Co-Parenting With a Narcissist


I have come across several women since I started SpunkyDiva Diaries who are struggling with co-parenting with a narcissist. Often, they are without the adequate resources or even knowledge on how to go about doing this.

I personally cannot add too much on this topic. I can share from a step-mother’s perspective how challenging it must have been (in hindsight) for my youngest stepson’s mother to have had to deal with our NarcX. They never married and the story he would tell everyone else, including me, was nothing but a big LIE. Of course, he painted both of his sons’ mothers as the “crazy” ones. He said they were not equipped to raise boys/sons into men. He said they both enabled and spoiled his sons. He painted himself as the “GREAT DAD” and father to both boys.

When I met my NarcX the youngest son was only 8 and the oldest was around 16 years old. He and the oldest already had a strained relationship, so the youngest was put on a pedestal. The youngest could do no wrong and was the “apple” of his father’s eye. He told me he had to “fight” to get the visitation he wanted. He had his son all summer, spring break and Christmas break. He always expressed the desire to have his youngest son come live with him full-time. He wanted that more than anything else. He spoke very negatively about the boy’s mother.

I would see him cooperate with her when she needed support in disciplining their son. It seemed like they would “be on the same team” at that point. But, his facade soon faded the one year his son did come live with us. “Vacation” Dad is very different from 24/7 “living” with Dad. It wasn’t until AFTER I left that I learned the boy was nothing but a “chess pawn” and a good “narc supply” for his bottomless ego. I learned he’d wanted nothing to do with his son when he was born. The boy’s mothers had to beg the NarcX to come spend time with their son. But as soon as she wanted to move to have a better support system and be close to her family, the NarcX went ballistic and pulled out all the stops - legally - to prevent that. He did NOT make her life easy…that’s for sure. In the end, he did get over on her any and every way he could. He painted her out as such an uncooperative, selfish B*&## - but that was all part of his LIES.

I can’t tell you how to best co-parent with a narcissist, but there are resources out here that can help. The following are some books, articles, websites and other resources that I’ve come across. I hope they help!

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Co-Parenting with a Toxic Ex: What to Do When Your Ex-Spouse Tried to Turn the Kids Against You

Author: Amy J.L. Baker, PhD & Paul R. Fine, LCSW

In this guide, you’ll discover a positive parenting approach to dealing with a hostile ex-spouse. You'll learn the best ways to protect your children from painful loyalty conflicts, how to avoid parental alienation syndrome, and techniques for talking to your children in a way that fosters honesty and trust. Co-parenting with a toxic ex can be challenging, but with the right tools you can protect your kids and make your relationship with them stronger than ever.

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How to Co-Parent With an Abusive Ex & Keep Your Sanity

Author: Julie Boyd Cole

This book is the experience of one woman's journey in co-parenting with her abuser. Despite the growing intolerance of domestic violence in our society, family courts around the world are granting abusers shared custody of their children with their victims. This growing trend is empowering abuser to gain back the power and control they once had over their victims in their union by using the children as the object of coercion. Ninety percent of victims who have left their abusive relationship are now co-parenting with abuser and suffering emotional trauma all over again.

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Joint Custody With a Jerk

Author: Julie A. Ross, M.A. & Judy Corcoran

Joint Custody with a Jerk offers many proven communication techniques that help you deal with your difficult ex-husband or ex-wife. By outlining common problems and teaching tools to examine your own role in these sticky situations, this book conveys strategies for effective mediation that are easy to apply, sensible, timely and innovative.

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Monthly Support Community with Wendy T. Behary & Susan Stiffelman, MFT

These ladies offer ongoing support to free you from the drama & frustration that comes when you are raising children with a highly self-absorbed co-parent

ARTICLE: 10 Survivors Reveal What It’s Like Co-Parenting With a Narcissist - And How They Thrived Against All Odds

By: Shahida Arabi
Source: Thought Catalog (Jan 12, 2018)

ARTICLE: 4 Tips for Co-Parenting With A Narcissist

By Chaya Beyla

ARTICLE: How to Co-Parent with a Toxic Ex & NOT Go Crazy

By: Empowered Single Moms

Part 1: Forget Co-Parenting with a Narcissist. Do This Instead.

By: Linda Esposito, LCSW
Source: Psychology Today (Feb 06, 2015)

Learn how to establish parenting rules and peace of mind, despite a toxic ex.

Part 2: Forget Co-Parenting with a Narcissist, Round 2 

(May 22, 2017)

Your home, your rules: Thriving in spite of a high-conflict divorce.

Co-Parenting with a Narcissist

By: Erin Leonard, PhD
Source: Psychology Today (Jul 08, 2018)

Learn 5 good tips to preserve your peace while co-parenting.

When The Father of Your Children Is Your Enemy

By: Shannon Lell

My Ex-Husband Is a Narcissist. This Is What I Learned After I Left Him.

By: Shannon Lell

The Do’s & Don’ts of Co-Parenting with a Narcissistic Ex

By: Julie L. Hall, Contributor
Roving writer, Author of “The Narcissist Family Flies” Blog

(Feb 07, 2017, updated Mar 03, 2017)

How to Set Boundaries When Co-Parenting With a Narcissist


(Divorce Blog, Jan 21, 2017)

Is Co-Parenting with a Narcissistic Ex-Spouse Possible?

By: Terry Gaspard

(updated Jun 06, 2018)

Co-parenting with a narcissistic ex-spouse can bring many challenges. Learn the 8 ways to deal with a NarcX when there are children involved.

Parenting with a Narcissist After Divorce: Set Your Boundaries, Empower Your Children

By: Tina Swithin
Source: (Blog)

Hopefully, these resources will help you start educating yourself on co-parenting with a narcissist.

Will it be easy?

HELL NO! But, YOU ARE NOT ALONE and it can be done!

Remember to pay it forward to other moms (or dads) who are in your same position.


  • For starters, TELL them about this page & website!

  • Then, share with us any resources you found helpful during your journey.

  • And, lastly, SHARE YOUR OWN STORY with our #SpunkyDivaTribe of followers! It is so empowering & freeing to share your story and it helps give others hope and encouragement that they too can survive.

If you find something that you think our readers would benefit from, please share it with us!