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Florida Women's Law Group

Divorcing A Narcissist - Prepare For Battle

Author: Florida Women's Law Group
Date: Mar 19 2021

Divorcing a Narcissist – Prepare for Battle

Divorce is never easy and divorcing a narcissist is its own form of hell!  We are going to be honest with you, this will be a battle and you need to be prepared for it.  Dealing with their egos, manipulation and ‘take no prisoners’ mindset will make the divorce extra challenging.  However, you can get through this and you can gain back all the control you have lost to him and claim the life you deserve for yourself and your children. 

Preparation is essential as well as having solid strategies.  Here we discuss how to get started and what you can expect from him as the divorce process progresses.

Educate Yourself – To help you prepare for this journey do some research on narcissistic personality disorder.  Many women do not really know all the traits and manipulation tactics of a narcissist.  As you learn more about it you will start to see that what you have been experiencing from your husband is classic narcissistic abuse.  While narcissistic personality disorder is a spectrum and some men may be lower or higher on the scale, they all seem to portray the same behaviors.  This helps put your mind at ease that it’s not you, you are not crazy, you are just the victim of a master manipulator and emotional abuser.

Get the Right Attorney – This divorce is not for the faint of heart.  To be successful you need an attorney that understands a narcissist and knows how to best approach them and what works and what does not.  An attorney that is not familiar with this personality type can waste a lot of time and get sucked into his manipulation.  It is also a good idea for you to find a therapist that is also knowledgeable in narcissism.  This process will take a toll on you and having a therapist to help with your emotional well-being will be a big plus.

A Narcissist Needs to Win – Telling a narcissist husband that you want a divorce is an attack on him personally and will leave him feeling humiliated and degraded.  His coping mechanism is to attack and win at all costs, he is extremely vengeful.  He will not negotiate or concede on anything, no matter how small it may be.  In his mind he is a victim and you are trying to take everything from him and humiliate him.  Remember that he only cares about himself and how others perceive him, he will stop at nothing to win, whatever winning means to him.

Dragging Out the Divorce – Going back to his ‘win at all cost’ mentality, he will drag out the divorce and run up huge legal bills.  He must have control and power, especially over you, and he will game the system to keep his hold over you.  Be prepared for him to file a lot of motions, request additional time and force litigation over the smallest issues.  He will lie to his attorneys and judges, make false claims, not comply with court orders and not cooperate all to run up the bill and extend the divorce.  It is not uncommon for a narcissist to change attorneys several times.  If he does not get what he wants it is not his fault but that of his attorney so he will have to move on to the next one and this causes more delays.  He will try to use all the money on legal fees to win and take everything from you.

Smear Campaign – A narcissist is never wrong and is never at fault.  Well, that’s how he thinks at least.  Do not be surprised when he contacts family, friends and neighbors claiming to be a victim and telling them how everything is your fault and all the horrible things he had to endure during the marriage.  He needs a target and someone to blame for his actions and the failure of the marriage, his fragile egos can not handle people thinking that he had any blame, he is just a victim.  He has zero empathy and has no problem lying to those closest to you.  He manipulated you and blinded you to who he really was underneath his mask, he will try and do the same to your inner circle.  You may lose some friends or family members who fall victim to his smear campaign, he has targeted the ones that are most likely to believe his pile of lies.

This is not going to be easy but the more you educate and prepare yourself the better you will endure it.  You need to think of this as a business transaction and proceed strategically and not emotionally.  You need to set up boundaries and limit your communication with him.  He will continuously try to manipulate you and he knows how to get to you, the fewer interactions you have with him the stronger you will be.

You are taking back your life and the control that he has wielded over you.  Your future depends on the outcome of your divorce.  You must have a strong attorney who is on your side and knows how to handle a narcissist.  With the right team and fortitude, you will get through this and be stronger and better off in the end.

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