Divorcing a Narcissist

Feb 14, 2024

Are you married to a narcissist? Do you need to divorce your narcissist? We hear this term used a lot these days when people exhibit bad behaviors, but not everyone is a narcissist. It is important, however, to be able to identify narcissistic behaviors and find strategies for dealing with them. Narcissists notoriously do NOT play by the rules.

So what can you do if you're divorcing a narcissist? My resource, Divorcing a Narcissist, can help you get through this challenging time.

In this guide I break down:

  • Behaviors to look out for
  • How to protect yourself legally and financially
  • Communicating with a narcissist
  • How to counteract the abuse

Common Tactics Used By  Narcissists

Most of us have seen the tactics used by narcissists, even though we may not have identified them as such. They can be very manipulative and dishonest, and they often lack empathy. Narcissists often engage in damaging behaviors like belittling others and blaming others for everything. These types of actions make it very difficult to live with someone, and likely are a key component in your decision to seek a divorce.

Divorce can test anyone and can be difficult, but adding in a narcissist can be a special hell during your divorce. You need support systems around you that understand narcissism and how it is going to impact you. 

How to React to a Narcissist

Narcissists thrive on attention, both positive and negative. They don't necessarily care that your attention might involve yelling and crying... the point is that they got you to react and you're engaging with them.

One way to counteract the narcissistic behaviors is by giving the narcissist as little attention as possible. A technique called "gray rock" or "gray rocking" involves giving the most minimal response when absolutely necessary. Respond with a short factual statement intended to convey the necessary information, and do not engage any further. This tactic may feel uncomfortable at first, but the more you practice it, the more natural it will seem. 

And you'll be amazed at how much better you feel when your communications are limited and he doesn't have a chance to engage you in an argument.

Protect Yourself Financially

Narcissists love to control their spouses with money. This is no surprise to many. Financial abuse and narcissism often run together. It can take extra vigilance during your divorce to be aware of how your ex is using money to control and manipulate the situation.

This is one reason it is vital to choose an attorney who has an understanding of narcissistic behaviors in divorce. An educated attorney can strategically negotiate and advocate for you. 

When it comes to your finances when divorcing the narcissist, it is important to:

  • Know as much as you can about your financial situation
  • Open a bank account and credit card in your name only
  • Talk to your attorney about freezing and dividing assets early on in your divorce

You do not have to walk this road alone. Check out my Divorcing a Narcissist guide and my PREPARE for Divorce guide to start planning your road forward. I promise that as scary as today may seem, you can do this! 

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