Hate Each Other? That's a Nice Way of Putting It.

My parents divorced in 1995, and split in 1996/(or)7 (pardon my lack of factual certainty, but my memories of my early life are sparse). Judging by the stories they tell, their relationship was an abusive nightmare long before we children came into the picture. Either that, or they are lying; there's no way of telling. I would hope that there were some happy moments, given that they decided to marry and have two children, but I've never heard of the good times between them, and don't remember any. Some screwed up things happened, though, because some of the details in their stories match, such as the one of my dad breaking his hand in a fight with her. In any event, it ended badly; I remember my dad's face bleeding from where my mother had clawed him the day he left.

They do hate each other. My mother openly admits that she tried to kill my dad, and my dad told me that he thought about, and should have killed her. Mother refers to him as "your father", as in "I am going to kill your f***ing father." (If I had a dollar for every time I heard that one...). My father can't even do that, he usually refers to my mom as "that woman", "that *****", or "that crazy *****", depending on how pissed off he is at her. They used to communicate (i.e. scream at each other, until one of them gave up and gave me the phone to take the heat) over the telephone, but now they only communicate (i.e. argue) over email and lawyer's letters, thank heavens. It's been four years since they were in the same room together that wasn't a courtroom. Speaking of court, they've been to court 3 or 4 (I've lost count) times in the last three years. They're going again this fall; mother is trying to have my father thrown in jail for unilaterally reducing his child support payments (he lost his job, and then took a 40% pay cut). That's another issue I've gotten yelled at about until I'm blue in the face, but I digress. The ironic thing is that they spend more money on court costs and lawyer's fees than they are fighting about. As far as jabs go, there's no subtlety about it with my parents. All I ever hear about my father from my mother is about he is an alcoholic, and beat her constantly while they were together. The fun part was when my mother then said that I would wind up just like him; how nice of her. My father usually doesn't have much to say aside from how mother is a "crazy *****". My parents both tell me that I should cut off contact with the other parent, and when I don't, they get mad at me. My mother told me that I was "too forgiving" towards my father. My father was less kind, saying that I was, in essence, a "spineless *****" for putting up with my mother.

The latest bit of fun has been, now that my sister and I are both neearly grown up (I'm 18, and moved out when I was 15, and my sister is 17), my parents accusing each other of abusing us while we were children. This has been dangerous as hell from my perspective, because my mother has a habit of getting extremely pissed off about those kind of allegations, and has bitten our heads off (i.e. screamed at us for hours until we could scarcely stand, because we had been standing at the same place so long) many times over lesser allegations.

Luckily, we are both grown, and I've been moved out, so it's not so bad anymore. They still argue like mad, but I can, for the most part, ignore them. My sister, however, has cut off all contact with our father.

solowing solowing
26-30, M
5 Responses Sep 3, 2009

Whats amazing to me is that you sound like an extremely well-grounded, mature and sensible individual, despite having experienced quite a complicated upbringing. Full respect to you. Its a huge encouragement to others that complicated backgrounds can be overcome.

Another of your stories I've read and another that makes me wonder how were you able to separate yourself from your past. Though I get the funny part,my situation is different but I also find things that my dad does funny sometimes.For example once he was this frustrated that he was walking round the whole house shouting how he was going to hung himself.He even made a noose to show us how very serious he was.This much too small for a human being was left hanging for about two weeks.We couldn't stop giggling seeing furious and scary dad terrorizing us with this little noose.

Oh it's funny alright. Not really, but I laugh about it anyway, because I'd go insane otherwise. I tell my dad that we're all going to laugh about this someday, and hopefully we will. <br />
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Just don't ever laugh about it while you're getting yelled at, because then they get pissed off. I've made the mistake of laughing at my mom while she was screaming at me...that was a *really* bad idea; boy she was pissed.

You gus make it look the way it is... funny. My behated dad just walked away and i'm happy. At least there's peace in the air.

Wow. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that for, well...your whole life. And I'm sorry for your sister too. I hope you're not too severely truamatized by growing up with that... it sounds hellish.<br />
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"The ironic thing is that they spend more money on court costs and lawyer's fees than they are fighting about." THAT IS EXACTLY IT!!! It's so stupid. There is NO rationality in the whole thing. It's pathetic. <br />
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I guess I'm lucky that my parents were never physically abusive to one another. My parents have been divorced for 6 years now and they go to court every month or 2!! (and I'm the youngest of 3 - I'm the only one still in college!) My mom literally has a nervous breakdown after each and every court date. <br />
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They're both at fault in regard to how horrible this divorce has been, but it's clear (from my own speculation - not what they say!) that my dad is more of the "bad guy". I still love him, but he IS really wealthy and really cheap! I mean, my mom was the caretaker/housekeeper for the 23 years they were married and only had part-time jobs...so she never established any lucrative, permanent ... and he thinks he should give her ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?? I think he's still trying to get her back because she started seeing someone about a month before the actual separation (technically and affair but she definitely was not having sex with my dad at that point). Anyway, I don't think he was ever a good husband (totally unattentive and a little unloving and sometimes a little bit mean) and HE'S the one who keeps bringing her to court... so I tend to side with her more. Also, it really DOES seem like he pays for pretty much nothing for us... and he's secretly loaded. Meanwhile, she's pretty tight on money, and probably the most generous person I've ever known. My dad is a nice guy but I don't really admire him... I get so frustrated with him. <br />
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Anyway, I know my situation isn't as bad as some peoples, whose parents have been physically violent or tried to kill each other or who just curse about each other all the time (my parents try to be kind of sort of ""dignified"" about it b/c they want me to side with them, not hate them). Anyway, I know I don't have it as bad as some people, like you, and they're both still pretty good parents, individually ... but it still sucks. I don't know why but it's still terrible ... <br />
I feel like I shouldn't complain after hearing your story though. I feel like it's nothing compared to what you went through. I don't know how you made it. Who did you stay with when you were 15? are you managing okay on your own? You must be pretty strong. I hope you're okay. Anyone would probably need therapy after that! <br />
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Thanks for sharing your story. I really apprechiate it.