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When your narcissistic spouse won’t sign the papers

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Divorce |

Divorce is seldom an easy process, but when a spouse is a narcissist or suffers from borderline personality disorder, challenges can escalate dramatically. If you’ve been married to such a person, the decision to finally divorce them takes a lot of courage and strength to disentangle yourself from a long period of unhealthy interaction.

It is important to keep in mind that just because you have finally taken the first legal step in freeing yourself from your partner’s manipulation, control and resistance to relinquishing power, you should not expect the simple act of your beginning the divorce process to bring an end to your partner’s destructive behavior. In fact, it is likely that they will escalate their antisocial behavior and resist your efforts each step of the way. If you find yourself in this situation in New Hampshire, it’s important to understand your options to help ensure the process moves forward despite your spouse’s resistance.

Narcissistic behavior in divorce

Throughout your marriage, your narcissistic partner most likely exhibited a pervasive need for admiration, employed various forms of manipulation to get what they want, diminished you by words and deeds, and showed a lack of authentic empathy. You can expect these traits to continue during your divorce in various obstructive behaviors, such as:

  • Refusing to sign divorce documents
  • Dragging out proceedings longer than they need to be
  • Using manipulative tactics to gain control of you or the proceedings

Their primary goal will be to make the process as difficult as possible for you rather than to achieve a reasonable and fair resolution. This is because they likely see the divorce as your rejection of them, your acquiring freedom from their manipulative hold, and they will likely employ various tactics as a means of punishing you or attempting to reacquire control over you.

Their inflated view of themselves may also lead them to believe that you’re only bluffing. However, once you show them that you will stand your ground, they will realize you’re serious about ending your marriage, and they may become desperate in their attempt to extract more favorable terms.

Options for proceeding without their signature

In New Hampshire, you need not live at the mercy of a narcissistic spouse who refuses to conduct themselves according to the law and rules, or sign a joint Divorce Petition. The Granite State has laws which permit you to file an individual Divorce Petition, based either on no-fault or fault grounds at your option, and you may file the action seeking a divorce on your own, without your partner’s approval or consent.

As long as you can prove either irreconcilable differences, or one of the several fault grounds available, you may file your Petition for Divorce on your own and proceed with the action without your spouse’s signature on the Petition. By filing your Petition for Divorce, you will begin the legal process of officially breaking free from the shackles of your toxic marriage.

Living with a narcissistic spouse can be one of the most mentally and emotionally unhealthy experiences one can have. But there is no reason for anyone to put up with that behavior for life.  You should take the action necessary to resume a mentally and emotionally healthy life without having to put up with someone else’s unhealthy toxicity.  New Hampshire law provides you with a legal avenue to put an end to that unhappy chapter of your life. To do so more effectively, you should employ the services of a legal team that can advise and advocate for you so that you reach a healthier, happier chapter of your life sooner rather than later.