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A narcissistic spouse can complicate a divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2021 | Family Law

When a spouse in Alaska or elsewhere determines that his or her relationship is no longer viable, it often sparks a series of decisions and life-changing events. This is especially true if the spouse in question files for divorce, particularly if he or she is a parent. Narcissism is often a key factor in marital problems, and if an ex shows signs of narcissistic behavior, it can make the divorce process stressful.

How to know if a spouse is a narcissist

As with many personality disorders, narcissism is more of a spectrum of behaviors than a singular condition. A person might be married to a narcissist who exhibits behaviors that are different from a friend’s spouse who also shows symptoms of narcissism. The following list includes numerous personality traits or behaviors that are common within the spectrum of narcissism:

  • Narcissists are typically self-absorbed.
  • A narcissist often does not like to be corrected or criticized.
  • He or she may have an inflated ego.
  • A narcissist often considers his or her needs or opinions superior to others.
  • Narcissistic behavior may include fits of anger.
  • A narcissist often lacks compassion and empathy for others.
  • A narcissist may blame others for his or her actions or mistakes.

It is not uncommon for someone who is married to a narcissist to decide that he or she would rather move on in life alone than stay in an unhappy marriage. However, the behaviors and personality traits mentioned earlier can cause stress and complications during divorce proceedings, especially regarding child custody and property division issues.

Avoid angry outbursts in court

A narcissist often provokes other people to anger, then blames them for their outbursts. A concerned spouse may ask an experienced family law attorney to speak and act on his or her behalf so as not to be drawn into courtroom arguments with a narcissistic ex.

Especially for a parent whose priority is to keep children’s best interests in mind and to protect his or her parental rights and financial interests, legal representation can help combat any attempts by the narcissistic spouse to usurp a parent’s rights or try to keep a parent from getting all that he or she is entitled to in a divorce.