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Divorcing a person with narcissistic personality disorder

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | Divorce, Family Law

Divorce is difficult no matter what. Divorcing someone with a mental condition or personality disorder makes divorce even harder. An example is divorcing an individual with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD.)

What is narcissistic personality disorder?

This personality disorder is a mental problem characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and grandiosity. People with this disorder display an excessive need for attention from others, admiration and can display dangerous behaviors when people do not follow their lead. 

Divorcing a narcissist

The term “narcissist” has been excessively overused in recent years. So much so, that many have developed the wrong idea of what this disorder looks like. The fact that it has become part of the mainstream lexicon is dangerous because this personality disorder is a true mental problem.

People have used it as a label for people who are egotistic or selfish but do not have the condition, which is not the same as having NPD, which does not help because it waters down a mental condition and problem that is important to address on a societal level.

Divorcing a true narcissist can be one of the most challenging experiences a person can go through. This disorder often includes a pattern of behaviors that makes the process of divorce difficult, such as:

  1. Aggressiveness
  2. Vindictiveness
  3. Recurrent lying
  4. Angry outbursts

In addition, divorcing a person with NPD can be difficult because they usually try to delay the divorce process. They manipulate to get people to be “on their side,” among other toxic behaviors.

You should be prepared for a challenging divorce process and do everything you can to protect yourself by establishing or staying close to your support system and setting boundaries with your soon-to-be former spouse.

Having your attorney deal with them instead of you dealing with them directly and allowing your attorney to negotiate on your behalf is wise. Usually, a person with NPD will attempt to use what you value most against you, which is why the support of an attorney is critical.