My Parents on the Brink of Divorce

Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2003 06:58 am
I don't want to leave either of them by themselves. I'm worried more about my father though. I know my mother can take care of herself. In fact that's sort of what she wants. She wants this divorce much more than my father does. But my father has never gone grocery shopping or mopped the floor

Isn't it about time that your father learned to take care of himself, or do you plan to give up your own life, and take care of him forever? He was around before you were born, and existed without your help.

I'm afraid that when my brother moves out against the wishes of my father, they're never going to talk to each other again. What should I advise my brother to do? He's moving out

Your brother has made his decision. The best thing that you can do is be there for him emotionally.

Then there's the house. We have a very big house and it wouldn't make much sense for just 1 person to live in it.

It DOES seem to make sense to your mother. After all, it is she, and not you, who is the owner of the house.

ye110man- It looks like your mother is a very wise woman. She is protecting her kids from being involved "in the mess". Besides that being an advantage for you and your brother, it will give her and your father time to work things out, one way or the other, without having the added problem of dealing with the two of you. It will make things much clearer for them.

What bothers me, is that YOU seem to want to control the situation. You can't, and if you attempt to intercede, you will simply be muddying the waters, and causing unnecessary complications.

As far as your father speaking to your brother, that is between your brother and your father. IMO, you need to butt out, and get on with your own life!
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Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2003 07:42 am
I agree with Phoenix.

Not your divorce, not your house, not your problem.

Now, your father is your father, and your brother is your brother, and your brother is your father's son--and their relationship is between the two of them. Not your problem.

Your impulse to DO SOMETHING is natural. If the situation were a fire or an earthquake or a hostage situation, doing something would be useful. Since the situation is an emotional tangle between your parents--and now your father and your brother--your role is much harder. You must MYOB--and that is all you can do.

What is going on in your own life that you can get completely involved in. You need diversion from family upheaval.

Good luck.
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Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2003 07:51 am
yMan - i can appreciate that you're worried about everybody, but they are all grown-ups.

As the doyennes have said so clearly - Not your divorce, not your house - I will differ slightly in that the fallout is already impacting you, and that is a problem for you. But what happens to the marriage and the house is their business.

I'm still a little concerned when I look back to your initial post, and read again that you had to be prevented from getting physical with your brother when you felt he hadn't been appropriately deferential to your father (or at least that's my read of it).

Maybe you would benefit from some counselling to help you get over the stresses in the family as the divorce/family split becomes more imminent.
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Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2003 11:29 am
On being deferential to either parent -

I think respectful tone of voice to everybody - and from everybody - is important. I am not a big fan of sarcasm or taunting when speaking about an issue, much less yelling, but it is a life long process for folks to learn to speak their mind without being that way. People will see the same situation differently quite often and sometimes have so much emotion about it and so much time invested in thinking one way about it, that simple discussion of different opinions is hard to accomplish without rancor.

I was raised in a home where I was never allowed to "sass", which seemed to be defined as answering back at all. Sometimes it is smarter to not answer for a moment, but not in the long term, because then communication dies. Your brother and father, and mother and father, all will have some communicating to do. I don't think you should be mad at one or the other for losing their temper and saying nondeferential words, as it is hard not to when one is very wrought up about another person's point of view, especially when it affects your life.
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