My parents argue regularly, seems that it only gets worse, what am I to do?

The situation my family is in is a bit unusual considering how long my parents have been married and the types of problems that would probably make anyone wonder why they're still together after all those years. They've both been married for 35 years which is definitely a long time. My father met my mother in the mid-1970s down in Panama when he was stationed in the Army and following their marriage in 1975, they've travelled around to different places such as Germany where my oldest brother was born in 1980. Eventually, I was born here in the US in 1986 and my youngest brother was born here as well in 1989. Today, I'm 24 years old and both of my brothers are 21 and 30, the youngest being autistic. In addition, my mother had a brain aneurysm in 2002 and ever since, it's been a gradual decline in terms of their relationship.

For some years now, my parents have argued about money, which seems to be a common theme in this household. My mother complains that my father doesn't ever give her money but he does buy things for her (and himself) sometimes pretty expensive stuff. But a lot of times when she wants something, my father will get pissed off because of lack of money, despite that he'll buy certain items, sometimes expensive ones. Also, I've come to realize that my father has promiscuous tendencies which is nothing new (goes back many years) and my mother (and myself more recently) will regularly step in to prevent him from further carrying out those tendencies. My mother and I have continuously caught him checking out porn which is of the gross kind and signing up for dating sites, which I had tried combating by adding a filter block, but somehow he manages to find the unblocked sites. He has also "stalked" other women in public, which I quote because he tries to do it without my mother knowing of his intentions but she has witnessed these habits time and time again. In one instance some years ago, he was at the mall alone and a group of women complained to mall security because they accused him of stalking them in the food court, but I wasn't there to witness it so I'm only going by what I know. Regardless, every time my mother would confront him about it, they would get into arguments about it, sometimes to the point where they don't talk for a day or two, and normally not settling anything other than the fact that he continues on with his habit and seemingly doesn't care. About two months ago, my oldest brother invited his 37-year-old girlfriend over to our house, which was uneventful at first but over the course of the month, my parents got into pretty heated arguments because of the way my father would act around her, especially since she's been staying over at our house. In one particular incident, my father comes downstairs after an argument several hours before and was getting ready to eat dinner and my brother's girlfriend was sitting on the couch nearby, next thing my mother comes into the room and sits down on the couch and my father leaves to go back up to his bedroom.

Well tonight, my parents just got into yet another argument after coming home from doing some Christmas shopping, this time it almost got physical to the point where my brother and I had to separate the two. This is not typical as they rarely ever get physical between each other so I was shocked to see it get to that point. Being that it's close to Christmas and all, I'm hoping everything will settle down within the next few days but seeing how things have played out so far, I don't think they will be talking to each other anytime soon. My mother has brought divorce up time and time again but I think she's reluctant to divorce because she'll have nowhere else to stay here since her family still lives in Panama, not to mention my youngest brother is autistic and I don't think she wants to take him with her since it would cost too much for a passport and plane tickets. I also don't want to look into moving because I go to college here and all my friends are here. On the other hand, I've never visited my mom's home country although I would love to visit someday. As for my father, I'm aware he has a problem with the things he does, but I'm afraid to tell him because I don't want things to get even worse than they already are. I feel that he definitely needs counseling of some kind though. Therefore, I'm sort of stuck in the middle of this and I've tried to keep things within the family at a neutral standpoint but my father has different things in mind which I've tried helping but it seems to only get worse.


My mom has tried to get disability because of her condition but is denied because she doesn't have enough credits from working in the past. She can't really work for too many places because of her condition and the fact that her English is so broken (it wasn't too bad before but after her aneurysm, it's worse) that it's hard for most people to understand.

Update 2:

TheOne, I see this more as a family issue, not just a marriage issue. My mom comes to me for advice and to basically tell me not to be like my father so I don't know what else to say.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It really is none of your business.

    It is their marriage.

    Unless you are willing or able to move out and take your Mom with you, she has to make up her mind what she wants.


  • 10 years ago

    My marriage fell apart because of this very thing but I'm a little more forward than most. I am so sorry you are stuck in the middle and thankful you are going to college. I know your mom doesn't feel there are any options for her but she can get on state aid and get a job or got to college. She needs to talk to a lawyer and find out what her options are. After 35 yrs of marriage, I'm sure he will have to pay spousal support. I would help her find out all she needs to know to gain financial and emotional freedom. Look into housing options for you both and for your brother. I think you are the best chance your mom has had finally leading a fulfilling life!!! I wish you well!!!

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