by E.J. Manning
You might think that the divorce rate would spike during a recession but in fact, it’s been pretty consistent around 50% for the past five years. During good times and tough times strained marriages crack. Some try to hold on until they just can’t hold on any longer. For many, bad economies are good times for the cheating business and other freaky stuff unsatisfied narcissists do to survive. In psychology, narcissistic personality disorder is classed as a mental illness characterized by a lack of empathy, a willingness to exploit others and an inflated sense of self-importance. “Narcissism” is a widely-used term for a range of selfish behaviors, and so it is.
The number of divorces briefly dropped from 35 to 40 percent for about six months during the recession as some lovers tried to hang on, but then shot up to 60 to 65 percent for the next six months as they caved under the weight of the added financial stress that came with the recession. Since the spring of 2010, as the economy has shown signs of recovery and then faltered again, that number has remained consistent at around 50%. Apparently, millions have come to understand that the plight of the economy is the new normal, and their new form of behavior is a symptom of that.
The home used to be a couple’s biggest asset. That is no longer the case in the new economy. More Americans are losing their homes, either in foreclosure or in selling short. Property settlements is what has changed. With new bank rules in America, six to 18 months is the norm for a bank to foreclose on a property when that process used to take place within six months. Some couples are getting creative. One spouse stays in the home through the foreclosure process without a mortgage payment. That way, the other partner has more money for spousal and child support, what can amount to little less than blackmail.
“Nesting” is another option for dysfunctional families. The family manages to keep the house as the kids live there full time. Divorced parents take turns living there based on when it’s their turn with the kids. They might stay with friends during times when the custody changes, moving into a shared apartment or a hotel room. They aren’t doing it for the kids, the are doing it with the hope of creating value or sustaining their asset. Of course, for the devious, blackmail is a common ploy to get what you think you want one way or the other.
In early 2009, about four months into the official economic meltdown, evidence has increased to show that affairs online are the new normal for narcissists. Online dating has exploded in Michigan, Arizona and Nevada, states where the housing market has been hit hardest by the economic meltdown. The excuse is that they want to feel better about themselves. Online dating services are in growth mode. Who wants to pay $40k for divorce when you can pay $49 for an affair with a most certain result, reasons the narcissist. It’s pay as you play, and with the right service, there is no evidence to blackmail the narcissist. The likes of Tiger Woods living in the same way simply encourages the narcissist to agree that “everyone” has affairs.
What does this have to do with family or the interest of the children, except that kids aren’t living on the streets? Absolutely nothing, except to lower family life in America, the land of the free and home of the brave, to a new low… based wholly on money and self-centered behavior, while pretending to do it for the kids. Arguably, the entire nation is victim to a state-sanctioned behavioral disorder.
Blackmail & Narcissism: The Bad Economy & Steamy Affairs by E.J. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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