The term ‘narcissist’ gets thrown around a lot these days, and used to refer to just about anyone who shows signs of being conceited, selfish, or unkind. Teens use it to describe their parents when they aren’t getting what they want from them. Adults use it to describe greedy bosses, mean spouses, and family members who make their lives difficult. But the truth is, while it’s easy to label someone a narcissist (especially when they routinely act like a selfish jerk) only a psychiatrist can formally diagnose someone with a personality disorder.
Does it make a difference if they’re a narcissist or not?
This is a difficult question to answer, because the truth is yes, it matters, but maybe not in the way you think it does. You might have spent endless hours researching narcissism online, and be 100% certain that your spouse is an undoubted, dyed-in-the-wool narcissist. But without that diagnosis, your opinion isn’t going to mean anything to the court. But does that matter?
When you think about it, your spouse (especially if they really are a narcissist) isn’t likely to agree to be formally profiled by a psychiatrist. After all, narcissists desperately need to be adored by the people around them. They won’t risk being labeled as “selfish” or “manipulative” or anything else that makes them look like the bad guy. So getting any kind of formal diagnosis is pretty much impossible anyway.
Knowing the facts would be nice, but in reality it doesn’t change much.
If your spouse really is a narcissist, then knowing that gives you an edge, even if it’s just your opinion, and not a formal diagnosis. If nothing else, it helps you be prepared for what lies ahead. Because if they really do suffer from that particular personality disorder, this divorce is going to be a really rough ride for you. (Especially if it wasn’t their idea to begin with!) You don’t need a formal diagnosis to tell you they’re going to treat you awfully, manipulate their attorney into thinking they’re the victim, and lie about you in court.
And what if they’re not a narcissist? What if they’re just a really selfish jerk? Well, that doesn’t change much for you, does it? Whether they’ve been formally diagnosed or not, a mean person is a mean person. Getting divorced from someone who treats you like a second class citizen is probably a pretty good idea to begin with, since you clearly weren’t happy. And if they’re going to take their frustrations out on you during this process and make it harder for everyone involved, well, which personality disorder is sitting in the driver’s seat makes no difference. Cruel is cruel just the same.
The Kronzek Firm can help you get out of an unhappy marriage.
Whether your spouse is an actual narcissist, or just a really awful person determined to make you miserable as much as they can, we can help. We’ve helped countless mid-Michigan residents get out of unhappy marriages and start over. It doesn’t change anything for us, whether your soon-to-be-ex has a personality disorder or not. We will do our very best regardless, to help you and represent your best interests every step of the way.
Whether you live in Lansing, Okemos, Dewitt or Holt, our skilled family law team is here to help you. If you’re ready to call it quits and move on from your relationship from someone who treats you badly and makes you unhappy, then we can help. To set up your free consultation today, call 866 766 5245. We’re available 24/7, including nights and weekends for crisis intervention.