Signs you are Co-Parenting with a Narcissist

patrickcrawford | February 21, 2024

Marriage can become difficult when one spouse has a personality disorder or mental health condition that affects marital communication. When there are children involved, the situation can become even more complicated. 


The term “narcissist” has become more familiar and well-known in the last few years as people are starting to recognize behaviors that fit into this definition. While it might be easy to classify your ex as a narcissist based on some of their less desirable traits, it is important to understand the meaning of this term to see if it truly applies and to navigate the intricacies of co-parenting.


If you need to adjust your custody agreement or parenting plan, always reach out to an Annapolis custody attorney.


What defines a narcissist?

Narcissism is categorized as a personality disorder and can cause tremendous amounts of distress in any relationship. Although the word “narcissist” is often tossed around casually to describe someone who seems to think highly of themselves, the actual definition is a bit more specific. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is defined as a mental health condition in which a person has an unreasonably high opinion of their self-importance. 


Again, this could describe a lot of people that you have come in contact with, especially in our current world of excessive self-promotion. So, how can you tell for sure that you are dealing with a narcissist? 


Signs that your co-parent is a narcissist

One of the most difficult aspects of sharing custody and co-parenting with a narcissist is the feeling that they are ignoring and discrediting you and that you have no way to work with them collaboratively in the best interest of your children. For this reason, it is helpful to understand what signs to look for. Although it would take a professional to determine an NPD, some of the signs that your co-parent has a narcissistic personality disorder include: 

  • They lack empathy with others, even with their children.
  • They always put their needs before the needs of their children.
  • They shift blame towards you when they feel that they are being attacked or blamed for something.
  • They often criticize you or put you down in front of your children – this is especially damaging and can feel like they are discrediting your ability to parent your children. 
  • They have no respect for your boundaries, even when told over and over again, and they ignore your rules as a parent. 


If you believe that you are dealing with a narcissist and it is impacting not just your life but those of your children as well, it is advisable to speak with an experienced child custody attorney as soon as possible. 


Speak to an Experienced Family Law and Child Custody Attorney Today

Co-parenting and child custody negotiations can be challenging even when both parties are on amicable terms. Co-parenting with a narcissist can be a much more challenging situation. At the Law Office of Patrick Crawford, we are dedicated to helping our clients navigate difficult co-parenting arrangements and will fight for the best interests of you and your children. Contact us today online or call 410-694-7348- to schedule a free initial consultation.

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