Why Do Narcissists Drag Out Divorce
One of the most difficult things about divorcing a narcissist is that they will do anything to drag the process out and make you suffer. They will gaslight you, play mind games, and try to control every aspect of the divorce.
If you are divorcing a narcissistic husband or a narcissistic wife, the process can be long, frustrating, and emotionally draining. You might feel like you’re never going to get out of it alive. But don’t worry, there are ways to survive.
However, it is important to stay confident and level-headed throughout the process – whether it is a contested divorce or uncontested – so you can see it through to the end.
In this blog post, we will explore some tips and tricks for divorcing a narcissist. From understanding what narcissism is and why your narcissistic spouse drags out divorce, this article will arm you with all the information you need.
What is narcissism?
When we think of narcissism, we often think of someone who is in love with themselves, excessively vain, and always seeking attention. While it is true that these are all traits of narcissism, there is much more to this personality disorder than meets the eye.
Narcissism is actually a very deep-seated insecurity that causes individuals to feel inadequate and unworthy. In order to make themselves feel better, they seek validation and attention from others.
Traits of a narcissist
If your spouse is constantly seeking validation and attention, needs to be the center of attention, or has an inflated sense of self-importance, they may have narcissistic tendencies.
Other common signs include:
- feeling entitled
- Feeling mistreated, enraged, and slighted when ignored
- Monopolizing conversations
- Lacking empathy
- Being easily offended or insulted
- Taking advantage of others
- Being excessively competitive
- Exhibiting controlling behavior
- Being unable to handle criticism
- Refusing to take responsibility for their own actions/behaviors
- Belittling others to make themselves feel superior
If you suspect your spouse may be a narcissist, it’s important to seek professional help to confirm your suspicions and develop a plan to deal with the situation.
One of the most difficult things about divorcing a narcissist is that they will often try to drag the process out as long as possible. This can be incredibly frustrating and draining, both emotionally and financially.
Why a narcissist will drag the divorce?
There are a few reasons why a narcissist may do this:
They want to continue to control you
A narcissist thrives on having power and control over others. By dragging out the divorce, they can continue to exert their control over you and your life.
According to Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, and the author of “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”, there are several reasons why a narcissist may drag out the divorce. One reason is that they may want to continue to have a hold over their ex-partner.
By dragging out the divorce, the narcissist can keep their ex-partner in a state of limbo and prevent them from moving on with their lives.
Prolonging the divorce allows the narcissist to maintain control over their ex-partner and continue to extract emotional and financial resources from them.
They want to punish you
A narc will often drag out the divorce in an attempt to control and torture their former spouse. This is done out of a need to punish, inflict pain, and/or humiliate. It is also done in an effort to continue to receive the attention they crave.
They may also simply enjoy watching their ex-partner suffer. Narcissists take pleasure in knowing that their ex-partner is going through a difficult time and they are powerless to do anything about it.
Not only does this give the narcissist a sense of control over their ex, but it also allows them to keep up appearances in front of friends and family. After all, what better way to show everyone how powerful and in control they are than by making their ex suffer?
Of course, the downside to this is that it often takes a toll on the narcissist’s wallet. But for them, that’s just another cost of doing business.
A narcissist will use the legal system to their advantage and will often play dirty during the divorce proceedings. They may make false accusations, withhold assets, or refuse to sign any documents that would finalize the divorce. All of this is done in an attempt to maintain power over their former spouse and cause them as much misery as possible.
They are using you for emotional supply
Narcissists are notoriously difficult to divorce. They often use their partner’s emotional needs against them, dragging out the process for as long as possible. This is because they are dependent on the “narcissistic supply” to feel good about themselves.
Narcissistic supply refers to the positive attention and affirmation that a narcissist needs in order to feel good about themselves. This can come in the form of compliments, adoration, or any other form of positive reinforcement.
Without a narcissistic supply, a narcissist will often feel empty, depressed, and unworthy. This is why it is so important for them to surround themselves with people who will constantly feed their egos.
Dragging out the divorce is a way to continue to manipulate their ex-partner and ensure a constant narcissistic supply.
This behavior is just another example of how narcissists use others for their own gain. They are selfish and manipulative and will do whatever it takes to get what they want.
They enjoy conflict and drama
Narcissists love conflict because it makes them feel superior. They also enjoy the drama and chaos. And what better way to create drama than to drag out a divorce? After all, the longer the divorce takes, the more attention and energy the narcissist can siphon off from their former spouse.
This is one of the reasons why a narcissist will often drag out the divorce process. They want to keep the spotlight on themselves and cause as much havoc as possible.
Drama and chaos make them feel important and in control.
They cannot let go
Dragging out the divorce can be a way for the narcissist to continue keeping their partner in limbo, unsure of what their future holds, in order to maintain power over them. They may also not want to see their partner move on.
Additionally, prolonging the divorce may also be a way for narcissists to avoid having to face their own shortcomings and flaws. If they can keep their partner occupied with the divorce proceedings, they won’t have to focus on their own shortcomings.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that Narcissists don’t really care about their partners moving on or not. All they care about is maintaining control and avoiding any sort of accountability or responsibility.
They want to keep your assets
If there are significant assets at stake in your divorce, a narcissist may try to drag out the process in order to keep as much of those assets as possible. This could include delaying property division or refusing to disclose financial information.
Tactics narcissists may use to drag out the divorce
When a narcissist knows that their marriage is coming to an end, they will often try to drag out the divorce process in order to maintain control over the situation.
This can be done in a number of ways, such as
- Refusing to sign paperwork or participate in the proceedings
- Making false claims or accusations against their spouse
- Deliberately delaying decisions or meetings
- Constantly changing their story or demands
- Provoking arguments or creating conflict
- Playing games with custody or visitation arrangements
- Refusing to cooperate with financial disclosure requests
- Making last-minute changes to proposed settlement agreements
- Trying to get their spouse to agree to an unfair settlement
- Defying court orders
- Refusing to negotiate
They can employ other tactics to drag out the process or simply to harass you such as:
- Making threats: Narcissists may make threats against you or your children in order to get what they want.
- Going through your belongings: Narcissists may go through your belongings without your permission in order to find dirt on you or something they can use against you.
- Stalking you: Narcissists may stalk you in order to keep tabs on you or intimidate you.
- Harassing you: Narcissists may harass you through phone calls, text messages, or emails in order to try and get a reaction from you.
- Using children as pawns: A narcissist may try to use their children as pawns. For instance, they may demand sole legal and physical custody of children or poison their ex-spouse’s relationship with their children.
Whatever the reason, if you’re dealing with a narcissist during your divorce, it’s important to be prepared for their games.
Strategies for divorcing the narcissist
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how to divorce a narcissist. However, there are some key strategies that can be helpful in managing the process and protecting yourself from further harm.
Educate yourself about narcissistic personality disorder
This is important for two reasons. First, it will help you to understand your spouse’s behavior and why they act the way they do. Second, it will give you some insight into how to best deal with them during the divorce process.
Build a support network
This is essential for both your emotional well-being and your practical needs during the divorce. Lean on your friends and family for support and advice. You may also want to consider joining a support group for people going through divorces involving narcissists.
Try to stay calm and level-headed, and don’t let the narcissist take advantage of you. With time and patience, you’ll eventually be able to move on from this difficult chapter in your life.
Work with a therapist or counselor
Divorcing a narcissist can be an emotionally difficult process. Working with a therapist can help you deal with any negative emotions you’re experiencing and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Gather evidence of their wrongdoing
This will be helpful in court if it comes to that. Keep track of any abusive or manipulative behavior, as well as any instances of infidelity or financial misbehavior.
Keep your children out of it
If you have kids together, try to keep them out of the middle of the conflict as much as possible. They shouldn’t have to witness their parents fighting, and they certainly shouldn’t be used as pawns in the divorce proceedings.
Divorce is a difficult and challenging experience for any child, but it can be especially traumatizing for children of narcissists. A narcissistic parent is self-centered and manipulative making the divorce process even more confusing and difficult for their children.
In addition to the normal challenges of divorce, children of narcissists often have to deal with their parent’s narcissistic behaviors during and after the divorce. Narcissistic parents may use their children as pawns in the divorce, try to turn them against the other parent, or refuse to let them see the other parent altogether. They may also use financial manipulation or coercion to try to get what they want from their ex-spouse.
All of these behaviors can take a toll on children emotionally and psychologically. They may struggle with anxiety, depression, anger, and low self-esteem. It’s important for you to be aware of the potential impact of their actions on your children and to try to minimize the negative effects as much as possible.
Be prepared for battle
Unfortunately, divorcing a narcissist often means preparing for a long, drawn-out battle. It is important to be prepared for their tactics. You need to have a strong support system in place, and be ready to stand up for yourself.
This involves being prepared mentally, physically, and financially to fight the battle.
Narcissists are experts at playing games with people’s emotions, so don’t let them get under your skin. Stay calm and collected, and don’t let them bait you into an argument.
Make a conscious effort to not take anything they say or do personally. Narcissists often use words and actions as weapons to hurt people emotionally. Remember that it’s not about you – it’s about their need to control and belittle others.
7. Hire a good lawyer
Make sure you have legal representation that you trust and feel comfortable working with throughout the divorce process. This is especially important if your spouse is also hiring an attorney, as they will likely be aggressive and manipulative during negotiations.
How a divorce attorney can help you divorce your narcissistic spouse
If you’re considering divorcing your narcissistic spouse, you may be wondering how a divorce attorney can help you. Here are the ways a divorce attorney can help you through this difficult process:
- understand the legal process and what to expect.
- gather evidence to support your case.
- negotiate a fair settlement with your narcissistic spouse
- provide emotional support during this difficult time
With a combined experience o 35 years in Texas family law, the knowledgeable attorneys at The Vendt Law Firm have an in-depth understanding of the challenges of divorcing a narcissistic husband or wife.
Whether it is related to property division, child custody, or difficult negotiations, we are committed to achieving a positive outcome.
Schedule a consultation with our empathetic divorce attorneys today to break free from a painful divorce.