If your ex-spouse is a narcissist, you may have some well-founded concerns about your future co-parenting arrangement. After all, while it is generally good for kids to have two involved parents, sharing parental responsibilities with a person who has narcissistic tendencies is often a recipe for disaster.
Narcissists usually have grandiose perceptions of themselves and may have little empathy for others. Therefore, even if a mental health professional has not diagnosed your children’s co-parent with narcissistic personality disorder, you may want to use your parenting plan to keep your ex-spouse’s behavior in check.
Put everything in writing
Narcissistic co-parents may deflect blame or wiggle out of their responsibilities. Consequently, you should try to address every conceivable parenting matter in your parenting plan. By putting everything in writing, you have a binding framework to reference during your co-parenting relationship.
Put simply, you should expect your ex-spouse to use anything you leave out of the parenting plan to his or her advantage.
Establish firm and healthy boundaries
You should basically be able both to parent how you see fit and to have your ex-spouse respect your parenting time. Individuals with narcissistic tendencies, though, often have trouble with boundaries. Therefore, your parenting plan should explicitly define each parent’s rights and responsibilities.
Outline dispute resolution
Because narcissistic individuals often have an overinflated sense of self, your children’s co-parent may be unable or unwilling to admit when he or she is wrong.
Ultimately, if your parenting plan includes a detailed process for resolving disputes, you may be able to prevent your ex-spouse from either dragging out conflict or leveraging it to sabotage your parent-child relationships.