When you are involved in a relationship with a narcissist, it can have a serious negative impact on your life in many ways. These are people who are controlling, manipulative, intimidating, aggressive, violent, and demeaning. Therefore, it is little wonder that so many people who have a narcissistic partner decide to break away and go it alone. This enables them to start afresh without any further dealings with the narcissist.
However, what happens when there are children involved in the relationship? Unless there is a specific reason for doing so, such as violence, you cannot ban your kids from seeing their other parent because of their narcissism. However, you can put rules and boundaries to try and make things as painless and safe as possible for the kids. In this article, we will look at some of the ways in which you can do this.
Some Options You Can Consider
It is not only partners that can be affected by narcissists but also their children, which is why it is important for you, as the other parent, to do all you can to keep your kids safe and secure. Of course, as mentioned above, you cannot stop the other parent from seeing the children purely based on them being a narcissist. But you can take steps to make things easier for the kids. Some of these include:
Reduce Contact with Your Ex
Once you and your partner have split up, you should cut all ties if you do not have kids. However, if you have children together, this is not an option. Instead, you should try to minimize your contact with your ex as otherwise, they may try to get you involved in their life more than you should be, which can leave the kids feeling confused. Manipulating you into being there for them is something narcissists do very well, and this can lead to the kids having no idea what is going on with their parents' relationship.
Minimize Contact with the Kids
Another thing to do is reduce the contact your kids have with your ex during the time they are with you. When they are with your partner on arranged days, they will have plenty of contact. However, try to avoid letting your kids constantly call or text your ex when they are with you. It is important to set these boundaries for the sake of the kids as well as yourself. It also means that your kids will be more aware of the boundaries. Similarly, other than to let you know they are okay, your kids should limit the amount of contact they have with you while they are with your ex, as this ensures consistency.
Refrain from Arguing with Your Ex
When you have been involved with a narcissist, you will probably look back on the relationship with anger and resentment. This can then lead to you feeling worked up whenever you are in their presence. However, it is important to refrain from yelling and arguing with your ex in front of the kids, as this will have a damaging impact on them.
Don't Slate Your Ex to the Kids
Finally, no matter how angry you are at your ex for things they might have put you through, make sure you avoid slating them to the kids. This is the last thing the children need, as in their eyes, your ex is their other parent and not a hateful figure that deserves to be spoken of badly.
Establishing Boundaries is Important for the Children
While walking away from your narcissistic partner is a good move for you, it will invariably be hard for the kids, particularly younger children. By setting some boundaries and learning to control your emotions, you can make the process of co-parenting much easier on them.