“I want a divorce.” These are words that no spouse wants to hear – even if things aren’t exactly peachy at home. But when you utter these four little words to a narcissist, you may not be prepared for the storm that you unleash. And for many spouses who are married to a narcissist, they avoid even bringing up the topic for fear of the unknown. How will he handle divorce? What will her reaction be?
To say that a narcissist doesn’t handle divorce well is an understatement.
How Does a Narcissist React to Divorce?
When asking for a divorce, a narcissist’s first reaction, because everything is about them, will likely be “how can you do this to me?” or “why are you abandoning me?” They are in utter disbelief that they have made you unhappy, and that you are turning their life upside down.
It can be difficult to gauge a narcissist’s reaction to their spouse breaking the news that they want a divorce. They are often unpredictable, and if they have a history of abuse, things may get ugly. In this case, it is often recommend that you seek the help of a professional who can guide you through the process of breaking the news, and ensure that everyone stays safe.
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 shortcomings.
They are incapable of feeling empathy for others, but they may fake it if they feel it will get them what they want. In this way, your narcissist may pretend to understand where you’re coming from and twist things around to make you feel as if it is your fault, and you are the one that needs to change.
The divorce itself will be an uphill battle because a narcissist must always be right. A narcissist will fight you on child support, property division and alimony. It’s not uncommon for them to try and hide assets and income, too. All the while, the charm and likeability of a narcissist may keep others, like the judge, from seeing his true nature. After all, it probably took years for him to show this side to you. This is why it is so important to work with a lawyer and other professionals who have an understanding of narcissistic personality disorder, and how these individuals behave. When well-informed professionals are involved, it can make the process less stressful on you and your children.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm focusing on family law. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.