Written by: Kshama Singhi, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Dealing with a narcissistic ex when you're co-parenting can be really tough emotionally. They might not be very flexible and could react defensively.
They might not parent the way you'd like them to, and they may not listen when you try to talk about it. Finding a middle ground can be really hard. Dealing with their negativity can be draining.
It's important to know how to handle things calmly and look out for yourself and your child. In this article, I will give you some down-to-earth tips, both practical and emotional, for dealing with this tricky situation.
1. Set strong boundaries
Dealing with a narcissistic ex calls for some tough boundaries. Trying to reason with them or expecting them to understand may not work. Instead, be clear about what you're okay with and make sure they know it. Confidence is key – don't give them room to play games.
2. Recognize your own power
After dealing with a narcissist for a while, you might feel like you've lost control. Their threats and mind games can be really intimidating. But here's the secret: you've got more power than you think. Recognize it, and don't forget it.
3. It’s fine to make mistakes
When you're co-parenting with a narcissist, it can feel like a bumpy ride emotionally. Sometimes things seem calm, but then tension flares up again. It's okay for your child to see you going through different feelings – that's normal. You don't have to be a perfect parent who hides all disagreements from them.
4. Steer clear of drama
Narcissists thrive on drama and your fear. Resist the urge to get caught up in their games. Stay calm, cool, and avoid getting dragged into heated arguments at the same time don’t be afraid of them. Share your frustrations with your support system, but keep your composure around your ex.
5. Keep perspective
Narcissists are good at muddying the water, they might try to complicate things with unnecessary comments and emotions. When communicating with them, stick to the facts and try to keep your emotions out of it. It's a skill that's useful in co-parenting and beyond.
6. Don't take things personally
Your ex might throw hurtful words your way to try and get a reaction. Remember, their behaviour says more about them than it does about you. When they criticise, it's often because of their own issues. Build up your emotional strength and don't let their words get under your skin.
7. Don’t try to control everything
Understand that you can't have control over everything. Unless there's harm happening, your ex is still their parent. Realise that you may have different beliefs and ways of parenting. The sooner you embrace this, the better it will be for everyone involved.
8. Talk to your child
Explain your ex's actions to them in a way that's suitable for their age. Let them know that how their parent behaves is about them, not your child. However, be careful not to say bad things about your co-parent. It might make your child feel like they have to choose sides. Instead, you can say things like we have different ways of doing things, and that's okay.
9. Focus on you
Having a fulfilling life outside of co-parenting is crucial. Pursue your interests, enjoy your hobbies, and stay connected with friends. This not only boosts your own well-being but also sets a good example for your child about the importance of self-care.
10. Seek support and let it out
You don't have to go through this alone. Lean on trusted friends, family, or support groups who can lend an understanding ear and offer advice. Letting off steam in a safe space helps you process your emotions without feeling overwhelmed.
Remember, you're stronger than you think, and with the right strategies, you can handle this challenging situation with grace and resilience.
Kshama Singhi, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Kshama Singhi, a certified Empowerment Coach accredited by Jay Shetty, has been on a mission since 2020. Her passion lies in guiding women through powerful transformations. Kshama's own journey, marked by a pivotal divorce, ignited a fire within her to empower others. She firmly believes that the foundation of our lives lies in the relationship we have with ourselves. Today, fuelled by this newfound purpose, she's unwavering in her commitment to help women emerge as the architects of their own empowered destinies.