Mediation with a Narcissist – Part II

“Mediation with a Narcissist” is the post that gets the most views on my website, hands-down.  I find that interesting. Mediation with a Narc is sooo very, very difficult.  Note the multiple times I use “very”. I could keep going.

Since this is clearly a topic that readers are searching for information on, here is a “Part II” with additional musings and thoughts:

HAVE LOW EXPECTATIONS:

  • Sorry to say that as the very first bullet point…but remember, narcissists do not negotiate well, if at all. They win. They have an all-or-nothing outlook and are too competitive and controlling to tolerate a fair outcome. They think they are smarter and more important than anyone else in the room, and they sure don’t want to be controlled by you, or your lawyer, or the mediator.
  • My lawyer said that the judges in our town want couples to try mediation first, so most people schedule one day. So, depending on your judge, you might need to try mediation even if you know its not going to go well.
  • A friend of mine who went through mediation had FIVE different days of mediation before they reached an agreement, and then they only came to agreement because the narc spouse had an compelling business reason for finalizing the divorce.
  • In my mediation, we got almost nothing done the first day. My lawyer said the main benefit of that day was that we got my XNarc’s financial information and understood the negotiating positions.
  • We got a little closer our second day of mediation, but mostly due to my agreeing on some custody provisions that have turned into a huge source of conflict. We did not reach a signed agreement that second day, even though I made an offer at the end of the day. Of course my XNarc said he needed more time to consider it. Due to Narcs excessively high need for control, I really think there was no way he was going to agree to something I had proposed in a mediation environment.
  • Because of this high need for control, their need to win, and psychopathically low empathy, I just haven’t heard of mediation going well with this personality disorder. They simply do not compromise well. They think they’ve done nothing wrong and it’s really all YOUR fault, so they are entitled to a better outcome than the other party.
  • In summary, be prepared with realistic expectations for your situation.

Continue reading

Mediation with a Narcissist

mediation narcissist divorce

I was pessimistic. I told my lawyer that scheduling just one day of mediation would be a waste of time, knowing the excruciating level of detail that my narcissistic X2B likes to go into on any given topic, especially these topics. So we scheduled two days of meetings with the mediator, a few days apart.

We wanted to attempt to settle the financial and custody parts of my divorce so that we could avoid going to court. My lawyer told me at a high-level how the day would go. But my X2B is difficult to negotiate with, has unmanaged emotions, and he often sabotages discussions at the very end, after hours and hours of work. It’s typically “his way or the highway.”  So I could not imagine what mediation would actually look like for me.

As a Christian woman, I wanted to apply my beliefs.  My beliefs that I should fair, respectful, honest, and try to honor God through a difficult day. I wanted to trust God, and believe that He would give me a peace that passes understanding.  (Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”)

Continue reading