Do You Feel Guilty?

It often happens that one parent is horrid while the other is not.  This can make your home life easier while you still live there.  But it’s very different once you leave for good,  particularly if you can no longer tolerate the horrid parent and cease all communication.

Cutting ties with your family is likely to make you feel guilty.   You may worry that if you are not present your horrid parent will harangue your gentle parent.   You also don’t know if your gentle parent will dare go behind their partner’s back to see you and keep up the relationship.   

You may miss your gentle parent horribly too and need their love more than ever.   This can make you feel more rejected and responsible for what you believe the good parent  now has to put up with day by day.  

Perhaps you feel you are between rock and a hard place.  This is why before you take a drastic step to cut one parent out of your life, you need to face the possibility that  your decision might affect both parents.  You also need to think through how to manage your guilt.  



Our advice is:

Work out exactly what you feel guilty about.  If its the thought of leaving the nice parent to the mercy of the horrid one remember that how your parents relate to each other is their business and responsibility.  Not yours.  You might never want a relationship like theirs but they might have come to terms with it for all sorts of reasons and even if they haven’t it’s their problem not yours. 

If you don’t think you can manage your guilt, think very carefully before you break away.  It’s easier to cool a relationship down and distance yourself from it, especially once you leave home, than break all connections with one parent.  There is little point to lead yourself into a worse frame of mind than the one you are already in.

If you do break away try to stay positive if your nice parent doesn’t see you immediately.  There may be lots of things for them to work through.  Ring them occasionally on their mobile not on the landline, and try to plan a way to get together.   

Try to talk to someone you know who has had the same problem.   See our resources page for a helpful website.   

If neither stay in touch, build your life as best you can and don’t blame yourself for what you have done.  

Do join the discussion on the forum.