Custody issues can get nasty under the best of circumstances, but when you’re dealing with a parent who has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), the situation is likely to become a battlefield—with your children on the front lines.
People diagnosed with NPD are obsessed with themselves, just like the Greek god Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection. That’s where the term came from.
Parents who have narcissistic tendencies believe the world revolves around them. They care only for themselves, their status, and how others perceive them. They lack empathy for others—even their own children—and they will use anyone around them for their personal gain.
What are the two things children want most in the world? Their parents’ love and attention.
When one parent has time only for number one, the children suffer. They spend their time trying to gain that parent’s attention and approval, having no idea that they could never truly please the parent.
You would think that someone who’s that worried about his or her own magnificence wouldn’t have time to battle for child custody, but think again. Those with narcissistic personality disorder often see their children as an extension of themselves, rather than as individuals, and they may fight ferociously to keep them.
Part of the reason they do this is because they hate losing, even though they care little, if at all, for their children’s true happiness. They aren’t likely to give up their children without a fight, so get ready. Harder still is the fact that people with NPD can mask their behaviors, putting on a front as the perfect parent.
They think of divorce as a game or a challenge they’re determined to win because they’re better than you. It probably sounds hopeless. How can you possibly come to an agreement on custody issues in mediation with someone like that? But don’t give up yet.
This will be very difficult, but it is possible. Here are a few tips that may help you reach a custody agreement during mediation, rather than taking the case to court:
Unfortunately, even when you’ve done everything possible to reach a reasonable custody agreement with a narcissist, he or she can decide it would be better to burn everything down than let you “win.” That’s when a family law attorney from the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock can help you take your custody case to court.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case. Fill out the form below or call 909-466-7661.