An Advocate In Family Law Cases

The unique challenges of divorcing a narcissist

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Divorce

Navigating the complexities of divorce can be difficult, even when a separation is amicable. However, divorcing a narcissist takes most divorce-related challenges to a whole new level.

If you’re in the process of divorcing a narcissist, knowing what to expect will allow you to develop coping strategies and to proactively work to safeguard your interests.

The risk of a high-conflict divorce

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental health condition characterized by the following:

  • Patterns of grandiosity
  • The deep need for admiration
  • Lack of empathy
  • Self-centeredness
  • Arrogant thinking

Those who suffer from this condition are typically so self-involved that they tend to ignore the needs of others. Narcissists thrive on conflict and drama and often use it as a means of control. They may provoke fights or use manipulative tactics to prolong the divorce process. This can lead to a high-conflict divorce.

Many narcissists have mastered the art of gaslighting, which can make you question your own reality. They can make you question if you are the unreasonable one. If you have children, a narcissistic spouse may also try to turn them against you in an effort to control the narrative.

All of these situations alone can be emotionally draining individually and overwhelming when combined. Here are some techniques that can help you during your divorce:

  • Maintain your composure and avoid engaging in their drama. Stick to the facts and keep your emotions out of the conversation.
  • Trust your instincts and your understanding of the situation. Surround yourself with supportive people who can provide a reality check when needed.
  • Always prioritize your children’s well-being. Encourage open communication and reassure them that both parents love them, regardless of the circumstances.

It’s important to remember that divorcing your narcissistic spouse may not provide closure. They will likely refuse to accept responsibility for their actions and lay the blame for the divorce at your feet. But by having a solid support network to get you through the divorce, you can put the past behind you and start focusing on your healing and moving forward.