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My father says he'll kill himself if my mother divorces him

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  anita 3 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #304575

    Victoria
    Participant

    I’m a single child (24 y.o) and my parents’ marriage has been a nightmare for as long as I can remember, mostly due to my father’s temper and personality and deep unconsciousness. His actions and reactions have always hurt everyone in the family, and have made my mother very unhappy for 30 years. She’s been wanting to get a divorce ever since but every time this subject came up, my father would react, as always, very dramatically, even threatening to kill himself. We’re also afraid because we believe he could become aggressive if my mother just kicked him out the house.

    During the past months, his behavior has gotten worse and we’ve taken him to see a psychologist and later a psychiatrist, which had never been possible until this point. I guess even himself started to feel his own emotions were out of control. He was diagnosed with a personality disorder, which we believe to be the Borderline Personality Disorder. Every symptom matches his “bad temper” we’ve always dealt with all our lives: terrified of being abandoned or left alone, unstable relationships, unclear or shifting self-image, impulsive, self-destructive behaviors like binge eating and heavy drinking, extreme emotional swings, explosive anger, and always feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality.

    He’s currently being medicated by a psychiatrist and doing psychotherapy, but honestly, I have no hope that this can be solved. He’s just being dragged to the appointments painting his own happy picture to every new doctor he goes to. He’s very manipulative, and at the same time a very, very unconscious and immature person. He does not even want to change because he’s convinced that everything he does is right. How can someone who thinks they’re always right change their behavior?

    My biggest concern, of course, is my mother. Where does she stand in this situation? She’s been so unhappy for so many years, having to take care of everything for him, being strong, independent but so unhappy. I’m just really sad and even though I’m a grown up, I don’t know what to do. If anyone has a wise word about this mess, I’m thankful and glad to read it.

    #304585

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Victoria:

    I would say priority #1 is that neither your mother nor you (or any siblings) live with your father, that a separation takes place safely. When that happens, your mother will probably need psychotherapy as well. I have more thoughts but have to get away from the computer. I will be back in about 12 hours from now. I will then re-read what you shared and anything you may add before I return, and reply further.

    I hope other members answer you as well.

    anita

    #304593

    Mark
    Participant

    Victoria,

    I agree with anita about your mother needing therapy to help cope with your father.  Your topic line of your father threatening to kill himself is emotional blackmail which your mother and you need to deal with.  It sounds like first and foremost your mother not only needs a therapist but a divorce lawyer to get out of that marriage.

    Mark

    #304627

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Victoria,

    Your mother doesn’t need your father’s permission to separate from him.  She can take some personal possessions and leave today.  I’m sure she has plenty of grounds for divorce.  Her own personal safety and yours should be the most important consideration in all of this.

    Up until now your father’s threat of suicide seems to have worked in keeping this marriage going in its abusive state.  This may sound like a hard line but if your father did choose that route, then he is the one that should take responsibility for that choice.  No-one else.

    Unfortunately, no-one can change your father’s behavior.  He has to be the one to do it.  Likewise, if your mother wants to stay, there’s nothing you can do about it.  I am not sure if you are still living at home but if you are, you might consider finding your own place.  Your mother needs to consult a lawyer to find out where she stands in all of this.

    Peggy

     

    #304631

    Victoria
    Participant

    Thank you all,

    Yes I’m still living at their home but I recently got my own. The way things are now, somehow have given my mother the strength or motivation to finally put an end to this unsustainable situation.

    All of your inputs were very helpful, guys!

     

    #304683

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Victoria:

    “I’m a single child (24 y.o) and my parents’ marriage has been a nightmare for as long as I remember… His actions and reactions have always hurt everyone in the family.. My biggest concern, of course, is my mother. Where does she stand in this situation? She’s been so unhappy for so many years, having to take care of everything for him, being strong, independent but so unhappy”-

    Your mother wasnt “strong, independent” enough to leave him, was she?

    And, she focused on the following: “to take care of everything for him“, but what about taking care of everything.. for you, providing you with a safe home by separating from him early on, so that you don’t have to grow up with aggression?

    A child, be it minor or adult, often focuses  on her mother’s well being but not on her own. You are more of a victim of your father than your mother is, because you were introduced to him as a baby while your mother entered into his life as a young adult. You will need to heal from your lifetime experience of living with your aggressive father and with your mother who did not protect you from him. I am sure you will continue to care for your mother, but take care of yourself first.

    I hope you post again.

    anita

     

     

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