If you’re in a co-parenting relationship with a narcissist, this title might make you say, “Duh! I know that for sure.” Yet when you have to negotiate with him or when you’re in the middle of a conflict with him, do you remember that he is, indeed, a major fool?
I used to forget this truth and still expect that I could explain my side and he would finally see. Or he would finally do the right thing for our kid.
*Spoiler Alert* He never did.
Proverbs give some excellent definitions of what a fool is. Do any of these resonate with you?
- A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. (Prov 18:2)
- A fool gives his Spirit full permission to vent whatever he thinks, whatever he says, whatever he feels, whenever he wants. Because he despises wisdom, instruction, and corruption. (Prov. 29:11)
Just these two definitions alone prove to us that we are dealing with fools in our situations!
Remind yourself of this whenever you have to respond to a text or an email. You might even put a clown emoji next to his name so that when it pops up in your notifications, you have it in the front of your mind that you’re dealing with a fool.
This is important because you have a limited amount of energy to use each day.
When your kids are with you, you need that energy for yourself and for them. For years I spent so much of my energy on a fool that I didn’t have enough energy left over to deal with regular parenting.
A wise person does not treat a fool the same way as others.
You don’t try to reason with that person and you don’t expect them to compromise with you or do the right thing for anyone other than themselves.
This is especially true of a narcissist. Expect that he will withhold the child support or refuse to pay his half of medical expenses. Plan for it. If it puts you in a financial bind, find a way to make it without his money. Look around your house for something you can sell to make up the difference.
I know it’s unfair and it’s frustrating. If it’s a significant amount of money, you certainly would take him to court to enforce the court order. But he’s going to do this kind of thing no matter what, so wisely spend your energy figuring out how to make it without him.
If you wait for him to do the right thing and continue the conversation, he gets the conflict that he wants, and you have no energy left for when your child has a meltdown over something that happened at school.
When you snap at the kids because your energy is already depleted, you feel terrible. You feel like YOU’RE the fool. You’re not. It’s him.
Even when you forget that you’re dealing with a fool and you get caught up in conflict, you are a wise woman and you can bring yourself back to center and shut down the conflict as it rises. Find more and more ways to detach from the fool so you can project your energy and your joy for yourself and your kids.
In my Co-Parenting Course, we go deeper into how to set boundaries that help you detach from the narcissist. I also offer one-on-one coaching sessions to help you navigate your specific situation. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with me and find out if the course or co-parenting coaching is right for you.
God made you for this!
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