Mayo Clinic defines narcissistic personality disorder as a psychological condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance. They crave attention and admiration from others but struggle to understand or care about the feelings of those around them.
Being married to a narcissist can cause problems in relationships, work, school, and finances. People with narcissistic personality disorder expect special treatment. When people do not understand each other, they feel unhappy and disappointed. This can lead to unfulfilling relationships and difficulty connecting with others.
What Are the Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
According to DukeHealth, Trained mental health professionals conduct structured interviews to learn more about individual typical behavior patterns. If someone consistently displays at least five of the SPECIAL ME traits, they meet the diagnostic criteria for the condition.
- Sense of self-importance
- Preoccupation with power, beauty, or success
- Can only be around people who are important or special
- Interpersonally exploitative for their own gain
- Lack empathy
- Must be admired
- Narcissistic individuals often harbor feelings of envy toward others or hold the belief that others are envious of them
What Are the Indications of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Two types of narcissism are recognized by some researchers: adaptive and maladaptive narcissism. People often talk about narcissistic behavior in divorce. This behavior falls under the maladaptive category of narcissism.
Typically, research and experts classify narcissism into five types:
Referred to as grandiose and agentic narcissism, involves a person displaying an obvious and overstated sense of self-importance. People who have narcissistic tendencies often behave in a boastful way and crave attention. They do not display empathy and can be seen as outgoing and arrogant.
This is also known as vulnerable and closet narcissism, and it is the contrast to overt narcissism. People with covert narcissism may appear modest or self-effacing and have expressions of low self-esteem. This can lead to a higher likelihood of anxiety, depression, shame, introversion, self-doubt, or low confidence.
Some research considers arrogance, taking advantage of others, competing with others, and arguing a subtype of overt narcissism. This subtype focuses on rivalry and competition.
It is a subtype of overt narcissism often seen as the opposite of antagonistic narcissism. Individuals with communal narcissism often feel moral outrage. They also perceive themselves as compassionate and generous. Moreover, they display strong reactions to perceived unfair situations.
It is closely linked to overt narcissism. It is characterized by a strong need for praise and to be seen as superior to others. Additionally, it is associated with traits such as vindictiveness, sadism, aggression, and paranoia.
What Happens When You Divorce A Narcissist?
A narcissist’s reaction to divorce can vary widely depending on their personality, but some common reactions include:
Refusing to accept the divorce
Narcissists tend to think they are exempt from the rules and laws that everyone else follows. They may not accept that their spouse wants a divorce. Narcissistic individuals may attempt to persuade their partner to reconsider or exhibit unhelpful behavior during divorce.
Narcissists often don’t accept responsibility for the failure of their marriage
They blame their spouse for any issues that arise. This helps them shift the blame away from themselves. They may become angry and vindictive towards their partner and may try to turn friends and family members against them.
If a narcissist feels like they have been wronged or slighted, they may become obsessed with seeking revenge. Individuals may attempt to hurt their ex-spouse in a variety of ways. These include trying to ruin their partner’s reputation, extending the divorce process, and using financial resources to punish them. Narcissists may use divorce to control their ex-spouse.
Even after they have separated, they can still exert power over them. In divorce proceedings, narcissistic individuals may manipulate or exploit their children as pawns.
Some narcissists may appear natural by the divorce and seem to be moving on quickly. However, this may be a facade, and they may be hiding their true feelings behind a mask of confidence and dominance.
Protecting Your Finances during a Divorce a Narcissist
Divorcing a narcissist can be a challenging and emotionally draining experience, especially when it comes to protecting your finances. Here are some steps you can take to safeguard your financial future during a divorce from a narcissist:
- Gather all financial documents: Collect and organize all important financial documents, including bank statements, tax returns, and investment records. This will assist you in gaining a clear understanding of your financial circumstances and ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
- Hire a reputable divorce attorney: Working with an experienced divorce attorney who understands how to handle a narcissistic spouse is important. A good attorney can help you navigate the divorce process, negotiate a fair settlement, and protect your financial interests.
- Consider hiring a financial planner: A financial planner can provide valuable advice on managing your finances during and after the divorce. They can also help you develop a long-term financial plan and investment strategy.
- Establish a separate bank account: If you still need to, opening an account is recommended. This will help you protect your assets and ensure you have access to funds during the divorce.
- Monitor your credit: It’s important to monitor your credit score and report during a divorce. Your spouse may try to borrow money or open credit accounts in your name without your knowledge. It is important to stay alert and take action if you notice any suspicious activity.
- Document everything: Keep detailed records of all financial transactions, conversations, and agreements with your spouse. This will help you to protect yourself in case of any legal disputes or challenges.
How to Divorce a Narcissist and Win?
Prioritize both logistical and emotional preparation before proceeding with a divorce from someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder(NPD). Making a well-considered decision is crucial, as it is advisable not to rush into this choice.
Prioritize Planning Before Taking Any Action
It is advisable to avoid someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) about to divorce until you have made proper arrangements. Revealing your plans prematurely may lead them to sabotage your efforts. It is essential to prioritize your safety and that of your children if your spouse exhibits physical violence. Creating a safety plan is a necessary step.
Document instances of Narcissistic Behavior
Record any narcissistic abuse you experience, such as deceptive tactics and emotional abuse. Gather evidence to support your case, such as emails, text messages, and witness testimonies.
Stay Composed and Avoid Emotional Reactions
Narcissists may try to provoke emotional responses during the divorce proceedings. It is crucial to remain composed to disarm a narcissist and safeguard yourself. Your ability to maintain a neutral response can prevent further narcissistic gaslighting. Stay calm and composed, and focus on the facts and your goals.
Seek professional support
Consult a therapist or divorce attorney experienced in dealing with narcissistic personalities for guidance and assistance.
Refrain from speaking negatively about the narcissist
Exercise caution when sharing your feelings with mutual friends or family members who maintain contact with your spouse. Your spouse may attempt to manipulate them into gathering information to use against you. Moreover, engaging in negative gossip can prolong feelings of anger and helplessness.
Choose an experienced divorce attorney.
Select a divorce lawyer who has experience handling high-conflict cases involving narcissists. They can safeguard your legal rights and guide the legal proceedings.
Establish and enforce healthy boundaries.
Do not allow your spouse to take advantage of you. Making your well-being a priority and securing a stable future. If you need to maintain contact, such as for co-parenting, consult a lawyer. Establish clear boundaries in advance to ensure successful communication.
Expect that your spouse may attempt to test those boundaries, but you can maintain your autonomy by remaining consistent.
Assess and manage your boundaries in the digital.
Utilize measures such as blocking your spouse on social media and email platforms. Update passwords for personal accounts they may have access to, such as banking or shopping accounts. If necessary, establish clear communication guidelines specifying the approved channels, such as direct calls or through legal representatives.
Focus on self-care
Maintain a healthy lifestyle and prioritize your well-being. Seek therapy to help cope with the stress of the divorce. Practice self-care activities.
Allow your children to express their emotions openly.
Provide a supportive environment for your children to express and navigate their thoughts and emotions during the divorce. Recognize that they may experience self-blame and concerns about how their routines will be affected. It is crucial to prioritize the maintenance of consistent routines to provide stability for children of all ages.
Understanding Why a Narcissist Won’t Divorce You in Maryland
Divorcing a narcissist can be an incredibly challenging and complex process. One common scenario many individuals find themselves in is wondering why a narcissist won’t initiate the divorce themselves.
Need for Control
Narcissists thrive on exerting control over others and their surroundings. Starting a divorce would mean relinquishing control over the situation, which they often resist.
They can keep the divorce process under their control. This allows them to manipulate and extend it to their benefit. This can create frustration and stress for the other party.
Fear of Losing Narcissistic Supply
Narcissists feed off admiration, attention, and validation from others, which is known as narcissistic supply. Ending a marriage may mean losing a readily available supply source from their spouse. They may prolong the divorce process to maintain a sense of power and control over the emotional aspects of the relationship.
The Desire for Drama and Attention:
Narcissists often thrive on drama and attention; divorce can provide ample opportunities for both. The divorce proceedings are being prolonged. This allows them to manipulate and engage in power struggles. This creates a chaotic environment that serves their need for attention and control.
Financial Gain or Leverage
Narcissists are known for their self-serving nature, and divorce can present an opportunity for financial gain or leverage. They may delay the divorce for their own benefit. This could be to get more favorable financial terms or to gain an advantage when dividing assets and resources. Delaying the divorce gives them the power to exert control.
Desire to Punish and Seek Revenge
Narcissists can be vindictive and seek to punish their partners for perceived slights or threats to their egos. They are dragging out the divorce process. This is a form of revenge on their spouse. It causes emotional distress, financial burdens, and legal complexities.
Your Divorce With A Plan Attorneys Can Help
Understanding why a narcissist may resist when starting a divorce can help individuals better navigate the complex dynamics involved. At Divorce With A Plan, our experienced attorneys specialize in handling family law cases involving divorcing a narcissistic personality in Maryland. We understand the complexities involved and are here to guide you through the process with compassion and expertise.
Begin your journey towards reclaiming your life. Schedule a free consultation at (240) 269-3592 with our understanding legal professionals today. We will listen to your concerns, provide personalized advice, and help you develop a strategic plan for divorcing a narcissist. With our support, you can confidently navigate this difficult situation.