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Aubs427's avatar

What are your opinions on parents who don't care about your happiness?

Asked by Aubs427 (421points) February 28th, 2011 from iPhone

If you had parents who told you “happiness doesn’t matter; it’s all about money”. And, attempted to control the decisions you make. What if they’re good manipulators saying they love you, but don’t care if you get sick or hurt or injured severely? Or acting like they love you by using material items to push you towards certain decisions? Or used their life to dictate yours?

I had moved out, but moved back into my parents house because my mother begged me and had listed all these things about control and backing off (curfews, money control, career, etc), but didn’t keep up with all the promises.

At the end of the day, they are never happy with my life. With the jobs I work. Whether I’m in school or not. And they don’t care if I’m not happy because they’ve said it themselves.

Do I just give up on them as parents and move out again knowing (they stated) they’ll “wash their hands of me and disown me an act like I was never their daughter”? Or do I continue to ride this out until they accept me as my own person?

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32 Answers

sweetsweetstephy's avatar

Love, to me, is when you accept a person entirely as they are and appreciate them wholeheartedly. You do not try to change their character, intervene in their decisions (unless, of course, they are endangering themselves and/or others) or try to dictate their lives. Honestly, it sounds like a poisonous environment you’re living in. I would move out and get back on my feet on my own because at the end of the day, it will be my happiness that matters to me. There is no point in trying to keep others happy if you just end up miserable yourself. You should try to talk to your parents and if that doesn’t work, then leave.

Aubs427's avatar

I am not endangering myself in any way at all. I’m working two jobs and paying my bills.

They’re unhappy that I don’t have more degrees or a job that’s paying more than 150k a year. Everything is about money to them.

mammal's avatar

ditch them, walk away with no hard feelings, better all round

meiosis's avatar

They sound like a pair of charmers, and I would seize the initiative by limiting your contact with them. They don’t sound like they’ll ever accept you, even when they’re aged and infirm and demanding that you look after them in a manner that they deem fit. This is their problem, not yours.

grizelda's avatar

This must be very painful for you.
Part of being an adult is making your own way – sometimes that goes smoothly and parents accept and encourage (or at least stay silent if they disagree) their kids’ life choices, and of course sometimes unfortunately it goes the way you are experiencing.
You have to be true to yourself and live your life the way you want to or you will never be happy.
It does sound like your parents think you are their possession to control. I think you should move out as soon as you can. It will be hard for you not to give in to the emotional blackmail, but you need to be resolute when you go. Good luck and stay strong.

Taciturnu's avatar

Well, I suspect they love you, but are incapable of demonstrating it the way you need them to. My guess would be that they think you could not really be happy unless you are financially stable or they could be having doubts in their parenting in your younger years that they’re trying to make up for now. Their threat of “disowning” you is simply an attempt to manipulate you.

From the sounds of it, you don’t want to be manipulated and you want to be treated like an adult. I would suggest you approach your parents and let them know you’re moving out on this day (when you have a place!). Explain to them that you appreciate their attempts to help you, but you do not need the help and instead would just like a quality relationship with them. Tell them what you want to get out of it- Laughter? Affection? Home-cooked meals on Sundays? I’m sure they would respect the maturity that has to come with being up front and independent even if your relationship is rocky for a while.

Worst case scenario? They ACTUALLY disown you-which, in my opinion, wouldn’t be very awful anyway, considering they appear to be hindering your happiness and life overall. I don’t think this is something they will give up on their own but rather will let go when the umbilical cord is cut.

Thammuz's avatar

(they stated) they’ll “wash their hands of me and disown me an act like I was never their daughter”?

Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Move back out and work on developing an adult relationship with your parents. It will never happen in your household as long as you allow yourself to be placed in a dependent child role.

They will not wash their hands of you; they may not talk to you for a year, but that will give you a change to learn to be self-reliant. Don’t allow your adult self to be purchased with material items. Stuff is just stuff.

john65pennington's avatar

Based you your question, it appears your parents only had you for one reason….money. If what you state is true, you need to move away permanently. They apparently talked you into moving back home for what reason? As you can see, they have not changed and apparently want you there for their benefit and not yours.

A parent making the statements you advised, are lacking in something in their brain. No parent is going to tell their children, what your parents have told you.

Pack your bags and don’t let the door hit you in the butt, as you leave.

Aubs427's avatar

They don’t and can’t accept who I am and the decisions I make. They want me to be like my sister or their friends kids who have multiple degrees.

My decision is to work and get down my work ethics and not spend my next 20 years in school. I love to learn but I also want to work in an environment where I can build up good working skills.

My parents don’t want me to work two jobs. They want me to work one job that pays 150k plus (they said themselves). And, they say the reason I moved back was so I could “reasonably go to school near home”.

Yesterday, my mom confronted me about how I haven’t gone back to school yet. I was talking to her in an adult manner and she starts raising her voice and yelling about how I am wasting my life and how I have no respect for her wishes. They both keep trying to change me and/or attack me for my personal decisions. To them, these decisions (working and such) isn’t good enough because it “isn’t a future and I might as well not be alive if that’s all I’m going to do”.

marinelife's avatar

Your parents are unlikely to change unless you change. Move out and set boundaries with them.

Unless you want to live the rest of your life under their thumbs and unhappy.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I have opinions, they’re not good opinions. I’d feel sad for parents like that, money isn’t ever more imoprtant than love health and family/friends. I’d grow up and live my life my own way.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Aubs427 It sounds like you just described my father! I’m 29 now and nothing I’ve ever done has been good enough for him. Growing up, it was all about money. Money this, money that. “You should become a doctor or lawyer so you make a lot of money. While in med school or law school you could meet a good guy so the two of you would make a lot of money. Why do you want to do that, it won’t make you much money.” Blah!! Luckily my mom isn’t the same way!

In my situation, things never got better and I really don’t have a relationship with my father. There are other things that have happened in the past as well that have ruined our relationship, but I think this played a huge role in things as well. I have such a bad view of money now and I think part of it is because of the things he use to do and say about it.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there is much to do because for things to change, it would require them to change who they are and what they believe. So, the next part is really up to you. Just as they should accept you the way you are, you will have to figure out if you can accept them the way they are. I personally can’t do that with my father, so we don’t have a relationship. I’m fine with that at this point. Sometimes it bothers me, but I know it’s for the best because of what happens when I try to have a better relationship with him. For my own mental health, it’s better this way. You have to decide if it’s better for you to accept them the way they are and try to have a relationship with them or if it’s better for you to allow things to drift apart and have less of a relationship with them.

Good luck!

john65pennington's avatar

Remember this, you are you. You were born you and not your sisters. Your parents cannot lead your life for you. It does not work that way in real life. Every parent wants to pick and choose which person their child marries. There is no way this happens and the same applies to your life. My family has many members with Masters Degrees. That was okay with me. That was their life. I settled with an Associate Degree, because this is all I wanted in life. My uncle was a psychiatrist, before he died. He spent at least 10 years going to college to earn his degree. I was proud of him,but that was his life, not mine.

Your decisions are your decisions. The sooner your parents learn this, the better for you.

Do what you have to do.

Its a big world out there with many opportunities to fit your lifestyle.

The good Lord made us all different.

Aubs427's avatar

I am making the decisions for my life, but it’s hard when you have parents who are criticizing your EVERY move. Granted, at times they don’t, but I think it’s because they are holding back a lot of their usual thoughts since I had moved out before. And, when you get 6 hour long lectures about their coworkers kids “accomplishing x amount of bachelor degrees or x amount of masters and getting paid 100k plus at the age of 21.” They’re argument is: If they are doing or, why aren’t you? And, why are you settling for less if you could have more (and by more, they mean income wise)?

My dad specifically told me himself life wasn’t about happiness. That he was miserable and that “seeking” happiness or “finding” happiness is useless and pointless in life.

They pushed my sister into higher education and she accomplished her PhD. She’s living across the country by herself (she’s not dating or married); and she is miserable every day. I get calls from her quite often saying moving across the country for a higher income isn’t and wasn’t worth it at all. But, my parents don’t really care that she’s miserable. They think that because she makes a lot of money and that her income is higher where she’s at right now… she should stay.

I don’t want to be miserable. I just want to find a good place in life and be happy.

Taciturnu's avatar

@Aubs427 ” I just want to find a good place in life and be happy.”

I really think your parents want that, too. I’m sure they are under the impression that one can not be happy without a high level of income, particularly if they are struggling with the economical state of the US. So many people have lost everything that it’s hard not to have money on the mind even if you aren’t struggling. I believe you just need to demonstrate that happiness is worth far more than money. Prove that contentedness and joy don’t always coincide with financial greatness and one can be successful without rolling in the dough.

You’re under their roof and therefore under their rule. Move out, stay out and try to maintain a relationship with them. Explain to them how you feel. Know that your feelings will probably not be acknowledged how you want it to be, but when you achieve joy and success you may very well teach them a lesson worth learning before our time here is done.

Good luck and keep us posted on the outcome.

Aubs427's avatar

Well, I know they don’t really care about happiness because they’ve said it themselves that “don’t and shouldn’t” be happy. And, my parents personally aren’t struggling. They’re not struggling in this economy. And, I have tried countless times to show them that it’s not just about money but they have tunnel vision and only believe and see what they want to see.

I feel like I’m being bought by my parents. They’ve never showed love or affection towards me. The ONLY time was when I was moved out. And, my whole life has been filled with verbal, physical, and any other abuse you can think of.

Can abuse be justified? My mom tried to justify it. Like, when she tried to suffocate me twice. Her response was,“you know that I wouldn’t have actually done it. Grandma was there.” Or when she had at some point taken an umbrella to my face and tried to justify that: “I was so angry, but you know I wouldn’t have killed you.”

So, sure. Maybe they do want me to be financially secure and that’s fine. Any parent would want that for their kids. But, is it more important than the happiness/health of my life?

john65pennington's avatar

Here is another thought. Have you or your parents ever considered that maybe your genes are entirely different, compared to your other family members? Your parents would probably never discuss this with you, but it happens. Some people are born “rebels”, while their siblings are bookworms. Not that you are a rebel, this is just an example. Your already realize that your parents are too focused on you and your future. Being concerned is one thing, but being possessed by it, is entirely different.

I totally disagree with your parents about happiness. Your sister is a prime example. Love and happiness come first, money comes second. Your parents have dollar signs in their eyes for you. Like I said, money is not everything in life. Police officers do not make a lot of money, but for the most part, are happy and content with their job and their family life. This is what living is all about. Until you reach 18, you are stuck and I think you know it.

In my previous answer, I stated that you should leave this environment for your own sanity. They will never stop hounding you. Make your own way in life, if this is what you are looking for.

Aubs427's avatar

Well, I’m not 18. And, I could move out easily. But, both of my parents have both stated they’d wash their hands of me because I’d be a disgrace to them. Ever since I moved back (because they begged me to and ‘promised’ to abide by the boundaries I wanted to set, which wasn’t all that much)... they’ll always constantly bring up how if I plan to move back out again like I did last time; I’d be disrespecting them to the point where they wouldn’t want anything to do with me.

And, I don’t think my relationship with them can ever be repaired because my mom is an incredibly unforgiving person. She never forgets about the past. My dad is a bit more forgiving, but he’s got an uncontrollable temper. And, up to the point where I am at in my life right now; there are things that they have both done and said that have scarred me (for lack of a better word).

I am considering on moving back out and finding my own place either with my friend or my boyfriend. I have the opportunity at my hands 24/7 to make that decision. But, it’s the conflict with the fact that once I decide to make that move; I won’t be able to say “I have parents”.

I’m not a bad person. But, they make me feel like I’m the devil child and that I don’t deserve to be alive… 24/7.

Aubs427's avatar

To my parents I owe them my life.

Thammuz's avatar

@Aubs427 To my parents I owe them my life.

No you fucking don’t. It was their responsibility to bring you to adulthood. A responsibility that they accepted of their own free will by birthing you and not giving you up for adoption. it was their decision and you don’t owe them shit for something you had no say on.

BarnacleBill's avatar

You don’t owe your parents your life. That is the ultimate manipulative guilt trip. You are an accident of biology, different egg, different sperm and you would be someone else.

If you feel you must owe your parents something, don’t get arrested, don’t do drugs, be kind to old people and small children, always do your best at whatever you try to do. That’s where it stops. What you do is entirely up to you. Stop the manipulation by not playing into it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I thought some of the stuff you were saying was sounding familiar. So after your question about how to move out because your controlling parents wouldn’t let you, you moved out, and now you moved back in. No offense, but I can see why they are saying what they are saying about washing their hands with you if you move out again. To them, they told you once that moving out was a bad idea, but you did it anyway and ended up back in their house just a short time later. To them, you proved that they were right all along. I’m not sure why you went back to their house (I know you had asked about it because of a job and everyone told you not to because you would be doing just what they wanted). To them, moving back in with them probably reaffirmed in their mind that you need them and can’t do it on your own. I’m not trying to be mean, but after what you told us about your parents in previous questions, it seems like that is how they would take things.

I mean absolutely no offense by this, but if you truly want to find and focus on happiness in your life, why did you move back in with your parents? Your mom begging and saying things would change hardly seems like a good enough reason to me considering everything you said about them before in your other question.

Aubs427's avatar

No. I didn’t move back because of a job or because I wasn’t financially set. I moved back because they begged me to. And, I still care for them deep down inside.

Seaofclouds just to let you know. My parents just attacked me last night for paying my bills. Seriously. They went off on a huge tangent/storm because I got a letter saying my payments for my bills were received. So, my parents are not normal. They attack me for doing good things like working hard, going to school, and trying to have a life. I’ll work all week and also have school and I go out ONE day for half the day and they attack me.

Trust me. I’m already moving back out.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I never said they were normal, I was just pointing out that by going back to their house, you kind of proved to them (in their minds) that they were right all along. I’m not justifying what they are doing, just trying to explain to you some of why they might be acting the way they are about you moving back in and what they will do if you move out again. They probably see themselves as the heroes for letting you move back in.

Good luck with the move!

LKidKyle1985's avatar

I think the major fallacy that you and your parents may have accepted is that you must be miserable to be wealthy. Of course becoming wealthy isn’t usually accomplished with out a lot of hard work and dedication, this doesn’t mean you should be void of all happiness.
Based off of what you told us in your posts, sounds like you should probably move out and live the life you desire, while always striving to be a better you!

Aubs427's avatar

They threatened me on coming back. I still care/cared about them and when I decided to move back it was to prevent not having a relationship with them. And, they said they’d change. Did they? No.

Aubs427's avatar

Kidkyle; I’m a hard worker and I have my goals all set. I’m not irresponsible with the things I have to take care of, but my parents want me to do it THEIR way and not mine. They just believe in all things money. They said it themselves. I don’t want to live like that.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Then don’t, I think you should move out. Call their bluff and if they love you, they will get back in touch with you. And if they really do disown you over all this then are they really worth the head ache they have been causing you. Parents always want whats best for their kids, but that doesn’t always match up with whats best for you. hope the advice helps.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Distance. You need distance and space. I know there is a natural feeling to make things right, right now, and to some how “win” this and convince them to be different. However, only time will correct this. You are probably going to need to not have contact with them for awhile. Certainly not situations where they can subject you to prolonged berating.

Check in with them so they know you’re okay, and hang up the phone if they start attacking you. “Love you, can’t let you talk to me like this anymore. Bye” should take care of it, but you’re going to have to say it 300 times at least.

You will not affect how they treat you until you learn stop giving them permission.

Thammuz's avatar

@Aubs427 Move out. You did once, and you were right, do it again and stick with it.

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