Published On: Wed, Sep 30th, 2020

How Do Narcissists Deal With Divorce?

Over the past few years, the national conversation surrounding both mental health and toxic relationships has become a lot louder and more active than it was a decade or so ago. Thanks to more information available online and more people willing to have open dialogue about their own past experiences and traumas, more people have come to understand that unhealthy relationships are often the result of one party being not merely a bad partner, but a narcissist.

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder that causes people to have an inflated idea of who they are and a need for attention from other people. A person who has this disorder is simply not capable of thinking about anyone but themselves. Some of the common traits of narcissists include:

  • Always choose their own self-interests over selflessness or empathy
  • Unhappy unless they’re the center of attention
  • Feel little empathy, even for loved ones
  • Believe they’re more special or important than others
  • Fail to keep lasting bonds with loved ones and friends
  • Prioritize money, success, and attention over love, altruism, and genuine happiness
  • Only want to associate with other “superior” people

Although NPD is a personality disorder that needs to be formally diagnosed by a mental health professional, it’s possible for a person to have a very narcissistic personality without actually being diagnosed with the disorder. It’s also possible to have NPD without ever receiving a diagnosis. The fact is, most people with the disorder will never consent to being diagnosed. They believe everyone else is the problem.

Regardless of an official diagnosis, those with narcissistic traits often make extremely undesirable partners who can cause years of agony, strife, and emotional scars for those who make the mistake of loving them.

The Challenges of Divorcing a Narcissist

A narcissist puts their own needs, desires, and urges ahead of all else. Even if they’re parents who claim to love their family and children, their own self-interests will always be their first priority. This can be mind-boggling to any well-adjusted person who prioritizes the needs of their children and loved ones over their own.

During a divorce, a non-narcissist feels much grief and stress surrounding the proceedings, even if they’re confident that they’re making the right decision. Many empathetic types worry about how the trauma of the divorce is affecting their children. Some may even feel compassion for their spouse as they remember the love that once was.

A narcissist doesn’t view a divorce as a sad affair or the end of a family unit. Instead, they see it as a personal attack. The narcissist views themselves as better than the rest and believes that they are the protagonist of the story. Since they put themselves on this pedestal, they view any form of rejection as a baseless attack by an enemy against a shining star who’s done no wrong.

A narcissist views a divorce as a war to be won. This means they will go to great lengths to protect their own reputation, financial interests, and desires. Since they’re entering the proceedings with this battle mindset, don’t expect mediation or compromise. While you might view your spouse as someone who you used to love with whom you’d like to find an amicable settlement, they view you as an enemy to be conquered, humiliated, and destroyed. You might want to check this website here to get legal help around family matters.

Protect Yourself and Your Rights

Narcissists often attempt to manipulate evidence to try to falsely portray their spouse as crazy, unstable, or adulterous during divorce proceedings. Hence, divorcing a narcissist requires thorough planning and preparation. This means you can’t do it alone. You need the aid of good divorce attorneys who will be able to take your spouse’s behavior and personality into account as they fight for fairness and justice in court.

While it might be in your empathetic nature to feel sympathy for your narcissistic spouse, this is no excuse to let them walk all over you. There is no shame in standing up for your rights and seeking legal aid from a divorce lawyer to ensure you’re protected, especially when dealing with someone who prioritizes themselves above all else.

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