How to divorce a narcissist?

How to divorce a narcissist? The ultimate guide

Divorce cases have exploded in the last few years due to “Narcissistic personality disorder” (NPD). In most cases, it has been found that divorcing a narcissist is emotionally and legally a very challenging and complicated process. 

Narcissists are the peoples who have an unusual self-importance sense. They can be controlling, manipulative, overly self-conscious, and abusive in most cases. These are the habits that make divorce with a narcissist more complicated. 

However, it’s possible to divorce a narcissist without damaging their mental health with the right approach and support. Let’s dig into the details of how to divorce a narcissist. 

What is narcissism?

Narcissistic people also have a significant variation, but you can identify them with their habits of being overly possessive of their selves and highly self-focused. 

A narcissist person generally has a very fragile ego, and they are searching for continuous admiration to boost them. In a narcissist’s company, you must be careful and admire them every other minute. 

These people get what they want by different tactics and their manipulation power. The constant need for attention will make the people in their surrounding depressed and lost. 

So in this article, we will share some practical tips on divorcing a narcissist without any long-term troubles. 

How does a narcissist respond to divorce?

The definition of narcissism shows that narcissistic people are so self-obsessed that they struggle when their imperfections are displayed to the world. Divorce shows the flaws in their relationship that give others a reason to point fingers.

Knowing their partner wants a divorce makes the narcissist feel like they have failed something. It will hurt their ego, and they will try everything to point out your flaws and belittle you. 

They will put all the blame for failed marriage on you and will show others you don’t deserve them. It will be up to you to find the best ways to deal with your husband’s anger and take the case forward.

A narcissistic person will use all the ways to win.

It is challenging to take the narcissist person to court as they will try all the means to manipulate the situation. But fortunately, in the case of divorce, there are no winners or losers. The court will make the best decision that favors both parties. 

But a narcissistic person will not take the situation like that. He will do his best in the proceedings to win or to make you lose. Even if all the evidence is against the narcissist, he will only consider himself the victim.  For them, the truth is what benefits the situation.

Narcissistic people are very self-protective to prove they are correct; they can be dishonest and bend to any side without discomfort. Such behavior is also the main reason for their addictions and extramarital affairs.

Hiring a lawyer with experience dealing with such narcissists is essential. Your lawyer will help you in a fair settlement and protect your rights. 

How to divorce a narcissist? 8 Steps

8 steps to divorce a narcissist

Here are eight vital steps that will help you to divorce a narcissist:

Prioritize yourself

Whether journaling, meditation, or therapies, prioritize your self-care first. A narcissistic partner must have made your life too hard for you. During the period of the relationship, they must have shaken your self-esteem. 

Be aware of your emotions and feelings when the relationship has shaken your self-esteem. Be compassionate towards your feelings. Get back on track and be more like yourself. 

Focus on future

When you divorce a narcissist, remember your future during the legal negotiations. Be wise with your decisions. Focusing on the bigger picture is more than necessary when divorcing a narcissist. 

A narcissist will always try to win in every situation, so it’s tough to negotiate to hit a solution. However, you can have your desired outcome if you make them feel they have won. Agree to admit to the situations you think are unimportant to get an overall favorable outcome. 

Yes, it’s okay to compromise but don’t accept all their conditions just because you fear the battle. 

Avoid Badmouthing

Be careful showing your feelings and expressions to your friends who are still in contact with your partner. Your spouse might be using them just to use that information against you in the case. 

Besides, all these negative feelings will affect your mental health and increase your anger and helplessness. 

Have your support network.

Divorcing a narcissist is tricky as it’s a type of rejection. Narcissists are very unpredictable people. You must be aware of their nature and take the divorce procedure cautiously. 

Make sure you have your support network ready. 

A narcissistic person’s approach to divorce can be very unpredictable. They can become potentially violent and criminal-minded. 

Make a list of support services relevant to your territory and state

Make sure your safety mechanisms are in place that, includes friends, families, and other support services. The divorce procedure can become relatively easy if they feel the same way and take separation well. Otherwise, it can become quite complicated. 

Remember, safety should be your first option if you feel any danger from the call the emergency police helpline or ambulance help of your state and territory. 

Appoint a successful lawyer.

Appoint yourself a lawyer who is successful in narcissistic abuse. You must find yourself a lawyer who understands the tactics of narcissistic people and the insidious outcome of such marriages. 

It will benefit you in court when you know the tactics he can use to turn the results in their favor. 

During an interaction

Try to have lower and brief interactions with them. If your narcissistic partner is lowering his standard by violating your rights, don’t behave like them. Act civilly and politely to show them the difference you both have. The professional advices not to react at such times. 

Don’t argue, as it can be a trap for you. Keep your communication short and business-like. 

Maintain good records

Maintain good records, as it will help you with your case. Follow professionals’ advice and maintain good records as much as possible. If you two have children together, go through the co-parenting expert’s recommendations, as it will help manage your records. 

Protect your children

There are things we can’t control, but at the same time, some are entirely under our control. Have complete control of your behavior. See what the other parent has to say. Don’t speak poorly of your spouse in front of your children. 

Divorce is a tricky tie in the children’s life. It will only affect children’s mental health if it accompanies the continuous bashing of nasty words from the sides. When you continuously speak ill of the other parent, it will affect them badly. 

It’s an expected behavior in narcissistic people due to their inability to empathize with other people. A narcissist can use your children to hurt you or manipulate the situation. So when divorcing a narcissist, ensure you have an excellent support system for them both within and outside their family. 

Tell them politely to love their parents but never let them adopt narcissistic behavior. 

Get help with therapy.

Professional therapies can help you to get through the divorce without affecting your mental health. Marital separation is probably the most stressful life-changing event of one’s life. Therapies are helpful with anxiety symptoms and toxic stress. It supports the spouse to help them recover from the effects of marrying a Narcissist person. Make sure to go to a therapist with experience in personality disorders and marital issues. 

Here are some effective therapy decisions you can consider following a divorce with a narcissist. 

  • Group therapy: Group therapy benefits you by connecting you to people going through the same experience as you in their married life. 
  • ACT theory: Acceptance and Commitment theory can benefit mindfulness in distress. 
  • Cognitive behavior therapies: CBT is beneficial in identifying the problematic thoughts that come to mind and converting them into another adaptive thing.
  • Experimental therapies: if you find talk therapy difficult on your mental health, then go for the experiential methods like dance, art, or other therapies that help overcome the stress. 
  • Family therapies: Family therapies help couples and children appropriately overcome divorce stress. But in the case of an abusive or toxic partner, it is strictly advised to attend therapy without them. 


What does a narcissist do when you divorce them?

A narcissist will lose control when you divorce them, increasing their narcissistic behavior. It can result in physical abuse to the extreme level that it can be life-threatening. 

How to mentally break a narcissist?

When you focus on yourself instead of them, see how they will lose. They expect others to care for them but don’t want to do the same. When you start prioritizing yourself and saying no to them, they will realize how great you were with them. 

Do narcissists care when you divorce them?

The most common habit of a narcissistic person is their inability to work hard. They will never accept the blame for the divorce. They will instantly start blaming your or your children to hide their shortcomings. 

What is the best way to divorce a narcissist?

Here are a few beneficial tips for breaking up with a narcissist:

  • Firstly make a complete plan
  • List the reasons that make you end the relationship
  • Be in the company of supportive people
  • Get rid of all the reminders of the relationship
  • Get help from a therapist or professionals.


Divorcing someone with NPD is emotionally exhausting and challenging. You have to be prepared for a long and hard journey. Before quitting, understand that being in a toxic relationship for longer will have worse consequences. 

When you know what you can expect from the whole procedure, you will be more motivated. Don’t hesitate to get help when you need it. 

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