Having to take care of a child that lives in two separate households is a challenge in and of itself, but having to co-parent with a narcissistic ex-husband or wife only makes the task more difficult to do. Now, although it may not be easy for you to have to interact with your ex-spouse when it comes time to pick up or drop off your child or to discuss certain parenting techniques, there are ways to make dealing with this person easier on yourself, according to the Huffington Post.
- Avoid engaging in his/her intolerable behavior. If you have to ask a question or discuss something regarding your children, only reply to comments made that apply to the question at hand. Now, this may come off to your ex-spouse as you trying to be “superior” to them which is one thing they dislike very much so be prepared for them to “react with or rage or contempt and try and belittle [you] to make themselves appear superior” [Source: Mayo Clinic]. Now, although this may upset them, keep your cool and avoid getting caught up in their disgruntled behavior.
- Reply with “yes” and “no” answers. It is best to keep the conversation short and only reply with “yes” and “no” when you must respond at all.
- Ignore any “love bombs” that are dropped. Huffington Post says that while you may be hoping that your ex-husband or wife shows you an “ounce of empathy,” the likelihood of this is very slim. Therefore, if receive an email or text that says, “If only you knew how much I loved you,” or something of that nature, it is best you ignore it avoid allowing these comments to cloud your mind. The fact is, while you may feel encouraged to respond or even engage in conversation when the two of you are the main subjects as you want to see some sign of compassion from your ex, you might find yourself disappointed when they fall back into their same narcissistic patterns.
- Set firm boundaries. It is best you avoid doing favors for your ex-partner and set some boundaries. The Mayo Clinic highlights that a narcissist not only “expects special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations,” but also that they “take advantage of others to get what they want.” This means they may ask you to do favors for them which require you to add more to your plate of responsibilities and continue to ask if you give in. Unfortunately, they may not be as willing to take on any additional tasks you ask of them which is why you need to set firm boundaries and avoid crossing them.
Now, although there may be times where it is more difficult to deal with a narcissistic husband or wife, it is important that they always comply with the agreements they signed in the divorce proceedings. Whether that means paying alimony, child support, or taking care of your children on certain days out of the month, it is important that they abide by the terms they initially agreed to. If, at any point, you find that your child’s other parent isn’t providing you with the support they are required to supply you with or aren’t adhering to child custody guidelines, contact USAttorneys.com. Our office can serve as the voice you need to get the matter resolved and you back to receiving the support and/or assistance your ex-spouse is required to provide you and your children with.