Setting boundaries and the fallout.

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So all the reading I've done here and elsewhere and a few sessions with a therapist led me to set some boundaries with my PD dad. He has made some suggestions about my husband and I purchasing various insurance for our future. They are valid suggestions, but I'm middle aged with kids of my own and would like to feel like an adult who can make my own decisions. This was never a valued quality in my growing up years: I wasn't encouraged to think for myself or deviate from the party line. The boundaries I set were not met with open arms and he said he was offended and now seems to be avoiding me. I know this is what I have to do for my own well being, but still feel like the difficult daughter (a few years ago in another incident, he told me I "have a manner I need to address" namely, disagreeing and setting boundaries. HELP!


It sounds like you really want to please him. Like you need his approval. That is understandable. We all want to please our parents as we grow up. Gee, we are totally dependent on them for everything! What if they don't like us?

But you are an adult now. It would be nice if Dad shows his appreciation and approval, but you no longer depend on him and you will really survive if you don't get as much approval from him as you'd like. I hope you have others in your life who do show approval.

You offended him? And now he is pouting and avoiding you? Hmm. Sounds like his problem to me. Don't reward this manipulative behavior, if you don't want to see lots more of it.

Do what you need to do as an independent adult. It is not your responsibility to please your father all the time or to make him happy. If you want to feel like an adult who can make your own decisions, just act like an adult who can make your own decisions.

Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. If he gives you good advice, thank him. If he gives you advice you don't think you'll take, still thank him for his concern. Certainly never feel obligated to do anything just because he advised it. But don't stubbornly refuse to consider good advice just to prove a point.

And you don't need to address any "manner" you don't choose to address!
Thanks Jeanne...more than want his approval I think I bear the guilt and responsibility because I'm the only kid and Mom has been gone many years. When he is gone, I don't want to feel like I didn't do right by him and have that guilt lingering. Even though I know what I'm doing is right and advised, that only child part feels she should push her own sanity aside and toe the line. I don't really want his approval, I just don't want the upheaval of these blowups. It doesn't feel good.
So after a few days of silent treatment, Dad emailed me news and no mention of the "incident." I've been reading quite a bit on NPD and silent treatment. He doesn't have a classic sign of NPD, lack of empathy. In fact as an example, when I was young and we went to hotels, we would have to whisper so as not to disturb the other guests in adjacent rooms! He also has problems with receiving gifts, letting others pay for meals, etc. He got all bent out of shape once over a gifted coffee mug. Does anyone have any ideas on my situation or how I should proceed given that PD will likely continue to exacerbate the lifelong patterns?
Please tell me what NPD and PD are. I have found that when one sets boundaries there will be fallout. But most of the time they get over it, eventually..
Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Parkinson's Disease
It is normal for parents to worry about their children. You will find that you never really stop being a parent, no matter how old your children are. When Dad makes suggestions, just tell him "thank you," and thank him, too, for caring enough about you to think of your future. But, even if Dad's advice is sound, there is no law saying you have to act on it. And there is no reason to feel threatened. You can do what you want. Yes, you are an adult, and you get to choose what decisions you make...or don't make. I would tell him first that I'll discuss it with my husband and he'll take care of it. End of problem. How is Dad going to know what was done one way or the other?
Remember: God gave us TWO ears. One for "in and one for "out."
My Dad is very literal. If someone says they are going to do something, it is hard for him to believe if they don't. I would not cede control to my husband and he knows that. Dad would ask, "did you purchase the insurance yet?" What do I do, keep saying oh we're thinking about it...I don't like to white lie to that degree. But more to the point is my being made to feel like a foolish child...STILL and his butting in but refusing to believe he is butting in. He cut off his mother for many years for interfering when I was first born but yet he exhibits similar behavior. I mean did not talk to her at all and now calls her daily. Odd all around.
Tell the truth. Did you buy that insurance yet? "We talked it over and decided not to do it this year."

You know that you are not a foolish child. Don't take Dad's opinion so seriously. He's wrong. His intentions are good, but he is clueless about good interpersonal skills.

Have you ever had a heart-to-heart with him, explaining how his approach is treating you as a child and you had hoped by now you could have conversations as two adults?
Serious conversations are an exercise in frustration. He defends his point of view and we just don't see eye to eye on what is treating me like a child. In his email after I said we didn't want additional life insurance on my husband, he said "Well how bout he takes out a policy on you?" No, no and no. This is just one example. Growing up I was told he didn't like my hair, makeup, those shorts made me look fat, wearing sandals is foolish...on and on. It is one of those examples of "you can't change people, only how you react to them." I'm stuck on how not to let it bother me. Thanks all for the suggestions and advice - it helps to know I'm not imagining things or blowing out of proportion.
Boundaries definately lead to fallout. I am experiencing the brunt of that fallout. The whys and why nots are constantly directed at me. I can't do this and I can't do that is a continuous source of complaint to me. The person doing it, my mother and only to me. She assumes I am the only person on the face of this earth that can be her salvation to life. So up comes the boundaries and down come the lingering effects and consequences, a disatisfied mother who thinks I have abandoned her and doesn't care about her anymore. The guilt is there, but the self pity will never sway me.

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