When divorcing a person with narcissistic personality disorder, some of the most commonly contested aspects of marital dissolution include spousal support, child custody, and division of property. A narcissist is unlikely to view these only as issues necessary for allowing the family to move in its new form.
Recognize the Connection Between Narcissist Characteristics and Impact in Divorce
Given the self-serving aspect of narcissists, their interpretation of the end of the marriage and each specific issue can bring out some of the following traits in big ways:
- A need to be right
- A need to be seen as a “good” person
- Highly critical
- Having no interest in resolving conflicts
As the partner of a narcissist, you have probably already experienced these traits in your home life. These are why mediation and other forms of cooperative decision-making can be difficult. In order to succeed, you need an attorney with experience to guide you through and provide a solid strategy. Any statement or claim that the narcissist is “wrong” could potentially lead to increased conflict.
Expect Potential Threats
In essence, the act of going through a divorce involves rejection of the narcissist. Narcissists can respond aggressively or even violently when it appears that your choice to file for divorce is a final one. That is because this is a direct attack on their ego. Narcissist Husband’s will typically respond with firm statements that border on threats like:
- I will take the kids away from you.
- I’m going to take you for everything you’re worth.
- You’re going to pay me child support and spousal support.
- You and the kids will end up penniless if you continue with this.
- You will regret this decision
If there has been any form of spousal or child abuse, it’s important to share these concerns with your Florida divorce lawyer immediately as possible. It’s likely this behavior might continue with verbal threats or stalking during the divorce. These issues can be extremely important when it comes to child custody, so take these statements seriously and try to remain calm at the moment.
When the narcissist feels backed into a corner, they will do everything possible to convince you that you are unlikely to win and that you’ll be much worse off without them.
Narcissists Are Driven to Win
A person with a narcissistic personality disorder is highly motivated to win, even if this is at the expense of other people..including their own children.
These kinds of spouses often turn to speaking louder and going out of their way to make their points known in an effort to make you defensive. They tend to hire attorneys who will fight to the bitter end for the aspects of the divorce the narcissist believes to be most important.
If you bring up any aspect of fault or a claim against the other party, such as an accusation of adultery or poor parenting skills, you can expect that the narcissist will respond viciously with claims of chinks in your own armor. The mere act of stating that this spouse did something “wrong” can increase the conflict level immediately.
Don’t Spend Time Berating Yourself
It’s possible that some of their underlying narcissist traits are what led you to this point of getting a divorce. As these aspects of their personality are amplified in court and during litigation. It’s easy to slip into the space of berating yourself for ever getting involved with this person in the first place. Remember that narcissists are very skilled at getting what they want and at one point in time, what they wanted was you. They are talented at presenting one face of their personality, the best one, early on in the relationship.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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