Narcissists use their children for repeated triangulation.
Some narcissist regard children as a threat and a hindrance to their gains. Some simply, don’t use children to their own gain, class them as competition that has come along to steal their limelight, these often walk away from the pregnancy and most often never return, unless they see some gain for themselves in doing so. Those that stay find baby’s pathetic and will most often not offer to help out, as they don’t see why they should do so, unless someone is watching them, or they have something to gain by helping. Some narcissists just see the child as taking the spotlight away from themselves. Those types will often avoid having children in the first place, as a lot don’t agree with contraception, females will abort, and then the male will put pressure on the females to abort, some do end up having children.
Some see having children as a benefit. They believe the other parent of the child will never indeed be able to escape them.
They also believe and will use the children to get an emotional response from the child’s other parent. They use the child to get attention from the child and attention from others.
Those narcissists who decide to have children is far higher than those who do not have them.
They use having a child to hook someone to them and use the child for their own gains possible the main reason they chose to have children. They also believe that they will live on through their children.
Those who have children with a narcissist, not knowing what they are, will often stay longer in an abusive relationship for the sake of those children, as it’s usually, subtle emotional abuse and financial abuse keeping them trapped longer. Our beliefs that children should have to parents together, as well as housing situations and finance, does make it harder to leave but not impossible if we take it step by step, a child is far happier in a one-parent household than a toxic one.
Then when they do get out, still not knowing that the ex is a narcissist, they often endure, years of torment, while the narcissist triangulates the children, some try to get custody of the children, dragging people through the courts, painting you like the crazy one, some will not turn up, or promise the children lots to fail to deliver, leaving you to pick up the pieces. As we have empathy, we put the children first, believing they have a right to see the other parent and at first try to play fair, some narcissists are far too dangerous and can not see the children, others however we soon learn they will not play fair, so we create boundaries and routine, which of course the narcissist hates as they lose control, but the children have to be put first.
Sometimes once you realise just how abusive they are, as you may be worried the children might turn into a narcissist, or you left as you didn’t want the children around abusive behaviour, and the narcissist is now being abusive towards you, when collecting the children, or mentally abusive when they have the children. You have no choice but to stop all contact. A lot of narcissists will then take you to court.
If the children do still visit the narcissist.
They to the narcissist are just an extension of themselves, and they will only see them if they believe they have something to gain. They may even go over the top spoiling them when they have time with them, as the narcissist loves all the positive energy. They will try to anger the children if needed if they think they need to gain more control over them. They will triangulate the children against each other, and they will triangulate them against you.
They will sulk at children if they feel criticism from them, shout at them, or go silent on them and cut contact of themselves, returning to see the children when they believe the children will now Conform and provide positive attention again, or if the children are needed for the narcissist to play the role of top parent and show off to someone.
Any achievements the child has, the narcissist will take credit for.
The narcissist will smear you to the children for why the relationship ended.
They will happily tell the children you are too regimented and strict, in the hope to turn the children against you. Most will not have any form of routine with the children.
Some narcissist will not pay maintenance towards the children, some narcissists will show others just how amazing they think they are, and how bad you are that they pay and you’re unreasonable not allowing the narcissist to see the children much or not at all.
They do not feel responsible or accountable for the children’s needs. They just use the children to meet their own needs.
They do not spend time with the children for the children’s need, only if it fills the narcissists’ needs.
If the narcissist knows that the children sleeping over upsets them or you, they will fight through the courts to gain that access.
If you let them know that they can have the children overnight, they will not bother with having the children overnight. Or they will cancel last minute if they know it’ll ruin your plans.
So how best to protect the children if they see the narcissistic parent. Grey rock.
All communication about the children via email or text only.
Prevent any face to face contact between yourselves. I got a non-molestation order, where he can pick up and drop off the children at Pre-arranged time, done via message. As I can pop them into the ignore box, so now they can no longer threaten in front of the children, they’ve tried a few times, you just have to follow up and call the police, they changed tactics, to blame me for the break-up, and how it’s mummy’s fault daddy no longer lives with them, and had no choice but to move in across the road, and introduce them to a baby brother no one knew anything about, of course, I’m free and happy, so no response, after a few more stunts we went onto the silent treatment, and he’s not currently seeing the boys, I do keep messaging to give him the opportunity, of course, the narcissist wants ranting messages of how useless they are and how the boys miss him.
The problem for the narcissist with that is, the boys haven’t mentioned him and are extremely happy at the moment.
If you do see them face to face, give them no emotional reactions. If you give emotional reactions they will keep doing what they are to the children to get them from you, again if they smear you to the children and you respond, they’ll do it all the more, no reactions from you and they’ll stop the smearing game as it’s not working how they’d hoped. Do not smear the other parent to the children. This just confuses the children, and they often report to the parent that, will then twist the words and use them all the more on the children. The narcissist does not care if your reaction is direct or not. The things I say to my children as they ask or want a conversation is.
“We are not all the same, and people just do things differently.”
“We are all entitled to our own opinions.”
“Not everyone understands why boundaries and routine are a good idea, and that’s ok.”
Listen to the children, as they will not feel heard with the other parent, reassure them if you need to defend yourself about what the other parent had said do not go into detail about your side of the story, or smearing the other parent to them, say things like.
“ well that’s your parents’ thoughts, mine are different, we are allowed to think for ourselves and have a different opinion to others.”
“If that’s how they feel that’s fine. You can only control how you think.”
Then have a dance around, a good giggle, forget about the narcissist’s comments and carry on happily. Find son that picks you and the children up, they comfort them, reading a story cuddled up, watching a Funny movie, whatever works for you and your children.
Make sure everything you do have to say to the narcissist is businesses like, to the point and as above no emotions.
They will then try to provoke you, in lots of different ways to get a reaction from you, the more you give no reaction, the more you’ll be aware of what move they’ll use next. Remember, retreat, rethink and only respond if you need to do so.
A lot when getting no reactions from you. Will lose all interest in the children.
They will not change, they will not listen, you can not control them as such, no reactions and no emotions is the only way to take control of the situation, observe as they up their games, once they’ve cycled around, you see just how manipulative and childish they genuinely are.
Stay as positive as you can around the children, this will counteract the narcissists’ negative influences.
Think about the long term, over time the children will see the negative parent who talks rubbish about the positive parent for what they are, no matter how much they spoil them with gifts if your narcissist splashed out on them.
The children over time will see who the positive parent was understood and listened to them.
Allow the children to make their own minds up, which can be hard with some of the stunts the narcissist pulls, remember, what the children say isn’t what they think, it’s just the narcissist’s influence, in the end, your efforts will be worth it.
Children do not want to be stuck in between two parents. They will learn when older.
If they ask, when they are older, you can show them any evidence you need, if they ask, so keep all messages, if possible print them.
If there are serious safeguards issues, then you will need to stop contact, the narcissist will not see any wrongdoing. So do not approach the narcissist as they’ll delight in you’re the reaction, so seek the help you need from others.
I before I truly realised ex was a narcissist, approached them about sons behaviour, of course, that was “ all your fault. “ “you’re driving the child crazy.” “You need a mental evaluation.” “I’m calling social services on you.” “ I’ll evaluate the child.” Then when I stopped responding the narcissist and carried on getting the children to help, when the narcissist dropped the children off they stuck the foot in the door to prevent me closing it and in front of the children said. “ if you carry on with your games I’ll make you disappear.”
I simply got a non-molestation order, which they broke a few times and I called the police.
I stopped responding to the narcissist, gave no reactions, slowly became more positive, for myself and the children. You just have to weather the storm, it gets easier, and it gets to the point for some, where you pity the narcissist for they can never be happy.
Finding the funny side of their unbelievable behaviour, which can be difficult to start, yet once you do, it gets easier.
It’s hard at first, but you get to the point you do not need to react, as what the narcissist says and does you see clearly through them and no longer care.
If you do have to go through court or social services, make sure those helping you know about narcissist personality disorder. Do not diagnose to the judge.
If you’re at the start of this, don’t worry about any mistakes and setbacks, we all do this it’s Normal human behaviour, just weather the storm until it all becomes second nature. It is something you have to learn, and once you do, it becomes easier.
Another method is getting them to level up, and you have to be in a good place to do this. Focusing on the end results.
Video for no contact, grey rock and level up.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.