Co-parenting after a divorce is no easy task. There are still plenty of raw emotions that you are processing while trying to provide a stable and loving environment for your children.
If your ex-spouse is a narcissist, co-parenting may seem impossible. But there are some things you can do to make the situation a little more tolerable.
Methods of the narcissist
There are several behaviors that a narcissistic person may exhibit that make co-parenting challenging, such as:
- Having a hard time sticking to agreements
- Refusing to be flexible when making decisions
- Involving the kids in disagreements and using them as pawns
- Ignoring your boundaries
- Using manipulation tactics to portray themselves as being the perfect parent
- Undermining and disrespecting your parenting
- Gaslighting which can make you question your perception of reality.
- Constantly needing admiration and attention.
While these challenges may be daunting, you can implement some strategies to help you effectively co-parent with a narcissistic ex-partner.
1. Keep all communication focused on the children. Don’t allow them to draw you into arguments.
2. Set clear boundaries. A narcissist will try to ignore them, but by staying firm, you can protect your personal space and limit their ability to manipulate them.
3. Practice regular self-care to maintain your emotional health.
4. Consider working with a therapist who can help you develop effective strategies.
5. Surround yourself with supportive family and friends.
It’s not easy to navigate the challenges of co-parenting with a narcissistic ex. The most important thing you can do is focus on your children’s well-being and create a stable, supportive environment for them.