Family Never Getting Along

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have been having a problem with my family for about the past few years. I am only 22 and maintain the house and vehicles more than anyone else in the home. I currently attend school so I can one day take over this house financially, I have put so much energy into this house. I mostly do everything besides pay all the bills, just some bills. The problem is that I am always getting talked down too as if what I do is never good enough. I do all of the driving in the house. My step father is 46 and has never had nor wanted a license, so that leaves everything on me for grocerices etc etc. I think my mother hates me she keeps putting me down saying how dissapointed she is in me, as If I am such a bad person. I have no kids or no student loan debt nothing the typical 22 year old would have. It seems like I can never win with my family no matter what I do. Nothing is making me happy anymore, I have alot of stuff but its no fun when you have to maintain it all on your own. I drive a fancy car and because of this it makes my step father seem less of a man. So she takes her anger out on me. About 6 years back it was just my mother and I in the home, so I sort of took over the maintence roll then. Now that my new step father is here he doesnt know anything about keeping a house in tact nor anything car related. So instead of thanking me for all of the energy and time I have put into this entire house, I get talked down too simply for doing more than my lazy stepfather does. Am I truly doing something wrong, because these constent put downs are annoying, it is almost like my mother has turned on me. My mother and I use to be closer but now its always fued, simply because of other peoples lack of masculine abilities. Is there something else I should be doing. I pay the car note at times, I cut the grass I have transformed this entire house with my bare hands and god given talent, but I just feel like its never enough.

A. Your parents seem never satisfied with what you have done. They don’t appreciate the help that you provide. That is a reflection of them and of their shortcomings and not a reflection of you. It is important that you understand this.

You cannot change the way your parents think. “They are who they are.” It is unfortunate that they do not appreciate you in the manner that you would like or that you may deserve but do not let their treatment of you dictate your self-perception.

In the course of normal human development, one needs to become an independent thinker. This means breaking free from your parents. Practically speaking, this means not necessarily or automatically sharing the thoughts, the opinions or the ideas of one’s parents. It is important to develop your own ideas about the world, who you are and what you should do with your life.

I would highly recommend counseling. You need an independent, objective review of your relationship with your parents. It’s very easy to simply continue the old existing relationship, the one that seemingly has always existed. However things are different now. You were a child but now you are beginning your adult life. This is a qualitatively different period of your life. It requires a shift. It is now your time to go forth into the world and begin your journey. It is time now to live your life and that is true for all persons at this stage of life. I could write a hundred pages on this topic but it would be far better for you to see a therapist who can relate this to your personal situation.

In many cases, breaking free from one’s parents also means no longer living with them. It may be time for you to move out and on with your life. I wish you the best.

Dr. Kristina Randle
@DrKRandle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Nov 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Family Never Getting Along. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/11/05/family-never-getting-along/