Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (2024)

From a narcissist’s perspective, divorce is often not an option. But what would be the reason behind this?

Is it because they’re so focused on themselves that they cannot see what’s best for anyone else? Or maybe it’s to maintain control over those around them?

According to experts, here are the reasons why your narcissistic partner won’t divorce you.

Christy Piper

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (1)

Coach and Speaker | Author, “Girl, You Deserve More

They’ve already tested you out and trained you

Once a narcissist vets someone out for marriage, they don’t want to let that person go. When they marry you, they see you as an ideal supply. They’ve already tested you out and trained you how they want.

Related: 25+ Signs You Are in a Narcissistic Relationship

Once they have you figured out, why go through the effort to start over again and train someone else? A narcissist’s spouse serves a particular purpose: Just because a narcissist marries you doesn’t mean they don’t want other people.

But just because narcissists cheat doesn’t mean they want to replace you. They choose the different people in their life to serve a purpose. A narcissist’s spouse is the ultimate punching bag. They take all the hits.

They are using you for emotional supply

When narcissists have a terrible day, they take it out on their spouses. They are using you for emotional supply when they treat you badly. This gives them a temporary hit of relief by putting their negative energy on another person.

It takes a lot of time for a narcissist to find a nice person like you

It takes a lot of time for a narcissist to find a nice person like you who will take their crap. They are also likely using you for your money resources or using money to control you if they are the breadwinner.

They already have this dynamic down with you. So they don’t want to break what is working for them. The divorce needs to be their idea: Narcissists don’t like to give you what you want.

They feel like you are rejecting them

If the divorce was your idea, they will make it as long, hard, and drawn out as possible, so you don’t get what you want. They also hate rejection. If divorce is your idea, they feel like you are rejecting them.

Related: How Does a Narcissist Handle Rejection and No Contact

A narcissist knows it’s their last chance to control you

This is a massive trigger for a narcissist. It will upset them, and they will make you suffer for this. The last hurrah: A narcissist knows it’s their last chance to control you. Because once the divorce is granted, they have no legal ties to you anymore.

So during this time, they will do whatever it takes to make your life miserable. A narcissist will not go for this if you have a simple win-win settlement that you think is fair and easier for both of you. They would rather prolong it and not make the deal.

They will do everything to hurt you, even if it hurts them more, even if it’s a worse financial decision. When they don’t get what they want, a narcissist will ruin themselves for just a chance to hurt someone else.

They may pretend to be cooperative in the beginning

They’ll say they will settle it fairly, and you don’t need a lawyer. Don’t fall for this. They are just trying to get the advantage, so you are ill-prepared.

They are throwing you off guard, so they can get what they want more accessible. They don’t want anyone helping you. They don’t want you to get what you deserve.

They do not like what’s fair, no matter what they tell you. They also want to wear you out, so you give up. Then they get the excellent terms they want.

Hire a good lawyer and be prepared

The best way to get a divorce from a narcissist is to be prepared. Hire a good lawyer, get a coach specializing in narcissistic abuse, have good financial reserves, and be ready for the long haul. You will eventually get what you want if you persevere. Stay strong.

Dr. Cali Estes, PhD, MCAP, MAC, ICADC

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (2)

Psychologist | Cognitive Behavioral Therapist | Founder,The Addictions Coach

A narcissist has several personality quirks and objectives that make it very difficult to divorce.

Their experience is authentic no matter how out of touch with reality

The first one is that their experience is authentic no matter how out of touch with reality. That means they don’t think that anyone would actually divorce them, nor would they even sign the paperwork because, in their mind, it’s not something that could possibly happen.

They don’t believe that other people have free will

They don’t generally believe that other people have free will and can come and go as they please; they think their reality is everyone’s reality.

If you were to try to divorce a narcissist, they would blame you for everything that went wrong in the relationship. They would:

  • try to empty the bank account
  • take the house
  • get full custody of the kids
  • ruin you and your career
  • make everybody in the town think that you cheated
  • look like you were a drug addict
  • make everyone believe you did something horrendous to the family

Because in their reality, they can’t be wrong, so they will completely destroy you when you try to exit.

They want everyone to know that it was your fault by punishing your family

This leads to the second reason, including the punishment factor from the first.

The narcissist will bully not only the spouse but the children, the family of the spouse, and even if that spouse finds a new significant other down the line, whether it’s one year or ten years later, they will even try to bully the spouse’s boyfriend, girlfriend, or new significant other.

They will continue to torment the spouse and the entire family around them as long as they see fit, even if they remarry and find someone else. The idea of punishment will be lifelong, and this will be because you left them, and they want everyone to still know that it was your fault.

They always feel that they must win and be right

A narcissist must win. They not only must win, but they must also be right. And we all know you cannot always win and be right at the same time.

If they feel they will lose, they will put insurmountable pressure on everyone around them to ensure they win, and they will stop at nothing until they do so.

This may include hiring a private investigator to track the spouse trying to divorce them and planting evidence to show that they are cheating, using drugs, or have mental health issues.

They may go as far as to videotape arguments with their spouse and make them public to ensure everyone knows they’ve been wronged.

They do not want to give up control over their spouse

Once a narcissist feels like they’re giving up control, they will try to convince everyone around them that the person divorcing them has mental health issues and should be put in a mental health institution or incarcerated.

They may file fake police reports after they have injured themselves and blame it on the person filing for divorce. They will do everything they can to discredit the person divorcing them, from ruining their career to home life, with reckless abandon.

If you try to divorce a narcissist, you will have to think of changing your name and moving clear across the country so they cannot find you; even after you do that, they may still find you.

Carrie Mead, LCPC

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (3)

Psychotherapist,Maryland Therapy by Carrie

In my experience as a mental health therapist, I rarely work with someone who has narcissistic traits because, as the saying goes, narcissists don’t come to therapy! However, we can make some assumptions about why they don’t initiate divorces.

Narcissists are overwhelmingly male-identified

Firstly, narcissists are overwhelmingly male-identified, and women initiate divorce on average 2/3 of the time. This combination of statistics gives us some idea about why a narcissist won’t initiate divorce.

Narcissists enjoy conflict and feelings of superiority

Beyond this, narcissists enjoy conflict, strife, negative attention, and feelings of superiority. When a marriage is in crisis, all of those elements exist, and therefore, a narcissist is in their comfort zone.

Furthermore, when the narcissist feels they have control of you — physically, emotionally, or financially — they have achieved the perfect scenario for his ego, so why would they let that go?

Narcissists thrive in conditions most of us seek to avoid at all costs.

Due to the narcissists’ inflated ego

Lastly, due to the narcissists’ inflated ego and their innate misperception that they are unique, they are acutely unaware that a divorce is a tempting option for their partner.

The narcissist simply cannot imagine why you would want to leave them, nor, of course, do they think you would be able to do so.

Narcissists are simply preoccupied with their own needs

For all of these reasons, narcissists do not initiate divorce. They are simply preoccupied with their own needs, and as a result, they completely ignore the state of the marriage or their partner’s needs.

Narcissists feel so entitled and too special

They feel so entitled and too special to imagine that someone would ever want to leave them (after all, they are perfect), and they do not believe you can maneuver past their tricks and lies.

James Miller

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (4)

Licensed Psychotherapist, James Miller Lifeology | Host & Executive Producer, “LIFEOLOGY®” Radio

Narcissists are labeled to be entitled or dramatic

Most individuals familiar with narcissists can often become overwhelmed or struggle to self-advocate as they become overly frustrated with the narcissist.

Every narcissist will present differently. In the DSM-V, a narcissist is part of three clusters of personality disorders. They are categorized in the B Cluster.

In this cluster, you will find Borderline, Antisocial, and Histrionic personality disorders. This cluster is often labeled entitled or dramatic.

They disprove what the other person says

One of the significant attributes of a narcissist is to push another’s buttons or disprove what the other person says or any value that the other person may have.

It’s continually being right or focusing on something that was not up to par, even if what the other person has said is true. It’s well known they will minimize or present that they are doing the other person a favor by being in their presence.

There is a significant power differential in a relationship

When a narcissist is in a relationship with someone, there is a significant power differential. Most partners of a narcissist will often display symptoms of an anxious attachment.

Related: The 4 Different Types of Attachment Styles

The more the narcissist pulls away, the more the anxious partner will be triggered to fix the relationship or “do better.” Unfortunately, this creates a very toxic relationship.

They will belittle to such a degree that the person may stay in the relationship

When a partner has decided to leave, their attempt will often be thwarted as the narcissist will berate and belittle to such a degree that the person may cave and stay in the relationship.

They are experiencing Narcissistic Injury

The person does not realize that the narcissist is experiencing a Narcissistic Injury. This injury is blatant proof that the partner in some way is better than or could do better with another or that there is a form of weakness/deficit in the narcissist.

Narcissistic Injuries are the leading cause for many narcissists not divorcing. If they can make life miserable for the person who wants to leave them, they are disproving any deficit inflicted or implied about the narcissist; what was said about them or what they did was incorrect.

They will never forget what was done and will wait to eradicate the person

If a person were to injure the narcissist in this way, it could backfire, as that narcissist will never forget what was done and will wait until they can eradicate the person who crossed them.

This is why many people wanting to divorce a narcissist are unsuccessful in either leaving or having the narcissist sign the divorce decree.

If a person were to leave the narcissist, the best approach is to minimize the narcissistic injury by taking the “blame” for the relationship not working and allowing the narcissist to exit gracefully.

Dr. Sanam Hafeez

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (5)

Licensed Clinical Psychologist,Comprehend The Mind

Narcissists are self-centered, egotistical, manipulative people who crave control with years of manipulation, emotional abuse, and sometimes even physical abuse — many wonders why narcissists will not divorce their partners.

Narcissists don’t want to lose control of the person

Simply put, narcissists don’t want to lose control of the person they believe they already do. Narcissists disregard other people’s interests and only care about what makes them feel content.

It fuels narcissists’ ego knowing their partner is triggered by them

They also thrive off drama. It fuels a narcissist’s ego knowing their partner gets triggered by their actions. A narcissist will create chaos via extensive amounts of legal documents, fake “emergency” hearings, and other manipulative tactics to emotionally abuse their partner.

Related: Warning Signs of a Manipulative Partner

Sharing is not caring when it comes to a narcissist. Have you ever witnessed a child fighting to take the last piece of cake and not eat it once it’s theirs?

We can compare a narcissist to that child. They would much rather spend copious amounts of money on a lawyer than bear the thought of splitting anything with their spouse.

Narcissists don’t want to see their partners move on

Revenge is another focal point of why a narcissist won’t divorce you. Even if a narcissist has moved on, they don’t want to see their partner move on. By starting a new chapter, the narcissist takes it as the closing to their book.

A perfect image is essential in their playbook

The world stops spinning around the narcissist. A perfect image is essential in a narcissist’s playbook, and going through a divorce is a sour spot. To defend their so-called “perfect image,” a narcissist stalls out the divorce and blames their partner for everything.

Dr. Laurie Hollman, Ph.D.

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (6)

Psychoanalyst,Choosing Therapy| Author, “Are You Living with a Narcissist?

They prided themselves on admiration and greed

A narcissist who prided themselves on admiration and greed would never allow divorce proceedings that humiliated them and led to sharing their assets.

They would disparage any attacks against themselves, only believing they were the supreme authority on marriage, despite the cruel words they rendered in their relationship.

Underlying fears of emptiness would not allow them to cut ties with their anchoring spouse. Spurious arguments would persist in denying any fault of their own diminishing their overbearing self-regard.

They would fear being alone as an outcast

Unconsciously, they would fear being alone as an outcast, removed from the grandeur of their imagination. Due to fear of madness, they would unleash rage their partner accused them of gaslighting their spouse’s self-concept.

Carla Corelli

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (7)

Narcissistic Abuse Survivor| Mental Health Blogger

The narcissist’s reaction to divorce depends on whose idea it was in the first place. If the narcissist initiated the process, it means they already have some new victim waiting in the wings, ready to take your place.

If it is you who decided to pull the plug on the relationship, then the narcissist will use every manipulation tactic in their playbook to try and convince you to stay.

Related: Things Narcissists Say to Get You Back

There are a few key reasons why a narcissist won’t let go of someone even if the relationship is over:

Narcissists see divorce as an affront to their ego

Narcissists need constant validation and approval from others. They will do whatever it takes to avoid the perception that they are somehow flawed or deficient.

Narcissists view divorce as a competition

They are determined to come out on top, even if it means destroying you. This is why they are often so vicious and vindictive during divorce proceedings.

They want to make sure that they come out looking like the better person, even if it means dragging their ex-spouse through the mud and hurting their children.

Narcissists need to keep you to maintain their supply of narcissism

This is the emotional fuel they need to prop up their fragile egos. Without you, they would have to face the painful reality of their own inadequacies. This is why they often try to delay the divorce process or drag it out as long as possible.

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (8)

Senior Editor,Tandem

Though I am happily married now, I have been married before. That marriage ended in divorce, which was quick and easy for my ex-husband and me.

For others, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the narcissist in your relationship doesn’t want to divorce you. If you are unhappy in the relationship, why would a narcissist want to prolong this?

Narcissists are self-involved

People with narcissistic tendencies are very self-involved. They believe that the world revolves around them. They can’t find fault with themselves, which often means they won’t see the same problems in a marriage that their spouse sees.

Narcissists need love and admiration

Due to narcissists’ need for love and affection, they may decline to get a divorce as they equate marriage with love. They won’t see marital problems for what they are; instead, they may mistakenly think that this is how all marriages work.

Narcissists feel entitled

Someone who feels as entitled as a narcissist might think it’s their right to be married. It won’t matter to them how their spouse feels, because to them, it’s only about them, their feelings, and what they think is rightfully theirs.

Instead of thinking of you as an equal partner, they may think of you as a possession.

Narcissists have an inflated ego

Because the ego of a narcissist is so inflated, they will likely think that they are perfect (or close to it) and, for this reason, their marriage must be perfect as well.

If you are married to a narcissist but want to get a divorce, there is still hope. Depending on the state you live in, many have no-fault divorces. This means you can cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for wanting to divorce.

Additionally, even if your spouse refuses to sign divorce paperwork, that doesn’t mean divorce isn’t possible. Contact an attorney for proper legal advice on how you can get a divorce.

Most importantly, if you are being abused — physically, mentally, or in any way — you need to remove yourself from an abusive situation.

If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit their website.

Dr. Brenda Wade

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (9)

Clinical Psychologist | Relationship Advisor,Online For Love

Narcissists never want to admit any form of failure

In a nutshell, a narcissist never wants to admit any form of failure. Narcissists want to have the world believe (and themselves) that their world is perfect and they are in charge of it; they are in control of it.

Narcissists want to look good and feel powerful

Narcissists, above all, want to look good to everyone and feel powerful. They want to show that they are in control, they have the power, and everyone should look up to them.

Narcissists don’t want to feel like something didn’t work

A divorce means a loss of power. It also represents that something didn’t work, and narcissists don’t want to feel like something didn’t work. If their partner is the one to leave them, then the thought that they could have done something wrong is a narcissist’s worst nightmare.

Alena Scigliano, M.S.Ed., LPC

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (10)

Licensed Psychotherapist | Founder, Coastal Light Counseling & Psychotherapy

Narcissists’ dysfunctional behaviors are controlled by fear

Narcissists operate within the realm of fear. All of their dysfunctional behaviors are initiated by and controlled by fear.

The most common human response to fear (anxiety) is trying to take control, which is precisely what pathological narcissists do in their relationships. They do their best to feel in control so that they can experience as little fear as possible.

Related: How to Make a Narcissist Fear You

Narcissists fear feeling shame

The surface fear might be that of looking bad in front of others — being judged by others — or not having their partner around to make them feel good about themselves (i.e., providing a narcissistic supply).

The underlying fear, though, is that of feeling shame. Because narcissists do not have self-awareness or insight into the inner workings of their minds, they won’t be aware that the above is what they will be thinking or feeling.

They will experience a stress response that perceives the idea of divorce as a threat to themselves. It catalyzes an instinctual reaction — likely of trying to take control, usually by denying their partner the option to divorce them.

Keresse Thompson, LCSW

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (11)

Licensed Clinical Social Worker,Therapeutic Healing by Reese| Podcast, “Diary of An Empath” Host

Because narcissists need supplies

They will get them from someone else if they aren’t getting them from you. And most of the time, they have multiple sources of supply. They need to manipulate and control to gain the supply that they need. Narcissistic traits can 100% fall on a spectrum.

But true narcissists always show the same patterns of behaviors:

  • Narcissists don’t have empathy, although the scary thing is that they can come off like they do if it benefits them somehow.
  • Narcissists view relationships like a phone; when they need it, they pick it up; when they are done, they put it down; when it breaks, they get a new one.

Relationships are just a utility to serve their needs. Do they truly love? No. But most have deeply routed trauma and are deeply insecure. Most never seek out therapy unless forced.

Mel Williams

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (12)

Relationship Expert | Lifestyle Coach,Healing Is Sexy

They know how they need a supply source to feed into their ego

Every narcissist needs a supply, someone willing to stick around and put up with their behavior on the good and especially their worst days. They typically won’t suggest breaking up or divorcing because they know how badly they need a supply source to feed into their ego.

Whether it’s putting you down, exercising manipulative control over you, or just being able to say “I’ve got someone at home who puts up with me” to their buddies, it’s never about you when it comes to a narcissist. Only about whatever need your presence in their life is supplying.

A common tell-tale sign of a narcissist is love bombing and rushing towards commitment because they will idolize you initially. But it won’t be long before they project the same harsh internal criticism they subject themselves to on you.

It gives them a quick escape or excuse for their behavior

Narcissists know there’s something “not normal” about how they move through life, but they blame all of that on others. Staying married to a spouse gives them a quick escape or excuse for their behavior when things go south.

A spouse who tries to appease the narcissist will only make the trauma bonding much more vital, and this is where trying to leave the narcissist can become dangerous.

Alan Ahdoot

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (13)

Legal Specialist,Adamson Ahdoot LLP

They’re unconcerned with the happiness of others

Narcissists are only concerned with their own happiness. They’re completely unconcerned with the happiness of others. In fact, in their minds, other people’s happiness gets in the way of their own pursuit of happiness.

So, therefore, they will do whatever is in their power to disrupt someone else’s happiness. That includes an estranged spouse.

In theory, a divorce frees someone to move on following a failed marriage. If your path is more straightforward than the narcissist you’ve married, then the narcissist will do all they can to prevent you from moving on — even if that means not granting a divorce.

It’s about jealousy and spite

This may be an extreme case, but narcissists are prone to extreme behavior. Their behavior is the most extreme toward those who have rejected them. That’s how a bitter divorce often feels — like a painstaking rejection.

Don’t expect a narcissist to react appropriately in that situation.

Michelle Devani

Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (14)

Founder,Love Devani

They hate being rejected and are more hyper-sensitive

In my experience as a relationship expert, narcissists by their lack intimacy with others and a deep interest in themselves. A narcissist appears to be overly intimate, which is why they easily and swiftly transition from dating to marriage.

Even though they frequently fall out of love, they still want their partner to long for them. They inform their partner that the lack of intimacy is their responsibility, so the spouse attempts to perform all these things, only to learn that they have fallen short.

They don’t want a divorce because they hate being rejected and are more hyper-sensitive with themselves and not thinking about others.

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Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You? (25+ Reasons Why) (2024)


Why would a narcissist not want a divorce? ›

A narcissist will avoid divorce because they will have to let go of the person they think they have full control over. They feel entitled to something other than what's best for everyone. When they hear compromise, they think “unfair”. They don't know the middle road, they don't accept concessions.

Why do narcissists stay married? ›

1. The charm. The narcissist's initial charm is the reason why a narcissist married in the first place, and it's also likely to be the answer to how narcissists stay married. It might seem strange that somebody who displays such ugly characteristics can have the level of charm that a narcissist can display.

How do narcissist treat their wives? ›

Narcissists are misogynists. They hold women in contempt, they loathe and fear them. They seek to torment and frustrate them (either by debasing them sexually – or by withholding sex from them). They harbor ambiguous feelings towards the sexual act.

Why the narcissist hates you and wont let you go? ›

The reason youve found yourself the target of narcissistic hatred is that they view love as a weakness and consequently, it repulses them. But, at the same time, it allows them to extract copious amounts of narcissistic supply. This is why they seem to hate you but wont let you go easily.

Does divorce hurt a narcissist? ›

A narcissist is someone who is totally egocentric and has an inflated sense of self-importance. Narcissists feel superior to others and have very little capacity for empathy. This makes them extremely problematic to deal with, especially during a divorce.

Do narcissists care if you divorce them? ›

Narcissists are notorious for having extreme reactions, and the way they respond to divorce can be apocalyptic. Even if the narcissist wanted the divorce, the fact that the marriage ended tarnishes their image and makes them feel shame.

Can a narcissist love his wife? ›

The short answer is a simple “no.” It is actually highly unlikely that your narcissistic partner is even capable of real love, let alone feels it towards you past the beginning of your relationship.

Can narcissists be happily married? ›

Studies show that narcissists are more likely to get divorced than people who do not have a narcissistic personality disorder. However, if you can handle the challenges of being married to a narcissist and can find ways to make your relationship work, you may have a very happy marriage.

How does a narcissist abuse his wife? ›

Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional abuse perpetrated by someone who suffers from narcissism or sociopathy. These individuals have a tendency – whether conscious or unconscious – to use words and language in manipulative ways to damage, alter, or otherwise control their partner's behaviour.

How do narcissists stay happily married? ›

12 Survival Tips for Living with a Narcissist
  1. Study them. None of the following tips will work unless a person is willing to step outside of the relationship and study the narcissist. ...
  2. Call it out. ...
  3. Understand the abuse cycle. ...
  4. Discern abuse tactics. ...
  5. Play a game. ...
  6. Be wary of surprise gifts. ...
  7. Fed the ego. ...
  8. Reset expectations.
28 Jun 2017

What do narcissists do to their husbands? ›

One of the key traits of narcissistic partners is manipulation. They may make subtle threats or make you feel responsible for everything that goes wrong. You may get a sense that you need to do what they want you to do or something bad will happen.

Will a narcissist let you move on? ›

Many won't let you go, even when they are the ones who left the relationship, and even when they're with a new partner. They won't accept “no.” They hoover in an attempt to rekindle the relationship or stay friends after a breakup or divorce.

What happens when a narcissist can't control you anymore? ›

Narcissists also gaslight or practice master manipulation, weakening and destabilizing their victims; finally, they utilize positive and negative emotions or moments to trick others. When a narcissist can't control you, they'll likely feel threatened, react with anger, and they might even start threatening you.

Why do narcissists not let you move on? ›

First and foremost, it's important to avoid any kind of emotional interaction with your ex. Narcissists want to stay emotionally engaged with you, no matter the circumstances. Seeing you move on may feel like they are losing control, which is something narcissists have trouble tolerating.

What is the fastest way to divorce a narcissist? ›

Here are 10 strategies on how to win against a narcissist.
  1. Get Rid of All Illusions That Your Future Ex Will Behave Well. ...
  2. Set Clear Boundaries. ...
  3. Don't Show Genuine Emotion to Your Spouse. ...
  4. Find an Emotional Support. ...
  5. Focus on Children. ...
  6. Don't Believe Everything Other People Tell You About Their Divorce.
24 Aug 2022

Do narcissists move on quickly after divorce? ›

They WILL move on quickly because narcissists tend to view other people (including their partners) as conveniences — and once you are no longer useful, they will move on.

What do narcissists feel when they go through divorce? ›

Having an amicable divorce is often out of the question. Narcissists tend to put up a strong fight and view the divorce as a competition they must win. This adversarial attitude can result in bullying, exploitative behavior, and a refusal to negotiate rationally.

How does a narcissist react when you file for divorce? ›

Because narcissists cannot take responsibility for their actions, they will blame you for the current state of the relationship and the divorce. Their immediate reaction to the divorce may be to blame you and the children for their shortcomings.

What to say to a narcissist to shut them down? ›

The following are 16 key phrases to disarm a narcissist:
  • 1. “ ...
  • “I Can't Control How You Feel About Me” ...
  • “I Hear What You're Saying” ...
  • “I'm Sorry You Feel That Way” ...
  • “Everything Is Okay” ...
  • “We Both Have a Right to Our Own Opinions” ...
  • “I Can Accept How You Feel” ...
  • “I Don't Like How You're Speaking to Me so I Will not Engage”
28 Dec 2021

Can a narcissist ever be a good husband? ›

Many spouses of narcissists hate confrontations and hope that things will improve if they just ignore the bad behavior. If the narcissistic mate is high functioning, there are likely to be some good times together, as well as bad times.

What kind of woman does a narcissist love? ›

In fact, narcissists are often attracted to strong, confident, and self-assured women. While this may seem counterintuitive, it is important to realize that the narcissistic traits of grandiosity and confidence are really a mask for deep insecurity.

How do you tell if a narcissist loves you? ›

If a narcissist is interested in you, you might notice that they shower you with admiration and attention shortly after you meet them. They might be quick to say “I love you,” put you on a pedestal, and make grand romantic gestures.

What the Bible Says About narcissist? ›

Narcissism is addressed in the Bible in Paul's second pastoral epistle to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:1-7) in the fall of A.D.67. Paul seems to be concerned about the character and behavior of leaders within the church, so he warns Timothy to beware of those who act out of a “self love attitude”.

How a narcissist behaves in a marriage? ›

A narcissistic spouse is typically manipulative, self-centered, difficult to feel connected to, and may be verbally aggressive or abusive.

How do you stop a narcissist from controlling you? ›

What to Do With a Narcissist
  1. Educateyourself. Find out more about the disorder. It can help you understand the narcissist's strengths and weaknesses and learn how to handle them better. ...
  2. Create boundaries. Be clear about your boundaries. ...
  3. Speak up for yourself. When you need something, be clear and concise.

Do narcissists lie a lot? ›

If you are involved with a narcissist, then you are quite used to being lied to. Their constant lies simply come with the territory. To a normal person, it may be very perplexing to be lied to all the time by someone who purports to care for you. Learn about what the narcissist seems to gain from telling lies all time.

What it's like arguing with a narcissist? ›

Those who live with narcissism may find it difficult to hold positive and negative feelings for someone at the same time. As a result, things may get heated in an argument. You may experience insults, put-downs, and even mocking behaviors, like laughing as you express hurt.

What are narcissist weaknesses? ›

A monumental weakness in the narcissist is the failure to look internally and flesh out what needs to be worked on. Then, of course, the next step is to spend time improving. The narcissist sabotages any possibility of looking deep within.

What is a narcissistic bully? ›

The bullying narcissist

Bullying narcissists build themselves up by trashing other people, Dr. Mayer says. They're often fixated on winning and will mock or threaten others to get their way. They ultimately get joy from making other people feel bad, small, or unworthy.

Will a narcissist hurt their spouse? ›

Threats of physical violence. While narcissistic abuse tends to focus on emotional manipulation, these abusers may still break things, hurt others (or threaten to do so), or inflict self-harm to punish or instill fear in a partner. Remember, narcissists want attention.

What are the 5 signs of emotional abuse? ›

5 Signs of Emotional Abuse
  • They are Hyper-Critical or Judgmental Towards You. ...
  • They Ignore Boundaries or Invade Your Privacy. ...
  • They are Possessive and/or Controlling. ...
  • They are Manipulative. ...
  • They Often Dismiss You and Your Feelings.
23 May 2017

How do narcissists stay sane in a relationship? ›

Before you despair, here are 6 tips to help you deal with it:
  1. Don't ask for an apology. ...
  2. Recognise that your needs are not important. ...
  3. Pay attention solely to the narcissist's feelings. ...
  4. Ignore the silent treatment. ...
  5. Distract them with compliments, praise and assurances that they are the most important person in your life.
9 May 2019

Do narcissists get worse after marriage? ›

Or is narcissism's effect stable: If it makes for a not-so-great dating relationship, does it also makes for a not-so-great marriage? The major finding of this study suggests that marriage to a narcissist worsens over time.

What are the red flags of a narcissist? ›

Lacking compassion or a severe lack of empathy for others. Love bombing. An inability to maintain connections, such as with friends, colleagues and family members. Fragile ego.

Do narcissist care for their partners? ›

Narcissists can develop positive feelings toward their partner, although many have trouble sustaining a relationship more than six months to a few years. Those that marry lack the motivation to maintain a façade. As soon as the romance ends, fault-finding begins.

How do narcissists treat their loved ones? ›

Lack of empathy: Narcissists often lack empathy as a result of dehumanizing others. Someone with NPD might not attempt to understand the perspective or feelings of anyone besides themselves, resulting in a lack of compassion and remorse for any wrongdoings.

Can a narcissist still care about you? ›

Its no secret that a core narcissistic trait is the lack of empathy and care for others. However, people with strong narcissistic tendencies and other dark personality traits (hereafter narcissists) do sometimes act in a caring manner, or try to appear this way.

Do narcissists leave you for good? ›

Once they don't need you to fuel their ego anymore, a narcissist will discard and abandon you. Also, if you decide to stand for yourself, set boundaries, and ask for reciprocity, a narcissist will discard you with no apology, empathy, or remorse.

How long will a narcissist stay with you? ›

According to Dr. Darlene Lancer, many narcissists can only sustain a relationship for six months to a few years (at the most). Keep in mind, though, we're talking about one four-stage cycle. Too often, a narcissist will initiate the cycle again, training their target to expect them to come back.

How do you take power away from a narcissist? ›

Disconnect from the narcissist's emotional energy. Be vague and don't argue back: “That's interesting.” “I understand how you feel.” Sometimes no response is very powerful and will upset them. Insist on calm, respectful tone and words. Leave if they become angry.

How does a narcissist treat a woman? ›

Narcissistic partners act as if they are always right, that they know better and that their partner is wrong or incompetent. This often leaves the other person in the relationship either angry and trying to defend themselves or identifying with this negative self-image and feeling badly about themselves.

Are narcissists jealous of their victims? ›

Narcissists are said to be envious of others and yet believe others to be envious of them; they will often project this trait onto others and make their victims feel like the insecure ones. This type of envy, while common among narcissists, isnt just limited to malignant narcissists.

Why are narcissists so hard to let go? ›

Fear of being alone – Narcissists are skilled at destroying their partner's social circles and relationships with family members. The prospect of leaving may equate to a feeling of being truly alone; Fear of reprisals – The narcissist may have created a culture of fear and anxiety in their partner's life.

Why does a narcissist not want you to leave? ›

Narcissists hate losing their supply of attention, so they won't let you go easily. Prepare for them to promise "to change." They might suddenly start doing things for you that you'd been complaining about. They may say "you'll be lost without me," or "you'll never find someone like me."

How does a narcissist feel about divorce? ›

Having an amicable divorce is often out of the question. Narcissists tend to put up a strong fight and view the divorce as a competition they must win. This adversarial attitude can result in bullying, exploitative behavior, and a refusal to negotiate rationally.

What does a narcissist want in a divorce? ›

To defend against shame. Narcissists want a perfect image, and divorce signals the world that they have a big spot on their record. If they were to acknowledge their part in the devolution of the marriage, they would bump up against the shame of being a normal, flawed human.

How does a narcissist react during divorce? ›

Stage 2 – Blame

Obviously, they will come up with a way to make the divorce your fault. A narcissist will react to divorce by being manipulative, rewriting the narrative of your life, and using their charming ways to spew lies about you and the situation to lawyers, family, and the community.

How does a narcissist feel during divorce? ›

Because narcissists are unable to take responsibility for their own actions, they will blame you for the current state of the relationship and the divorce. In fact, their immediate reaction to the divorce may be to blame you and/or the children for their perceived shortcomings.

Will a narcissist ever leave a marriage? ›

Studies show that narcissists are more likely to get divorced than people who do not have a narcissistic personality disorder. However, if you can handle the challenges of being married to a narcissist and can find ways to make your relationship work, you may have a very happy marriage.

What being married to a narcissist does to you? ›

Being married to a narcissist can result in low self-esteem; diminished healthy connections with others; restricted access to resources needed to leave the relationship; and mental health struggles as a result of the narcissistic abuse endured.

How do you tell a narcissist your marriage is over? ›

How To Tell Your Narcissist Spouse That You Want A Divorce
  1. Tips For Breaking The News.
  2. Understand narcissistic injury. Narcissists are brittle people. ...
  3. Don't blame the narcissist. ...
  4. Stick to your guns. ...
  5. Hire a reasonable attorney. ...
  6. Respond strategically.
12 Oct 2021

What happens at the end of a narcissistic relationship? ›

A narcissistic partner would feel rejected when you break up with them. This can trigger them to seek more attention. They may demand attention from you even after the relationship has ended. They can go as far as promising to change themselves for you in an attempt to keep you in the relationship.

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