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Divorcing a Narcissist

By Nottage and Ward on August 23, 2022

Narcissism is generally defined as a personality trait where a person has an inflated sense of their own importance, an intense desire for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. People who have narcissistic personality disorder tend to be very arrogant, haughty, and conceited with an over-inflated view of their own intelligence, attractiveness, or skills.

For parents, narcissism is often apparent when they place greater value on their needs than the needs of their children or partners. As such, they may be unwilling to compromise or alter their behaviors in any way to accommodate them.

Narcissism is also seen in parents who are preoccupied with issues such as power, prestige, and vanity that are related to their children’s achievements rather than how their child feels about themselves. The consequences of this attitude can be devastating, from creating an atmosphere of fear and loathing in the home to damaging a child’s self-worth so severely that it shatters their confidence later in life.

If you are divorcing a narcissist, contact our law firm today at (312) 332-2915. Our Chicago divorce lawyers have extensive experience dealing with high-conflict divorces and will provide you with the representation you need to protect your interests.

How To Best Co-Parent With a Narcissist

To be a successful co-parent with a narcissist, you have to understand how their mind works and how they use guilt as a control tactic.

Firstly, you need to learn how not to feel guilty when they try to make you feel guilty. The reason you need to ignore the narcissist’s attempts to make you feel guilty is that they do this with everyone, not just you. It’s all a game to them: they’ve tried to make you so upset that you react by avoiding them, withdrawing from them, or blaming yourself for whatever happened, which gives them their desired result of control over you.

Set boundaries for yourself and your ex-spouse and try to limit contact when co-parenting with someone as challenging as a narcissist. If possible, you should avoid face-to-face meetings if you can do so safely. If there is no choice but to meet in person, write down all details of the meeting so nothing gets disputed or forgotten later.

Rules for both parties should include: only giving information about the children if absolutely necessary; keeping any communication related to the children positive; not getting emotional during interactions involving children; setting ground rules upfront that include consequences for violating them.

With a narcissist, it’s crucial to make an effort to discuss these topics gently and logically. Being direct, assured, and the voice of reason may be necessary if your ex is acting irrationally, though.

What You Should Do If Divorce Seems Like the Best Option

If you are currently considering divorcing a narcissist, you may be experiencing a lot of confusion and frustration when trying to collect information and make decisions. Your life is already very complicated!

At Nottage and Ward, L.LP., we can help with your Chicago divorce and child custody case, providing answers to your questions about the law and how it applies to your situation. Call us today at (312) 332-2915.

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