How Can You Co-Parent with a Narcissist?

After a divorce, how you and your spouse care for your child may become a complex issue. This is particularly true if you co-parent with a narcissist. According to Healthline, it may feel impossible to work together.

Fortunately, there are ways that the two of you can attempt to co-exist and come together for the sake of your child.

Trust the court’s parenting plan

Do not rely on your former spouse to follow a parenting plan that the court does not enforce. If you agree outside of the legal parenting plan, you cannot uphold it without the court’s permission. Without a lawful order, a narcissist may attempt to manipulate you and the situation. For example, your spouse may demand more time with your children or coerce you to pay more for your child’s expenses.

Set boundaries and uphold them

Narcissists may try to coax a reaction out of you. Good and bad reactions may be the same to your ex. When you set boundaries, you provide your ex with fewer chances to upset you. For instance, if you want to communicate solely through text message or a messaging app and your ex tries to call you, do not answer the phone and remind him or her of the agreement.

One important rule when co-parenting is always to have empathy for your children. Your children may experience a variety of negative emotions and you need to talk it through. If your former spouse happens to be a narcissist, your children may not receive empathy from him or her. Try to avoid talking poorly of your ex and be gentle with your children.

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