Narcissistic personality disorder & divorce

Leslie Barrows
 | Published: 
March 8, 2018
 | Category: 
General Information

Narcissistic personality disorder & divorce

A spouse with narcissistic personality disorder may prefer a court battle. In a recent article in Psychology Today, issues involving narcissists and divorce are highlighted to help people understand and respond appropriately to typical narcissist behavior. The article suggests you are going to court because your narcissist spouse’s, “refusal to discuss terms on any reasonable basis. Going to court and having a judge decide may actually make the narcissist more comfortable because it means he or she doesn’t have to take responsibility for the outcome, especially if it’s not favorable.[i]

The narcissist wants to battle in court and have plenty of attention.

The narcissist wins by engaging you in a court battle. The narcissist makes it all about them. If they are the ones to start the court battle it is because they are in it to win it and they seek attention through battling you. If you cause them to respond to litigation they still win because it means they are the victim and will seek attention through others who pay attention to their pity party.

Tips on spotting and addressing narcissists in divorce:  

Narcissists in divorce may love playing games.

In divorce, the narcissist with money to spend on litigation can tie a divorce and custody case up for a long time if they know how to take advantage of the court system. The longer they can hold their spouse over a barrel and keep spending everyone’s time and resources, the more likely the narcissist will win by simply exhausting everyone else involved.

Experienced divorce attorneys can usually spot these situations from a mile away and will respond accordingly to protect their client from being on the wrong end of frivolous and ongoing divorce litigation. The courts can help limit a narcissist from causing a family law case from getting out of hand. This is especially important when the narcissist is not likely to stop filing things just because the original divorce case is concluded.

For more thoughts about narcissism and divorce, call Leslie Barrows.

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[i] Psychology Today, 13 essential tips if you are divorcing  a narcissist, by Peg Strep, May 11 ,2016.