Skip to Content

Is a Narcissistic Spouse Destroying Your Life?


As a divorce attorney and psychologically-trained mediator, I uniquely guide couples, especially those with behavioral problems, towards dignified divorces.

Many of the couples I work with complain that narcissism is an unhealthy third party in their relationship. Some of them don’t even know what the unhealthy behavior is until they work with me, and I identify the controlling/lack of empathy behavior as narcissism.

All of us have a little healthy narcissism. But at the other end of the spectrum, narcissism becomes a personality disorder. In Greek mythology, Narcissus admired his image in a pond, doing nothing else, until he died as a result.

When a client asks me the characteristics of a narcissist, I tell them some of them are as follows:

1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance;

2. A lack of empathy;

3. The use of charm to manipulate others;

4. Holding grudges;

5. Blaming everyone else if something goes wrong;

6. Controlling others.

Often, I only need to hear a few sentences before I realize my client may be married to a narcissist. My medical training and experience helps me identify this behavior and successfully guide a spouse towards a divorce.

Many spouses hope their partner will change. This is not unusual. The victimized spouse often still loves the narcissistic spouse even though they have been worn down by criticism and other destructive behaviors.

The victimized spouse often wonders endlessly about how a once beautiful relationship could turn into abuse and gas lighting. Clients tell me they feel embarrassed and ashamed to be part of such a relationship.

That was the case with Eve, a home decorator and mom of two who contacted me eight months ago. She was married to a lifestyle influencer who never allowed her to have any knowledge of their finances or investments.

Keeping her in the dark was such a priority, her husband would have her sign a tax return and not allow her to read it. She thought he had a retirement plan, and some other major investments but there was no concrete evidence since he kept all their investment statements a secret and on his computer.

When she would ask questions about their finances he would tell her it was none of her business. When she complained he was dismissive, he told her she was stupid, and it was her fault.

At home he was emotionally distant and psychologically abusive. He would disappear for days at a time supposedly on business. In public or on Zoom calls with family and friends he was charming and attentive. It was as if he were two people.

Eve suspected he was living a double life. She did some digging and discovered he had two cell phones and an apartment in Palm Springs.

She later learned he was partially living with the children’s music teacher, Evan, whom she had terminated five months earlier.

Upon learning he was living a double life, Eve called me for a consultation. After two conversations with me she decided to tell her husband she wanted a divorce. He didn’t believe her. She suggested marriage counseling as a first step. He said ”No!” He kept telling her she was “imagining things.” He kept saying, “You’re crazy.”

I encouraged her to leave this destructive marriage, but I could see she was very conflicted. She started defending some of his behaviors which is not unusual for someone who has been emotionally abused by a narcissist.

Once she gained some strength and knowledge during our discussions and she saw he was not going to change, we began to move the divorce process forward. Her husband left his computer in their home office unattended one day and she was able to go online and access their financial and property documents.

Once we had a solid financial picture proving there were significant assets, I was able to get her the financial support and division of property she rightfully deserved as part of her litigated/negotiated divorce.

If this story speaks to you, call me.

I have the skills and experience to help move you away from a destructive marriage.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic all our FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are discreetly and conveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk.

I look forward to speaking with you!

Stay healthy and safe!

Warm regards,


Call New York Divorce Lawyer Lois Brenner if you think you are living with a narcissist and want a divorce!

CCall to schedule your free consultation! 212.734.1551