Can you co-parent with a narcissist?

If you have been married to, and divorced a narcissist, you will be more than aware of their personality traits and the impact that has had on you.  But now you have removed yourself from that situation, how to you learn how to co-parent with them?  Is it even possible to co-parent with them?  In short yes, but only in a limited way.

You may have found during your relationship that the narcissist looked like the doting parent to the outside world; however, the reality at home was very different and you would often be left to handle the day to day care of the children.  You may have also found when you separated the narcissist has tried to ensure the children live with them to continue this image of the perfect parent.

It is all your fault

Much like it was during your relationship, everything will be your fault.  They will go out of their way to make you look uncooperative, out of order and not putting the needs of your children first.

They are adept liars and will try to convince other people that you are in the wrong.

It’s all about you

Unfortunately, as time goes on, it will become more and more apparent that the narcissist does not care about the well-being of your children, if they can use the children to get to you.

To them, it will always be about winning.

Counter-parenting

You will find that the narcissist will go out of their way to counter-parent.  This is for several reasons but generally because they are always right, you are wrong and they like to inconvenience you and get a reaction.  If you say something isn’t suitable for the children, they will consider it to be suitable.  If you try and set bedtimes, they will ignore them etc.

So, what can you do?

The best thing you can do is nothing, do not react to their behaviour.  As difficult as it is, the narcissist feeds off your reactions so not reacting is the best thing you can do.  Of course, this can be very difficult when your children are involved.  However, if you keep communication to a minimum and communicate as much as possible in writing, it will get easier.

Aside from it being better for your own sanity to not engage in continuous arguments it is also better for your children.   Eventually, hopefully they should grow bored and as a result, co-parent with them will become easier.

It is also vitally important to keep any eye on your children.  Remember, the narcissist’s primary concern is themselves and not your children.  Your children may be suffering emotional abuse at the hands of the narcissist and it is important to be live to this.  Your children need to know that they can talk to you and that they never need to keep anything from you.

If you are struggling to co-parent or reach arrangements for your children with a narcissist we can help.

To speak to one of our friendly solicitors for a confidential chat give us a call today on 01423 594680.

Carol Jessop is an experienced family lawyer specialising in finding practical solutions to resolve complex financial arrangements, protecting assets and obtaining emergency orders to provide personal protection or prevent the removal of children.

Carol has over 30 years’ experience in family law and is recognised by her clients and peers as highly knowledgeable and compassionate.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and this article is provided by way of general information only and must not be relied upon.  If you require legal advice on a family law issue, please feel free to contact us by emailing enquiries@harrogatefamilylaw.co.uk.