A Book Review of 'Divorcing Your Narcissist' by Tracy Malone

Rev. Sheri Heller, LCSW

Photo by Zoriana Stakhniv on Unsplash

I am exceedingly grateful that although I was groomed to be supply, and consequently I was a narcissist magnet for much of my life, I never actually married anyone on the malignant end of the narcissism spectrum.

Being on the receiving end of brutal degrades and discards by significant others and family was bad enough. But to sever a legally binding marriage, and — even worse — to undergo a custody battle with a malignant spouse is a whole other level of devastation.

Indeed, as a trauma therapist, I’ve witnessed the impact of that ordeal on the numerous men and women seeking treatment, not just from systemic abuse in their marriages, but also from years of being dragged through courtroom mediation.

Having found the courage to liberate themselves from a marriage to a malignant abuser, these survivors are then challenged to cobble together psychological, financial and legal resources to assist with dismantling the Stockholm Syndrome they have been experiencing and ride out tireless court litigation. This process is not just exhausting, it is also traumatizing all over again.

Obviously, a blueprint that could provide a comprehensive overview of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and delineate the roller coaster of criminal behavior, ceaseless motions, and the relentless duplicity that accompanies divorcing a malignant narcissist would be a tremendous asset for those challenged by this burden.

Fortunately, this is exactly what coach and global narcissistic abuse educator Tracy Malone offers in her new book, ‘Divorcing Your Narcissist: You Can’t Make This Shit Up!’

With input from sundry narcissistic abuse educators, authors, podcasters, clinicians, coaches, financial advisors, attorneys, and activists, Malone not only guides readers towards invaluable resources, but also offers readers a comprehensive understanding of why it is critical to align with professionals who possess a unique understanding of how the narcissist will operate during divorce and custody proceedings.

Reinforcing how crucial it is to become a sleuth detective, to have a contingency plan so as to ensure personal safety, to operate in intelligently guarded clandestine ways, and to mindfully include invaluable clauses to the final divorce decree, provides the reader with invaluable insight and acumen. Likewise, Malone places emphasis on modulating each stage of divorce proceedings with self-care and emotional resilience so as to stay the often turbulent course.

Although Malone and her team of experts comprehensively advise the victim of narcissistic abuse how to successfully achieve deliverance through a divorce, needless to say, navigating through the series of events and steps to attain liberation is no easy feat. On that account, Malone asks her readers,

Consider this: what is the price for peace? You may feel like you have been at war and lost so much time already. Will fighting for specific items do more than prolong the inevitable and cost you additional money? Evaluate everything against the solid cost of tranquility. (pg. 159)

Here the reader is reminded that the gift of recovery is the greatest attainment, even if it means relinquishing fantasies of redemption or vindication. Indeed, attaining closure may necessitate accepting financial ruin and a less than favorable outcome, simply to end the implacable conflict. Ultimately moving on with healing and rebuilding one’s life is what matters most. This in itself is a huge undertaking that Malone poignantly and realistically addresses in the final chapter of her book.

In ‘Divorcing Your Narcissist’ the wisdom Malone gleaned from her personal plights with narcissistic abuse contributes to her leaving no stone unturned. The reader is led to access their inner sleuth and warrior to construct a plan of action that dismantles a disorienting and dangerous narrative.

In sum, Malone’s book is an invaluable tool for breaking the insidious cycle of narcissistic traumatic abuse. I am proud to be one of the twenty-six experts who had the privilege of contributing to this work. Most of all I am grateful to Tracy Malone for her steadfast commitment to champion victims from all parts of the world, so they can heal from the wreckage of narcissistic abuse and eventually emerge as SurThrivers!

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As a survivor (and thriver) of complex trauma and a seasoned therapist specializing in treating complex trauma, narcissistic abuse syndrome and addictions, I am intent on creating content that affords informative insight, hope and healing from psychological disorders. I aim for my creative content to assist readers with tapping into the resiliency of the human condition while recognizing the countless challenges of being human.

New York City, NY

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