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3 tips for co-parenting with a narcissistic ex-spouse

Divorce is sometimes the only way to manage a toxic marriage. This is especially true when dealing with a person with narcissistic personality traits.

When co-parenting with a narcissistic ex-spouse, it can be incredibly challenging to maintain a healthy and cooperative relationship for the well-being of the children involved. These tips can help make your co-parenting journey less stressful.

Establish clear boundaries

Narcissists have an insatiable desire to control and manipulate others, often using tactics such as gaslighting, guilt-tripping, and emotional blackmail. When co-parenting with a narcissistic ex-spouse, it’s crucial to establish clear boundaries to protect yourself and your children from their manipulative behavior. Clearly define expectations regarding communication, visitation schedules and decision-making processes. Firmly enforce these boundaries to prevent your ex-spouse from crossing them.

Maintain focus on the children

While your ex-spouse may try to divert attention to themselves or engage in power struggles, it’s essential to maintain a steadfast focus on the well-being of your children. Keep your interactions centered around their needs, schedules and emotional health. Avoid getting drawn into arguments or conflicts initiated by your narcissistic ex-spouse by reminding yourself of your ultimate goal: to provide a stable and nurturing environment for your children.

Document interactions with your ex

Documentation is very important when co-parenting with a narcissistic ex-spouse. It helps provide a clear record of interactions, which can be valuable for legal purposes or when seeking support from mediators, therapists or other professionals. Keep a detailed journal or log of all communication, including emails, text messages, phone calls and in-person conversations, noting any concerning behavior or incidents that occur during exchanges or visitations. Be sure to include dates, times and specific details to create a comprehensive record.

If your ex-spouse presents safety concerns for you and your children, consider seeking legal guidance to better understand your options.

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