Co-Parenting with a Narcissist Ex

Bohm Wildish: Divorce Tips – Divorcing someone with a high-conflict personality or a narcissist is hard enough. Having to co-parent with that person can seem like an impossible feat. Even small arguments over arranging pick-up can result in your ex trying to push your buttons and constantly get under your skin.

HuffPost divorce asked a few of their experts to share some advice for people that are struggling with co-parenting. Here’s what they had to say:

Virginia Gilbert, marriage and family therapist: Stop believing that every divorced couple should be able to co-parent. If your ex is extremely high conflict, try parallel parenting instead: as little contact as possible. It may not seem ideal for your child, but it might be your best bet if your ex simply refuses to get along with you. Have your friend read his/her emails to you and only read the necessary information. Consider a 12-step program to help you detach yourself from your ex.

Tina Swithin, author: Limit communication as much as possible and only discuss things in a brief manner that are related to the children. If you’re feeling overemotional, wait 24 hours before responding. Consider putting your children in therapy as well. If your ex mistreats you, there’s a good chance the kids will need counseling also.

Alison Patton, divorce mediator: Educate yourself on high-conflict personalities. Remember that those people thrive on conflict. Don’t try to solve the problems, simply walk away. Because no matter what you do, he/she will create more conflict. Be “assertive,” not aggressive but not passive.

Marina Sbrochi, author: Pick your battles. Your ex is going to create a million battles for you the second you decide to separate, so make sure you know what you’re fighting for. Plead the 5th. Many times, staying silent is powerful. You’re not being combative, you’re simply sending the message that you will not engage in conflict.