How Narcissism Complicates The Divorce Process

By now you’ve probably encountered the term “narcissist”, and likely know what it means. You might even know someone who falls into that category (although we certainly hope for your sake that the person you know isn’t your spouse!) As you can imagine, marriage to a narcissist is no cake walk. But divorcing one is nothing short of an on-going nightmare! Narcissists tend to make life hell for the people closest to them, which usually means their spouses (and later on, their exes) get the brunt of their meanness, pettiness, and cruelty.

Two signs, one says "problem" the other says "next problem"

Here in Oakland County, and all over Metro Detroit, we’ve handled a lot of divorces over the decades where the spouses of our clients are unbelievably narcissistic. Therefore, we’ve had a broad range of experiences with people suffering from that particular personality disorder. It’s no fun for us, and it’s even worse for the folks directly in the firing line (the family members). Why? Because narcissists make an already hard process even harder. And divorce is pretty darn hard to begin with. Just ask anyone who’s been through one in Livingston County, Macomb County, or West Bloomfield.

Logic doesn’t apply to narcissists. So don’t expect it.

Divorce is difficult and emotionally draining. So the best way to get through it quickly, and with the least amount of fighting and stress, is to be reasonable in your expectations. A logical and sensible approach to things like asset division, alimony and child custody will speed the process up and make everything so much smoother for everyone involved. But when it comes to narcissists, that’s the last thing they want. They don’t care about you, or about being reasonable, or about what’s in everyone’s best interests. So as Markowitz used to say in the The Honeymooners, “Fuggedaboutit!”

Narcissists believe they’re better than everyone else, and are entitled to more of whatever they happen to want. They also believe that they should be pulling all the strings, making all the decisions, and in charge of what’s going on. We’ve seen it again and again in Broomfield Hills, Troy, Royal Oak, and Novi. So if you initiated the divorce process, you’ve offended their need to be in control and they’re going to make you pay a high price for that! 

How will your narcissist spouse complicate your divorce process? 

Narcissists use a lot of strategies to punish the spouses that divorce them, including:

  • Making false allegations of child abuse or domestic violence against their spouses to make them look bad in the eyes of the court,
  • Alienating their children against them (essentially using their children as tools to punish their spouse.)
  • Using the court to regularly re-engage their spouse, forcing them to spend countless hours and dollars battling pointless delays, allegations, and requests for changes.
  • Bad mouthing their spouse to the judge, their own attorney, and mediators to make them look corrupt, devious, or cruel.
  • Refusing to accept perfectly reasonable terms, or logical divisions of assets and parenting time.

When dealing with a narcissist, be sure to get help from someone who understands.

Narcissists are very good at fooling others. They can turn on the charm whenever they need it, and lie convincingly to their own mother without feeling so much as a twinge of guilt. So if you’re trapped in an unhappy marriage to an evil and entitled narcissist, and you’re hoping to end it by filing for divorce, know that you’re in for a serious fight. On the up-side though, you don’t have to go into battle alone (and you shouldn’t!). Just call The Kronzek Firm at (248) 479-6200 to set up your free Zoom or phone consultation.

Our experienced and aggressive family law attorneys have helped countless people from all over Oakland County get out of unhappy marriages to narcissistic partners. We know how challenging this can be, and how to deal with a combative or deceitful spouse during the divorce process. This is a challenging time, and you have a lot on your plate. So make sure you get help from experienced and understanding divorce attorneys who can walk you through every aspect of your divorce – no matter how difficult it is. Or how unpleasant your spouse gets along the way. We’ve been fighting for our clients since the last century.