Knowing whether you are divorcing a Narcissist or a Borderline Personality can be difficult to determine because there are some characteristics that overlap between the two disorders. Splitting is one area that both disorders possess.Understanding splitting and how it works will help you to understand Narcissistic and Borderline Personality Disorders which will help you to deal with them effectively in and out of court.
There is a commonality between the Narcissistic and Borderline personalities in that they engage in a process called “Splitting”.
Splitting is the term that is used to describe an unconscious coping mechanism that allows the narcissist to see people as either all good or all bad. When a person is splitting, they are unable to see gray areas in a person, situation or event. It is either all good or all bad. The best way to relate to this is by thinking of a game that we often play in childhood, cops and robbers. The cops are the good ones while the robbers are the bad ones and have no redeeming qualities so it is up to the cops to “save” the world.
Gray areas are not something that both the Narcissists and Borderline Personalities are able to process or understand whether it be in life in general or in another person. When it pertains to a person that the Narcissist or Borderline has idealized and that person eventually disappoints them, then the Narcissist or Borderline person must quickly restructure their thinking to either damn them or to choose the altered image of the other person.
Another characteristic of splitting found in both the Narcissist and Borderline personalities is that they are unable to understand that people can feel more than one emotion at a time. It is either anger or fear. It can not be both.
There are three components to splitting: unmanaged emotions, all or nothing thinking (all good or all bad thinking) and extreme behaviors. Due to the extremeness of thinking and emotions an extreme reaction or behavior results. Since “splitting” is not a conscious process, the Narcissist or Borderline person is not aware that they are doing this. Pointing out that an individual is “splitting” is fruitless and will cause them to react with anger.
When a Narcissist or Borderline personality feels that their relationship is about to be lost, “splitting” increases due to fear of abandonment, fear of loss of control and because they feel out of control emotionally.
With this information, you will be better equipped to be able to describe what your ex is doing and why he or she is doing it. The better that you are able to communicate this information with your legal team, the better your custody case will be handled.