How do you deal with a narcissistic Coparent?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Dealing with a co-parent who is a narcissist can be incredibly challenging and can have a significant impact on your parenting relationship. However, there are steps you can take to navigate this difficult situation and ensure the well-being of your children. Here are some strategies you can consider:

1. Make a parenting plan: Creating a detailed parenting plan can help establish boundaries and expectations for both co-parents. Include provisions for drop-off and pick-up arrangements, scheduling of after-school activities, holidays, and discipline. Having a well-defined plan can minimize conflicts and provide structure for your co-parenting relationship.

2. Limit communication: Narcissistic individuals may seek attention and try to provoke reactions through excessive communication. It is important to set boundaries and limit communication to essential matters related to your children. Consider using email or a co-parenting app to communicate, as it allows you to maintain a written record and provides a level of distance.

3. Stay calm: Dealing with a narcissistic co-parent can be emotionally draining, but it is crucial to remain calm and composed. Narcissists thrive on conflict and may try to provoke emotional reactions. By staying calm, you can avoid getting caught up in their manipulative tactics and focus on the well-being of your children.

4. Have perspective: Keep in mind that narcissistic behavior is often rooted in deep-seated insecurities and is not a reflection of your worth as a parent. It can be helpful to remind yourself of this and maintain perspective, especially during heated interactions. By focusing on the bigger picture and prioritizing your children’s needs, you can better navigate the challenges posed by a narcissistic co-parent.

5. Seek support: Dealing with a narcissistic co-parent can be isolating and overwhelming. Reach out to supportive friends, family members, or a therapist who can provide guidance and a listening ear. Joining a support group for individuals dealing with narcissistic co-parents can also be beneficial, as it allows you to connect with others who may be going through similar experiences.

6. Document everything: It is essential to keep a record of all communication, interactions, and incidents involving your co-parent. This documentation can serve as evidence if legal intervention becomes necessary. Keep copies of emails, text messages, and any other relevant documentation that may be useful in demonstrating patterns of narcissistic behavior or instances of neglect or abuse.

7. Involve professionals if necessary: If your co-parent’s behavior becomes excessively harmful or poses a threat to your children’s well-being, it may be necessary to involve professionals such as lawyers, mediators, or child custody evaluators. These professionals can provide guidance and advocate for your children’s best interests.

Remember, dealing with a narcissistic co-parent is challenging, but by implementing these strategies and prioritizing the well-being of your children, you can navigate this difficult situation more effectively.