Parents are very likely divorcing after 36 years of marriage. Trying to not take sides, but my mother is about 95% in the wrong?

After knowing each other for over 40 years (married for 26) my parents are in the early stages of divorce. Long story short my mother has severe mental issues from growing up in a brutal family. Her parents showed her little affection, support. Her mother was extremely controlling, domineering, manipulative and negative to the point that most of my cousins even noticed it (aren't grandparents/grandkids supposed to be allies?). She wore the pants in the family (loved my late grandpa, but he was passive) My folks moved about 1500 miles away to another state 26 years ago. However the distance made no difference on how my mom turned out. Mother like daughter... my mom applied the same dysfunctional behavior towards my dad and towards her kids (I got the worst being oldest). She always has to be in control of everything due to some deep rooted insecurity.

Since I was a teenager I knew there was always something wrong with my mom's behavior. My dad was no wimp, but he did MUCH MUCH more to please my mother than the other way around. He wanted to be a good husband and father. He did the best job he could.

Anyway 3 years ago my dad made a career change to become a entrepreneur. He planned and saved up plenty of money for this occasion. The industry he works in now builds on itself, so the first couple years are rough. However my mom feels like it isn't "appropriate" that he works from home. She refused to understand that it takes time for him to build his business (and it is growing slowly but surely). He was the breadwinner for almost the entire marriage.

Anyway I don't have space to go into details of something things my mom has done (e. g. sometimes violent behavior). However my brother is telling me not to take sides, but it's really hard. I'm proud of my dad for finally standing his ground. He doesn't want a divorce but mother refuses to get counseling or admit fault in any way shape or form. I just hate seeing good men get screwed over.

I'm also going to comment that I recently realized that I have ruined otherwise good relationships because of some of the deep rooted issues I have with my mom (hate the word "mommy" issues but I guess that is what it is). 3 years ago I met the perfect woman; smart, pretty, independent and loved me immensely. For some twisted stupid reason I lost physical interest in her. I could never put my finger on it but i just dawned on me that this girl was the exact OPPOSITE of what my mom was


Most Helpful Girl

  • She will find ways to always make you feel less. I think your mom's behavior may worsen because she's going to be realizing that she has no control whatsoever, but your dad needs to take his life back and find his happy ending. It sounds like that your dad is not the only one that needs to stand up to her. I don't get how people can just have this repetitive cycle of behavior but blame everything on their parents but they turn around you the same exact shit. (referring to your mom). He needs to be careful with just leaving the house unless she kicked him out. Because in a lot of states that's considered abandonment. I don't think you necessarily ruined a relationship, you just ruined that particular relationship and the good thing about that is you can build and learn from that and learn that you don't want the same qualities in your partner as your mother has.
    As far as taking sides I mean you know what is what, isn't. It's not a war. You are a grown adult and are able to make the decisions that you feel like you need to make.

    • This is by the worse I have ever seen her act. However this is the first time my dad has really stood up to her. I think she thinks that if she goes berzerk my dad will cave in, but he's not (I'm proud of him). Also despite always being a moderate drinker (drug free her entire life) lately she has been drinking a lot. Gone from 1-2 glasses a night to 4-5. She is an angry drunk. This has happened only recently. First time ever.

      I can count the times she has ever apologized to me for anything on one hand and sincere compliments on the other. I have never seen her in my entire life apologize and/or build up my dad in front of me. Strangely my sister says that she says lots of positive things about me and my dad when we are not around? My sister also comment that mom actually admitted to her that she made some major mistakes on how she treated me growing up.

      Anyway this self-realization about my own dating decisions only hit me recently. It's a bitter pill to swallow.

    • Show All
    • Understandable you don't want to discuss it. But yes better late than never. Still have long life ahead of you. Just heal and move foward. Just remember you can't move forward looking backwards. :) you and your father will be alright. 😊

Most Helpful Guy

  • There's nothing wrong with taking a side. Respect and gratitute should be earned by a parent, not expected. Your dad earned it, it seems.

    • my mom DEMANDS it, literally. She wants me to respect her but she does not respect me or my dad. I've had it with her narcissistic bullshit.

    • You have every right to be fed up with it, in my opinion.

Recommended Questions

Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 3

  • Honestly it really is better to not take any sides because it has nothing to do with you. Just tell your dad you support his choices and that will be enough until after the whole thing is over.

    • My dad left the house and is staying at my place right now. Although it's none of my business it has BECOME my business unfortunately

    • Like I said, Tell him you support his choices but don't take sides otherwise you'll end up as a very unhappy playing piece

  • You are not obligated to do anything other than what you feel is right for YOU. Always remember that. I'd by lying though if I said it was easy living that way, you'll surely meet opposition. But you'll be happier.

    When my parents got divorced when I was seven, I wasted the rest of my childhood and teens trying to please both sides. But like you I couldn't ignore the fact that my mother (although right for leaving my dad) was nearly always in the wrong. She was toxic to me. So after thirteen years of trying to be a tolerable daughter, I finally gave up and started to focus on me instead.
    My dad was always proud of me and he still is, but I will never satisfy my mother.

    DO NOT do what I did. Make yourself happy. Parents who willingly hurt their families don't deserve anything but what their children are happy to give.

    Best of luck OP, I have a feeling you might need it. And stay strong.

  • Your brothers right. At the end of the day its not your marriage

    • yeah but my dad also left the house and staying at my place right now. I did get pulled into this.

What Guys Said 2

  • If you want your dad to be happy, just let it happen. In the long run, he would be better off without her.

  • 26 years but you're at least 30. The math isn't adding up

    • that was a typo, it's actually 36 years.

    • Show All
    • no, they had me after they got married. They were very conservative.

    • Oh, you said married for 26 years but if you're 30+ then I didn't get it.

Recommended myTakes