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stardrops Offline
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Falling Apart - April 16th 2009, 02:46 AM

My parents' marriage is falling apart.

I am an only child because of my mother's health problems. She has lost several children because of them, something I found out last year. We live in the suburbs and are stable financially, but don't exactly have a ton of money.

My mom is a piano teacher at home, teaching 2 hours in mornings and 3-4 in the afternoons. She has huge mood swings. Most of the time she's totally disfunctional, sitting in her office watching junk TV on her computer and eating candy. She doesn't usually do laundry, clean, or cook. She supports me in my school activities and anything public. Every couple months she goes into real mode, eating well, cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry like she should.

My dad is a college professor. At 41, he is still working on his dissertation, meaning he is still a college student and we still pay tuition, and will probably be in the same position for the rest of his career. He gets home late most nights and wakes up after I do. Most of his time at home is spend on his computer pursuing his many hobbies (knives, watches, guitars, music, guns) or watching videos. He's very healthy and lifts excercises twice a day. He doesn't know that while using his computer, I found in his web history that he's been going to sex video and porn websites. Our religion is very against this, as am I. All of my guy friends at school know I hate it and won't talk to them if they do things like that. He cleans the kitchen with me most days and makes dinner.

My parents haven't slept together for years. I heard them fighting late in the night last week, my mom crying and my dad sounding calm. My mom wanted to know why my dad wouldn't touch her, if he loved her. My dad said he loved her when times were good, and when times were bad he didn't know what to think. They fought for a while. They don't know I heard them. My mom is a mean snake to my dad, or nice to him, or ignores him completely. My dad keeps neutral the whole time, just withdrawing from her when she gets mad and loving her when she's happy.

I am an honor roll student, am musically gifted, take advanced classes, have good friends, and don't get bullied. I'm physically fit and do summer swimteam. I clean kitchen, living room, bathroom and my room when I get home, but the backyard, garage, bedroom, and whole downstairs stay a pigsty. I have much more important things to do that clean the whole house every day, I know, but I still feel guilty and embarrassed that parts of it remain such a huge mess.

Please help me! I do not have any idea what I should do, and am afraid to go to my friends for advice because of what they may think. Should I dig in, clean the whole house out, and take on my mom's responsibilities and forgive my parents of their flaws? I don't know what I ought to be doing, but I know that things shouldn't stay like this.

And thanks to whoever bothers to read this stupid, long post.
   
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Strider Offline
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Re: Falling Apart - April 16th 2009, 10:47 PM

Hey there,
No posts are ever stupid, and I generally find long posts very helpful when I give advice because it helps give a clear picture of what's going on. Posts are supposed to be as long as they need to be, so don't ever worry about that.

From what it sounds like, your family sounds pretty average. I know your mom is going through some moods swings and had some difficulties, but overall, your family sounds fairly normal.

If you are against what your dad is watching on the internet, and are comfortable talking to him about it, then confronting him might be a good idea. Just let him know that you don't believe what he's doing is right. Ultimately, it is his decision, but if you want to put your word in, then go right ahead.

As for your mom, I think it might be a good idea to talk to her, maybe with your dad present as well. Have a family meeting and decide what chores need to be done in the day and who can do them. Split up the work so that it's not always you who needs to be cleaning up.

Things will probably sort themselves out between your parents. There's not really anything you can do about them arguing. You could encourage them to do some family activities and hang out together as a family. That may help their relationship.

I think it's good that you are so concerned about your parents and are doing so well with school while managing life at home.

Nat.


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