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Joint Custody With A Narcissist



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40 Comments

  • Rach D

    Richard,
    I have come across a YouTube channel called From Surviving to Thriving. Michele has amazing advice on how to deal with co-parenting or what she calls “counter parenting” which most narcs do. Michele has been a life-saver for me during my divorce. I highly recommend her channel if anyone asks you about co-parenting with a narc. Have a great day!

  • Barbara Houha

    Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been enduring this for a little over 5 years now with regard to a nonexistent parenting plan. We’ve finally been court ordered for Parenting Coordination with a mental health professional, but we don’t have a plan on record that we can follow that she can help implement or reinforce using the alternate dispute resolutory (is that a word??) processes. Thankfully, the parenting coordinating process pretty much requires that there be a plan in place between the parties that can be referenced to assist and reinforce with the parties the importance of amicability or at the very least attempts at amicability. I’ve petitioned the court and have pointed this out to them in hopes the judge will grant my request and order that we get a parenting plan agreement in place. Then the process of the parenting coordination can begin. A minimum of 18-24 months is required. The thought of it is somewhat unwelcome and grueling, but if we have to go through this process, I think that with a parenting plan in place, at the very least there will be a written agreement filed with the court that needs to be followed, and the narcs ability to adhere to it can be monitored and reinforced to hold accountability. I could still cry, tho…

  • Shifting Realities

    Great video Richard, I've been enjoying your videos and love your insights into cluster b personality types and love the videos with yourself and Angie, she's adorable.

    I have also loved the videos with yourself and Kris Godinez, she's awesome. I really want to buy her books.

    I too have survived narcissistic abuse and have enjoyed learning more from you tube videos. What amazes me is that so many people are unaware of how destructive narcissists can be. I was in a relationship with a covert narc and wow that was the most mind fucking year of my life. Even after leaving him I didn't immediately find out about narcissism and then ended up in a situation, a few years later, when in a new job, my manager was also a covert narc and she was horrible. Had I realised more about narcissim, I would have grey rocked the hell out of her but was too emotionally vulnerable & open, at the time.

    I started reading more about narcissim about 2 yrs ago and haven't looked back and I can see those original wounds from childhood too now. All the insights and things to work on, knowledge & insight of self is key to focus and healing. Thanks for your work, you are beautiful, it makes me happy seeing all the healthy well intentioned therapists/lifecoaches/life experienced people out here in the land of you tube, sharing information and their wisdom. Hugs from Perth Western Australia from, Drina 💖

  • Scarlet Peoni

    I'd say a tip for all parents if your partner/ex is TRULY narcissistic and trying to stop you seeing your child or will do, you plan to meet them in a public place or at least outdoors so they cannot charge you with recording on their property and you download an app that background records, you have the conversation with them about your child and you record what they say from beginning to end the whole conversation so nothing is or could be taken out of context by you or anyone else as that could backfire.
    If they then have threatened you, you have evidence at least.

    Be honest with your children, don't lie to them to try and make things easier for yourself or your child, kids are not dumb and if the other parent is a narcissist lying to your children will only make things worse, also if your doing nothing 'wrong' there should be no need to lie to them right?

  • Arline Robertson

    In 1984 I divorced my first narc. I didn't know about narcasists then. He tried to kill me twice. He made divorce a nightmare. He stalked me. Sat at the end of driveway in the dark for hrs. I finally moved back home to Texas. He came to visit with kids and took off with them. I had to go through missing children to get them. He had alot of money and friends in high places. Had problems getting child support. There was trauma bonding with my oldest daughter who he abused

  • Nanna Moo

    From Surviving to Thriving, Dad Surviving Divorce and if Australia The Eeny Meeny Mo Foundation will answer many of the questions on these issues. Never an easy road. Thanks for what you share. Much appreciated. X

  • FrugalMummy

    Richard "middle name" Grannon…**hands on hips, stern glare** You really have no idea how much useful, practical advice you offer for parents going through "parallel" parenting with a narc do you? *tish, tish* Parenting 101, "put the mask on yourself first"- as the airplane safety talk goes. How? " The discipline " course is great for this. "State management"- is fantastically helpful for those of us who cannot go full no contact due to child custody issues. Document everything. Learn how narcs operate…Richard's YouTube channel has loads on this…start with " narcissistic supply". Watch fighting mediocrity YouTube channel review on "the art of war"- use your imagination and see how business advice and coparent are very similar.

  • Mama Bear Lioness

    Having children with a narc is the worse! You can do NOTHING as they manipulate and abuse the children for their own gains. My first husband actually told our kids that he would give them half of the support that he was paying me to them I'd they would "choose" to live with him. He ultimately got his way by driving a wedge between me and my children surrounding "discipline" issues. Our children are grown now and have no control over their own lives. All of them are so dysfunctional that they can't even hold down jobs. One of the worst forms of emotional abuse forced upon a child that I ever saw. The worst of it is that emotional abuse is sooooo hard to prove…no bruises…right?

  • jim jeffries

    I am going through this right now, she was diagnosed in high school and college as a borderline personality disorder, I just didn't appreciate what that involved & how it will just keep getting worse. Record everything on your phone, communicate only on text or email. I won't set foot on the property. Unfortunately our court doesn't understand that a stay at home mom could be the dad…so know you will be tested in every way…which is your opportunity to shine. They will smear you more, they have been doing it the whole time, I think if it as the trash is taking out the trash…JADE, don't justify, argue, defend, or explain. Remember that when they love bombed you the were mirroring you…so of course you are worthy of love, your awesome…be honest with your kids, teach them copying skills, have the school do wellness checks, if your kids are in tears from abuse, go make a police statement…remember that until those kids are 18 you are preparing for the next abuse from the court, take great care of yourself, pursue hard what you love, be happy…first rule of leadership, setting the example, be what you would hope your children could be…don't tell em show them…and remember each day is a gift, as are you…it will get better

  • Ted Berry

    First time I called since real no contact after 23 years. I called when I knew kids were just coming in from school. She has kept me from my daughter on and off since 2010. My daughter emancipated herself from her mother at 14. Long story short asked for children. Talked to them did not engadge narcissist and did not speak to her other then to ask for kids. I am just sharing it can be easy. I do not think it will always be that easy. My daughter 20 now is going to help with visitation. Only answer with prideful narc is to find go between they ate to proud to show how childish they are. Not sure if this will help anyone. Have narc free day if you can. All narcs are poison to the people they know. They actually must live a hell in their hunt for supply. Eventually people figure them out and the Internet becomes where they seek supply from strangers! Now is that justice they make family and friends treat them like strangers. Eventually I have witnessed this they act like strangers from the Internet ate long time friends. They actually refer to them with you like you are ignorant because you do not know them. It is really really crazy how important it is for them to feel superior. They drop names of information they learn online and act as of they know the people. Narcissist do make you feel pity for them because they actually are in a world of their own constructed by their own lies. Only they believe, it must be heart breaking for them when they realize they are their own sabatores.

  • Maura

    Guardianship of the elderly parents is never mentioned. The narc, having no genuine interest in his parents, fights in court only to get control over their assets. He wants to smash the sibling who really cares. Old, sick parents have no time for all these games. I lost both my parents to my narc brother. They were sacrified pro his ego. I could do nothing to save them. The court believed all his lies, my lawyers (I had 5) didn't know how to deal with a narc.

  • L S

    The game playing around timing, communicating timing only to the children (teenagers) and refusing to have any sort of schedule, even if that's the children's preference. It sort of keeps you on your toes, not being able to plan anything. I'm learning to try and be relaxed about timing and always have a plan B, C, D… the children then know that they can rely on you in unreliable circumstances. Dad Surviving Divorce channel has loads of co-parenting tips from both male and female perspectives.

  • FRR- gamer

    That is the situation I am in.. fortunately my kids see the truth and his games very clearly.. sometimes better than me 😕 they are less emotional about it and they give answers very clearly and never get pulled in.. its me who feels so very uncomfortable having to be so cold and rigid because that is not who I am. Mind you my children are only 7 and 9. I am so grateful that they have seen enough to not be attached to him. I made sure I give them a life filled with stability and love and when we have to deal with him over things as simple as what time for a visit.. by the way I am blessed enough that the court system is on my side and five yrs seperated, as well as starting with an order of protection, he still has to have supervised visits. When he pulls his games the visitation company sees it and documents it so the court is aware of it. He keeps shooting himself in the foot..fortunately me.. my children.. visitation and the court, as well as others, see his issues so I am not alone. Thank you Richard for being honest and empathetic in your answer.. it is not easy and when you said you can feel trapped.. it is absolutely right. I would suggest if any one is dealing with a spouse who is harassing you or being abusive in any way.. especially if you have children.. get the police and courts involved!

  • Jenny D

    I feel like a lot of the effects of having an N-parent can be negated by helping the child build emotional intelligence, critical thinking skills, etc. and by teaching them about how the brain works. it's like being stuck with any other narc. they have you on the emotional hook. but you have to stand up for yourself. get leverage. for a child, when they are old enough. they can be coached into drawing the line. telling the narcissist "no". and without this, they will never get away. and be sucked into the black hole. it's not healthy to think you owe these people anything.

  • Phil Rochford

    Keeping your emotions in check is absolutely the best approach. Reducing emotional outbursts effectively showing them they have no effect on you is the best way forward. Fortunately the position I'm in she doesn't hold my son against me or use him to get to me and we share custody 50/50. But she uses other methods. I've reacted angrily in past with emotional outbursts. Keeping a cool head is by far, by far the best approach

  • Southern CrossScorp

    @Richard Grannon As a mother who left a drunk, religious freak narcissist after 20 years our divorce may as well have been for our daughter too. He fought me in court and it’s a lose lose situation, the flying monkeys come and it’s not worth the pain to fight them. After all the lies that were believed by the system, he’s not done what he’s been ordered to or said he would, and he’s not seen our daughter much. Oh he made himself look like a star father and man in his community yet he’s lying, he’s been around her a handful of times over 2 years. Then when you know them it’s never been the right time or day he makes it his way. As for child support what a fight that isn’t worth the battle!! Honestly, they’re crazy enough to try and destroy the children, that’s a fact. In my case he got in our daughters head and she began to blame me and she’s now showing signs of BPD and has many narcissistic traits like her father. Save your child, Sam Vankin says something similar… the narcissistic parent will not play by the rules, they make their own! My ex used the game of chess as his analogy on life and meant it!! People are no different than chess pieces to these people and they will tell you if you can not react and listen to what they say and do. You will bang your head against a wall trying to rationalize with them!!

  • solprincesa

    What works for me and of course I have learned these from Richard's awesome advice and through trial and error… 1) manage your own state. Work on getting yourself in the best and most positive state possible. Lots of his advice/videos help with that. 2) expect the other person to consistently be a jerk. Part of my healing journey is accepting that, expecting that, not letting that jar me, planning for response to be xyz. 3) you need a good lawyer/advocate to fight on behalf of you and your children. On some levels you may have to request the court assist with your situation. You can't allow that person to continue pushing you around. An empathetic friend or family member will help you be objective if you are still feeling injured by their interactions. 4) depending on your children's age, you may want to help them with the same skills from your toolbox. I agree with other commenters that being honest, on a positive and at their level, is the best thing you can do. Explain why you do things, lead by example, in times of stress or frustration, teach them how to deal with their own emotions… All that was lacking with our own upbringing. Also depending on their age you might want to consider counseling for them. 5) the hardest part was leaving that relationship and deciding that you and your children deserved better. If you can manage your healing (mind body and heart), get the court to help you iron out the details of shared custody, help your kids with their emotions, eventually you and your kids will get the hang of it and they will recognize the peaceful environment you have created for them. Everyday I am possibly managing to get ever so stronger and perhaps one day I will be completely at peace.

  • iejugbo

    Yes, co-parenting with a narcissist is indeed very hard thing. Divorce wasn't easy, but we managed to set out all the legal stuff – finances, custody, etc. everything is set almost in stone so he can not manoeuvre much. The only thing we could not set in stone was his contact times with our son as he travels a lot due to his work commitments and contact must be flexible around it. i can be as grey rock as possible, set my boundaries very clear and not to let him mess up with me (end protect myself emotionally), but this is the only string he can pull where he has any power over me (my time) and he will use any opportunity to do so. although our divorce documents say that we have to agree on dates 2 weeks in advance, he will always mess up last minute. if i book a doctors appt or hairdresser for myself or by tickets for a concert or theatre while he it's evening/weekend with the child, there is a high likelihood that he will mess it all up last minute. he knows thats the only string he can pull to get me upset. and he will gladly do so, because he knows that will upset me. I can try my very best to manage myself emotionally, but it is hard to know, that you still have to be on edge not knowing if and what you can plan, always have a backup – if you want to go to theatre – you have to have a plan B who will stay with your child if the daddy will start to mess up again. its even harder to explain all that to the child – why he been promised to have time with daddy and why its all suddenly changed. seeing my child upset is even more upsetting than not being able to make to doctors/hairdresser or theatre. But I do understand, thats the only way they can boost their inflated sense of importance, how to make things to turn around them, how to make everyone still thinking and worrying about him and what he does, its a great deal of manipulation in all of that. I do understand all that. though, when you are in it its really hard to protect yourself from that. even if I do my very best nit to give any reactions and be as calm as possible, he knows so well that it does upset me even if i dont show it. and thats all he really wants. to get fuel, to get that emotional reaction.

  • kromulous

    A friend of mine was going through this same thing. He told me how his ex wife was badmouthing him to their 3 children. I asked him, don't you think you should talk to them and try to explain what she is doing? He said no they will see for themselves and he was right. Same advice Richard is giving. He relied on his kids emotional intelligence and intuition. He continued to be their father, focused on being there for them and enjoying his time with his kids. That was enough to get the kids to turn to him one day and say 'We've been talking dad and we don't like how mom is talking about you'. He's a genius. I would have sat them down and tried to explain it all. They asked him why she is doing that and then he told them she is bitter over the divorce and is having hard feelings. His kids were smarter than I realized and we're talking to each other. I think that's really the best you can hope for. They will see on their own the difference between how dad is and how mom says he is. I hope it gets easier for this guy. And anyway, just be there with your kids, they won't be able to say anything bad about that.

  • Igor Demydczuk

    Just listen to this youtube lecture of Richard Grannon, (one of my first guiding person, I have followed on the internet).. He is completely right. I am joining custody with a covert narcissist mother of my 2 little boys. First thing you musts do as he says. Your health depends on their future! This could motivate you as well for the sake of your children. Work to improve yourself. Everything depends on you really….  So besides your health educate yourself! Try to get as much information on narcissistic behaviour as you can… there is plenty of youtube videos in internet about it. Besides Richard or Sam Vaknin, I would recommend Jordan Peterson who also focus on your personality improvement, "Peace and Harmony, Little Shaman Healing, "the Royal Me"… There are many more…
    From my experience;
    1-  first thing is to go NoContact. Of course its not totally possible, but limit your communication to just Emails. And be consequent about this and all of your decisions!
    2- Build up your your boundaries! Takes a while, but it is possible. 
    3- keep the record of all of the email conversations (one more thing, do not ever judge your ex'partner. They have a n amazing talent to distort your words and build a case around it!!!)
    4- Be honest to your kid/ kids ( as Sam Vaknin proposes). Instead on talking about their mom, I use my father (Covert  Narcissist),example who also was abusive towards me. You must provide your child with the right tools against manipulations and abuse! It works!
    5- try to get a good lawyer who knows how to deal with the narcissists!

    If you have any questions about contact me! I have been dealing with my custody for 3 years now. Already gained one more day and one afternoon to the basic custody. So I am making progress.
    The case is absolutely exhausting, but it is possible to work it out, if you do the right things. I am moving forward and I'll be glad to help anybody, by sharing my experiences and steps I have done. I know how difficult, depressing and all above it can be…but it is not hopeless..
    Sincerely
    Igor (from the Netherlands).

  • erinecmh

    So many great comments here! SLC is fantastic and none of his advice goes awry. I used grey rock to good effect with my kids' dad.
    If you are looking for more support in divorcing or parallel parenting with a narcissist, look up Tina Swithin and "One Mom's Battle." Dads, please don't take offense at the gendered pronouns–if you are trying to parallel parent with a narcissist, you belong!! There is so much good advice here about managing schedules, decoding narc-speak, handling court appointed advisors and interviews, and record keeping. Tina even sends narcissism information packets anonymously to judges and GALs for a small fee. Plus–success stories!!

  • idiofa33

    the answer is cold and the words chosen are hurtful… Joined custody is impossible to handle with a narc as kids are vulnerable ponds. Kids are part of u, therefore a door is always opened…close it by NO contact. Do everything you can to obtain custody fully or leave, flee with ur kids if needed. Legal system+authorities are like narc!Emotionless, respecting rules and laws is a waste of time+cash+ precious nrj. All other advices are applicable when u r healed,strong+balanced. After years of narc abuse, it is delusional to be that way…remember they are predators; don't stay around them; they'll eventually kill u directly or will destroy you through your kids. There s a say where I àm from: don't stick around an injured beast. It s like war, no pity,no negotiation, you choose you over them. No contact like death.

  • Marquita Martin

    I went through this, the judge gave domiciliary custody to my narcissistic ex.  I used to lose it emotionally repeatedly with him, didn't know anything about NPD at the time.  My loss of control made it so much worse, his 2nd wife still thinks I'm insane.  I have had to finally, now that the kids are in their 20s (!), tell him to never contact me again.  I refuse to answer e-mails, etc.  I wouldn't do that before because my kids were still involved.  Finally they are old enough that I can just say, no more, and be able to stick to it. It makes them sad because they don't understand, yet they don't even like him themselves. I guess kids never give up wanting their parents to get along.  I wish I had had your advice all those years ago!

  • RubyRotten

    This is why I believe in your work, Richard. You don't bullshit through things and you always admit when you don't know the answers. You don't ever assume and you take everything back to it's philosophical and scientific bones. You're so legit. Keep doing what you do.

  • Nelly Jaber

    What if you’re done dealing with your ex narcissist, but your teenage child is becoming a narcissist? if my child is showing some narcissistic behaviors at 16years old , does that mean again the circle is turning around again, from a narcissistic parent to an ex and now a child?
    Is it too late ? What can I do to show her that this is a devastating path ?
    I am supposed to be a civilized parent & not talk bad about my ex in front of her and allow him to stay in her life . Which I did .
    However, I am turning out to be the scapegoat while I am losing my daughter…I thought am on my road of recovery and I am ahead of the game .
    I learned it all from your videos but now this one feels a homemade one I can’t conquer. She’s my daughter , I love her unconditionally, I can’t leave my daughter however it feels like a losing game if it’s too late to do anything about it .

  • Anne Noir

    Thanks for this short video it is one of the most painful issues in my life. Indeed I would have left my ex and lived now happily but the coparenting is keeping me trapped. After having been in this very similar, dreadful situation for some years – coparenting with a narcissist – this is the best answer I would give as well at this time (the part of feeding of the reactions so therefore not showing them or switching them off in front of the narcissist). I would like to see this issue discussed/featured more on this channel. In fact I don't think you are unqualified by the fact you don't have kids.

  • Rhonda Y. Zander

    Thank you so much for your videos. Truly Appreciate you. Can you do a video regarding people who have children with a narcissist (never married). My question is how far can I go with no contact when he is barely in the picture.

    My situation: He was not in the picture for over 5 years. Found out we were doing well, then SUED me for custody and wanted me to have to pay him child support. He moved from out of state to the state where we live and got a job at my bank; which mean he possibly has access to my bank accounts. He has no home, no car, no phone etc, so also likely wanted to use our daughter to be able to get public assistance, bigger tax refunds, and child support from me. He only visited her during the 1 year court case. He did not get legal or physical custody, but they did award him visitation, which he does not use, he stopped seeing her for over a year now once he “lost” the case in his eyes since he did not gain anything financially. In fact, they are now making him pay me child support, which I’m sure caused a narcissistic injury. My daughter and I moved for a fresh start, and he has now MOVE again and lives somewhere near by a couple streets away. He is also likely now working at my bank branch around the corner from our new home. When we saw him walking down the street, he refused to make eye contact and acts as if he does not want to be seen or bothered. I don’t understand, why did he go out of his way to move to our city so close and transfer his job if he does not want to be seen or does not want to see his daughter? BIG QUESTION: IF HE CONTACTS US SOME TIME IN THE FUTURE, AM I OBLIGATED TO RESPOND, DROP WHATS GOING ON IN OUR LIVES AND START RESPONDING AND LETTING HIM SEE HER AGAIN AND COME IN AND OUT OF HER LIFE WHEN EVER HE PLEASES SINCE TECHNICALLY HE WAS AWARDED VISITATION??? Sorry for all the details, but there are no videos out there addressing this situation. Thank you sooo much for your help, I can’t thank you enough!

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