Why Do Narcissists Drag Out Divorce?

why do narcissists drag out divorceWondering why your narcissist spouse insists on complicating and miring down your divorce at every turn? By definition, a narcissist lacks the ability to compromise and think about the best interests of others, including possibly their own children. But more complex reasons drive the narcissist’s tendency to drag out divorce. Reasons such as… 

To keep you hooked. It may be a subconscious motive on their part, but narcissists don’t really want to let go of you – even if they initiated the divorce. What they do want is to retain their perch as the superior puppet master who keeps you dancing on a string. Blowing up mediation, haggling over minor points, hiring shark attorneys who make settlement almost impossible – these are all strategies to keep you feeling emotionally overwrought and wondering when life will ever return to normal.

To defend against shame. Narcissists want a perfect image, and divorce signals the world that they have a big spot on their record. If they were to acknowledge their part in the devolution of the marriage, they would bump up against the shame of being a normal, flawed human. To defend against that shame, they drag out the divorce by blaming you for it.

To get revenge. The narcissist does not want you to move on with your life, even if they have. Your ability to start a new chapter is evidence that your world no longer revolves around them. It doesn’t mater if you’re divorced; the narcissist still demands loyalty and the fact that you’ve cut ties means you must be punished.

They can’t share. Have you ever watched a toddler fight to keep other children away from their toys – only to lose interest in those same toys once they have them? Well, a narcissist is like a tantrumming 5-year-old in an adult body. They’d often rather throw money at lawyers rather than split assets with their spouse. It’s also why they may fight for more custody even when they don’t really want more time with the kids. They simply can’t bear the thought of giving up one slice of their pie.

They thrive on drama. Narcissists have to be in the spotlight, or their ego crumbles. Creating chaos — via volumes of legal documents, emergency custody hearings (that aren’t actual emergencies), and threats to torture you in new, devious ways – makes them feel like the lead actor in an Academy Award nominated film. Settling a divorce amicably and expediently is something only the little people do. 

Can you do something to take back your divorce — and your life? The short answer is YES!

Understanding what motivates your narcissist spouse, and accepting the likelihood that they won’t change, will help you accept reality. Your next step is learning how you can use strategic and savvy tips during the divorce process to keep it moving, and keep your narcissist in check. Start learning these steps in our companion blogs:

Divorcing a Narcissist: 5 Strategies For Getting Through It

Mistakes Narcissists Make In Divorce — And How To Use Them To Your Advantage

How to get a narcissist to reveal themselves

5 Ways To Safeguard Yourself After Divorcing A Narcissist

Are you divorcing narcissist Before their “undercover” self-centered derails the process, learn how to protect yourself by formulating a clear legal strategy. We can help. To get answers to all your questions about divorcing your narcissist ex, including parenting time and parental alienation concerns, please contact us to schedule your free attorney consultation. Take the first step towards securing your future. Call us today: 888-888-0919.

Schedule a Free Consultation