How to have an amicable divorce with a narcissist

March 1st 2024

If your ex has a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you may already have a good idea of what led up to that.

It’s an uncommon diagnosis however, and more often people learn over time and with research that their ex is a narcissist whose behaviour may have led to the breakdown of the marriage.

A narcissist will have some or all of the following traits:

  • Self-importance
  • They use you
  • They are arrogant
  • Lacking in empathy
  • Are attention seeking
  • Constantly seek admiration or praise
  • Entitled
  • Regard themselves as “above” others

If you want to keep a divorce from such a person amicable, that may be more challenging, but not impossible.

No Fault Divorce came into law in 2022 and it is generally regarded as a positive development. Since there is no need for a narcissist to accept blame and a divorce cannot be defended, you just need to secure their limited cooperation with the divorce itself.

If they want to “divorce you” because it makes them feel better about the process and you can be confident they will progress the divorce, then you might decide to let them. It does not matter who starts the divorce in relation to any finances or parenting decisions.

In very few cases is the reason for the end of the marriage relevant to financial matters. Remember that; and don’t be persuaded, if you are initiating the divorce, that you deserve less.

Accept that a narcissist won’t admit their mistakes, or tolerate criticism. Don’t try to get them to see the “error of their ways”, they just won’t. Arguing about whose fault it is that the marriage ended is a waste of energy.

Keep communication simple, to the point and limit it so far as you can.

Establish boundaries around communication and be consistent. If speaking to a narcissist descends into a row, take a step back and communicate in writing, or use lawyers as necessary. The right lawyer will not make it impossible to be amicable, but will take some of the pressure off you and will give you the breathing space and advice to make the best decisions.

In short, seeking an amicable divorce from a narcissist does not mean being a doormat; remind yourself that you entitled to fairness.

If the above resonates with you and you would like support to proceed with a divorce then please get in touch with me here or visit our website for more information.