How to Co-Parent with a Narcissist (Vol. 2)
After eighteen years of practicing Family Law, I frequently hear about the “Narcissist Ex.” I have been told that their Ex is like no other person that I have ever met. That it is impossible to co-parent with the Ex. That they cannot have conversations surrounding small issues. I believe that I can offer ways to move your relationship forward for the benefit of your sanity and for your children. Please do not just read my suggestions. Apply them and let me know in sixty days if any of my suggestions helped you and your family.
SUGGESTION NUMBER #2 KEEP YOUR OWN HANDS CLEAN
Raising a child is hard work. Regardless of whether you are married or single, it is hard to know how to make decisions that are best for your child. It is even harder when you have two parents that cannot come to an agreement, even on small things because they simply cannot stand the sight of each other.
Typically, my client will call desiring to hold the Ex in contempt for failing to follow the court’s order. I will usually receive text messages, photographs and some audio recordings clearly showing the how the other parent has failed to comply. After digging deeper, I also will find ways in which my own client has also failed to comply with the court’s order. Bad acts that are repaid by lesser versions of bad acts are still bad acts in the Court’s eyes. Yes, there usually is a valid reason for your response or action. However, you could also be found to be in contempt of court or worse, find that the court is dismissive to your issues because of your own actions/inactions. The court may presume that neither party is acting in your child’s best interest. Here are my suggestions for keeping your own hands clean:
- Do not immediately respond to messages received from your Ex. Take a deep breath and put things in perspective. As I stated in my last blog, pretend that your Judge is sitting next to you as you respond. If the issue can wait, respond 24 hours later when you have had a chance to think about the issue.
- Know what your Order says. Many times, clients can tell me what the Ex is supposed to do and cannot remember his or her own obligations. Pull your Decree out of the drawer and make sure that you are following the rules.
- Speak Less, Type More. I find that people communicate better in writing than in person when dealing with a Narcissist. As I stated in the last blog, commit to using a parenting app and correspond as much as possible through the app. Keep the correspondence brief and pertaining to the issue. If there are other issues, address them in a separate email.
If you have any questions about Family Law, including reviewing or changing your current Order, you can reach me at Crome Law Firm (702) 384-5563, firstname.lastname@example.org.