Can I help my parents work through their marital problems?

1 answer | Last updated: Jan 05, 2013
A fellow caregiver asked...

My parents have been together for 12 years now, lately they have been fight more than usual and I'm not to sure what to do. My dad (he's really my step-dad but I call him my dad) told me today that he can't take anymore and I don't blame him. I want them to be happy and to stay together. I'm not sure what to do and really need help. I'm afraid that they will get a divorce. My mom keeps saying how she will find someone better and I'm really worried. Please help

Community Answers

Pollytnjc answered...

Hi I am not sure how old you are, but it sounds like you are being affected considerably by this situation. Your mother may be in for a rude awakening, but regardless, this is a problem the two of them have to solve. If she is determined to leave him and doesn't want to work on the marriage, nothing you or he can do or say will change that. It truly takes two people to make a marriage work. It sounds like she no longer loves him, if she ever did. It sounds like he is getting fed up, but may still be willing to work things out. Assuming you are an adult child, you might sit down with her alone sometime and see if she can articulate to you what the real problem is and if she sees anyway to resolve it. Let her know that you hate to see both of them unhappy and you will help support her AND him because you care about them both regardless of what happens. If she starts telling you all his faults, try to get her to focus instead on what she feels in her heart about him, not what he has done or not done. Otherwise, she will not remain calm, and it will just be a rehashing of stuff you've probably already heard. Ask her whether she thinks counseling will help. Both would have to agree to go to counseling for it to really make a difference. If you are not an adult and still living at home, I'd have a similar conversation except I would focus on how this stress is affecting you and the home environment. You cannot take on their problems, but you can suggest that all of you need counseling in that case. I wish you well, and my heart goes out to you. Your home should be a peaceful loving place - for everyone. I am sure you want that for yourself and for your parents. I am sure they do too! And maybe they have just lost sight of that.