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Is it possible to co-parent with a narcissist?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | Custody |

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.