Six Tips for Finding Powerful Peace When Divorcing a Narcissist

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If you’re divorcing a narcissist, you might feel like you’re gearing up for battle. When entering your divorce with that mindset, you most certainly will end up in fight after fight with your ex. Knowledge is power when it comes to dealing with a narc, and one of the first things you should know is that you don’t have to show up to every fight you’re invited to. Here are six tips for finding powerful peace when divorcing a narcissist:

  1. Controlling your emotions is where your power lies

    You will not control a narc- it’s just not possible- but what you can control is yourself and how you react to them. A narcissist wants you to fight back because then they can say that you are the one who is out of control. Don’t give them any ammunition to use against you. Keep your cool. How you achieve that is up to you- whether it’s venting to someone else, meditating, journaling- just don’t give them the satisfaction of seeing you triggered.

  2. Choose your praises carefully

    You may think that by killing a narc with kindness, they’ll eventually change. Narcs don’t change.  By feeding their ego with false praise, you’re just giving them a reason to think they are better than you. Which is exactly how a narc feels. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t acknowledge when your ex does something positive. This is especially important if you have children together because you want your kids to see the positives in their other parent. Just don’t overdo it by praising every little thing they do because it will inflate their ego.

  3. Don’t take the blame for his actions

    Taking responsibility is an honorable thing to do, but don’t constantly take the blame for what your ex has done simply to keep the peace. That’s setting the tone for your post-divorce life, and if you have to co-parent with a narc, that is just setting yourself up for misery. Instead, give your ex time to cool off after a disagreement. Eventually- although it may take a while- they will get over whatever they are upset about. They may not take responsibility for their actions, but hopefully, they will move on from blaming you.

  4. Avoid ultimatums

    You don’t like feeling controlled, so don’t do the same to your ex. Giving them an ultimatum might feel powerful at the moment, but a narc will turn it around on you and manipulate the situation for their benefit. By giving them an ultimatum, you’re giving them permission to do the same, and you never want to give a narcissist permission to control you. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stand up for yourself, but don’t do it in a demanding way.

  5. Giving them negative attention is even worse than positive attention

    Narcs love any kind of attention, but they really thrive on the negative. It gives them a reason to say that you’re the crazy one. You’re the instigator. They love to play the victim. Try your best to keep your cool. One moment of losing your cool gives your ex enough fuel to light years of fires. Learning how to properly communicate with a narcissist, by using tools like the BIFF Response Method, can be very helpful.

  6. Improve your own emotional intelligence

    Coping with a narcissist in a healthy way starts with you. Working on your own emotional intelligence and how you react to others can be a game-changer when it comes to your relationship with your ex. It might even improve the other relationships in your life, too.

It may seem like you’ll never have peace when you divorce a narcissist, but remember that peace lies within you. You have the power to walk away, turn your phone off, wait to respond until things have cooled off a bit. That’s one of the advantages of divorcing a narcissist- you no longer have to live in a constant state of turmoil.

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Essential Resources

If you’re facing legal/custody battles, a mental health crisis, an urgent medical issue, serious emotional problems, including suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the appropriate professionals near you.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis line: 1-800-356-5395
Crisis text line: Text “help” to 741741
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) Resources Marital Life Inventory
Divorce Lifecycle Document
Divorce Process Overview


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