Stages of Divorcing a Narcissist

Stages of Divorcing a Narcissist

Last Updated on August 1, 2022 by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt

Narcissist Quotes For Coping With N...
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Divorce can be difficult, financially and emotionally, and it often affects the entire family. It is important to know what to expect during a divorce with a narcissist. Also, learn how to stay calm in stressful situations. It will be difficult to divorce a narcissist, as they know how to effectively manipulate others for their personal gain. This makes it harder when they know the right buttons to push but it would be best if you stayed away from the relationship. The following stages shows how your narcissist spouse would react after divorcing:

1. Anger Towards You | Stages of Divorcing a Narcissist

Narcissists throw their anger towards you!
Narcissists throw their anger towards you!

A narcissist will change their image and lose control over you if they divorce. They will feel threatened by their self-worth and be afraid of abandonment. Narcissists are very afraid of being abandoned. If you tell a narcissist you want to divorce them, they will react with anger and rage as this is the thing that scares them most.

They might say “Why are you doing this?” or “if you abandon me, I will do anything to destroy you and your children.” Do not let this provoke a reaction from you and it’s best if you don’t react. However, before you ask for a divorce, make sure you have:

  • Safe place to take your children.
  • Many people support you, like family and friends.
  • Some money set aside.
  • All paperwork is in order
  • All evidence that you have to prove your claims about your spouse are true.

2. Start Blaming You For the Divorce

The anger phase is followed by the accusations and the game of blame. Narcissists have a high self-esteem and view themselves as perfect. Therefore, they will find a way to blame you for the divorce.

Narcissists will use manipulative tactics to react to divorce. They will rewrite your story and use their charm to tell lies about you and your situation to family members, lawyers and the community. They won’t admit to their involvement in the divorce or accept responsibility for minor errors.

This is a dangerous area. Hence, make sure you hire a trustworthy divorce lawyer. It’s also best to warn your lawyer about your spouse. Narcissists can be charming and can tell lies that are believable to others. It is important that your lawyer understands this and is prepared to defend you. Collect evidence and witnesses to support your claim and discredit your spouse.

3. Finding Vengeance | Stages of Divorcing a Narcissist

In a relationship cycle, there are three stages to narcissism.

Idealization

This is the love bombing phase. This is when a partner will make it seem like a fairytale. You will hear. A narcissist will tell you all their lies and make you fall in love.

Devaluing

You will soon notice red flags, and things aren’t aligned. The narcissist will attempt to devalue your worthiness by making you sound crazy, gaslighting, and using put-downs.

Discarding

The dismissing phase, when the narcissist suddenly stops caring about you and goes completely cold. They will stop responding to your calls, abandon you and cease showing affection. This will happen suddenly and at a time when you think everything is going well. 

The narcissist may threaten to seize everything during this stage. They will try to intimidate you by telling lies about you and making you look like an abuser. They will keep reminding you that “no one believes you” or “everyone knows my greatness,” but you should not believe them. This tactic is used to prevent the divorce proceedings from moving forward.

Bargaining

Bargaining to get back together
Bargaining to get back together?

You should never give in to a narcissist during a divorce. The narcissist may try to get you back after the threats and the anger outbursts of the vengeance stage. They will try to manage the situation by backing down, but being open to negotiation. They might ask you to go to couple’s counseling, give you more time with your children, or make another promise to change.

It is important to treat the divorce as a business transaction at this point. Your lawyer will help you make the financial decisions regarding children, finances, investments and other matters. You should be calm and focused on the end result. Don’t let the narcissist make deals with you. Instead, decide what you want out of the divorce process and work towards that goal.

What You’ll Feel After These Stages of Divorcing a Narcissist

There are also stages of grief after divorcing. But in this article, we will mention to clearest stages: Sadness and Acceptance.

Sadness

Sadness after divorcing

You may feel overwhelmed and even depressed throughout the process. It’s common and you can be sad about your failed marriage and reflect on the abuse that you suffered. It is possible to wonder if the abuser was right and why you were attracted to these narcissists. Although this stage can be difficult, it will pass and you will heal.

Depression during divorce is not weakness. It is your body’s way to ask for help. You can seek professional help, have some fun with your family, friends, and plan for your future without your spouse. You should be proud of your accomplishments. 

Acceptance

Acceptance after divorcing

This is the most liberating stage. Accept what happened, how it happened, and then you will find the strength to make yourself happy again. It is not something anyone wants to have to go through. It will be like you’ve fought a battle, and you won.

You can start to make new beginnings by accepting that you are unhappy and need to go. Although you may still feel lost sometimes, you’ll find it rewarding to reconnect with your family and friends and do the things that you want to do. You will realize that you are not the same person as you used to be, but you are a stronger, wiser and more confident version.

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