Ordway Law Group, LLC
Ordway Law Group, LLC
Divorce & Family Law

Can you co-parent effectively with a narcissist?

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2023 | Family Law |

While there are many challenging aspects of divorce, co-parenting with a former spouse is often the most difficult. You and your ex must create a united front when it comes to child-rearing for the benefit of your children. However, doing is easier said than done when narcissism plays a role.

Learning how to cope with a narcissistic ex is essential to ensure your children remain protected from conflict and stress. Here are a few things you can do.

What are narcissistic behaviors?

The first step is to identify possible problematic behaviors in your former spouse. People with narcissistic tendencies typically think they are better or more special than others. As a result, they may demand special treatment while not concerning themselves with how they treat others.

Additionally, people who are prone to narcissistic behaviors also have little empathy for others. When it comes to family members, these people will have a hard time considering the feelings of loved ones or changing their behaviors to accommodate others. Other narcissistic traits include arrogance, entitlement, and a need for praise.

How should you deal with a difficult ex-spouse?

Keep in mind that it’s unlikely a person exhibiting these tendencies will change. Accordingly, you must alter your behavior to ensure you receive respect and that your child receives proper parental care. For instance, setting firm boundaries can help you avoid conflict and stress.

Also, you can set boundaries regarding communication. If you do not feel comfortable having a conversation face to face, limit conversations about child-rearing issues to text or email. And when you are discussing issues, remain calm and collected.

A parenting plan can help immensely with co-parenting conflicts. It establishes rules both parties must follow, and the court can enforce the rules if one parent refuses to follow them.

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