If you were to conduct research to determine what issues or problems are most stressful for married couples in Kentucky or elsewhere throughout the country, “living with a narcissist” would undoubtedly be at the top of the list. If you have recently filed for divorce because of this issue, you understand how detrimental narcissistic behavior can be to a marriage and a family. As part of your divorce, however, you must resolve certain child custody issues and continue to interact with your ex regarding your children.
Co-parenting with a narcissist can be difficult, especially if the parent in question refuses to adhere to the terms of your custody agreement. Keeping several tips in mind can help minimize stress and empower you with resources to access if a problem arises that you are unable to handle on your own.
Narcissistic behavior that can spark child custody problems
Many Kentucky parents get a divorce because they don’t get along and have drifted apart in their marriage. It’s possible, however, for many spouses to treat each other amicably and to cooperate and compromise as needed to avoid conflict when child custody issues arise. If your ex is a narcissist, the issues shown in the following list might make “peaceful co-parenting” feel impossible:
- Your ex tries to use your children against you by dragging them into disagreements or using them as messengers rather than corresponding directly with you.
- He or she is constantly placing his or her own needs and desires above your children’s and has repeatedly disregarded your terms of agreement to do so, such as not showing up to pick up the kids or frequently changing times, dates and locations.
- Whenever you and your children enjoy special occasions together, your ex tries to ruin them.
- He or she refuses to be flexible in your child custody schedule while expecting you to change plans on a whim when he or she requests it.
Children who constantly witness parental conflict following a divorce have a more difficult time coping than kids whose parents try their best to work as a team.
You can’t control another person’s behavior, but you can control your responses
There’s nothing you can do about your ex’s narcissistic behavior, meaning you can’t change the way he or she acts. However, you do have control over your own actions and do not have to sit back and allow him or her to create constant stress and conflict in your family’s daily life.
When you sign a child custody agreement, it is legally enforceable. This means that you can seek the court’s intervention when your ex is disregarding its terms. Rather than respond with anger or argument, you can obtain a Kentucky family court’s assistance to resolve the issue, especially if your ex denies you access to your children or doesn’t show up for custody transfers.