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I’m an adult, so why are you still treating me like a child?

Community Member

When is enough enough. I’m a 26 year old female. My father still controls what I’m doing. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it, and there is a long list of narcissistic traits. I’ve realised I’ve dealt with it my whole life, so I’ve always just dealt with it. But now it’s different because it’s starting to affect my relationship with my fiancé.

My father gaslights, will not engage in a conversation with me if he doesn’t like what I’m saying. I’m not allowed to stay over at my fiancé’s house (we aren’t financially ready to move out). If I go out more nights in a week than I’m home he gives me the cold shoulder, knowing I’ll feel guilty for it. But I don’t think I should.

When I’m feeling alone and then try to speak to my mum or sisters about it, it’s like everyone just wants to please him.

I can’t really speak to my mum cause she just shuts me down but always has time for my sisters.

They have bestowed an abundance of responsibility on me on top of my uni work & full time job. If I don’t do what they want I’m called ungrateful and told I’m asking for too much.

I’m so scared to stand up to him because I still don’t want to displease him

what do I do? How can I be free?

2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Jazzyt

First, congrats on your engagement!

One of the great challenges faced as a parent is to grow with your kids, into a healthy happy mature adult relationship. As a mum to a 14yo son and 17yo daughter, I'm blessed to be experiencing this aspect. Their father on the other hand is a slightly different story. I watch him act out the role of his father - He's raising them and has supported them for years therefor should be automatically respected as their father. He's more of a passive guy than a tyrant. And, yes, he sulks a little when there's a lack of co-operation, occasionally announcing how disrespected he feels. The sad part is - whilst his kids love him, they don't have a huge amount of respect for him, especially my daughter. She can't respect someone who doesn't respect her or even try to understand her as a person.

I believe the role of a parent and their child is - mutual supporter and guide. Whilst I raise my kids, they also continue to raise me. This is how we've grown together so easily; we support and guide each other. I suppose, at the end of the day, the appointed roles really need to be clear and mutually agreed upon, otherwise there is going to be disappointment on a variety of levels.

Sometimes a parent will need to carefully guided toward change. Now, I know this is going to sound terrible to some people but the advice I occasionally give my daughter is 'You need to manipulate your father's way of thinking if you wish to have him see things from your point of view'. Manipulation is not always a bad thing. It may simply mean helping another person gradually change an outdated destructive belief system that serves no real purpose'. In this way, manipulation reflects the skill of reasoning.

If you wish to manipulate your dad's way of thinking, try reasoning with him in ways he can relate to. For example, instead of proclaiming how much time you believe you should be able to spend with your partner, ask your dad about the early days in his relationship with your mum - how much he loved her, what he did for her back then, how much they were devoted to each other etc. Invoke the emotional side of him that can relate to the excitement in the early years of romance. Guide him back to a time where he can relate.The strongest relationships are the ones where people can best relate to each other.

We won't always achieve 100% success when it comes to what we want; sometimes compromise is the middle ground where mutual respect is born.


white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

the rising has a lot of good points.

sadly I feel you are not comfortable remaining in the family home due to the lack of good chemistry there.

I don’t think your dad is gaslighting you. Is his intent to get you admitted to a mental asylum? If not then he isn’t. However, absence makes the heart grow fonder so I’d suggest moving out.