Navigating the Challenges of Divorcing a Narcissist


Narcissistic behavior can be a major factor in the breakdown of a marriage, leading to divorce. Many divorcing spouses would point to the other spouse’s personality as the reason they decided to file for divorce. When describing their spouse’s personality, it often fits many of the characteristics of Narcissism. Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, and a need for admiration. Narcissists often have an exaggerated sense of entitlement and may exploit others for their own gain.

Narcissistic behavior can manifest in a variety of ways, including:

  1. Lack of Empathy: Narcissists often lack the ability to empathize with their partners, making it difficult for them to understand their partner's feelings and needs.

  2. Manipulation: Narcissists are often skilled at manipulating others to get what they want. They may use emotional blackmail, guilt-tripping, or other tactics to control their partner.

  3. Gaslighting: Narcissists often use gaslighting, a tactic where they deny or distort reality to make their partner doubt their own memories or experiences.

  4. Blame-Shifting: Narcissists may frequently shift blame onto their partner, making it difficult for them to take responsibility for their actions.

  5. Lack of Commitment: Narcissists often struggle with commitment, preferring to keep their options open and maintain their independence.

All of these behaviors can take a toll on a marriage, leading to feelings of frustration, anger, and resentment. Eventually, these negative emotions can become too much to bear, leading to the breakdown of the relationship and ultimately, divorce.

Furthermore, narcissists often struggle with intimate relationships and may struggle to form deep, meaningful connections with their partners. They may see their partner as an extension of themselves rather than as a separate individual with their own needs and desires. This can make it difficult for the relationship to thrive and grow over time.

If you are in a relationship with a narcissist and are considering divorce, it is important to seek professional help and support. Divorcing a narcissist can be challenging, and it is important to have a support system in place to help you navigate the process. A therapist or counselor can help you work through your emotions and develop strategies to cope with the challenges of divorcing a narcissist. This may also apply to the minor children in the family who become victims of the narcissistic spouse.

Narcissistic spouses also have a tendency of weaponizing the judicial process against the other spouse rather than focusing on resolving the divorce case. This may be in the form of over-litigating a claim for the purpose of racking up legal fees for the other spouse. Fabricating false allegations against the other spouse in the context of custody or domestic violence. Refusal to engage in good faith settlement negotiations. They will take unreasonable positions without any willingness to compromise. This will leave you with no option but to either roll over to their unreasonable positions or take the case to trial and get a ruling from the court.

Narcissistic behavior can be a major factor in the breakdown of a marriage, leading to divorce. Recognizing the signs of narcissism and seeking professional help can help you navigate the challenges of divorcing a narcissist and move forward with your life.


Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does create any attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, APC. This article is not a solicitation.

Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes was President of the Philippine-American Bar Association. He is a member of both the Family Law section and Immigration Law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He is a graduate of Southwestern University Law School in Los Angeles and California State University, San Bernardino School of Business Administration. He has extensive CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, APC is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 747, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail Visit us at

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