Many Louisiana spouses feel that their partner is mentally unstable, or perhaps suffering from a personality disorder. For a few unlucky spouses, however, that assessment is more than just a joke or an exaggeration. Narcissists and psychopaths are not as uncommon as many people would like to believe, and many of them are married. Moving through a divorce with one of these people can be an absolute nightmare, and requires a special approach.
The field of psychiatry defines a narcissist as an individual who has an excessive focus on and an inflated opinion of oneself. A psychopath is an individual who has violent social tendencies. One of the most powerful things that a spouse can do when divorcing a person with either of these disorders is to disengage with that individual.
Disengaging requires a refusal to participate in any form of confrontation or emotional exchange with the other party. No matter what behaviors are displayed or how hard the other person tries, it is absolutely critical to avoid responding. Narcissists and psychopaths feed off of the reactions that they are able to elicit from others. They may ramp up their efforts initially, but after a period of time, they will tire of getting no reaction and will move on to their next victim.
Moving through a divorce from a person with a serious personality disorder is a difficult process. It is also one that should not be attempted on one's own. Assembling a team of professionals, including a good Louisiana family law attorney and a trusted therapist, can help provide the knowledge and support to navigate these challenging waters. It may be a bumpy ride, but there is a wonderful new life waiting once the marriage is in the rear view mirror.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce From A Psychopath Or Narcissist Is Never Easy", Tiffany Beverlin, July 9, 2017