Co-parenting with a sociopath can be a taxing and stressful experience. Yes, co-parenting is a necessary facet of a child’s upbringing and most times, when parents have gone their separate ways, it can be done without difficulty. Other times, when dealing with a woman scorned or in my case, and many of yours, a boy with a bruised ego, co-parenting can be an 18-year long nightmare. This is especially true if the other parent is a sociopath.
When you’ve moved on from a relationship and all that’s left between you and your ex is a child, that child can become a pawn in a series of twisted games if the other person is still salty over the death of the relationship.
What is a Sociopath?
A Sociopath is someone with a mental personality disorder in which an individual exudes toxicity. The sociopath lacks empathy and has no regard for anyone but themselves.
They don’t care who they hurt, including the children. They lie persuasively and are very good at charming and deceiving others into believing they are sincere people with good intentions.
Masters of manipulation, sociopaths gaslight, falsely accuse, threaten, and intimidate to get what they want. Nothing is ever their fault, it’s always someone else’s because in their mind, they are the epitome of perfection. They love to twist words, pervert facts, and project onto others their foul behavior and poor character.
They have no respect for authority or the law and feel entitled to do whatever they want when they want. These people thrive in dysfunction because it is the only way they know how to function. It is their normal and anything outside of disorder and chaos is foreign to them.
The narrative is always that the bitter baby mama is the primary reason why two people can’t co-parent successfully, however, contrary to popular belief, bitter baby daddies (BBDs) exist too. They’re no different from women who can’t accept the fact that the relationship is over.
For the sociopathic father, It’s more of an ego thing because when some dudes feel like they had your mind gone and you’d never leave, but you proved him wrong and stepped off, the thought process becomes, how dare you walk away and do what I said you never could.That attitude intensifies when you move on and live better than he intended for you to without him.
Consequently, he punishes you and uses the child(ren) to try and make you miserable for simply reclaiming your crown and having the strength to bounce.
Don’t lose your sanity and peace co-parenting with a sociopath. You may be legally bound to a sociopath, but that doesn’t mean you have to live in a prison. If you’re struggling in co-parenting with a sociopath, I want to give you 5 ways to handle it without losing your peace or catching a case.
1. Keep Everything Strictly Business.
When co-parenting with a sociopath, it’s best to keep everything about the children. Don’t give him conversation or attention about anything other than the kids because if you give a mouse a cookie he’ll try to take the whole bakery and before you know it, you’ll find yourself sucked right back into his game. He will try you just to see if he can still have you, but don’t give him the satisfaction. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
2. Document Everything.
The sociopath loves to torment his victim and when children are involved, their weapon of choice is litigation. Unfortunately, when co-parenting with a sociopath, you’ll find yourself in court more times than you care to be because they habitually violate court orders.
I’ve seen the inside of a courtroom so many times, you’d think I was a criminal. Custody battles, childish contempt matters, and child support contests. I like to call them the 3Cs of family court.
The litigious sociopath gets his kicks by harassing you with the legal system, so you absolutely must keep detailed documentation of all interactions related to the children.
If the law permits, record conversations, take pictures and video, screenshot text messages and back them up on a computer or flash drive, save and print email threads, get police reports, whatever is clever.
Sociopaths know how to manipulate the courts, and most times, they always seek out and retain attorneys with their exact personality. Just in case you get that dreaded court summons, don’t get caught up in the psychological games. Let your records expose his crazy and speak for you.
3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
As long as they’re walking around sucking up air, a sociopath will always try your gangsta, but you must understand that it’s only a psychological game, a test. A test of your restraint, a perverse psychological game to render you mentally weak.
If someone can get up in your head deep enough, they can control and ultimately destroy you. Those petty little nuisances that they get sick pleasure from in taunting you is only a spirit of aggravation. It comes to make you act out of character so he can gain a legal advantage over you. It wants your peace. Don’t give it the attention it seeks. Ignore it instead.
Never show any type of emotion, not even anger because he will use your emotion against you to discredit your character as a mother and a person later. As hard as it is to practice, silence is golden. Remember, in quietness and confidence is your strength (Isaiah 30:15).
I love a quote by Mark Twain that says, “never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” Don’t let a fool cause you to act out and then teach you experience by gaining leverage over you. Let him be a fool by himself. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord(Exodus 14:13).
4. Pray Fervently.
As simple as it may sound, prayer does change things. It is a mighty weapon of warfare that has miraculous power in the spiritual realm even if its results don’t seem immediate. By your prayers and petitions, God has a way of handling and humbling those who’ve been a thorn in your side. That’s why He said vengeance is Mine(Romans 12:9).
No matter what people try to do, or how difficult they try to make your life, God is a protector and a defender for His children. Though they will come, no weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that rises up against you will be condemned(Isaiah 54:17). Don’t diminish the power of prayer in your co-parenting situation. It has the power to either change the other parent or change you to endure the situation. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much(James 5:16).Is anything too hard for God?
5. Immerse Yourself in Something You’re Passionate About.
Stress is a silent killer. You can’t be the best you, the best mother when you’re stressed out dealing with a toxic person. The best solution? Find an outlet, a hobby, special interest, your passion, to take your mind off the drama. Work out, start a blog, a YouTube channel, take a class, join a church group, something to shift your focus.
When you’re busy doing something you’re passionate about, all the insanity will dissipate. Who knows, you may even find your purpose, that thing you were born to do, in the process.
What you give attention to controls your mind so disregard the distractions. Pour your anger and frustration into something meaningful instead of someone ignorant.
Co-parenting can be hard, and some dudes go out of their way to make it that way, but you don’t have to give it power over you. Don’t let him see you sweat. At the heart of people’s misery is their discontent with themselves. Don’t allow their venomous outpouring to contaminate your life. Change the game by changing your mind, your attitude, and your approach and watch that spirit flee from you.
Are you co-parenting with a sociopath? Leave your comments below. We’d love to hear your stories.