We all think that everyone else has the perfect family and that ours are the only ones who are completely dysfunctional. When we visit our friends’ homes, their parents are sweet and light, the house is always clean, and they are loving to each other.
NEWSFLASH: ITS A FACADE!
Every family has its ups and downs. Parents disagree and have to work through stuff from time to time, and many need to work on communication. This is all normal, (whatever that even means) and it’s better to just leave them at it.
If your parents don’t always get along, the first thing you need to know is that it’s not your fault, and not your problem to fix. Running a family is hard; crazy schedules, bills to pay, work pressure etc. The stress can build up from it all and disagreements are going to happen.
All this said, living in a home that’s full of stress and tension is not nice. If your parents fight a lot or if their fights are extreme, we really are sorry that you’re going through this. But you’re not on your own, we promise you that.
Many of us who grow up in these environments take it upon ourselves to make everything better, putting ourselves under pressure to shield our siblings, act as a go-between, or diffuse the tension by play-acting. These experiences can affect who we become as adults, and how we behave in our own relationships. Fear of “not turning out like them” can stop us from trusting others, make us run from arguments or tricky conversations, or make us super defensive and reactive.
This is not your job, you are your own person. You will build a life with your own unique set of challenges. Both yourself and your future partner will have different characters and deal with your issues in your own way. Other peoples relationships are none of your business, and that includes your parents.
If your parents are constantly fighting, here are some ways to cope:
- Find someone to talk to. We all need one trusted adult we can lean on when things get too much. All they need to do is listen.
- Don’t get involved. Sometimes parents try to drag us into the middle of it and back them up. Don’t get sucked in. Let them sort it out themselves.
- Don’t eavesdrop. You may hear something said in the moment that will hurt you. If it’s stressing you out to listen, leave the room, stick on some headphones and drown them out.
- Don’t assume that they will divorce. Arguments are part of 99% of relationships, and once they are dealt with properly, can help stop issues from getting further out of hand.
- If you feel safe enough to do so, tell them that their arguments are upsetting for you. They might reign it in a little.
- Keep yourself safe. If you feel that anyone in the house is in danger, call someone. Disagreements are normal, violence or abuse is not.
Nobody is perfect, and that includes your parents. They are just people trying to figure life out and doing their best. We are all learning, every day, even the grown-ups.
NOTE: If your home is not a safe place, or anyone is getting hurt, call someone you trust or 999 immediately. This post is about arguments, not violence or abuse.
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