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Thread: I want my parents' marriage to work

  1. #1
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    I want my parents' marriage to work

    So I'm not a parent or a spouse, but I need some help with this because it's starting to upset me.
    Ive always noticed odd things about my parents. Well, my mum really. She's a fantastic mother, like I really couldn't ask for a better one, but it's like she doesn't even care about my dad.
    She's a very 'emotionless' person if that's the right word? I've only seen her cry maybe 3 times in 20 years? (I'm 20 haha). She talks to my dad about work and errands, basically in a very businesslike manner, like they're running a business or just coparenting.
    She never shows affection, save for a peck goodnight, and I've never heard her say 'I love you'.
    What triggered me to ask for advice is that it came to a 'boiling point' this week.
    Me and my dad had a dmc at like 1am a few days ago. He told me that whenever they fight and he tries to explain how unwanted he feels, she brings up all the work and paperwork she does for us and that she's the main breadwinner, instead of facing up to the fact that she isn't a great wife. She'll never admit when shes wrong. To make matters worse, he always loses his temper and gets frustrated then gives up.
    Today she acted as cold as usual towards him and forgot their anniversary. He was really disappointed and I had to remind her so she would even acknowledge it. He told me that he probably wouldn't be with her if she acted like this and they didn't have kids. That hurt.
    I gave him advice but I know he won't take it and I feel helpless.
    Sorry for the long entry
    Anyone got any advice?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Do you live at home? Your parents should not be putting you in the middle of their marriage and you should not be putting yourself there either. They have their own unique relationship that started way before you were even born. You're not a marriage counselor. Your father should not be dumping on you. Stop that conversation immediately. Tell another trusted adult (teacher, therapist, relative) about this. It's inappropriate.

    The best thing you can do is get out of the house more. College, work, groups, clubs, volunteering, etc. and be around people your own age. In fact it's time to start looking into a dorm or house share or apt or roommates your own age. Consider finding a bf and start living as an independent adult.

    Your father and mother are smart enough to go to marriage therapy or get a divorce if they have problems, they don't need advice from a kid, nor should your father be dumping this on you. If you have an issue with your mother, discuss that with a therapist, not your father. You and him ganging up on her is very toxic dynamic that you should participate in. It's very divisive.
    Originally Posted by Jacri
    I'm 20 haha. He told me that whenever they fight and he tries to explain how unwanted he feels

  3. #3
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    It is better to stay out of it. Your dad is crossing boundaries and needs to talk to a buddy or a counsellor not you about his marriage woes. Involving you is not a good thing to do.

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    I agree with the above posters. This is between them, and he should not be involving you.

    Has he been to counseling? The funny thing, she has always been like this., why is this a problem now?

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  6. #5
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    Originally Posted by Jacri
    Anyone got any advice?
    Stay out of it!

    Even though as their child you are the byproduct of your parents' marriage you have no business in the middle of it. You should not be discussing their relationship with them. They are the adults & they have to work it out. They fell in love, got married, created you & raised you all without your input. They can address this without you too.

    When one of them tries to drag you into it tell that parent that you love them but you also love the other one & whatever they decide it won't change but feel uncomfortable being dragged into the middle of this.

    My first thoughts on reading your post were that you have some sort of Electra Complex (A psychological thing where a daughter is jealous of the mother because the daughter wants the dad all to herself). It's not a good a thing.

    Yes, it's tough when you see people you love in emotional pain but you don't have the authority or the responsibility to fix this. Your participation will only cause harm.

  7. #6
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    That's what I was thinking... But no, I'm not ganging up on her with him and no I don't have an 'electra complex' because I love my mother and Ive accepted that she's not a romantic person and I just want my dad to be happy. I told my dad to consider counselling but he just seems to have given up and that's what makes me upset. He said to me yesterday "I hope she changes because now our kids are starting to notice (including me)". I agree with most of what you guys are saying. I am moving to Scotland for college in a week so I'm definitely not gonna be at home a lot very soon (in response to first comment) so I hope I can just distance myself for now and let them figure it out. Don't get me wrong at all, I love my mother and she's a completely different person around me and my siblings. She just doesn't open up about her feelings and its just hard for me to understand because I'm an emotional person. My dad always talks about his feelings too so that's probably why it's hard for them to communicate.

  8. #7
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    It doesn't matter why it is difficult for them to communicate -- they have their own relationship, which started and existed before you came into the world and continued while you were too young to analyze and and judge them. You father is completely out of line discussing his marriage with you -- you are the child and no matter how old you get, you do NOT belong in the middle of all of this. Ever. If he wants to talk about his misery and what is wrong with your mother (who, btw, is getting labeled as the villain here when he is not really making an effort) you tell him you will no longer discuss your mother or his marriage with him and if he wants to, he should get a therapist. You do NOT want to be in the middle and you will not be put there.

    Then you are out. And if they get divorced, that is their relationship and their decision. You are going away to college, you have a whole new life, stop worrying about theirs relationship. As a child you are bound to take care of them if they are sick (and that means different things to different people), keep in touch and since you seem to like and love them, give them access to some of your world. It is NOT your job to fix their relationship or be a marriage counselor -- especially because you are emotionally involved, untrained, and, right, NEVER BEEN MARRIED.

  9. #8
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    Okay, okay
    I understand what you're saying
    I'm not claiming to be a counsellor, I'm not trying to be one, I just wanted to help the two people I love the most
    For my own emotional wellbeing, I've already decided that I'm not getting involved anymore. Im just feeling sad about my feeling of helplessness and just wanted a bit of empathy.
    I'm also autistic and anxious, if you didn't already guess, so I have this annoying need for control and safety/security in my life. I've accepted that I can't do anything about it.
    Just to clarify, my dad isn't a bad person and isn't trying to turn me against her. He hasn't had a good example of marriage and raising kids in his life so please excuse his mistake like I am doing

  10. #9
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    I'm sorry you've been brought into this, OP.

    I don't think your dad had any malicious intention in sharing with you, but it was really not appropriate to put you in the middle of their marital problems. You aren't qualified to give advice, and you're too emotionally-involved, naturally, as they are your own parents. It has obviously (understandably) sent your anxiety through the roof, and made you worry about the stability of your family life and proverbial safety net.

    I would ask your dad to please not share such personal details with you, and instead suggest he look into marriage counseling if the situation has become intolerable. Don't entertain any more talks about Mom with him. If he brings it up again, tell him you do not want to discuss it and change the topic.

  11. #10
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    Thanks so much, you are very understanding

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