People get married. People get divorced. And that's how it goes... especially in today's times. If you study divorce statistics in America, you'll see that a majority of the marriages that take place end up in a divorce. That automatically forces us to question the institute of marriage in today's time. Why do people get divorced so easily and what are some of these pressing reasons that drives people to this point? Of all the common causes and reasons for divorce, narcissism would probably not even come to mind, but then there it is―one of the many, many reasons that lead to a divorce. However, that still does not shed light on how narcissism and divorce are connected. To get into the details and intricacies of narcissism causing divorce and what happens, we first need to understand what narcissistic behavior is.
Narcissism and its Traits
Narcissism involves traits that have to do with egoism, conceit, pride, and selfishness. This term is derived from the psychological disorder and is better known in the context of a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). This disorder describes those people who have an obsession with one's own self. To an extent such that they end up disregarding everyone else and focusing merely on their pleasures and needs. Though this article will not be getting into the causes of a narcissistic personality disorder, we will be giving you some of the symptoms of the same. Here are some of the key traits of a narcissistic person. These will help you identify the factors that make up their personality and get around to understanding what is narcissistic behavior.
- Has a strong belief that he is unique and special. Much more than others will or can ever be.
- He has a flamboyant sense of self-importance.
- He is incapable of showing feelings of empathy.
- He is extremely arrogant and portrays haughty behavior at most times.
- He gives in to exaggerated feelings of gaining power, success, brilliance, self beauty, and winning ideal love.
- He needs constant admiration from others.
- He has a very exploitative nature which is clearly seen in his interaction with others.
- He is prone to show envy at other people's success stories and is often under the impression that people are envious of him at any given point of time.
- He has unreasonable expectations from others and if these aren't met by people, those people are considered to be very difficult.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Divorce
Imagine being in a relationship with a person who has a narcissistic personality. A person who does not have the sense of the 'other' in a relationship, who does not understand simple issues that go on to define success in a relationship. Issues like adjustment, compromise, balance, appreciation, and love. Such a person whose entire life revolves around him/her and satisfying his/her own needs can never find the required traits to make a success of any relationship, or in this case, a marriage.
Making a marriage work with a personality such as this one requires one to not only sacrifice the basic needs that a person expects from a relationship (love, acceptance, encouragement) but is also constantly under pressure to be feeding and stroking the other person's ego. Narcissistic rage is one of the most dangerous traits that these people might acquire, and that might even drive them to be abusive in a marriage if their partners do not 'comply' with their wishes. After a point of time, living with a personality such as this one will get to be an emotional and mental strain, an ordeal that a person will want to get away from.
Getting to the point of narcissism and divorce, what happens when a person wants to end the relationship and go in for a divorce? The narcissist will find it difficult to lose the power and will want to hold on to that relationship for as long as he can, in order to continue holding the reins and controlling the other in every possible manner. A battle in court, in most cases, will turn out to be very messy. The strain that the divorce seeker will experience will be tremendous. This is because, a narcissist will even stoop to using deceitful means to get his way. This in itself can cause a lot of emotional trauma for the person seeking divorce. Narcissists will also try to do anything to keep the divorce from taking place and they'll go on to weaken the other party by trying to get them to doubt their decision. This they'll do by portraying that they've changed but there are less chances they ever will. It is also a characteristic trait of a narcissistic personality that they will be good to others as far as everything is going according to their wishes, but the minute someone tries to defy them, they will get difficult.
Dealing with a Narcissist
It is extremely important to know how to deal with a narcissist. It is an exhausting task dealing with a narcissist during divorce. And that is why one has to keep these pointers in mind:
- Have a strong support group that you can lean on because doing this on your own can get tough for most.
- Be proactive and ready for attack instead of getting run over by the narcissist.
- Do not give in to fear, 'cause that is what they will hold on to and run you down.
- Get a restraining order from the court if the need be and this is the only thing that will keep them away.
- Do not believe anything they say without consulting an expert or close friends and family. They will try to make you weak and doubt your decision of leaving them.
Of all the common causes and reasons for divorce, narcissism is not one that is duly recognized. But when put together, divorce and narcissism almost always work out that way. Knowing now what a narcissistic personality is and what it can lead to, one will hopefully be very cautious before getting into marriage with a person who is a narcissist.