play the victim. They will have the mediators feeling sorry for them. Leave Mediation to the healthy people who are divorcing. Remember the Emotional Abuser is the master of manipulation
4. HIRE TWO PROFESSIONALS
If you are using a solicitor remember they charge by the 1/4 hour, don’t use them as a for venting your anger and pain, speaking about the injustice of it all.
Find someone else how can help you deal with your emotional pain, it is less expensive they can help you work through the wounds the abuser is triggering and they are more qualified than a solicitor. And as much as your solicitor wants you to win, they are invested in you because you are paying them to negotiate the divorce. When I was in the process of speaking to solicitors, one was quite amused telling me he once had a client who used to call in for a coffee and to talk through the emotional pain she was in.
Make sure you have a solicitor who is experienced in dealing with this personality type, that can spot the tactics that are being used and can shut down the communication before it has taken you down a rabbit hole that will cost you a lot of money.
The abuser wants to hurt you, they don’t care about the cost to you, they don't care that the money you are spending could be used supporting you and their children.
6. GET A SELF-CARE REGIME
You have to work on yourself, they have caused damage that you might not even be aware of yet.
Get a good routine in place. When your nervous system is still on alert, you might be suffering from C-PTSD, keeping you safe whilst your body recovers. A routine will make you feel safer, allow your body to adjust and heal on every level.
Consider taking magnesium baths, eating more fresh food, and drinking plenty of water if you don't already.
There are so many different things you can add to your life to help you. Journaling, exercise, coaching, meditation, work on yourself and it will help you get through the process and step into your new life.
7. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
Take some time out on your own or with a coach and decide what you want. Be very clear from the start what is a non-negotiable and what you will be more flexible on.
Know your self-worth, don't bend and give in to the petty demands or be intimidated by them.
If you are negotiating money what would you feel happy with? Don't forget this is a negotiation (or it should be). If you start with what you are looking for they will be negotiating down, it won't be upwards. If you have more money they will be starting high. Not everyone has been trained in the art of negotiation, this is what a solicitor is for, but if you are doing this yourself you will need to be firm and stick to it.
Sit and create a vision board or write out in a journal how you see this process going in a positive way, and think to the future, one that you are creating now, not the one you were creating together, how do you want it to look? Remember what you did for them, how you supported them, and write out what your requirements are, it might surprise you that is isn’t as monetary lead as you think it is.
It might be that your finances have been whipped out by them and you are looking get back to that place, there is nothing wrong with either.
Once you have created this you can share what you want to come away with, with your solicitor, and make sure they understand why it is so important to you.
But make sure it is your decision and the abuser is not dictating everything, there is nothing worse than the feeling that you have been walked all over, you do want to come out of this feeling whole.
Once you know what you would like stick to it. You will find it difficult to go back and negotiate a better deal once the negotiations have started. You need to be really clear.
And if you are not clear, you need to find out what is holding you back.
If all you want is to walk away and put the relationship behind you, make sure that isn’t a decision made from fear, hat decision isn't from the wounded version of you. You don't to later regret your decisions.
Get the divorce that works for you.
Remember that if you are divorcing the Emotional Abuser they will probably manipulate the process and delay it.
If they are divorcing you they want to push it through forcing you into a position where they dictate what is going to happen. They have already decided what you are worth to them now which is nothing but a little bit of supply. They have a new life now, they will know what they can get away in the process and they will want to win at all costs.
Keep checking in with yourself making sure you are OK with the process. Keep going back to your list, visualising how this is going to be finalised with the outcome that works for you.