THE IMPORTANCE OF SETTING BOUNDARIES WHEN CO-PARENTING WITH A NARCISSIST

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THE IMPORTANCE OF SETTING BOUNDARIES WHEN CO-PARENTING WITH A NARCISSIST

Man yelling at woman on couchA narcissistic person is someone who is affected by narcissism or narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissistic parents function in a toxic manner, generally implementing tactics of emotional abuse, as they feel threatened by the growing independence of their children. 

Narcissistic people typically have low self esteem and feel compelled to control how other people perceive them. They tend to be inflexible, manipulative, and often disregard boundaries. Co-parenting with a narcissist can be daunting and overwhelming at times, but co-parenting with a narcissist is possible.  

Signs You Are Co-parenting With A Narcissist

If you think you might be co-parenting with a narcissist, there are certain warning signs that are common among narcissists. Co-parenting with a narcissist often feels like you are being ignored, that your boundaries are being tested and pushed.  A narcissist will gaslight you and manage situations pertaining to your children in unhealthy ways.  Unfortunately, these sorts of behaviors are frequently how narcissists deal with co-parenting.  Narcissists often become angry and defensive when you provide them with feedback. They tend to parent with less empathy and structure and often have a tone of disrespect toward their co-parent.  They are often impressed with power and impressing other people to compensate for their typically low self esteem. This approach to parenting impacts everyone involved, not only you the co-parent, but the children, who then internalize the toxicity between the parents. 

What’s It Like To Co-parent With A Narcissist?

Co-parenting with a narcissist can be exhausting and lonely. An inability to maintain a positive, healthy relationship with your co-parent can feel overwhelming, as this is the person that you should be able to share the joys of your children with even after divorce. It is necessary to avoid the narcissist’s cruel remarks and keep the emotions out of the situation, even though, at times, that may feel like an insurmountable task.

Tips For Co-parenting With A Narcissist

Sometimes it may feel like it is impossible to stay sane when co-parenting with a narcissist. Being able to identify that you are co-parenting with a narcissist is the first step in working toward managing the relationship in the healthiest way for you and for your children. 

Setting boundaries is necessary when co-parenting with a narcissist. In order to successfully navigate co-parenting with a narcissist, set boundaries for yourself and for your children. Limit communications with the narcissistic co-parent and try to focus on what is best for your children. Ignoring provocative behavior intended to evoke a reaction from you will oftentimes lead to a more healthy relationship.  

Do not argue with a narcissist. While it might be extremely difficult at times to take the high road, in the end, you will be better off for ignoring any opportunity to argue with your narcissistic co-parent. It is also important to remember that your role as a parent to your children should be more of a priority to you than how your co-parent is parenting, within reason. Absent abuse or harm to your child, do not consume yourself with your narcissistic co-parent’s style of parenting.  Maintaining a healthy relationship with your children will be best for you and for your child because, unfortunately, you will not be able to control your co-parent.

To learn more about the challenges of co-parenting with a narcissist, contact DeTorres & DeGeorge today.  Knowing your rights will allow you to more effectively navigate sharing custody with a narcissist. Our legal experts will answer your questions and you will be prepared when dealing with a narcissist co parent. Contact us today if you think you might be co-parenting with a narcissist.

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