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How can I co-parent with a difficult ex?

Co-parenting with your former spouse is challenging under the best circumstances. Even if you have an amicable relationship, you may still find yourselves disagreeing about schooling, medical care, and other major issues.

When your spouse is difficult or displays narcissistic tendencies, the process becomes even harder. Healthline explains that difficult exes often go against pre-arranged custody agreements, behave poorly in front of your child, and intentionally get in the way of your plans regarding your child.

While challenging, you must make every effort to provide your child the love and stability they deserve. Here are a few ways to do so.

Refrain from getting emotional when arguing

Some people know exactly what to say to bring out the worst in you. When your ex intentionally goads you into emotional fights, do not take the bait. Especially when in front of your child, who will experience anxiety and emotional upheaval as a result. Maintain firm boundaries and keep subjects centered on child-rearing.

Express empathy towards your child

If your ex’s actions make you feel anxious and depressed, think of how your child feels. With this in mind, make it a point to express empathy and sincere care towards you child, no matter how you are feeling. These actions are integral if your ex is not expressing the same kindness and care.

Make detailed notes

If your ex fails to arrive for a pre-arranged visit, make a note of the date and time. If your ex does not contact your child via phone as promised, write it down. These notes might seem meaningless, but they establish a pattern of behavior that can help.

In the event your ex refuses to see eye-to-eye, it is time to take the matter back to court. If you have a court-ordered parenting plan in place, your ex must follow it as established. When they do not, they can be subject to punishments and penalties.

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