Divorce is a difficult process and it can become even more complex when involving a narcissist. Narcissists use manipulative behaviors to control people, and during a divorce, they often employ a tactic known as triangulation. They manipulate three distinct groups of people to maintain control and present themselves in a favorable light.
Children are often the most vulnerable group that narcissists exploit during divorce. Narcissists may attempt to manipulate their children’s feelings and perceptions about the other parent. They use their children as tools to gain sympathy, stir up conflict or establish a power dynamic that suits their needs.
Narcissists typically seek the inner group of their ex-partner. They will reach out to people who are close to their ex-spouse and try to taint their image. This may include friends, family and professionals helping out with the divorce. Narcissists aim to sway these individuals to their side, often playing the victim or spinning the narrative in a way that vilifies their ex-spouse.
Mutual friends and community
The third group narcissists focus on is their ex-spouse’s community. They will post on social media sites with pictures of themselves and their children, typically avoiding any mention of the divorce and anything bad about them. This strategy allows the narcissist to maintain their social standing and sense of superiority.
Understanding the impact
Understanding the tactics narcissists use during divorce can be instrumental in countering their strategies. It is important for individuals dealing with a narcissistic ex-spouse to keep communication factual and unemotional, and to avoid playing into the narcissist’s game of manipulation and control.
The narcissist’s triangulation technique manipulates children, new romantic interests, and mutual friends or acquaintances. Recognizing these tactics can help individuals navigate the divorce process with a clear understanding of the narcissist’s behaviors, ultimately leading to more effective strategies for dealing with this challenging situation.