General Question

smile1's avatar

Should my mom divorce my dad?

Asked by smile1 (488 points ) March 19th, 2010

For the past two years, my parents have been fighting on and off…

the main reason for the fights is that my dad does not do anything for the family. He doesnt even get any income for the family. It is all my mother who works 8 hours a day… He also doesnt think that it is his duty to do something for his family.

My mom is not happy with him. She sometimes wont talk to him for weeks on end. She has a lot of reasons for wanting to leave him. My dad isn’t abusive or anything, but he is rather…annoying, (or psychologically abusive?)..i suppose… he always glares at us when we (my mom, my brother adn I) get infront of him and the TV, or when we’re too loud in talking, while hes doign something.

What Im trying to say is, my mom is not happy with him. She wants to leave him, but she is afraid that if she kicks him out, he will get sick, since he wont know how to live, and earn income.. She has a kind, but strong heart…thus she is torn in not being happy the rest of her life, or in a way, ruining my dad’s life…as we are all he has really, he doesnt know any friends, nor is he close to his parents and sibling.

Well.. I just wanted to ask you guys what the possibilities my mom could do! Should she divorce him, and he may possibly get seriously ill (as he is also rather old)....or what? What is out there that could make my mom happy, but not have my dad get ill because he has been separated from his only connection to others? Could my mom give him enough money for him to get along…? I dotn know about this stuff…
and sorry the description is so long!

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23 Answers

Ltryptophan's avatar

How old are these people, and yes I think the age matters.

Judi's avatar

You shouldn’t have to even worry about this crap. It’s really sad. In the end, your mom has to decide. Kicking him out might be the best thing she ever does for him. He probably feels pretty crappy about himself right now since he is probably depressed. Giving him a couple hundred bucks and telling him to take care of himself might just force him to do something.
Then again, in this economy, if he hasn’t worked, he WILL have a tough time, but everyone else is having it tough right now too.
Let your mom and dad work on their relationship issues. You work on school and doing your part (like chores) in the family.
This is their problem and they shouldn’t make it yours.

Haleth's avatar

Your dad would probably be able to make it on his own if your mom didn’t support him. Right now he has no incentive to try.

Pandora's avatar

There is a possibility your mom is worried if she puts him out and if something happens to him that you guys may feel it was her fault.
I say discuss it with her and let her know it is alright for her to grab for her happiness even if it means dad ends up in the streets. I agree with Haleth, he has no incentive to try. Putting him out may at least make him realize how good he had it and he was an idiot for taking it for granted.
If he has family somewhere I’m sure someone may take him in till he gets on his feet. If not mom should get him the address of a local homeless shelter.

escapedone7's avatar

You say he is “old”. That is hard for me to go buy. 14 year olds think 40 is “old”. I think “old” is someone in depends, with false teeth, that needs a walker to get around.

If he is old and has some reason he cannot work, like an illness, he may qualify for some type of disability or retirement if he applied. Then he could use that income to apply for some type of disabled or senior housing. If he is not really that old or sick, then he will not qualify for help. He may end up staying with another relative like a sister or brother, or having to stay at shelters or get a job.

This is really your parents business though. Nobody can interfere in other people’s private decisions and especially their marriage. This has to be between them.

ninjacolin's avatar

if you have to ask…

Kraigmo's avatar

Your dad is either selfish or mentally ill, or a combo of both. He can’t help it to the degree he is mentally ill. Your mom is aware of this. She needs and deserves freedom from burden and happiness, and yet she doesn’t want him to suffer if he cannot find his own way. She has every right and every good reason to leave him, and if she’s compelled to, she should. But if this would tear her up too much, then she should keep taking care of him, the way a person takes care of an ill relative, but start to live her life freely and dating other men and going on vacations.

Just_Justine's avatar

You obviously love both your parents. Try not to take sides when parents are having difficulties. For example he could be severely depressed, perhaps they both have discussed this. But you have not been made aware. Detach from the situation and understand that your mom, is a very capable adult and she will make a decision. On her own. Mom may be venting on the situation to you, and dad may be keeping more and more to himself. There are always two sides to a story. It is not your responsibility it is theirs.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I’m thinking depression. Did he lose his job and cannot find another one? This is very common these days. If your parents divorce, most states are 50/50, which means your parents will split what they have in half. Your mother will get half the assets and the debt, and your father will get half.

Perhaps you should encourage him to go to a doctor.

partyparty's avatar

Is your dad young enough to still go out to work? If he is then I would suggest your mum asks him to leave, and then he will have to support himself.
I think you and your mum would be far happier as a family if your dad was not in the household.
I have always maintained it is better for a child to have ONE happy parent than TWO unhappy parents.

meagan's avatar

The only people that can answer this question are your parents.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I agree with many of the answers above (@Judi, @Haleth, @Pandora, @Kraigmo), but I’m not sure just kicking him out or divorcing him is the answer. It sounds like he needs a serious metaphorical boot up the arse, but maybe a trial separation would be enough rather than a full-blown divorce. A divorce may keep him out of your lives altogether, and you may end up regretting such a decision. A psychologist may also be able to do him a lot of good, to help him work through his issues and get back into the mindset where he can be a valuable member of society.

mrrich724's avatar

1. Your mother is being codependent and that is not good.

2. It’s not her responsibility to sacrifice everything so he can literally not contribute anything to life and just sit around and watch tv. Does that seem fair at all?

3. He won’t cease to exist if your mother leaves him. Unless he has some sort of mental condition, he should be able to work out some semblance of a life.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Tell your mother to “go on strike” and refuse to do anything for your father until he mends his ways.

meagan's avatar

I don’t really think any of this is our business. I’m sure there might be more to this story than we know. (Which isn’t an excuse, but still… )

susanc's avatar

I think it would be okay to ask your mother to talk with you. She sounds trustworthy.
I also think it would be okay to ask your father to talk with you.
He may have more to say than you know.
You have a pretty good idea of how things stand. I think you can find a way to ask each of them if they’re willing to help you. As you’re not longer a little kid, they may not know what you need. Let them know.
This is for you, not them. They’re grown up. But you need their support. Asking us here is good practice! But it won’t really answer your questions.

Exhausted's avatar

Even though your parent’s decisions affect you, it is up to them to decide these issues. I agree with @Judi that you should not be worrying about these things. Trust your mother to do what is best for your family and focus on your school work. You can help around the house to take some of the load off your mom and it would be a good thing for you, if you could tell your mom how worried you are so she can consider your feelings when she makes her decision. I’m sure she loves your Dad and wants to work everything out in the way that works best for everybody. She sounds very loving, you are lucky. Work hard to be someone she can be proud of and let her figure out how to resolve the adult problems. You will be having to worry about all those big adult problems way too soon anyway, so enjoy not having to worry about them for now.

JLeslie's avatar

I understand why you might want your mom to leave your dad, but this is between them. They are adults, and adults stay in relationships for all sorts of reasons, and sometimes the reasons they say our loud are not all of the reasons they have in ther head and heart. Your mom may not be only staying because she thinks your dad needs her, but also because she needs him in some way. Also, many couples go through hard time, and then recover, all relationships have some hills and valleys. Try not to worry, and try to avoid being in the middle or taking sides.

babaji's avatar

Sounds like he is withdrawing into himself. Starting to shut down to the demands of life.
if the will to watch TV were not there, i fear that the will to live would shut down. His withdrawal from life will escalate into his detriment of health.
Seriously i know of some friends that went through the same situation.
This could be the result of so many things.
Could be physical problems that no one sees that is altering his behavior.
Could be as simple as the feeling of being unloved , and not wanted, taken to the extreme and resulting in withdrawing from life. Could be something deeply physical that is altering his brain chemistry to the extent of what is happening today with him and your family.
But it sounds like there is no love lost here with you and your family? if you all love the man then do what ever it takes to help.
if you all do not love this man and he is a threat to your family, then kick the bum out.

mollypop51797's avatar

I think that maybe you should let them have some time away from each other. I mean, divorce is a pretty big thing, and it takes quite a few years. Maybe they should split, and separate, but not divorce. I know that you think that this is best for your parents, but I am interested in hearing your dad’s side of the story. And I think that if anything happens, the decision should be made between your parents. Good luck!

smile1's avatar

Wow..
thanks for all the input!
Alright.. From what you all are saying, you guys are getting the impression that my dad is depressed. I dotn think he is, he is able to laugh with my brother and I, and have a good time (rarely, but it does happen!)... I think that he acts the way he does because he as a child never had good parents, (as he sort of ran away to the military). He also thinks that he can live life the way he does because he can do whatever he wants. He doesnt realize the only reason he is living life so leisurely is because my mom is workign hard to earn money for the 4 of us to live, adn that without her, he would have had to work somehow, someway, to survive.

My dad is in his 60’s and is still somewhat healthy, which i suppose isnt too bad…but i dont think if he tried, he could get a job…

I have talked to my mom many many times, and she understands how I feel, and she explained to me in those various times why she is not happy with him, but also why she feels the burden to take care of him. My mom and I are really close, and talk to each other a lot. She thinks she wants to wait until my brother adn I are in college to leave him, so it wont affect my brother and I as much, psychologically and financially. I tell her that I dont mind him leaving, though it would be hard, I told her I think it would be for the better.

I try to talk to my dad about this, but all he does is say “your on your mom’s side arent you?”, and gets mad, and walks away. So it’s really hard for me to talk to him about it.. I think however, that he knows the reasons my mom is angry with him, but cant realize that the way to fix things, is to start helping around the house, even if he can’t get a job (which he, in his entire life never had a steady job, he had one as a teacher, but that was for less than a year). My brother and I have tried to get him to work a little more around the house, and he has improved a little. He has cooked dinner for all of us now, and fixes things up around the house, but still doesnt do much more. He used to wait until my mom got home after a day of work, and have her cook dinner.

So to take the load off of my mom a little, I have been helping around the house more than ever, and doing all the little things that she used to do, between all the school work I have.

JLeslie's avatar

@smile1 Ok, you are describing exactly what I was worried about, I have a similar position in my family (not just with parents, but a sibling too) and at 42 it still is a problem. I am accused of being on a particular family members “side,” I am expected to come to people’s defense, or protect other people. I hate to see anyone in my family upset or hurt, so I sometimes put myself in the middle or sacrifice myself. I hope you are able to get out of this position, I am working on it now and it is very difficult. I think it is great that you help your mom, if everything was good in your family, it would cause me no worry, but I think you are taing on a burden that shouldnot be yours.

leopardgeckotree_911's avatar

She should. I should know because my dad is a fucking abusive pigfuck. My mom left him and lives in Cali when we live in TX. It’s my birthday today and all I want is for my mom to divorce him.

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