27th October 2020

Buzz word in the divorce world at the moment is “narcissist”

So many of my clients describe their ex’s as a narcissist when they come to me for help with their divorce

But what is a narcissist?

Narcissistic personality disorder involves a pattern of self-centred, arrogant thinking and behaviour, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration.

I hate using labels for people so I prefer to describe these kinds of divorce cases as “high conflict”

Is it relevant whether a case is considered to be “high conflict” or not?


In high conflict divorces the level of stress and anxiety is amplified

There are control games constantly going on in the background In high conflict divorces preparation is more important than ever

The level support and reassurance needed is much greater

How do you know if you are in a high conflict relationship with your ex?

1. They have a sense of self-importance - they believe that they’re better than everyone else and expect recognition as such

2. They live in a fantasy world that supports their delusions of self-importance

3. They need constant praise and admiration

4. They have a sense of entitlement

5. They exploit others without guilt or shame

6. They frequently demean, intimidates, bullies, or belittles others

How do these traits impact on your divorce?

1. The other person will accept no blame or wrongdoing and will twist the facts to justify their positions.

2. Their emotions will be unpredictable and wildly out of control

3. They believe they are the victim constantly projecting blame on to others Everything is black or white, all or nothing

4. Their behaviour is unpredictable and unreasonable

Preparing your self for a high conflict divorce will help you survive the process better

How you can prepare

1. Prepare yourself mentally - accept your divorce is unlikely to be straight forward and peaceful Know your numbers - start early gathering your joint financial information and your individual financial information. Knowledge will give you a sense of power and control

2. Keep written records of all discussions and agreements reached as your ex is likely to deny these took place if they no longer suit them later or they will remember a different version of the discussion or agreement

3. Build your own support network for practical and moral support as well as legal and financial advice Take charge of your communications with your ex.

4. Don’t rise to the bait, don’t get derailed. And most importantly, keep calm

If you are in high conflict relationship and are considering a divorce then it certainly helps to have a legal advisor who has experience in such situations when you are considering who to appoint as your legal support

If you want to chat - get in touch, I am here for you


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