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How can you deal with a manipulative co-parent?

When you notice your ex-spouse continually lying and using manipulative tactics to get his or her way, then you may worry that there is no effective method to solving this problem.

Learning about how manipulation works and how to deal with it can help you as you co-parent your children.

Let the small issues go

According to Psychology Today, one way to reduce the amount of stress you feel is to ignore the taunts and minor insults that your co-parent may say. These often happen because he or she is trying to get you to fight or become enraged.

Constant fighting can harm your children and cause tension between you all. Teaching yourself to not react can help reduce your co-parent’s interest in trying to annoy you.

Stay formal

Sharing too many personal details or talking too much with your ex-spouse can potentially increase the likelihood of a fight. In order to keep the peace, you may find it easier to type out what you want to say instead of saying it out loud.

Writing emails and text messages to your co-parent informing him or her of important information allows you to edit and reword them before you send them. Changing the tone of your message can help you stop fights before they start.

Use your empathy

Your children may not know what is going on and may appear startled or angry after talking with your co-parent. Dealing with this situation with empathy and patience can prevent you from becoming bitter as time goes on. When your ex-spouse tries to manipulate you, you can refuse to play along without feeling guilty.

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