Divorcing Your Narcissistic Spouse
Chester Lawyers Experienced in Complex Divorces
Divorcing a spouse who’s diagnosed or undiagnosed with narcissism can be exceptionally challenging. If you have reason to believe your partner is a narcissist, you’ll want a highly experienced lawyer to guide you through the legal separation process. A narcissistic spouse can cause emotional damage through a constant lack of empathy and inflated self-worth. At Edens Law Group, we have extensive knowledge of these types of divorces, and those involving mental health challenges. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us during this complicated time—we’re here to answer any questions you may have.
Understanding Narcissistic Behaviors
We often think of a narcissist as someone who constantly thinks about themselves or loves to be the center of attention. While this can be true, it can also be considered a mental health condition, called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, .5 to 1% of U.S adults have been diagnosed with NPD. Additionally, experts believe that thousands of cases of NPD go undiagnosed each year.
Whether your spouse is medically diagnosed or not, the more you know about narcissism, the better prepared you’ll be. Typically, narcissists lack sympathy and tend to take very little responsibility for their actions, especially when being hurtful. For this reason, troubled relationships are quite common among narcissists.
Other familiar behaviors a narcissist can display include:
- Unreasonable expectations
- Resistant to criticism
- Takes advantage of others
- Needs to be revered and celebrated
Challenges to Divorcing a Narcissist
Diagnosing NPD is extremely hard without an expert opinion, thus making it difficult to recognize a narcissist when you’re married to them. Even though they exhibit some of the above-mentioned behaviors, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a narcissist. One must think of narcissism as a spectrum. On one end, there’s the full-blown personality disorder and, on the other end, they might only possess a few traits. The more traits a person has, the more difficult it will be to stay in partnership with them.
What’s important to understand from a legal perspective is the concept that divorcing a narcissist, or someone with another mental disorder, will not follow the typical rules of a negotiated and resolution. However reasonable you may want to be, you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t follow the rules or typical social norms. The process of divorce is emotionally stressful and overwhelming as it is, so remind yourself why you’re doing it. If you have children, try and focus on their welfare rather than the struggles from your spouse. Staying positive during a time like this can benefit you and your children, as well as help you stay focused on your end goal.
Hiring Legal Representation
By choosing an attorney experienced with narcissistic personalities, you’ll have someone who understands the difficulties of the disorder and how to navigate them. At Edens Law Group, we’re committed to excellence and will be there every step of the way, even when your spouse isn’t willing to. You can count on us to treat you with the respect and dignity you deserve, as well as assurance on protecting your legal rights. Contact our firm today at (908) 259-6565 if you need assistance with your divorce.
Still not sure if your spouse is a narcissist? Read our full blog to learn more about the common signs for recognizing one.