Sharing custody of your children with someone you don’t live with nor have a relationship with can be difficult for anyone no matter the circumstances. Co-parenting relationships can become even more adverse if one parent has narcissistic personality disorder or frequently displays narcissistic behaviors. Do you believe your co-parent might be a narcissist? Read this blog to find out or reach out to a Child Custody Attorney in Bohemia, NY today to learn tips on dealing with narcissism.
IS MY CO-PARENT A NARCISSIST?
Not everyone who exhibits narcissistic traits is an actual ‘narcissist’; only mental health professionals can diagnose someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). About six percent of American adults suffer from this disorder. Even if someone doesn’t have diagnosed NPD, they might still frequently display some behaviors associated with the disorder, which can be extremely difficult to deal with. Someone with NPD or narcissistic traits might:
- Attempt to manipulate both you and your children
- Paint themselves as a victim in every conflict
- Prioritize their needs over yours or your children’s
- Display entitlement and exaggerated feelings of superiority
- Have low empathy for others (including you and your children)
- Envy others and assume others envy them
- Constantly crave attention, praise, admiration, etc.
- View criticism or constructive feedback as a personal attack
If you believe your co-parent has NPD, you might want to consider speaking with a mental health professional because it’s not a disorder to be taken lightly. Undoubtedly, any of the aforementioned behaviors can certainly strain the relationship between a narcissistic person and their loved ones. If your co-parent is a narcissist, they might lie and make you seem like the ‘bad guy’ to your children, rather than take accountability for any of their actions.
HOW CAN I SUCCESSFULLY CO-PARENT WITH SOMEONE WHO DISPLAYS NARCISSISTIC BEHAVIOR?
So, your co-parent has narcissistic traits. Now what? In order to prevent issues in the future, you should first ensure that you have a legal parenting plan set in place. You can get help from a child custody attorney or a mediator to help both you and your co-parent decide on a schedule in the children’s best interests. If the co-parent breaks the legal agreement, you can bring the issues to court. As a parent, you might worry if the co-parent’s behavior is having negative psychological effects on your children. You should try to keep your children away from negativity and provide them with a safe and loving environment instead. Dealing with a narcissist is emotionally draining, so there’s also nothing with seeking therapy or other kinds of help from mental health professionals. If your co-parent’s behavior turns abusive, you may report them to family protective services and seek full custody of your children.
If you are having personal issues with your co-parent, you might want to speak with a trusted child custody attorney for help. The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, PC is here to fight for you! Contact us today for an initial consultation.