How can I co-parent with a narcissist?

Co-parenting is the most popular variety of custody in the aftermath of divorce. Also known as joint custody, co-parenting is when both parents share both physical and legal custody of any children.

Co-parenting is very common for one compelling reason: research indicates that children do best when both parents are taking an active hand in raising them, even if both parents are no longer married and no longer cohabitate. However, if your ex-spouse is a narcissist, co-parenting with them may be a real challenge. According to Healthline, the best way to protect your sanity against a narcissist is to set hard boundaries.

How do I enforce hard boundaries?

If your ex-spouse is a narcissist, you are likely familiar with their habits of feeding off reactions others give. This can make setting hard boundaries with them extremely difficult. However, the best practice here is to not have to enforce your own boundaries. Having a legal parenting plan in place means you are not responsible for holding boundaries: the law is.

Having a legal parenting plan is an extra expense, but gives you extra ammunition against your ex-spouse pushing boundaries. If your ex-spouse starts to interfere with the agreed-upon routine, you can pull out the legal parenting plan and invoke the law.

How can I communicate effectively with a narcissist?

Many parents who are trying to manage with a narcissistic co-parent find that communicating through writing is the best way to go. By keeping your communications to email, you will have time to control any emotional impulses the narcissist may evoke by pushing buttons.

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