My father is verbally abusive to my mother. How do I approach him about it?

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How do I approach my father about the daily, constant verbal abuse he puts on my mother? They are both 83yr old. Mom doesn't speak up, she just bites her tongue because if she does, he gets more agitated. He's nasty to her and it really bothers me.

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This is a tough one!!!! A screaming, nagging mother...or an insulting, abusive father...just horrible esp as people age because their nerves are frayed!! My father was verbally abusive to my mother....and...I would talk to him they way he talked to my mother...then would ask him, HOW HE LIKED IT?? I of course was NOT afraid of my father...which I have read that some children are. Of course I understand that. Yah...but he did NOT like it when he heard his words turned toward HIM!!! And he would withdraw and go to his room!!
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Go online to the Treatment Advocacy Center and learn about the laws in your state.
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Bella, thank you for the clarification of your living situation and your parents' ages.

In your state, is there such a thing as an inoluntary psychiatric evaluation? It's a 72 hour hold and evaluation for someone who is thought to be a danger to himself and/or others.

Does your son go to school? If he reports verbal abuse from his grandfather, you might have child protective services to deal with...

I think in your shoes, I'd call Adult Protective Services and your local area agency on aging to seek their advice. If things are getting out of hand ( dad yelling and threatening), I'd jump on calling 911 and have him taken to the ER to be examined by someone competent. I'm fairly certain that would reveal some cognitive/ disordered thinking.
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I don't think my Mom is to the point of an assisted living facility. Although she has thought about it. The house is legally my Mom, Dad and Husband's. It has been my family home. I have lived in the same house my entire life and I am 40. I am an only child and my parents' advocate. We need everybody's income to pay for mortgage. My Mom is only 69. Far from assisted living. And quite frankly I take care of her just fine. Plus the change for my son would be devastating. Especially with my Mom. They have a special bond. Now if you were to ask me about putting my Dad in assisted care...that we have talked about. He is getting too much to handle. I don't know if he takes his medications correctly. I don't even know if what he says is the truth. He says his heart specialist says his weight is just fine, yet I have been there with him and I know that what my Dad says is a bunch of horse pucky. He has spent their savings. He has turned into a right nasty piece of work. As to a therapy. My Dad's theory is that unless you have been through the exact same life experience that he has you have no right to speak to him or give him advice...and that is nothing new. My Mom and I have spoken to our Doctor about Dad's bizarre behaviour, nasty temperment, etc. All he says is that Dad has to come to him about it. That there is nothing he can do. I think that is bollocks. Our doctor won't help. And my Mom is getting to her limit. She is trying to assert herself and gain independence, but she has to live with my husband and I. She can look after my son just fine. If we could get Dad out I think she would be far better.
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So, whose house are you living in? Yours? Your parents? The answer to yhat question determined how much leverage you have.

It sounds as though your dad is mentally ill, or has dementia or both. Get him to s psychiatrist and see what's going on there, snd if antidepressant or antianxiety meds will help.


Does mom have her own money? SS, pension etc? Would she enjoy living in an Assisted Living facility without your dad?
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My Dad is very verbally and emotionally abusive to my Mom. I fear that he has been physical with her but she isn't saying. We all live together (my husband, myself and our 6 yr old autistic son upstairs/Mom and Dad downstairs). They have always had a combative relationship and he has always been a bit of a prick. But it was tolerable. After my Mom got breast cancer, he got worse. A lot worse. It has gone steadily downhill from there. My Mom has been left permanently disabled from her treatments and can't take care of the house like she used to, cook like she used too. It isn't her fault. She didn't ask for this to happen to her. Now it has become so bad that my Dad refuses to buy any food she likes. He regulates how much she can have to a ridiculous level. He yells at my son for ridiculous reasons. He yells at my Mom when she tries to assert some independence. He yells at her if she doesn't. He yells, criticizes and demeans her in front of guests, family, myself and my son. When my son reacts badly he gets very cuddly with my Mom and then my Dad gets mad when he does. I would love to kick him out on his ear. But my Mom is so scared of him. I honestly don't know what to do, but it is effecting her health. Any advice would be great.
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Wow...this infuriates me. I grew up with parents that fought. My father treated my mom like a second class citizen. I remember hiding in big laundry boxes when they were fighting...it was terrible for me. My poor, very young, mother took a lot of abuse from his mother too! Thru the years my wonderful mother fought back, verbally and physically because she couldn't take it anymore!! As I got older...I in NO way would allow my father to call my mother names when I was around...and that was often. I would yell at him...and he would stop. Maybe this doesn't work for all...but it did in my family....and I had enuff of his sexism and abuse towards my mother! Now, she's got dementia, and can't do much...he's 90 yrs old now...and cries, when he talks to her because he was such an A**! Life...hope you can find some resolution for your mom...this abuse CANNOT be good for her!
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Jessie. Get your mom to a counselor. She is so beaten down she thinks she deserves this. Can you give her someplace to go? Even a battered woman's shelter would be a better option. They might have programs to help her get on her feet, or she might qualify for disability if her depression is severe enough. Dad may be having mental health issues himself but won't have a reason to deal with it as long as Mom is handy to blame and dump on. You could even call APS because your mom is so depressed and vulnerable, but the problem is they won't as likely insist she take any steps to help herself that she is not ready for.
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I'm actually 16 years old and have spent my whole life watching my father verbally abuse my mother time and time again over petty (blown out of proportion) "issues". He treats her as an unequal human being, always talking down to her as if she were a child. (telling her she deserves no rights, is a *insert curse word here*) Once she begins to cry after he yells at her, he then calls her a baby for crying. I've heard him call her every name in the book, and always threatens divorce. He knows that my mother will have nowhere to go and no means to support herself, so its a threat he loves to use. He has treated her like this in front of family, friends, just about everyone. I've been witnessing this from as young as 5 years old. However, theres nothing I or any of my siblings (who are in their 20's) can do. Whenever we mention it he blows his top, starts screaming, cursing everybody out, and of course taking it out mostly on my mom. My dad is 58, and my mother is about 48, this issue is progressively getting worse. I love my mom and it tears me to shreds to see her like this. She is broken-mentally and emotionally. What should I do?
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I would be very concerned about your Mom if I was you... My Father always teased my Mom but he adored her and would NEVER have been unkind to her. This sounds like a situation that will not resolve, soon. They need real counseling and support, if he is not willing, I would remove her from the home.
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