Donald Trump. Digital over-sharing. Entitled millennials.
We all like to complain about these things to varying degrees, but the questions at the heart of a recent Guardian feature are more serious to ponder: Are we living through a narcissism epidemic? Is this the Age of Me? And, if so, what are the repercussions?
As Columbus family law experts who often handle complicated divorce cases, it’s not uncommon to hear from clients experiencing this epidemic firsthand. Of course, when we do, it’s usually phrased as a question: “Should I divorce my narcissistic spouse?”
Only you can truly say it’s time to divorce your husband or wife — regardless of whether they’re a narcissistic spouse or not. But as we often say, knowledge is not only power, it’s also peace of mind. When the obstacle to settling your divorce is a narcissist, all bets are off. You need someone in your corner.
That’s where the experienced Columbus divorce lawyers at Babbitt & Dahlberg come in. We know complicated divorce cases, and we can help navigate the turbulence to get you an outcome you can live with.
When something goes wrong, does your husband blame everyone else and refuse to take responsibility? Is your wife more concerned with how your behavior (or your children’s) affects her reputation and standing? Maybe you’ve even heard her say, “You made me so mad I couldn’t help but … ” That lack of reflection should be a warning sign.
A marriage, in its ideal, is a union of equals. But if your spouse is never interested in solving marital problems together (see point #1), or even considering your point of view, it might be time to reconsider the marriage. After all, you can’t fix a broken relationship by yourself.
In other words, your spouse’s values are situational, almost always based off circumstances and who they’re talking to. It’s one thing to be empathetic and considering of all sides, but if your spouse’s morals shift wildly based on situations, can they be trusted? For instance, do they believe infidelity is wrong because it breaks trust and commitments, or only because you think it’s wrong?
It’s one thing to be a perfectionist, or, even, particular. Wanting things a certain way doesn’t necessarily make your spouse a narcissist, let alone someone you should be separating from.
But most narcissists are more than mere perfectionists. They have a tremendous need to control you and the situation. And that need can turn dark or ugly quick, especially when the narcissist doesn’t get his or her way.
You know the old nursery rhyme: “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”
It’s one thing for your spouse to be a serial teller of fibs and fish tales. After all, who doesn’t tell the occasional white lie?
But if your partner is not only a liar, but a manipulator, often telling people different stories about the same event, that could be a more serious concern — depending, of course, on the lies, their severity, and what’s at the heart of the lies.
Perhaps the most serious question you should ask yourself is what your kids think of your spouse. Are they uncomfortable with your husband or wife? Do they love to spend time together, or are they uncomfortable when they’re alone? The same questions are true for your partner — are the kids a focus, or does your spouse generally skip their activities?
If you’re facing a high-conflict divorce, learn more about how Babbitt & Dahlberg can help your case. Contact your team at Babbitt & Dahlberg today to schedule a consultation.