So I've recently found myself in the middle of my father and stepmother's combusting marriage at the awkward age of 24. It seems to be the result of my dad's retirement eclipsing my stepmother getting newly addicted to pain meds eclipsing one another. Both of my parents have married several times and had several ex-spouses which all seem to end in some calamity. I feel that my life's relationships suffer as a result, myself not really trusting many and always feeling an impending disaster around the corner. But this isn't really about my problems. I've been with them for the holidays for less than 48 hours and the tension is palpable, filled with explosive arguments and slamming doors. In a selfish way, I feel like I shouldn't have to listen to this racket as I heard it in both of my parent's households all through my life. I take pride in the fact that my girlfriend and I treat each other with far more dignity than my parents ever did, but here I am in the bowels of hell, not really sure what to do or say. My dad would naturally expect his only son to be his ally but I have to see the situation for what it is and recognize that they're both being idiots. My natural instincts tell me to just stay quiet and avoid the situation but I care about both of them and don't really like the notion of my Dad being alone in his retirement years.
"My natural instincts tell me to just stay quiet and avoid the situation......." In the situation I would say GO with your instinct. It's their marriage and they are responsible for the chaos in it. No need to take sides IMO.
Tell your dad you will see him later, and go. You had to listen to this when you were a kid, you don't have to now. You are not responsible for the choices he makes, even if it means him being alone in his retirement years, any more than he is responsible for the choices you make. Get some counseling, too. All those years of erosive fighting around you have had to had an impact, and even if not, it will help you now, in learning what lines to draw with your parents behaving in such an immature and off-balance way.
Neither then, nor now, are you responsible for your dad's happiness or lack thereof. You are only responsible to try to make yourself happy, and not to visit his stupid patterns on your future children.
I guess to help answer your questions, no, i live in Los Angeles and work as a chef. I moved out on my own at 17, partly to escape the conflicts. The worst part of this is they are taking care of my 4 year old niece who witnesses all of this. She even came up to me earlier today while I was in another room avoiding the chaos, and said "Why is Grandpa being mean to Grandma?" and it just killed me because I wish somebody could've answered the same question for me at that age.
Hi there and welcome to the forum. Oh, a home in which there is a failing relationship can be an awful place to be. I would say that your step mom's addiction to pain meds supercedes all else and maybe your dad is much more aware of it as he is now home more due to retirement. But it is impossible to have a relationship with someone deep in addiction problems. I'd sincerely contact whomever's child is there (the niece) and tell them to make sure this child is safeguarded from the fighting, tension and really, a home in which pain pill addiction is happening---- is no place for a child. She shouldn't be living or staying there.
But you, lucky, are an adult with your own life. These people do not define who you are. They are your history, sure. But let them be a guide to what you don't want in your life. My parents divorced when I was in college and there were qualities about my dad that I knew that I didn't want in a partner. So, the key with that is to be VERY aware of what those qualities are and to set your expectations high. I have not repeated my parents marrital demise as I chose differently and did all that I personally could to ensure that my relationships were sound and on good footing. I looked for negative patterns and actively changed them. You have to be a little introspective but you seem like an intelligent girl. You can do this. Then you carve out whatever kind of life you want for yourself.
Example, if you want a traditional kind of holiday that is peaceful and happy---- you create a family life condusive to that.
Therapy always helps get us to where we want to be. Good investment in your future to explore these things with a professional. Lots of luck sweetie
Hi frost, one thing that ive learned in life is not to mix family or neighbors into to my life. Just let it be as they have created all that they have. They created it because they wanted it for what ever crazy reason. Just be thankfull that all the madness has given you insight into your own special relationship.
Good have come from this in that it was a tool to show you how not to be.
Dont get involved.
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