I didn’t realize I was married to a narcissist until I divorced one. Click over to YourTango to read how I learned to deal with the narcissist in my life, through divorce and co-parenting. You can’t change a narcissist, but you can protect yourself from the havoc they wreak on your life:
How To Put A Narcissist In Their Place In 5 SUPER-Simple Steps
Sometimes when I daydream
My mind wanders to this place
Where we live in a bubble
Our own little world
Filled with our love, our lives, our kids
Everything we need to be happy
Missing from this bubble
Is the ominous presence of ex-spouses
Buzzing in the background of our lives
We wouldn’t be who we are today without them
It’s how our families began, how our children came to be
But we’re always tied by them
Even though our bond to each other transcends it
When the clash of it all starts to weigh on me
And I feel tugs at my heart
I dream up our little world and hang out there awhile
I struggle to find the right words
Attempting to describe how this cruel world works sometimes
To a five-year-old
I want to shelter him
But he is wise beyond his years
I want to coddle him
Usually, he lets me
How do you explain to a little boy how his father broke your heart
Left you to pick up the pieces of your life
Put it back together again?
Show him how to build a more fulfilling, meaningful life filled with love
How do you explain to him that although he may have a fun daddy, and one who loves him, he’s not a good father in the true sense of the word?
You just do your best to answer his questions
Knowing that the understanding will come later
When he’s older
And figures it out for himself
How did I get here
To this place I don’t even recognize
This is so-called co-parenting?
Our interactions make me feel trapped
Like I’m in a cage with a wild animal
Backed up against the wall with nowhere to go
He is the beast
Except I am the one who appears wild
Enraged, my heart ablaze
It’s not a place of anger these carnal feelings come from
Do you kiss your partner in front of your kids? I recently overheard a couple talking about how they don’t snuggle or hold hands in front of their kids and it made me feel kinda sad for them, and their kids.
How else are kids supposed to learn healthy models of affection between two loving adults?
When it comes to showing affection, such as giving hugs, snuggling, or holding hands, I want my son to know that expressing his emotions and showing affection for the people he loves is a good thing. It makes me happy to see him reach out and hug one of his buddies, or to watch him tell someone he cares about that he loves them.
Of course affection between kids is very different than affection between two adults, and children should never be made to feel excluded, but we can teach our children that too.
Children learn from what we teach them, but more than that, they learn from the behaviors they observe, what their parents model. Even when we think they aren’t paying attention, they usually are, and they pick up on subtle cues as well. Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, kids are always taking notes and emulating their parents and other adults they grow up around.
When I kiss my partner in front of the kids, in some ways it feels odd, because we are not married, we didn’t have children together, and yet, here are these kids (ours, but not ours) who look up to us. I hope they see two adults who love each other and express their care and emotions in a healthy way.