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How can I co-parent with a narcissist?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2020 | Divorce, Family Law |

There is plenty of evidence that shows children do best with both parents as an active presence in their lives. This is why, in the aftermath of divorce, co-parenting is a very popular option.

However, even if co-parenting is in the best interest of the children, this does not mean that co-parenting is easy, particularly if your ex-spouse is a narcissist. According to Healthline, one of the most important things you can do when co-parening with a narcissist is set up hard boundaries.

What do these boundaries look like?

Narcissists have a need for control. In terms of co-parenting with a narcissist, you may find that your ex-spouse takes every opportunity to disagree with you and may actively attempt to interfere with your child’s new routine.

This is why it is essential for you to have a legally-sanctioned parenting plan. This way, everything is in writing and if your ex consistently tries to interfere with this plan, he or she is on the wrong side of the law. This means that a third party will come in and mediate the dispute for you. Creating a legal parenting plan is an extra expense, but one that will save you a lot of frustration.

How can I keep these boundaries firm?

Of course, it is unlikely you will have a lawyer at your side 24/7. In terms of dealing with day-to-day disputes, remember that narcissists thrive off of the reactions they get from other people. You may find it easier to deal with your ex-spouse through writing rather than face-to-face. Communicating through a messaging app or email can help make the process more formal in nature. Plus, communicating through writing means that everything is automatically documented.