Divorcing a Narcissist: The lure, the loss and the law

Divorcing a Narcissist: The lure, the loss and the law

What would it be like to divorce someone like Donald Trump? A new book unveils the tricks and tactics that narcissists use in divorce proceedings and provides ways for the partner to survive the process.

Donald Trump is the narcissist’s narcissist. He would be classified as both an exhibitionist narcissist and a devaluing narcissist* and he has shown the damage that a narcissist can wreak.

While Trump may be an extreme example, narcissistic personality disorder is an increasingly recognised trait in the UK which means more and more partners are coming up against such behaviour when they seek a divorce or separation.

A new book due out in February – Divorcing a Narcissist: The lure, the loss and the law – tackles this growing problem. Combining professional expertise and legal know how, it explains why the superficial charm of a narcissist can be so alluring, how a narcissist will use their narcissism to make it so difficult to break up and how they will set about manipulating the divorce processes and the lawyers involved to wreak havoc during the divorce. It then sets out life-changing advice – both legal and personal – on how to counter these manoeuvres so that the reader can reach the other side ready to move on to their new life.

One of the authors, Dr Supriya McKenna, is a former GP, who has moved on from general practice after noticing that an increasing number of people needed help and coaching to get themselves through what can be a traumatic time.

“Narcissistic patterns of behaviour are all around us, if you know what you are looking for. Of course, you see narcissists in politics, and in positions of power generally, and the havoc they wreak on individuals and on whole societies is profound. But most narcissists are not so easy to spot. On the surface they can be shy and self effacing. They can be quietly charming and charitable, hiding behind a mask of affability. The narcissist next door, or the narcissist sleeping in your bed, covertly manipulating others to their detriment. The important point is that once you recognise these patterns, you can accurately predict further behaviour and protect yourself from it.

“Nowhere do you see innocent people fall foul of narcissists more frequently than when a relationship breaks down. Having seen this pattern repeat itself many times, I felt compelled to try to better educate individuals and their family lawyers about these personalities, so that they can better work together and shield themselves from the worst of what’s to come. It seems that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not only here to stay, but is on the increase, so there’s never been a better time to move away from the myths and properly understand and recognise it.”

Her co-author, Karin Walker is a renowned family lawyer who has been at the sharp end of advising in many painful divorces involving narcissistic behaviour: 

“An understanding of the issues created or faced by our clients makes us, as family law professionals, better able to provide an exceptional level of service and add value in a difficult situation. Narcissism is increasingly more prevalent in our work. I was inspired to co-write this publication to help raise awareness and provide clear and accessible support and guidance, both to the members of my profession and those whom we advise.”

The authors have launched a podcast series about narcissim and abuse. The podcast can be heard on Spotify here.

This article was submitted to be published by Bath Publishing Limited as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Family Lawyer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Family Lawyer.

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