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Co Parenting after Divorce with a Narcissist Spouse

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Parenting after divorce requires a lot of coordinated effort from both parents. If either parent is uncooperative, it can make things difficult for the child. This struggle quadruples when one parent has a personality disorder such as narcissism. 

Narcissistic traits provoke conflicts that make it hard (or impossible) to create the healthy environment that all children need. Depending on the severity of this pattern, the cumulative effect of these negative experiences can cause lifelong mental health problems for children raised in such an environment. You must seek therapy for your children if your co parent is a narcissist. 

In addition, if you have a narcissistic ex-partner, you must acknowledge the challenges you face. Anticipate dealing with high conflict levels. Nothing that they do is their fault, according to them. If you are looking for accountability and compromise, then you are expecting the wrong things from them.

How to deal with your ex-spouse in school issues?

If you have school-aged children, it is quite likely to happen that your partner will attempt to create issues at your child’s school. The school is a stage for their attention-seeking behaviors. For instance, you might find your name excluded from your child’s emergency contact list, or try to create the impression with your child’s teachers that you are an abusive parent. Your ex-partner will be fighting a one-sided battle to appear as a better parent in society. Be ready for these behaviors. Here, the best thing to do is to control your temper and think strategically to calmly sidestep conflict. Don’t allow yourself to “compete” and avoid debating them at all times.

How to deal with them during your child’s activities?

The first and foremost rule is to minimize contact. Minimizing contact prevents situations that feed the narcissistic tendencies. If your child has an assignment or an activity involved that is due the next week, plan to help your child complete the task without expectations of help from your co parent. On the occasion where you must be in contact with them, be very precise and neutral in your tone. Any willful misinterpretation of your words by your ex-partner can lead to a big fight that might further affect your child’s mental health.

What is the worst to expect?

Expecting a lengthy battle in family court. A narcissistic ex-partner is likely to be on their worst behavior during the process of separating from their partner. Be especially prepared when you are in front of a judge. This is the place where a narcissistic partner will tend to display some of their worst tendencies. Do whatever self-care you need to be emotionally sound and resilient as you deal with the process.

Stick to neutrality and maintain an overall minimum contact. Get your children and yourself into therapy. Hire the best family law attorney you can. Do all of the above, and you are well on your way to doing your best to co-parent with a narcissistic ex-partner after a divorce.

Our Firm Specializes in Southern California Divorces Complicated by Narcissism and other Mental Illnesses. Do you have a divorce or family law question?

Call our office today at (949) 363-5551. We specialize in helping clients who have divorce and family law matters complicated by gaslighting, narcissism, bipolar disorder, and other psychological challenges. John A. Bledsoe is Orange County’s premier divorce attorney and a certified family law specialist. Our firm offers a confidential initial case evaluation.  to learn more.

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