Thursday, February 19, 2015

Taking a stand against overbearing parents...

In the last couple of days, I've read a couple of stories about overbearing parents against whom adult children had to take a stand.  The first story was on RfM.  It was written by a woman whose in-laws are LDS and have taken intrusiveness to an art form.  Poster tiredofhiding wrote of her husband's parents, particularly her husband's mother, being nasty, passive-aggressive, and overly nosey on Facebook.  The poster wrote that she and her husband had decided they didn't want to identify as LDS anymore, so they changed their religion status on Facebook.  MIL was upset about that and sent an email, demanding to know why they were "ashamed" to be Mormon.

Soon, the poster and her husband were having a very uncomfortable conversation with the in-laws.  Apparently, the first reaction to come was tears from MIL.  But then, things got more heated and ugly, with FIL leaving a voicemail demanding that his son call him "Sir" and telling his son to "get moving".  FIL ends his message with "I will not tolerate this any longer".  He demands this of his grown son who is a military veteran and is completely on his own with his own family.  But evidently, Dad thinks he has the right to order his grown son around and demand that he call him "Sir".  Talk about a complete lack of respect.  Of course, I look at that demand and think that FIL was desperately trying to maintain control of his son.  It wasn't working, so he tried to lay down the law, as it were.

Sadly, it appears that because of his parents' bullheadedness and overbearing attitude, tiredofhiding and her husband have cut off all communication until further notice.  I can't blame them for that.  I don't think people should be forced to communicate with abusive people, even if they happen to be blood relatives.  At the same time, I think it's very sad that things had to come to this.  A little mutual respect and common courtesy on the part of the parents would have likely worked miracles in that relationship.  Maybe someday they can mend fences.

Then this morning, I read about a woman in Australia who is estranged from her parents.  She was engaged to be married and her parents, who had evidently been the source of a lot of pain, were demanding that she invite them to her wedding.  The woman decided to send them an "uninvitation" instead.  She typed it up in beautiful calligraphy and printed it on expensive paper, then sent it via the post.  She also posted it on Facebook for the world to see and now it's news.

I'm not sure how I feel about this situation.  On one hand, I kind of admire Alyssa's nerve and her sense of humor.  It can be very satisfying to publicly tell someone who's hurt you to fuck off.  At the same time, I have a soft spot for parents... and there's no way to know what her parents' side of the story is.  It also seems a bit tacky to air something like this on Facebook so it goes viral and becomes international "news".  But then, who am I to comment on propriety?

Anyway, I hope Alex and Alyssa have a happy and long lasting marriage.  And I hope that they have peace, however they can find it.

I think in most parent/child relationships, there comes a time when adult children have to take a stand.  I did with my dad when I was 34 years old.  He called me one day while Bill was in Iraq and started lecturing me about being jobless.  At the time, we were a couple of months away from moving to Germany the first time.  But my dad wanted to know why I wasn't looking for work.

I ended up telling him it was none of his business.  He was shocked.  I was pretty angry about it, too. I really let him have it and reminded him that I was a grown, married woman and how I spend my time was not his affair.  To my dad's credit, he took that information pretty well.  Unfortunately, not long after that, he sunk into dementia.  I'm not sorry I took a stand, though.  It's a healthy step in any person's life, even if it can lead to ugly confrontations.



  1. it's good that you were able to confront your father before the dementia came on. You probably wouldn't have felt right expressing yourself forthrightly to a man with dementia, and what would have been the point anyway? At least this way you had a bit of closure in this regard.

    I've followed a bit of that LDS parenting story on RFM. what a colossal nightmare1 My father's situation with his family wouldn't be much better -- he'd have no contact with anyone in the family other than his two brothers and his younger sister -- were it not for his mother and his sympathy for what has been a very difficult life for her. She is a kind person. her husband is the biggest asshole i know personally, and i know a lot of assholes personally. his stature in the LDS churhc only makes him even less bearable, and makes things more difficult for my grandma. My dad and my uncles would love to move her to ca permanenetly, but that just isn't something that is done in gA circles. they have her visit as oftenas is practical. he wasn't physically abusive to her earlier in their marriage, and to the best of anyone'ss knowlege, he isn't now, though he's so temperamental (he kicked me hard for no reason a couple of years ago). that his abuse of her cannot be ruled out. The one relative in Utah we can trust has been told to watch vigilantly for anysigns that she's being either hurt or overly controlled. My dad and uncles take turns going to utash at least once a month to personally check up on her, and at least one in our immediate l circe -- dad, mom, Matthew, me, Cousin Josh, or one of the CA aunts or uncles - calls her daily. My dad, mom, and aunts and uncles in CA are mandated reporters of elder abuse and would make the report in a heartbeat no matter how hard the church tried to squelch it.

    My grandpa lost his ability to control his sons once they were bigger than he and no longer needed his money. Whenhe tried to slap my uncle steve when he was 17 and uncle steve caught his wrist and told him he'd be sorry if he tried that again, that was the end of any physical abuse even for uncle Michael, who was not as big.The Utah daughters and their hiusbands still need his money, so they're under his thumb.

    "Asshole" doesn't begin to address the breadth of the man's evil core.

    1. That story on RfM was quite the shocker. Maybe I shouldn't have been shocked, though. Seems like control freaks abound in the church.

  2. My uncles by marriage all try to imitate my grandpa in the control department, but they're mostly pathetic imitations as best. i don't know if that;s bad or good.


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