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Challenges commonly associated with divorcing a narcissist

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | Divorce

Divorcing a narcissist requires very specific planning because these individuals will complicate the process if given the chance. People who have narcissistic tendencies aren’t able to consider how their actions affect others, and they often have an inflated sense of self-importance.

Anyone who’s divorcing a narcissist needs to consider the challenges that they’re likely to face as they move forward so that they can prepare themselves accordingly.

Emotional manipulation

Narcissistic individuals often use guilt, blame, and victimization tactics to control or influence their partner’s decisions and feelings. This manipulation can make it difficult for the other spouse to maintain a clear perspective and make decisions in their best interest.

High-conflict behaviors

Narcissists are known for their high-conflict behaviors, including aggression, hostility, and a refusal to compromise. These behaviors can escalate tensions during divorce proceedings, making negotiations and agreements challenging to reach. The narcissist’s need to win can lead to prolonged legal battles over finances, property, and custody.

Lack of empathy

A hallmark characteristic of narcissism is a lack of empathy, which can be particularly problematic when trying to resolve custody and parenting issues. Narcissists may not consider the emotional needs or well-being of their children. This can result in decisions that aren’t in the best interest of the children.

Financial exploitation

Narcissists may use financial resources as a tool for manipulation and control during the divorce process. This can include hiding assets, accruing debt in the other spouse’s name, or refusing to provide reasonable support.

The challenge of disengagement

Disengaging from a narcissist can be particularly challenging. Due to their need for attention and control, narcissists may attempt to prolong interactions or legal proceedings unnecessarily. Even after the divorce is finalized, they may seek ways to maintain contact or influence over their ex-spouse’s life, especially if children are involved, complicating efforts to move on and rebuild.

Throughout the divorce process, an individual who’s leaving a narcissist must ensure that they take steps to protect themselves. Having a legal representative to assist with determining how to proceed with each step can be beneficial in this regard.