|Narcissus admires his reflection.|
In my decades of divorce practice, I’ve encountered folks who, if a psychological evaluation was completed, might be characterized as having narcissistic personality disorder. A few of these peeps have been clients; others have been on the opposing side.
Either way, everyone involved is actually in for a rough ride.
Over the past several years, “narcissism” has also taken on a connotation-du-jour. The diagnosis being made by dime-store psychologists (i.e. parties to family court litigation) whenever the object takes an opposing or contrary view.
What is actually narcissim, definitely?
According to the Mayo Clinic, narcissistic personality disorder is actually “characterized by dramatic, emotional behavior, which is actually inside same category as antisocial as well as also also borderline personality disorders.” A person with in which personality disorder may exhibit some of the following characteristics, according to the Clinic:
- Believing you are better than others;
- Fantasizing about your success, power as well as also also attractiveness;
- Exaggerating your achievements or talents;
- Expecting constant praise as well as also also admiration;
- Ignoring some other’s feelings as well as also also emotions;
- Believing as well as also also acting like you are definitely, definitely special;
- Taking advantage of others;
- Expecting others to go along with your often super-sized schemes as well as also also plans;
- Exhibiting jealousy toward others;
- Believing others are jealous of you;
- Unable to maintain healthy inter-personal relationships;
- Easily hurt or rejected;
- Fragile self-esteem
If you know someone with more than a few of these traits, run. If you are married to such a person, get ready for the inevitable divorce proceeding when you finally throw inside towel, realizing in which your spouse will never change.
If you are a lawyer representing such a person, affix your chin strap as well as also also bring a lunch.
inside divorce context, the narcissist fares quite poorly. The above-listed features of in which personality disorder are routinely identifed as well as also also rigorously addressed by family court professionals.
In in which process, the personality flaws of the narcissist are forced itno the lab for a full-on forensic evaluation. Many of the tools inside family court professional’s arsenal will be brought to bear upon the conduct of the narcissist in an effort to force short-term modification, as well as also also to achieve a stable platform.
Some red flags in which I’ve gleaned in the past: a narcissist will change lawyers often, blaming the status of the case on the mistakes of prior legal counsel. Also, the register of actions inside case of a narcissist will often be a mile long, peppered with hearings, motions, as well as also also more hearings.
When a narcissist is actually embroiled in a divorce proceeding, the children are used as pawns. Any input through the Friend of the Court [either via a referee, family counselor, or social worker] or through a therapist, is actually rejected; the narcissistic parent must be dragged to court, kicking, screaming as well as also also cursing.
inside years leading up to such a divorce, the some other spouse will often report being chronically verbally abused as well as also also bullied by the narcissist. In fact, in which dynamic will set the initial tone of the proceeding.
The process will next feature a series of attempts, which will take some time, where the professionals try to arrest the insidious as well as also also pervasive conduct of the narcissist. Arrest, although not change; in which person will not change.
The some other spouse many times will exhibit classic signs of emotional abuse during in which painful process: low self-esteem, exhaustion, a desire to give up or give in. in which person needs a strong focused divorce lawyer.
as well as also also counseling.
During the divorce process, the some other spouse is actually well advised to minimize the face-to-face contacts with the narcissist. If children are involved, then communicate through emails as well as also also texts.
If you feel threatened at home or during parenting exchanges, seek exclusive use of the marital home. If you are separated, use a neutral transition point for the parenting exchanges; most family court judges will grant such a request simply to err on the side of everyone’s safety.
Finally, stay focused on the process knowing in which the process will eventually come to an end. The Michigan Supreme Court has mandated in which county family courts conclude divorce proceedings within a year.