Narcissism and Family Law

As a family lawyer I have seen a lot of manipulative behavior in my time from and from both men and women. However, the most disturbing type of behavior comes from those with a Narcissistic type of personality, but often they go undetected to the outside world and the spouse or partner of a narrcissit is often not believed at first due to the very clever and manipulative lies told by the narcissist.

So what is the deifinition of a narcissist? According to the Macquarie dictionary a Narcissist is someone who has “extreme admiration for oneself or one’s own attributes”. I have come to understand that it is much more than that. A narcissist is so preoccupied with ensuring that his world appears (to everyone else) perfect in every way – they believe they are superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings.

I have seen firsthand how a narcissist behaves and it is quite disturbing. From the outside they look no different to you or me but it is their behavior that gives them away. In a divorce situation a narcisist will do anything to avoid looking like the “bad” party and may go to incredible lengths to make the other party look like the bad guy – and there is no subject that is “off limits” to them. Additionally, wanting to appear the “better” parent if children are involved, they will fight tooth and nail for custody – even if they were not that involved with the prior to the separation.

To counter a narcissist you need to keep records and notes about everything they say and do as this can be documented proof to what they are up to. A narcissist does not like to get caught out and when challenged or made to feel inferior or inadequate will usually respond with anger, but has generally told so many lies as part of their fabrications that they will slip up when faced with factual information. This is usually their downfall.