7 Things You Must Know When Divorcing a Narcissist

Divorce is never an easy process. But, the process of divorcing a narcissist is even harder. Being in a relationship with a narcissist takes a mental and emotional toll.

You partner has probably left you feeling worthless. Your self-esteem is likely at an all time low.

The good news is that you’ve mustered up the courage to divorce your partner. Now you’ve got to focus on staying strong and being informed.

We’re here to help you through it all!

Here are 7 things you must know when divorcing a narcissist. These tips will help ease you through this tough time.

1. Expect a Negative Reaction

When you serve papers to a narcissist, it helps to know what to expect.

Narcissists fear being abandoned. It’s likely that your partner will view divorce as abandonment on your part. Note how your ex-partner still plays the victim card.

This, in turn, activates your partner’s worst fear, which can quickly evolve into anger. Being prepared for your ex-partner’s rage will make the situation less shocking and scary.

2. The Narcissist Is In It To Win It

We all know that there are no winners in the game of divorce.

But, a narcissist will see this as an opportunity to get a one-up on you. Prideful people are all about winning.

Don’t expect a narcissist to negotiate. Be prepared for mind games and lies to make him/her seem like the victim. Your ex-partner will do whatever it takes to push the blame on you.

3. Get Everything in Writing

Narcissists are masters at the art of manipulation.

It’s also important to remember that your ex-partner feels a high sense of entitlement. He/she will have no problem bending the truth to his/her benefit.

Since communication is likely to be hard, keep a record of all written communications. This includes:

  • Text messages
  • Emails
  • Social media posts
  • Letters and other forms of mail

When divorcing a narcissist, expect him/her to try to manipulate words. But, it’s impossible to manipulate text!

Build your case by keeping all written communication.

4. Gather Financial Documents ASAP

All divorces go through a discovery phase.

During this time you gather documents from your ex-partner. But, you can expect a narcissist to avoid handing over documentation that moves divorce proceedings along.

The moment you know you are filing for divorce, get financial documents in order. These documents include:

  • Pay stubs
  • W2s
  • Bank and credit card statements
  • Investment/retirement account information
  • Past tax returns

While a court can demand these documents be handed over, it’s best to gather these documents on your own. This lessens the risk of your ex-partner’s success in slowing down the case.

5. Take the High Road

Your main goal during the divorce is to stay cool, calm, and collected.

You can count on a narcissist to have fits of rage. Expect angry text messages and emails. Be prepared for negative posts on social media that trash you as a person.

Instead of responding to these traps, ignore them altogether. Practice restraint of mouth and pen.

By not playing these games, you maintain control.

6. Hire a Top Notch Attorney

In your case, a divorce attorney is a must. An attorney has the experience needed to get your divorce case rolling.

When choosing an attorney:

  • Look for one with good problem solving skills
  • Avoid pit bull attorneys, as they will play into your ex-partners games
  • Ensure you’re comfortable

Your divorce situation is unique. You’ll need to be upfront about painful past situations. Find an attorney you can trust.

7. Expect a Long Divorce

Narcissists thrive when they are in power.

By drawing out divorce proceedings, your ex-partner will feel empowered. Letting the divorce go smoothly means that the narcissist becomes a nobody.

Until the divorce is finalized, a narcissist will feel connected to you.

Despite the fierce battle ahead, know that you are making the best decision for you. At this point in your life, it’s time to put yourself first.

3 Benefits of Divorcing a Narcissist

Divorce can drag you down. While the process will be long and hard, the end result is well worth it.

Need a boost? Having a hard time seeing the positive side of divorce?

Here are 3 benefits to divorcing a narcissist.

1. Time to Rebuild Yourself

After being married to a narcissist, you’ve faced years of being belittled. You’ve been called all sorts of degrading names. Your focus in life has been wiped away.

But, with your ex-partner out of your life, you can focus on healing.

Take time to find your self-worth again. Find ways to rebuild your confidence and self-esteem.

During this time, surround yourself with supportive friends and family members.

2. Less Stress

Narcissists bring nothing but stress. Leaving a narcissist removes the heavy burden that you’ve been carrying.

Stress has all sorts of impacts to your health including:

  • Fatigue
  • Problems sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to focus
  • Loss of motivation
  • Feeling angry, sad, and/or overwhelmed

With less stress, you can focus on living healthily. You are sure to notice changes in your mind, body, and soul.

3. The Eggshells Are Gone

Remember the days of tiptoeing around your words? Remember when you were afraid to talk about your thoughts and feelings?

Dating a narcissist means constant walks on eggshells. Every word and action has to be well thought out.

The constant threat of starting an argument can drive one crazy.

Thankfully, with your impending divorce, these worries are long gone!

You can proudly feel and think what you feel is right. There’s no need to filter your values and beliefs.

Support for Narcissist Victims

Divorcing a narcissist is a tough part in life. But, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer!

Throughout the process, it helps to have a support system. It also helps to be as educated as possible.

The Narcissist Life strives to educate people about narcissists. The better you understand your ex-partner, the easier the process becomes. With enough knowledge, you’ll maintain the upper hand.

Have questions about narcissists? We have an open door policy!

Written by Alexander Burgemeester on

Alexander Burgemeester has a Master in Neuropsychology. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and has a bachelor's in Clinical Psychology. He devotes himself to writing important information about certain mental health topics like Narcissism and Relationship problems. He is the main author of all content on Thenarcissisticlife.com Want to know more? Read by author bio page.

3 thoughts on “7 Things You Must Know When Divorcing a Narcissist”

  1. Good morning.
    I keep coming back to these write ups because I feel like if I get 2 steps forward, he drags me down with blame to the point of me having to talk myself out of suicide. I’m tired inside. My 13yr old left to live with her dad. He blamed her saying she was trying to get me and her dad back together. Then it became my fault for no loyalty to him. Her and I have always been like glue. 4.0 and just a sweet girl. She cant stand him and people are shocked by the few statements she made about him. It’s not like her to be negative. We have always been about fun. I have raised 26 kids thru the state and my own, and his now for the past 2.5 yrs. The youngest 13, was getting Fs, now has As and Bs. He does nothing with his kids. It’s been me. But my daughter leaving has taken away so much, I’m barely making it thru my day. He goes thru a bottle of crown every 3 days, pain pills, beer and excuses and Complains more than anyone I have ever known. His religion because an issue of the hipocracy that I called out. He was suposed to get divorce papers over a month ago? He says I misunderstand him all the time, changes what he said, and how his religion is the answer. His ex and I get along great. She let’s me have free reign of the kids during her week for homework. She told me he was a narcissist. I had no idea how bad he was or can get. I’m scared for him to flip out and yell, throwing things. He likes to fight. I don’t. It shouldn’t be like this. I never had this with anyone before. I have great relationships with my kids dads. Am thankful there are no children together. I don’t know what to do. I’ve been packing. He brings boxes, then tells me I don’t need to pack them, I’m afraid to touch them after that. I don’t know what will set him off. I lost 9lbs and now my have other issues from not being able to eat alot of the time. It comes back up if I eat. I’m afraid to ask for him to get food, he doesn’t want to stop at any store. Says he hates all the people. He says I need a marriage counselor to understand marriage. I’m so tired emotionally and physically, I am forgetting things. Loss of days. He’s gotten rid of my daughter, my friends and my customers. I don’t feel like I have any value anymore. He was yelling at me for hours today and I hadn’t slept for 34hrs. I had to walk away.

    • Hi Lynn, I hope you are well and safe, I wish I would have come across this sooner. I’m diving down the NPD rabbit hole myself. I recently had a temp hearing that allowed me more time with my daughter, my ex hated it. I hope you are coping well and are finding the help you need.

    • I understand Lynn , my NPD Husband and i are talking about seperating – we have a 19 who is at home after a relationship break down . He hates him being back home and i love it because my door is always open to my child . He bullies us and flys into Narcisstic rage almost weekly now . He has even called my relationship with my son incest ? which is so strange to us considering he is the biological father of our 19 yr old . Im always on eggshells when the next out burst is , everything is so complicated we have a house we need to sell and im exhausted all the time . I cant see light at the end of the tunnel but i do know i need to end the relationship which has been enlightning . Good luck with your situation and i pray it works out for every one .


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