They are in the 70s and my grandmother just moved into a nursing home. I have suggested that they all move closer to me but they refuse to sell their home. My mother's solution is to have my Dad stay with me so she can keep his income to support the mortgage of their house. I find this ridiculous. I really am at a loss on what to do.

When Mom calls and complains about Dad you say..."I am not having this conversation with you and if it continues I will hang up" Then follow through.
When Dad calls to complain about Mom you say..."I am not having this conversation with you and if it continues I will hang up" Then follow through.
You are not responsible for helping them work out "problems" real or perceived.
If they are both safe physically and emotionally from each other then just let them bicker on. This is how some people communicate and oddly they don't know how to do it any other way.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to Grandma1954
Katiekate Jan 13, 2020
Exactly. My in-law we’re constantly at each other. For decades! One year I got them dueling pistols. Very pretty...of course never used.

i told them both they need to work it out.

PS. Dueling pistols are deliberately manufactured to be grossly inaccurate... after all the goal is to satisfy honor not kill someone. But, if you ever find yourself as are in more danger than the intended target.
When I complain about DH, and I know that I do, far too much, my kids shut me down, ASAP. My marital problems are NOT theirs to deal with or handle.

DH is very, very depressed and doesn't like to talk or socialize or do ANYTHING but sleep. I am so very, very, very tired of it, but I try not to say anything to my kids.

Divorce has sat on the table, just sitting there staring at both of us. I know it will totally screw up our retirement plans, we'll both be 'scratching by' instead of living well if we divorce. He honestly doesn't care about anything, so divorcing him b/c he's depressed seems awfully mean, but he can be so mean to me and I am struggling to overcome a year of cancer and chemotherapy. He was not there for me, not one iota and I can't get over this huge hurt.

But--my kids are wise and do not allow me to wallow in self pity.

Truly, not many people married 44 years are super happy and always content. I am hoping that after DH's mother passes away he can get some help for his anger and depression. He knows he needs help---but won't get it. Talking to your kids is pointless. And thoughtless.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to Midkid58

I don't see how your parents' arguing is your's really a marital issue between the two of THEM, right? You can go ahead and suggest marriage counseling and let them know you're willing to pay for it even, but good luck on that...........being from the older generation, they don't usually 'believe' in 'shrinks' or counseling or therapy or even self-help books!!

I would tell your mother you will absolutely NOT take your father in so she can keep his income to pay for the mortgage..........I agree that such an idea is ridiculous. She either agrees to work things out or she should file for divorce.

Best of luck!
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to lealonnie1

Here’s another possibility. Relations in the family were getting upset by elderly W’s increasing nagging of H. Very unexpectedly, W died of a heart attack. The family then found that H had increasing dementia which W had been covering up by ordering him around. Worth a thought?
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

I have told them multiple times that they need to deal with those issues and not call me to complain about the other one. Sometimes they listen sometimes they don't. So I find myself talking to them less and visiting less. I feel bad but at the same time its not my problem and if they don't want to get help there is nothing I can do.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Mayesc1
lealonnie1 Jan 8, 2020
When they don't listen to what you're saying, tell them you have another call coming in. Or something is burning on the stove. Or there's someone at the door. Buh-bye mom and dad. Since when are children supposed to be working out marital issues for the parents?? UGH. My parents were doing the same thing to me towards the end of dad's life when he'd had about ENOUGH of my mother's 68 yrs of torment.
If they can care for themselves, they do not need your help right now. Sadly, the bickering is the communication style of your parents. You probably won't be able to change that... and it appears your parents don't want to change. Rather than spend money on counseling for them, talk to a counselor to figure out ways of dealing with it for yourself.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Taarna
Invisible Jan 13, 2020
Oh, I like your answer better than mine.
I am an only child and always had a close relationship with my parents. They were really great people. Upon retirement, they moved three houses down from me and I thought that would be a good thing. Boy was I wrong. They did nothing but sit in the house and drink wine, after a while got cabin fever, and then were constantly bickering about everything. As an only child and living three houses away, I got sucked into trying to counsel them, begging, "please, be nice to each other!!" This started around age 70. Dad just died at age 81 and my mom continues to be a pretty nasty person. If I had any idea how this would turn out I would have kept my distance and loudly protested them moving so close to me. It has significantly damaged my life and I am now in therapy. Sadly my happy memories and fond thoughts of my parents have been overshadowed by the events of the last decade. There was nothing I could do to help them. I begged for them to travel - they had ample money and good health at that time, but they chose to sit and stew and became obsessed with dying. They threw away a lot of good years which breaks my heart. But they stole a lot of happiness and time away from me as well and I truly regret getting involved with trying to help. Be so very careful.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Upstream

I know I weighed in on this and I guess it was well received--you never know if what you post is going to resonate with people.

Instead of all you thinking my DH is a jerk--I need to qualify something: his parents had probably the worst marriage in history. I never saw or heard them say or do a kind thing for/to each other in the 42 years they were married. In fact, on our first date, DH told me how miserable his parents were and that he would never marry. (So I asked him why he was dropping money on a movie with me!)

They truly has problems that only divorce could 'mend'. But it didn't. Dad left, she 'let' him have an old recliner, a card table and 2 (not all 4) of the folding chairs, his clothes and one small TV. The rest she had Goodwill come and get before he had a chance to get anything else.

Dad never said ONE WORD against MIL. She on, the other hand, is still alive and kicking at 90 and will talk about him incessantly. In fact, he and his shortcomings as a human is all she really does talk about. He's been gone 16 years and they were divorced 14 years prior to his death. Wouldn't you think 30 years of 'aloneness' would have calmed her some? Nope--she's still absolutely as mad at him as she ever was.

So DH GREW UP seeing a non-functioning, hateful marriage. He has protected himself by distancing himself from me, so he can't get hurt.

Funny thing, he'll tell basically strangers how much he loves me, and how stressed out and worried he was during my chemo last year. Never said a word to me. I heard this from a woman he works with.

It is going to take his mother's death and some serious soul searching to get him to trust me. I've stayed with him through goodness knows what, and I don't WANT to leave him.

He left on a n 8 day business trip this am. Know how I know he felt awful about what a jerk he's been the last few weeks? He made his own bed.

And again--it is NOT my kids' business as to what goes on in my marriage, short of abuse. We don't even squabble. We just are 2 entirely different people with NOTHING in common who got married. We're not that unusual.

Plus which, I am super, super awesome and forgive him daily. :)
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Midkid58
Shell38314 Jan 13, 2020

You totally are super super awesome:)

Hope you are feeling somewhat better and getting your strength back little-by-little each day!😊

See 1 more reply
My parents use to bicker all the time and it got worst after my dad retired. In fact, they would come over to my house and start bickering I would tell them "if you two are going to start bickering then you can leave. I don't want to hear it." And if I was at their house and they strated bicking then I would just leave! I found it to be very stressful, but they must of found comfort in it because they bickered through their whole marriage! Ugh! It drove people crazy!!

Now, I find that I have no tolerance for it--at all!

I don't think counseling is going to be the answer. Don't get me wrong I am for therapy, but they are up there in age and in truth, probably addicted to it. I think your best bet is for them to find hobbies that each of them can do without the other.

Isthisrealyreal is right. To much of a good thing isn't a good thing anymore. We all need time to ourselves!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Shell38314

I'd try to make sure they are both safe. Sometimes, people argue and it gets out of hand. I'd just make sure it's nothing like that going on. My parents squabble too. It's usually about small things, like who left a light on, but, it's a lot more than it used to be. If I suggested marital counseling for them, I think they would laugh very loudly. lol They've been married 61 years. I think it might help, but, I don't think they would go. But, you can always offer.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Sunnygirl1

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter