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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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refurbished Offline
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Me or the Pets? - June 1st 2013, 08:08 PM

I'm not sure where to begin... This is my first post, so please bear with me if it's tough to understand!

So my parents divorced when I was very young, but I am very fortunate that they are both on good terms with each other. During the week, I live with my mom and I spend the weekend with my dad. All in all, I would say that the divorce has not affected me in a devastating way.

I have been fairly content with my home situation until recently. My mom is in a civil union and her partner has recently moved in our house. Our house has gotten a bit cramped and I cannot sleep well due to the pets that my mom's partner has brought with her to our house (when she leaves the animals alone, they cry and wake me up, and it just so is that she has to leave early for work).

Since I do value getting sleep, I confronted her politely about the problem and asked her to close her bedroom door when she leaves so her pets wouldn't wake me up. I promised to open the door when I woke up. She told me that she couldn't do that because she didn't want them to feel even more trapped in the room. I got really upset because she has basically said in an indirect way that they are more important to her than I am.

I told my mom about the problem but she said that I have been disrespectful and rude to them both lately and that maybe if I had been nicer to her that she would be more willing to close the door. I feel that this is irrelevant to the problem. So maybe I come off as rude and talk with a tone sometimes, but I am working on it! But this shouldn't mean that I lose sleep! This became a bad argument, and my mom started pointing out all the things I've been doing wrong recently. We argued more about this and my mom told me that her partner had talked to her about the issue with the noisy pets and that she WOULD close the door.

That was last weekend, but this past week, she didn't close her door ONCE. I'm really offended and I feel so silly to be tearing up at the thought of this. I feel like animals are being chosen over my well being. I'm afraid to talk to my mom or her partner about it again because I know they won't listen. When it comes to her partner, my mom always puts me second. I am positive that if her partner refuses to do anything with the door, my mom will just go along with it. I feel like I just don't matter!

It doesn't matter what the situation is. If I get into an argument with her partner, she'll tell my mom about it, and my side of the story is never asked about. My mom will simply yell at me and won't listen to what I have to say.

I have told my dad about this and he thinks I should move in with him. He is upset about the issue and I am thankful that SOMEONE will actually listen and place me above the animals! I know that it might be better to move in with him, especially if I am such a "burden" on my mom. But I am reluctant to because it would be a big change and I feel like it would really stress me out. The lifestyles of both these households are so different. I don't want to have to move. However, if I am continued to be treated as less than a cat or a dog, a change is needed, right?

I am also really concerned because I feel like being second place in my mom's eyes is really destroying our relationship. I'm really sad about this and I don't know what to do at all.

I feel like a bad person because I'm making such a big deal about this. I understand that the household conditions are not appropriate for her animals, either, and I don't want to make it hard for them. I don't want to be difficult, but at the same time, I am so angry and hurt. This is my house, too.

Sorry this was so long! If anyone has ANY advice at all, about ANY of this, I would be so grateful!

Last edited by refurbished; June 2nd 2013 at 03:17 AM.
   
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Re: Me or the Pets? - June 1st 2013, 09:49 PM

I haven't been in this situation but what I would do is go stay with your dad for a week or so and see how you feel about it. It does seem like in your mom's household, you've been put on hold as her partner becomes acclimated to house hold. But also from her point of view, she likely wants both of you to be happy but wants her civil union to be successful.

It sounds like an obnoxious situation for such a small problem, you know? Its not unreasonable at all to asked to not be awaken by her pets.

I recently moved out and I'll tell you that my relationship with my mom improved dramatically. No longer am I frustrated with a stream of perceived injustices/annoyances. I think some time away from her would be healthy for your relationship.

As I said I think you should move out for a bit to see how it goes. I'd tell your mom something about how you don't want to argue and that you feel your being overwritten by her partner and you need some time away from them.


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Re: Me or the Pets? - June 2nd 2013, 01:26 AM

I agree that having a "trial run," or at least some time away from your mom/with your dad, could help ease the tension. Here's what really stood out to me in your post, though:

Quote:
I told my mom about the problem but she said that I have been disrespectful and rude to them both lately and that maybe if I had been nicer to her that she would be more willing to close the door. I feel that this is irrelevant to the problem. So maybe I come off as rude and talk with a tone sometimes, but I am working on it! But this shouldn't mean that I lose sleep! This became a bad argument, and my mom started pointing out all the things I've been doing wrong recently.
This is NOT just about the pets - in your mom's eyes, this is about an ongoing pattern of behavior that needs to change. Whether you like it or not, things aren't going to get better until you start owning up to your part of the perceived problem. I'm guessing you're in your teenage years, since you're on TeenHelp. During this time in your life, regardless of whether or not your mom is dating someone, you're going to have conflicts with her. It's up to you to recognize how you add to those conflicts, and to make the necessary adjustments that will contribute to a happier environment. Hopefully, your mom will do the same. She's not always going to make the first move, as much as you would like for her to be the "adult" in this situation - you may need to be the one to humble yourself, apologize, and ask how you can make things better.

Start doing that, and once you've done more to "work on it," you can begin to address your concerns. Telling your mom you feel like you come second to her partner will fall on deaf ears if, in your mom's opinion, you still have a "bad attitude." Begin to show a different pattern, one that demonstrates humility, respect, work ethic, etc. After a few weeks of that, you'll have more leverage with your mom. She may begin to listen to what you have to say, and see you're not just being a spoiled brat about this. If, after all that, your mom still won't listen, then it may be time to revisit the idea of moving out, either on a temporary or permanent basis.






   
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Re: Me or the Pets? - June 2nd 2013, 03:19 AM

Thanks! You two both brought up good points and good advice. I really appreciate your help and time
   
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