If you have been dealing with a narcissistic spouse, you may have finally reached your breaking point. The decision of a divorce may come as a relief from continuing to endure the problems you have been having with your spouse. Keep in mind that divorcing a narcissistic wife will be challenging, and as I say to my clients, “buckle up, you’re in for a ride.”

What to Expect When Divorcing a Narcissist?

1: Delays

I’ll be honest, with most high-conflict divorce cases I’ve encountered, it often involves a narcissistic personality.  That person often will drag out the divorce process with excessive motions or use threats in hopes the spouse will change their mind.

Last year, my client, Let’s call him Jack, had been trying his best to have an amicable divorce and avoid litigation by using a mediator. In each meeting, his wife would dictate her demands. She would react with rage or contempt and belittle every person in the room to make herself appear superior. When suggestions were proposed, she would abruptly shout “I’ll see you in court” as she stormed out of the room.

Long story short, his divorce wound up taking 18 months and costing $27,000. In the end, she wound up with the same result that was originally proposed by both her attorney and Jack.

2: An Emotional Rollercoaster

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can feel like a constant rollercoaster of emotions. It is incredibly draining, and unfortunately, the narcissist will most likely blame you for everything. They may say you’re wrong or that you always cause problems. They might even accuse you of being a narcissist.

With that said, narcissism is a label that is too quickly thrown around, in fact, when consulting with clients it’s usually one of the first things they say to me. Narcissism is a personality disorder that often goes undiagnosed. A narcissistic personality disorder is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

How to Be Ready

If you’ve decided to divorce your narcissist wife, then you should know what to expect. There are a few behaviors and traits that you may recognize right away— and trust me, you will need to deal with them at some point.  Here are a few that will most likely arise:

  • Projection will become a focus. To start with, expect your spouse to project their issues onto you. If you call them a narcissist, expect that argument to devolve into name-calling, blame-gaming, and gas-lighting. They will project their insecurity or low self-esteem onto you and blame you for everything that has gone wrong in the marriage and now the divorce.
  • They’ll act superior to you. With that low self-esteem and gas-lighting will come the act of superiority. After all, they believe they can do no wrong. Your wife may truly believe that they are always right and that something that threatens their beliefs is wrong, even when that is not the case. They will often expect to have more time with the children, keep the home and dictate the terms of co-parenting.
  • You WILL deal with gas-lighting! Oh boy, will you ever.  Gas-lighting is when someone tries to get you to question your perception, memories, or reality, and is used to maintain control over you. They may say something negative to you and then say you’re making up the memory of them being abusive or hurtful. Narcissists need to gas-light you, it’s the oxygen they breathe, and this is what makes them feel good. Gas-lighting is a major red flag in relationships, and it will be waving during a divorce with a narcissist. This may be the most challenging aspect of your divorce so whatever you do, be prepared to stick to your truth and your boundaries.

This isn’t something you have to go through alone. Remember that there is support available to help men go through a divorce with a narcissistic wife. Schedule a call with me to see if we may be a good fit to work together!

Hayley Lisa

The Divorce Coach For Men