DIVORCING A NARCISSIST PART 1: Are you REALLY divorcing a Narcissist?

The only thing harder than being married to a narcissist is divorcing one.

For starters, it’s important to identify if you are really dealing with a narcissistic spouse. Given the popularity of the term some people may think they have a narcissistic partner when in reality they are not. So before you start calling the National Guard lets identify some characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder:

**Disclaimer** It’s important to realize that narcissism is a personality disorder often linked to other personality disorders (Bipolar, Borderline, Psychopathy, etc). If you feel unsafe, please talk to a healthcare professional about your situation.

This are some characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder:

  • Narcissists are preoccupied with fantasies of limitless self-importance, success, and power.
  • They over-exaggerate their accomplishments, popularity, and social importance.
  • They exploit or take advantage of others for personal gain.
  • They require constant feeding of their egos, and thus crave excessive admiration.
  • They pit people against each other to get what they want.
  • They divide people to conquer and gain power over them.
  • They will sequester you from concerned friends and family.
  • They manipulate by influencing emotions like fear and anger, employing threats and lies.

When divorcing a narcissist, you must be prepared for a number of things.

  • First, and foremost, your legal fees are going to be higher than they should be because the narcissist will draw out the process and make you deal with frequent court appearances.
  • You will deal with ridiculous and illogical demands and positions.
  • You and your attorney will feel like you are putting out fires almost daily.
  • Be prepared for invasions of privacy, rude and emotionally charged encounters with your spouse, and for you to feel helpless.

Divorcing a narcissist is made even worse by the fact that they typically try to find attorneys who will channel their narcissism throughout the litigation. However, there is a strategy to divorcing a narcissist!

In the second part of our series, we will discuss successful tips and strategies for divorcing a narcissist.

If you want to begin the process

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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