Many divorced parents are able to work as a team to co-parent their children. They realize that the kids have to be the focus of every decision that’s made and they’re willing to do that. In some cases, however, this isn’t possible because one parent is narcissistic.
If you’re divorcing a narcissist, you may wonder what you can do to develop an effective parenting plan — but you honestly cannot afford to be optimistic that the transition will go easily. Here’s why:
- A narcissist isn’t able to consider how others feel. They focus solely on what they need and how they feel.
- If something doesn’t benefit them, they aren’t going to willingly do it or agree to it. This can make it difficult to come up with a parenting plan and to co-parent with them.
- They usually aren’t above lies and false allegations. Most individuals with narcissism will do whatever they need to so they can get their way. This can include using mean and deceptive tactics.
- They want to upset you. Narcissists work to invoke strong responses from individuals so that they can feel as though they are powerful and in control.
Taking the time to plan your responses to anything they say is important, especially when you’re working through parenting plan decisions. Try to stay away from knee-jerk reactions to their assertions. If you can’t do this, you might need to have your attorney handle the communication. Your ex won’t get to see the raw emotions that their antics bring out. Another option is a documented messaging app that enables you and your ex to exchange written information that can be reviewed by the courts if necessary.
If you’re divorcing a narcissist, a workable parenting plan may not be in the cards without intervention from the court. Talk to your attorney in advance about the potential problems so that you can plan your strategy accordingly.