Your Guide Through Challenging Times

How can you co-parent with a narcissist?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Firm News |

Co-parenting is challenging under the best of circumstances, but it is even harder when dealing with a difficult ex. When your former spouse exhibits narcissistic tendencies, co-parenting can feel downright impossible.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce tension and prioritize the best interests of your child. Here are a few methods for dealing with a narcissistic co-parent.

Stick to your boundaries

Boundaries are key when dealing with a narcissistic personality. You can establish boundaries regarding communication, such as only communicating with your ex via text or email. Doing so reduces conflict and prevents your ex-spouse from doing things to intentionally aggravate you. You may also establish boundaries regarding your children. For example, repeated lateness can result in missed visitation.

Protect your child from conflict

While you may have a challenging relationship with your ex, you must still support their relationship with your child. Accordingly, you should avoid criticizing your ex in front of your child, as it will only increase conflict and bad feelings. If you are feeling stressed about your former spouse’s behavior, discuss your experience with a trusted friend or family member.

Develop a parenting plan

A parenting plan will contain clear directives regarding you and your ex’s child-rearing responsibilities. It can include detailed information on visitation schedules, decision-making, and other crucial topics. Parenting plans are court-appointed, meaning both you and your ex must follow them, or you could face legal reprisal.

You can also request the court’s assistance if your ex refuses to follow your parenting plan. You can request a guardian ad litem, which is a neutral third-party who will assess the situation and make a recommendation based on the best interests of your child.