You know the type – selfish, my-way-or-the-highway – the type of person who refuses to negotiate. He or she simply expects everyone to go along with the plan, regardless of who’s inconvenienced – or harmed.
People with full-blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or even those who show traits of the disorder, are difficult people to get divorced from. Why? Because a narcissist is not like other people. They have relational issues that results in a maladaptive style of functioning in the world that can be hurtful to themselves or to others.
Here is a short list of the major traits of narcissism:
- An exaggerated sense of his or her talents and importance
- Being prone to a grand sense of romance, insight or achievement that’s out of proportion to reality
- An excessive – some would say unlimited – need for admiration and attention
- A consistent and powerful sense of entitlement. Narcissists can rationalize almost any selfish act as being perfectly normal and understandable
- A tendency to use people as objects
- An inability to engage in true empathy, but a canny ability to fake it when they want something
- A tendency to feeling hurt easily, but also a tendency to hurt others easily in a way that feels cruel and unnecessary
- An obsession with him or herself
- A lack of any capacity to be self-reflective or self-critical
In divorce, the folks are a real problem. For instance, a narcissist may simply drop the marriage because suddenly you’re not beautiful enough, or make enough money, or the love isn’t good enough for them anymore, or any number of other reasons that reflect their inability to properly relate. And then on top of it, they’ll probably be outraged that you won’t just go along with the divorce – and their proposed settlement agreement.
The bottom line is simple: if you’re divorcing someone who suffers from narcissism, or has traits similar to someone with full-blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you’re going to need to hire a good lawyer who has experience dealing with this personality type. The good news is, getting divorced from a narcissist can make life better.