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Has a narcissistic ex made custody arrangements more difficult?

Clashing personalities can make you feel like you can no longer continue your marriage. You may have found yourself married to a narcissist, and over time, his or her incessant self-absorption may have made the relationship unbearable or at least extremely unpleasant. While you may have decided that divorce would help your situation, you may still have concerns when it comes to the custody of your children.

You certainly want to do the best for your kids, and under the terms of your custody arrangement, they will likely continue having interaction with their other parent. So what does that mean for you and dealing with your narcissistic ex?

Rule out co-parenting

Though co-parenting has become a more common trend in custody agreements, this type of arrangement does not work for everyone. If parents do not have an amicable relationship, the odds remain high that they will not have the ability to effectively work together. Of course, ruling out this option does not mean that you can't still find a workable arrangement.

Avoid confrontation

Because narcissists tend to thrive on attention, your ex may try to start conflict whenever possible. When the emails, texts and calls become overwhelming, you may want to ignore attempts at contact unless they are absolutely necessary for the well-being of your children. You will likely not have the opportunity to completely sever ties with your ex due to the connection your children create, but you can make your life easier by limiting contact to only necessary communication.

Pay attention to emotions

Ignoring a narcissist can be difficult, so you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed at times. These feelings are understandable, and the manner in which you deal with your emotions can have a significant impact. Creating boundaries in order to have time and space needed to address your feelings may allow you to think more clearly when dealing with your ex.

Keep your children at the forefront

Though you may have a difficult time communicating with your ex, remember that he or she still has a relationship with your children. As long as the other parent does not present a danger to the kids or foster unhealthy habits, you may wish to refrain from limiting the kids' contact unnecessarily or otherwise attempting to use the kids against your ex.

Of course, if your ex tries to carry out such actions in order to hurt you, you may need to address your concerns through legal means. Custody complexities can be difficult to handle, but you do have legal options.

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