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Old 11-25-08, 10:59 PM   #1
MrCrassic 
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A bit of advice needed.

Hey, all.

I've been facing a serious issue for the past few years, and I've decided to post about it and see if others have had similar experiences.

My relationship with my family has always been distant. To avoid being too revealing, the relationship between my father and I has always been stagnant since he came to the States over 10 years ago. However, my mother and I have always been close and have talked about whatever came to mind. I don't know exactly how to put this into a clearer sentence, but I have always been corrected and reprimanded by them (especially my father), mostly for the same faults that I had as a child and as a teen. I know that I've changed a lot over the years since I moved out for college, and I've attempted to correct a lot of the flaws that they have pointed out over the years, but often it feels like the more things change, the more things stay the same.

The crux of the problem is that I can barely communicate with the both of them now. My mom just started a new business, and has been busy and on-the-go. Because I also work in the day and often don't get home until the middle or late evening, we hardly ever talk to each other now. However, when we do talk to one another, I feel like I treat her with less respect than she deserves. I often call her because I need something, yet hardly think to call her just to see how she is. Also, when there is a problem or when she corrects me on something I did wrong, I get very worked up about it and have a full-out argument with her, when it never really needs to get that far. I usually realize the wrongful action I did, but only after the damage has been done, and I really am at a loss on how to fix this. I'm not like this to my father, but a lot of that has to do with our relationship being different.

Though the waters have settled between my Dad and I since I moved out, I can still feel small rifts of turbulence between us. There is always tension between us when we're together (which is rarely ever, considering our work schedules), and we hardly call one another. It's very difficult for me to speak to him, partly because I don't really know what to say, but mostly because it just is.

I'm not like this to anyone else. I try to be a very nice and helpful person to others, and hate arguing or having bad relations with others (though sometimes I strive for the former just for the heat of the moment). Regardless, I feel that these attitudes are, in some way, self-destructive both to my family and myself.

So, I turn to you guys here. Has anyone found themselves in a similar spot with their parents? Is this one of the normal consequences of growing up and moving away from family dependency? I'm going to talk to them and tell them how I feel, though I really don't want to hurt them and I feel that their advice will probably lack perspective. I love my parents very much, and now that I'm older, I really want to try and avoid these kinds of small setbacks.

As always, I sincerely appreciate any (serious) feedback anyone can give. This is a very pressing issue with me, and I know I'm not the only one that had to deal with this.

Thank you for reading.
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Old 11-25-08, 11:06 PM   #2
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well, any time people change in some way (as you mentioned, you probably have in recent years) it alters the dynamic between them and others. This is bound to create tension at some point. Perhaps they are having trouble adjusting to the changes...it might reflect the passing of time they'd prefer not to acknowledge, or maybe its something else. I'm tempted to say just accept it as a natural evolution, but you sound like you'd like to resolve this and improve the situation.

It's difficult to know what's best but I think if you approach it diplomatically and listen openly to their side, it might help to talk. I have experienced the increased tension too, but then my household was always tense...maybe someone else will have better advice. Good Luck with this C.
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Old 11-25-08, 11:28 PM   #3
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Sometimes it's hard for parents to realize that their children are adults. Sometimes it's still a little hard for me to let my daughter live her own life. I was used to running hers for so many years.

The big thing for us is we talk a lot. She calls me on the phone when she's not with me, and we make time to catch up when she's at my house. We both make the effort to keep communication going.

I do the same thing with my mom. We weren't always close when I was younger, but these days we talk at least once a week to catch up. And my whole family sends emails on a regular basis.

The relationship with your dad might always be a little strained. Was he really close to his family growing up? If they were not close he might just be continuing the behavior. If you make overtures to him without expecting anything in return he might surprise you some day and open up a bit, or maybe not.

You seem to have been close to your mom at one time. You can get this back if you make the effort. You seem to have time to spend on BF so you can probably find 10 minutes to chat with her about how she's doing instead of just talking to her when you want something. Parents like to feel appreciated by their kids too.
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Old 11-25-08, 11:35 PM   #4
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Talk, talk and talk. Talk to them like you're an adult. Hold your ground when they say "You never did "_____" when you were a kid, by sticking up for yourself. A simple "Do we really have to go there?" can go a long way.

Mostly, remember that your lives will change many times over the years, and there will be relationship high points and low points. Keep truckin' along, breathe in, breathe out.
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Old 11-26-08, 08:21 AM   #5
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I was always close to my mother but not my father until my mother passed away; now I am close to my father. I still only hear from my sister when she really needs something and when I call her just to talk, she thinks I am being creepy. We have yet to work this out.

Fortunately, for me, my dad treats me like an adult, but I am more of an adult than he is in many ways. With my inlaws, though, they treat all their kids and their kids' spouses like children. It upsets me so, so very much to see them treat my wife and me like we are teenagers, even though we are 30. Even worse is how they treat my wife's sister like she is 12, even though she is 33, but she lets them do it and she acts like she's 12 when she's around them.

Anyway, my point is to be true to yourself and as you change, so will your relationships with those whom you are close, e.g. your family members. You may not feel close to either of them today, but that could change in the future, or maybe not. Just remember that it could be a lot worse, too. Heck, it might even get worse before it gets better.

Something else to think about is to move forward, not backward. So, if your parents bring up something from the past, tell them to move along. They will hold whatever they can against to you to keep you in a place where they feel it is/was easiest to have dominance over you.
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