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Divorcing a Narcissist and Advice Clowns

Updated: May 14

We already know divorcing a narcissist is no walk in the park. But it is even more difficult to deal with unsolicited advice from well-meaning but clueless individuals who have never been in your shoes. These "narcissistic divorce advising clowns" seem to pop up out of nowhere, offering their two cents as if they're experts in handling a narcissistic divorce. The truth is they often have no idea what you are going through. It can be frustrating to navigate through the sea of uninformed guidance when all you need is support and understanding from those who truly get it.




I've had the privilege of connecting with numerous men who have generously shared their experiences with divorce, shedding light on the journey through heartache and healing.  


As I delved into these conversations, themes emerged, revealing common threads and invaluable insights. The wisdom offered by these men formed a pattern of understanding that is too often overlooked in mainstream discourse. It's from this wellspring of firsthand knowledge that I've come to recognize the "divorce advise clowns" - not in a derogatory sense, but representative of a quirky cast of characters who dispense advice.  These "clowns" are not your typical circus performers; instead, they're everyday people who bring lots of advice when tackling the complexities of divorce.


Their Names are


When you confide in a clown, you'll likely receive a wide range of responses based on each person's unique personality and perspective.



Advice during divorce
Narcissistic Divorce and Advice Clowns

 

Agent Smith

The definition is right on the name very much that of Agent Smith from The Matrix - they deny your reality and try to impose their own beliefs onto you. Picture this: You're going through a tough divorce and open up to Agent Smith about it. Instead of offering support, they brush off your struggles with a comment like:


 "It can't be that bad. My friend's cousin’s neighbour’s biology teacher’s dad got divorced, and it was quick and easy." 

Or 

"I've seen plenty of TV shows about divorce - what's the big deal? 


Have you ever felt like you're living in a completely different universe from someone else? No matter how hard you try to explain your perspective, they can't grasp where you're coming from. That's exactly how Agent Smith feels. He's entirely from another universe, and the concept of your reality is beyond his comprehension. You know that feeling when you're trying to have a conversation with someone who just doesn't get it?


the weapons dealer and divorcing a narcissist


The weapons dealer is the last person you want advising you on how to handle your separation. These individuals are adept at fueling hostility and conflict, encouraging strategies that aim to obliterate rather than resolve. It's not uncommon for weapons dealers to come with their emotional baggage – perhaps stemming from their high-conflict divorce or strained childhood – which they love to project onto others. When consulted, the Weapons Dealer will advise to:


 "Get the most aggressive lawyer in town." 

“Take your spouse to the cleaners.”

“Get everything, leave your spouse with nothing.”


Such toxic advice only perpetuates an already distressing situation. Rather than allowing these destructive personas to influence your decisions, empower yourself with knowledge and support from genuine experts who prioritize fairness and amicable resolutions.


THE SAINT

The Saint - as they have come to be known in these situations, their advice comes fast and without a second thought:

 "just let it go." 

“You need to forgive.”

“Don’t let it bother you.”

“Just forget about it.”

“Let your spouse keep whatever they want; everything will work out.”

“Don’t fight.”


As with all personalities, they are focused on dispensing quick-fix solutions rather than truly acknowledging the emotional turmoil and overwhelming practicalities that lie ahead.


In my coaching program, I refrain from using the term "forgiveness," not out of disregard for its significance but rather out of a deep respect for the intricate journey it entails. 


I recognize that forgiveness is a process that takes time and effort to reach. It is a profound process that demands patience, intentionality, and a nuanced understanding of one's emotions.  As individuals grapple with the complexities of divorce, their focus is rightly consumed by immediate concerns - legal arrangements, financial stability, co-parenting dynamics, and rebuilding their lives. The notion of forgiveness may feel incongruent at this juncture when practical matters demand undivided attention.  


Divorce represents a pivotal moment where clarity in decision-making can have enduring repercussions. Navigating this terrain requires a pragmatic approach that acknowledges the multifaceted challenges. It is within this framework that my coaching program operates – providing guidance on addressing immediate needs while fostering personal growth and resilience.


Forgiveness will come post-divorce.


THE LAWYER

Are you ever amazed by how everyone suddenly becomes a legal expert when they learn about your divorce? Everyone around you has transformed into a lawyer overnight, despite never having studied law or even stepping foot inside a courtroom; likely, they have never been divorced. 


They'll eagerly offer their opinions on your legal rights, obligations, and what to expect from the legal system as if they've been practicing law for years. It's funny how quickly people are ready to chime in with advice and insights on something as complex and personal as divorce. It seems like everyone has a story or opinion to share, regardless of their experience or qualifications. But when it comes down to it, facing divorce requires more than just well-meaning but uninformed advice from those around you. 


THE VICTIM BLAMER

The issue of victim blaming is unfortunately all too common, and it's something that affects people from all walks of life. I recently had a conversation with a client who shared an experience highlighting how prevalent this problem is. After being physically assaulted by his ex-wife, he confided in a female friend about the incident. Instead of receiving the empathy and support he was expecting, his friend asked him what he did to provoke the attack. From the listener’s perspective, if he got punched, it is because he deserved it, so the real question is, what did he do to deserve that?


This kind of response not only fails to acknowledge the trauma and injustice suffered by the victim but also perpetuates harmful myths about domestic violence. It's just one example of the countless instances of victim blaming that occur daily, leaving survivors feeling marginalized and invalidated.  Sadly, this cycle of victim blaming can have devastating effects on individuals and communities alike. It creates a culture where survivors are hesitant to come forward with their experiences for fear of being judged or disbelieved.


Conclusion

Every person in the descriptions above shares a common desire - offering quick solutions and moving swiftly. Delving into empathy and empowerment requires effort and understanding, which doesn't seem to align with the interests of these personalities. It's understandable that in today's fast-paced world, many are drawn to quick fixes. However, it's important to remember that true growth and sustainable change often require more than surface-level solutions.   

Embracing empathy and empowerment means truly understanding others' perspectives, challenges, and needs. It involves actively listening, showing compassion, and working towards long-term positive outcomes. While it may be challenging or convenient, the rewards of fostering genuine connections and making a meaningful impact far outweigh any quick fixes.


Personal Point of View

In times of personal tragedy, whether going through a divorce or any other difficult situation that life throws our way, we all yearn for understanding, empathy, and guidance. During these challenging moments, we often feel the need to talk about our pain and seek solace in the support of others. However, we often encounter individuals who offer invalidating advice that leaves us feeling even more isolated and misunderstood. This painful experience leads us to realize the true value of finding someone who has not only endured similar hardships but is also willing to offer genuine empathy and guidance. This kind of support can make all the difference when navigating through life's toughest trials.


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