Q & A: How Am I Supposed to Ever Co-parent with the Narcissist?

Q: I recently had a baby with a guy that is a narcissist, and we can’t get a long to save my life. He comes in and out of our lives, and acts like he loves me when he feels like it. I can’t keep hanging on the fence and waiting on him to change, and be faithful to me. I don’t know if he will ever change. He blames me for not seeing his child, but it’s not my fault. She was preemie, and I don’t want her staying the night with him yet. I have recommended third party communicating, but he won’t agree to it. How am I supposed to ever co-parent with him? I have tried my best, and I have tried being nice to him, but nothing ever works. He is nice and loves me when he feels like it. And I am dumb enough to still love him. I don’t know how to fix it. Because he is my child’s father and we have to deal with each other from now on. HELP

A: If he is a narcissist, then he will not change. Stop “hanging on the fence and waiting for him to change”. Co-parenting with a narcissist will be difficult but not impossible. There are several good articles on the internet and in books that go into detail on how to co-parent with a narcissistic ex. (Because you “cannot get along to save your life”, only ACTS like he loves you sometimes when he is in the mood, can’t be faithful, and you don’t trust him with the baby…I would recommend thinking about making him an ex). Remember to tell yourself that a narcissist can’t genuinely love you or your baby- he is simply getting his narcissistic supply from you and his only “love” is for himself and his own needs. Third party communication sounds like an excellent idea to me…insist on it. If you follow the No Contact rules (don’t answer emails, change phone number, change door locks and don’t answer the door, etc) then he will have no choice but to follow your lead and communicate through a third party.  Arrange child visits through the third party. Only you can stop the yo-yo swings in and out of your life by not letting him back in.

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5 Responses to “Q & A: How Am I Supposed to Ever Co-parent with the Narcissist?”

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  1. Bethintheheartland says:

    You don’t co-parent. The ex is not a parent, a father or a contributor to the health and well being of you and your baby. Do not trust him. You are the only parent in this equation. You are the love that you and your baby need.
    A narcissist is a predator, which is a powerful thing to say and think about another person but once I understood that principal, I find continuing strength that allowed me to remove myself from a relationship and honor boundaries to keep them out of my life. It is challenging and possible to keep them out and move into a loving relationship with yourself and your beautiful baby.
    No Contact if at all possible. But if not possible, limit your contact, have no expectations and Remember Always they are a predator. Make them accountable for all they do and do not back down. Again, do not trust them or their family members, who they manipulate in order to get their sick hands on YOUR baby.
    My ex-narcissist is a well respected man in our community and although I do not pursue contact with him, he continues to lie and denigrate me in our mutual social circles. As example of challenge, my Mom baked cookies several times this summer to give him when she sees him at our seasonal farmers market. Man, does that sting, she has chosen to ignor my requests to refrain from that action and she is fully aware of the years of agony this relationship choice has brought into my life. Because you and I are capable of empathy and love, it feels bad to “label” a person as a predator, but that is what they are, plain and simple.
    Also, you are not dumb! Love is a natural and awesome feeling, but the Ex does not deserve your thoughts, your feelings, or your energy. I hope you move forward with purpose and in love!

  2. Richard Leslie Burton says:

    My wife narcissistic wife has left our ‘marriage’ (a relief for me) but abducted our 11 year old daughter. She stole all our money and defaulted on years of tax bills that now fall to me. She made a false domestic violence claim against me, designed I think to get her singing teacher to step in as a ‘knight on a white horse’ supposedly to ‘rescue’ her from my abuse, which he duly did. Now they are a romantic couple, he meets her requirements since he is a young opera singer and an element of glamour feeds their egos. My daughter has been ‘groomed’ by her mother for a stage career. The opera singer is completely duped, though probably a nice enough if somewhat egotistical person. He was also singing teacher to my daughter. He is now held up as ‘perfect’ in all the ways that I came to be denigrated and labelled inadequate (none true and of course I spent years making up the shortfall emotionally of my wife by being an involved parent with my daughter). He is slotted into the role of surrogate father to obscure any possible role for me. That was 8 months ago. Throughout that time she has exploited the silent treatment that ironically you recommend for regular people to break from narcissists. The boyfriend and a group of ‘stage-struck’ musical friends, as well as her own parents must have been instructed to give me the same 100% silent treatment. It took four months to get a court to turn down her request for a restraining order. (A doctor friend was able to discount her photographs of alleged strangulation by me of the child as fake). Meanwhile my wife had filled my daughter’s head with all manner of terrifying behavior that I never actually did. My daughter’s trust in her mother has been exploited so that I have become feared and my wife has achieved complete alienation of my daughter from me (her biological father and main parent for 10 years). I have applied through court for visitation but since we live in Japan this will be little and likely my wife will refuse to cooperate. In addition my Japanese is not really good enough to explain such complicated details. I have a good lawyer and good friends. My question is what if anything can I do to help my daughter in the likely x2 4-hour visitations that I will maybe finally get? (Should I use a specialist psychiatrist, for example?)

  3. Liberty says:

    The court yelled at me when I stopped all communication with my son’s father and recommended that all communication go through a third party. She said I had no right ignore my son’s father constant requests for visitation.

  4. Tam says:

    My ex-husband is a narcissist we been divorced for five years and have a 12-year-old daughter. recently she wanted to move across the United States to live with dad and attend this fancy private school that he went back on my back got her accepted in to. He lives a very wealthy lifestyle w/ the millionaire woman of which he cheated on me with. I’m sure my daughter is drawn in by the lifestyle etc. we’ve always had a wonderful relationship. I didn’t want her to live with him because I know how he is. She begged me to let her so I allowed her to move hoping she would see that I didn’t hold her back and one day when his narcissism shows itself to her, she’ll return.
    We now have a mediation and possible court looming in the future as we work out these details. I want to protect my daughter, my rights and hopefully prevent him from alienating/brainwashing her from me. ( I feel he has already done some brainwashing etc).
    ( he has never harmed her physically but I’m worried down the road about the emotional toll this may take on her). She doesn’t see it now.
    They have lots of money etc I don’t, but I want to fight to ensure my daughter is still in my life and safe. He says if I want to see her I have to fly there or fly her down which can be pricey considering she’s a minor.
    I have read the way to get a narcissist to back down is to actually fight like they do. When it comes to mediation/court, do I fight like a bulldog or try to keep some kind of peace so as not to provoke him into more vindictive things? Your thoughts are appreciated

  5. Katya says:

    Mine, even when he was around me and our daughter pretty often, has never been a father to his child. How is that even possible?? I regret having a child –with him. My daughter is an angel, but she deserves a father. A real one. There is no bond, nothing, because he is incapable of love.

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