My parents are divorced and I live with my mother and younger brother. The break-up between my parents was extremely sour. My father was never really the “#1 dad” type of figure because he had his issues with a drug addiction. My brother and I never gave up on him, though. Just last year, he suffered a stroke which basically gave him a true reality check after being in the ICU for almost an entire month. My brother and I struggled to get him through physical therapy, paying for medical bills, driving him to his NA meetings, and are currently helping him restart his life. It’s been tough but I’m confident that my father has left that dark past of his behind. However, my mother will always hold a grudge for what he put her through. She seems as if she can’t ever let go of the past. Sometimes she will make rude comments about him, and it will get to a point where it makes me and my brother uncomfortable.
The other day I spoke to her about my feelings towards her making those comments. I asked her to refrain from doing so in the future because it does’t make me or my brother feel good hearing bad things being said about my dad. Sometimes we’ll hear her talk on the phone with her sister and she will just say extremely negative things about him and his past.She took my comments to her the wrong way. Now she refuses to speak to me. She told my brother that she feels that I’m ungrateful and disrespectful (all because I asked her to stop talking badly about my own father). I don’t know what to do at this point because now I feel terrible for even bringing the topic up. She’s been very rude to me lately and is completely ignoring me.
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A female reader, chigirl + ♥, writes (2 March 2019):
Give it time. She feels you chose your dad over her. But she needs to know, you can not chose your parents. She is actually the one who chose your father on your behalf. You are stuck with them both. She can choose to end the relationship with him, but it is not such an easy choice for you, and you have to maintain a relationship both to your moter and father. Try to explain this to her. If she chooses to ignore you, then she has made her decision. But you have done nothing wrong.
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A female reader, Honeypie + ♥, writes (2 March 2019):
Leave her be a while. He probably DID hurt her tremendously and the trash talk is a way of processing it, but also “recruiting” you guys to not like him either, but also in a really roundabout way trying to warm you so YOU won’t get hurt by him too.She isn’t over it because she hasn’t really processed it and she gets more attention and sympathy from HATING him.Some people get “stuck” in the past and REFUSE to move on. It’s not always their fault, but they don’t seem to understand how their “hate”/”negativity” spreads like poison to others or like rings in the water.While I get that she doesn’t want to see you and your brother get hurt by your dad (if he relapses or what not) she can’t prevent it by putting him down.I think it was a pretty MATURE request from you to your mom.If she still refuses to talk to you, maybe write her a letter. And if that doesn’t work, get her face to face.She can’t change the past by hating him and talking smack about him, and there is NOTHING new she can really say about him as they have been divorced a long time. So all she is doing is repeating old stuff that MAY not be relevant any more.Just remember, you can’t change your dad and you can’t change your mom. THEY both have to DEAL with the past and the present and ALL their baggage. Doesn’t mean that you can’t support them both. You can love and support your mom AND dad without accepting crap from either.But for now, I’d give her a little space to perhaps process what you REALLY meant. And that perhaps it’s time to let the past go.
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