Co-Parenting With a Narcissist

Parenting can be a very challenging, albeit rewarding, job.  Even when you and the other parent are residing together and have a healthy relationship, parenting your shared children can lead to disagreements.  After a divorce or separation, these disagreements and challenges can be exacerbated, as there are often other lingering issues between the parents that complicate the resolution of these issues.  If you are co-parenting with a narcissist, these complications can become extreme, but there are some guidelines you can follow to try to make the process easier.

If you have been in a relationship with a narcissist, you are likely familiar with the fact that they will make frequent backhanded comments to try to upset you.  Preparing yourself to hear intentionally hurtful comments can help, as it will prevent you from feeling constantly blindsided by emotional attacks.  When the comments happen, limit your emotional response as much as possible.  A narcissist is attempting to elicit an emotional response so he or she can manipulate the situation to make it seem like you are the one acting irrationally.

Next, be aware that a common technique for narcissists is to align your loved ones against you.  In family law, this usually means the narcissist will try to make you into the “bad guy” in front of your children.  The narcissist may do this by trying to be the “fun” parent all the time and pointing out to the children that you will not allow them to do the same things.  If the narcissist is allowing the children to do something detrimental to look “fun,” such as often missing school, for example, calmly discuss it.  If the narcissist tries to start a fight, ignore the reaction, and consider returning to court to address serious safety or health problems.

Communication with a narcissist can be a real problem in co-parenting, as the narcissist will often try to use past statements against you or to manipulate you and your children.  One of the best lines of defense against this is to make sure your communication is always in writing.  In that way, you can keep track of precisely what was said, and it will be much harder for the narcissist to pull your comments out of context and twist your meaning.  Remember, however, that if you succumb to your anger and respond with harsh words of your own, the narcissist can use your responses against you.  In other words, be calm and collected and be careful what you put in writing.

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We have extensive experience helping our clients navigate difficult co-parenting situations.  Call us today for a consult to talk about your children.

Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 738-8512, email us, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation

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