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I Really Want My Mom and Dad to Have a Healthy Relationship

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From a teen in the U.S.: My mom and dad are still married and live together. My dad goes to work at 5am and comes home around 12-1 pm. My mom works at home from 8-5. When my dad gets home, he gets on his video game and plays it until 8-9 pm. He rarely talks to anyone and only occasionally gets up to grab food or use the bathroom.

My mom has been doing every chore around the house, taking care of me, and makes sure my dad and I always have everything we need. My dad does nothing.

My mom is getting very overwhelmed and depressed and she won’t say anything, They have been together for over 10 years, but divorced for a few months and remarried. I’m tired of seeing my mother go through this mental abuse, but neither of us know what to do. I really just want a healthy relationship between my mom and dad, and my dad and I again.

I Really Want My Mom and Dad to Have a Healthy Relationship

Answered by on -

A.

What a hard way to live! I can only guess that your parents remarried after divorce because they found they couldn’t each manage life financially on their own. Or it may be that they support each other is ways that you can’t see. It doesn’t sound like a love match. What they apparently didn’t think about was the impact their arrangement has on you.

Sadly, however much you want to, you can’t change the relationship between your parents. That’s between them.  All you can do is love them and tell each of them how their living arrangement makes you feel. Yelling at them or blaming them won’t be helpful. When people are being scolded, they usually get defensive and don’t listen.

Instead, calmly state how you would like your relationship with each of them to change. Do you want more time having fun with your dad? It’s worth an attempt to ask him to do some things with you. Do you want to relieve some of the stress on your mom? At 15, you could take on some of the chores.

You said that “neither of us know what to do”. That suggests to me that your mother would like a change in her marriage as much as you would, but she doesn’t know how to go about it. You can tell her for me that you can’t help her figure it out — but a therapist can. She would benefit from seeing a mental health counselor to get some guidance and support. If there’s a women’s center in your city, she might also find practical help and support there.

You might also benefit from having a counselor to talk to. Your parents’ relationship is not a good model for love or life as a partner. It might be helpful for you to talk to someone who can give you some perspectives about how to choose a good partner and how to build a relationship that is much better than the one your folks have.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

I Really Want My Mom and Dad to Have a Healthy Relationship

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). I Really Want My Mom and Dad to Have a Healthy Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/11/24/i-really-want-my-mom-and-dad-to-have-a-healthy-relationship/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 22 Nov 2019 (Originally: 24 Nov 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 22 Nov 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.