Before I married my husband, we had the most incredible 2-year romance.   I was instantly attracted to him after our first date; he was the kind of guy I always dreamt of marrying. He was charismatic, powerful and financially successful.   I was drawn to his passion for life, his winning smile and his magnetic personality. When he walked into a party or a restaurant or any room – everyone knew he was there.

Back then, I was the only person he had eyes for. That was another reason he was so attractive to me.   He really worked hard to make sure that I feel in love and in admiration of him. Obviously I couldn’t resist when he asked me to marry me. I felt so privileged and lucky that he chose me.

A year into our marriage, once the hype and newness wore off, I started to see another side to my prince.   I convinced myself he was under pressure at work, or whatever excuse I used for the day. And then I got pregnant, too busy to take note of all the obnoxious traits that were unraveling. We were both short sleep and busy with a newborn.

After the birth of our daughter, I started to realize how controlling, manipulative and self-important my husband was. Our marriage was crumbling.   He no longer needed to impress me, and stopped the act. He blamed our marital problems on me; he didn’t have the problem, I did as I stopped recognizing how great he was. I was married to a Narcissist and I wanted out!

Divorce is complicated and difficult for anyone. But let me tell you divorcing a narcissist was a nightmare.   My ex was not amicable – this was a competition to him and he was going to win at all cost.   He refused to cooperate with lawyers, refused to provide financial statements and documents, refused to negotiate, mediate, arbitrate, or any other term I learnt along this path.

Throughout this process, he became verbally abusive to me, the lawyers and anyone who stood in his way. Surprisingly he believed that he was the one who was wronged with no attachment to his destructive behaviour throughout our marriage.

My words of wisdom to those contemplating a divorce from a narcissistic husband are there are 3 things I wish I would have had in place to prepare before starting the process.

  1. Make sure you have money to fund the battle
  2. Hire a Financial Advisor different than your husbands  and get all your financial documents together and make copies before your husband tries to hide everything
  3. Hire an Experienced and Trusted Divorce Lawyer

After years of battling, I wanted to share my experience in divorcing a narcissist. My divorce is now finalized and my settlement is fair. It was one of the the most difficult things I have ever had to do.. But if you plan ahead and get the proper help when/where you need it, you will succeed and live a happier and healthier life as a result.

Best of Luck!

Michelle 45

 

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32 Responses to “DIVORCING A NARCISSIST”

  1. Been there

    One additional point I would recommend is to ensure that he can’t get the best lawyer. Its worth the consult fee to do it. I couldn’t afford a really good lawyer, but I saw her for one hour and therefore, he couldn’t use her.

    Reply
    • Lori

      Another point: No matter who you marry, make sure all of your assets are documented before marriage so that 20 years later, you are not trying to find documents to validate what your assets were before marriage so that your original assets are not part of the divorce settlement to be divided.

      Also do your homework, read everything you can find on how to deal with a narcissist and follow through with what is recommended. For the first three months of separation, try to have limited or no contact with the person because this will be a healing time for you to regain yourself: your strength and your self-esteem and self-worth.

      Take a deep breath every time the person throws another “whammy” at you, don’t engage in the fight, let the dust settle and then answer once you have had time to think of the response you think is in your and your childrens’ best interest. Eventually you and your children will have the Peace and “normal” family life you deserve.

      Reply
      • Kathie

        I’m trying to get out of my 25 year marriage and I have no idea how to locate our financial portfolio on his locked computer, any suggestions.

        Reply
  2. John

    OK Michelle, how are we supposed to know you’re not the narcissist here? A narcissist will twist the facts to look like the victim. I think that you started being a bitch to your stellar husband and he didn’t want to take your bullshit anymore. Good for him for making your life a living hell when you chose to no longer honour your wedding vow. You’re a dime a dozen self entitled bitch who was too stupid to appreciate a good man. Good luck f***ing up all your future relationships. Oh was this not what you wanted to hear Miss. Narcissist?

    Reply
    • Done That

      John, spoken like a true narcissist himself. Was this article written about you perhaps?

      Reply
    • Stephanie

      You are obviously her husband. Let it go and get some therapy (but of course you won’t). Your response is a typical narcissistic one. She has obviously happily moved on and you have lost
      the control. Good luck to you John.

      Reply
    • Weezie

      OMG…seriously John…this so looks like a response my ex would give and his name is John and he too is a narcissist. I am glad Michelle got away from this narc just as I am glad to be rid of mine. Him making her life hell is pretty much proof who the narc in the relationship was/is. Men like you need to take a good close look at themselves–re her not honouring her wedding vows–I heard this shit from my ex too…well let me tell you him calling me a fucking bitch and fucking fat cow in front of our children was not “honouring our wedding vows…” Wedding vows are just words that anyone can say–a real man honours his vows through loving actions…something you know nothing about–I pity the woman who is with you. You are a sick man and obviously a narc yourself. It is clear that Michelle’s ex like other narcs “hooked her in” and when he believed he had her where he wanted her–he then showed his true colours–and needs to take responsibility for his relationship ending–please note I didn’t call it a marriage cause I believe in a real marriage–the couple works together and that just cannot happen when one is a narc…like you

      Reply
  3. Sissiejr

    My sister-in-law married a narcissist – my brother. The beginning was so similar to yours. He took her, his kids and our two families down a long dark road. The pain was awful all around until his bullying behaviour contributed to her suicide. Two years later we are all still trying to pick up the pieces and he is dining out on his grief.

    Reply
    • Weezie

      so nice to see someone admitt their brother is a narc–my ex’s family prefer to keep their heads in the sand–they just cannot believe their son/brother is abusive and a narc–sad your sister in law lost her life to him–I decided a long time ago that my ex narc was not worth dying for.

      Reply
  4. Tina

    This article hits home for me. The one factor that was different is that after one year and a legal separation in my hand, I finally decided to try and date again. As soon as my husband saw this he lost his mind. Suddenly he was in my space, breaking bounderies, and it continues. My point is devorcing a narcissit when you have children with him ( child access/ parenting) and he thinks he wants you back can begin a whole new level of problems. It gives a new meaning to complicated.

    Reply
  5. Living it

    It is like reading what I am living through. I am on lawyer #2 he used my first retainer deflecting and saying he was amicable and I am the one holding things up. He has been asked for financial and house valuations since lawyer one, have legal aid and lawyer 2 had to take him to court to get him to do his taxes and we still don’t have a house valuation. He has changed the locks and won’t let me in, until I can get him in front of a judge to order him to do this my hands are tied. Waiting for court date in December.

    Reply
  6. Bee

    I lived it. Once my N got everything he could from me financially, he filed. Later learned it had been planned for over three years; I had no documentation of anything. 25 year marriage. Our state likes joint custody and the one with the most money and meanest lawyer usually gets control. Our child has been used as a pawn by him since the beginning; it is heartbreaking that courts do not understand or care to understand this disorder and how it harms children, especially.

    Reply
  7. Sonyia

    Unreal! You have just described the course of my married life and now I’m amidst living through a long drawn out divorce. My husband has just retained his third lawyer (guess he didn’t like what the others had to say to him, or perhaps they refused to keep representing him – I don’t know). He wanted to do this “amicably” too, on his terms of course, never mind what is best for our special needs child or me, raising our child alone through all the problems. He just makes it all so much worse. He has yet to come up with a proper financial statement. We are closing in on two years of separation. He refuses to give me spousal support, because in his sick mind he doesn’t believe I ‘deserve’ it. Never mind that I can’t hold a full time job because of the level of care our special needs son requires. I am living in a two bedroom apartment with my sister and I’m sharing a bedroom with my child because I can’t afford more. He lives in our matrimonial 4 bedroom home with in ground pool and hot tub and goes on vacations every three months with his new gf. If you ask me, my husband doesn’t deserve the bacteria that feed on the dirt under his fingernails. Selfish to the nth degree. His new victim in his life, he has brainwashed and manipulated and got her completely isolated . God help this woman. I hope the karma train is coming for him.
    Anyone know of serious karma paying a visit to a narcissistic person? Would be nice to know if these horrid people get what they deserve in one way or another!

    Reply
  8. Jean

    This came up on my facebook feed and I most certainly have lived it. Everything these ladies went thru, I did. I was the one with the money and took on stepchildren and then had three of our own. His first wife left after nine years and I lasted 23 but spent the last 5 years trying to make enough money to afford to get out as everything was tied into the house and our business. I will add to what was a recount for the most of my life was it took 5.5 years to settle and it was only because I was able to wait him out and force him to settle financially as he spent all the cash flow he had coming in and that included what he should of been giving me for assistance for university and child support. I did not get a fair settlement as per the numbers on paper and it was more like 65 for him and the rest for me. He refused to get an evaluation on the business and I settled for the tax assessment on the building only. I agree with the person who said get everything evaluated when you are married as it will save time and money going forward. As for being in limbo while the spouse produces the evaluations, well unfortunately you have to wait as there is no ruling to my knowledge that forces him to do so. My ex even sold the house after original separation agreement was signed and the house in his name only and didn’t have any intension of giving me my fair share. If it wasn’t for my diligence in keeping an eye on the listing I would never of known and he would of purchased another place and tied all the money up again. As it was, a judge was called in and put a stop to it and not just tied up the sale of the house money but froze all his assets. When it came time for me to trust again and start to date, he set up a dummy profile and stole a persons identity and pictures and tried to romance me in an attempt to have me give him information that he would use against me. Fortunately I believe in telling the truth nothing but the truth so that ploy didn’t work but it sure made me leary of anybodys attempt to get to know me. Living in a small town to a local businessman who wouldn’t take ownership of any part of a failed relationship is bad as they have no issue with telling the world all sorts of falsehoods and ruin your reputation to those little minds who don’t believe that there are three sides to every story, his, hers and the middle which is the truth as we all interpret others actions in our own way and they may not of been how it really was. I was never negative to my children about their father and rearranged my special occasion dates so they could spend it with him and his side of the family as to me family ties were important but not with the youngest be 24 years old, none of them speak to him as he is treating them with the same disrespect he does with everybody and he wonders why he has no friends. It’s the start of year 9 on my own now and I have moved 2.5 hours away from where I last lived as he moved 6 roads away from me (which was further way from his work) to continue his stalking both in person, online and via acquaintances. After 5 years I had to ask the police to talk to him as the harrassing phone calls asking for money was annoying to say the least and when I was away and he came to the house after being warned if he did the police would take him to jail for breaking the peace bond, he did to verbally assault our youngest who told him to get help and slammed the door in his face. Sad for him and I wish he would get help and be happy with his life and reestablish a relationship with his children but they are adults and that is their choice now. My advise to anybody getting divorced is to document everything assets, cash flow and value and be careful online regardless as there are some unscrupulous people out there. I’m still on my own and found myself not trusting anybody which is a sad state so I got a puppy.! lol

    Reply
    • Weezie

      Hi Jean–I don’t think any of those married to a narc gets a fair settlement–they will do everything and anything to get more then they deserve. My es did this. He is self employed as a financial advisor and he dragged out our separation for 3 yrs knowing the courts only look at the last 3 yrs for determining spousal support–this is how mine got a lump sum (or I would of been paying support to him till the day he died) and he does not have to pay any child support. He purposely made sure his income was low those 3 yrs and worked for a friend under the table. Right after our divorce became final he put a new roof on the house, took his gf out East for a vacation, bought the gf an expensive piece of solid oak furniture, and took a trip to Mexico–he did all this within 9 months of the divorce…after crying to the judge he was poor and destitute…He also likely paid off the assessor to our home–it was assessed at way less then it was worth. My lawyer pushed me to agree to it–and give him what he wanted. Two weeks after agreeing to the pitiful amount I found an email from 2 yrs prior saying it was worth about 145 K more from the bank–so everyone’s houses in the area went up in value and ours went down?? At the end of the day I remind myself that yes I got less then what I deserved but I also got my life back and for me that is priceless and it is something he can never take away from me–my happiness and peace of mind. Ironically he used to tell me I was nothing without him and could never make it on my own…well he was wrong–I can make it on my own with no help from him or anyone else. I recently bought a house despite being treated for cancer–and trust me cancer does suck but being with someone like him is 100 times worse. I also remind myself that his actions are a reflection of not me but him–and I’m learning from friends (mutual) that many of them never trusted him–but always liked me. One lady told me that she and her husband felt there was something “off about your relationship–but we just could not put our finger on it” She now knows the truth and was not at all surprised cause my ex had blown up at her and her husband over something so stupid and trivial–they said nothing when it happened cause they did not want to upset me. It is as if people where trying to protect me but in the end they found out I knew what I was married to.

      Reply
  9. Julie

    Thank you for all your stories, makes me feel that i am not alone going through this and can come through this and survive with my two beautiful girls.

    Reply
  10. Henry

    This a biased article.. I’ve met woman worst than this individual…it goes both ways.

    Reply
  11. Ex-wife of a narc

    Had our divorce mediation yesterday. We had 4 rental properties, 2 with mortgages, 2 bought with cash from the sale of my home in California. We each ended up with one of each. Once he got the property he wanted, he gave up more than half the visitation. One weekend a month and only 14 days in the summer. He had the bragging rights he wanted and I had the kids. Cheaper to settle. Court would have cost more and taken a lot longer. I am free now and can start rebuilding.

    I did a lot of legwork to help my attorney prepare. She knows the law and I know the details of my case. Got the property values from a source for all properties, closing documents to prove a house we bought and sold together had taken a loss. A point he tried to bring up was the part of the money to purchase the house was his was his inheritance. Bought in 04 and sold in 11, sold for 130k less than we paid. Having the closing statements shut that argument down cold.

    Reply
  12. JACKIE

    How did you ask for the divorce? How can I say it? I don’t know how to get out. My name isn’t on the house, we have no accounts together, no children, I have no ties! I just don’t know how to say it. He can always tell when something is off and starts acting normal again and I feel bad that maybe I am just not trying hard enough, but everything I have read he is 100% without a shadow of a doubt an N. I just don’t know how to say the words and I haven’t slept because I keep trying to think of how to say it. I know he’s going to think its totally out of left field but Sunday when I mentioned his attitude towards me I was told I was crazy and if I was a guy he’d break every bone in my face, and told me that wasn’t a threat. He has pushed me before and called me so many names. And its not that I am afraid of him its just that I don’t know how to say it. We JUST celebrated our 3rd year of marriage last week too.

    Reply
    • Deenie

      It will only get worse. They will belittle and manipulate more and more. When u try to leave they will say “sorry” I never meant that. That will be short lived They will go right back to being selfish. Do not have children with him he will manipulate the child and ruin them
      Narcissists are miserable people they are truly alone and find their happiness lies in the misery of others

      Reply
  13. Small&OneDayMighty

    I’m currently at the beginning process of getting a divorce. This article speaks volumes into a very dark a hurtful place in my shattered heart.
    When he cursed, devalued, and blamed me for everything right in front of our child (and not phasing that our child understands everything), it was the last straw.
    I realized just a few days ago that as painful as it is going to be, I am making the right decision to close this door. Most of my life I didn’t want to believe in divorce, and pledged that Love takes work. But with a child who is learning to live life, I want to set good examples not toxic ones about happiness and love.
    Good luck to you if you’re going/gone through this. Make a good, happy, and healthy life for yourself and your family because you are worth it.

    Reply
  14. unhappy me

    ive been trying to divorce my narcisst husband for 19 months i left him in march 2016 when he was at work and moved in with my dad after 10 years of abuse
    my dad has since passed away and im afraid my husband is ater the house myd ad left me its not the marital home i was left it in the will

    i have a really crap solicitor too given to me by the womens refuge not many do legal aid he refused to sign the papers, or submit any financial details
    ive got deemed service and finally signe the form for the decree nisi court is busy so god knows when the hearing is

    he turns up e very week outside my house, even though im 300 miles away ive had him took away by the police but he comes back he thinks he is invincible

    i need a restraining order but my crap sol never returns my e mails im so stressed and close to the edge im scared of him i need someone on my side he is very clever and manipulates me he s soo controlling and a bully

    Reply
  15. KK

    Oh this is so scary. I have two young children and my husband is def a N. 10 years of marriage. He moved out in the Spring to take a job, with the intent we would move to join him. He’s gone but he still controls me and I want a divorce so bad but all of this scares the s**t out of me. I’ve got him to bring it up (by refusing sex when he visits) just to see how he’d react… he will admittedly fight me for the kids (of whom I’m of course the only caregiver). I’m wondering if waiting til they are 18 is an option (14 years). I don’t have any extra money for a legal battle, and if he stops paying half the bills, he will have quite an amount in short order. I want a life so bad… now that he is gone on a day-to-day basis, I see it, feel it, know it when he comes, the games, the eggshells, the things I do to keep him calm. It’s stifling. I dont know what to do.

    Reply
  16. CC

    I’m legally separated from a narc. Have been for 2.5 yrs now. He destroyed all of us – me and my 2 daughters who were 16 and 19 at the time – sending us on 4 different islands. My family is completely broken. At the time of separation, my younger daughter moved in with him because he completely destroyed my reputation as a mother, my older daughter doesn’t talk to me even now 2.5 yrs later, my side of the family believes in everything he says due to his manipulation and my anxieties I had as a codependent to his narcissism, I was broke paying my high-priced (tho excellent) lawyer) and had to borrow money from my dad, the list goes on…
    I lost a lot of money in the separation. It was my money that funded most of the house, which resulted in increasing the equity we had in the house in a booming real estate market here. That didn’t matter, because the split was 50/50. I ended up paying child support of $750/mo because the younger child chose to live with him. I was a wreck for 3 months after the separation which he initiated, controlled, and told the children without my presence. He didn’t even care to include me because he had been planning this and set out on a mission with a strategy to destroy me, given that he blamed me for everything wrong in his life. A strange thing to accuse me of since it’s a life he created because he chose to not participate in me or the children for 22 yrs. He spent the majority of his time in his own head sitting there in front of his iPad or computer in the office or in the family room with his noise cancelling headphones on. He never helped with meals, laundry or chores. When asked to help, he’d make a futile effort and walk away without seeing the task through. He’d work out and do what he wanted. He never walked with us, he’d be walking feet ahead of us. He was selfish, only thinking of himself (i.e., going out to buy a lunch for himself without thinking of the family because lunch was not on-time on the table when he wanted it).
    I spent the past 2.5 yrs, rebuilding. Upsides: I saw a therapist who helped me heal over a course of 1.5 yrs; I started working full-time and became quite successful in my business; I got myself a wonderful, smart financial planner, I invested my money in real estate; I doubled my net worth and am close to tripling it; I traveled; I reached out slowly to my younger daughter (and she moved back in with me this month); I met a new man who supports me emotionally and is a real-life partner in my everyday life (we’re now engaged). Downsides: My older daughter still doesn’t talk to me or acknowledge me; my narc ex-husband stiffs me from any support money now that my daughter has moved in with me (he claims she’s just “visiting”); I may have to hire my lawyer again to define the finances for supporting my university-aged younger daughter.
    For all those in a miserable place right now, please be reassured you’re not alone. Be brave. Be kind to yourself. Let your friends be your guide and support system. Use your head, not your emotions in your fight. Get a good lawyer. Be brief and stick to business when you communicate with your narc. They’ll do all they can to engage you so they can control and manipulate you once again – don’t take the bait and engage. I’ve been down that road. My fight isn’t over – it’s a neverending battle when your ex is a narc and you have children together. Just know the best way to deal with a narc is to be happy and successful in your life.

    Reply
  17. Sauce75

    I knew my husband was flawed every step of the way but wanted to believe it could change. Everything from the start was on his terms….and at first I thiught that was endearing. I broke up with the person I probably should have Married for him. 15 years later…he is my ultimate nightmare that will not let me leave. He is now gaslighting and manipulating my kids…my daughter now mostly bc my sweet older boy has started to resist and refute him( but that comes w. A cost) I have filed for divorce twice. He talks/scares me out of it every time. The verbal abuse and emotional abise abuse is more than I can handle. I’m drinking to cope. I am the bread winner in family. Another reason he hates me. Looking for help
    Please…people who have come out on the other side. How do I disarm and leave without destroying my kids. They love/hate him

    Reply
  18. My Turn

    I thought I was the only woman who would tolerate such terrible behavior from her husband. I met him in 1985, and I knew something was off within 6 months, but i stayed with him because I was not going to go back home. Here we are 33 years and 4 kids later, and I am mortified at how little I accepted from him. He cheated and lied our entire relationship, with the last 4 years being the absolute worst. It was blatant cheating, and unbelieveable lies and manipulation. He was straight up gaslighting me. Had me beliving that I was hallucinating, and unstable. I couldn’t trust myself. Perhaps I had a brain tumor. If I stood my ground, it went one of two ways; he either became emotional and desperate, or he became verbally abusive, aggressive, intimidating, and physical. The level of manipulation and joy he seemed to get out of it was creepy. When I think about his accusations of my behavior or character, he was obviously projecting. He slipped twice and said “if you knew me, or knew what I was up to, you wouldn’t like me”. When I asked him about that later, he denied saying it. I must have been making it up. He threw me out 7 months ago because I wouldn’t stop questioning him and doubting him. The kids and I have been in our Townhouse for five weeks now, and he hasn’t made any real attempt to interact with our kids, yet he claims he is waiting for me to set the kid rotation. Looking back on our life together, I can’t understand how someone that I spent that many years with, could not care one speck about me. How could he do what he was doing, lie such stupid lies, and cheat repeatedly without having remorse. How could it not bother him? How could he enjoy doing things that would be so devastating to me? He couldn’t possibly do those things and love me. My life was a lie. The whole thing was a lie. How am I supposed to resolve this? I am so angry; I am angry with him, and with myself. I have been dragging my feet with the divorce papers because a) can’t afford an attorney, and b) I’m not sure if I am ready for another attack yet. I am grateful to be where I am now. I am in control of my days. I am in control of the vibe, I’m lonely, but less lonely than I was when I was lying in bed at 4am wondering where he was and why he wouldn’t answer my calls or texts, This is not what I signed up for. I’m working way too hard at this time in my life, and I am so very angry, Totally pissed off. The one good thing that happened is that I learned I’m not alone, it wasn’t my fault,and I’m not a crazy, slutty bitch. I wasn’t hallucinating. The thing that hurts the most is that I wasn’t loved. Not the way I deserved. I wish you all well.

    Reply

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