Trying to work through child custody matters is difficult even under ideal conditions. When you have a co-parent who’s narcissistic, or who has narcissistic qualities, things get much more complex. An individual who is narcissistic can’t think about how their actions will affect others. Their sense of self-importance is too great.
Narcissism is problematic in child custody cases because a person with this condition struggles to separate what is best for a child from what is best for him or her. A narcissist usually isn’t capable of negotiating. Instead, they’ll only settle for things being done their way, and they’ll do anything they can to make it happen. This can even include creating problems where they did not previously exist in order to offer “resolutions” that suit their agenda. Consider these tips if you’re in the midst of trying to make child custody work with a narcissist.
Don’t engage them in battle
Narcissists thrive on the reactions of others. Never try to battle them. Instead, try to control your reactions to them and address the issues at hand, but don’t allow them to get you to argue with them. It might be best to handle everything via written means so you can review your response before you send it. Above all else, do not let a narcissist see that he or she has gotten under your skin. This only motivates them to continue their behavior.
Keep proof of everything
Many narcissists are pathological liars. They live in a fantasy land and can’t differentiate between the truth and their own lies. Because of this, you should keep proof of everything you can. Your ex may try to make false claims against you or provide conflicting information about the needs of your child(ren). Being able to disprove those claims may come down to what evidence you can produce. This will also help keep you grounded in reality.
A solid and comprehensive parenting plan is one of the best tools you have when you’re trying to raise children with a narcissist. It is also recommended that your parenting plan be specific, as narcissists thrive in arguing about ambiguities and manipulating those “gray areas” to their advantage. Getting this together won’t be easy, so you’ll have to work carefully and diligently to make it happen. Having someone on your side who can help you to come up with solutions that might work is important.