Last Updated on April 8, 2023 by Angela Vaz
Your narcissist husband always threatens divorce.
Your heart races and all you can comprehend is fear, anxiety, and anger.
You have thoughts like:
- Why does it always come down to this?
- Why did he even marry me if he constantly threatens me with divorce?
- Is he ever going to change?
- Will my relationship ever get better where I have peace?
- Will we ever be happy?
Welcome to my life a few years ago – I was married to a narcissist and we eventually divorced after I discovered he was cheating on me with a neighbor for 2 years.
I know what you’re going through.
And I sympathize.
There is no straightforward answer because everyone’s situation is different.
I am not going to tell you what to do, but I will cover several situations and tell you how to best handle them.
The decision at the end of the day is yours alone.
But before that really quick, get my free guide on how to really reset your life.
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Why is my narcissistic husband always threatening divorce?
Before I get into what to do, I want to talk about the why.
This will help you understand what is happening in his mind when he is giving you these threats and hopefully it will help you better understand what to do next.
1. He wants the upper hand
Narcissists can’t stand losing.
When things are not going their way, they’d rather destroy the game than let the other person win.
When they see no way out, they resort to threats.
Although it may be verbal, you have to look back and ask yourself if this is a trend that has been happening for a long time or if is it a one-time thing.
- Did he get mad one day and suddenly resort to threats?
- Or has he been doing this every time he gets upset or angry?
Now, if it is a one-time thing because he was depressed, upset over something, or just stressed – talk to him.
Ask him for a convenient time and sit down and talk to him and figure out what is the reason behind this threat.
If this has been going on for a while and he is displaying narcissistic traits, then know that this verbal abuse is only going to get worse.
There is no possibility of communication because he has made up his mind to end the conversation – you cannot talk to him.
2. He knows you will go nowhere
Narcissists love draining the energy out of their partners.
This is emotional abuse and it will continue for as long as you put up with it.
If every conversation always ends with an argument or with him putting you down, know that it is only going to get worse.
Narcissists thrive on making you feel bad about yourself.
They will gaslight you into believing that everything is your fault.
They will make you question your memory of the incident so you start asking yourself if what happened really happened.
And they will say things like:
- I wasn’t like this, you’ve made me this way.
- Look what you made me do.
- I was joking, obviously, you can’t take a joke.
- Of course, it’s me! I am always a bad person, right?
- I’m the monster. It’s never you. I’m the one that is to blame.
They will never take blame or responsibility for what happened.
Instead, they will often play the victim card.
3. They need easy targets
They thrive off of partners who have low self-esteem and are somewhat introverted.
It’s easy for them to cut them off from the rest of the world.
However, once you start thinking for yourself and start having goals and aspirations, you become a challenge for them.
This drives them on edge because they fear abandonment.
Remember, narcissists, don’t like to lose. They need to have the upper hand always.
So, when they feel you are making any kind of progress, they will try to shake you.
Threatening you with divorce or threatening to leave is one of the ways they do this.
It helps them feel confident – like they have the upper hand and they get to leave first.
If he is threatening to leave, chances are you have become very difficult for him to “manage.”
He now needs an easier person.
4. He has already decided to leave
Narcissists usually threaten divorce when they already have someone else in the pipeline.
Narcissists are emotionally fragile.
They require validation always.
When they stop getting it from you, they will seek it elsewhere.
My ex-husband started treating me worse after he started cheating.
His mood swings were more rampant and he’d constantly pick fights with me.
He threatened divorce a lot.
And after I discovered the truth, I realized that he and the lady he’d been having an affair with were planning to run away together.
He had decided to leave a long, long time ago.
So, if a narcissist has threatened to leave, chances are he has already made up his mind to leave.
The question isn’t “will he or won’t he?”
The question is when.
Should I stay married to my narcissistic husband? Here’s what I did
I cannot answer this question for you.
But let me tell you what I did and what my thoughts were on this issue.
1. I tried to make it work
As time passed, I stopped loving my ex-husband.
He treated me badly, he’d abuse my dogs and me and he was never supportive of my dreams.
I had to support both of us financially and I was always tired – physically and mentally.
We never spent quality time together and honestly – I should have left.
But I was a coward.
I was scared of what society would think of me.
I was scared of what people would say – and most of all I was scared I was leaving because it was too hard.
You see, I’d always been taught – not to quit.
Quitting is for losers.
So, I believed that by staying in that marriage, I was making it work.
However, I was not happy.
That marriage caused me unimaginable stress and sadness.
I would look forward to him leaving the house so I could get peace to work and be alone.
I looked forward to being away from my ex-husband – that itself was the biggest sign for me to leave and divorce him.
2. Communication did not work
I tried my best to communicate with him so that we could rationalize when things went awry.
But he’d always slam a door and leave.
There were no rationalizing or logical discussions with my ex.
Everything ended with slamming doors and him walking out on the discussion.
There was no peaceful compromise.
It was either I compromise, or a fight would begin.
I was always expected to give in.
3. I eventually filed for divorce
The cheating was the final straw.
Should I have waited that long? No.
But it was my ticket out of my abusive marriage.
Without that final blow, I probably would have taken a lot longer to bite the bullet and apply for a divorce.
We dated for 4 and a half years and were married for the same – our relationship lasting more than 9 years.
It was definitely not a walk in the park.
But I see that phase of my life as an important lesson: Sometimes it’s better to live alone as it is way more beautiful and peaceful than staying with a person who doesn’t make you happy.
I loved my single life – I was definitely heartbroken that I was single while all my friends were dating and getting married.
It’s not easy because a part of you does feel like a failure.
But I never looked back – I knew that he and I were just not meant to be.
4. I found love
It didn’t happen right away, and I did have some ups and downs after the divorce.
I’m not going to lie, those years were hard.
But those years taught me:
- That I deserved love
- I couldn’t date till I learned to heal and worked on my self-esteem
- To be kind and loving to others going through the same thing I was
- To be patient – because healing isn’t linear
Once you leave your partner, it does get lighter. You feel free like a bird that has suddenly left its cage.
It can be overwhelming because you were never used to this kind of freedom but the journey isn’t over.
You still need to heal and work your way back to becoming confident. You need to fall in love with yourself and develop your own identity.
This takes time.
Can you stay happily married to a narcissist? Here are my thoughts
1. Ask yourself if you are happy
It doesn’t matter if you have kids or you don’t have children.
Your happiness is important.
Kids can sense when their parents are sad or miserable – it does affect them.
Divorced parents who are happy and true to themselves are way better for children than 2 parents who don’t love each other and aren’t happy.
Children pick up on emotions.
Right now, you need to ask yourself if you are happy.
- Do you feel at peace in your relationship or are you always worrying about the next showdown?
- Are you resting assured that your husband is a good man for you?
- Do you feel like your husband respects and values you?
- Does he make you feel like you are not good enough?
These are questions you need to ask yourself.
No one can answer these but you.
2. Get clarity
Do activities that bring you to your center – activities that don’t involve your husband.
- Do yoga.
- Talk to people.
- Engage in a hobby that immerses you completely.
If you have no friends, which is understandable because narcissists usually cut off their partners from other people, then talk to a counselor or a therapist who is unbiased.
Find someone who is kind and listens to you without judging.
You cannot get clarity or think if you are living with your husband 24/7.
You need some time away from him to get clarity and perspective.
And you need time to be yourself.
So, find a therapist and talk to them.
They will give you the tools to see your situation from an unbiased perspective – they will help you self-introspect and analyze what is really going on in your life.
For me, my revelation was Quora.
When I started reading quora, I realized how messed up my relationship really was.
I realized that husbands aren’t supposed to hit their wives.
They aren’t supposed to torture them emotionally every day or threaten to leave the house whenever they are not satisfied.
That’s when I knew something was really wrong in my relationship.
Start doing activities that will help you see what kind of relationship you have with your husband.
3. Love yourself
Everybody deserves love.
You’re no different.
Ask yourself why you fail to see that you too deserve kindness and love.
It isn’t scary living alone.
In fact, it’s amazing – I enjoyed every moment of it.
Leaving your narcissistic partner doesn’t mean that you are going to be alone forever.
It simply means that you are choosing to not be in a relationship with your narcissistic husband because you both have different needs.
You desire a loving, committed relationship with someone who respects you and loves you.
You aren’t going to ever get that if you remain married to his person.
So you have to ask yourself whether you can truly be happy with your husband.
And whatever he is showing you now, is what he is.
He is not going to change – people rarely change.
Your self-worth is not attached to your relationship status.
If you are single, it doesn’t mean you are less than a person who is in a relationship.
It simply means you haven’t found the right man yet.
That’s all it is.
Relationship status isn’t linked to self-worth in any way.
4. Know that it is going to continue till he’s done with you
You are currently fulfilling his needs.
But one day, you won’t.
That’s the day, he will move on without so much as a glance back at you.
He has not formed an emotional attachment to you, despite many years of marriage.
It’s hard to grasp but this is the truth.
Narcissists don’t feel like we do.
They are using you for whatever you are providing them be it comfort, food, money, the safety of a relationship, etc.
Once they find something better, they will move without hesitation.
My only request is you think about how bad does it have to get before you decide to leave?
Are you going to wait till the end, till the relationship becomes toxic?
Till he has cut you off from your friends and you feel like you don’t have an identity anymore?
5. Ask yourself if the relationship is healthy
If your relationship has reached the point where:
- You fight all the time
- You can never see eye to eye about any decision
- He hates when you talk to friends or family and you are alone because you don’t want more fights
- You are giving in to everything to make him happy
- You feel trapped, alone, and depressed because he isn’t making you happy
- You feel like he doesn’t understand you and makes no attempt to try
- He emotionally or physically abuses you by gaslighting you, criticizing you, and never giving you any respect
You are in an unhealthy relationship and you should definitely consider leaving the relationship or talking to a therapist.
I also recommend reading this article to learn how to live with a narcissist.
Please read up on narcissism and learn more about it.
Knowledge will help you make the right decision because you’ll be better equipped to do what is best for you.
Learn to love yourself, unapologetically.
In the end, it is your decision to stay or leave.
If it is a decision that is too hard for you to make, then study more about narcissists and ask yourself if you would ever choose to be in a relationship like this if you could rewind time.
There are good people out there.
You can choose to be single or find love again. That is your choice.
Take it one step at a time.
If you do decide to leave, get your finances in order and plan it properly. Do it systematically.
And stay safe.
Here are more posts that you might find helpful:
- 13 signs of unrequited love
- Is it time to end the relationship? 17 signs it’s over
- 11 relationship killers that you need to watch out for
- 17 signs he doesn’t value you
- 21 signs he doesn’t think you are good enough for him
- I hated my ex-husband – how I got over it
- What I did after I found out my ex was cheating on me
- How to overcome the fear of being cheated on
- Boyfriend cheated on you with his ex, should you take him back?
- Does he love you if he cheats on his girlfriend with you?
- 7 reasons why a husband just leaves for no reason
- What to say to the woman he’s cheating on you with
- My cheating ex wants to be friends, what do I do?
- How to recover after a toxic relationship
- How to love yourself as a single woman
- 17 signs he only wants you for your body
- 21 signs he thinks you’re not good enough
- I thought he was the one: What I did after losing him
- How to rebuild your life after losing everything that matters
- Struggling with singleness? Read this
- How to recover from a toxic relationship
- Will I ever find love again? Yes, here’s why
- How to prepare yourself for a relationship and find love
- Will I ever find someone better than my ex? Yes, read this
- 7 books to read after a painful breakup
- 13 signs you are healing from a painful breakup