Divorcing a narcissist can be a nightmare. To protect yourself, your family and your finances, it’s important to know what you’re up against. While psychologists have put people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) into numerous categories, there are two primary ones that most will fall into: grandiose and vulnerable. Each type will affect a divorce in different ways.
A grandiose NP (narcissistic personality) is confident and often insensitive. As its name suggests, those that fall into this category know that they are superior, and will attack those who do not give them the feedback or respect they feel they’re entitled to. They feel no shame, and regard themselves in the highest self-esteem.
In relationships, grandiose NPs may simply walk away from partners if they feel they aren’t getting the admiration and respect they deserve. They appear to lack empathy or remorse, and are often aggressive and dominant.
How Grandiose Narcissists React to Divorce
Because a grandiose NP lacks empathy and has an over-inflated ego (to put it simply), negotiating can be a challenge – sometimes impossible. Those with NPD that fall into this category will disparage their partners, and fight for what they believe is rightfully theirs. This can make support and the distribution of assets difficult.
To protect your family and your assets, you need a strong, aggressive divorce attorney that has experience dealing with this type of NP. Before you bring up the subject of divorce, make sure that you have a clear picture of your family’s financial situation and copies of financial documents to prevent delays.
Vulnerable NPs are a bit more sensitive on an emotional level. They tend to play the victim, and they often feel anxious or helpless when people don’t put them on a pedestal. These individuals are preoccupied with their fears of abandonment and rejection. They may feel inferior one minute and superior the next depending on what is going on in their lives.
A minor setback, like a divorce, can lead a vulnerable NP to therapy. Shortly after the conflict is over, he/she will drop out.
Vulnerable NPs only cares about how their partners see them, and will go to great lengths to gain their respect. But when their partners make suggestions of change, they often go on the defensive. Some will have hidden affairs, but will accuse their partner of being unfaithful and will go to extremes to prevent that from happening.
How Vulnerable Narcissists React to Divorce
Vulnerable NPs often play the victim. In some cases, the threat of divorce may lead to the vulnerable NP threatening suicide. Many partners avoid the subject altogether after such a serious threat.
Those who fall into this category will disparage their partners if their success makes them feel threatened. The same can be said for divorce. Vulnerable NPs may believe they have the right to determine how the assets are split, and their believed superior position in the marriage means they’re entitled to more. An inflated sense of superiority and a masterful play of the victim card can make it a challenge to negotiate and settle matters with the judge in an unbiased, objective way.
Whether you’re dealing with a grandiose or vulnerable NP, you need a divorce lawyer that has the experience and “never back down” attitude needed to ensure that you get your fair share from the divorce.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm specializing in family law and estates. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.