How to Divorce a Narcissist – A Guide For Men

Can I divorce a narcissist? Where do I learn how to divorce a narcissist successfully? Are narcissists easy to divorce? How can I protect myself during a divorce? If you are looking for answers to such questions, this article is for you.

My name is Sean Galla, and I have been an online support group facilitator for over a decade. In this decade, I have overseen numerous support groups and facilitated support groups for men with narcissistic wives. Part of our work in the support group is providing information to help members understand narcissism. In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about how to divorce a narcissist.

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Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

How Hard is it to Divorce a Narcissist?

Divorces are always tricky, and when you are divorcing a narcissist, you encounter more difficulties. A narcissist is someone living with a mental health disorder- narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). These individuals have inflated egos, a lack of empathy, and a high sense of importance. They think they are better than everyone else and are excessively obsessed with external validation and admiration.

When you decide to divorce a narcissist, they might initially oppose the divorce. The narcissist has an image they portray to the world, and a divorce challenges this perfect image. The narcissist may later ensure the divorce process and the child custody cases drag as a way to punish you.

The narc may:

  • Withhold crucial financial settlement information
  • Ignore negotiations and engage in mind games
  • Ignore advice from their divorce attorney
  • Use the children as a weapon

What to Expect When Divorcing a Narcissist

A narcissist can make the divorce process more tedious and emotionally draining. This is why it is important to learn how to take control away from a narcissist. The narcissist is naturally competitive and hates losing. They will do anything to get the upper hand in the divorce, like get full custody of the children or a larger share of your money. Here are some of the things to expect when divorcing a narcissist.

Love bombing

Your narcissistic spouse cannot handle the divorce concept. They will try anything they can to make you stay and convince you they are a different person. Narcissists have a fear of abandonment, and they will say or do anything to keep you from leaving. Once you agree to stay, they soon return to the same ways.

Playing the victim

The narcissistic spouse might try to turn your family members or friends against you. They accuse you of not trying to make the marriage work or that you are a terrible person. If you have ever told them something about the past, for example, that you are living with depression, they will use this against you and tell everyone they tried to help, but it was beyond them.

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Smear campaign

A narc appears to others as intelligent and charming. They will convince the judge or lawyer how you have wronged them and go as far as telling blatant lies. They may exaggerate issues by blowing them out of proportion or engage in a smear campaign to discredit you and your reputation.

They are not remorseful 

Even when you are amicable and cooperative, your ex-spouse will still undercut you and play dirty. They want to guilt trip you for deciding to leave them, They try not to display emotional weakness, but deep down they are scared that you are leaving them.

How to Divorce a Narcissist Successfully

Divorcing a narcissistic spouse needs preparation. Knowing how to manipulate a narcissist is vital in the process. Here are some tips for divorcing a narc.

Plan ahead

Do not tell a narcissistic spouse you are divorcing them until everything is in place. If you tell them early, they will do anything to sabotage your plans to leave them. If you are experiencing domestic violence, your safety and that of your children is at risk. In such a case, you must make plans well in advance.

Setting boundaries

Don’t let your spouse’s narcissistic behavior intimidate you. You must protect your mental and emotional well-being by setting boundaries. If you are co-parenting, you must stay in contact but review your set boundaries in advance. Expect your ex to challenge the limits, but you must remain consistent, and the narc will have no choice but to respect your boundaries.

Block them on digital accounts

Block your narcissistic spouse on your email account and social media accounts. If the spouse had access to your accounts, such as bank accounts, change the password. Let the spouse know how to communicate with you by either going through your family law attorney or calling you directly.

Let the children speak out

If there are children involved, you must provide a safe space for them to vent and process their feelings and thoughts during the divorce process. They may be worried about how the divorce affects them or even blame themselves.

Hire a good divorce lawyer

How your divorce turns out dictates how your future will feel and look. Do not believe anything your narcissistic ex verbally promises to do, like pay child support. You need a divorce lawyer experienced in family law to hold him accountable by making him sign an agreement.

Keep records

You can never have too much evidence. Save recordings of phone calls, emails, text messages, etc. If you had a verbal altercation with narcissistic rage or narcissistic abuse, write about the in-person encounters. If there were witnesses, seek written testimonies as your ex-spouse will try to twist the truth.


How to Protect Yourself During a Divorce From a Narcissist

Divorce cases are mentally and emotionally draining. Here is how you can protect yourself during the divorce.

Don’t engage

Don’t engage your ex in his chaos to avoid giving them ammunition to use against you. Ignore their insults and threats, stay focused on your goals, and refrain from fueling the fire. Do not react to his theatrics and manipulation tactics. 

The more you react, the more information you give him to use in court. If you respond in front of the kids, he will demand full custody, claiming you are unstable, but he sees the children only as pawns to win the case.

Work around your ex-spouse

During a narcissistic divorce, both parties must share information about their income, property values, debts, and school records. However, with a narcissist, asking for information can lead to conflicts. It’s best to find other ways to get the information you need.

You can prepare necessary documents and financial information before you separate and use court orders during the divorce process to get the information you need until the final divorce settlement. Use your lawyer to draw up a parenting plan to avoid constant back and forth with the narcissistic parent.

Want to learn how to live with a narcissist? This article has all the information you need.

Invest in self-care

Narcissists take you through emotional abuse during the marriage and after. They wear out your confidence, self-esteem, and sense of self long before you decide to file for divorce. Show yourself some compassion and take care of yourself. Practice meditation, journaling, massages, and other forms of self-care that make you feel good.

Seek therapy

Divorce takes a toll on your emotions. Your attorney’s law firm can only offer legal advice. Working with a therapist helps you to cope with your feelings. You also get a safe space to talk about how you feel about your spouse without fear of the information being used against you.

Protect yourself

When you divorce a narcissistic partner, you bring into reality their most profound phobia to life-their fear of rejection and abandonment. The divorce route must be cautious, and having support systems in place is crucial in case the narc becomes vindictive and violent.

Be prepared for anything

Narcissists need to win and will not go down without a fight. Narcissists feel that compromising is unacceptable in any situation. Be mentally and emotionally prepared for a drawn-out court battle. The narc will be ready for a mud fight, but when you come prepared, the narc’s tactics will not work on you.

How to Divorce a Narcissist: About MensGroup

Men’s Group is a men-only support forum that offers resources and meetings to anyone who wants to divorce a narcissistic partner. With the proper support, anyone can heal from narcissistic trauma. You join a group of other men who are narcissistic abuse survivors and understand your situation. This gives you a safe space to share and learn from others in similar situations. With a support system, you can overcome your trauma, lead a healthy and happy life, and, with time, get married again.

Men's Support Group

How to Divorce a Narcissist: Conclusion

If your partner is living with NPD and the marriage has become physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive, divorce is the next option. You need to know how to divorce a narcissist and how to protect yourself during the divorce. Narcs love attention and fear abandonment, so you have to be careful the narc does not become aggressive.

A group like Men’s Group offers you a platform where you can share your story and get support to heal from surviving a narcissistic marriage. A support group provides a safe space where you meet compassionate people ready to guide you through the recovery process.