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What can I do if my co-parent has narcissistic tendencies?

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2021 | Child Custody

Co-parenting after divorce is often challenging. If your ex-spouse experiences narcissistic personality disorder or has narcissistic tendencies, parenting together can seem downright impossible.

According to WebMD, developing a good parenting strategy can help you care for your child effectively, regardless of the actions of your ex. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

How to recognize narcissistic traits

The major issue with narcissists or people with narcissistic personality traits is their lack of empathy. Because they cannot imagine other perspectives, they do not treat others with kindness or compassion. They also believe they are better than other people and deserve more as a result.

Other traits include feelings of entitlement, which leads them to selfish, self-serving behaviors. They may overplay their achievements or accomplishments while downplaying the accomplishments of others. They also need near-constant admiration, or they may act out.

What you can do to make parenting easier in a difficult situation

The best thing you can do is to set very distinct boundaries and stick to them. For example, limit communication to child-rearing topics alone. You can also stipulate that you only want to communicate via text or email, which can relieve some stress from these interactions.

If your partner tries to draw you into an emotional argument, do not let them. Remain civil and respectful and resist attempts at annoying or angering you.

You can also address the matter with the court that issued your custody agreement. You and your ex must follow the terms of the court order to the letter. If your former spouse fails to do so, the court can take additional actions or amend the agreement.

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