Going through a divorce with custody issues is hard enough, however, the level of contention increases exponentially when one parent is a narcissist. In this situation, the other parent needs to remain strong and prepared for almost anything the narcissist might try to manipulate during the custody case.
How to Know You Are Dealing with a Narcissist
A narcissist is someone who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Narcissists can be exceptionally hard to reason within court because they live to control and manipulate others in their lives, including ex-spouses, their children, and even those involved in the court and the child custody case.
The scope of control will grow as the narcissist will make an attempt to manipulate the court’s custody proceedings. He or she will try to gain favor with the judge by twisting the facts, using charm and painting himself or herself as the victim. The NPD parent may use the court as a means to continue to exert control, abuse or humiliate the other parent. In the process, the narcissist will try to push the ex over the edge, encouraging reactions that would be viewed poorly by the judge.
Beating Narcissists at Their Own Game
It might seem like the non-NPD spouse is fighting a losing battle when dealing with a narcissist. The key to beating a narcissist at the game is to remain strong and see the forest for the trees. It is important to keep the focus on protecting the best interests of the couple’s children. People should:
- Never underestimate how low a narcissist will go to get his or her way.
- Prepare him or herself for battle mentally and emotionally because the narcissist will attempt to turn everyone against the other parent, including alienating their children.
- Get a notebook or daily calendar and keep track of everything, including child visitations, failure to show or refusals.
- Become organized and keep notes in chronological order because this can be a lifesaver with disproving some of the narcissist’s lies in court.
- Keep calm in court no matter how hard the narcissist attempts to push buttons to provoke an outburst. The non-NPD parent should allow his or her family law attorney to deal with objecting to false claims.
- Make a conscious decision to be a survivor instead of a victim when dealing with a narcissist.