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I am an only child. My mother has always been a controlling and demanding person so this is nothing new. She likes to control how something happens and gets stressed when things don't go as she planned them to go. My Dad has just seemed to always take whatever she dishes out. There is no physical abuse but to me it is verbal abuse. My parent's just put their home on the market and will be moving two hours to live in an independent/assisted living facility near my home. I was at their home yesterday and everything she said pretty much was something blaming dad for whatever circumstance or little thing...didn't make a phone call, never has enjoyed playing games, he hasn't gone through this stuff....on and on. I am afraid he will get the blame for whatever isn't making her happy once they move into independent living. To my mother's credit she has had about everything go wrong in her life that can...she can have no normal health concern as something more complicated and strange develops. She has been on peritoneal dialysis for about ten years and does all this on her own. She is very bitter and angry. I feel bad for the hand she has been dealt, as does my dad. She is a trooper. My Dad is a good man. They have been married over 50 years and he provided a nice lifestyle for them. He just is not as vocal as her and he cannot do anything right in her eyes. It breaks my heart to see this and it seems to have only gotten worse. My husband commented after we left their home yesterday, that he just doesn't seem to give a sh... about life anymore. Nothing to look forward to.... Help. Advice? I have a hard time not feeling guilty...like I am not doing enough, guilty for feeling the way I do about my mother, etc.

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While this might be the dynamic of their marriage - it really isn't fair to your dad. The suggestion of medication is worth exploring - it really made a difference to the negativity and blaming others of my dad. He was very depressed after his stroke and he got so bad we were all at our wits end. His medication has made a world of difference and he is a much more positive and cheerful man.
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You're going to try to fix a very successful (and darned near unAmerican) 50-year marriage? Really? It works for them. Their dynamics have been in place for YEARS!

My advice to you? When you're with them and mom "starts up"? Give dad a secret smile and a massive eye roll. Please practice in the mirror well in advance.
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It's their dance? The Nazi's also had a dance….and so did slave owners in the South….And He will miss her when she's dead? Really, sounds like a load of sentimental nonsense to me -- he will probably wake up and feel free from your mom who sounds like a wretched and unappreciative and narcissistic harpee
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*chuckles a little* I have conversations in my head to help me sort through stuff, and I'm hearing a conversation between you and your mom. Goes something like this:

"Hey, mom. After our visit to your house the other day, a thought occurred to me: would you like to have separate quarters at the AL facility, when you move?"

Her reply, "Why in the world would you think THAT?"

"Well, y'know .. sounded like you were pretty unhappy with Dad."

She says, "What??? Oh, pfft .. that's just us talkin'. I get to blow off steam and your Dad just ignores what doesn't matter."

*****
Sometimes, from the outside looking in, we don't SEE.
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Just sit down and have a talk with them your mom will eventually learn that she has to stop
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naheaton has already said what popped into my mind as I read this. It is what it is. It is their marriage. Somehow it works for them -- or doesn't work and they tolerate it.

For you, I'd suggest that you lose the guilt. You did not make your parent's marriage what it is. You did not deal the difficult hand your mother plays. None of this is your fault. Save your energy for helping them settle into their new home. Don't waste it on guilt.
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Sounds like your mom is depressed, bad health can do this to a person. Maybe get her on some anti-depressant medicine and see if this helps.
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I would say that this is the dynamic of their marriage. Your dad has a voice I'm assuming and has ALLOWED her to say these things all their married life. I know you want to stick up for your dad but honestly you don't know what goes on behind closed doors. She may have a reason for saying this stuff, or she may not, but it's their thing. If it were me I'd set her aside and ask her WHY she always blames dad. Maybe she's done it so long she doesn't even realize what she's saying because it's just the 'party line' at this point. Other than that, if I'd heard it so much and didn't want to bite my tongue off, I'd just respond "well mom you're the one that chose him' and let it go. In my own mothers life, she seemed to treat dad with kind of a condescending attitude later in their marriage. Part of it she was in constant pain and just crabby, and part was just her personality. My sister who is the youngest would especially take offense at this, and jump on both of them. But the reality was, they loved each other and dad didn't seem to care when mom got a little mean anyway. It doesn't matter now at this point since mom died earlier this year after 63 years of marriage. Now dad would give anything to have her bugging him again. So I'd say, it's their dance. It is what it is.
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