I have noticed a somewhat common thread in some issues here. Many of us have crazy moms, and perhaps dads that to most other people seemed very nice and easy going.

My dad who died last year was that way. I suppose if he had not been easy going, the marriage would not have lasted. Most people could not have put up with my mom's craziness, but my dad did not want to upset the apple cart so with the goal of preserving the family tried to overlook it.

But in the end, he was not doing any of us any favors. By his looking the other way and not confronting my crazy mom about her unacceptable behavior, he enabled her to also drive us kids crazy. And now that he, who at least was our buffer is gone, her craziness is unleashed full bore on us.

Just noted a lot of people may have experienced this. I guess I don't really have a question.

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I hear you! We are dealing with this ourselves. Cut out one set of parents because of it. The other is dealing with dementia, and we are trying to help them and that is hard as one is crazy and the other is exhausted, enabling it, and afraid to face reality. It's hard!

When they get like that, you just want to stick them both in a little box and send them away to Abu Dabi like Garfield did to Nermal (I know that is unrealistic on many levels, but it can be fun to imagine).

I think the worst part is it makes you feel outnumbered and like you are in the crazy party. Total gaslighting effect.

No advice as I don't know your full situation (like has the crazy always been there or is it dementia?), but sending positive vibes and healing.

Interesting topic - my sister and I have analyzed this to death - our mom was babied by her family, even when she was an adult. Her sibs and their kids couldn't stand seeing her unhappy/mad/hurt, so they had to interfere. So he had to deal with the whole clan. We came to realize he didn't have the option of saying no, of pushing back. And he really loved her. She was so used to being able to manipulate and control that his life would have been h*ll. When we became adults, we tried to buck her to help him.

He was a sweet guy who didn't have a chance. But he still managed to instill in us unconditional love, kindness and his creative, funny spirit...and that is in our kids.

My Dad did same. My Mom had very toxic and unstable personality and my Dad and I did all her share of work. She did absolutely nothing but go on shopping sprees, watch TV all the time and cause havoc at home. But my Dad had his own separate life and although he coddled her, he left me to deal with brunt of
her craziness. He would have likely won full custody as she had very hard time hiding the crazy, I literally begged him to leave her.

But when she passed and I started helping my Dad, it turned out that he was extremely needy as well. Wants constant attention and treats me like a surrogate spouse. So although he doesn't exactly do crazy he's very manipulative, poor me,
pay attention to me right now! person. I didn't see this so much growing up so I'm guessing he got his needs fulfilled elsewhere during the marriage.

Been wondering if him being checked out of marriage drove my Mom's craziness
to higher peaks and also why he placated her so much. Wondering if he was just trying to shut her up and get back to his private life.

So how much of the time is it just Dads not knowing how to cope, and having been long trained in the strong silent type ethos, they're just placating their wives They are just at a loss how to handle things and how to protect the kids?

And how many times is it two dysfunctional narcissistic people creating a toxic dance to get their needs filled? Might look same from outside but I think in some cases there is good intent and others just selfishness.

My brother thinks my dad really did not have ALZ but his system just fried after 65 years with crazy mom. I laughed, assuming he is joking, but he claims he is not joking. Not that he would know, but at first blush it seems plausible.

I assume there was something physiological - his initial neurologist made the ALZ diagnosis, but later we took him to Mayo Clinic and the neurologist there said he saw on the brain MRI some episodes of some kind. He didn't clarify. But the point is that my moms behavior may have exacerbated the problems already present in the brain physiologically.

This is something that has come up many times as we as sibs have discussed mother's behavior--she had a father who "babied" her to the point he was calling her every single day of her life--into her 30's. It SOUNDS sweet, but I do remember her talking to him and crying & complaining a LOT. My dad never "fussed" mother, but he also didn't deal with her very well. Grandpa filled that "need". Sadly, he died suddenly when mom was 33. She went into a spiral of depression and never really recovered.

Daddy loved mom, but he was completely befuddled by her depression/anger/anxiety. Never really did deal with it, but never got her help, either. He'd just give in to whatever she wanted.

He DID enable her to simply not function. I think in the 60's men just didn't "get it"--he worked super hard for our family, but mother's neediness just drove him crazy.

My hubby does not fuss me, not one iota. It's assumed that he will get "old" first and I will care for him. If I get to the point I need care, he will hire out, which is what we've planned. He just...can't.

I'm seeing more and more husbands stepping up to care than in the past. This is heartening. I know my SILS are MUCH more caring and hands on when the girls need them--not in an enabling way, but in a helpmeet way. My son makes a STELLAR "wife" as his wife is always telling me.

We also probably notice it b/c there is a lot of chatter in this forum for just this thing.

Yep. I alternate between being so thankful that my dad did what he did to sometimes being resentful that he fostered mom's toxic personality and constant neediness and put up with it. But he wouldn't have ever changed her anyway. I am very thankful that he was there to be a buffer as we grew up. I definitely think I am more equipped to deal with her as an adult than I would have when I was a child if we were ever in her custody alone.

So true. From what I've seen over the past decade as my friends have lost one parent and there is a surviving parent, this situation is common. It seems that if "mom" is the surviving parent, there is a huge burden on one or more children to provide constant care & companionship to the exclusion of the life the child built on their own. However, dad's that are the surviving parent don't seem to do that to their kids. My husband's siblings are all boys. His dad is 81 and has been alone for 7 years now. The one and only time he has contacted my husband for help is when he fell and broke his hip. He does his own shopping, cooking, housework, doctor's appointments, etc. He always says he knows his kids are busy and he does not want to be a burden. I must speak to my mother every day. My husband speaks to his dad probably no more than once a week or a few times a month.

I think that is a very valid observation, Karsten.

The other thing to remember is that love between a couple is a mysterious thing. You really dont know what went on in private, if dad ever asked mom to seek treatment for her mental health issues. Perhaps by staying, he sought to protect you and your siblings from the damage she would have caused if she had custody of you on her own, which certainly was the way the world worked when you were young.

Much to ponder.

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