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My Parents Hate Each Other


ladysnow05
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Ever since I was a kid, I knew that my parents aren't the kind that say I love you to each other, nor do they hug, or even like each other. They often fight in front of me and my siblings; in the car, in the bedroom where I slept in, in the living room, on the street when we were traveling. One time I was eating and they were fighting next to me and my mom was talking about my dad's affair. It broke my heart that they would let a children hear that. They fought a lot that sometimes when I'm in my bedroom in silence, I feel like I hear them screaming and fighting, even though there is no fighting.

 

But now they don't fight anymore. And I don't know if it's good or bad. On the bright side, I don't have to hear the screaming that always makes me scared anymore. But, unfortunately, no fighting means they don't talk. Ever. It's been almost a year since I hear them talking more than a minute to each other. They pretend the other doesn't exist. They hate each other too much to talk and interact. It makes me sad and angry at the same time.

 

It's even worse now that my dad has just recently retired from his job which means he's going to spend most of his time at home. I never liked weekends where both my parents are home, it's so uncomfortable, though they never even talk to each other. It just feels miserable. But now it's not only weekends, it's everyday!

 

Especially now that it's nearing the holidays. I am not at all excited for it. I wish I could just skip it you know. I don't like my whole family gathering up because it's probably gonna be a lot of resentment and conflicts and I'm not ready for it.

 

I can't wait to graduate from college and move on to another country. I can't wait to get out of this mess. I love my parents, they're great parents individually. But they're not great when together and that is why I need to get out.

 

Any advice on how to deal with this? Especially with the holiday coming around soon?

 

I'm trying out meditation and reading a lot of self-help articles, it's been really helpful. I'm not as sad as I used to be about this. I 'm taking control of my life and my own emotions but still, sometimes, I can't help but feel trapped and miserable.

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How old are you? Can you talk to another trusted adult about this? Are you in college now? If so why don't you try to live on campus in a dorm? Ask your mother or father to take you to a doctor. Perhaps mood disorders run in the family and the same discord you see in your parents is the same depressive hopeless angry feelings you have. Don't spend this much time at home. try to go out more.

I can't wait to graduate from college and move on to another country. I can't wait to get out of this mess. I love my parents, they're great parents individually. But they're not great when together and that is why I need to get out. I can't help but feel trapped and miserable.

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My parents fought a lot when I was growing up. They were alcoholics & past a certain point the screaming would start.

 

At the time I thought they didn't like each other. I learned that my answer was too simplistic. They did love each other but they were both broken people & they were raging against the world, their lots in life & a million other adult problems I didn't understand. All of that got expressed in unhealthy ways.

 

While you live with them, all you can do is what you are doing: mediate & try to tune it out. Best thing I ever did was move out. You say you are in college. Can you get your own place, even something shared with a lot of other people? Otherwise just count the days & recognize that this is the price you are paying to have less debt.

 

Since your dad is retiring maybe the day to day pressures of work will ease up & he won't be in such a fighting mood.

 

You, as their child, cannot fix their marriage nor should you interfere.

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I think you do know how to deal with this already. I feel like you're worried and anxious about the holidays from past experiences which is understandable but you've got to put a cork in those anxious thoughts. I like TeeDee's advice. To add to it, try and extract yourself emotionally from their tension and what goes on between the both of them. You can do it - psychologically, emotionally. This means not pulling sides or trying to figure out what exactly they're fighting about or who said what or why. Don't try and figure out their motivations for every fight like a play by play. You'll never be able to do it. Why? You're not your mother and you're not your father. What they feel is what they feel while with or against each other. Don't rationalize it. Pull out of that headspace. You're not supposed to be there. Only understand that they're very different people and they will be whatever they have to be.

 

Do you have hobbies? When things are stressful for me (usually from work, sometimes with family), I turn to the outdoors, comedy clubs and spoil myself in different ways. This means I recharge in other ways without looking for peace or answers from anyone else. There is absolutely no way you can decode everything that you feel or see in your world around you. Not everything is easily explainable or predictable. Sometimes it also takes a little time for situations to unravel themselves. I've practiced doing less, listening more. This means listening without getting emotionally invested but still ensuring that you do what you have to do and take responsibility for your commitments. In your case, it's being a daughter and it's also about finishing school.

 

You can do it. Keep your mind clear and don't let it get too fogged up with your anxiety and worries. Don't build it up in your head. This season will pass like any other in the wind. You'll be just fine. Your exams should be around the corner in the next two weeks. Stay focused on exam time and go to the library to study or some place familiar like a coffeeshop or cafe to work on note cards and final assignments. Are you also worried about your exams? How are your courses coming along?

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I presume they're staying together "for the kids". My parents did that for 15 years and it was so, so damaging to us.

 

I would spend as much time with friends as possible and get involved in school activities (no matter what level you are). I went to my friends' houses a lot. Unfortunately we didn't live close enough or I'd have been at my cousins' homes as much as possible too.

 

I would also read a LOT in my room when I was a kid. I loved books.

 

And you're not responsible for how your parents conduct their marriage. You're a good person who just happened to be in the family you're in. They're probably good people too, but they need to learn to manage their behavior better. But, again, that is not your responsibility.

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Well since you say they are good parents when they are one-on-one with you then put your focus on that and perhaps go to your college's psychology department and ask to see a counselor to help you to process the way they relate to one another so that you don't pick up their bad habits in your own relationship(s). You tuition should cover the cost of therapy. (?)

 

Have you sat down with your mom or dad (whomever you are most comfortable with) and told them how anxious and anxiety ridden their relating and lack of it makes you feel? If you have no fear of them beating you for disclosing your fears and trepidation and sadness over their dysfunction then why wouldn't you talk to them maturely about this? I know I would be.

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Well, unfortunately I don't think there is too much you can do regarding their relationship. For some reason, they are either fine to keep going with their love/hate relationship, or they don't break up for financial (or other) reasons. Do you have brothers and sisters?

 

I think it's OK to open up to your parents and talk to them about how it makes you feel. Maybe that might even take that into consideration and not fight in front of you as much. But I think you can't break up or change their relationship because that's their decision.

 

I think your main focus should be your own life, such as finishing college and planning to move out. You are doing the right thing by focusing on self-improvement, reading self-help articles. Do you also work? Do you have hobbies? I think once you move out, things get better with parents. Like, not that they drastically change, but it gets better because you only see them sometimes and appreciate the time you do see them. And seeing them in small doses makes it OK.

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If you're in college, find a way to enroll in a dorm or roommate situation to get out on your own. If this means taking fewer credits to support the time for a job, then so be it.

 

Most of us have not has ideal childhoods. We either learn to navigate within the household, or we fly the coop and leave it. Either way, we are not in charge of managing anyone else's relationships. As long as they aren't fighting, move your focus onto more productive problems to solve--for your Self.

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I'm trying out meditation and reading a lot of self-help articles, it's been really helpful. I'm not as sad as I used to be about this. I 'm taking control of my life and my own emotions but still, sometimes, I can't help but feel trapped and miserable.

 

You are on the right track then, this is a positive... and that's what you need to stay focused on OP. There is nothing you can do about their relationship, all you can do is empower yourself to find some freedom from your situation.

 

If possible, start seeking options to stay elsewhere. And I don't necessarily mean moving out today or even next month... just sit down and figure out exactly what it will take to move out, and start taking little bites out at a time until you are there. It will help you feel more grounded and focused on a solution if you are working towards your goal of getting out of there.

 

Until then... try to practice some empathy for them. While it's understandable that the fighting has caused you pain... just think about how much pain it has caused them. Don't take on their conflict... when you hear them fighting, disconnect from the situation... go out to be with friends, do things to distract yourself, whatever you need to do to get through the moment... and keep up with the meditation as that will help you with acceptance and processing your emotions.

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