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Can you truly co-parent with a narcissist?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2023 | Custody and Parenting Time |

If you are unlucky enough to be in a situation in which you must make co-parenting work with someone who exhibits narcissistic tendencies, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are ways to make this less-than-ideal setup more manageable both for you and the kids. For anyone co-parenting with a narcissist in Wisconsin, here are some tips to help get you through it.

What to expect from a narcissist

In divorces involving narcissists, the non-narcissist co-parent must find another way of parallel parenting that allows them to establish firm boundaries and stick to them. It’s also vital for these co-parents to understand the legal protections that are in place and how to use them.

Someone who is narcissistic generally wants to have complete control over everything. This can easily include you and your kids’ lives. This type of person is often used to making all the decisions and doesn’t handle being told “no” well.

How to deal with a narcissist

It’s important to maintain your privacy and expect a certain level of respect. This type of co-parenting often makes it difficult to navigate those boundaries.

But while you may have to exchange certain information about your schedule, like when you work, that doesn’t mean your ex has to know everything about your personal life. Remember that friendship isn’t implicit in the co-parenting relationship.

Everything is a battle

With a narcissist, every little thing has the potential to become a big fight. When you must interact with them in person to arrange parenting time and child custody, it’s often necessary to be firm. This can be extremely difficult without letting emotions get mixed in, so it’s a skill you may want to practice.

When parents have split up, it’s essential to find a way to co-parent that works for both people. But if one of those parents is a narcissist, the basic rules of co-parenting may not be applicable.