Co Parenting with a Narcissist

Co Parenting with a Narcissist

I was looking through the terms that people commonly “Google” when the universe brings them to my blog.  The most common search term is, “Co Parenting with a Narcissist“.  There are obviously a lot of us.  There are obviously a lot of people who worry about their children during visitations and a lot of people who live with a pit in the bottom of their stomachs.  I wish that I would have known to Google that term a few years back as it would have given me a little glimpse into my future.

While it’s easy to Google, it’s difficult for me to actually say the words, “Co-Parent”.  In my world, that term is almost laughable except for the simple fact that my daughters are involved.  That part causes the humor to dissipate quickly.  I would hardly describe my situation or anyone who is involved with a Narcissist as “co-parenting”.  When I envision an airplane and a co-pilot, I automatically think of someone who is equally qualified to fly an airplane.  A person who is trained, admirable and takes his/her job very seriously.

I don’t have a co-parent.  I have someone who is manipulative, evil and self-centered.  I have someone who’s entire goal and motivation in this battle is to win at all costs.

If I did have a co-parent then I would have zero anxiety about tomorrow’s visitation.  If I did have a co-parent then I wouldn’t worry about my daughters’ safety when they are in his care.  I wouldn’t have to worry about the influence that he has on my daughters or the emotional harm that he can do to them in a brief window of time.

I wish that I had a co-parent.  I wish that my daughter’s had two parent’s who were both capable and loving.

CO-PARENT: a person (as a noncustodial parent) who shares parental duties with a custodial parent.

Click here for resources for NPD

24 Responses

  1. I have the same situation. It is horrible. I feel your pain too. I worry about my children, his influence on them, and what he may or may not do next. I feel totally alone. He is not interested in co-parenting in the slightest and I get zero information about what goes on at his house.

  2. Kim- How old are your children? Are they in counseling?

    I never ask or pry…I am very careful about that because I never want that used against me. My daughter’s therapist recommended that anytime in the car is the “safe talk zone” which gives my girls the green-light to talk about things that are bothering them. This works really well. Previously, I found that my daughter was holding things in. My oldest daughter (7) is very open and my youngest daughter (5) is starting to verbalize feelings more.

  3. I hope all goes well for your girls today. It really isn’t co-parenting at all. I have a little reprieve right now since he isn’t seeing our son, but I am sure it won’t last forever. I am trying to learn from other people’s experiences since I am sure I will need the advice in the future. Thanks for your updates!

  4. how much easier if these narcissits were capable of putting their ego’s aside in order to think of the wellbeing of the children. For some odd reason, I thought once our divorce was final, that my x would go by the rules. I had to file an emergency OSC 2 weeks later. He decided to leave the country and leave my children with a babysitter. How did i find out? When my aunt saw his FB post and called me asking where my children were? I never imagined that he would do such a thing and to ensure that he himself showed up for the transfer so that I could be sure he was in the US, I had to file and emergency OSC. I received so many ranting emails from him (while he was in D.R. no less) and a lot of fruedian slips. We have a hearing from the OSC this Wednesday. Hopefully, I will be able to use his FB posts and emails against him. Any advice will be great, as I filed this OSC pro se and will be representing myself.

  5. A few things to remember:
    1. They aren’t capable of putting their egos aside. If it ever appears that he has, I would be concerned about the motive– what does he want/manipulation.
    2. He will never go by the rules- he is incapable of that.
    3. It isn’t about the children. Any “normal” or mentally healthy person would never leave the country without telling the other parent. This is insane. It’s sad to say but it doesn’t shock me– nothing does anymore.
    4. Your FB posts and emails should be admissible. I have never had a problem using Facebook or emails. Remain calm and stick to your facts. Create a bullet point list of items that are imperative to address– it is easy to get flustered and forget a few things.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  6. ENJOY the reprieve! Those are the times when I am able to restore my energy for the next battle. 🙂

  7. Thank you for your tips and encouragement Tina.

    Quick question,

    how helpful were the Facebook and emails to you?

  8. It really depends on what the situation was and how serious it is. It absolutely will back up your story.

    I used FB to prove that he was snowboarding in Utah when he cancelled on the girls. I also used personal ads that I found to show his integrity/honesty — he listed that he had a grad degree (he doesn’t), he owns a home (he doesn’t), he hadn’t been married (helloooo) and that he had NO CHILDREN.

  9. Ok. The posts that he made were of him saying he’s in the airport terminal, pics that located him in D.R. I should be fine.

  10. I found your blog after I filed for sepatation 3 weeks ago. Am amazed at how my husband fits the description of Narcissist. He is also struggling with severe rage, paranoia and self medicating. We had our expedited hrg. He was given 48 hrs to vacate the home. I was given full custody with him having visitation every other weekend, to begin once he has had a psych ebal, alcohol screening, depression screening and anger management. I was amazed and relieved by her ruling as he was pushing for 50/50 custody of our 15 month old. He has already violated the Order by removing furniture from our home, and was in our home today while I was at work to take more. I know my this victory is not the end of the battle but wanted to share my positive outcome.The judge was clearly appaled by what had been happening in our home (mostly verbal and emotional abuse). Please keep writing Tina, as you gave me so much insight and courage!

  11. Oh and also he lied to the judge about not yet having an apartment lined up (in an effort to have more time to vacate) and lied that I was not still breastfeeding our son, as well as manipulated his parents into signing affidavits also stating i was no longer breastfeeding.

  12. MJ- It sounds like things are moving in the right direction already in terms of the court. That is really wonderful that the judge already sees through him. Thank you for your kind words 🙂

  13. Just found you and your blog. Same here, though I don’t use the term on my blog. My world changed when I found research on the disorder last summer. Anyway, I don’t use or even utter the word “co-parent” it does not apply to situations like ours, and I don’t read the divorce blogs or advice because they do not apply. This isn’t about two people not getting along, like you said, it’s about one without empathy. I practice no contact the best as I can while adhering to a visitation schedule. Sigh. Glad to have found you. I’ll have to do some catching up on your blog.

  14. Roxanne- Thank you for your comment. I look forward to reading your blog! Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  15. I am so relieved and fell less insane now that I have read these stories. I have battled with a Narcissist/Sociapath for 11 years, and now have been a custody battle for the last 2 years, I cannot believe the courts do nothing to help you other than order home studies, Pychological counseling for your children, Parent Facilitation, and 10 parenting classes, I am going out of my mind….I just want to screm…..All these people and classes and daughters Ad Litem does not work on my case……He is a Narcissist/sociapath……And know my life of my daughter depends in their hands, I had to start representing myself Prosee as I could not afford any more attorneys……After reading this…I feel so liberatted and engaged to fighting the fight for my Hannah.

  16. I’m trying, and will not stop ….thanks for the encouragement and this blog…. It is sad when you have to defend yourself because your legal counsel and judicial system Do not want to wrap themselves around this mental illness.

  17. And they make is incredibly difficult to PROVE this mental illness. I am thankful that I have the necessities in life (shelter, food, etc) to be told that I need to shell out $8,000 for a psych eval— to protect my children? Frustrating.

  18. I have a question for the group. My narc-ex has done some things that have severely crossed the line — from blackmailing me, threatening me, stalking me online, contacting my colleagues (using aliases) to keep me from gaining any traction in the publishing world, etc. I’m a writer and the best way for me to market my books is to blog, make comments on other blogs, find book promoters, etc. Needless to say, he’s made that very difficult.

    Worst of all, he has begun using the kids to get information about me. Because they’re such good, trusting kids, they don’t know he then takes what they told him and blasts me with it.

    Is it okay for me to set boundaries with them as well — explain to them that it’s not okay for their dad to ask questions about certain parts of our lives here and that if he does, they can tell him to talk to me directly? I just don’t know if they’re strong enough to do that.

    Any contact I have with him causes conflict. I refuse to meet with him in person and try to avoid telephone calls. He refuses to put anything in writing. We’re at an impasse with regards to making decisions about the kids — and with three, there are plenty of those that need to get done.

    Two of my kids are middle-teenagers and have expressed their frustrations with him and how he treats them. I’ve always taken the tact that I should not, under any circumstances, say anything that could be construed as negative about their dad. But…I can’t allow myself to defend his bad behavior anymore either. I won’t lie to my kids to protect him.

    Any thoughts? Thanks.

  19. WOW!! totally amasing…cant believe it’s more men
    out there just like my son’s father. Your comments
    described him to the T. I’m speechless.

  20. numbers 1,2,3 you have took the words out my
    mouth..When this Narissit put me in a bad mood.
    I will read my bible and read your entry. Thank You!

  21. I feel so much better knowing I am not alone. In fact, I have a hard time describing my ex-husbands behavior to others because I don’t think they will understand. Sometimes I wondered if it was ME that was the crazy one!! But the more I read, the more I realize I cannot and will not ever win with him. I am so guilty of trying to make things better with him and in the end it only turns into him belittling me and lashing out at me. He has no trouble critizing everything I do or say and telling me that I make HIM miserable. He is extremely hurtful and mean. But I continue to try and coparent and each day is a new beginning that always ends the same. All of my friends and my counselor have told me to not engage with him at all…but why do I find myself doing it again and again????? Some days I think I am stronger, but then it all happens all over again. I’m so afraid for my daughter who is 9 years old. She is suffereing from all the “crazy”. So, that makes me want to keep trying. Will she really be better off if I just stop trying? It feels like he will have more fuel for the fire then…

  22. Erica- Once you learn about the disorder and accept the fact that he is mentally ill (and cannot change) it will get easier.

    You have to shift your thinking– you will never change him. You will never get him to understand. You will never have a healthy co-parent. Do not engage– he LOVES that. It feeds his dark soul. Picture him laughing at you as he reads your response– that is what I do and it reminds me to keep all communication NON emotional. He does not deserve an ounce of my emotion– he had ten years to drain me and I will be darned if I give him another ten!

    Hang in there– there are a LOT of us here for support– and on the FB page. Tina ((HUGS))