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How to help my mum leave

Community Member

My mum needs help to leave my Dad. She says she has no strength left and isn’t brave enough.

All of her children are grown and it is just her and my dad left in our family home.

he is a good person and I love him but they are not on the same page. He doesn’t listen, doesn’t respect her or take her seriously, takes everything personally and can turn and become so furious with rage he says horrible things and can’t even look at you. He was like this through our childhood. A good person but with his own emotional traumas he isn’t able to deal with and so transmits then to all of us. I have my own issues from growing up like this but am dealing with them.

my mum however is still stuck in it. she says maybe she will just stay as it is easier-she always puts herself and her own needs last and has been doing so for 30 years + I don’t think she is even in touch with her own needs anymore let alone knowing how to act on them

however it is not healthy emotionally or physically for her. She keeps saying where will she go, how will she approach it with him and I am providing the best advice I can. To just be honest and not worry about his reaction as she can’t control that. To not worry about the whole picture of where she will leave because once it is in motion things will happen without having to plan ahead of time.

the house they live in will sell for quite a lot of money so I believe they should be okay each buying their own houses. she works and hates it and he doesn’t so she is always tired and I imagine feels scared and alone. Breaking apart a life she has lead regardless of whether it has been good for her or not seems like too much of a jump for her. I tell her it seems hard now but not to look at the big picture and just take a step at a time and soon she will have created a new normal for herself.

i encourage her to go to counseling but she can’t find one she likes and even then doesn’t know how it will help her having the hard conversations and with breaking apart her and dad’s whole world.

has anyone been through this? How do I get my mum to see the only other option is to live unhappily and with no control over her own life or her own environment for the rest of her life.
she has asked him to separate financially from her with the pretense of him being able to claim a pension but he got offended by the papers the lawyer drew up and refused to take it any further.

i said to her if she doesn’t have the strength to do it I’ll do it for her. Is this wise?

2 Replies 2

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Housecat_moon~

Welcome to the Support Forum, I'm glad you came as you are facing a difficult problem and the perspective of others may help.

Your mother has been living with your dad for very long time, and no doubt has suffered hardship, not respected or taken seriously, subject to sudden rages and arguments. It is at this point when all the kids have left home that some women do break away and have separate lives of their own, having only stayed on for the sake of the children.

Yet she has not done so, perhaps you need to understand why that is so? True it takes courage, but are you certain lack of courage is the only reason? You also said you love your dad, despite his faults, basically a good person.

If a someone does leave I would think it is important they do so themselves, and for the reasons that are important to them - that can give strenght though the hard times that follow. If it is taken out of their hands then they may well feel totally powerless and very unhappy as a result, with zero self-esteem.

Laying out options, helping in a supporting role I would thing are legitimate actions, however to go beyond that might not have the desired effect.

Do you think there is anything in the above that sort of makes sense?


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Housecat_moon, it's sad to know of the situation your mum is in and has probably been trying to find any solution to be able to free herself, but I sense that she is too afraid of pursuing this issue, but with some assistance, it can be achieved.

If her husband doesn't want to sign any papers from her lawyer, then it should be taken to court and you have every right to act on her behalf, but I wonder whether she is in denial, and I only say this because her situation is not going to go away, which means that her health both physical and mental is only going to worsen.

We hope to hear back from you.