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How Do I Deal With a Narcissistic Spouse?

Dealing with a narcissistic spouse or co-parent can be challenging and emotionally draining. It's essential to seek support and resources to help you navigate this difficult situation.

Here are some resources that may be helpful:

  • Therapist or Counselor: Consider seeking individual therapy or counseling to cope with the emotional impact of dealing with a narcissistic spouse. A therapist can provide valuable guidance, support, and coping strategies tailored to your specific situation.
  • Support Groups: Look for local or online support groups specifically for individuals dealing with narcissistic spouses or co-parents. Connecting with others who are going through similar experiences can be reassuring and offer practical advice.
  • Co-Parenting Classes: Many communities offer co-parenting classes designed to help parents effectively co-parent after a divorce or separation. These classes can provide valuable communication and conflict-resolution skills.
  • Parenting Coordinator: If co-parenting is particularly contentious, consider utilizing the services of a parenting coordinator to assist with communication and conflict resolution between you and your co-parent.
  • Legal Advice: Consult with an experienced family law attorney to understand your rights and legal options. A skilled attorney can help you navigate the legal complexities involved in dealing with a difficult co-parent.
  • Books and Articles: There are numerous self-help books and articles written by experts in the field of narcissism and co-parenting. Reading about narcissism and strategies for effective co-parenting can provide valuable insights and coping mechanisms.
  • Establish Boundaries: Learn how to set and enforce healthy boundaries with your narcissistic spouse or co-parent. This may involve limiting communication to essential matters and avoiding engaging in unnecessary conflicts.
  • Parallel Parenting/Co-Parenting Apps: In cases of high conflict, consider transitioning to a parallel parenting approach. This method involves minimizing direct contact with the co-parent and focusing on separate parenting responsibilities. Apps and websites such as Our Family Wizard and Talking Parents have great features such as calendars, chats, and ways to upload receipts and bills.
  • Document Everything: Keep thorough and detailed records of all interactions with your co-parent. This documentation can be useful if disputes arise and can provide evidence in court, if necessary.
  • Focus on Self-Care: Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being is crucial when dealing with a difficult co-parent. Prioritize self-care activities that help you manage stress and maintain a positive outlook.

Additional Resources


  • Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed by Wendy Behary
  • How to Handle a Narcissist: Understanding and Dealing with a Range of Narcissistic Personalities by Theresa Jackson
  • Why Can’t I Just Leave: A Guide to Waking Up and Walking Out of a Pathological Love Relationship by Kristen Milstead, Ph.D

Online Resources:

Remember that dealing with a narcissistic spouse or co-parent is a challenging process, and it's okay to seek help and support. Reach out to friends, family, or professionals who can provide a safe space for you to express your feelings and concerns. The more informed and supported you are, the better equipped you'll be to handle the situation in a healthy and constructive manner.