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Tough family situation ... any advice? ?
At age 27, I lost my job to COVID, and have been since September staying with family while working on my MA degree and collecting EI for income. I of course pay rent and am actively looking for another job, but right now the job market is tough.
Anyhow, my parents divorced in October 2017, and things have been nasty between them since. Mom insists dad was a serial cheater, dad insists he never so much as looked at another woman and believes mom is mentally/emotionally unstable, and even after so much time has passed, things just don't seem to be getting better.
Mom has said she doesn't want me to visit dad and his new girlfriend, as she says doing so would hurt her. Dad says he'd like to spend time with me. Mom even ran into his new girlfriend at the supermarket last night, and this apparently culminated in mom shouting at her in the store and ramming her cart into hers. This is just a glimpse of the dysfunction which has taken place.
It's tough because my father messages me and asks me to stay with him, yet mom says it'd hurt her if I did so. Not to make this about me, but I feel as though I've regressed to childhood and my parents are using me as an emotional pawn in their hate for each other.
I'll be finished my program in August and plan to move away, as I think some space would be healthy, and I also struggle with addiction issues, and it's frankly hard to stay the course in light of the chaos that is our family life.
In the meantime, do you have any advice?
- GoodLv 61 month ago
You are 27. You are not a kid. You make your own
decisions. Your mother does not make them for you.
Your mom doesn't have to know you visit your dad.
It's not her business. She is trying to use you to hurt
your dad. It sounds like your mom has a couple of
Your dad is offering you a place to get away from your
mom. I suspect you have more issues with her than
just what you say here. You don't have to stay with
him, but don't let your mom keep you from him.
As a father, I would feel like you were taking sides if
you didn't visit once a week.
You are 27 years old. Tell your Mom that you are going over to see your Dad. Before you leave, ask your dad if you can stay there if your mom throws a fit. Then if she does throw a fit stay at your dads until your mom comes back to her senses. If she doesn't, then you are better off at your dads.
with only what you said here, your mom is the entire problem. she really and actually needs professional syke help and you shouldnt let her drag you down with her. no matter how much it hurts her, which is part of her syke problem to manipulate you, you got to confront her about it that she needs the help. it wont sink it completely right away but eventually it will and with your support she will get help, hopefully. how can your dad not see this and want to keep you away from it? so him asking you to stay with him is a logical thing of him to want. to bad he didnt see it before they broke up so he could also help your mom to get help. its often a fine line between just thinking someone is hateful and toxic to being able to tell they have a medical syke problem. especially if they lived with that person for many years prior without that problem while it slowly got worse. so please dont blame him for it ending between them. after all, you didnt really know it either, did you? and not to blame yourself at the same time then also, right?
support your mom, ask for your dad's support for you to do this. he does not have to help you, just support you while you do it. it wouldnt be fair to his new wife for him to be going all out for his ex wife when there are others who can do it perfectly well instead. get your mom the help she needs, even if its an extra load while you are studying cuz in the end you will thank yourself that you did. she will thank you and your dad will thank you. probably even your step mom will thank you. everyone who knows and cares for her will thank you. you live with her, you are closest to her, she will be more confident in you being the one to lead this charge no matter how much she initially resents you for it, and she will. you wont see her more angry and upset than you will when you confront her and all the following up until she concedes and cooperates. most importantly, you cant do this alone, you need to know how to help her so you need to get help to know how to help her. go ask your or any doctor what to do.
- 1 month ago
Yes.. find a friend and move out of this drama scene. Who needs this? You have a mother and father and your relationship with both parents are necessary.. but not the daily life drama. At the end of the day, he is your dad and she is your mom, and you should not have to hear one parent putting the other one down. That is not good for any rock solid relationship in the future.
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- PearlLv 71 month ago
maybe you should move out
- Anonymous1 month ago
My advice is to find housing elsewhere - a furnished room, a relative, a friend. You plan to live there until August? Foolish.
- FoofaLv 71 month ago
Tell Dad you'll meet him in a "neutral" place. If the girlfriend doesn't live with him this could be his home. If she does live with him it would be some other place. It's not fair for Mom to ask that you not see your father but it's somewhat understandable why she'd prefer you not interact with the new love interest.
- Anonymous1 month ago
Ugh. You're absolutely right that you're being used as a pawn, and this is always wrong, regardless of a "child's" age. However, based on the way you wrote this, one parent is playing the guilt card and the other is reacting to it. So yeah, your mom is being very unfair to you. Whether or not your dad cheated, this has nothing to do with you. It's between them. I don't know about your mom being mentally ill, but clearly she needs better coping mechanisms.
On what to do, it sounds like you might want to spend some time at dad's. You already know living with mom is stressful. Before you do this, have a chat with her where you tell her you love & appreciate her blah blah, but the man she hates is still your dad and you want to see him for a bit. Don't let this devolve into drama or negotiations. Just calmly make it clear you aren't abandoning her or shifting allegiance. You just want to see your father.
Do you really have to wait until August to get out? If I were you, once you get to dad's, start looking at rooms wanted on craigslist. These are extremely popular right now, because they are cheap, easy to get into, leases are more flexible...and they can be fun! Just do the common sense stuff like meet the roomies, learn what they're doing and how they like living there. I do think this will be easier if you do it from dad's home, though.
- Anonymous1 month ago
You need to see a therapist and get some help with your addictions. No wonder your folks are trying to use you as a pawn. You should have put your foot down and told them both to CAN IT a long time ago. You're going to be 30 in a few years, and it's way past time they started treating you like an adult. Yeah, you definitely need to MOVE OUT, all right. You never should have moved back home, even WITH the pandemic. That's the major part of your problem now. Because you've been away and have had a taste of what it's like to live independently, your behavior and attitude are very different now than they were, and your parents don't really know how to deal with that. On top of this, your parents are trying to get you to take sides in their quarrels with EACH OTHER, which is the absolute WORST thing you can do. They need to work things out for themselves, without you getting involved.
I'd start looking for another job and a place to live NOW, and not wait for your graduate program to be done. And as soon as you find something, you need to pack up and LEAVE.
- blankLv 61 month ago
I only have "advice" that you are already painfully aware of: you need to do whatever you can to stay out of the middle and do NOT let mum nor dad use you as that pawn.
That said - I wish you had mentioned specifically which family you are staying with currently. I assume it is neither mum nor dad (which is good). IF you are staying with either one - can you find another place? Just so you can appear "neutral."
As far as how to handle mum and dad: straight talk. Adult to adult(s). Something like "I love you both and you KNOW it is unfair to ask me to choose between you. Your issues are just that - YOUR issues. DO NOT make them mine. IF you even hint at trying to use me to hurt mum (or dad) then you WILL see less of me. IF YOU cannot live with that.... and choose to see less of me... then THAT is on YOU."
Then stick to your guns. Realize that if you do see either parent, one or both may try to lean on you for emotional support... they may try to vent to you. Although you love them and there is nothing really 'wrong' per se with that, resist all such conversations. Although you will want to help by listening and letting them unburden themselves to you - doing so will send the wrong message and start you down a slippery slope of one or both of them expecting you to choose sides.
If they start to do that - stop them. Remind them you love them, but because they have so much pain and the issues are so great between them - you cannot go there with them. They need to see professional counseling to work through their issues - not try to do so with their child(ren).
Best of luck. Sorry you are in this position - but if you set some ground rules and stick to them.... you should be able to get through this mine field alive and kicking.