Co-parenting with your ex after a divorce is challenging in the best of circumstances. Even with a parenting plan in place, disagreements will probably arise. And while you hope that you and your former spouse may find common ground, this is not always the case.
When your ex is a narcissist or expresses narcissistic tendencies, co-parenting becomes even more difficult. According to Healthline, narcissists lack empathy and must remain the center of attention in personal relationships. While you cannot control their behaviors, there are steps you can take to preserve your sanity.
Keep a record of your interactions
Make a note when your ex is late dropping off or picking up your child. Establish a phone log tracking how often your ex contacts your home. You can also detail the subject of these phone conversations. Keep text and email correspondence taking place between you. This information will be extremely useful should you head back to court over parenting issues.
Keep topics of conversation on child-rearing subjects. Do not let your ex bait you into arguments using insults or criticisms. Try to remain civil in interactions with your ex whenever possible. If you cannot do this when interacting face to face, stick to text and email only.
Consider parallel parenting
While it is best for parents to form a cohesive unit when parenting their children, this is not always possible. Parallel parenting is an alternate arrangement where each parent rears a child separately. This greatly reduces interactions, which in turn decreases disagreements and arguments between you. While you will need to communicate about important subjects, it will only occur when absolutely necessary.
In the event you still face difficulties parenting with your ex, refer to your legal parenting plan. Both parties must abide by the terms of this agreement, and when they do not the court can take action.