Co-Parenting with a Narcissist? 11 Methods to Make It Work

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As soon as your relationship with the narcissist dad or mum of your little one involves an finish, the main target then shifts to co-parenting with a narcissist in essentially the most amicable approach. Damaging narcissists are tough to cope with, interval. When youngsters are concerned, shared parenting can shortly flip right into a nightmare if not managed correctly.

I do know a male narcissist who gave his ex-wife a tough time when it got here to sticking to his co-parenting and little one assist schedule. He performed the sufferer card to poison the kids’s minds in opposition to their mom and acquire favor with them.

It’s completely regular to fret or really feel fearful to your youngsters’s bodily and emotional well-being, contemplating what your ex is likely to be able to.  That stated, I hope yow will discover solace in our record of 11 methods to co-parent and maintain the peace with such a poisonous individual.

The overarching objective is to advertise civil parenting whereas defending the most effective curiosity of your little one and your psychological well being. I’ll additionally go over how a narcissistic dad or mum can have an effect on your youngsters and what to do to protect them.

What Is a Narcissist? 

A narcissist is somebody who’s excessively self-absorbed, has an uncommon sense of entitlement, and craves fixed admiration. They gaslight and manipulate others to get their wants met. Due to an innate lack of emotional empathy, they deal with folks as objects they will use and discard. Their youngsters are not any exception.

Narcissistic persona dysfunction

Narcissists are those that present indicators of a narcissistic persona dysfunction (NPD), or narcissism, as detailed within the Diagnostic and Statistical Handbook of Psychological Issues Fifth Version (DSM-5). The psychological dysfunction is liable for their dangerous conduct towards others.

An knowledgeable article on Narcissism summed up some core persona traits of narcissists, noting that these people are “excessively fixated on their very own wants.” Their relationships are largely superficial and designed to fulfill needs- together with consideration, admiration, and management. They aren’t afraid to commit narcissistic abuse to get these wants met.

Hold that on the forefront of your thoughts as we discover narcissism in relationships and the way co-parenting with a narcissist may be problematic. Understanding the kind of narcissistic dad or mum you’re coping with can be useful in decoding their conduct and managing your interplay with them.

Narcissists come in numerous flavors. Listed here are the 5 primary sorts:

  • Overt or grandiose narcissist
  • Covert or “weak” narcissist
  • Antagonistic narcissist
  • Communal narcissist
  • Malignant narcissist

The Risks of Being in a Relationship with a Narcissist 

Individuals with disruptive narcissistic tendencies create disharmony and emotionally abuse their companions and youngsters. In accordance with psychologists, the weak (passive-aggressive), antagonistic (argumentative), and malignant (sociopathic) narcissists may be essentially the most tough to cope with.

The truth is, malignant narcissists could exhibit sociopathic traits, which might make it scary to co-parent with them. Listed here are issues your ex may do or say which will sign you’re co-parenting with a narcissist:

  • Break agreements and violate your boundaries
  • Threaten to take you to court docket, take the children away, or hurt them for those who don’t comply
  • Flip your youngsters in opposition to you to break your relationship with them
  • Withhold monetary assist
  • Make selections for the children with out involving you
  • Publicly smear you, e.g., saying you’re a nasty dad or mum
  • Undermine your authority by permitting the children to interrupt your guidelines
  • Attempt to outdo you by showering the children with love, cash, items, and so forth.
  • Try to get full custody to spite you or keep away from monetary assist

In a YouTube vlog, psychologist, Dr. Ramani Durvasula, stated you’re put able the place you want to your youngsters to show 18. You’ll not must cope with the threats and play the diabolical backwards and forwards with the narcissist.

What Is a Narcissistic Mum or dad?

A narcissistic dad or mum is outlined as somebody who’s persistently possessive of and seeks to stay via their little one. That is in accordance with Psychology At the moment. What’s extra, the narcissist dad or mum not often ever loves the kid for who they’re.

They burden them with unreasonable expectations, e.g., wanting them to observe a sure profession path. They’ll use emotional manipulation and threats to remove monetary assist to get the kid to conform.

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Individuals with disruptive narcissistic tendencies create disharmony and emotionally abuse their companions and youngsters.

Your ex could have developed narcissistic traits from rising up with a narcissistic dad or mum who was neglectful, extremely essential, overprotective, or manipulative.

Genetics additionally play a job in NPD, in accordance with a 2014 examine that discovered traits like grandiosity and a way of entitlement handed from dad or mum to little one.

How a Narcissistic Parenting Model Impacts Youngsters

A dad or mum’s narcissistic behaviors can have long-term results on youngsters, in accordance with Dad and Indicators of the influence embrace a lack of self-worth, neglecting their very own wants, changing into a folks pleaser, anxiousness, despair, and selecting narcissistic companions.

Making an attempt to indicate the poisonous co-parent how their actions have an effect on you and the children is pointless. They’re unable to see the hyperlink since they lack empathy and self-awareness. The narcissist is satisfied you’re the issue and can refuse to come back to a good compromise when co-parenting.

To not point out their defensiveness, pathological mendacity, lack of accountability, and narcissistic rage after they don’t get their approach.

11 Methods to Make Co-Parenting with a Narcissist Work  

Overlook attempting to purpose along with your narcissistic ex about methods to elevate your youngsters as a group. Their vanity, spitefulness, and controlling conduct stop them from seeing eye-to-eye with you. They could even accuse you of attempting to take the children away for those who counsel a court-ordered settlement to make parenting amicable and equitable. 

Listed here are 11 issues you are able to do for those who’ve discovered your self in such a dilemma.

1. Commerce co-parenting for parallel parenting

When coping with a co-parent who has NPD, you will have to introduce a system referred to as “parallel parenting” to efficiently co-parent. This usually entails making a authorized parenting plan that permits the kids to spend most time with both dad or mum.

Beneath the plan or custody settlement, you may agree to separate duties as an alternative of alternating between them to reduce parental contact and interplay. For instance, agreeing to do faculty drop-offs, whereas your ex does pick-ups.

Talk with the narcissist co-parent solely when essential, utilizing extra of an FYI method if the scenario doesn’t warrant discussions or negotiations. This will help minimize out plenty of the back-and-forth drama narcissists thrive on.

2. Decrease contact

Don’t put it previous the narcissist to contact you and make your life a residing hell utilizing varied communication mediums. Decrease bodily, cellphone, and electronic mail contact as a lot as sensible. Take away or block them from accessing you on social media. They will use it to start out a public smear marketing campaign in opposition to you.

Use cellphone and electronic mail or different written types of contact to speak solely essential data associated to your youngsters’s welfare. Hold it quick and maintain your feelings out of it.

Don’t have interaction in arguments or mudslinging. Keep in mind that narcissists are petty and vindictive. They may use your phrases in opposition to you in court docket to attempt to paint you as an emotional abuser or an unfit dad or mum.

3. Stick with the schedule/plans

A black-and-white method is usually one of the best ways to cope with a narcissist. As soon as a parenting system is ready up, follow it so far as is sensible. Due to their want to control others to claim management, the opposite dad or mum will attempt to change issues as much as swimsuit their wants. 

For instance, rescheduling visitation or calling you on the final minute to select up the children from athletics follow when it’s clearly their accountability.

Individuals with NPD get an ego enhance from creating chaos, so don’t fall for his or her makes an attempt to mess up your schedule or piss you off. They’ll attempt to stress and bully you, however don’t take the bait. Reply by saying one thing like, “Let’s follow the parenting plan.”

4. Set agency boundaries

Narcissists have an actual drawback with boundaries. They don’t like or respect them. Set and keep boundaries, anyway, to guard your bodily and emotional area. Boundaries are one other option to restrict your youngsters’s publicity to the poisonous dad or mum.

An necessary boundary is establishing that you just’ll talk by way of electronic mail or textual content messaging, as an alternative of cellphone calls. It’s a lot simpler for conversations to derail over the cellphone.

One other factor, in case your court docket settlement permits you visitation, you might set guidelines on when your ex can name whilst you’re spending time along with your youngsters. This may maintain them from continuously interfering along with your bonding time or saying issues to upset your youngsters.

5. Doc all the things

Write all the things down and file conversations if it will get to that. Narcissists are good at twisting occasions or issues stated to make you look unhealthy. Log any and all the things you assume is likely to be necessary to doc.

For instance, in the event that they deny you court-ordered visitation or your little one returns with marks of violence after visiting the narcissist.

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Search for a licensed therapist who will help you discover methods to navigate the challenges related to joint custody and cut up parenting.

A written (or audio) file of occasions can function proof in case you wish to take authorized motion, e.g., for full custody, or defend your self in opposition to false accusations made by the co-parent. Having a witness may also give weight to your claims in court docket.

6. Use a co-parenting app

You’ll be able to scale back the frustration of co-parenting with a narcissist by downloading and utilizing a co-parenting app. Some are designed for organizing issues associated to custody and little one assist.

Different options assist simplify visitation schedules and log calls, pick-ups and drop-offs, and timeshare percentages.

You’re each capable of notify one another of your schedules with out dialogue. There’s additionally a built-in characteristic that information conversations with dates and timestamps and tracks when messages/emails are obtained and skim.

The narcissist is much less capable of deny communications or keep away from accountability for those who talk by way of the app.

7. Handle parental alienation with care

A narcissist will attempt all the things they will to make your youngsters hate you. A commonly-used manipulative tactic is one referred to as parental alienation.

The poisonous dad or mum will deliberately attempt to alienate your little one from you by saying imply or disparaging issues about you. They need your youngsters to dislike, resent, and reject you because the higher dad or mum. Your ex will use the tactic to make themselves the sufferer and acquire your youngsters’ admiration.

Validate your little one’s emotions in the event that they wind up feeling harm or confused. Do not attempt to get even by badmouthing the opposite dad or mum. Do not get emotionally fired up or ask your ex to cease their antics. The day of reckoning for the narcissist will come. Your youngsters will ultimately acknowledge who’s the issue dad or mum as they get older.

8. Be your child’s protected haven

Your divorce and co-parenting with a narcissist will take its toll on everybody within the household mentally and emotionally.

Present a protected place for your self and your youngsters by creating construction throughout the house. Preserve a schedule for studying, enjoying, sleeping, waking, and household enjoyable.

Youngsters are likely to really feel and behave higher rising up in a predictable and loving setting. Attempt to love them and meet their wants with out being overprotective or alienating the opposite dad or mum.

Having an emotionally protected house setting can protect your youngsters from worry or anxiousness at any time when the narcissist makes an attempt to control, emotionally abuse, or crash their boundaries.

9. Construct a assist system

Parenting is a problem in itself, not to mention when having to cope with an uncooperative dad or mum. You wish to give your youngsters some sense of normalcy and stay emotionally robust for them.

Establishing a hoop of protecting folks round you is one option to protect your self out of your ex and keep away from a nervous breakdown.

Staying related to trusted mates and family members helps stop loneliness, anxiousness, and despair. You’ll have somebody to share your ideas and emotions with and get suggestions while you’re unsure methods to cope with the challenges of shared parenting.

10. Defend your emotional and psychological well being

Coping with a breakup, custody battle, visitation rights, and a narcissist who’s bent on making your life depressing can take its toll even on essentially the most resilient folks. Accepting that sure issues are out of your management is a key step to avoiding extreme fear, anxiousness, and despair.

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Present a protected place for your self and your youngsters by creating construction throughout the house.

Holding your ex at arm’s size will assist defend you from their gaslighting and emotional manipulation. As well as, working towards residing within the current utilizing meditation and mindfulness strategies can present further peace of thoughts.

Some mothers and dads choose to journal their ideas, emotions, and feelings as a option to relieve the stress related to co-parenting.

11. Take into account household counseling

Search for a licensed therapist who will help you discover methods to navigate the challenges related to joint custody and cut up parenting.

Some household therapists can meet with you and your youngsters in the event that they aren’t coping nicely with the divorce and new parenting association. In case you like, you may introduce your youngsters to affirmations for youths about overcoming challenges.

Ultimate Ideas on Co Parenting with a Narcissist

Interacting with a narcissist may be very irritating, whether or not in a relationship or co-parenting. The secret is studying to deal with issues like a enterprise association and preserving your feelings out of the interactions. Furthermore, following the prompt ideas could assist insulate you and your youngsters from the narcissist’s poisonous behaviors. 

In case your ex turns into emotionally or bodily abusive, don’t hesitate to take authorized steps to take away your youngsters from their care. Authorized actions can embrace petitioning for full custody and a restraining order. 

Within the meantime, be taught extra in regards to the 5 Fundamental Kinds of Narcissists (and How you can Determine Them) to get a really feel of what you is likely to be up in opposition to. 

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I am Christian Nnakuzierem Alozie (Kris Kuzie Alozie). A native of Eziama Nneato in Umunneochi LGA, Abia State, Nigeria. I am an inspirational writer and a motivational speaker. And above all, a lover of charity.

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