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Co-parenting with a narcissist

17 replies

MrsMcT · 29/09/2022 18:41

My fiancé's ex is a narcissist. We have 50% custody and a legal agreement in place. Contact is minimised to email only and for emergency situations only or if arranged need to change.

Our main concern at the moment is our 4 year old. Although we don't believe she is in immediate danger there are some concerns around her care at her mum's. Anytime we pick her up after a night at her mum's she's tired and either falling asleep around 5.30pm or asking to go to bed. Her usual bedtime is 7pm.

There's also other issues with her wearing the same clothes multiple days and sleeping in them, her diet (cookies for breakfast, cereal for dinner) and her hair is always dirty and tuggy and sometimes even matted. But we need to pick our battles.

Our main concern just now is her sleeping pattern. Especially since she starts school next year. I'd hate for her to be falling asleep in class.

She has a strict bedtime routine at our house that she seems to thrive on. She gets around 12.5 hours of sleep a night and she's full of energy all day. We never have any issues with her going to bed, she gets up on the odd occasion for the toilet but apart from that sleeps right though. Also no problem getting her up for nursery.

We would like to address our concerns with her mum but we fear there could be ramifications. She's withheld contact before and pulled other stunts so it's really hard to predict how she'll react. At the same time it's not fair on the little one if she's not getting enough sleep.

Anyone dealt with this kind of issue or have any advice on how best to deal with it? We're at our wits end. Thanks in advance.

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MolliciousIntent · 29/09/2022 18:47

It sounds like 50:50 isn't in your DSD's best interests. Would her mother go for less contact?

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Expatmum123 · 29/09/2022 18:48

I might be wrong but I don think you are the biological parent, apologies if I have mis-understood. If this is your fiancé's child, he needs to manage this.
If his ex is a narc, I'd run as far as i could in the opposite direction.

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Umbellifer · 29/09/2022 18:54

My ex does this with our DC…it drives me crazy and I hate what it’s doing to the kids…but he’s doing it because he can, because he knows I don’t/won’t like it…so for me the best thing is to not mention it. In your situation I wonder if it’s the same thing…or whether it’s worth mentioning casually somehow rather than accusing her or poor parenting? Tricky.

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Celeryfavour · 29/09/2022 19:01

I don't understand whose child it is? You say 'ours' so why is she going somewhere else?

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mrsmarmalade12 · 29/09/2022 19:07

If she isn't your child I think you sound too involved. Is she a narcissist or does she have an ex that's making her out that way? Is the child tired because she has no routine or because she's had a really busy, fun filled day with her parent? There seems to be lots of assumptions here.

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MrsMcT · 29/09/2022 19:45

If my partner suggested it she wouldn't go for it just to be difficult.

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MrsMcT · 29/09/2022 19:50

Sorry, my wording could have been better. No, she's not biologically mine. I have zero contact with his ex unless I'm doing drop off or pick up. Any discussion with the ex comes from him but we do discuss these things together internally. Would love to run in the opposite direction but unfortunately she's going to be part of our lives until the kids are older.

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MumE78 · 29/09/2022 19:55

I suggest you keep a diary and take photos, if she's being neglected you lol need to prove it and you'll need help. Speak to nursery/school and maybe contact your local authority as bout your concerns.
If no one knows your concerns no one is looking out for her!

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MrsMcT · 29/09/2022 20:02

Thanks. We do keep a diary in case we ever need it. I'll maybe suggest talking to the nursery.

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MrsMcT · 29/09/2022 20:02

Sorry, I worded that wrong. She's my step-daughter.

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MrsMcT · 29/09/2022 20:05

Yeah, we're definitely in 2 minds because we don't want to start drama but at the same feel some things need to be addressed for the sake of the child. It's so hard. Simple things are an unhill battle because she deliberately tries to be difficult.

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weekendninja · 29/09/2022 20:06

Has your DP spoken to DM about his concerns? Usually with a narcissist I'd say to grey rock everything but as it's due for welfare I think he needs to address this with his ex and give her the chance to make changes.

Why are you doing pick up/drop offs OP? It seems to me that you need to step back - in the long run it will save your sanity.

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weekendninja · 29/09/2022 20:07

MumE78 · 29/09/2022 19:55

I suggest you keep a diary and take photos, if she's being neglected you lol need to prove it and you'll need help. Speak to nursery/school and maybe contact your local authority as bout your concerns.
If no one knows your concerns no one is looking out for her!

@MumE78 - This would be the DF that needs to do this, not OP.

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MrsMcT · 29/09/2022 21:46

He's not brought anything up yet. That's the dilemma. Is it worth poking the hornets nest?

I don't do drop offs/pick up often. DP had to fly to Canada last minute when his brother was dying and the ex still wanted the little one to stay at ours with me as she had plans. I had her 7 nights. And there's been the odd occasion when plans have changed or last minute arrangements have been made.

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weekendninja · 29/09/2022 21:55

I'd poke the hornets nest if it was for the welfare of my DC.

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MrsMcT · 29/09/2022 22:30

The ex is definitely a narcissist. I know people just throw that term around willy nilly but she definitely is.

I've lived in the same house as the little one for 2 years so of course I'm involved in her care. Regardless of whether she's mine or not I love and treat her like she is. DP deals directly with his ex unless there's a rare occasion I'm doing pick up or drop off. I had her for 7 nights when DP had to fly to Canada last minute due to his brother dying. The ex asked if I could still have her since she had plans.

Little one does lot of hobbies and activities with us and is still full of energy up until bed time. DP has teenage sons so we hear bits and bobs. Little one tells us stuff too but we take with a pinch of salt due to her age. Obviously we don't know exactly what happens in her house but DP was with her for 12 years so knows her behaviours.

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MrsMcT · 29/09/2022 22:37

We were thinking about DP asking if she'd had any bother trying to get LO to bed, not in an accusatory way but maybe so she thought we were having problems just to see if she said anything. DP knows better not to straight out accuse her of anything. She can do no wrong.

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