In family law, there is one type of personality disorder that is pretty frequent in divorce cases. That is a narcissistic personality disorder, or better said narcissism.
Dealing with a narcissist in family court can be difficult. In some instances, clients don’t realize they are married to a narcissist and have been manipulated for years. That is why it’s important to know the characteristics and different types of narcissistic personality disorders. Knowing this information can help people regain their power and feel confident in a family case.
Narcissism is a condition in which a person wants the best of the best—cars, homes, jobs. They lack empathy, believe they are more important than anyone else and feel entitled to things.
Narcissists are obsessed with success, power, and the “perfect” partner. They feel they are deserving of excessive admiration for generally nothing or even minor achievements.
Are you with a narcissist?
You can identify a narcissist not just by the way they feel about themselves but by the way they treat others. Narcissists will take over a conversation and belittle people they think are inferior to them. They believe they are better and superior to other people and only surround themselves with people they believe are “superior” as well. Narcissists take advantage of people and expect everyone to agree with them and be compliant with their decisions. Because of their lack of empathy, narcissists either can’t or won’t recognize other people’s feelings and needs.
Spotting a narcissist is not just by what they think about themselves or how they treat people, but there are telltale signs as to the emotional state of a narcissist. Narcissists can have difficulty controlling their emotions. If something doesn’t go their way or they don’t receive the special treatment they feel they deserve, a narcissist can become enraged, impatient, moody, and depressed. In an emotional fit, a narcissist will lash out and belittle others to make themselves feel or look superior. And, they have major difficulties handling high-stress situations. Sometimes these extreme emotions are masking the narcissist’s secret feelings of vulnerability, shame, and insecurity.
This all being said, there isn’t just one type of narcissist but there are multiple types of narcissists. Some of the commonly known narcissist types are malignant narcissists, grandiose narcissists, and covert narcissists.
Malignant narcissists truly love themselves above all others. They think that they are superior to others and that they are highly intelligent or have extraordinary talents. These types of narcissists think they are better looking than anyone else.
Malignant narcissists can also exhibit some undesirable traits. This includes aggression, remorselessness, anti-social tendencies, sadism, plotting to destroy people, and actively dehumanizing others.
Malignant narcissists can be very dangerous especially in a legal battle. Should the malignant narcissist feel threatened, they will use any manipulation and lie to destroy another person in a court proceeding. There are no limits. They will lie about anything, just to make a spouse look bad. Some lies I’ve encountered in court include false allegations that a spouse uses drugs or is abusing their children. A malignant narcissist won’t use these tactics to necessarily try to “win” a case but as a way to degrade the person they are targeting.
Grandiose Narcissists :
Grandiose narcissists quite literally believe there is a grandiosity about themselves. They will think and tell everyone that they are the best at everything. They want to be put on a pedestal for their “superiority.” Grandiose narcissists are entitled, lack empathy, seek attention, are remorseless, exhibit arrogance, appear to have no anxiety, and can be aggressive and hostile. If you’re in a relationship with a grandiose narcissist they could end the relationship merely because they feel they aren’t getting enough attention. And, if you are married to a grandiose narcissist and either of you files for divorce, the narcissist can be very difficult to negotiate with because of the grandiose narcissist’s ego, arrogance, and belief that they are entitled to everything—especially money and assets.
Covert narcissists appear to be very thin-skinned or vulnerable, which is why covert narcissists are also known as vulnerable narcissists. On the outside, a covert narcissist appears to be shy, submissive, and hypersensitive but internally they are self-absorbed, have fantasies of grandiosity, and feel superior to others. You’ll find that covert narcissists will gaslight, use passive-aggressive behavior and manipulate their partners in a romantic relationship. If you’re in the midst of divorcing a covert narcissist you will likely find that they are playing the victim and prolonging the divorce as long as possible to give themselves purpose and gain attention and sympathy from friends, family, and even the judge.
If you find that you are in a marriage with a narcissist and want a divorce, with a strong support system, tenured family law attorney and legal strategy, it is possible to come out on the other side stronger and free of the toxic relationship.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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