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How to co-parent with a narcissistic spouse

When you are a single parent in California, you try to raise your children with as little conflict as possible between you and their other parent. Sometimes, past partners co-parent seamlessly. Other times there is great tension, especially when one person has a demanding demeanor. How can you successfully co-parent with a former spouse who has a difficult personality?

According to Psychology Today, when your ex is a narcissist, it is best for you to develop certain skills to help you deal with their frustrating behavior. First, recognize that you are not dealing with someone who acts rationally. Therefore, it is important to exercise as much self-restraint as you can. Using mindfulness techniques, try to pick your battles and remain as calm as possible.

With respect to holidays, stick to the calendar that was formulated by court order. While you might be disappointed that you are not celebrating with your child on an exact holiday, they are more apt to remember that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration rather than that it took place on a different day.

It is also vital to maintain boundaries when your ex tries to pass items with an emotional tie from his or her house to yours. The underlying message is that your home is not a safe place for your child, and the object serves to remind the child that there is another living option. Email your child’s parent with a request to keep items in his or her home while telling your child that certain things should remain in separate houses. 

This information is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to give you legal advice.