13 things you need to know to be successful in your divorce from a narcissist

I’m sure you would agree with me, it’s exhausting to be married to a narcissistic and manipulative person.

On the surface, they are charming and captivating, which is probably why you married them in the first place. On the other hand, they are incredibly manipulative, self-centered, and don’t care about your feelings at all.

If you have been married to a narcissist for a while, there is no doubt that it will be difficult to divorce because they have made themselves the center of your universe. But if they’re narcissists, divorce will benefit your emotional health and your life, so it’s crucial that you keep the courage to do so.

Before going any further, I write about narcissistic perverse manipulators and male domestic violence for ease of writing and because I’m mostly speaking to a female audience, but I’m aware that there are a lot of narcissistic manipulative women, then see no harm on my part. Most of my advice can be helpful for men in this situation as well.

Divorce from a narcissist is not an easy road, as it can take years to realize that the charming and often delicious person you have fallen in love with has woven a web of lies and manipulation.

Fortunately, these 13 tips should help you get on the right track for a successful divorce from a narcissist:

  1. Find a lawyer specializing in right-of-way relations

Because narcissism is not an average mental state, you will need someone who knows how to deal with going out against narcissists. While any divorce lawyer can help you finalize your separation, look for an attorney who specializes in fighting narcissists. I recommend my video: Agreeing an out-of-court divorce? 3 tips for getting out of the grip of a narcissistic pervert.

  1. The narcissist will want to beg, plead and even attempt a negotiation

They don’t like it when they don’t get what they want. And if they’re still married to you, that means they still want something from you. That’s why they won’t let you go easily. More often than not, they « promise to change ». They will immediately try to do things to make you feel good.

Once it is clear that you will not change, they will start to threaten you with things like « you will be lost without me » or « you will never find someone so good ». Do not worry, it’s normal. Do not listen and do not allow yourself to be manipulated into returning to them. It’s not worth it. It is important that you have the courage to stay the course.

  1. Don’t try to rationalize with a narcissist

When you address a narcissist with rational thoughts, he doesn’t care. They are so involved in their vision of what happened that they will completely destroy your vision. Keep those thoughts rational for the people who care.

  1. Break the bond of emotional dependence

In any type of toxic relationship, there is usually an emotional connection between the abuser and the victim through intense shared experiences. The reason it’s hard to break this bond is because it’s been addictive. You are abused, but then you are rewarded with love bombs when you do something good for the abuser.

Often times, the victim doesn’t really know what’s going on, as manipulative tactics and intermittent love put her in a cycle of self-blame and desperation to win back her partner’s affection.

To leave for good, you have to break this link.

  1. Limit contact with the narcissist

As frustrating as they are, don’t engage with them. Everything can be twisted or changed in the age of technology, so the less contact you have with them, the better. If you need to talk to them, go through your lawyer.

  1. Avoid emotional reactions

Because when you are emotional you become the person they say you are at court. Then the judge and witnesses see you get emotional or frustrated, and the narcissist ends up looking rational. Remember that narcissists are extremely charming and manipulative. They will paint you a picture that will make them look good and you look bad. 

  1. Record everything

As voicemail messages, texts and emails can be edited, you need to record everything. Keep copies of your email, voice and text messages. Before going to trial, be sure to send copies of your past conversations to your lawyer so they can help you. I recommend my article: Why write your story when you have been a victim of violence?

  1. Make a plan

As you can see, it is not an easy process. Divorcing someone is difficult, and divorcing a narcissist poses additional problems. Before you get into a lawsuit, make a plan.

  1. Surround yourself with people you trust

Divorce is a hard and exhausting process, especially with a narcissistic person. You need a reliable team, and that goes beyond your legal team. Although a divorce lawyer is the most important person in court, you need supportive people. They could be family members, friends, counselors, or others. Build a team of reliable people you can count on throughout the process. This is perhaps the most important thing you do.

  1. If you have kids, put them first

Sometimes narcissists are extremely violent towards a spouse and children. If so, document everything to prove that you are the best person to have custody of your children. I recommend my video: My narcissistic pervert EX manipulates my children: 3 powerful tips for coping 

  1. Forgive yourself for marrying a narcissist 

So many people suffer when divorcing a narcissist. It can be frustrating, and you can blame yourself for marrying them. If you’re feeling down, give yourself a break and forgive yourself for choosing that person. 

  1. Remember why you broke up 

These negative emotions you are feeling can cause you to question your decision. You might start to think about all the good times you had with your narcissistic partner. Don’t listen to those feelings. You have to keep in mind that they are not representative of the relationship. 

  1. Take back control of your life 

Narcissism is exhausting and takes up a big chunk of your life. There are probably a lot of thoughts and feelings that you will have to work on for a few months or more. It’s time to focus on yourself and how you can improve It’s time to focus on yourself and find meaning in life. Reconnect with people who make you happy. You see, this is a great opportunity to give your life new meaning and build a new self for yourself without the limitations imposed by a narcissist trying to control you.

To go further and take back control of your life:

  • 3 actions to build your autonomy after a relationship with a narcissistic perverse manipulator
  • How to love again after domestic violence?
  • Resume studies after a relationship of psychological control
  • Narcissistic pervert: build financial independence to get out of its grip

Divorcing a narcissist can be difficult, but with strength, determination, and rationality on your side, you can do it. Once you are out of this relationship, you will see how much better it is to be free.

Agnès de Reulle

Coach, Expert in liberation from domestic and family violence & in controlling the stress of legal proceedings
Article written for Positive Words.