Co-parenting is rarely easy, but some situations make it seem all but impossible. This is the case when a former spouse exhibits narcissistic tendencies, which can lead to seemingly endless fights and conflict when it comes to child-rearing issues.
Identifying and understanding challenging personality traits in your ex is often the first step to effectively dealing with them. As a result, this guide can help you develop a smart strategy for dealing with a difficult ex.
Common narcissistic characteristics
People prone to narcissism typically exhibit certain personality traits, such as arrogance. In many cases, these individuals believe they are “above” other people, which can cause them to act entitled. Additionally, they may also crave admiration from the people around them, to the point where they might embellish their abilities and accomplishments.
People with narcissistic tendencies also have trouble experiencing empathy for others. As a result, finding common ground with your ex when it comes to child-rearing may be all but impossible. In some cases, your former spouse may blame conflict on you, and may even accuse you of feeling envy or jealousy towards them (based on their own grandiose view of themselves).
What you can do about them
The first step is to accept your ex as they are and admit that it is unlikely that they will change. You should also avoid conflict whenever possible by sticking to child-rearing topics. When it comes to communication, methods like email put some space between you and your ex, while also creating documentation of your conversations.
And finally, you should have a parenting plan in place to make certain everyone is on the same page. A parenting plan also provides legal recourse since you can address issues in court if your ex refuses to follow the plan.