Is It Possible To Co-Parent With A Narcissist?

narcissist looking in the mirror

Co-parenting a child with someone other than a spouse or partner can be a difficult task, especially if you don’t get along with the other parent. Co-parenting relationships can become even more strained if one of them exhibits narcissistic behavior, which could have substantial effects on the other parent as well as the children. Do you believe your co-parent could possibly be a narcissist? Continue reading or contact a Tazewell County Child Custody Lawyer today to learn tips on how to deal with this difficult situation.


Not everyone who displays narcissistic behavior is actually a diagnosed narcissist. Approximately six percent of American adults suffer from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), and only a mental health professional can diagnose someone with the personality disorder. Some symptoms that you should look out for include:

  • Exaggerated feelings of superiority
  • Low empathy for others
  • Entitlement
  • Tendency to envy others or assume others envy them
  • Desire for special treatment
  • Manipulative or exploitive behavior

Just because someone displays a few of these traits doesn’t necessarily mean they have NPD. However, even if your co-parent isn’t a diagnosed narcissist, it can be extremely difficult to effectively collaborate with someone who exhibits the aforementioned behaviors. If you truly believe your co-parent has NPD, you might want to consider reaching out to a mental health professional.


If you co-parent with someone who exhibits narcissistic behavior, their actions could have serious effects on both you and the children. A narcissist might prioritize their own needs over the children’s or yours because they tend to put themselves first in every situation. They might be sensitive to any form of criticism and in turn make you seem like the ‘bad guy’ to your children. Because narcissists often refuse to take accountability for their mistakes, they might manipulate the children into blaming you for situations in which you had no fault in. While it can be infuriating to deal with this behavior, it’s best to try to keep your cool since narcissists often enjoy getting a rise out of people.

To avoid issues with a narcissistic co-parent, you should ensure that you have a solid legally-binding parenting plan. You can hire a child custody attorney and/or a mediator to help you determine a parenting schedule that’s in the best interests of the children. You might be worried about your child’s upbringing with a narcissist. You should provide safe and pleasant care for your children, and you can seek therapy if you need extra help. A narcissistic parent can lose custody of their child if their behavior turns abusive. If this is the case, you should contact family protective services and seek full custody of your children.

If you’re dealing with a narcissistic co-parent, our law firm is here to help you through this difficult situation. Contact Butler, Giruado & Meister, PC today for an initial consultation.

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