Mental Health

Have mental health questions? Ask a psychiatrist online

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

Since my childhood my parents have a terrible relationship.

Constant arguments, gaslighting, infidelity, bickering...
Since my childhood my parents have a terrible relationship. Constant arguments, gaslighting, infidelity, bickering over money, hiding money, blaming, tattling, belittling me, each other and their grandchildren. This extended into their late 80’s. This has been devastating for me. Crushing. Dealing with this craziness through their declining health has been debilitating.
My husband and I thankfully are far from behaving like them. But through the years I have told my husband that I feel he doesn’t support me or present a united front when they attack us or are nasty to us.
My mother has since passed away and my father has ramped up his nastiness. He has accused me of ‘getting’ all of my mother’s monetary savings and ‘having’ her car without legal documentation. He’s not exactly saying stealing per say. but that’s how it sounds to me. It’s not true anyway because it was all willed to me. At her burial I was not even acknowledged by the chaplain as being her only child. It was so horrible standing in the rain like a stranger. My husband’s response was— that’s really terrible. Flat line. Finally after I got myself together I told my husband again. I don’t feel like he is my protector. He would talk to my father if I ask him to. But he approaches it like mediator instead of a husband. It’s been 26 years. He knows this is not he said, she said. I have been direct about telling him how alone I feel. I finally said out right if I were the man I would say (to my father) maybe you don’t understand how hurt your daughter is feeling right now. Whether he understands/comprehends that or not. The bot***** *****ne is— this is my wife, when you upset her, you are upsetting my household. I am responsible for caring for my family and my wife is not ok. Please treat her kindly like you would want to be treated and speak to her civilly.
That should have happened YEARS ago. I have been very up front with my father (and my mother when she was living) about his behavior too— face to face, and through letters. It’s not that I expect my husband to solve this, but I need him to support me like I support him. His lack of empathy for my pain has been very slowly driving a wedge between us. I don’t understand how he doesn’t want to attempt to resolve this. How it doesn’t bother him. How he can watch me suffer and just say— well, that’s bad. This is the first time I’ve said— you need to stand up and be a man. I know that’s not a particularly nice thing to say but that is how I feel. I need help with this, please.
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Answered in 28 minutes by:
3/13/2018
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,110
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified

Hi, thank you for writing. My name is***** am sorry to read your brief story. Being treated so poorly buy your parents is heartbreaking and I understand that you wish you had someone in place to really stand up to your dad to ensure he understands how much he has hurt you. However, I am not sure this is necessarily the role of your husband. I think my first question to you would be in regards ***** ***** husband's personality. Is he the type of guy to be aggressive and confrontational? Or is he more demure and lower key and avoidant. Because if he isn't confrontational, then you may simply be expecting/desiring him to do something that is completely out of his character. In that case, you may be misreading his resistance as a sign he lacks consideration for your feelings when he really does care. But even in caring, he may just not be the type oto stand up to your dad due to the nature of his personality. Let's start there. What are your thoughts?

I look forward to thinking this through with you,

-Leah

Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That is true he does avoid confrontation. And if this were 10 even 20 years ago I would accept that. But my husband has watched me dutifully care for both of my parents, defend them from each other, do whatever it takes including lifting my 200+ lb father off the floor when he’s fallen. At some point I feel like even for him there has to come a point where enough is enough. Or too much, where you are compelled to say something. He advocates for himself at work, and for the kids. I am just always on my own. Even a lack of comfort when it’s just us.

Thanks for replying. It sounds like maybe this lack of defending you may just be one issue you are having with your husband. Often, we find ourselves hoping for change to come naturally. Hoping the other person will just "get it" and step up to meet our need. But 1) they may not know what we are expecting or hoping from them and 2) they just may not be the type of person to deliver what we want. So if the traits you are seeing are more life-long and have always been the way it has been in your marriage, then you may need to face the reality that it isn't likely things are suddenly just going to change. Your husband didn't say anything then and may not have ever been the most empathetic or warm companion, so again, this is likely to be a stagnant trait. If you expect something from here or want to seek change, then you have to be diligent about advocating for what you need and want. Trust me - this is easier said than done because it is often so much easier to just let things slide as they wax and wane in importance. But then, we get more and more backed up with stifled emotions and resentful. My point is that if you want something to change, you should speak up and express what you want. If you weren't doing this your whole marriage, now may be a good time to start. Then, give him a chance to address your requests and justify his own choices. Ultimately, you can't control the way he acts but you can control how you react and if this has been a marriage always lagging in support, it may be time now that you and him consider greater efforts to try to remedy these issues (such as through counseling) so you and him can actually find peace and grow together. But it has to start with honesty and open communication.

Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have never been the type of person to expect him to know what I need. I tell him. I am definitely direct about it. I just have trouble understanding that he may not have a bot***** *****ne where things are just too much for him to stand by complacent.

I hear you. That is frustrating. What would it be like if he really did not have this bot***** *****ne point. Do you feel like that implies he doesn't care like he should?

Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have mentioned this before when it was less serious. I’d say it would have been nice if...
He will go talk to him if I directly ask him to but he goes like he wants to hear my father’s side of things (each and every time he returns saying your father is telling serious lies, or he’s changing the subject) He does not go as my advocate. Which is what I think should be his goal.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
If he doesn’t have a bot***** *****ne I’d think something is seriously the matter with him. And if something were really plaguing the family I would have the urge to push him aside and deal with it myself so that it was handled and not let slide.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
This so stresses me out that if I drank ( I don’t) I feel like this would drive me to drink/ self medicate.

Do you think it is possible that he just knows your DaD has such issues that he doesn't feel it worth the confrontation? i am not trying to defend your husband here. You clearly feel very let down. But you have talked o him before and nothing has changed. At this point, you probably will either have to adjust your expectations, fight harder, or leave. In your broader relationship id this lack of advocacy for you against your father enough to end your marriage?

Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I’m trying for that not to be the case. It is an issue when we have to have a united front on issues with the kids too.
He is a very nice man, but some times I feel like we are friends not lovers or spouses. What really hurt is I explained this to a male family member (other side of the family) and he said I hate to hear this it makes me mad I can’t do or say anything to stop this from happening to you.
Exactly what I would say if it were reversed. It’s got to stop.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Even if he can’t fix my dad, (that’s likely the case) his goal should be to make sure I am ok or as much as he humanly can.

I fully agree - a husband should seek to support his wife. So the issue here is two-fold - 1) he didn't stand up to your Dad and 2) you don't feel well supported and are feeling more like roommates than spouses. These issues are actually mutually exclusive meaning he can still support you and care and empathize without standing up to your Dad, But if he isn't doing either, then I encourage you to look at the bigger picture, which I believe you are trying to do and are just using the situation with your dad as one example. If your husband is nice but you do't feel you and him are connected and on the same page, needless to say wholeheartedly supportive, then really think you need to consider getting in to see a couple's therapist to determine if you want to work on this issue and how.

I can personally relate to this. Sometimes it can be hadr in the midst of tough times to remember why you chose your partner. A lot of marriages go through tough times and it can be easy to lose sight of past happiness. Just remember, if things were happy once and you chose him for good reason, things can be happy again. That may involve some work though. And luckily, you are not without options. Right now, you need to decide if this man is worth the effort at this point in your life, and if he is, then you should be hopeful about opportunities to rediscover the reasons why you married him in the first place. Then, if things really don't improve because he just doesn't have it in him, then you can make new decisions knowing you threw everything you could at this.

LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,110
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified
LeahMSWuofm and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok , thank you, ***** ***** going to talk to him again tonight and see how he sounds about counseling.

You are welcome. I think that is a really great idea to address therapy. I certainly have hope for you and your marriage and I hope he shows you through agreeing to therapy that he DOES care and is wlling to work on this issue as a team. Good luck to you!!

-Leah

Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a mental health professionalLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask LeahMSWuofm Your Own Question
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,110
1,110 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience

LeahMSWuofm is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

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

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much

Corrie MollPretoria, South Africa

I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well!

ClaudiaAlbuquerque, NM

Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion.

KevinBeaverton, OR

Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
I feel better already! Thank you.

ElanorTracy, CA

Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem.

JulieLockesburg, AR

You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions.

John and StefanieTucson, AZ

I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!!

Janet VPhoenix, AZ

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Keane

Dr. Keane

Therapist

1,379 satisfied customers

Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.

TherapistMaryAnn

TherapistMaryAnn

Therapist

4,101 satisfied customers

Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.

Dr. Olsen

Dr. Olsen

Psychologist

2,336 satisfied customers

PsyD Psychologist

Norman M.

Norman M.

Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA

2,246 satisfied customers

ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.

Dr. Michael

Dr. Michael

Psychologist

2,177 satisfied customers

Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.

Steven Olsen

Steven Olsen

Therapist

1,728 satisfied customers

More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education

Anna

Anna

Mental Health Professional

1,656 satisfied customers

Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.

< Previous | Next >

Related Mental Health Questions
Angrily, My husband of 25 years has PTSD from a bad
Hi, my name is MarinaSadly and angrily, My husband of 25 years has PTSD from a bad encounter when he was young and plating baseball. In the last 12 months my inlaws have built a granny flat in our bac… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
1,110 satisfied customers
My husband and I have been together for 6 years, married for
My husband and I have been together for 6 years, married for 4. Over these years he spirals down every time he has anything to do with his father. Just recently his father kicked me out of their famil… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
180 satisfied customers
I feel like I am going crazy! My husband accuses me of
I feel like I am going crazy! My husband accuses me of saying things that I would never say! I'm starting to doubt my sanity. I know I would never and have never said or done the things he accuses me … read more
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn
Therapist
Master's Degree
4,101 satisfied customers
I am feeling increasingly estranged from my father who is
I am feeling increasingly estranged from my father who is lives independently but is ill and older.My mother recently passed away and this has created a huge divide. My mother an father had a toxic ma… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
961 satisfied customers
My husband and father have a strained relationship. My
My husband and father have a strained relationship. My father is controlling and intereferes. My husband feels as though my father crosses boundaries when it comes to our relationship and children. Tw… read more
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Adjunct Professor
Master's Degree
1,014 satisfied customers
I'm having problems with being afraid of my ex boyfriend. We
I'm having problems with being afraid of my ex boyfriend. We haven't none each other for that long but have a baby together. He lived in GA and I in NYC. I spent the whole pregnancy alone doing everyt… read more
psychlady
psychlady
Clinical Director
Master\u0027s Degree
3,517 satisfied customers
I have a ten year old grandson who plays with dolls. He is
I have a ten year old grandson who plays with dolls. He is interested in their long hair. He is being emotionally abused by his dad. Comments like"you play with dolls like a little girl". What can we … read more
Rafael-E-Therapist
Rafael-E-Therapist
Director / Psychotherapist
Master\u0027s Degree
438 satisfied customers
My Father In Law passed away 4 days ago after a 14 month
My Father In Law passed away 4 days ago after a 14 month cancer battle. My husband slept at the palliative care facility and went to the hospital after work daily. I encouraged him to do so and told h… read more
psychlady
psychlady
Clinical Director
Master\u0027s Degree
3,517 satisfied customers
My father and I use to be close until he remarried at age 80
My father and I use to be close until he remarried at age 80 two years ago. My step mother has become an evil dictator preventing me from having a relationship with my father who lives 2,000 miles awa… read more
Kevin Kappler
Kevin Kappler
Clinical Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
353 satisfied customers
This is a very difficult situation and will take a while to
This is a very difficult situation and will take a while to explain but I will do my best to summarize. My husband cheated over a year ago. A one night stand that resulted in a pregnancy. We are tryin… read more
Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael
Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
2,177 satisfied customers
My husband and I are having issues. I have a real clashes
My husband and I are having issues. I have a real clashes with his behavior/personality. We're both rigid, tense, and controlling. But he's dependent, less conscience, and I have caught him lying. Bef… read more
Kevin Kappler
Kevin Kappler
Clinical Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
353 satisfied customers
My husband of 12 yrs died in 11/6/10. His EX, they were
My husband of 12 yrs died in 11/6/10. His EX , they were divorced longer than they were married. They share 4 kids which are all grown up and have kids youngest is 44. My husband was cremated and the … read more
psychlady
psychlady
Clinical Director
Master\u0027s Degree
3,517 satisfied customers
My husband and I are going through a divorce. He is now
My husband and I are going through a divorce. He is now confiding in my 18 year old daughter about the problems in our marriage. He has continuall confided in her throughout our marriage about adult i… read more
Dr. Shirley Schaye
Dr. Shirley Schaye
Dr. Shirley Schaye
Post-Doctoral Degree
220 satisfied customers
My husband had an affair. A child was conceived. He gives
My husband had an affair. A child was conceived. He gives financial support, but has no contact with the Mother or 2 year old child. The mother just recently said the child is asking about "her Father… read more
Ms. Pam
Ms. Pam
Psychotherapist
Master's Degree
8 satisfied customers
I have a sister who is married to a bum. He refuses to get a
I have a sister who is married to a bum. He refuses to get a job, meanwhile she has spent the past couple of years working 40 hours a week at an almost minimum wage job during the day to support him a… read more
Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael
Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
2,177 satisfied customers
My mother & father are 76 and 80 years old respectively.
My mother & father are 76 and 80 years old respectively. They have been married 58 years. My mother is chronically ill (ESRD, HTN, IDDM, ambulatory dysfunction) and my father (PVD, depression) is her … read more
Anna
Anna
Mental Health Professional
Master's Degree
1,656 satisfied customers
Wow. I have a good one that is ripping me apart ... My
wow. I have a good one that is ripping me apart ... My Mother was keeping my son while I was out of the country, in my home. (the father and I are unmarried and living apart)My son had an issue at sch… read more
Dr. Ed Wilfong
Dr. Ed Wilfong
Licensed Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
1,524 satisfied customers
My 88 year old mother is a trouble maker and quite wicked in
My 88 year old mother is a trouble maker and quite wicked in what she does. She has played dirty tricks on me all my life coming to a head a few years ago when my husband of 33 years told her off afte… read more
NGonzalez
NGonzalez
Psychotherapist
M.A., Ph.D. Can
56 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x