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Tips for Divorcing a Narcissistic Spouse

Posted on in Divorce

Oakland County Divorce LawyerWhile many people use the term “narcissist” loosely, the medical community recognizes narcissistic personality disorder as an actual psychological diagnosis. Anyone who has been in a relationship or marriage with a partner who has this disorder can likely attest to the collateral damage they can cause. Ending a relationship with a narcissist can accelerate their behaviors because you are leaving them, something they have a difficult time processing. While any divorce can be hard, divorcing a narcissist can feel like Armageddon.

Signs Your Spouse Suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Although any gender can suffer from this disorder, it is found more often in men. A person who has narcissistic personality disorder typically has an inflated sense of self-importance and sense of entitlement. They also have an excessive need for admiration, while at the same time, showing a total disregard for others’ feelings, even their partners.

Narcissists often exaggerate their talents and achievements, coming across as conceited and pretentious. They look down on others since they believe they are superior to other people. They often take advantage of people in order to get what they want, as well as expect special favors. They insist on the best of everything and are envious of other people’s success.

A narcissist cannot handle any kind of criticism. Because they have a hard time regulating their behavior and their emotions, they can react with contempt or rage at even the slightest indication that they are not being treated the way they believe they should be.

Deep down, the narcissist actually has feelings of humiliation, shame, and insecurity and often suffers from depression or other emotional disorders because they are failing in their quest for perfection.

Divorcing a Narcissist

According to national statistics, approximately 95 percent of divorces are settled through negotiations and a trial is not necessary. However, if you are divorcing a narcissist, your divorce will likely turn into a long, drawn-out contentious affair if the narcissist gets their way.

In divorce, just like everything else in life, the narcissist is in it to win. They are only interested in being “proven right,” whatever their version of right is. They will do everything they can to paint themselves as the victim, no matter what the real facts of the marriage are. There is no negotiating with a narcissist. They are only interested in maintaining their power over their soon-to-be-ex-spouse and will engage in filing motion after motion after motion with the court in order to keep this power struggle going. This engagement allows the narcissist to still have feelings of power over their spouse and is a desperate attempt to hold onto that power.

It is critical to remember when dealing with someone with a narcissistic personality disorder that they do not feel the emotional loss like others do. The only empathy they have is for themselves and will never consider the damage that is being done – even to their own children – in the divorce war they are now waging.

Contact an Oakland County Divorce Lawyer for Help

If you are divorcing a spouse who you suspect has or has been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, it is important to have a skilled Novi, MI divorce attorney advocating for you and protecting your best interests. Call Elkouri Heath, PLC at 248-344-9700 to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help.

 

Sources: 

https://www.emedicinehealth.com/what_are_the_nine_traits_of_a_narcissist/article_em.htm 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20366662

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-support/201605/13-essential-tips-if-you-are-divorcing-narcissist

Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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