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3 manipulation tactics a narcissist uses during divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2022 | Divorce

Divorcing a narcissist requires the utmost preparation. Their qualities, which include grandiosity, lack of empathy, a chronic need for admiration and a chronic sense of entitlement, will be majorly expressed during the divorce.

Such behaviors lead to manipulation, making the process even harder, but knowing what’s ahead can help you prepare. Here are three manipulation tactics you can expect when divorcing a narcissist:

1. False statements

Narcissists avoid taking responsibility. For this reason, they can present false accusations to blame you. They may act like the victim and have emotional outbursts to gain sympathy. If this happens, stay calm and seek legal help to make informed decisions. A therapist can also help you manage your emotional responses.

Besides false claims, your spouse may give empty promises. Thus, with legal help, you should put any agreement – be it on the division of marital assets, child and spousal support or debt repayment – in writing.  

2. Parental alienation

If you have children, your narcissistic spouse may lie or exaggerate events to negatively impact your relationship with them. You should take note when your kids are rude, cold or ungrateful towards you, especially after spending time with the other parent.

Consider talking to them and encouraging therapy. In addition, they should spend time with friends. Teaching them boundary-setting phrases can also be effective. 

3. Delaying the process

Divorcing a narcissist is essentially taking power from them, and they don’t want this. They may drag the process by “misplacing” paperwork, not filling documents correctly or refusing to negotiate. You need to be ready for a long divorce process. Gray rock them and don’t be pressured to accept unfair solutions to end the process sooner.

Manipulation during divorce is an additional trauma. Identifying the tactics that narcissists use can help you remain calm while considering your legal options.