Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

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Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby Clouded » Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:55 am

Sorry again for bombarding you with my depressing stories, but this time it's not about me, but about convincing my mother to ''remove herself from the situation''. Long story short, my dad lied to us and told us that he was going to visit his mother for 2 weeks (5 days prior to leaving) but instead of staying with her for the entire 2 week duration, we found out that he went to 4 star hotels and made appointments with escorts. When he came home, he changed for the worse and now rarely talks to us (less than before), is always irritated at us (just wanting to have a friendly conversation with him pisses him off) and spends hours alone in the basement on the computer. My mom found a card with flowers on it in his suitcase but it was enclosed in an envelope. We thought that maybe it was for their wedding anniversary (July 20th) but she never received it. It's not the first time that my dad cheated on my mother and it's no surprise to us that he paid to have sex with women half his age, but this time it really got to my mother because he never pays attention to us, treats us with disrespect, is nice to and spoils other women and is only after sex with women.

My parents wanted to get a divorce when I was 13 after my dad got sent to jail for hitting my mother and bursting her eardrum, but I think I had a huge part in their decision to stay together because I remember being depressed, crying and begging my parents (especially my mom) to not abandon each other and love each other just for me. They should not have listened to me because I was just a kid, I thought that my dad would change for us and I was selfish because I wanted to have both of parents with me so I could be happy. Now that I am older and understand the situation, I am now inviting my mom to get a divorce. My parents are not happy in their relationship, they both want different things and never were compatible (my dad married so he could move out of his parent's home because his mother was overbearing). Why are they still staying together? They never show affection to each other (I have NEVER in my whole life seen my parents kiss on the lips), they rarely spend time together, and when they do, they are usually pissed at each other for stupid reasons. My dad was never a family man, he never desired to have a child and he acts and talks like he's a 20 something year old bachelor with a dash of narcissism. My mom always complains to me that she doesn't have her husband by her side, that she wishes that they could do couple activities together like walk hand-in-hand in the park but my dad prefers to be glued to the computer and look at porn. And the worst thing is that I always have to be in the middle of this; their marriage is their mistake and I am what came out of it and I always had to endure everything that goes with it, which is a lot of crappy stuff and I don't need any of this in my life anymore. In the last year, with your wisdom, I taught myself how to not let myself be affected by what goes on between my parents and now I want to help my mom help herself.

Instead of actually making a change in her life for the better, my mom prefers to cry and smoke on the patio (sometimes up to an hour). This is what she always does when she's unhappy and I can't see her like this, not only is that not solving her unhappiness, but she's messing up with her health. It actually angers me when I see her like this because I know that there are other less harmful ways to deal with this. She keeps telling me that she will file up for divorce (she's been saying that for years) but she never really does it, she just accepts her shitty marriage when she's clearly unhappy and suffering. I told her that all of her complaining to my dad is useless, he is who he is and won't change for her or for me and it is up to her to accept ''what is'' or remove herself from the situation and that she is the one who chooses to suffer. Clearly she is doing a bad job at accepting what is because she's been suffering in this marriage since I was born and I think that no wife deserves to be treated that way by her husband. I do sincerely believe that she will be happier on her own (I'm kinda hoping that I would be able to live with her because I don't feel safe with my dad either), my dad's presence in our lives is toxic, neither one of us are trying to become buddhas and peacefully live with a monster. We are a broken family, I wouldn't even categorize us as a family, we are more like 3 disturbed adults who cohabit in the same building. I told my mom that my dad doesn't deserve us, that he doesn't deserve a family with the way that he has been treating us for all of these years, what is she waiting for? She has never admitted to me the reason(s) why she never left, but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the luxury she gets to have with being married to him, and maybe she's also afraid of change like I am.

I guess I am posting this because I am being selfish again, but I am tired of seeing my parents like this. I am not happy about this, but I am not suffering like I used to (I prefer to think of myself as an orphan and stop expecting to be treated how I ideally want to be treated by my parents.) I am just tired of hearing about my dad cheating, and I am tired of seeing my mom smoke and cry. I'm just tired of their drama, this has happened so many times and if I were her, I would have left him a long long time ago. I don't know what else I can do to help her...
"If you want to know what your were like in the past, look at your body today. If you want to know what your body will be like in the future, look at your thoughts today." -Deepak
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby Phil2 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:24 pm

Clouded,

I know your are 'fan' of the 'Four Agreements', so ...

First of all, do not judge your parents, do not judge or blame anyone (you will certainly remember the First Agreement here :) ) ...

Second, don't take all this personally ... it is your parents story ... it is their life and their condition ... and do not make assumptions of what is 'good' or 'bad' for them ... remember that suffering has its place too in life ...

Third, do the best you can in this situation ... and in every situation you will have to face ...

Here's an extract from the Fifth Agreement book:

You are here to enjoy life. You are not here to suffer over your drama or your personal importance. It’s not you; it doesn’t belong to your presence.

You are here to be a dreamer, to be an artist, to be a seer. But you cannot be a seer when you only have eyes to see your own story, your own wounds, your own victimization. When you are still focusing on what your mother did to you twenty years ago, or forty years ago, or what your father did, or what your partner did, or what any of the other secondary characters in your story did to you, then you are not seeing the truth. If you are focusing on all that drama, then talking to you is like talking to a wall. Does this ring any bells someplace?


Know who you are ... know yourself ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby Phil2 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:05 pm

About judging others and respect ...

Then respect is about the complete acceptance of everything that exists just the way it is, not the way we want it to be. This is more or less one meaning of the word respect. Once you accept yourself just the way you are, you no longer have any judgments about yourself. Once you accept everybody else just the way they are, you no longer have any judgments about them. Then something incredible happens in your world: You find peace. You are not in conflict with yourself, and you are not in conflict with anyone else. All of the conflict that exists in humanity is because there is no respect. Every war is because we didn’t respect the other artists’ way of life. Instead of respecting their rights, we start imposing what we believe on others. Instead of peace, there is war.

From The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby Phil2 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:58 pm

Do you still blame your parents for your troubles ? Remember, they did the best they could. If your parents abused you, it wasn’t personal. It was due to their own fears; it was due to what they believed. If they abused you, it’s because they were also abused. If they hurt you, it’s because they were also hurt. It’s an ongoing chain of action-reaction. Are you going to continue being a part of that chain, or is it over with you? What kind of messenger are you ?


From The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby Clouded » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:16 pm

Phil, are you going to post excerpts from that book every time I post something? How would you like if I did the same thing to you? Ya know, I read your reply to the person who casually smokes marijuana and you seemed pretty against it and even told them that they should stop taking drugs for their own good, I could have very well intervened and tell YOU about the first agreement. ;) I appreciate you taking the time to read my post and replying but I'm sorry if I want to help my mom escape my dad. If someone who I care is suffering, even if its none of my business, instead of ignoring their problems, I want to help them. She's the one who wanted a divorce in the first place, she just seems stuck. She always tells me that she wants to divorce my dad but never does anything about it and this has been going on for years.
"If you want to know what your were like in the past, look at your body today. If you want to know what your body will be like in the future, look at your thoughts today." -Deepak
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby Phil2 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:32 pm

Clouded, I don't tell you to do nothing ... I tell you do not judge your parents and don't take this personally ... and do the best you can ...

That's all I tell you ...

What is the use to read books then when practical situations arise to forget all about those teachings ?

Intellectual understanding is not enough ...

There is an old saying:

The one who knows and does not act does not know ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:31 am

Clouded how about you do what you need to do to achieve and be what you want, for you.

And let your Mum, and your Dad, live their lives as they see fit. (within their own awareness, capacity and willingness)

Any situation is what it is by the choices made by each individual in the situation to this point. At any time any participant can choose differently ---- but of their own free will, which merely is 'I would not presume to choose for you.'

Instead of wanting her to do something different with her life, do something different with yours.

You have your life to live - what would you do with it if you knew you couldn't fail?

Don't flick it out there >>>> take it inside.
Don't make it about anyone else but you - start actually thinking independently and applying your 'well meaning advice' to your self.

If your Mum 'needs' inspiration from you, let her see you living the life you want to live.

You will go one of two ways with this - immediately start making 'excuses', making enemy, obstacle means to an end of people, things and the situation;
or sit quietly and let it sink in and then start making your choices that will make the differences in your life, and by example, maybe, if they choose, in the lives of those around you.

No choice is wrong, it just brings a different experience.

That is true for all of us without exception.

The very things you are saying your Mum 'should' do - apply them to your self.
If 'remove herself from the situation' is the advice - take it.
If 'divorce your dad' is the advice - take it (there are 'degrees' in which one can 'divorce' oneself from a situation)

And the worst thing is that I always have to be in the middle of this; their marriage is their mistake and I am what came out of it and I always had to endure everything that goes with it, which is a lot of crappy stuff and I don't need any of this in my life anymore

If you keep doing the same thing the same way, you'll keep getting the same results.

Only you can stop doing that. Only you can stop taking responsibility for other people's actions, thoughts and choices, and start focussing on your own and stepping into them.

Instead of actually making a change in her life for the better, my mom prefers to cry and smoke on the patio (sometimes up to an hour).


Finish this sentence for us

"Instead of actually making a change in my life for the better, I prefer to ................................"

:?: :idea:

It actually angers me when I am like this because I know that there are other less harmful ways to deal with this.


I took the liberty of making the switch for you in the above and below statements. Are they true? What will YOU do about it?

all of my complaining to my dad (and mum) is useless, they won't change for each other or for me and it is up to me to accept ''what is'' or remove myself from the situation and that I am the one who chooses to suffer.


You might want to go through the rest of the post changing the prepositions yourself - or not, it will only matter for you.

I don't worry about you, I believe in you :wink:
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby Clouded » Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:18 am

Sorry Phil for lashing out on you like that, it was a misunderstanding on my part. It's just that to me, if I start following all of the agreements for this situation, I fear that this would make me stop caring that my dad is cheating on my mom since I would be no longer be bothered by this (I would not see it as a problem that needs to be fixed and would be satisfied with this dysfunctional family.)

I'm still bothered by this and will always be to a certain degree, but I am not depressed and I know that bitching about him won't change anything, he is who he is and I am not furious that he won't change for us and become what I think is a good husband/father. I am disappointed that his priorities are not those of a family man, but I accepted him and told my mom that it's no use to compare him to other husbands and wish that he were different. If she wants qualities ________ in a romantic partner, then she should go find someone who already possesses these qualities. They want different things, they are not compatible, they are both angry with each other because they expect different things from each other, their marriage was doomed from the start.

Jen, I knew someone would bring up something similar to Bryon Katie's ''The Work'' and tell me to be the first one to change so I could influence my mom to follow in my footsteps. Were you thinking that I should get a job and move out? Basically, do everything that I want my mother to do? What if I was a minor who is too young to work/live on my own?
"If you want to know what your were like in the past, look at your body today. If you want to know what your body will be like in the future, look at your thoughts today." -Deepak
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:56 am

Jen, I knew someone would bring up something similar to Bryon Katie's ''The Work'' and tell me to be the first one to change so I could influence my mom to follow in my footsteps. Were you thinking that I should get a job and move out? Basically, do everything that I want my mother to do? What if I was a minor who is too young to work/live on my own?


Sweetheart you're making this experience up as you go along.

Why not make it a nice one - an experience you will enjoy and be proud of.

Obstacles on a path are only there to climb over, not to stop you.

And be grateful for the lessons you are learning along the way and putting in your own kit bag -

If she wants qualities ________ in a romantic partner, then she should go find someone who already possesses these qualities.


That's a gem that no one who believes in fairy tales has in their kit bag. Good for you - make sure you stick to it!

(the cinderella theme that some dashing Prince Charming is going to ride along and scoop you up out of your hellish existence, solving all your problems and live 'happily ever after' with you, or beauty & the beast romanticising the Stockholm Syndrome - being in love with your captor/abuser and portraying that under a Beast might be a 'Prince' if only you will love them enough ... choke!! splutter!!! cough!!! :wink: )

They want different things, they are not compatible, they are both angry with each other because they expect different things from each other,


So again... however you want to manifest it....
how about you do what you need to do to achieve and be what you want, for you.


There ain't no way of getting away from yourself Clouded.
You can try, but you'd just be wasting precious time.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby Phil2 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:00 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:
Instead of wanting her to do something different with her life, do something different with yours.



Wow, excellent post Jen ... for once I understood all of what you say :lol:

It is very clear that one must step out his/her 'victim' state in order to really move on in life ... it is unfortunately so common to see most people complain about others, parents, education, selfish society, big corporations etc. ... making others responsible for their own life ... they are stuck in this, they feed their own frustration and suffering ... and they sabotage themselves doing this, impeding any real action ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby Phil2 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:10 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:
If she wants qualities ________ in a romantic partner, then she should go find someone who already possesses these qualities.


That's a gem that no one who believes in fairy tales has in their kit bag. Good for you - make sure you stick to it!

(the cinderella theme that some dashing Prince Charming is going to ride along and scoop you up out of your hellish existence, solving all your problems and live 'happily ever after' with you, or beauty & the beast romanticising the Stockholm Syndrome - being in love with your captor/abuser and portraying that under a Beast might be a 'Prince' if only you will love them enough ... choke!! splutter!!! cough!!! :wink: )



lol ... I think I love you Jen :lol:

Reminds me a saying (sorry for sexist accents - it is also true the other way round):

"When a woman loves a man, it is not really him she loves ... but when she quits this man, it is really him she quits"

:)

We only love the image we make of others ... not what they really are ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:33 pm

Wow, excellent post Jen ... for once I understood all of what you say :lol:

lol ... I think I love you Jen :lol:

Gawd, you 'get me' one time and go all to water :lol: :lol:
Oh you just mean ...
We only love the image we make of others ... not what they really are ...

:wink:
In that manner - conditional love - we do the same with other emotions - we only 'hate' an image as well.


I think this too might be 'sexist' and may also work the other way around
A man marries a woman hoping she'll never change, a woman marries a man hoping that he will.
:roll:
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby Phil2 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:37 pm

smiileyjen101 wrote:
We only love the image we make of others ... not what they really are ...

:wink:
In that manner - conditional love - we do the same with other emotions - we only 'hate' an image as well.


I think this too might be 'sexist' and may also work the other way around
A man marries a woman hoping she'll never change, a woman marries a man hoping that he will.
:roll:


From "The Mastery of Love" by Don Miguel Ruiz

When a man meets a woman, he makes an image of her from his point of view, and the woman makes an image of the man from her point of view. Then he tries to make her fit the image he makes for her, and she tries to make him fit the image she makes for him. Now there are six images between them. Of course, they are lying to each other, even if they don't know they are lying. Their relationship is based on fear; it is based on lies. It is not based on truth, because they cannot see through all that fog.
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:18 am

I 'love' the Mastery of Love, and I love DM Ruiz - but not in ^^ this way :wink:

In the way that I heard him say "Love, is the equilibrium of gratitude and generosity".

Have you read Conversations with God, in the sections about unconditional love? I love the Mastery of Love - I gave it to a friend or I would refresh if there's anything similar to what is in CWG.
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Re: Helping my mom end her unhappy marriage

Postby karmarider » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:33 am

Hi Clouded,

My fundamental view of the purpose of human life is to move from fear to love. It's a complicated and confusing journey for most of us and possibly the most challenging situations are human relationships. To see it as the spectrum of fear and love and all the in-betweens simplifies the problems for me. But solutions are not as readily understandable. The solution in any situation is of course to decide who you want to be in relation to whatever is going on, and be that, but of course deciding who you want to be is not always obvious.

Who you want to be in this case, it sounds like, is a loving and helpful daughter to your mom. Your mom's situation is not easy. On a forum, it's easy to point out the usual psycho-babble about victim personality and so on, but in my experience, it's never that simple or clear. Leaving anyone after many years is not easy. My guess is your mom, despite the unhappiness, probably does have some affection and attachment to your dad, she may have fears of loneliness, the unknown alternative, social judgment, finances. She may be used to the life she has--perhaps it is unhappy but it is familiar. She may be worried about what will happen to your dad. And to you. I don't know any of this; I do know that it's never simple.

I'm not sure if you'll find useful help on a forum about this. For a long time, as I explored spirtuality, I felt a huge gap between my spiritual understanding and the actuality of living a life. Life is full of human relationships and all sorts of fears. I found this gap closed for me with Conversations with God. I found a very useful pardigm in that work which works for me. I see that each of us is trying to move from fear to love. This takes away all judgment and gives me a clear and simple understanding. What I must do in any situation is decide who I want to be in relation to whatever is going on--this is also simple, but not always easy.

Maybe the thing to do is to let your mom know how you feel, and it seems that how you feel is that you no longer want to see your mom suffer.

So I don't really have any good advice on this either, except for the spiritual aphorisms above, which you can safely discard.
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