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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » My parents are having serious relationship issues right now

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Author Topic: My parents are having serious relationship issues right now
Cadence350
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tl;dr version: dad just walked into my room, told me he and my mom have been having some serious issues and that she spent the weekend in a hotel away from my dad. Me and my brother were out of town this past weekend, but I guess she returned from the hotel on Monday because that was the day I was coming back.

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My dad came into my room and broke down crying about this asking what to do. Basically my mom works her *** off to provide for us and manages to work a full time job as well and the rest of us don't contribute as much as we should. Not only that, we don't show our appreciation at all either. Like my dad, I've just not been very good at expressing my emotions, and, as a result, I don't really tell my parents "I love you" or hug them or whatever. My mom hasn't really said what has been bothering her to me, but I'm sure she just feels like we don't do enough around the house and that she doesn't feel appreciated. Dad and I had a long talk, and step by step, I'm going to help him change. He's kinda set in his ways and is very bad at expressing himself, which is why it's gotten to this point, and why he hasn't asked for help until now.

He doesn't really seem to understand women, or people, for that matter. He kept bringing up the fact that my mom wants to argue about stuff 20 years in the past and all he wants to do is forget about it and move on. He isn't giving her a chance to talk and vent about it and basically asking her to drop it. The same when she wants to vent about coworkers or other family. That's not what she needs. He thinks that, since it's in the past, he can't fix it, but all she wants is for someone to listen to her problems.

The problem really doesn't seem that hard. He just needs to get out of his comfort zone, tell his wife that he appreciates her and loves her, and put in more effort around the house. He had to ******* drink some alcohol to gain enough courage to talk to me about this. Honestly, I've never been able to talk to my parents about personal stuff, but I was ******* furious when I realized he was a bit drunk. He's never ever had a drinking problem at all, but I was ready to punch his lights out just now for thinking alcohol was the answer. I mean, he's an amazing father and a good person, but I can't believe his marriage is going to shit just because he hasn't been listening to his wife and being more attentive to her needs. I've always had a lot of respect for him, and it probably sounds like he's a terrible person, but feeling the need to drink just to talk to your son, to me, can lead down a very bad road. He said he felt like he needed to drink to either talk to my mom, or talk to me. Luckily he came to me. I really think if he had tried to talk to her while drunk, it just would have ******* ruined what little there is left, and I made that clear to him. He understood it was terrible what he did, but I feel like now that I know, he'll feel better about this whole situation with me helping him.

My dad is a mess right now, but I think he and I can fix this. My mom is out of the house from 5am - 4pm and my Dad from 9am - 6pm. I've told him to take the day off of work, and just focus all his time and energy into his marriage. I told him to get her a card, write down what he wants to tell her, make her a meal that is ready when she gets home and leave the card with the meal. She is at the point where she is refusing to talk to her, and he seems to think he can't, but I thought the card would be a good start, and then I'll leave sometime later in the day and let them talk. He hasn't told her that he appreciates her and cares for her, but he clearly does. I saw it in him today, he just needs to relay that message to her. I made it clear to him that he can't turn to alcohol and that, no matter what, he needs to listen to her and not argue back. I guess the last few times he's tried to talk, it turns into an argument. Obviously it takes two to argue, but he seemed to think it was helpless to try and argue without fighting. I mean, it's obvious what he needs to do, I just think he was too drunk and emotional to hear it just now. I'm furious that he actually approached me like that, but I do trust that he won't touch the stuff. ****, I don't know what to do.

Posts: 30 | From: USA | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
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Hi Cadence350,

Seems like there are a few things going on here.

I'm wondering what it is that makes you think that what's bothering your Mom is that all of you (not sure who else there is besides your Dad and you) aren't contributing to the household the way she thinks you should. While sometimes we can learn things from people's behaviour, we can't really know what they're thinking unless they tell us. Could you say more about why you think that's what's bothering her?

It sounds to me like it's really important to you to help your Dad and your Mom get along better. It cam be scary when something like this is going on, but we can't change or fix people. You've given your Dad some great feedback on being more patient with your Mom with how she communicates, now it's his job to talk with her and figure things out.

What else can you do? Take care of yourself. It's not your responsibility, nor is it really possible, for you to fix things for them. You can be supportive, for sure, but it's their relationship and their job to take care of what isn't working for them.

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Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cadence350
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quote:
Originally posted by Robin Lee:
I'm wondering what it is that makes you think that what's bothering your Mom is that all of you (not sure who else there is besides your Dad and you) aren't contributing to the household the way she thinks you should. While sometimes we can learn things from people's behaviour, we can't really know what they're thinking unless they tell us. Could you say more about why you think that's what's bothering her?

I know for sure this is something that has really bothered here in the past and she has expressed this to me and my brother as well as my dad numerous times. I mean, there could be other things at play and, most likely, there are other things, but I know that is a major one. No one has said this is an issue, but none of us ever show or say our appreciation which just kinda seems like she is being taken for granted. I know I'm guilty of this. It's just the way I am, I don't express my feelings well. If I knew it was this big of an issue, I would have done something about it and changed. I'm not really blaming this all on me, but I know I haven't really helped the situation.

quote:
Originally posted by Robin Lee:
It sounds to me like it's really important to you to help your Dad and your Mom get along better. It cam be scary when something like this is going on, but we can't change or fix people. You've given your Dad some great feedback on being more patient with your Mom with how she communicates, now it's his job to talk with her and figure things out.

What else can you do? Take care of yourself. It's not your responsibility, nor is it really possible, for you to fix things for them. You can be supportive, for sure, but it's their relationship and their job to take care of what isn't working for them.

I was given this same advice from someone else. My dad seemed pretty helpless when he approached me, so I felt like I needed to tell him what needs to be done. I mean, I made it clear that this is something that he needs to do on his own. I can't just give him step by step instructions, but I can give him helpful advice. I know this kinda stuff happens, but I'm 26 and they have been together 27 years. I just didn't think these types of things would happen so late in a marriage.

My dad said she was recently looking at apartments to move into. I don't think she has been this serious for a while, though. I'm about to move out and buy my own place and, ever since my parents found that out, they had been looking for a smaller house together. I'd say just until a few weeks ago, she was still interested in buying a house with my dad for them to retire in.

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Robin Lee
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Well, it's not too late for you to start showing appreciation for her. What does or doesn't happen with your parents' marriage isn't affected by you or what you choose to do. It does sound like you feel bad for your Mom, though, and showing more caring for someone in a way you already know they appreciate can't hurt and might help you feel better.

Really, your Dad has got to figure this out on your own. Some friendly advice from his son is fine, but I'm concerned that you both may see this as the only option for him to get advice and support. It's not, nor should it be. They're your parents, after all, so you're going to have your own feelings and thoughts about all of this.

If your Dad asks you for advice again, I'd suggest that you talk to him about who else he has in his life who can help--friends, relatives, or religious leaders?--or finding some counselling. There is often inexpensive, after-work-hours and weekend counseling available.

In the meantime, it's probably a good idea for you to make sure you've got lots of support, which it sounds like you might since you've talked to other folks about this and came here to talk about it.

--------------------
Robin

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Cadence350
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quote:
Originally posted by Robin Lee:
Well, it's not too late for you to start showing appreciation for her. What does or doesn't happen with your parents' marriage isn't affected by you or what you choose to do. It does sound like you feel bad for your Mom, though, and showing more caring for someone in a way you already know they appreciate can't hurt and might help you feel better.

You're right. I've kinda become distant with both of my parents, but I can easily change that and will change that.

quote:
Originally posted by Robin Lee:
Really, your Dad has got to figure this out on your own. Some friendly advice from his son is fine, but I'm concerned that you both may see this as the only option for him to get advice and support. It's not, nor should it be. They're your parents, after all, so you're going to have your own feelings and thoughts about all of this.

If your Dad asks you for advice again, I'd suggest that you talk to him about who else he has in his life who can help--friends, relatives, or religious leaders?--or finding some counselling. There is often inexpensive, after-work-hours and weekend counseling available.

I suggested counseling. He apparently already made that suggestion to my mom who didn't want to do it, but, you're right, I shouldn't get too involved, no matter how much I want. It will play out how it should play out.

quote:
Originally posted by Robin Lee:
In the meantime, it's probably a good idea for you to make sure you've got lots of support, which it sounds like you might since you've talked to other folks about this and came here to talk about it.

I do. I'm 26 years old as well. I mean, something like this always hurts and is hard, but I think better equipped to deal with it at this age, if things do go south.
Posts: 30 | From: USA | Registered: Jun 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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