Narcissist Spouses: How They Act in Divorce


Divorce is the end of an anticipated lifetime partnership. Thus, it is not easy to accept, and for some people with psychological issues, it can be a huge blow to their ego.

A narcissist can have different reactions towards divorce, but it is still a form of rejection and failure that they would usually feel they don’t deserve.

Narcissist Strategies in Divorce

One of the tendencies of narcissists is that they rarely admit their fault and eventually, blame others for their failures. This is often demonstrated in divorce, and the narcissistic spouse will do everything to divert the fault since it could sway the judges’ favor when he has to make a decision on the distribution of assets and property.

For instance, if you have lost money on a failed business venture, the narcissist would try to pin the blame on you. No matter if it was your spouse’s idea to open a business, somehow, they could twist the story to their advantage.

A narcissist engages in emotional blackmail, so they would often project themselves as the victim. If the narcissist has been guilty of having an affair, they can still present a heart-wrenching story of how they have longed for attention but was repeatedly ignored. They would overblow the experience and show that they have been rendered weak, so they became vulnerable to the attention of others.

These are some examples of what narcissists do in a divorce proceeding. They will show that they have needs that you have not met, and therefore, you are at fault.

Manipulative behavior

Most lawyers advise that every move a narcissist does is part of their game to manipulate the people involved. There are times that they would concede ownership of the valuable property—something you expected them to hotly dispute. This gives you the notion that they have finally conceded or have become remorseful. Most of the time, this is not the case, and if you let down your guard, you may end up losing more than you have gained.

The narcissist may also involve your relatives or friends, and try to win them over so they would take their side. This will make you feel ostracized and may force you to give up.

The best way to combat the manipulations of a narcissist is to stand firm and remember that this is all part of their game. Do not let emotions get the better of you, since this is exactly what they want you to do.

Always stick to the game plan that you and your attorney has devised. Also, make sure you have evidence of important events, pictures, videos, and testimonies, in case the narcissist spouse will try to change the facts.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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