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Co-parenting with a narcissist

Co-parenting with a narcissist

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Casual scribe

Co-parenting with a narcissist

My ex partner left our 8 year old at home. Alone!!! He thinks I’m overreacting and that it’s not a big deal. I am not overreacting he wouldn’t know the basic skills on how to survive if there was an emergency. If roles were reversed it would be the end of the world. Brought this topic up and he starts yelling about how I’ve done this I’ve done that which is irrelevant. Is anyone else in the position of coparenting with a narcissist who in their eyes never do wrong.

I stupidly got into a yelling match with him knowing all too well that this just adds fuel to the fire and that he feeds off my anger.

Just so frustrated on how to parent with him when he just does not listen.
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Community Manager

Re: Co-parenting with a narcissist

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Hi @annoyedmumma , 

 

Welcome to the ReachOut parents community, i hope you find it a useful space for you. You're definitely not alone in having challenges with co-parenting, it can be an incredibly stressful situation, especially if your ex is doing things that you find unacceptable. 

 

I can hear your frustration and concern for your 8 year old, which is totally understandable, as a parent of a child who's only a little older myself, I would be incredibly frustrated and angry in that situation. I'm glad your child is OK - as you say, that is a potentially dangerous situation.  I just wanted to make you aware (you may be already), that if you're ever concerned about your child's safety, you can always report to child protection in your state. 

 

It sounds like a really tricky relationship to navigate with your ex, especially if he reacts with anger and defensiveness. I found this resource on the ReachOut parent's page to have some really helpful, practical information about ways to handle conflict with an ex when you are having to co-parent. 

 

I am wondering if you currently have a parenting plan at all with your ex, or if you have already been through mediation? Some people find mediation (I know Relationships Australia offer this service) to be helpful in setting clear expectations and boundaries around co-parenting with an experienced mediator. If you have tried some of the techniques outlined in the article I've linked to above and they aren't working, or if you're concerned about your child's safety, then mediation can be a really useful step. 

 

You sound like a very caring mum, and dealing with this kind of stress can really take its toll on us as well - are you able to make some time for self-care, or even speak to a counsellor if you think you need to for some extra support? 

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Parent Community Champion

Re: Co-parenting with a narcissist

Hi,

when I found out my ex of only 12months or so was sometimes going out with her defacto and leaving  our 9 year old son alone in the apartment I wasn't pleased to say the least. At the time like you I was finding it hard to deal with my ex as there were too many unresolved side issues for us to really have a realistic discussion about it. I bought my son a very basic mobile and taught him how to send txts and how to ring me on the speed dial function. Also how to ring for emergency help if anything went wrong in the apartment , I also programmed his mothers number in as well the number of a trusted close friend who my son knows and likes.Once I had explained to my ex that the phone wasn't for everyday use but only if it was unavoidable that our son was going to be alone in the apartment.This I know doesn't help you with the problem of co-parenting with some one you cant see eye to eye with but it may give you some peace of mind knowing your child can call for help if needed.As to working it out with a difficult ex, no one size fits all but my GP got me onto a health care plan free under medicare I had 6 absolutely invaluable visits with a psychologist and took out some psychology books out from the local library. The calmer I became and the less i rose up and reacted to the red flags my ex waved to provoke me the less she did it and now finally after a little more than a year later we can deal civilly with each other. This has had the added advantage that our boy has become far less  of a hard to handle messed up unhappy little kid to one close to the happy little guy he used to be.  If in doubt take 3 deep breathes before you speak to your ex , that is not meant to sound patronising it really works for me

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Casual scribe

Re: Co-parenting with a narcissist

Already have orders in place of which cost a ridiculous amount of money for him to end up worse then he was before he went for soul custody.

He wasn’t always this bad, it was when he married his current wife and let’s just say she’s the master behind it all.

I left him the whole situation is a looong story but after 15 months in family court, court report writers, psychiatrists, psychologists.....I got soul custody.

He doesnt seem to think leaving an 8 year old at home is a big deal. I did however think it was and called child protection. And even if they do not investigate as first time offence it is a paper trail if we ever end up back in court.

Thanks for your advice
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Parent Community Champion

Re: Co-parenting with a narcissist

It makes me realise how lucky I am that the 50/50 childcare arrangement I have was achieved out of court, shouldnt be too cocky as the divorce and financials are still to be finalised. Back to your problem of dealing with your ex, you seem to have a pretty good handle on him and his personality and his new partner, Iam hoping you maintain the calm and not the rage, as like playing chess its a long battle from the opening moves to the end game and you have to really study your opponent ,and not let him rattle you. sincerely hope it ends up ok for you and your 8 yr old. I was able to make my ex see that a lot of the things she was doing were only damaging our child and getting us nowhere . However if your ex is an I am ALWAYS right kind of a person reason and logic dont apply anymore.

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Community Manager

Re: Co-parenting with a narcissist

Hi @annoyedmumma  and @sidneysdad ,

 

@annoyedmumma  thanks for checking back in with us, it sounds like it's been a really tough journey for you.  From what you've said, it sounds like you made the right decision reporting to child protection, as you say it does at least mean that there's a paper trail. 

 

It must be very challenging to be worried about your child's safety, and I know how stressful going through famliy court proceedings can be. Are you able to find time for some self-care for yourself, or chat to a professional if you feel like it would help you? 

 

@sidneysdad  thank you for sharing your experiences, it sounds like you've ultimately been able to  come up with an arrangement that works for you, your ex, and your child, which I think is a pretty amazing achievement. It can be incredibly hard to navigate joint custody situations, but it sounds like you have your child's best needs at heart, and it's great to hear from another parent who's been in a similar situation.