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My mum constantly shouts and belittles my elderly father who is 2 years older than her. They are both in their 80s, but when I question her about it she just starts shouting at me instead and blames my father for everything. I have often walked in on her shouting and abusing him on a regular basis, often about the same trivial matters, week after week. My father who is quiet, just sits and takes it, as I suppose he knows no different, but he is getting more old and frail by the day.
My other siblings don't live as near so don't know how bad it is, but I am constantly worried about their health and what it must be doing to them.
How do I stop my mother with this horrid, constant abuse?

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Your mother isn’t changing, this seems like a well established pattern of behavior that’s been tolerated by your dad. Clearly, he doesn’t need or deserve to be treated this way. No one should live in an abusive situation no matter what. Would your dad qualify for care in another setting, such as memory care, assisted living, or a nursing home? Any of these would be safer and more peaceful for him. And would he be willing to make a change, or will he defend her? It’s hard to change something that’s been accepted, and again, she’s not changing except to perhaps worsen. You at least have the power to walk out each time you’re screamed at, teach your mom that you won’t stick around for it. I wish you luck in getting your dad to a protected, peaceful place
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Aaaargh30 Mar 20, 2021
Thanks, I think my dad would rather just put up with it than go into a care home. I sometimes take him to my house for a few days break, but then when he returns it's back to the dreaded normality.

Really don't know what to do for the best..
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Is this unusual behavior on her part? That is to say, is she changed from their normal marital interaction?
To be frank, you cannot change people. If she was always this way, that is something you already understand. If she is suffering from some dementia it is even less likely she will change.
May I ask also, what is your father's reaction to all this? Is he used to it and has the attitude of "That's just HER" or is he seeming frightened by this behavior?
The answers to these questions really makes all the difference.
I think that the breaks at your home are lovely; perhaps, if they go well, have them more frequently.
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Aaaargh30 Mar 20, 2021
Thanks - Yes I think it is her usual behaviour- certainly in the last 10 or 20 years. My dad just lets her go on, but I worry it can't be doing either of their blood pressure any good ... plus how can they be happy like that?

Yes I will keep giving him breaks at my house if I can.
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Thanks Bundleofjoy & All.
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I am struggling with the same thing. My dad and mom both have dementia but my mom is constantly belittling him. It’s very toxic and unhealthy. They are 88 & 86 and my dad is still devoted to my mom.
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bundleofjoy Apr 20, 2021
hug!!

unfortunately, no way to change an abuser/torturer.

i think when one witnesses an injustice (someone being mean to someone else) it is right to try to do something. it is wrong to stand by, witness it, and do nothing.

let's make an example:
husband doesn't fight back against abusive wife. of course husband knows wife's behavior is mean and wrong. but if husband fights back, wife becomes EVEN more abusive. more screaming. --and at some point wife will hit back, in subtle ways.

husband stays married.
maybe wife even threatened more damage if he ever tries divorce/lives elsewhere.

what i mean is, it's not always that simple for the abused, to pack and leave.

towards end of life (nothing to lose), someone might fight back.

---how do you change the abusive wife?
the only way would be for her to be happy. a happy person.
that -- is very hard.
she would have to have quite a different personality.

she might even want to abuse the husband, so the children witness it, hence causing children pain. likewise, she might want to cause husband pain, by abusing the children (often daughter).

it's difficult.
and abusive people don't change. often, they get worse with time.

hug!!
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The matter is between them....not you and them. I watched my mother belittle and demean my father my whole life. He took it, too, so it was his own fault for allowing the bully to get away with it. It drove me mad my whole life and made me dislike my mother a LOT for what she put him thru.

It was toward the end of his life that my father had had about enough of my mother's bullying ways. That's when the fights started because he had "the nerve" to stand up to her, finally. To tell her to sit down and shut up. I was rooting him on from the sidelines. My DH and I would be called over there to smooth things over quite a bit...it was a mess.

Dad passed in June of 2015. She still speaks ill of him to this day, when she speaks of him at all which is rarely. No photo of him in her room, nothing, after 68 years of marriage. She's still blaming him for her misery in life, from beyond the grave. These days, I tell her I WILL NOT stand for ANY ugly talk out of her mouth about my father or I'll leave her presence.

I couldn't fix their situation when dad was alive; that was HIS job and he chose not to.
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