Divorce can be a complete and total separation from an ex-spouse's life. For those couples who have children, however, that separation never truly comes unless one parent chooses to leave the child's life. For those adults who choose to remain in the child's life, the process of setting up and enforcing child custody arrangements can be a contentious spot within the divorce, creating a divide between parents and possibly between parents and kids. Many Texas residents are utilizing co-parenting as a means to keep a feeling of family intact for their kids. For adults who have a narcissistic ex-partner, co-parenting can be more of the same brutal torture that was endured during the once blissful marriage.
Choosing to co-parent with an ex who is controlling can be extremely taxing. Some may think that a divorce will lessen the anger and manipulation of the ex-spouse, but having to share the custody of children can bring out the worst in some. A once-demanding ex-partner can use the children as a means to control the ex-spouse by using negative comments and fear to manipulate and steer the outcome of any situation, including the divorce itself.
When an ex-spouse makes co-parenting a nightmare, speaking with an attorney to modify the parenting plan may help to set firm boundaries for the children and both parents. Being assertive in the stance of equal but separate time can help to create an emotionally stable environment. Removing oneself from the onslaught of name-calling, aggressive behavior and angry outbursts can set the tone for breaking the emotional tirade that can cause undue stress and harbor feeling of resentment and hurt that can cloud judgement and ruin good parenting choices.
Co-parenting can work very well for many Texas parents who are going through or are recently divorced. Giving the children access to both parents can create less of a divide and help keep the feelings of anger and resentment from being thrown at one parent or another. However, parents who have a hard time keeping within set boundaries of a child custody agreement can create a volatile situation for the other parent. Parents who set a calm and unemotional example when dealing with the difficult spouse can provide a learning lesson for kids on how to deal with uncooperative people and emotional situations.
Source: goodmenproject.com, "How to Keep Your Sanity INTACT When Co-Parenting With a Narcissist -", Karen Finn, July 1, 2017