Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Ethnic dad with anger issues

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi guys,

I'm just really annoyed at my dad. He doesn't respect my mother, who has given him everything. She is the only one that works in the household since my dad has a broken leg. She pays for everything, she cooks and she cleans. My dad doesn't appreciate anything she does. and to top it off, he treats her parents with no respect.

He stresses my mum out. I asked my mum to divorce him but she said no because he has good qualities about him. He literally emotionally abuses me, my sister and my mum.

I seriously don't know what to do. I am not allowed to move out until I'm married. Everything is just hard.

21 Replies 21

Community Champion
Community Champion


Sad to hear that things don't sound very good at home. From your post it certainly does sound like she is doing everything and get nothing back in affection or respect. From the outside, when you look at this, it does seem wrong.

I do not know much about your family such as (1) place of origin, (2) when parents came to australia, (3) etc.

I wonder how much of the what has happened is a result of his own upbringing and experiences? And perhaps the same for your mother? Or is the anger you see something unique to him?

It does not excuse the behaviours exhibited.

I also wonder about the good qualities mentioned that were mentioned.

How much of this you want to answer is up to you. Perhaps you can educate me ...

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Sophia16~

This sounds in part as if some cultural roles are influencing matters (forgive me if I misunderstand). In any event your father and mother are together, and if suggesting your mum divorces him is not accepted then there must be a reason.

I don't know enough about the circumstances to judge, it could be love, culture, duty to children, lack of confidence after being abused, lack of money, fear of the unknown or any one of umpteen other reasons.

I guess all you can do at this stage is to give your mother and sister such support as you can and wait until circumstances change and you are independent. I don't know how much longer you have to go to complete your BPsychol but maybe during or after that you can find employment and have a place of you own.

I know without 'permission' that may raise problems in the family, however it will take some of the pressure off you, living in a toxic environment takes a heavy toll, and may even allow you to support your mother and sister more fully.

You might also find concentrating (apart from your studies) on things that please and occupy you would be a pretty good thing. It is not being selfish or closing your eyes to other's troubles, but simply sensible self-care.

What do you think?


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
It's always tough when one family member has some ailment - it places much responsibility and strain on the other(s) to pick up the slack and also show some undersanding/compassion for incapacity.
Tempers become frayed and we can become caught up in the moment as being the nature of things now and, curiously, of things to come. This permeates the whole family creating a melting pot of discontent - could you perhaps be overlaying how you feel about your own restrictions and conditions into the equation?
Life, of course, is measured in the long term and your mother clearly sees this despite the pressure she is under presently and she is making sacrifices for the benefit of others.
Interesting your saying she is the 'only one' who works, cooks, cleans - are you not your father's daughter after all?

Mark Z.
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Sophia,

I'm really sorry for your challenge. Do you want to share your culture background, so that we can understand better?

And when you say you're annoyed at your dad because of the way he treats you mum, in your eyes is it purely cultural or there's something else, and how the way your dad treats you? If he treats you normally you can find good timing to have one on one open and honest talk with him. In many cases, fathers are willing to listen to their daughters.

Or, if you think your dad has mental challenge, he behave this way because he's suffering mentally, you may need to try to help him, arrange him to see a GP or psychologist.

If you think your dad has committed domestic violence to your mum, in order to protect your mum, you need to ask the police to intervene if necessary.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Sophia, I am very sorry about this because when we travel o/s we have to abide by the rules of the country and can't deviate from them, such as if they ban anything, then we are forbidden to do it as well.

The same should happen in Australia, unfortunately, it doesn't, however, your father should not have the ability to control this, if your mum wants to move out then she should be allowed, and the same goes for you.

Your mum says he has good qualities, may be back home o/s, but you live here and what he forbids is not recognised here in Aus, so this needs to be encouraged both to you as well as your mother.

Best wishes.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Sophia

I really feel for you. Your dad sounds seriously triggering. Your mum sounds like a legend and you sound deeply caring. Your mum's lucky to have you in her life, someone who recognises all the hard work she puts in.

What do you think things would look like if you began to focus largely on your mum? What kind of relationship do you feel would develop between you and your mum if you could manage this? Do you think the 2 of you would grow closer? Do you think if you were to help your mum out with some of the little things around the place that she'd come to see you as someone who raises her spirits in a real partnership of mutual care and respect?

While your mum mentions how she sees the good qualities in your dad, perhaps she hasn't fully woken up to the more questionable qualities. With the more questionable/negative ones, do you think it could be a matter of her having tolerated them for so long that she simply sees them as 'normal', whereas you've woken up to them as being highly questionable and triggering?

I'll throw out an example of how focusing largely on your mum can perhaps lead to some more positive emotions in the household. Just say, for example, your mum's been run off her feet doing a whole stack of stuff and your dad says to her 'Why haven't you done this?!'. Cue Sophia, guardian angel to her mum, 'Mum, have you ever considered how truly amazing you are? All the things you manage to do really amazes me. You're an amazing example when it comes to motherhood and a beautiful person'. Bamm, that's just over ridden your dad's 'Not good enough' attitude/comment. You could could even raise her consciousness further by adding 'Mum, we need to schedule you some self care/self loving time. How can I help with that?'. If you can get your sister on board with the plan, to focus on raising your mum's spirits and consciousness, it's a bonus. Try raising her to smile more.

I'll warn you, as a mum myself and from personal experience, if you and your sister are on board with working as a team with your mum, your dad may at some point say 'You're all against me'. It may appear so but, in reality, all 3 of you (you, your sister and your mum) are for each other. You're an inspirational and productive team 🙂

So, how would it look if the 3 of your were a team? Do you think your mum would wake up to how positive, inspirational and supportive people are meant to be? Would that then lead her to love herself more and see more clearly your dad's behaviour?

Hi smallwolf,

My dad is a refugee from Afghanistan and my mum was born here.

The way he reacts is definitely due to his past. His father used to abuse him when he was younger so he is now trying to be like his dad.

I tried to tell him to go to couples counselling but he says he doesn't need it and he doesn't want any help.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni


Thank u. I appreciate the advice.

i will not be allowed to move out until i am married. I don't have the guts to just leave my mum and sister. I will be disowned especially with brown culture.

It's hard but I will just try and focus on my studies and not let him influence my life badly.

i do try and help her when I can. I try to make myself busy by studying and going to uni but i can't keep distracting myself from what is happening.