When you were getting married, you surely weren’t expecting that you’ll be wondering how to get your husband or wife to divorce you because you have found out that they are a narcissist. Nonetheless, if you are married to a narcissist, you are probably facing a serious problem of not knowing how to set yourself free of the toxic relationship.
Narcissists are hard to handle but even harder to leave. To understand how to divorce a narcissist, you should first understand what makes them tick and explode.
Who is a narcissist?
Narcissism is a personality disorder. That is the first thing you should understand.
If your spouse meets five of the nine diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder, they actually have a psychiatric condition. What makes things even more difficult is the fact that personality disorders are still considered mostly or completely untreatable.
It’s just how the person is hardwired.
So, the disorder is diagnosed if the person has a grandiose sense of self-importance and has a sense of entitlement.
They tend to be preoccupied with fantasies about their own self-worth, their incredible intellectual abilities, social status, beauty, power.
They consider themselves unique and believe that they should socialize with those equal to them.
A narcissist often requires excessive admiration, while they have no empathy towards others. They can exploit people, while also envying others and/or believing that others envy them. They’re arrogant and snooty.
But all this doesn’t really come from a place of true self-worth. They’re basically utterly insecure and don’t love themselves, they love their idealized image of themselves.
What makes a narcissist do what they do?
Profound insecurity is what drives both the narcissist and those around them crazy.
They often need to do everything that they can to make sure they are in control. Being imperfect means the end of the world to them, it’s just unacceptable. That also means that you can’t be imperfect either you’re their spouse!
The same applies to their children, unfortunately.
To protect themselves from having to accept their human limitations, and the fact that they’re just not that pristine in every way, they use defense mechanisms that are destructive to others. They also don’t really feel that much empathy, some feel none.
The combination of the lack of empathy and the inability to accept that people (including themselves) are a wholesome mix of both good and bad is what makes living with them often a major challenge.
Why don’t narcissist want to let you go?
After years of emotional, and sometimes, physical abuse, one might wonder why a narcissist just won’t let the spouse go. They obviously don’t love their husband or wife, at least not in a healthy way.
They can demean them so much that the spouse also comes to believe the messages about themselves and will begin to experience decreased self-esteem and self-worth as a result. Why don’t narcissists want to let you go?
So, why they just won’t leave you alone?
As we already mentioned, although they often present with an image of being a king or the queen, they are basically very insecure.
Their attachment style may be insecure. They need constant validation and control.
They cannot allow someone else to control the situation, and they need not get dependent on anyone.
In essence, narcissists don’t care what’s good for anyone but themselves. Including their children. This is why they won’t stop anywhere, and won’t avoid conflict, intimidation, abuse, blackmail, manipulation if they feel that they’re not being treated as they want to.
How to get your narcissistic spouse to let you go?
How to get a narcissist to divorce you?
Now you might have a clearer image on why they won’t let the divorce be an easy and amicable process. A narcissist will avoid divorce because they will have to let go of the person they think they have full control over. They feel entitled to something other than what’s best for everyone. When they hear compromise, they think “unfair”.
They don’t know the middle road, they don’t accept concessions.
If you want out and they don’t, for any reason, they will find ways to drag the process forever. How to get a narcissist to divorce you is maybe a little harder than you think.
The longer and the more difficult it becomes, the more they get to play the victim or whatever pleases their self-image. They might also escalate in their abusive behavior when they see that you’re serious about the divorce.
How to get a narcissist to divorce you when you have children? Divorcing a narcissist with children is even harder because they are manipulative and can easily coax the children to be on their side.
There isn’t really a cookie-cutter approach to this problem of ‘how to get a narcissist to divorce you’, which is why we aren’t offering a set of strategies for divorcing a narcissist. Divorcing a narcissist is an ultimate challenge.
What you should do, given the possible complications of your separation, is to arm yourself with professionals and family and friends for support.
Set boundaries and limit your contact with your spouse.
Hire an experienced divorce attorney, prepare your way out for divorcing a narcissist husband or wife, get a therapist. Document everything that you can, so that you can prove your claims at court. You might also need to be sneaky.
Think of ways to let your soon-to-be-ex believe that they won. It might be difficult to do but be creative and hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.