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Are you co-parenting with a narcissist?

Although the outcome of divorce in the long run is often positive, in the beginning, it can be filled with negativity. This is especially true if your spouse has a tendency to be negative or has a narcissistic personality.

If you have a narcissistic ex-spouse, you may be dealing with someone that is highly manipulative. It’s one thing to have to deal with them through the divorce process, but it can be a lot tougher if you have to co-parent with them as well.

So what are some strategies to deal with such an individual as you co-parent? First, it’s good to understand the basic characteristics of a narcissist. They have a tendency to be very charming and intelligent, but behind that façade is an entirely different person. Instead, he or she may have a tendency to play the blame game and will often lack empathy for those around them.

For example, a narcissistic ex may criticize you about your parenting style or may even blame you for your child’s behavior. Your first instinct may be to defend yourself by trying to explain your side. A better approach is to avoid this cycle in the first place, as explaining yourself will not change their mind. According to one divorce coach, the best way to deal with a narcissist is to interact as little as possible. When a narcissist tries to take stabs at you, do not react emotionally. Instead, stick to the facts of the matter.

This scenario is definitely challenging when it comes to co-parenting, but having a better understanding of how to deal with this type of personality can lead to a better co-parenting relationship.

Source: The Huffington Post, “The #1 Secret on How To Engage With a Narcissist,” Lindsey Ellison, Sept. 8, 2014

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