My parents complain about each other to me, and I don't know what to do.
Last Updated: 10/20/2020 at 6:43pm
Polly Letsch, LCSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.
Top Rated Answers
Maybe you should ask them to be honest with each other to help their relationship grow. You can also inform them that you feel uncomfortable when they complain about the other to u.
Try to just focus on yourself and act like you are interested. It's okay to not know what to do. Believe
Tell them that you feel uncomfortable and would prefer them not to talk about your other parents in a negative way to you
You have every right to inform them that their complaints about each other are bothering you. They have a problem with each other but it's not affecting just them anymore, but you. As your parents, they should see that you are not their therapist or venting machine. Inform them about this, perhaps individually at first.
The best solution is to be honest with them, and say that it makes you uncomfortable. Respectfully.
Sit them both down together and let them know how you feel. I'm sure it will come to a halt when they realize what they're doing is conflicting you.
Explain to them that, as their child, it is not your responsibility to be on the receiving end of their negative thoughts about another member of your family. It's not healthy for them to be using you as their outlet for frustrations they are feeling towards each other. Whilst it is important for you be emotionally available for members of your family, and offer support where and when it is needed, it is also important to respect the boundaries and dynamics of certain relationships; a parent should not expect their child to be the recipient of their emotional baggage when that child has a personal connection with the other parent who is being talked about.
Hearing your parents complain about each other to you is difficult. Especially because I am sure they both hold a special place for you. Have you tried to talk to them about it? Let each of them know that while you recognize they are having issues with each other, it hurts you to hear it. You can be supportive and there for them but let them know that being supportive doesn’t mean hearing the details of why they are complaining about each other. In the end, you can love them each and have a relationship with each of them without them bringing you into the middle
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