Trying to make any type of situation that involves working as a team be successful when one person is a narcissist is nearly impossible. There are several things that you can expect if you’re placed in a situation that involves having to try to work with a person who’s narcissistic — even when that person is your ex and your child’s other parent.
The more you prepare for likely problems, the better you’ll be able to cope. Here are some things to expect when your co-parent is a narcissist:
- Vindictive behavior: More than likely, you’re going to have to deal with being treated poorly. Your ex will probably go out of their way to be hurtful. A person who’s narcissistic is going to try to gain power by making you react in a negative manner. Instead of showing that you’re upset, you’ll fare much better if you simply ignore the behavior when your ex tries to use these antics.
- Deception and lies: In some cases, the narcissist will lie to get the reaction they need out of you. Again, the key to winning this struggle is to continue to deny the narcissist the reaction they want from you. For some people who share custody with a narcissist using a parenting communication app that can be monitored by the court is a way that they can minimize the negative behaviors.
- Games and favoritism: Beware of your ex playing favorites with the children, and show the kids empathy when they come to you with issues about the other parent.
As always, make sure that you have a parenting plan in place that puts the children first. Follow this and take steps to modify it when necessary. This can help you and the kids to move forward despite the negative behaviors of the narcissistic parent.