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When you're in your late 20s and your parents still want to

destijl10's picture

When you're in your late 20s and your parents still want to call you every week, see you 3 times a year, and go on family vacations, what do you do? I want to create more distance between myself and them, but it feels like I'm breaking up with them. We just are not on the same page at all in terms of expectations going forward. I've only been living out of the house now for about a year and a half. Maybe I should stop pretending with them and just be upfront with what I want. There's just little more they can do for me at this point. I feel like maintaining a relationship at all with them is just doing it for their sake. It's not like I never want to see them again, but I'm nearing the point of just wanting to cut them off indefinitely.

There was no sexual or physical abuse, and it's not like my parents have a severely burdensome medical condition, but at the very least I do feel like I have some unresolved issues with my dad. I feel like I have to keep my guard up around him because too many times he's hurt me (emotionally) when I was vulnerable. He yelled a lot growing up, and pretty much held the family's peace of mind hostage (held us emotionally hostage). I don't live with him anymore, and he doesn't do this kind of stuff when I see him for the holidays or talk on the phone, but I feel like these past issues still linger; I'm not over them. He did me wrong, and there was no recourse. It's always been like this. I'm very frustrated with him in general.

On the other hand, my dad has done so much for me in terms of providing (financially) for me and my family. I'm so far ahead of most people in terms of finances; I recognize that it's a huge burden I don't have to deal with.

Idk, at the end of the day, if I'm expected to have a relationship with my dad, then I should be able to demand that it's a healthy (trusting, respectful, loving) relationship, and these past issues have put too much mistrust in my mind to do that. I always have to have my guard up. I can't trust him when I've been burned too many times in the past. He doesn't seem to get it.

Idk, sometimes I do wish my folks were gone, just so my dad can't put my mom through so much pain. I think she struggles to keep it together putting up with his yelling and anger issues. It's always put a lot of stress on all of us, but now she's much older. I worry about her so much. I really hope he is a better man than I've known when it's just the two of them.

Anyways, that's a lot to take in. The bottom line is that I want (need?) more space. I want to live my own life now. The fact that it requires a certain level of distance for me to be happy...? Well? Idk. It's unfortunate that it might hurt my parents. But I don't think it's right to expect me to put my happiness on hold indefinitely, so they can have a false sense of closeness to their son who is nearing 30. And to be clear, it's not like it's causing me misery on a moment-to-moment basis, but it doesn't sit right with me. Something has to change. And if these unresolved issues aren't going to be resolved, then maybe creating distance will be somewhat of a wakeup call to my dad that something is wrong. Maybe he'll take it on himself to try to understand me. He could very well try to shift the blame on me, and that will be stressful to deal with, but at this point it seems like I just need to do this.

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norseduncan's picture
Oct 11

you should have the space if you want it. and you will have to deal with things with your dad. either on your own or with him

Hephzibah2014's picture
Oct 12

I live about 2000 miles away from my family, thankfully :-). I love them and would do anything for them, but its like you can't live with them and can't live without them kind of thing. I do call my mom every week-because I want to. I just got back from a 2 wk vacation that I spent mostly with my mom. I hadn't seen anyone in over two years so it was good to see everyone, but it was good to come home:-). I might try shorter more frequent visits from now on though. Maybe some healthy boundaries are all you need? Theres a book called boundaries by Dr Henry Cloud that my counselor recommended. For me, I wouldn't want to spend every vacation I had with my family, but also I have learned that family and the ones who love you no matter what are a precious gift even with all their flaws. My father was angry all the time too and yelled all the time growing up. After my parents divorced we didn't see him too much and there wasn't much financial support either. He turned Amish about 10 years ago(kind of a mid life crisis I guess?) and seems to be more peaceful I guess. My sis and bro have a harder time forgiving him and allowing him into their life, but I guess I've been able to forgive even when he says something stupid. It helps to know that he's trying in his way, because obviously its not healthy to allow emotional abuse etc. I'm able to be pretty open with him and tell him when he says stupid things. My father grew up in a very unhealthy household and had a lot of issues/bitterness/etc to deal with. Have you thought of writing a letter to your dad? Or having other family members help you confront him? Does your father at least see that he has a problem? Have you ever watched the movie "I can only imagine"? Theres hope for anyone <3 Heres a link you might be able to share with him if you feel that would be the right thing for your situation: Peace and prayers <3

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Oct 22

I am sorry you are going through this. This is a very difficult situation. It is understandable as an adult that you would want a little space to be on your own. The best thing you can do is be honest. My advice would be to have a serious talk with them about the way you are feeling. They will understand because your happiness is so important! But, just let them know that you are not cutting them off completely, you just need a little space. I hope everything works out!


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