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1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Is Your Spouse a Narcissist? Here Is What to Expect In Your Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Chicago divorce attorney

b2ap3_thumbnail_aurora-il-divorce-attorney.jpgMental illness and outlier psychological conditions have become better understood and less stigmatized in recent years, making it easier to get treatment and therapy. However, even under the best circumstances, certain psychological conditions can place an enormous amount of strain on a relationship. One of the most difficult conditions to manage is narcissism. 

Narcissism is often easily disguised early in a relationship as the narcissist attempts to “love bomb” their partner - acting incredibly sweet, caring, and giving as the relationship begins to progress. However, once a narcissist feels comfortable or is triggered by a certain behavior or incident, their negative personality traits can manifest. Unfortunately, just as it is difficult to be in a productive relationship with a narcissist, it is also particularly difficult to divorce a narcissist. 

How Do I Know Whether My Spouse is a Narcissist? 

In an age of prolific social media sites and rampant selfies, it might be easy to look around and suspect everyone of narcissism. But true narcissism is much more serious and pervasive than being unable to draw your eyes away from your own face during a video conferencing call. Pathological narcissism - or a narcissistic personality disorder so severe that it causes interference with daily functioning - is estimated to affect only one percent of the population. 

Narcissism, which experts say is best viewed as existing on a spectrum, is a personality trait that is always seeking appreciation and admiration to the extent that it causes a person to be unable to experience empathy for others. Narcissists want to be the center of attention and see themselves as deserving of higher status. Waiting in line, negotiating fairly, and respecting people who are perceived to be less intelligent are activities reserved for normal people - not for narcissists. 

What Can I Expect When Divorcing a Narcissist? 

A narcissist’s need to stay ahead of everyone else can make them highly manipulative and duplicitous, especially when they feel there is much at stake. Divorce, in which issues about children, money, and other important issues are on the line, may be a situation in which a narcissist’s worst tendencies are on full display. During your divorce, be prepared for the following behaviors from your spouse: 

  • Casting blame on anyone but themselves

  • Gaslighting, or manipulating a person by making them question their beliefs and sense of reality

  • Hiding cash or other assets 

  • Periods of charming politeness followed by sudden, extreme lashing out

  • An effort to make the divorce take as long as possible 

  • A willingness to say or do things just to “win” 

  • An effort to persuade your children that you are not a good parent 

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation with a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

The experienced Aurora, IL divorce attorney at The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. has worked through enough divorce cases to help you understand what getting divorced from a narcissistic spouse really means. We will help you create firm boundaries, establish safe communication, and fight for your rights as you divorce a spouse who is only looking out for him or herself. Call us today at 630-409-8184 to schedule your free consultation. 


The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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