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Filing for divorce from a narcissistic spouse

Apr 14, 2021 | Divorce

Many spouses in West Virginia and beyond say they overlooked little faults or personality quirks in their spouses before they decided to get married. Some even say they found such nuances attractive or simply laughed about a partner’s lack of spontaneity or impatient attitude — at first. As years pass, what once appeared to be nothing more than a harmless personality issue might wind up being part of a much more serious problem: narcissism. It is no surprise that many spouses whose partners are narcissists wind up filing for divorce.

How to recognize signs of narcissism in a spouse

Especially if a person is not familiar with narcissism, he or she might just think they are having marriage problems without realizing that his or her spouse has a personality disorder. The following list shows some of the most common issues that would suggest that a person is a narcissist:

  • A narcissist may lavish praise on or compliment a spouse in front of others but harshly criticize and demean the partner when they are alone.
  • A narcissistic spouse is self-absorbed and will not show empathy, compassion or affection to a partner unless he or she chooses to do so for a self-serving reason.
  • A spouse who often feels isolated or lonely due to lack of companionship and affection in a marriage might be married to a narcissist.
  • Jealousy is a prevalent issue in a marriage with a narcissist.

While some narcissists admit that they have big egos or are vain, etc., most do not understand how their behavior affects others, particularly a spouse. A person who is married to a narcissist may feel emotionally abused and neglected in marriage.

If a decision is made to file for divorce

When filing for divorce from a narcissist, it is important to consider that he or she will still be narcissistic during proceedings. This can greatly affect courtroom behavior. Narcissists often try to bait their spouses into confrontation or emotional outbursts so that they can blame them for it later. To avoid being caught in this type of trap, a concerned spouse can ask an experienced family law attorney to act on his or her behalf in court.