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I gave up my career at 57 to take care of my Mom full time. She passed 4 years ago. I live with dad in our family home and he is very independent drives shops cooks for himself yard work etc. He totally pushes me away from doing anything in the house. He interferes into me decluttering or organizing anything - has taken over the kitchen to the point where I don’t cook or buy much for myself as my things are just in his way. It was never like this when mom was living we cooked cleaned and enjoyed each other’s company. MY DAD DOESNT EVEN Speak TO ME only to tell me to take one piece of paper towel or close the window or to complain about the heating or electric bill. I leave every day and have joined moving on groups, go out with friends, studying for my paralegal and don’t come back till mid evening.


Why is he doing this to me? I want to enjoy and make my home my own but he wants no improvements made. I am at wits end and feel I can’t be myself or even have women friends over because he complains about everyone. Constantly watches what I’m doing - I can’t even do girly things like put away my jewelry, makeup or organize my closets because he complains about those things. I am just 😞 sad. Please I ask why is he doing this to me and doesn’t he realize that I don’t stay at home because I can’t stand living with his nastiness. He cooks and eats for himself but never asks if I want anything. He could care less whether I’ve eaten or not. I’m 62 and feel like I can’t be myself because of him.


The past 18 months have been brutal with brothers highly contested divorce and I have been a supportive sister which my brother tells me he truly appreciates. Still no judgement from the court after trial last August. We were all involved including dad giving testimony as brothers soon to be ex wants part of our house and assets too. We both testified on brothers behalf saying that no way should she be entitled as I was caregiver to Mom and none of our assets were part of brother’s marital estate. Judge said our assets were off the table. But she is still asking for everything in her proposed judgement.

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You can't necessarily stop him from being controlling, but you can stop yourself from being controlled. The emphasis here is on you and your responses to his controlling behaviour.

Sounds like the tension between you two is pretty bad. I wonder if he is showing early dementia. In any case you do need to sit down with him and probably a thirds person and find some solutions..

"he doesn’t allow me to do the everyday things I would like to do for myself - cook - clean - enjoy my home" How does he not allow you? Does he get angry?Does she get physical? Some people used anger as a tool to get their way. It is bullying.

You say  "I can’t even do girly things like put away my jewelry, makeup or organize my closets" because he complains about those things. Let him complain, Go ahead and do what you want to. You are both adults sharing a home and you have every right to enjoy your home.
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Shell38314 Jan 29, 2019
I so agree!
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I’m sorry you’re living in such an unhappy situation. The truth for all of us is that the only person we control is ourselves. You can’t change your dad or what he’s like, but you can change yourself. If living there is too miserable it’s time for a new plan. Time for a family meeting including dad and brother, tell them what you’ve said here, and that you can’t continue in this. Come up with a living plan that will work remembering dad isn’t going to change, except to get worse
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Did dad have any say in your moving in? Not everyone wants a roomate.

Can he buy you out? Have you offered that as an option?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Been right where you are. First, let me tell you that I am very sorry for you having to live this way. Secondly, let me also say that I am sorry for what I am about to say!

I'll start by telling you a little about my experience just to give you a reference.

Two years ago, I and my BF of 15 yrs moved in with my mother who invited us to come and live with her. The house is my childhood home and I have moved in and out for years with no problems. But this time was different my dad had passed away in 2014. After my BF and I moved in my nightmare started! She would not let us do or touch anything. The house was clutter and just down right a mess. She wouldn't even give us that much space in the fridge, and as far as using the kitchen that was a no go! So, we had to eat out everyday. All my mother did was complain about everything we did or didn't do. It got so bad that the minute she would say, "I don't mean to but..." I would say, "NOW what did we do?" Yes, people can say it is her house and it is her rules; however, she wanted us to help pay half of the bills (which I had no problem with) and do outdoor maintenance at our expense. She would never just talk to me in less, it was to tell me what or what not to do, or some cutting remark! No, she was never like this when my dad was alive! This went on for a few months than I had enough!! I am a firm believer that we teach people how to treat us. I didn't know if this was dementia or if she felt that now she was free to treat me anyway she wanted because my dad wasn't here to stop her or what! All I did know is that I could not and would not live this way anymore. So, I just told her "look I am spending so much money to eat out because "you have to have control over the fridge and kitchen," and "you want us to pay half the bills and expect us to fix up the yard and what not," but "you won't let us have any space!" "How is that fair?" She didn't answer me. She went to her room and slam the door. I started coming up with a plan to move out right after that winter. Things now are way better. She gave up on trying to control everything! That was one of the hardest years of my life!

This is the part you may not like! After thinking and talking to a psychologist it came to me that this behavior that my mother was having wasn't dementia, because there was in someways just to much thinking involve. It was her power hungry ego at work! Nothing more and nothing less! I have no idea what made her think I would put up with this because I am and always been the type of person who will not let anyone treat me like crap.

Is it possible that dad now feels he has control and wants you to know he is in charge? If dad did not have much say in what was happening in the home while mom was a live than maybe now he feels it is his turn to be in control. Unfortunately, there are people that you give an inch and they will take a mile. Now, I don't know if this is true or not for you, but it is just another way to see the situation. He may not be able to see what he is doing will have very bad long-term effects on your relationship.

You have the right 'a human right' to have a safe, warm, and comfortable home. So if I may suggest here are two things to do! One, talk to your dad. Spell it out to him. Example, dad I can not live this way any longer. I have to have xyz. I need xyz. And tell him what will happen if you can't have these things. Now, whatever happens you have to be prepare for the out come, which brings me to point two. Come up with a plan on how you can move out! Hope it doesn't come to this. But it could! Never make a threat that you can't back up! You will have to tell dad if these changes won't happen than I will be force to do abc.

I am sorry that you are in this difficult situation. Sorry for this being so long!


Sending you much needed hugs!
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Chiswicky Jan 30, 2019
Thank you for reply - so much is on point. Yes when mom was living she would never let him act like this toward me - she would put him in his place. Now he tells me your not the boss of this place yet. Mom and Dad did estate planning when she was ill to protect against nursing home just in case it came to that but it didn’t. She took name off house and left it to my brother dad and I. After mom passed dad did a life estate legitimately through an estate planning attorney and my brother agreed that I deserved to be the remainderman since I gave my career up and took care of my Mom. He had his own home and wanted me to have my own. His wife found out he took his name off (he never contributed to buying this house or used marital assets to repair or anything) and that is why she fought in court to get a share of it and even had it appraised through the court because she thinks he was trying to hide an inheritance and even saying she wants part of my dads bank accounts after he passed because my brother’s name was on there just in case my dad was not able to get to bank. What a narcisstic person! Still waiting for divorce judgment for my brother. We my dad and I both testified in court regarding the estate planning.
Anyway I think your right. I’m going to wait till I finish my studies end of February since I do go out to the library and then start living the way I want. I will not let him control me anymore🤣.
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I think you need to hash this out with your father. Since he isn't interested in talking you may need to have a third party involved; a religious leader, older family member or friend, or perhaps even a hired mediator. You need to hear what has him so hostile, and he needs to understand that you need to be able to have peace in your own home, from there you will have a better idea of how to plan your other options.
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It sounds like his grief is manifesting into anger/control/depression. I suspect he’s facing his own mortality since losing his wife - scary stuff at his age. I’m going through similar issues with my Dad who moved in with me after my Mom died. We were always so close but lately, we barely speak. Makes home life trying at best - I’ve started working late to avoid going home. My only option is to call the one brother Dad listens to who will then drive down and have a chat / that usually helps for a while. Is there a family member your Dad responds to??
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Reply to Barsenault60
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If they were married and he is your biological father, it wasn't you and mom purchasing the house, it was your parents and you. Like it or not that's how it works. You and mom may have picked it out but I guarantee that his money was involved, unless he has never worked and only lived off your mom.

Does he pay for everything or do you split the bills? You don't say you work, so if he is covering all the expenses he feels like he is financially supporting you and that causes the parent child dynamic to be strong.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Chiswicky Jan 30, 2019
No it is a fact that only my mom contributed to this home along with myself. My moms dad was killed by an automobile helping his sister who was visiting cross the street in front of their home the same day my mom and dad made their marriage intentions. She got a small settlement back in the day when insurance didn’t pay that much and invested it for 30 years. My Dad told me he never knew how much it was nor did he ask her. Bank interest rates were good back then and the money grew. It grew and with the amount I saved from working we bought the house in 1991. I was 36 and Mom was 70. We had planned on moving off of that busy street for years but never found anything we liked until then. My Dad worked for the federal government and supported the family also but he definitely did not contribute to the payment of the house. All proven in court through evidence of documents submitted by us to brother’s wife’s attorney because of my brother’s divorce and his wife falsely claiming that my brother owned property that he didn’t tell her about. No I don’t work but split the bills with him through my savings. I worked a full career as a business education teacher part-time and administrative work in various corporations along with medical secretarial work. I do plan on returning to work in the spring after completing my paralegal studies which I am currently enrolled in.
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move out
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cwillie Jan 29, 2019
Tho OP is a co-owner of the home so moving isn't that simple.
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If it's some years since your mother passed away, and you've been living alone with your father for four years, what has changed recently that has you posting about it now?

Do you think the change is in him, in the family's stress over the divorce, has he been like this ever since he was widowed or have you only lately felt he's trying to push you out?

He certainly seems very anxious and perhaps a bit suspicious or defensive, more than you'd expect in a gentleman managing on his own - common or garden variety fathers are usually only too happy to be waited on.

I think the key word is "changed." What's changed?
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I read your post earlier and didn’t notice the part about your brothers divorce.
Did you amend your original question? Maybe I just overlooked it.

Does your brother also have an interest in the home? Did mom have a will?
In some states, if there is no will, then mom’s estate doesn’t automatically go to her spouse. Perhaps this is where brothers ex is coming from. Wanting part of her ex’s inheritance??

So it sounds like when mom was living there were five of you living in the home at one time. Is that how it was?

Do you ever watch tv with your dad? Does brother visit? Does he have friends amongst the neighbors?
You know for a 94 yr old he’s doing amazing by your description. Many on here would be happy to be caring for their dad by going out to classes and friends every day.

Was dad basically on his own when you were tending mom? Did he participate? Has your life perhaps changed while his has basically stayed the same?

I would risk his anger to a degree and get things straightened up in my bedroom to begin with.

Then slowly start taking a layer away.
For instance if there are papers lying about, tidy those. If his clothing is here and there, straighten them.

Dust all the furniture even if you put the same things back down. Don’t make a show of it. Do it when he’s turned in. Go slow with a focus on things being clean and tidy.

No purging unless it’s obvious trash. You don’t want him to feel threatened.

Straighten the cushions on the sofa. Tidy the things around his chair. Make him feel cared for. If doing that would cause him to go ballistic I think you are probably looking at a bit of dementia. Of course that progresses.

Talk to your brother and see if he has insight on the situation.

Please come back and fill in some of the blanks. We want to help you figure this out.
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Chiswicky Jan 30, 2019
No it is a fact that only my mom contributed to this home along with myself. My moms dad was killed by an automobile helping his sister who was visiting cross the street in front of their home the same day my mom and dad made their marriage intentions. She got a small settlement back in the day when insurance didn’t pay that much and invested it for 30 years. My Dad told me he never knew how much it was nor did he ask her. Bank interest rates were good back then and the money grew. It grew and with the amount I saved from working we bought the house in 1991. I was 36 and Mom was 70. We had planned on moving off of that busy street for years but never found anything we liked until then. My Dad worked for the federal government and supported the family also but he definitely did not contribute to the payment of the house. All proven in court through evidence of documents submitted by us to brother’s wife’s attorney because of my brother’s divorce and his wife falsely claiming that my brother owned property that he didn’t tell her about. No I don’t work but split the bills with him through my savings. I worked a full career as a business education teacher part-time and administrative work in various corporations along with medical secretarial work. I do plan on returning to work in the spring after completing my paralegal studies which I am currently enrolled in. Mom had no will but had gifted money to my brother, his wife and myself per attorney to downsize and protect from nursing home just in case it was ever needed. Four of us lived her before brother was married.
Yes I make it a point to go down to family room when I get home and tell dad about my day and enjoy tv with him. If he is in a good mood he listens and enjoys hearing all the funny things that went on at the library or with friends etc. and yes I do do things as far as house tidying when he’s sleeping in in the am.
I also have an organizing lady come and help me once a month and I have donated and decluttered quite a bit with her.
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