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My parents are not getting along-What can I do to help?

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

My parents have been married for around 18 years and about one year ago they haven’t seen eye to eye. My dad is a type of teacher who teaches people about having positive attitudes, etc. He’s started trying to make everything opptimistic in his life, but there’s some conflict with my mother. She’s often pessimistic and only thinks about how thing’s effect her. She always blames people for things that go wrong, even if it’s out of thier control. Plus, she rarely blames herself. My mom is very resistant to change and doesn’t like to do anything new. Though, she sometimes does different things. She’s very possesive of her things and doesn’t like to share. My mom always has to be in control and know everything, even though she doesn’t tell us everything. She takes after her father who has a simualar personality. Anyways, my parents haven’t been getting along and I’m worried that things will end badly. My mom has said she will try to change, but I haven’t seen any improvement. What should they do or what can I do?

I am sorry your parents are not getting along. It must be hard for you to have to watch them go through their difficulties. It’s possible your parents will work out their differences. They could attend counseling sessions if they felt it was the right course of action for them. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to help the situation. I know it’s hard not to get involved but its better if you can stay out of it, if that is possible. It’s a problem between two adults that needs to be resolved between two adults. You can try to be supportive to both of them. Hopefully things will work out. Your main job should be to encourage them, at all opportunities, to get counseling. You have identified your mother as having a control problem. A counselor would also quickly identify that if it were the case. If nothing more, your mother should seek qualified counseling to help her with the issues behind her need for control. I do wish you the best of luck.

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