Please help fix my family

Reply Wed 13 Sep, 2017 01:27 am
Well, and fix my dad.

My parents relationship has always been rocky. They married young and immigrated, but I don't think they were meant for each other. They stuck through for years even when my mom cheated multiple times. My dad is a very good nice man. He even disliked my mom's guy friend that makes romantic advances on her...but allowed him to live under our roof because my dad didn't have evidence and felt bad for this guy friend of my mom's.

My mom is a shitty character even till now. Gambles at night, cleans the house once every 2 weeks, give food to us kids, do rides, and that's it. Her personality is tough to love. She's loveable but a force to reckon with and holds months of grudge. Btw, there is no romance between my parents for years now, maybe...12-14 years? My mom only shows love when she's happy which involves money 99% of the time.

My dad have always been a good man. He gave us many strong advices on morals and daily life and love. He is respected by family, friends, and in general. He works 60+ hours, which is like 9+ hours every day without rest. He comes home and still works on his laptop for 2 hours before sleep. He doesn't spend money on himself at all except maybe a nice TV, sound system, and car but those purchases been more than 5 years ago. It's been 5 years since he bought something for himself other than food and vacation travel with family. BUT

TO THE POINT of this story....My dad got caught cheating that's been going on for 8 years. He would visit Vietnam for family as we have family over there. He had a friend that introduced him this hooker? not sure, but a girl that slept with him. He visits Vietnam every 2-3 years and would have sex maybe a few times. Most his cheating is on his phone calls and texting; with my mom's cheating and neglect and emotional abuse, this girl was an angel compare to my mom even if she is a hooker. He finally has someone to be happy just talking with. It wasn't romantic relationship but a paid friend with benefits? He would send money to this girl so she doesn't have to sleep with men, I guess because she was a hooker. Yea, She's probably a hooker. Anyway....these news that a good trusting father like him had been cheating for 8 years broke us. Well, it broke everyone but me because I support his cheating. It's that bad with my mom and I want my dad to finally be happy and accepted by someone.

Here's the thing. I talk to my mom. All trust is obviously gone and she really shamed him to the point of even calling his family in Vietnam about it. To shame him in front of his parents in a phone call. SHAME and losing integrity and honor in asian culture? you can imagine how devastating that is. I talked to my dad. That paid female friend with benefits (not gf, not romantic) was just a thing he needed as he has no one else. He comes home to an unloving neglecting and emotionally/verbally abusing wife. You can see that I totally understand his position.

My dad fucked up is he should've came clean sooner and got a divorce BUT it wasn't a romantic relationship...My dad truly still loves my mom. He says no other girl compares to my mom when I ask wouldn't he be happy with a divorce finally? He says no. He loves and likes my mom (you can love someone and dislike their personality). He regrets it so bad and cried many different times and said he'd do anything my mom says from now on to make her good again. He says sorry multiple times to us individually and truly regrets it. He owned up to his mistakes as well and said he made so many mistakes along the way.

My real question is....how can I fix my dad? He's broken, definitely in the wrong, shamed, stripped of 99% as a respected person, cornered, defeated, and so on. How can I help fix my parent's relationship? How can I fix my dad back to the man that he was without pressuring him so much to change that he may drop the ball, run/hide/give up because he feels so unworthy and everything is wrong about him? I don't want him to give up. He own up to his mistakes and willing to do whatever. What do my parents need to do? and what my dad has to do? to fix ourselves into a good family again. I don't want our past to hold us back. I don't want my mom looking at him with hate for the rest of his life. Oh my gosh. for sure my mom will FOREVER use this against my dad. She always bring up past grudges and mistakes. always. Damn, my dad is screwed for life but he doesn't want a divorce...I actually support his cheating and to divorce and be happy with another women but it wasn't a romantic relationship with that other girl. And my dad still loves my mom even with her horrible personality/character.

Please help. Any criticism towards me, my dad, mom, etc is welcomed even if it may seem harsh or cruel. I'd like to hear as many opinions as possible. write it down please.
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Reply Wed 13 Sep, 2017 06:16 am
This is not your job.

You cannot be the self-appointed 'fixer' of either of them or their marriage. You have either been privy to more than you ever should have been told (for God's sake, I have no idea when my parents last had sex, nor do I think it is any of my business), or you are conjecturing without the full picture. Either way, stop.

You are not going to be the white knight in here, and make them all better. You are not going to magically wash away his guilt or fix her personality - which he seems to be okay with, BTW.

So what can you do?

Be kind to both of them as they're going through a rough patch. Try to have some sympathy for their feelings and don't be difficult to either of them. And suggest they get into counseling.

This is a job for an impartial professional.

You are neither.
Reply Wed 13 Sep, 2017 06:34 am
Thanks for the reply. though it isn't my 'job', I refuse to stand around and do nothing as the people I love tear each other....well, my mom tearing my dad apart as he cries helplessly for his horrible actions.

So far, I'm going to make an appointment with a therapist and see if that can help guide my dad to handle the situation before it just gets into a worse direction.

So far I told my dad I still love him and I'm here for him always. I told him we need him to talk to a person that can help him professionally. My mom won't like therapy because there's nothing wrong with her and probably only sees my dad as the issue to fix. My mom started self injury/suicide threats to guilt my dad. I took away every possible kitchen weapon; little did I knew she had a sharp one hidden on her the whole time...I'll be keeping all kitchen utility weapons for the week. we'll order take-out/to-go-food.

Any other suggestions are welcomed.

Update: They just stopped talking 10 minutes ago and went to their rooms. It's 5:32am now in california. So far, it was 3 hours of lecture and letting it all out on my dad with her list of guilt and shame on him as he cried broken. They called the hooker from Vietnam and tried telling her off, was anti-climatic with a whatever, you're the bitch - from the hooker and hung up. I guess she had more clients to care for.

Edit: I forgot to mention I told my mom I supported her taking it out on my dad and she looked totally satisfied at the end of the night destroying my dad lol I told her I support her and way to go, but don't ever talk about harming yourself again or I'll get mad again. (I was very rude and angry at her face when I found out she started false suicide guilting my dad but I wasn't taking any chances because she self harmed before).

For now I think I'm in good standing with both of them if they need me. I just wish to help my mom with her controlling issues by using all the guilt she always seem to have memorized every single one. She's not great with communication.

TO THE POINT: I just need help what to do with my stubborn mom to do therapy session with dad. That way I'll save $150 for making a seperate appointment for my mom.
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Reply Wed 13 Sep, 2017 06:57 am
This has been going on for so many years that it needs a professional to help sort it out.

For sure your parents have lived a long life together of mutual neglect and mutual abuse. One wonders why no divorce. But couples stay together for reasons no one understands, confusing everyone especially the children, who witness all this dysfunctional behavior.

Your father's affair is probably more of a 'financial shame' than a moral shame. It sounds like his over working resulted in neglect of his wife's needs too. The affair has been exposed and the financial drain will end. There is much focus on money here in your family - ahead of emotionsl needs.

Your mother's behavior (self harming) sounds disturbing and intervention is a must.

Your role might be to give them the name of a family/marriage counselor or contact her Dr. abd tell him what your mother is doing.

That's all you can do.

Is there a trusted adult who has influence with your mother?
Reply Wed 13 Sep, 2017 07:21 am
You have really good insight. My parents haven't been romantic with each other but they do support each other through troubles of life, like a friend. I don't even know if they can or want to rekindle that lost romantic relationship...I'm sure divorce won't take place but what kind of relationship will they have now after this????? What relationship should they look for if not a romantic one, while still married??

My mom doesn't have anyone I would consider a good influence or that I can even talk to.

babbling: I'm not sure what you mean by financial shame, but yes...money is a focus ahead of emotional. They married young and immigrated with me as a baby. Dreams of having a good life but realizing reality is difficult made my mom bitter about her situation in life. In asian culture, the man suppose to provide for the wife when he promises my wife's parents he would take care of her. My mom may felt bitter not living the life she envisioned and expected. My dad did his best to keep us surviving and provided. He was young without time to worry about romance. He needed to focus in securing an income for us first before anything. Love doesn't feed or shelter us. I guess their relationship had always been a mess the moment my mom cheated on my dad; all romance was downhill from there.

possible useless extra information of their past: I believe my dad's work plays a part in the neglect of his wife but it only started because being home with her was too stressful with her nagging and complaints. She cheated on him in the past; though I just recently heard of her reason to get money so she can help buy my dad his first car and she only slept with the guy once. This was 20 years ago. Another guy she somewhat cheated with but not physically was 8-10 years ago. My dad's reason to give in to have some sort of relationship with this hooker was because of that guy and my mom (which gone on for 2 years and even lived in our house for a year. I would see them hold hands in car but not much else I seen).

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Reply Fri 15 Sep, 2017 12:23 am
Your story has contradictions, like your mother cheated on your father several times and later you say one or two times.

Your parents are not the only couple having problems as lack of romanticism, and I can't remember seeing romanticism in people from Asia, like Vietnam. I just know two families from that country, so I can't say that you are expecting too much or if you are correct with your claim.

The point is that they have already learn to live that way, and you just must love them and respect them the way they are.

About their affairs, the same, such is a problem between both of them, at this point in their lives, the less you try to intervene, the better.

Your participation must be needed solely if they hurt one to another or if they hurt to themselves.

If you see them indifferent, evading one to another, not talking to each other, no romanticism involved at all, a third person involved as lover of one of them, all of that is their life.

It is understood that you might wish having the perfect family, but everything seems to lead for a broken marriage that has learned to tolerate one to another.

You learn from what you have lived in your house and avoid doing the same the day you decide to have your own family. It doesn't taste nice so don't try to eat the same.

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Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2018 07:01 pm
Not wishing to upset but the people that need to be fixed are your folks. If one or neither is not willing to accept & do anything about there problems then IMHO nothing will get better. Typically the first step to fixing a "problem" is admitting you have one.
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