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Simple, Effective Ways to Overcome a Narcissistic Ex-Spouse

by | May 29, 2024 | Divorce, Family Law

When dealing with a narcissistic ex, it’s essential to prioritize your own emotional well-being and the well-being of your children. Here are some strategies to help you overcome a narcissistic ex:

  1. Minimize contact: High-conflict people love to engage in psychological battles. Minimizing contact can help you avoid emotional exhaustion and protect your children from the toxic dynamics. One good way to do this is by communicating only through a co-parenting app, such as Our Family Wizard. These apps are recognized and used by courts to keep track of communications between you and your narcissistic ex so that those communications can be used against them in future court cases…just make sure you don’t write anything that you wouldn’t want a judge to read, regardless of how hard your ex pushes your buttons!
  2. Do your best to ignore their negativity: Your narcissistic ex loves to get an emotional reaction from you, so don’t feed their need. When they are abusive, do your best to ignore them or react in an emotionless manner. If you can keep this up, eventually it will drive them crazy…and they might even stop.
  3. Communicate in short sentences: Just respond “Yes, I agree” or “No, I disagree.” Don’t get drawn into long tirades. Keep it short and civil, no matter what they say. And don’t ask for any favors or give them an opportunity to turn you down, because that will really make them happy.
  4. Establish firm boundaries: Structure and predictability can provide a safe and secure environment for your children. Set clear boundaries and stick to them to protect your family from the narcissist’s emotional manipulation.
  5. Avoid feeling sorry for your child: Showing pity for others can perpetuate a victim mentality and hinder their ability to move forward and form healthy relationships. Instead, focus on empowering your child to develop emotional intelligence and coping skills.
  6. Strive to be calm, pleasant, and non-emotional: When interacting with your ex, remain calm and composed. This can help de-escalate conflicts and protect your children from the toxic dynamic.
  7. Teach and model social/emotional intelligence: Teach your child healthy emotional regulation and coping skills. Model positive behaviors and provide a stable, loving environment to help your child develop emotional intelligence.
  8. Nurture your child’s unique qualities and independence: Recognize and validate your child’s individuality and encourage them to develop their own interests and passions.
  9. Do not criticize your ex in front of your child: Criticizing your ex can create a toxic environment and harm your child’s emotional well-being. And it can you’re your ex ammunition to use against you in court! Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and modelling healthy communication.
  10. Co-parenting will be difficult: Co-parenting with a narcissist is one of the most difficult things a human being can be asked to do. However, the judge will not presume that someone is impossible to co-parent with unless and until they prove it…often over the course of several years of emotional abuse. Focus on your own parenting skills and try to see the situation from your child’s point of view. They are in the middle and want to love both their parents. Just remember: this is a marathon, not a sprint. You might have 17 years or more to deal with this situation, so pace yourself.
  11. Seek support: Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist for support. Sharing your experiences and emotions with others can help you process your feelings and develop coping strategies.

Additional Tips:

  • Set clear boundaries and expectations for your ex’s behavior.
  • Document all interactions and communications with your ex.
  • Prioritize self-care and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
  • Consider seeking legal advice to protect your rights and interests.
  • Focus on building a positive, loving relationship with your child.

Remember, overcoming a narcissistic ex requires patience, self-care, and a strong support system. Prioritize your own emotional well-being and the well-being of your children, and focus on creating a positive, loving environment for your family.

Matthew Michaud