Leaving your abusive narcissist is a big courageous step and you get to shut the door on that chapter of your life. Unless you and your abuser have children. Then the door has to remain open and you find yourself in the painful place of having to co-parent with a narcissist, an abuser, and the man who caused you so much pain.
It can be difficult and you want to let him know how angry and upset you are but the problem is, the kids are listening and it’s their dad and they will have a different relationship with him than you did. You want to encourage a healthy father-child relationship.
I know, I hear you screaming, I hate him and I want my kids to hate him and side with me and so on. It won’t work and you will only end up hurting and ultimately, alienating your kids. Let the children see their father without your biased opinion.
The road of co-parenting is rocky. Everyone is hurt and it is so easy to start arguing, blaming, and shaming at drop-off and pick-up. Honestly, your arguing will only make things worse for you and your kids.
You can make it work when you master the skills necessary to peacefully co-parent with a narcissist.
Here’s the top 3-Skills to Master Co-Parenting with a Narcissist
Communicate by written word only!
Email or texting only. Phone calls are a minefield and quickly become he said/she said. Courts want paper documentation to enforce boundaries in a co-parenting agreement. Keep it written!
When the parent arrives at the door to pick up or drop off the kids, keep it neutral. Only ask and answer questions about the kids. If the questions require a change, put the change in writing as soon as you can. For example, if he asks for a change in time or day, agree at the door and then immediately write an email addressed to him confirming his request for the change. Do not ask or engage in any personal questions including How are you? If you’re asked, ignore and pass off the kids.
Never, ever, ever, speak about your ex negatively in your home.
You may think that the words won’t come back but they will. Speak nicely about your ex. Encourage the kids to see him as their Dad and they have the right to have a separate and loving relationship with him. Their relationship with him has nothing to do with you. If your kids ask why you got divorced, answer with a simple, your dad is a good person and you’re going to get to spend lots of time with each of us. And that’s a good thing. The kids don’t need to know all the gritty details about cheating, abuse, or neglect.
It can be done and it really is for the benefit of the children. Keep it in writing, impersonal, and positive.
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