Co-Parenting With a Sociopath: A Complete Guide

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Co-parenting with a sociopath can resemble the most difficult thing you have ever done in your life.  You want the best for your child but their father/mother is displaying signs of being a sociopath.  This can further complicate co parenting as sociopaths are typically domineering and desire power and control. 

Co-Parenting With a Sociopath

If you are in a co-parenting situation with a sociopath I recommend getting regular support.  A trained therapist can provide you guidance to help foster healthy coping skills to deal with the parent.  Therapy may focus on building healthy boundaries,  getting support, and learning effective communication

This guide will help you deal effectively with your sociopathic ex and help you build a better future for your children.

Table of Contents

  • What is a sociopath?
  • How to spot a sociopath?
  • Why is it so difficult to co-parent with a sociopath?
  • What to do if you are co-parenting with a sociopath?

What is a sociopath?

A sociopath is someone who exhibits no conscience. They may be charming, charismatic, and intelligent — but they lack empathy and don’t feel remorse or guilt for their actions. They are manipulative, often taking pleasure in causing others pain or distress.

Sociopaths have an inflated sense of self-importance and believe they deserve special treatment over everyone else. They have shallow emotions, so they don’t experience guilt or remorse for hurting people. Instead, they blame others for their problems and use lies and manipulation to get what they want.

Sociopaths are incapable of forming meaningful relationships because they lack empathy which makes it impossible for them to feel love or attachment to others. They lack any sense of shame and will do anything necessary in order to achieve their goals using whatever means necessary including lying, cheating, stealing, or blackmailing etc.

Co-parenting can be challenging enough on its own.  If you recognize these traits in the other parent, seek support from friends, family or a trained professional.  Don’t get swept away by trying to diagnose them.  Refocus into creating stability for yourself and your family.  Below are signs of a sociopath and healthy ways to cope.  

How to spot a sociopath?

Sociopaths may be charming and charismatic, which makes them very good at hiding their true nature from others around them.

How do you spot a sociopath? Here are some signs to look out for:

They may speak swiftly with no actual basis to their statements.  They may manipulate you or others to be sympathetic towards them.  Any actions by you or others to help them will be for their own gain unfortunately.  

Why is it so difficult to co-parent with a sociopath?

Co-parenting with a sociopath can be very frustrating and painful. There are no definite right or wrong answers, and it seems like everything is a debate. The most frustrating thing about being co-parented by a sociopath is you will often feel like there has to be some sort of catch or motive for all their behavior and the way they operate. They make it difficult because they lie and manipulate, not just their exes but also the court system and anyone else that gets in their way.

What to do if you are co-parenting with a sociopath?

Yet as difficult as this is, it may be hard to let go of the vision that you had of co-parenting.  If there is any part of you still infatuated with this person, try to understand if this part of yourself is undermining your efforts at co-parenting successfully.

Traditional means of conflict resolution may be challenged.  Arm yourself with assertive communication skills and be mindful of dragging the kids into the conflict.  Because you have children together, you will still have to remain civil for their sake.  Leave your kids out of the fight — don’t include them in your arguments (but don’t lie either).

If it’s a heated issue that needs to be discussed with your ex, see if you can address it in a public space or with an objective third party present.  Just because you want things to handle conflict  healthily doesn’t mean they will follow, which means you may need to increase the odds of success by creating some accountability for them.  Meeting in a public space or having a family friend be present too can do that.  

Instead of being swept away by their charm or empty promises, refer to your personal experiences with this person.  What do your experiences tell you in terms of dealing with them?  Protect yourself by mindfully trusting the other parent and not blindly trusting them.  Blindly trusting them is taking their words for face value when they have a history of doing otherwise.  Mindfully trusting them is evaluating if their words match their behaviors.  

Often what a sociopath will do is without remorse or compassion.  You need to act carefully to not get caught in their web.  

If you’re looking for a qualified online mental health professional that can assist you please contact me here

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