If you are connected to a narcissist as a spouse or a soon-to-be ex-spouse, you need to know that narcissists are motivated by receiving admiration and not necessarily love. This makes long-term relationships difficult – if not impossible. Narcissists make close friends out of needy, inferior or broken people because this makes them feel so much better about themselves. This is one reason why these people enjoy children when they are young; the youngster looks up to them as powerful.
Financial obligations are especially tricky in a divorce, child custody or child support situation. For court-ordered child support, the spouse involved will have to pay because he or she really doesn’t have a choice. He or she will be truly annoyed because a narcissist thinks they should be in charge and giving the orders. The spouse making the child support payment will think of it not as an obligation but as an act of generosity, which will cause him or her to be late with their payments.
Other obligations that are not covered by a judge’s orders will need to be handled adroitly. It will need to appeal to his or her sense of superiority and if the payment makes the person look better, then he or she will do it. If not, you will need to figure out a way to attract his or her attention another way. Because a narcissist craves attention and admiration, you will become an expert in reaching the side of him or her that needs to be stroked.
For instance, if you expect your spouse to pay for half of your child’s tuition to a private school, don’t expect to pay for it and have your spouse pay for the other half. You will need to have him or her pay half to the school directly because that way, he or she comes out looking generous. Getting them to pay a bill by making them identify themselves as going “above and beyond” the call of duty will make them pay more quickly.
The overriding issue is how the child is treated and how much the child is affected by the back and forth conversation that occurs between his or her parents. Being involved in a divorce situation with a narcissist is hard, so don’t be afraid to seek out counsel. All children deserve to be safe and well-provided for before, during and after a divorce.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Who’s not honoring me now? How you narcissistic ex really feels about child support.” Christina Pesoli, Jan. 25, 2014