How Does a Narcissist React to Divorce: 8 Things They Do

If you consider divorcing a narcissist, you may wonder how does a narcissist react to divorce?

A narcissist can react in several ways. Some may become enraged and lash out at their soon-to-be ex. Others may try to manipulate the situation to get what they want. And still, others may completely shut down and refuse to deal with the divorce at all.

Here I will explore eight ways a narcissist can react to divorce. If you are in this situation, know the narcissist’s divorce tactics to protect yourself.

how does a narcissist react to divorce

How Does a Narcissist React to Divorce: 8 Things They Do

#1. They might abuse you physically:

A narcissist might use physical abuse to control and scare you when things get heated. Also, they might try to use the abuse as an excuse for their bad behaviour and make themselves look like victims.

If this happens, write down any physical abuse and get help from a support group or a professional. It would be best if you considered getting a restraining order as soon as possible. You may call the police for help if there is any emergency risk.

#2. They might play with you mentally:

A narcissist may try to manipulate and gaslight you during the divorce process. They may deny their wrongdoing, twist the truth, or blame everything on you.

For example, they may try to turn your friends and family against you or accuse you of being an unfit parent. In this case, you should have proof and witnesses who can say that what happened is true. Do not let a narcissist manipulate and deceive you during the divorce process.

All these games narcissists play during divorce are just tactics to try and gain power over you. Stay strong and stand your ground. Seek out therapy or outside support to help navigate this difficult time.

#3. They may alienate your child:

If you have children together, a narcissist may try to turn them against you or act as the sole parent figure in their life. This is a way for them to try to manipulate and control you and get back at you for getting a divorce.

Sometimes, the narcissist may even try to deny you any access or custody rights to your children. Remember, as a parent, you have an equal right to be involved in your child’s life. Do not let a narcissist.

In this situation, you should spend time with your child and plan to see them often. Talk to a lawyer about your custody rights and track how the narcissist treats you and your child.

#4. They may bring false allegations against you:

A narcissist may bring false allegations against you during the divorce to discredit you. This could be anything from being accused of cheating or drug use to being told you’re not good enough to be a parent.

For example, a narcissist might say you’re an alcoholic to get custody of the kids or limit the amount of time you can spend with them.

Again having evidence and witnesses to support your character can help reduce the effectiveness of this tactic. You should also consider hiring a lawyer to protect yourself and your rights during the divorce proceedings.

Do not let a narcissist try to bring you down with false allegations. Stay confident in who you are, and remember that their accusations do not define your worth.

#5. They can plan to ruin your career:

A narcissist may try to sabotage your career during the divorce. This could be anything from spreading false rumours about you at work to getting you fired. They may also try to use your boss or coworkers against you to get what they want in the divorce.

If you believe your partner is narcissistic, take note of their behaviour and collect evidence. It might be difficult but consult with a lawyer to see how you can protect yourself legally, financially, and career-wise during the divorce process.

#6. They may try to hide matrimonial property:

A narcissist may try to hide or withhold assets during the divorce. They may do this in an attempt to gain more financial power and control over the proceedings.

Also, they might try to control the situation by saying that some assets were never part of the marriage in the first place. Be on the lookout for strange things like sudden changes in spending habits or transferring money or property you didn’t expect. 

Gather evidence and consult with a lawyer to ensure that all matrimonial property is fairly divided during the divorce. Do not let a narcissist try to cheat you out of what rightfully belongs to you.

#7. They might try to manipulate or gaslight you:

Narcissists are master manipulators and will use every tactic at their disposal to get their way during a divorce. This might include gaslighting, twisting facts and situations, or making false accusations against you.

#8. They may try to sabotage your reputation:

Narcissists often have an image they strive to maintain, and they will do whatever it takes to protect their reputation – even if it means discrediting and sabotaging yours. This may include spreading lies or trying to turn friends, family, and coworkers against you.

How a narcissist husband acts during a divorce. You can watch the below video to learn more about this:

FAQs on How Does a Narcissist React to Divorce

Do narcissists want a divorce?

At first glance, it might seem that narcissists are more likely to want to stay in a relationship than most people. After all, they crave attention and validation, and a spouse can provide a steady source of both.

However, evidence suggests that narcissists are more likely than others to initiate divorce. All narcissists will want a divorce. In some cases, they may be able to maintain their control and power in the relationship and see no reason to end it.

However, if their partner starts to assert their independence or threatens the narcissist’s ego, they may initiate a divorce to regain control. One study found that narcissistic personality traits were associated with a greater desire for revenge after being wronged. Another found that narcissists were likelier to report feeling unsatisfied with their marriage.

Narcissists may view divorce as a way to cause drama and get attention or as a way to escape from an unhappy situation. Whatever the reason, it’s clear narcissists are not immune to the urge to end a marriage.

How to divorce a narcissist and win?

Winning a divorce from a narcissist isn’t going to be easy, but it is possible.

The first step is to understand what you’re up against. Narcissists are master manipulators who will use every trick in the book to try and get what they want.

They will lie for child custody, cheat, and gaslight you to gain the upper hand. The key to winning is to stay one step ahead of them. Keep a close eye on their behaviour, and document everything.

This will give you a strong foundation to work from when it comes time to negotiate terms. Consult with a lawyer who has experience dealing with narcissists.

They will know how to navigate the legal system in a way that gives you the best chance of coming out on top. With tenacity and expert help, you can win the divorce battle against a narcissist.

How to fight back against a narcissist’s tactics?

Narcissists are experts at manipulation and can be very difficult to deal with. If you’re thinking about how to fight back against a narcissist’s tactics, here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, remember that you are not responsible for their happiness or well-being – they are. This means you don’t need to go out of your way to please or try to change them. Secondly, be assertive and set boundaries with narcissists. They will often try to take advantage of you if you’re not clear about what you will and won’t tolerate.

Finally, build up a support system of friends or family members who you can rely on when dealing with a narcissist. These people can provide emotional support and help you keep perspective on the situation.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be better equipped to deal with narcissists’ tactics and protect yourself from their manipulations.

Can a narcissist move on quickly after a divorce?

Narcissists are often egotistical and self-absorbed, and their behaviour can be challenging to deal with in a long-term relationship. So it’s not surprising that divorce is a common experience for narcissists. Some experts think narcissists are likelier to start divorce proceedings than others.

However, what is less clear is whether narcissists can move on quickly after the end of a marriage.

On the one hand, narcissists may have an easier time than others in bouncing back from divorce since they are less likely to experience feelings of grief and loss.

On the other hand, their egos may be bruised by the divorce, leading to a period of instability and insecurity; whether a narcissist can move on quickly after a divorce depends on the individual case.

Does a narcissist care if you divorce them?

If you’re considering getting divorced from a narcissistic partner, you may wonder if they would even care. The answer is complicated.

On the one hand, narcissists often have an inflated sense of self and view themselves as invincible. As a result, they may not be worried about losing you. In fact, they may even view divorce as a way to get rid of someone who is no longer useful to them.

On the other hand, narcissists also have a deep need for admiration and attention. Losing you may trigger feelings of insecurity and shame. They may also worry that others will see their divorce as a sign of weakness.

As a result, a narcissist may try to sabotage your efforts to leave them or make your life miserable to keep you around. Whether or not a narcissist cares about your divorce largely depends on your unique personality and needs.

How do narcissists deal with divorced wives?

Narcissists are notoriously challenging to deal with, especially regarding ending a relationship. They often refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions and instead blame their spouse for the problems in the marriage.

This can make divorcing a narcissist a very challenging task. However, some strategies can be used to help manage the situation. Be clear and concise when communicating with a narcissist. It is also helpful to document everything, as this can be used as evidence in court if necessary.

Additionally, having a support system in place is essential, as dealing with a narcissist can be emotionally exhausting. With these measures in place, divorcing a narcissist can be slightly less daunting.

How does a narcissist end a marriage?

Narcissists are notoriously tricky to deal with, especially regarding ending a marriage.

For a narcissist, the end of a marriage is all about winning and proving that they are the better half. They will often try to drag out the divorce proceedings as long as possible to continue feeling like they are in control.

Additionally, narcissists are often very manipulative and will try to use the divorce to their advantage. For example, they may try to turn their children against their ex-spouse or use financial leverage to get what they want.

Ultimately, narcissists want to be seen as the victor in the end and will go to great lengths to ensure they come out on top.

Can stress in divorce make a narcissist more manipulative?

Stress is a common factor in divorce proceedings, and it can affect the behaviour of both parties involved. In some cases, stress can make a narcissist more manipulative.

Narcissists are known for their ability to twist the truth and take advantage of others, and these tendencies can be magnified when they are under duress.

This can make divorce proceedings even more difficult, as narcissists may try to use the stress of the situation to their advantage. If you are going through a divorce and suspect your spouse is a narcissist, you must be aware of this possibility and take steps to protect yourself from their manipulations.


Overall, divorcing a narcissist can be an emotionally taxing and exhausting experience. They may use manipulation, gaslighting, false allegations, and other tactics to gain power and control over you during the process.

If you’re going through a divorce with a narcissist, it is pertinent that you defend yourself caringly but definitively. Collecting evidence and speaking to supportive people in your life, consult lawyers so you can get divorced while being protected and revered.

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