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Controlling Parents into adulthood

Community Member

Hello. I am 33 and have come to stay with my family for a few months for the holidays. I have had a huge fight with parents and not sure how to come back from it.
I feel like they treat me as a child. In my teens they were very strict and invaded my privacy by reading diaries and phones. This continued into my 20’s and I recall my mother reading some text messages I had sent to a boyfriend when I was 27 and confronting me about them.
Now anytime they tell me to do something I snap because I feel like I am being told off or controlled. Hence our huge argument.

I went to stay at a hotel and my father sent me an emailing guilt tripping me saying I had broken their hearts when all I needed was some space to myself - because well I am an adult!

My brother has a totally different relationship with my parents , he was a nerd and never up to any normal teenage mischief and had his own kids early on granting him a different level of respect .

What should I do? How do I play nice? It’s sad as I only have a short time left before going back home overseas and my parents are getting old now.

Thank you

13 Replies 13

Thank you to everyone for your response you’re very kind.

Do you think I should explain to them why I react? I’m sure they don’t even realise they have been controlling in the past and this is why I am this way.

I know that they mean well…

Or would it be best to have a big glass of wine and try ignore the issues and fake a smile for the rest of my stay.

Thank you

If you feel up to explaining, and they are prepared to listen and allow you to speak without interrupting to defend themselves, it's a good idea. It's so hard to have these conversations, and takes alot of courage to do so, a big glass of wine after the talk with them may be needed 🍷 I think the pretending everything is ok and fake smiling approach isn't the best idea, it doesn't fix or attempt to fix anything and you continue to have no boundaries or respect given. Each to their own when approaching these things of course, just my opinion 🙂

Thank you so much Buzzybees.

I will try speak with them tomorrow as I will be staying at the house again for the last week.

I’m sorry to hear you also had some issues but it sounds like you are in a better place now.

I hope it goes well for you, and thanks, currently getting the silent treatment from mine for setting a necessary boundary very gently, but I am not going to back down and apologise so they can continue their attempts at control from a distance.