After a divorce, you and your former spouse must form a united front when it comes to raising your child. Doing so can be difficult even under the best of circumstances, and it may feel downright impossible if your ex-spouse has narcissistic tendencies.
People prone to narcissistic tendencies often want to be the center of attention and typically disregard the feelings of others. While you are not likely to change your former spouse’s personality, the following tips can help you navigate the co-parenting relationship with as little stress as possible.
Establish strong boundaries
Narcissists like to push boundaries to create conflict and draw attention to themselves. That is why you must have strong boundaries when it comes to discussions and decisions relating to your child. By creating strong boundaries when appropriate, you force the other person to relinquish some control and cooperate with you.
Avoid conflicts when possible
People with narcissistic tendencies also like to create conflict, but you must resist giving in. When you are feeling angry, do your best to remain calm while presenting your point in a clear and concise manner. Do not feel the need to provide extra information unless necessary and limit interactions to child-rearing topics only.
Create a parenting plan
Parenting plans establish a road map for co-parents, so they are indispensable when you are dealing with a difficult former spouse. The more detailed the plan, the better, so be sure to include information on who picks up your child after school, where they will spend which holidays, and approved disciplinary tactics.
When you face conflict in your co-parenting relationship, try to focus on your child and their needs. By centering the process on your child, you can keep your cool and make decisions that are in their best interest.