How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question

TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5798
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I felt like i am a bad mum. My son seem to think i am unbearable.

This answer was rated:

I felt like i am a bad mum. My son seem to think i am unbearable. Main thing is he talk disrespectfully XXXXX XXXXX at times. He said its because i yell at his dad a lot and him now.
True but my husband caused a lot of discontent for a long time and he is unteachable/untrainable. He stressed me out. Things are simple. Told him what i needed and most people gets it after a few times but not him over 18 years or more. Some says give up but not me. Its a long story. He is passive agressive and my son feels sorry for him therefore he is now fighting me on his behalf. My son is now 15 years old and i amafraid i will loose him. Most of the time when his father is not around he is better to me and much easier to deal with. i have 3 problems. My son, my husband and myself. People tells me to give up and shut up but how do you not say a word at home? Slightest thing triggers a fight verbally. Sorry cannot sum up my problem with just one question.
I think the easiest is i change but its so hard when i dont think i am in the wrong. I certainly will not put up with my son disrespect and cannot tell myself to shut up it just comes out instantly.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It sounds like there are a number of issues going on here. In order to resolve this problem, each one needs addressed.


One, you feel you cannot get through to your husband. He is passive aggressive towards you and that is causing you to feel upset with no way to resolve it.


Two, your husband's frustrating behavior causes you to express your feelings through how you communicate with your husband, which causes arguments.


Three, your son is seeing how you and your husband are interacting and is interpreting it as you attacking your husband and your husband is the victim. So your son is responding by trying to protect your husband and attacking you.


The main issue is communication between all of you. There are a lot of mixed signals and dysfunctional behavior which is leading to arguments.


You mentioned trying therapy and it only made things worse. It is a good idea to try another therapist. Finding a therapist that can help you is like finding a good doctor. You aren't always successful on the first try. Sometimes you need to search a bit. To be successful in finding a good therapist, try asking for referrals. Talk to your doctor or pastor to get a recommendation. Or you can search on line at


You can also learn more about how to communication with each other. "Shutting up" and not expressing your feelings is not a good option. But changing how you communicate is helpful. To do that, you (and your husband and son) need to learn to communicate better. Right now, you are not getting your point across. Learning about communicating effectively can help you find a new approach, or learn how to better deal with your husband's behavior. This will mean less stress for you and the family and a better relationship with your son. Here are some resources to help you get started:


People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts by Robert Bolton


The Messages Workbook: Powerful Strategies for Effective Communication at Work and Home by XXXXX XXXXX, Ph.D. Paleg. Kim and Patrick Fanning


Couple Skills: Making Your Relationship Work by Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning and Kim Paleg


You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.


Keep in mind, you are not a bad mother. You are just being blamed for the miscommunication because you speak out and therefore become an easy target. You obviously care about your son and he cares about you. He is stuck in the middle and feels forced to pick sides. Most kids will try to act the same way when there is conflict in a family. But if you and your husband can find another way to communicate and get some support through therapy, this will work out.


I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Effective listening is what my husband needs. There is no way he didnt get the message after all these years. Tried reasoning, explaining over and over and then yelling however, he understood but only for a short while and then he goes back to not knowing what to do. He also blames me for how i behave when my son is not happy. I unfortunately have no time to read these books you recommended. I work full time help son focus on his school work run the home and the cooking, whilst my husband works 2 days a week and do nothing much the rest of the week. His lack of work at home was 90% the problem when he was working full time. He retired 4 years ago, he now works part time and does help around not more than what he did before he retired except he has more time to do them. The major problem now is coping with my son's disrespect sometimes (thankfully he does not give me too much teenage problems yet) but his rudeness is hard to take so I usually tells him off. I dont think i should be treated with such disrespect especially when i felt i have at all count done the right things for him and treats him well. Often pointed out to him not to take sides that his dad can fight his own battle. He understood sometimes, but the main thing if for my husband to treat me with more respect so my son could do likewise. It seems my son learned the bad things off me and not the good ones. I told them that we are good people but in the wrong home.

Thank you for the additional information. It helps.

Unfortunately, there is no way you are going to be able to force your husband to listen better. People do not change unless they choose to. The best option is to try to change how you communicate with him. If he does not respond to that, then you may need to consider therapy. Your husband's inability to see the issue in your marriage needs the attention of someone who knows how to facilitate change. Plus, you are trying to make changes with the whole family. The amount of dynamics and changes that need to occur would be helped by a counselor's intervention.


Your son also may benefit from talking to someone outside the situation. Is there a counselor at his school? If not, he may be able to see a family counselor with your husband. Talking this situation out with a therapist can really help to facilitate the change you are looking for.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.

My son has a counsellor since primary school over his complains of bullying and has some sessions over last year over some issues with a few students. I was not aware of them but my husband was as my husband now has more time with him. I am not sure if he talks about me to the school counsellor. I have no feedback on these sessions but the problems with the boys at high school surface occasionally and usually sorts out after a couple of weeks. He does confides with a tutor.

As mentioned before my husband and I had quite a number of sessions a few years ago and nothing came out of it accept more helpless than ever. He is not prepared to go through anymore sessions. and lately my problem with my husband is not major as he has some health issues and may have learned not to argue or talk back.


I need you to give me some pointers as to how i can change myself. Like i still have some unresolved anger on how my husband "put ideas" into my sons head that I get angry over nothing. My son has never seen him apologise to me and he hardly ever do. To my son its seems I yell over nothing to me there were frustrations built over many years.


The problem with my son is when i need to stop him from his youtube, facebook and playstation to do his school work. Reason is he doesnt want to do them but he has to as i get phone calls and emails from his teachers if he doesnt do them or receive poor marks and he will go sulky.


I need to know how to stop and control my outbursts which might at least salvage some respect he might have for me. His disrespect for me is usually unprovoked. some mothers say they took it whilst they were going through puberty but some mothers say they dont grow out of it which is my worry that he may not be able to get along with other people if this continues and spoil the rest of my time with him which might be only just a few more years. May be anger management assistance to check my outburst is what i really needed now from you if you can help.

I would like to continue to help you. If you will kindly reimburse me for my work so far, we can continue our sessions.



TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have paid Just Answer $64.81 on 12/9/2011 transaction ID 87P1028238561591Y Invoice 11628551. I thought this payment comes with 7 days consultation.

In order to reimburse the Expert for their answer, you need to click accept. Experts are not paid otherwise.


If you have questions about your account, please contact the moderator so they can assist you.



Yes, anger management is a good place to start. If you feel that your temper gets the best of you and causes you to lash out instead of calmly discussing what you need, you are going to get the same response you are getting now from your son.


You need to start thinking about what bothers you in a different way. It is called cognitive restructuring and is part of cognitive behavior therapy. When you change how you think and process what bothers you, you can be more successful in changing how you react. For example, when your husband doesn't do what you need him to do, you begin to yell to get his attention and to make him listen because you are frustrated. In cognitive restructuring, you restructure your thoughts. So instead of thinking how frustrated you are about your husband's behavior, you take a deep breath and tell yourself that you are upset about his behavior but yelling is not going to solve the problem and will only make your son feel you are being mean. There is a better way to get the results you want and keep your relationship with your son intact.


Start changing how you see problems. Saying "always" or "never" is going to make you feel more upset. My husband never helps me or my work is always hard. These types of statements make you feel overwhelmed and more upset. Let go of never and always and replace them with "sometimes" and "once in a while".


Be logical about your anger. Remind yourself that getting angry does not accomplish anything. It only works to make things worse. Anger causes you to feel everyone is against you, when that is not true. The world is not out to drive you crazy. Everyone has better things to do. Using that kind of logic on yourself will help you see the problem for what it is and not worse than it is.


A good way to help you and your son to have a better relationship is to talk with him calmly and gently. Let him know that you are aware you have some problems and that you are working on fixing them. Also, make sure he understands that all he sees between you and your husband is not all there is. There is a history to your relationship. But reassure him that you are working on fixing it.


It is ok to discipline your son about his school work. Just be sure to spell it out to him clearly ahead of time then enforce it as needed. He will learn that there are consequences. If you follow through with a firm but gentle hand but without anger, he will come around.



TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


I wasnt thinking that the world is out to get me I was frustrated that a grown man needs to be told the same things for years. Some basic stuff that he only requires to help me e.g get dinner prepared not much just bits here or there. Sometimes i felt energetic and let it go but some times I really want to go straight to bed when i come home but face cooking dinner whilst he will be watching video on his computer. Yes I know life is not fair but not this unfair. However, i have been okay lately may be because i have caught up with some work at work and his lack of help is not so much of a problem.


I need to work on my relationship with my son as he is a good kid but dont know why he needs to use coarse language in every sentence probably makes him feel grown up. If you have any teens in your life tell me if there are like this only because there are going through a hard time? Do they come to their senses and realised how they behave was wrong when there are out of their teens?


I need to think logically, I am emotionally too into it to think clearly, I dont want to burden my friends with my problem anyway they could not help constructively either so I am really stuck with my own thoughts and anger without the ability to solve it on my own. I also need some practically anger management tips. Thanks for your help



You're welcome! I am glad to help.


It is very hard when you have a partner that does not share in the work in the home, especially when you work outside the home as well. This puts a huge burden on you and can cause your feelings of anger and resentment. This also affects your view of your partner and therefore your marriage.


There are ways you can try to get your husband to help more.


One, don't allow your anger and frustration with him to build up. Talk to him before you get frustrated. Husbands usually do want to help but many of them need specific directions in order to do so. They may also be fearful of messing things up and making it worse. So when you are going to make dinner, tell your husband in a clear but gentle tone that you want him to do a certain task, such as chopping the carrots. Give him specifics such as "I need 1 inch pieces put into this bowl".


Make up a chart with small jobs you need completed. Again, be specific such as "carry the laundry down to the washing machine and leave it there". Give small jobs for each day. Tell him to check the chart each day. Find jobs he enjoys. You never know if he may like doing the grocery shopping. Some people do.


Be thankful to him. It is hard when he should be doing his share but this is going to be a learning experience for him that will take a while. So if you give him some reward by being thankful he may be more motivated.


Keep in mind that many households are traditional and do not think to teach boys how to clean and care for themselves. Women would do that kind of work. He may have grown up in a house where that is what he was taught. So making the point that you work outside the home as well as your reasoning may make him more motivated.


Try these ideas and see if they work. Hopefully, he will catch on.


Your son is acting in a typical teenage way. Most kids, especially boys, like trying on grown up behavior not only to make themselves seem cool, but to see if it is something they like to do. He can also be doing it because he feels rebellious, knows it bothers you or he is angry. But you do not have to tolerate his coarse language if you wish him to stop. He is still a minor and you his parent, so you set the rules. That does not mean he will agree, but the key here is consistency and firmness about enforcing the rules.


Try to figure out where he is learning his coarse language. Do you or his father curse? If so, you may need to stop. As a teenager, he will think because you do it it is ok for him to do it.


If your son thinks it is cool, let him know that cursing makes a person sound dumb. It means they cannot find an intelligent word to use so they curse instead. Also, ask him, what is a person doing when they curse? They are trying to get attention. It means a person does not feel worth attention without having to make themselves curse and look dumb. And that is not cool.


Set rules that there is no cursing at home. Be prepared to take away a favorite device or TV time if the rule is not followed.


Make a "cursing jar" that everyone has to put money in every time they curse. Then donate the money or do something charitable with it. Or make a rule that if there is no cursing for a week, everyone gets to go out to dinner at your son's favorite restaurant.


Give this time. As with every habit, this will take some work.


There are many things you can do to manage your anger. One is the cognitive restructuring we talked about. You can also do these things:


Breath- take a deep breath each time you feel your anger rising.


Find a distraction- keep a pack of gum with you and chew a piece when you feel upset for example.


Do stress relief at home or at a gym- yoga, pilates and other deep relaxation techniques can go a long way in helping you channel some of your anger into making yourself feel better.


Exercise- working out, even for 20 minutes can help you work out your anger and promote endorphines in your system- the "feel good" hormones. You will sleep better and feel more in control


Develop responses- each time you see something that makes you angry, stop and turn around the other way. Shut it out. Give yourself some time to calm down. Then turn back and deal with it.


Use humor- to help you see the funny side. Pretend the person is from another planet and you are trying to communicate with them. If you tend to call people names in your mind, picture the person as the thing you are thinking off. So if you think they are nuts, picture them as a bowlful of nuts. Pick your favorite ones.


Think about your options, try them out and see what works for you.



TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mental Health Questions