Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Protecting yourself while divorcing a narcissist

Google defines “narcissism” from a psychological perspective as, “Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.” Narcissism is indeed a clinical diagnosis. While some individuals may exhibit narcissistic tendencies, true narcissists can unintentionally drive their loved ones a little bananas. If you are married to a narcissist (or someone you suspect of being a narcissist), it is important that you protect yourself in certain ways while pursuing a divorce.

Narcissists can make you feel small, unappreciated, unloved, unworthy and unimportant. For these reasons, divorce may be the healthiest option for you. However, you need to be careful when divorcing a narcissist. Beyond inspiring all kinds of negative feelings within you, a narcissist may believe that he or she deserves far more assets and far more parenting time than he or she deserves.

If you are divorcing a narcissist or someone you suspect is a narcissist, please alert your divorce attorney to this situation. Your attorney will be better able to protect you and your interests if he or she understands that your spouse will likely have an imbalanced view of what he or she deserves in the divorce settlement.

In addition, narcissists tend to be quite manipulative. Please guard yourself against these tendencies by communicating primarily through your attorneys. The more frequently you speak with your spouse, the more frequently he or she will be given the opportunity to manipulate you and your divorce process. In order to protect your emotional and mental energy, as well as your physical wellbeing, it is generally important to stay away from your spouse at this time.

Source: The Huffington Post, “The Secret to Divorcing a Narcissist: 'Stop Feeling, Start Thinking',” Lindsey Ellison, Oct. 23, 2014

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