Co-parenting with a former spouse is rarely easy, even when you are both invested in making it work. However, when your former spouse has narcissistic tendencies, the co-parenting relationship becomes even more challenging.
You and your ex must work together to raise your child in a healthy and loving manner. While that might seem impossible when your former spouse behaves badly, here are a few ways you can cope with their poor behavior.
Remain calm at all times
Some people intentionally push buttons to rile you up. Perhaps your ex is unhappy about the demise of your relationship, or maybe they just have a combative personality. Maybe they have legitimate criticism of your parenting style but just cannot communicate it effectively. No matter the reason, always remain calm in your dealings with the person. Listen to their concerns and reply respectively, but act in the way you feel is appropriate for your child.
Support your child
Making your child the priority can alleviate a lot of the stress of co-parenting. All decisions must keep your child’s best interests in mind. Additionally, you should encourage your ex-spouse to do the same when they are making child-rearing decisions. By keeping your child at the center of the parenting relationship, you can maintain a good perspective.
Maintain your boundaries
Boundaries give you some semblance of control when dealing with a controlling person. If you find it challenging to communicate with your former spouse, limit discussions to text, telephone, or email. If you do not want to get into fights with your ex, stick to child-rearing topics only. Do not get pulled into pointless fights or arguments, especially if they concern personal topics.
If your ex absolutely refuses to cooperate, consider taking the matter back to court. The court can enforce your existing parenting plan, or help you develop a new one that works for everyone involved.