Your ex is a narcissist (nex) and you have to work out an arrangement regarding, for example, the children or the sale of your house: not easy!
It is estimated that about 6% of the population has a narcissistic personality disorder. Once we realize that our partner is a narcissist and after many attempts to understand the patterns, we make the decision to divorce, there is no going back. We cannot "un-see" what we see. And when we also have children with this partner, you ca, expect anything.
RECET: Imposing these following conditions for a constructive process: you require all parties to be Respectful, Equal, Congruent, to maintain an Equilibrium and to be Transparent (RECET).
How are we going to handle this? What is our attitude? Since the narcissist seeks out a specific type of person to gain his power and control over, it is very important that we do not lose ourselves. What makes us so interesting to them? We are generous, empathetic, courageous, successful and confident. We must never lose these beautiful qualities!
As the ex-partner of a narcissist, we often end up with a Narcissistic Victim Syndrome (NVS) after the relationship. More on this in another post.
Now, we go on to the most important part: What is our attitude towards the nex when we are obliged to sit down with them, eg during a mediation meeting. What is our basic attitude when we are dealing with agencies or assistance or mediation where the narcissist is also involved because we still have to work some things out with them?
No agency or mediatior is ever going to say that you are wrong by imposing these following conditions for a constructive process: you require all parties (both yourself, the nex, and the mediator/lawyer/helper) to be respectful, equal, congruent, to maintain an equilibrium and to be transparent (RECET).
Respectful: In every communication, the other is spoken of respectfully. In emails and as well in face to face conversations.
Equal: Your value as a mother (or father) is equal to the value of the nex. This must be clearly monitored from everyone's position (from yourself, from the nex and from the care provider/lawyer/mediator...). Everyone's value as a human should take up the same amount of space.
Congruent: This means that what we feel and think inside our-self is also communicated to others in this way. In other words: no hidden agendas!
Equilibrium: Your contribution is (at least) the same as the contribution of the nex. There is a balance in what has to be said by all parties. You cannot be overruled by the nex. Everyone's interest may be taken into account equally, the equilibrium will be maintained.
Transparent: Everything is done in a transparent manner. For e-mail traffic, for example from you to the mediator / lawyer / counselor, you put the nex in CC. It is determined in advance that this is the way of working. When the nex sends an email to the mediator, you will also be CC'ed. The mediator is called upon to monitor this. No calls or mediator meetings are made without the other party's knowledge. Not with you, not with the nex and not with the children (which is what over-enthusiastic counselors or coaches tend to do when asked by the nex without realizing who and what they are dealing with, and without involving you first).
If the nex does not keep to the agreements, you can address it. This ensures that many of the tricks used by a narcissist can be stopped. Whether it is even possible to come to an agreement with a nex, I leave that open. That will depend very much on the situation the nex is in, whether he has a lot of financial scope or not. As my nex once said to me, "Remember, in a court of law, whoever has the most money wins, and I have more than you".