Why A Narcissist Won’t Divorce You

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By Christie David-Simire


Seeking answers to why a narcissist won’t divorce you? This article provides the answers you’re looking for – just read on.

The first section of this article defines who a narcissist is. Following that, we will explore several reasons this type of individual won’t separate from you legally.

Then, I will offer tips to get through the marriage termination process with a narcissist.

Lastly, you will discover a FAQ section toward the conclusion of this article, addressing common inquiries about the topic.

Who Is A Narcissist

Who is a Narcissist

A person who displays narcissistic behavior is excessively focused on their own desires and well-being, often at the expense of others. According to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, narcissists perceive themselves as exceptional in every aspect.

Furthermore, they lack the capacity and willingness to acknowledge the needs and feelings of others. Moreover, they have a disdainful attitude towards those whom they feel are unimportant.

In addition to that, narcissists often exaggerate their skills and achievements and even lie to influence others. In some cases, they want people to accord them respect whether they have gained success or not.

An acute case of narcissism is described as a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), as stated by Merriam-webster.com. It is a mental health condition in which people have an unreasonably high sense of importance.

Reasons A Narcissistic Individual Won’t Separate Legally

Narcissistic people may resist legal separation for various reasons, primarily based on their personality traits and emotional needs. Here are some reasons why narcissists might not willingly pursue legal separation.

1. Fear of Loneliness

In their mind, a narcissist believes you depend on them for survival. However, the reverse is actually the case, according to happierhuman.com.

Typically, a narcissist cannot manage the anxiety, insecurities, and boredom of being alone. Controlling and keeping you close may be how they cope with their insecurities.

So, a narcissist will want to keep you at all costs, as divorce implies they will be lonely.

2. Sense of Entitlement

As stated by grace-being.com, narcissists often think they own their spouse. They ignore their partners’ claims and desires.

Furthermore, they have a sense of entitlement that makes them want to control every facet of their partners’ life. Hence, the idea of you dissociating from them becomes bothersome.

This is because legal separation will uncover their selfishness and dispute their perception of owning you.

3. Vengeance

A narcissist may not divorce you because they want to take revenge. According to simplypsychology.org, the idea of divorce jeopardizes their self-esteem and dominance over you.

This can trigger annoyance and resentment, causing a narcissist to retaliate by not letting go easily.

Usually, narcissists brood over their anger, the offender, and the revenge plan. Hence, refusing to let you go may be a way of punishing you, especially if they feel you have hurt them.

4. Preserve their Reputation

Generally, narcissists care so much about what people think of them, as suggested by medicalnewstoday.com. Therefore, they may not want to legally separate from you because their prestige is at stake.

Basically, if they let you go, the public may think they failed to make their partner happy. Similarly, people may conclude they could not meet the marital expectations, as indicated by ineffableliving.com.

This can potentially hurt their ego and damage their “perfect” reputation in society.

5. Financial Interests

When it comes to divorce, financial matters can be a significant factor. Hence, a narcissist might resist getting a divorce to maintain control over their partner and their shared assets, money, or property.

Besides, in accordance with wellnessavenues.com, a narcissistic partner may have manipulated the family fund in their favor. Therefore, the fear of losing financial assets may make them not consent to divorce.

Moreover, narcissists often have traits of covetousness and materialism. However, getting a divorce could mean dividing these resources, which they may want to avoid.

Thus, they might want to hold on to these assets for themselves by not agreeing to separate legally.

How To Get Through Divorce With A Narcissist

How To Get Through Divorce with a Narcissist

Divorcing a narcissist can be very rigorous and demanding. In this section, we will explore strategies to help you with the divorce process.

1. Document Evidence

Simlepsychology.org advises that you have a history of everything a narcissist could use against you. This is very important when going through a divorce process with them.

By documenting this evidence, you can support your petition in court and expose the narcissist’s dishonesty and tricks. This can also help you defend your rights and turn the court’s ruling in your favor.

Save documents of any financial transactions involving the narcissist, such as their earnings, expenses, assets, debts, and taxes. Additionally, monitor their financial status and any attempts to conceal assets, maintaining a record of your funds.

2. Define Boundaries

When dealing with such a partner in a divorce, you must have firm boundaries. Stick with your goals and understand how narcissists act and how to cope with their tactics.

Moreover, carlacorelli.com implies that you should be direct and assertive when setting boundaries with a narcissist. Otherwise, they might twist your words and use them to manipulate you.

Moreover, you should act consistently and stick to your boundaries. This is because narcissists rarely respect boundaries.

3. Consult A Qualified Practitioner

Seek the advice of a proficient lawyer who specializes in dealing with demanding spouses. According to justicefamilylawyers.com, terminating your marriage with a narcissist will be easier if you have firm and reliable legal backing.

In agreement with clagettbarnett.com, employing the services of a reasonable attorney will help you grasp the legal dimensions of divorce.

A qualified practitioner can help you with suitable strategies for your goal and the basis involved in the process. Furthermore, they’ll assist you in bargaining the risks and prevent complexities in issues like child custody and financial support.

4. Plan Before Taking Any Action

According to choosingtherapy.com, you should get the details of your divorce plans before telling your narcissistic spouse about it. A narcissistic partner may exhibit controlling and manipulative behaviors during a divorce.

This can make the process more challenging and emotionally draining. However, planning allows you to be prepared for potential challenges and protect yourself.

Besides, narcissists may try to provoke you into unnecessary conflicts. Gladly, planning helps you avoid getting entangled in drama and focus on the practical aspects of the divorce.

5. Resist The Love-bombing

According to wikihow.com, narcissistic individuals can become nervous if they find out you’re trying to break up with them. Therefore, they may turn to love-bombing.

Love-bombing is a tactic that narcissists use to overwhelm and manipulate their partners with excessive affection and attention. They often do this at the beginning of a relationship or during difficult times like divorce.

Moreover, they do this to gain control and keep their partner emotionally dependent. However, resisting love-bombing allows you to see through excessive affection.

It lets you understand that it might be manipulative rather than genuine care. Their excessive affection is a way to take advantage of you, as suggested by psychcentral.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can A Narcissist Delay The Divorce Process?

Yes, a narcissist might use various tactics to delay the divorce process. These include contesting legal matters, making false claims, or refusing cooperation.

2. Does Divorce Hurt a Narcissist?

Generally, divorce can be challenging for anyone, including narcissists. However, how they handle the emotional impact may differ due to their personality traits.

For instance, narcissists see divorce as a blow to their ego and a loss of control over their spouse. Furthermore, they may feel the public will think they failed in marriage.

3. How Does A Narcissist React To Divorce?

The reaction of a narcissist can be unpredictable. They may exhibit feelings of anger or manipulation, or they may choose to show little regard for their partner’s emotions.

4. Will A Narcissist Ever Leave Voluntarily?

Sometimes, a narcissist might leave willingly if they find a new source of admiration or control.

5. How Can I Protect Myself During A divorce With A Narcissist?

Establishing firm boundaries, seeking legal advice, and documenting essential matters is vital. You can also seek support from trusted friends or professionals to protect yourself during the divorce.


Understanding why a narcissist won’t divorce you can be complex and multifaceted. Narcissists resist letting go legally for various reasons, often centered around their need for control, power, and admiration.

Moreover, the divorce process can threaten their carefully constructed self-image. Furthermore, it can challenge their sense of superiority, leading them to react defensively.

Gladly, this article discussed several reasons these individuals may refuse to separate from you legally. I also provided tips and strategies to get through a divorce with a narcissist.

We trust that this article provided you with some helpful information. If so, please share it with your friend and family on social media.

For more articles with similar topics, please visit our Relationship page.

References and Further Reading

  1. mayoclicic.org – Narcissistic Personality Disorder – symptoms – causes
  2. happierhuman.com – 15 Real Reasons Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You
  3. grace-being.com – Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You
  4. simplypsychology.org – How To Divorce a Narcissist: Strategies And Examples
  5. carlacorelli.com – How to Set Boundaries with Narcissist – Strengthen Your Defence
  6. verywellmind.com – How to Tell if a Narcissist Loves You
  7. choosingtherapy.com – Divorcing a narcissist
  8. survivedivorce.com – The Ultimate Guide to Divorcing a Narcissist
  9. wikihow.com – How to Get Through a Divorce With a Narcissist
  10. psychcentral.com – Spotting Narcissistic Love Bombing: What it is – and Isn’t

About the Author

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Christie David-Simire

Christie is a dynamic individual with a natural interest in reading and writing. She is a Content Writer at ilifeguides.com, writing articles about relationships, parenting, finances, food, and gardening. Christie knows Human Resources Management and loves singing.

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