Social Question

Symbeline's avatar

Do you, or did you, get along with your parents?

Asked by Symbeline (30363 points ) November 5th, 2012

A bit random and out of nowhere, but it got me curious. So do you get along with your parents? Both, or just one? Or neither of them? Why or why not? Age doesn’t matter, and if your parents or one parent have passed away, that doesn’t change the question. Did you get along with them?
I’ve heard some things from some members, both good and bad things. So, of course, only tell if you want to. Share feelings, stories, anything else that has to do with you and your relationships with mom and dad.

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28 Answers

DrBill's avatar

got along good with both

chewhorse's avatar

I was adopted by my mom’s second husband and he was blatant old school. He didn’t abuse me but used belts and straps for punishment.. It of course created rebellion on my part. He was miserly (probably as a result of hard life during the occupation of Poland in WWll). He was a mediocre provider but my mom was satisfied. I had issues with my step dad all my early life, I really wanted to be close to him but he prevented everything but obedience through force.. It must be noted that his parents both died in his late teens and he was forced to care for his two younger brothers who quite possibly created his bullying attitude by not obeying or respecting his orders so, he ruled therm with a big stick as he did to his two blood sons so I assumed (later in life) that it was nothing personal. My mom was my only advocate but she was limited. She too spanked me with switches but unlike my step-dad, within minutes I was up in her lap receiving hugs and kisses. I’ve always regretted not knowing my step-dad.. I think we could have been friends.

ucme's avatar

Grandaddy used to handle snakes in church, granny drank strychnine….oh you said parents!
My parents were divorced when I was only six, leaving my mother alone to bring up 3 very lovely boys, much like the Brady Bunch XD
For this she has my eternal admiration, my dad buggered off never to be seen again…his loss.

DigitalBlue's avatar

When I was growing up, I didn’t get along with my dad. He worked a lot and he was a very closed off person and difficult to bond with. My mom was always kind of unstable and often bordered on abusive, some would argue that she was just an abusive person, period. But I adored her, I fought for her affection in a hope that I could make her love me as much as I loved her, and I fought for my father’s approval in a hope that I could prove to him that I was not the disappointment he thought I was.

After my sister died, my mom’s alcoholism grew out of control and nearly tore our family apart. My dad changed a lot, I think he finally let his “walls” down, and my remaining sisters and I were able to form a close relationship with him. I am very close with my dad now, and I think we have finally found a healthy parent-child relationship, though I still live with a tremendous fear of disappointing him. I’m not close with my mom, anymore. I love her, but it’s hard to be very close to someone that you don’t trust.

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents.

marinelife's avatar

Get along with? Yes, for the most part. Have issues with my upbringing? Definitely yes.

My sister said it best: “Until I got older and went to the houses of school friends, I thought everyone was afraid of their father.”

jrpowell's avatar

My dad was a drunk that beat the shit out my mom and my sister and threatened to kill all of us if she ever left him. My mom snapped and shot him in 1987 when I was ten years old. Safe to say that I didn’t get along with him.

Once the trial was over she was released a few weeks later. Her punishment was pretty much time served. She went a bit of the rails when I was 15 and I ran away to live with my sister. A few months later she got nailed for a probation violation and did ten years in a state penitentiary.

I was in the middle of college when she finally got out and we get along fine now. She is a bit overprotective now. I guess she is making up for lost time.

I guess I will say that I am glad my dad is dead and my mom was really selfish while I was 10–15 but now I love her to bits.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@johnpowell and you guys made it through all that? You are priceless gems. Hope your ways are smoothly paved from now on!

SuperMouse's avatar

My mother has been dead almost forty years. I loved my mother dearly and always wanted to be her when I grew up. My dad was kind of a jerk after my mom died; he was an abusive alcoholic. Over the years he has mellowed out and we get along fine now. We aren’t close by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t hate the old guy.

rojo's avatar

Dad was a good provider, worked hard but emotionally distant. I can’t remember him attending a single school function (but then again, I have trouble remembering if I did either). He did much better with grandkids though. Was an active and attentive grandfather, involved in their lives much more than mine. We got along fine however, other than the regular angst that occurs during the teen years, especially after I matured and came to understand the pressures he had.
Mom was always the one who was there for me and my sibs. A stay-at-home mom who worked whenever the family was strapped. Even then, she would slip me spending money in high school or mail me $5.00 or whatever she had in her pocket when I was in college.
Having dementia, she lives with my sister now. It is sad to see this lady slipping away a memory at a time and not being able to comfort her the way she did us when we needed it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I grew up busting my ass with my father. He was a hard worker, but he loved fun even more. I was known as his shadow. We did everything together. I lost him when I was 12, which sucked. I wasn’t that close with my mother growing up, but she really leans on me now. Life deals you lots of different cards.

bookish1's avatar

Yes. If we avoided discussing poor people or the wrong kind of brown people, and if we pretended I was going to grow up to be a straight woman married to an abusive man, and if we pretended it was ok for my dad to physically terrorize and psychologically diminish us. He didn’t even have alcohol as an excuse; apparently his culture just determined that he had to be a dick. When I was little I used to think of my mother as my savior against my dad, but I realized in the past couple of years that she used me as a shield against him, and used the threat of “telling your father” (incurring a beating or being kicked out of the house) to manipulate me at numerous points. I’ve been feeling pretty bitter about ‘family’ and ‘parents’ and ‘childhood’ recently.

livelaughlove21's avatar

What a loaded question. Well, my parents split up when I was young and around the age of 6, my dad disappeared from my life until I was about to graduate high school and he wanted to reconnect. No such luck. My mother remarried when I was 4, and my step-father was a better father to me and my sister than either of our biological fathers.

As a kid, I got along great with my parents. Now things are a bit hairy. We still speak on a daily basis and my husband and I live 5 minutes from them, but I’m limiting my contact with my mother more and more these days. She has suffered chronic back pain and severe anxiety problems for awhile, but things in that household are worsening by the day. Their marriage is not a good one anymore. There’s no abuse, but my mom has become very hard to live with. There is constant yelling, criticism, whining, and frustration in that house.

Just last night we went over there to wish my step-dad a happy birthday and left after about 20 minutes when my mom decided to get into a big fight with my older sister. I refuse to be around constant negativity, so we left. This is a common occurrence. Happiness simply doesn’t exist there.

Mariah's avatar

I do, and always have, gotten along with both great, for which I consider myself incredibly fortunate. I consider them two of my best friends, honestly.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

My Mom, yes. My Dad, not really. We butted heads up until I was 18.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I get along well with my stepfather too. Funniest part of the story, when my mother was going on her first date with my stepfather my younger brother had a fit. We had to hold him back physically because he didn’t want her to go. Now they’re best buds too. They’re always doing stuff together.

janbb's avatar

I got along with them but my mom drove me up the fucking wall!

Leanne1986's avatar

My dad and I get on very well. We enjoy each others company and I consider him a friend as well as a dad. My relationship with my mum is a little less simple but in small doses we get on ok.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

@janbb My Dad threw me against the wall. Simply because I told him that I had no respect for him. I was 16.

He had a terrible childhood and just didn’t know how to be a father to his own kids. He’s since mellowed out. He’s always loved us, just didn’t know how to parent and express affection. Never got it himself.

Seek's avatar

I had my dad in my life for about ten years. I loved him dearly and we were very close. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard from him since I was 12 years old. My mother’s doing.

I don’t even have baby pictures in which I’m happy to be around my Maternal DNA Provider. We haven’t spoken in five years, and the last time I set eyes on her was when I visited my grandmother on her deathbed. Didn’t talk to my mother then, either.

gailcalled's avatar

@janbb: We had the same wall in my house.

My father was dutiful, well-behaved, and traditional but emotionally withdrawn. He loved us but dolled it out in crumbs, a gift from his father.

As a kid I was scared of him and as an adolescent, angry.

Occasionally, if I am not careful, I still have interier dialogs with him although the dreams filled with rage have finally stopped.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

My mom was an amazingly strong woman and in the 1940’s through the ‘60s, was quite a dish. In the ‘30s, as a small child, she emigrated with her family from a failed cotton patch in the Texas panhandle and eventually settled in Sacramento, California in that wave of migration known as “Okies.” She said it was just like The Grapes of Wrath, Hoovervilles and all. She experienced a lot of bullying in school because of her poor dress and “Okie” accent. She worked hard to lose that accent, picking up a neutral way of speaking by the time she was in high school. Her father built homes and the family did pretty well within a few years. She also shed her father’s Baptist religion (He was a travelling preacher at one time, wrote a hymn that is still sung in the Southern Baptist churches in Texas). She associated it with ignorance.

She married a very good looking, young Marine fresh out of the Pacific theater, my father. He was a cherry-picking Catholic who wanted a lot of children, an excellent provider, and turned out to be a philanderer of the first water. After the first 3 children when we were living on a small ranch, a woman showed up at the door with a baby. It was my father’s former secretary and the baby was my half-sister. My mom took the baby and she was raised along with us, most of us never giving a thought as to the baby’s origin, although mom explained it the best she could that very night. She said the baby needed a home and that we now had a new little sister. I don’t think this was a problem at all, I know it wasn’t with me. I don’t even remember when we found out that she was my dad’s daughter from his secretary. It just wasn’t an issue that I can remember.

Eventually there were seven of us kids. Although I don’t think she really ever bought into the whole thing, she took classes and converted to Catholicism for my father. We all went to Catholic schools. Both my parents stressed education as both came from poor backgrounds. She was a great mom, but quite harried, with 5 boys all born very close together. I don’t remember the girls giving her much trouble, the we boys definitely kept her busy. I got along with her fine, but there wasn’t a lot of time for her to devote to us individually. I do remember times when I would entertain her after school and those memories I cherish. On the other hand, I spent a lot of time on my bike exploring to get away from the chaos of a crowded household and I was able to get away with this because mom was so busy with the four younger kids. But she always read to us at night. She raised us to believe the world was like a Capra movie. Everyone was basically good and the world was a safe and wonderful place for children. This was supported by the nuns at school. She was a wonderful person.

My father was distant and, on serious issues, like playing hookie or stealing a candy bar from the store, he was the disciplinarian. He had a very large belt he called a strop, but used it sparingly and never on the girls. He was an executive in the aerospace industry, but bought a small ranch so us boys would ”what hard work is.” I remember my big brother had a black cow, a black dog, a black pig, a black sheep, and a black horse. I had the same, but all mine were white or brown. The little kids helped raise the animals, but my brother and I had ultimate responsibility over them. He was a good teacher, not bad at all considering he was rather new to the whole thing himself, being raised in a Baltimore slum.
He used to take us up into the nearby Sierras and, along with my maternal grandfather, taught us to fish and shoot. Those were great days.

My parents never fought in front of us. I thank them for that. I didn’t know it until later, but there was a lot of problems between them. He evidently attracted women like flies and couldn’t resist the temptation very well at all. I’m sure this nearly drove my mom nuts, but not a hint of it came to us until we were adults and they divorced. She was lucky to later marry a very good man, my father’s long-time best friend. Interestingly, the three of them remained cordial after the divorce. I’m glad she found someone who treated her right after all those years of emotional abuse. She died a happy content woman many years later.

My parents, especially my father raised us as what I would call Kennedy Liberals. You treated people as you would them to treat you. You used your strengths to help people less fortunate than yourself, because that’s why you were gifted you with those strengths. People different than you were never to be denigrated in any way. We were very fortunate to be living the way we were and there were others not so fortunate, not necessarily by their own doing. This was always to be remembered when dealing with others. And don’t complain, fix it, but never be afraid to ask for advice. We were to never use swear words, this was a sign of ignorance. My mom especially stressed that one. She hated anything she associated with ignorance. We were punished severely (the strop) if we ever said the word n***ger, or any other racial slur. You didn’t damage anyone else’s property or person, and you fought only if you were backed into a corner, and then only until the guy was down. You didn’t kick someone when they were down. Good ethics that have served me well and I thank both of them for that.

I never felt abused or unsafe as a child, and there was never any doubt that my parents loved me. It was a shock to me when I got older and ran into adults who were “bad.” I thought they were only found in movies.

After the divorce my father quit his job and leased a bunch of closed down convenience stores. This was during the last big recession in the ‘70s and everybody was downsizing. He had a cookie cutter floor plan for neighborhood pubs designed for these buildings and renovated four of them under his new corporation. “People drink during a depression,” he said. I was in my early twenties and needed a job to help get me through university, so I went to work for him as floor sweep, bartender, purchasing, managing, etc., etc. This is when I got to know my old man for the first time. One night he broke up a fight between men who were half his age. One had the temerity to take a swing at him. He beat the shit out of the guy and left him in the parking lot. Didn’t call the cops. I learned he never liked cops. I was really surprised at how good he was defending himself. Another night he just took an irrational dislike toward an Asian man who was talking to some girls at the bar. He refused to serve him and escorted him to the door. I asked him why and he said, “I hate nips.” And that was that. I could only guess this had something to do with his experiences in the Pacific during WWII. Soon I found out he had a lot of racial prejudices that he had hidden from us kids. I asked him about it. He said that they were his and he knew it was wrong, like his philandering, but he also knew that the chances for us kids to make it into the middle class would be hurt if he passed these things on to us. My mom later confirmed this. He was an amazing, complicated guy. He always said he loved my mom more than any other woman and never spoke of his girlfriends.

After he died, I found a big manila envelope crammed with love letters from these women going back to the early fifties. They were not only passionate, but incredibly sincere. These women were hopelessly in love and struggling with the idea of being involved with a man with a wife and seven children. It was all quite poignant. A man wold be lucky to meet just one woman with this kind of passion in his lifetime. I remember meeting two of these women when I was a kid, he introduced them to me and my big brother as his secretaries on the rare occasions he took us to his office on Saturdays. They were beautiful. He was a strange guy. In his last years his best friend was a defrocked priest.They used to sit in their sunchairs at the beach, smoke Cuban cigars and handicap the horse races for that afternoon. I’ll never figure him out and accepted who he was years ago. He was who he was. I thank him for not passing all that baggage onto us at an impressionable age. That took foresight.

My stepfather was a pilot with the 8th Air Force out of England during WWII. He was the classic fly-boy bachelor. When the war was over, he went into lower level executive positions in the aerospace industry. That’s how he met the old man in the early fifties. He had been married about five times by the time he began writing my mom after her divorce. He wasn’t much interested in being a father, but he always brought home the paycheck and treated my mom very well. They loved each other. But he was a bit of a prick. He thought education was a waste of time, and my youngest two siblings, who were in their teens really paid for that later. He encouraged them to get jobs right out of high school (and get out of the house) and they never went to college. There is a big difference in the way they think and the way the older kids do. This man really changed the dynamics of my family. He became increasingly conservative, blindly backed Reagan on everything and eventually became a daily Rush Limbaugh addict and his views on life outside of his marriage to my mom sounded bitter and much of it directly from a Limbaugh script. I could barely speak to him for a long time. But he treated my mom so well, I hid a lot of my feelings toward him for the sake of familial peace. I think she knew, though. She was a smart woman. They didn’t talk politics, thank god. I think she ignored that part of him for the same reasons I did. He was loyal and loving to the end. We all swallowed our differences and treated him as the family patron in return. But she held all the real power and we knew it, so it wasn’t too bad to be around.

My fondest memories of my mom were of later on, just a few years before she died. We had a lunch date for every other Tuesday during the last couple of years. It was light talk mostly, how things were going, etc., but every once in awhile we would talk about what was going on when we kids were little. Some of it was necessarily tragic, but much of it was quite funny. She held no bitterness for my father, she kind pitied him. He blew it. This really was the right woman, and he blew it. I remember once, just out of nowhere, I think we were laughing about all the weird stuff us boys use to cause around the house, and I suddenly used a pause in the conversation to thank her for being such a good mother, that she did a great job under incredibly difficult circumstances and we all turned out to be good people because of her. She just stared at me for a second with a surprised look on her face and her eyes welled up with tears. I was really surprised at he effect. She said thank you very quietly and grabbed a napkin off the table to wipe her eyes, and we were soon off on a different subject. But while we were talking I remember thinking, Damn, I thought she knew that. It is my fondest memory of her.

Ooops, that extra-caffeinated coffee strikes again. Sorry people, but I really enjoyed writing this.

KNOWITALL's avatar

On and off with my mom, at age 14–17 I almost couldnt stand her, after I moved out, we got along much better.

My father has never been in my life.

Symbeline's avatar

Thanks for the answers everyone. It was all interesting to read, for sure. :)

@Espiritus_Corvus not done reading yours yet, but I’m getting there. :p

marinelife's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Thanks for sharing so much of your childhood memories. They were very interesting.

YARNLADY's avatar

After that wonderful response by @Espiritus_Corvus I’m almost embarrassed to add mine.

Yes, I got along with my parents fairly well. I went against their advice on several occasions, but they never held that against me. They were very loving, yet strict.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Thanks, guys. I really enjoyed writing that. I’ve never actually examined all that so closely. Sorry it turned out so long, but it was a pleasant purge.

dxs's avatar

I got along with my father but never with my mother.

Sunny2's avatar

I got along well with my parents and had no criticisms until I had kids of my own. Then I realized how unaffectionate they were. Their theory was that we kids were temporary. They started with just each other, and when we were grown, we’d go off and they’d be alone again. So their relationship was more important than ours with them. I don’t believe they ever said ,“I love you” to us. I didn’t do that with my kids.

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