Co parenting with a narcissist who also happens to be your former partner can be a challenge that is difficult to navigate. Plus, it can be quite emotionally draining for anyone to even experience.
Individuals with a narcissistic personality most commonly lack empathy, thereby prioritizing their individual wants and needs above those of others.
This obviously makes co-parenting difficult – your partner will eventually fail to prioritize what your children need.
Narcissists might end up dwelling in anger and seeking revenge simply because they view themselves as superiors, often manipulating reality in order to justify their selfish acts.
It is vital to understand that until and unless your kids grow up, your ex-partner will be a pretty big part of their lives.
While it appears to be challenging on certain terms, there are several steps you can definitely take to set boundaries, protect yourself, and ultimately help your children.
But First, Can You Attempt To Prove To The Law That Your Ex Is A Narcissist?
Before we start, let’s admit something first – co parenting with a narcissist ex is extremely difficult. And that happens to be the stark reality.
However, every problem has a solution. And co-parenting with a narcissistic ex-partner can be exhausting, but you cannot forget about the larger picture – your child’s well-being.
But before we go there, you must have a basic question – can you even attempt to prove to the courts that your former partner is a narcissist and all the problems that are rising because of the same?
Let’s find out!
Proving To The Courts That Your Former Partner Is Narcissistic: Explained!
Understand something very clearly – it won’t be easy to prove to the courts that your former partner is narcissistic.
How will you prove that your former partner suffers from a personality disorder called NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder? It is extremely challenging to provide compact evidence for non-physical abuse.
Typically, narcissists do not see the basic need to work on themselves – there’s no need for any self-improvement, according to a narcissist.
This, in turn, makes one thing obvious, that is, narcissists do not think self-improvement, or therapy for that matter, is important. That way, there won’t be any official records of clinical diagnosis.
In such cases, it is practical to consult with a dependable attorney who has the expertise to handle toxic individuals like your former partner. And definitely keep your lawyer on speed dial – you never know when any legal issue can crop up.
Think it through.
In most situations, attempting to prove to the law that your co-parent suffers from NPD can be not just exhausting but also expensive. And in the end, it might also prove to be a futile affair. Family courts have zero experience in handling complex cases involving people with personality disorders.
In fact, if your former partner is a highly-skilled narcissist, then it will be easy for them to actually manipulate the court just like they manipulate most people in their life.
The Judge might not even notice that the co-parent with NPD is actually using the law to manipulate as well as control you through your children.
How Do Narcissistic Parents Get Away With Their Toxicity?
It does not matter whether you are co parenting with a narcissist father or a mother – gender is not the concern here. But it’s a problem that arises from co-parenting or even associating with any individual with NPD.
A narcissistic parent will use manipulation and deception to present themselves as the best parent, the perfect parent, who only has their child’s best interests at heart. It’s just a part of their act.
It is possible that the Court can suggest co-parenting counseling, but it is hardly going to help. Either the narcissistic co-parent won’t attend the sessions, ask for a different therapist from the Court, or just devalue the counselor. Of course, such people even want a therapist who they can manipulate and control.
Of course, it is highly possible that the Judge might ask both parents to sit through psychological evaluations, including the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) test. It is absolutely a possibility that the narcissistic parent fails to outsmart this test.
And if the Judge determines how the co-parent indeed suffers from NPD, then they can make decisions based on what’s best for their children.
However, it is crucial that you don’t get your hopes up. In most cases, the Judge might call your children as witnesses. Answering certain questions in front of both parents is already tough for just about any child. So, naturally, when a narcissistic parent is involved, things just become more complex – for instance, power dynamic starts playing a crucial role.
It is likely that the presence of the narcissistic parent might just be manipulative and intimidating. It is just heartbreaking to see a child getting scared and entirely under the control of a toxic parent who might take the help of nonverbal cues to instruct the kid on what exactly to say.
Co-Parenting With A Narcissist: The Tips To Remember!
Until and unless the entire family law system comes up with a solid system of handling narcissistic parents, it is highly probable that co-parenting might be ordered on a 50-50 division.
It doesn’t matter whether you are co parenting with a female narcissist or a male one – the point is, you are co parenting with a narcissist.
Your child’s well-being and needs will require protection. So, here are some of the most practical tips to help you with managing the manipulative behavior of your narcissistic ex-partner.
1. Set Compact Boundaries:
It is vital to set concrete boundaries with your ex-partner while ensuring that all communication is taking place effectively. This can easily help you to decrease conflict and then protect you from any kind of manipulation.
2. Seek Support:
Dealing with a toxic or narcissistic co-parent is emotionally draining. It is crucial to actually seek support from your family, friends, or even a therapist – so that you can cope with the issues of co-parenting with an individual who’s narcissistic.
3. Keep Records:
Document and record all instances of manipulative behavior or blatant narcissism, including conversations, texts, and emails. This can prove to be helpful when you are asked to provide evidence to the law.
4. Communicate Via Mediators:
If communicating with your narcissistic partner directly is not really effective, then consider opting for a mediator who can facilitate communication.
5. Focus On Your Children:
Remember you need to prioritize the needs and wants of your kids at the forefront of all your parenting decisions. It might be helpful to develop an ideal co-parenting plan that will outline how both of you will meet the different needs of your kids.
Bonus: Other Tips To Follow
If you think the five tips we have mentioned above are enough, you might be wrong if you are dealing with a highly-skilled narcissistic individual. Here are some more tips to make life easier for you!
6. Definitely seek legal counsel.
7. Use all ‘I’ statements.
8. Prioritize your mental health.
9. Seek plenty of outside help when needed.
10. Always know that you are not alone.
Co-parenting With A Narcissist: Prioritize Your Childre’s Well-Being!
We accept that co parenting with a narcissist is a big difficulty and can exhaust you completely. But at the same time, you cannot forget about your child’s well-being. Let’s assume that the toxic parent will continue to be a part of your child’s life in the years to come. But that does not mean your child needs to be manipulated or controlled. So, tell us, what are your thoughts on co-parenting with a partner who has NPD? And if you have experience with the issue, feel free to share your stories with us in the comments below.
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