Surviving a Divorce with a Narcissist: Strategies for Coping and Healing


Divorce is undoubtedly one of the most challenging experiences anyone can go through in life. When you’re divorcing a narcissist, however, the difficulty level can skyrocket. A narcissistic spouse can make an already painful process feel like an emotional battleground. But fear not; you can survive and thrive even in the face of a narcissistic divorce. In this blog, we will explore strategies for coping and healing during this trying time.

Understanding Narcissism

Before we delve into coping strategies, it’s essential to understand what narcissism is. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for excessive admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Dealing with a narcissist, especially in a divorce, can be incredibly challenging due to their manipulative and self-centered behavior.

Seek Professional Help

The first and most crucial step in surviving a divorce with a narcissist is seeking professional help. This can come in the form of therapy or counseling for yourself and your children, if you have any. A qualified therapist can provide you with tools to cope with the emotional turmoil and strategies for dealing with your narcissistic ex-spouse.

Set Boundaries

Narcissists are known for their boundary-pushing behavior. During a divorce, it’s vital to establish clear boundaries and stick to them. Limit communication to matters directly related to your divorce and children, if applicable. Refuse to engage in unnecessary arguments or emotional manipulation.

Document Everything

In a divorce with a narcissist, your word may not be enough. Keep thorough records of all interactions, including emails, texts, and phone calls. Document instances of manipulation, harassment, or any other problematic behavior. This documentation may be essential if legal action becomes necessary.

Focus on Self-Care

Divorce is emotionally draining, and when dealing with a narcissist, it can be even more exhausting. Make self-care a priority. This can include exercise, meditation, spending time with loved ones, or seeking support from divorce support groups. Taking care of yourself is crucial for maintaining your mental and emotional well-being.

Avoid the Blame Game

Narcissists excel at shifting blame onto others. In a divorce, they may try to make you feel responsible for everything that went wrong in the marriage. It’s essential not to internalize their blame. Accept that it takes two to tango, and don’t let their accusations define your self-worth.

Stay Calm and Collected

Narcissists thrive on emotional reactions. They may deliberately try to provoke you to get a rise out of you. One of the most potent weapons against a narcissist is your ability to remain calm and collected. Practice emotional detachment when dealing with their provocations.

Utilize Legal Assistance

In many cases, divorcing a narcissist will require legal intervention. Enlist the help of a qualified attorney who has experience dealing with high-conflict divorces. They can provide valuable guidance and advocate for your rights in court.

Lean on Your Support System

Divorce can be an isolating experience, so lean on your support system. Friends and family can provide emotional support and help you maintain perspective. Don’t hesitate to reach out and share your feelings with trusted individuals.

Focus on Your Future

A narcissistic ex-spouse may try to keep you tethered to the past, constantly rehashing old grievances. Instead, focus on your future. Set goals, both short-term and long-term, and work toward building a life that is fulfilling and meaningful to you.

Consider Co-Parenting Apps

If you share children with your narcissistic ex-spouse, consider using co-parenting apps or websites to facilitate communication. These platforms provide a structured way to manage shared responsibilities and reduce the likelihood of conflicts.


Surviving a divorce with a narcissist is undoubtedly a formidable challenge, but it is not insurmountable. By seeking professional help, setting boundaries, focusing on self-care, and staying calm and collected, you can navigate this difficult journey. Remember that you are not alone; there are resources and support available to help you cope and heal. With time, patience, and resilience, you can emerge from this experience stronger and ready to embrace a brighter future.

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Katina Farrell

Katina Farrell

Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert®

Katina Farrell, CDRE® is an experienced Realtor & Managing Broker who specializes in real estate transactions, with expertise as a trained Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert® and a Certified Negotiation Expert. She handles the sale of real property in family law cases as a neutral expert. Schedule a complimentary chat and discover more ways Katina can help you resolve the real estate challenges plaguing your divorce cases.

Call: 720-295-8848


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