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“Gray rocking” your narcissistic spouse during divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2022 | Divorce

You’ve had enough of your spouse’s narcissistic behavior, and you want nothing more than for the divorce to be over. Your spouse, however, seems to delight in dragging out proceedings as long as possible.

It’s also clear that they’re purposefully trying to upset you with every interaction, which hardly surprises you. You know that they thrive on attention, and it seems to make them feel powerful to derail every negotiation with their drama.

Could the “gray rock” method help you get through this?

How does the gray rock method work?

Essentially, you acknowledge to yourself that you can expect nothing different from your spouse. You cannot appeal to either their better nature (because they don’t have one) or reason with them (because they delight in being unreasonable).

All you can do is control yourself and your reactions to them. Done right, the gray rock method – which requires you to become about as animated and interesting as a plain piece of stone – you take their ability to enjoy their manipulations away. In essence, by doing nothing, you incentivize them to finally move on so that they can focus their energies on trying to get a rise out of somebody else.

Gray rocking requires you to focus on controlling your verbal and non-verbal responses to your spouse’s antics. If you have to answer a question, stick with “yes,” “no,” or “I don’t know.” If they demand an explanation, shrug and say you’ll talk about it with your attorney.

Keep your face neutral. Under no circumstances should you let on that you’re actually concerned about any of their threats to take full custody of the kids or leave you without a fair share of the marital assets.

Divorcing a narcissistic spouse can be complicated, but that’s where experienced legal guidance – and learning effective ways to counter their behavior – come into play.