Very difficult relationship with parents

Hey everyone! I’m 31. I’ll make this short but I hope you can gather the picture. So I just spoke to my dad after 2 years and it turned into an instant fight. My mother has always seemed to have an issue with me (I still havnt spoken to her in years - shes got a long list of issues shes never adressed) but I was once close with my dad (great man most of my life). My mother has taken my dad away from me. Im almost a year sober. I just can’t talk to my parents. They don’t get it, he doesn’t hear me out we will fight and yell and nothing gets accomplished. Phones hang up and boom back to square one. Just arguments. Ive never sat down at a table and just talked to him about life EVER. My mother has never called me once in my life. Oh life. It can hit hard. Can anyone relate? Its like a rubik’s cube never to be solved. What a mess. Thanks for reading bless you all.


Thanks for sharing. I’m sorry to hear about your relationship with your parents.
I had a difficult relationship with both of my parents. Both were alcoholics. Mom quit long ago but dad ended up dying from complications of drinking.
Me and dad never had a great relationship but right before I got sober I decided to stop blaming them both for everything and tried to ignore their negative behavior.
I had to tell myself they were doing their best. the way they acted and treated me were not my fault nor my issue. They both had some serious issues they never dealt with. Dad took them to his grave but mom is working on them. Slowly.
Our relationship is not great but better now that I have no expectations of her.
I spend time with her but don’t fall into her negative thoughts.
Hoping things get easier for you as time goes on.
Being sober helped me to get out of the family drama.
I’m still working on myself.
It takes time but I’m getting better every day. And so can you. Just stay sober for today.


Well thanks for the support! You seem like you have become very level headed through all things you have gone through in life. I hope to get there one day. Sorry about your father. You are so strong! I think I do need to put emotions aside with my father and just take it 1 day at a time and ignore all negativity. Its going to be hard but I will try to figure it out. Have a great sober day!

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Hey – read this last night. No chance to type out a proper response yet, but I have some feedback for you. Over the past year I have drastically improved my relationship w/ my Dad, maybe some of what I’ve learned can help. I’ll be back when I have time to type it out


It’s goes along with the saying… “Rome wasn’t built in a day” So your past doesn’t instantly change because you get sober. If your past with your parents was like mine, I will let you know that after 8 years of recovery I’m seeing the trust come back. Working your steps with a sponsor helps you understand the old you and will change the old you.


Thank you very much! This is fantastic advice. Thank you.

Okay thanks very much for the support!

I would agree to lower your expectations. I went thru this with my family, too. For me, keeping phone call length to a minimum helped and keeping it light.

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It took years for me to be able to have a lunch with him without having an argument. Our relationship was definitely not great but it became tolerable. My friend taught me to treat him like a plant. Dont over water. Just enough. (Dont visit often or stay to long) Sounds strange but it worked for me. You’ll get better at it. Sobriety helps.


Awe thanks. Great analagy. Thanks for the tips really puts my mind at ease.

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Hey! As promised, I’m back with time to type out an actual response.

We’re close in age (I’m 30), and for my entire life, my relationship with my father had been strained. We never went through long stages of not speaking, but we had always been on the verge of a massive argument. He’s an old-school Irishman…stubborn, don’t show or discuss emotions, very tough love, just always very hard on me. I was never told “good job”, or encouraged, or told he was proud of me – it was always reinforcement through scolding. Never admits when he’s wrong, and I would often find him to be very unreasonable, unwilling to listen to logic. As I became an adult, I often felt he didn’t respect me as a man. If I ever pushed back on him or stood up to him, I would quickly be verbally battered back into line.

May 2018, it happened. We had a massive blow-out fight. This time I stood up to him and held my ground. I ended up walking out of his house, and he told me “and don’t come back”. We went a week without speaking, but eventually he called me (unusual, because he is never the first to ‘cave’). I was ready to totally cut him out, I had had enough.

Man, since that fight…things have gotten so much better. I think part of it is him realizing how close we were to permanently ruining our relationship. It’s obvious he’s making a conscious effort to be better.
But, it takes two to tango. I had to look at my approach, too. I noticed I would often go into our meet ups with a negative mindset, expecting a fight and not really wanting to be there. I had to alter my perspective and approach, if I wanted to alter the outcome. So, I’ve earnestly worked at it myself.

Over the past year…well, my Dad has become a great friend to me, on top of being a more compassionate father. Mutual respect for one another, that’s what it’s built on. He is so much more understanding, especially when it comes to me making choices in my life that differ from what he would do.

Focus on you and your approach. That is all you can do. Keep your side of the fence tidy, and make an effort – if they want to meet you half way, you’ve done your part. Seems like you’re making an honest effort to me.
I made a whole thread called “Dealing With Dad” that chronicles how I improved things with my Dad, and there are several replies from other members here offering advice etc. Could be helpful for you to read through, I got a ton of great feedback from the folks here.

Good luck, man!


I really sympathize with your situation. My mother had an alcohol problem. We never had a good relationship. My father was there for my first 9 years but never really there if you know what I mean. Then my parents divorced and my dad will admit now that he was selfish and wasn’t there. Unfortunately I had to cut ties with the whole side of my mum’s family, everyone of them. I saw an excellent councilor for 3 years. She was the first real trusting relationship I had ever had in my 30 years of life, and it took time aswell as I was very resistant. She told me about a book called toxic parents by Susan forward. It changed my thinking a lot and I could really relate to it. You’ve got to be in a stable place as it may bring about feelings that can be difficult to deal with, but I just read a bit at a time. I have a fantastic relationship now with my dad, he’s my best mate we have talked through a lot of things and been totally honest. With my mother she is never wrong, always right and everyone else is awful. She dragged me down for years with her negativity so I had to cut all ties and I’m better for it. However it is an absolute last resort. I think your relationship with your parents might be salvagable. I hope so. Thanks for sharing your story.


I can definitely relate.
My mother and I always had a strained relationship, us being addicts most of our lives. The same with my father. I actually cut him out of my life and only recently started to repair that bridge but first. I have always always always held resentments toward my mother. It wasn’t til I got off meth and got my head straight that I was able to stop resenting her. I was able to see her for the person she was/is a woman just trying her best. In seeing that i became more compassionate towards her.
My father on the other hand is a different story. A complete alcoholic with psychological issues. However, recently I was encouraged to try and rebuild the relationship with him. It hasn’t been easy. It has actually been the complete opposite of easy. It is one of the most trying things i have ever attempted. Like, quiting meth cold turkey was easier and less emotionally draining. That being said, similar to how I saw my mother changed the way I viewed my father had to change. I had to adapt and overcome the obstacles to achieve the end goal which was being able to communicate and while it may never be perfect as long as one trys their best that’s all that matters.
I hope your parents become more receptive :grinning::call_me_hand:


Thanks very much for the support. Really helps me. Cheers!

Well thank you! I will definitely give it a read. Sounds like a book that can definitely help me. Cheers!

Thanks so much for the support. Im glad you can see where im coming from. Im so happy you have a nice relationship with your father now. All in good time I hope to get to that postition as well. Cheers!


In my case the difficulty was with my father. I am 43 years old and now I can say my relationship is healed. Patience, asking forgiveness and moments of grace that appeared along the way.
I relate with @anon30771928. Totally agree with her experience.
I passed from hate to love and that helped me