8 Signs You May Have a Codependent Parent

Updated on December 16, 2016
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Lanablackmoor has a degree in Psychology and personal experience with the topic.

A check-list of signs to help you determine whether you have a codependent parent.
A check-list of signs to help you determine whether you have a codependent parent.

The Fine Line Between Caring and Codependence

The first thing that comes to mind when we hear the term “codependent” is usually an abusive boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. However, this is not always the case. Believe it or not, most codependent relationships are between a parent and child, not romantic partners. In a codependent parent-child relationship, the lines between protective and obsessive, engaged and over-involved are often blurred beyond recognition. The caregiver/care-receiver nature of a parent-child relationship makes codependency particularly difficult to detect.

Here are a few signs to help you figure out whether your parent-child relationship is codependent.

1. The Codependent Parent Has a Victim Mentality

We all face obstacles in life, but the codependent parent believes that the other people in their life, particularly their children, owe them penance for the wrongs committed against them. Often this manifests in guilt-tripping behavior intended to garner sympathy from the child for negative experiences the parent has been through, with the end goal of altering the child’s behavior in a way that will somehow set things right.

This is where the problems begin. Rather than dealing with the traumas and difficulties in their own life through healthy means such as self-reflection and therapy, the codependent parent latches onto a child and demands compensation.

Compensation can take many forms. Many times a codependent parent will live vicariously through a child. For example, a mother who got pregnant in her teen years may demand repayment of the burden she faced by putting expectations on her daughter to seize advantages in life that she missed out on. A codependent father may demand that his son excel in sports to make up for his own lack of athleticism in childhood. If the child shows signs of taking their own path in life, the parent will use guilt to manipulate them into compliance.

Rather than dealing with the traumas and difficulties in their own life, the codependent parent latches onto a child and demands compensation.

2. The Codependent Parent Is Never Wrong

In normal relationships, one party is right some of the time but never all of the time. In a codependent parent-child relationship, the parent is always right. Even when the child is an adult, the parent will refuse to approach an argument or even a simple discussion with openness to the possibility of being wrong. Instead, they will seek to impose their own view of the situation and “correct” the adult child, as opposed to engaging in a discussion where neither party is presumed right by default.

So rather than listening to the child's feelings and problems and learning about the child's personality and way of being in the world, every situation becomes a threat to parent's authority.

Even if it becomes apparent that the codependent parent is wrong, they will not apologize—or, if they do, it will come off as forced or insincere. The codependent parent requires absolute dominance over the child, and any admission of wrongdoing on their part would be a sign of weakness and an invitation to challenge their dominance in the relationship.

In a codependent parent-child relationship, the parent is always right.

3. The Codependent Parent Is Overly Emotional

People sometimes end up crying, yelling, and giving others the silent treatment, but the codependent parent has refined these acts into an art form. When they feel that they are losing control of a situation or the upper hand in an argument, they will resort to crying, screaming, and other acts of intimidation to restore the balance in their favor. If called out on this manipulation tactic, the codependent parent will often accuse the child of being callous or insensitive, or feign ignorance altogether.

If the child cries or expresses hurt or anger, the codependent parent may get unusually angry and claim that the display, no matter how genuine, is insincere and being used to manipulate when, in reality, they are upset that their tactic is being turned around on them.

The codependent parent has refined crying, yelling, temper tantrums, and silent treatments into an art form.

4. The Codependent Parent Never Listens

Many children of codependent parents complain that speaking with their parent is like “talking to a brick wall.” In fact, one doesn’t speak with a codependent parent as much as to them. No matter how valid the argument, the codependent parent will not be moved in their position. Instead, even when presented with irrefutable facts that would cause a normal person to reconsider and reevaluate their position, the codependent parent will either refute the facts or move onto a different argument without addressing the point being made.

Speaking with a codependent parent is like “talking to a brick wall.”

5. The Codependent Parent Parrots Words and Phrases

Instead of listening to the child's feelings, a codependent parent will parrot, mirror, or mimic them. If the child claims that the parent is hurting their feelings, for example, the codependent parent will, perhaps seconds or even hours later, return with, “You’re hurting my feelings!” Whatever concern the child expresses, the codependent parent will find a way to turn it around and regurgitate it as their own, thus reversing the defensive and offensive roles in the conversation. If called out on this behavior, the codependent parent will ignore it, become angry, or act bewildered and confused.

The codependent parent will find a way to appropriate the child's feelings and present them as their own, thus reversing the defensive and offensive roles in the conversation.

6. The Codependent Parent Has Mood Swings

Drastic mood swings can happen over a couple of minutes or a couple of days, but the codependent parent has the ability to rapidly shift from one mood to another. This is especially true when their manipulation tactics have succeeded in garnering the child’s acquiescence. The codependent parent may be yelling and screaming one moment, but once they get their way, they may be exuberant. Conversely, they may sulk in an effort to rebuff any guilt as a result of their power play.

For example, a mother screaming at her son for not calling often enough may eventually get him to give in and promise to call more. Once she attains what she wants, in an effort to keep her victory and her role as the victim, she may say something like, “No, never mind. I don’t want you to call. You’ll just be doing it because you have to.” Then, the son will not only have to call more, but reassure her that this is what he truly wants to do of his own free will, thus absolving her from any responsibility and guilt.

The codependent parent will rapidly shift from one mood to another in order to avoid responsibility and guilt.

7. The Codependent Parent Must Maintain Control at All Costs

Control is the end goal of all codependent parents. Most codependent parents expect a level of devotion and love from their children that is unhealthy and unnatural, intended to make up for that which they lack in other relationships. Often the codependent parent wishes to garner from their child the love and/or attention they failed to receive from their own parents. This creates a dramatic role reversal of the parent-child relationship and turns it into a vampiric dynamic rather than a mutually beneficial one.

Whatever it is that the codependent parent seeks to gain by controlling the adult child, when it becomes clear that they won’t succeed, a meltdown will often ensue. If the parent controls with guilt by appearing frail and playing the victim card, they may become suddenly venomous and aggressive when the adult child refuses to give them what they want. Conversely, a codependent parent who controls through subtle manipulation and passive-aggression may suddenly become dominant and plainspoken.

It is important to remember that these dramatic shifts in the face of lost control are not a mood swing or an “episode.” Instead, the codependent parent is revealing their true nature as opposed to the façade they must maintain in order to keep things going their way. Once there is no hope of getting their way, this façade will become useless and be easily stripped away.

Often the codependent parent wishes to garner from their child the love and/or attention they failed to receive from their own parents.

8. The Codependent Parent Manipulates – Subtly

The most effective form of manipulation is the kind that you can never be called out for directly. Examples include the silent treatment, passive aggressive comments, denial of wrongdoing and projection, among others. The codependent parent will leave the child in a state of confusion, wondering who really is “the bad guy.”

Often, the parents will be genuinely unaware of their own manipulation. Many codependent parents truly believe that they are doing what’s in their child’s best interest and execute some of the most unsettling control tactics and manipulative power plays with simultaneous mastery and obliviousness. In fact, when called out on their manipulation with specific examples, the codependent parent will often be genuinely and deeply hurt and bewildered.

In fact, the codependent parent does not usually manipulate because they want to; they manipulate because they have to. They simply don’t know any other way to communicate with the adult child who is beyond their direct control. Thus, they will manipulate with finances, emotion, guilt, and any other tool at their disposal to maintain the imbalance of the codependent relationship.

Examples of things codependent parents will use to subtly maintain power:

guilt trips,

the silent treatment,

passive-aggression,

withholding (of money, time, or affection),

denial of wrongdoing,

and projection, among others.

So You Have a Codependent Parent... What Should You Do?

This is not an exhaustive list, but it does cover the basic signs and symptoms of codependency to watch out for. In my experience with my own codependent parent, many of these are hard to recognize but, on closer inspection, they deviate significantly from the norms of a healthy parent-child relationship.

There is no single, quick, or easy way to deal with a codependent parent. It depends on the individuals as well as the severity of the codependency within the relationship. In some cases, the only thing the adult child can do is sever ties with the codependent parent completely. In others, carefully imposed boundaries, discussion, and family therapy can be used to maintain a healthy relationship for both parties.

Many codependent parents truly believe that they are doing what’s in their child’s best interest.

Do you suspect that you may have a codependent parent-child relationship or know someone who does?

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    • profile image

      Brandy 

      12 days ago

      I have a codependent mother that has always leaned on me. As a child I lived with my mom and my alcoholic father. My dad was verbally abusive to my brother and mother but so much to me. However, I was molested by my father. My mother found out about the molesting years after it ended but decided to do nothing about it. I was diagnosed with Manic Depressant Disorder at the age of 16 but always knew how to function despite the challenges I faced. My mother did nothing to help me through any of the challenges but always wanted me to be there for her emotionally. I remember the codependency being as bad as me being responsible for laying out clothes for her whenever there was something outside of work that she needed to do. She always depended on me to tell her what her next move was.

      Fast forward to adulthood. I am 35 years old, married for 13 years and have 4 beautiful children (with one on the way.) My mother has lived with me several times and each time expected to not have to help out financially. I moved out of my home state about 5 years ago leaving my mother behind. Prior to moving my mother lived with me but was able to move in with a friend. Two years into my move my mother ask to move out of state with me to help with child care and give me an opportunity to get my business up and running. She agreed to get her won place within a year but she has now been living with us for 3 years. She has to be told to clean and help out and only help financially when asked. She only helps with care for my children when asked and never goes anywhere unless I go with her. I am struggling mentally at this point because I feel unappreciated and used, How do I get her to move out and live her own life? Every time that I try to talk to her she cries and plays the victim. I can't take this anymore.

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      Traci Mark 

      3 weeks ago

      My mother is a codependent parent who took advantage of me and ruined my life ad I know it.

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      Anon 

      2 months ago

      I had a codependent and mentally ill mother who committed suicide when I was 17. I struggled for decades with the same mental illnesses as my mother (anxiety and depression) But didn’t know how to get help. Finally I’ve been able to regain much of my mental health, but I am totally a codependent parent myself. I see my mother’s behavior in so much of myself it’s horrible.

      My younger daughter suffers from anxiety and depression, I had to sell my house to pay tuition at a private school, spend down all my savings to support both girls in their same lifestyle after I finally divorced their father. I am trying so hard not to guilt them about what I’ve had to do, but the dynamic with their father / grandparents is so toxic. I am trying every day to turn away from the trauma of their emotional abuse, and be just a normal, happy, loving single parent... but it’s so hard.

      My younger daughter suffers so much from anxiety and depression, and we are so enmeshed. It’s a nightmare of blaming each other for our feelings, while being totally dependent on each other :(:(:(. I want desperately to it to stop, but I don’t know how!

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      Laura Mekins 

      2 months ago

      Wow. This article is enlightening. @anonymous - You are not alone. Thanks for sharing.

      Just a tidbit of information on me, my father was an alcoholic. Parents divorced when i was 11. Lived with my unbearable mother, naturally tried to "fix" her life but failed. Moved out when i was 14. And have been financially taking care of my mother since I was 17. Im 31. Im sick of it. I love my mother but i now understand, sometimes we just have bad parents. Bad family members. We don't have an estranged relationship now. But she's only 52. I want her to get a job and stop relying on my as her financial crutch. Is it too late to stop taking care of her? Sometimes, many times, i wish i had at least one real parent.

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      Anonymous 

      2 months ago

      I’m 17 and this article is very similar to the character of my mother. All my life I thought it was normal and other kids moms just didn’t care about their kids and were only part of society and it’s norms like my mom always said they were, but as I’ve gotten older and matured a bit I’ve realised that her behavior isn’t normal or healthy and since the realization it has driven a wedge between us in the sense that I’m not as easy to control anymore. I use to think that the reason she’s “upset” is because she’s been so hurt in life, abused by her own mother and then by my father. So I pitied her and did my best to always make her happy with everything I did and if I ever messed up I felt as though I’d failed her and failed at being a good daughter. Though she’d always tell me I was smart and bright and pretty, it was only ok to be so if it was how she liked it and any individuality was me being disrespectful, rebellious and unappreciative of all she’s done for me. She constantly reminds me that I owe her for being my mom and that my siblings and I are her only happiness. She’s basically disowned my older brother sense he has started his own life the way he wanted and is living by his own rules and doing things without talking to her about them first, although she still loves him and calls and texts him all the time she says there’s no hope for him and that my younger siblings and I can be so much better. Which upsets me because I look up to my older brother, he’s so very happy now and just got a new job which he’s proud of.

      If I’m ever in a low mood or haven’t had a good day I’m the type of person you can tell just by looking at my face or the way I talk; so if I act differently or “not my true happy self” all the time is disrespectful and me not caring for her feelings. This makes me angry with myself for not being better.

      When it comes to descions she’ll either let me go and do something but be negative about it and make me feel bad about it afterwards or she’ll lists reasons as to why it would be bad to want to do it. Like for example I visited a childhood friend for their bday this past weekend who lives 2 hrs away in the same city as my older brother. She was reluctant to let me go and on the day we left, while we were in the car she asked if I had done my schooling for the day (I do dvd homeschool and made up the lesson when I got back) I hadn’t done school because I didn’t have time, I had woken up at 11 did my chores, cleaned, packed and still had to take a shower which made us 30 mins late because I lost track of time. We had to meet my brother halfway due to gas cost at 3:30. She works late nights and doesn’t get enough sleep throughout the day so she was drowsy and tired and when she tired she’s easily agitated. I had gotten everything packed and in the car and was dressed appropriately to leave yet when we were leaving the driveway she said I didn’t deserve to go.

      I’m finishing here although there’s plenty more to say but I figure you the one reading this gets the picture. It was nice to vent and be heard for once.

      Apologies for it being so long I’m working on getting better at paraphrasing.

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      Annoyed 

      2 months ago

      I have helped my mom for the last 30 years. 10 years ago, she called me hysterically because her roommate was kicking her out because her roommate son needed a place to live. I got tired of her always crying to me that I bought her a place to live. I let her know she needs to take care of her home yet she continues to ask me to pay for trees that fall, I paid for her to have better air condition and I've paid for her septic. She always tries to guilt me so she doesn't have to pay. I constantly tell her you live there. It's your home take care of it. She gets mad and then won't talk to me.

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      Alicia 

      2 months ago

      I am the youngest and only girl of 4 older brothers. I am 33 and at home with my mom, step dad, and daughter. My mom and daughter worked hard to convince me that it was smart to move home while finishing my master credential. When I moved back, reality of my mom came to light. When I was not with her, we were always on good terms and my daughter did not have behavioral issues to the point that I have professional help to get her feeling her life isn't out of control. I am labeled as the problem child, yet I have the highest level of education than anyone in my family, survived some almost life ending situations, and still have raised my daughter and accomplished goals as a full time single mom. I noticed as i became more successful in life; i felt negative reactions from my mom or something would happen which would allow her to come in and save the day. Yet, every time i would try to have a conversation to talk through boundaries with my child and respecting that i am her parent. Well, somehow my mom and step dad would be leaving their own home to stay in a hotel. Everytime it would leave me confused and avoid any negativity. Negativity ment my mom was going to make me feel like I am wrong and over reacting or if she couldn't accomplish that, then it would be a soap opera drama scene unfolding. Tonight, I learned that she will be going to a celebration party with my daughters sperm donors friends. She kept making excuses for why this was ok, when there are drug issues and safety issues that she knows have been in place since my daughter was born. Addressing this made her all of a sudden sick and needing to go to bed early. I always knew what I was living through, was not healthy or normal by any means. A specially when counseling has been tried and I am long term in counseling and she is always the topic. Now, I have a word to put to the definition of actions. One thing i know, in one year i move out of state due to my bf being in military and that will be the day I can leave this unhealthy relationship behind and raise a healthy minded daughter who is not being treated the same way I got treated by the same person. Then, we will finally get the happiness we have always wanted without being belittled.

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      Grieving in Denver 

      3 months ago

      My Mom has died two weeks ago, and I just realized what sacrifice she has had done for the past 60 years to shield us from our manipulative narcissistic father. My Dad is a childish bully, who does anything and everything to have his way. All signs listed above fit like glove. He's got a "favorite" who cannot do no wrong (she's just like him, manipulative, etc.), on the other hand, my other sister and I are pawns in his game for control. So, for the past two weeks I am grieving not only for my Mom's passing, but for the loss of my Dad as well. (BTW, he lost his Mom when he was just 6 and did not learn the basics communication skills.) He picks up a fight with just about everyone, and thrives on adrenaline rush. He'd hasten our Mom's untimely death. Now, when he calls, it is a rollercoaster of behaviors and emotions. All I can do is to listen and say: OK, right, anything else, and, take care. I've decided, I need to protect myself and do nothing that I might regret later.

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      Dee83 

      3 months ago

      Wow looks like my mother indeed codependent parent. It’s kinda scary because all the signs is match with her behavior.

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      Amanda 

      3 months ago

      I always thought my mother was just crazy. This article that I stumbled upon describes her to a T. Now I know what exactly it is and that I’m not the only one who’s experienced this type of abuse. I’ve basixally cut ties for the most part with her, which of course makes feel guilty, but now I realize that’s probably my only option.

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      SJ 

      3 months ago

      Wow. I am sure my mother is codependent; she has 7 of those signs and I am not surprised. My sister and I have been having issues with our mother ever since we finished high school, and now we're in our early-30's. She has some chronic illnesses, arthritis, migraine, osteoporosis, and she has had depression for somewhat years now.

      My sister and I can easily spend an hour talking how enjoyably it is to be with our mother. Her passive-aggressiveness, guilt trips, speaking ill of either one of us to the other, and the list goes on.

      I can deal with her issues quite well, I think, but my sister is the one who really does not give a sh!t and she does not want to and I feel sorry for my sister that she has to go through it.

      A few years ago, my sister vented a bit and my mother just broke into tears and since then, we do not speak about it. My mother says (thinks) that she has done her best to raise us as a single mother and she has sacrificed a lot. We appreciate everything she has done for us, but not that we are adults, we feel like she expects us to do the same in return. Be there for her, do her groceries, call the customer service when the Internet is down, and etc. Well, given that she is ILL ALL THE TIME (literally, physically all the time, all year long) my mother herself does not give much sh!t about her life, either. She just does not have the energy to go down the building, go across the road to buy some food for herself. It sounds ridiculous, right? This is a normal conversation between my mother and I: "Mom, do you have anything to eat at home?" She would say, "No, I have nothing at home and I'm too lazy to go down to the market." She has been living alone for over 10 years now, after we moved out, and I still find it amazing that she says she does not enjoy eating by herself and she feels alone and lonely when she does. Every time I hear her say that, I feel terribly guilty. I go out downtown, try out new restaurants here and there, and when I do invite her out, she refuses saying it's too far, it's too crowded, and things. She definitely knows how to be passive aggressive and she is quite good at guilt tripping.

      I should only share this much today.

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      TeeTee 

      3 months ago

      I am 42 years old and have parents that had me at 16 years old. I also have 2 younger brothers that they had in their 20's. Both parents are still married and both battled addiction. My mother is in a methadone program that in my opinion has added to her mental illness. They were enabled most of their lives by both Grandfathers. My mothers father did it with complete anger and disdain and my fathers father enabled due to losing a child very young which left him living in fear that he'd lose another. My brother and I have been stolen from, lied to and guilted since we are around 12 years old. We've supported them financially since we are all in our teens. There has been no attempt for them to "fix" themselves. My mother has serious daddy issues and continuously defends my father as a man "that loves his children" regardless of how much he disrespects us. They do not respect boundaries and have done nothing to better themselves. They have serious entitlement issue and feel that they are victims. We have tried cutting ties and they go around telling family members that they love their children and they can't understand why we "hate" them. The manipulation and constant mind "f""ck" have left us in a state of anger and anxiety. We are all successful considering what we endured, but continuously get guilted or stalked into lending money, our cars or whatever it is that they need at the moment. Every interaction with them has ends up in a screaming match. They don't get it. I try to avoid them, but then when I see other family members, the issue constantly comes up and some family members understand us wanting to keep a distance and others give us the guilt of "when you have kids you'll understand". I suffered a miscarriage last year and I am convinced its due to the constant needs and stress that they put me through. They make me say and do things that I am not proud of , but I am left feeling like I am in a pressure cooker all the time. As far as my mother, I feel that the only thing that is important to her is the love of my father (he of course cheated on her several times in their marriage. Its all a complete mess.

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      Same here 

      3 months ago

      I truly feel good I’m not alone in this either. My dad is extremely codependent. Anywhere around the house I go, he goes. He has some hearing loss which he constantly uses as an excuse to not go out and interact or get a hobby, along with his excuse of being overweight. He uses subtle manipulation all the time to keep me around like offering me money or making me feel guilty for wanting to go out with friends for a night. And when I need a break from being around him he calls his mother who lives distant away to rag on me. He often talks about him being depressed and alone, having no one, etc. (he also recently had to quit drinking alcohol as part of probation so now he really has nothing to do). I get frustrated on a daily basis living with him since he always wants to be around me or hang out with me. I do the most I can to make him happy but sometimes I can’t always be there otherwise I have no time to do anything for myself. He is more of a roommate than a father by now since I don’t get the appropriate responses or emotional support from him. My childhood was dysfunctional since my dad was an alcoholic and and treated my sister and I inappropriately so I always have some resentment against him which he doesn’t seem to get even though we’ve made it obvious. I always end up feeling sorry for my dad but I know I shouldn’t since it’s his life that he is responsible for. My younger sister doesn’t want to live with my dad and I much anymore now (we have joint custody but I am an adult now) I simply just have to ignore his codependent antics at times but it’s hard when we live under the same roof and I don’t want to live him alone.

    • profile image

      Jay 

      3 months ago

      @Lucy

      You stop.................... but you knew that.

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      Lucy Fropit 

      4 months ago

      Well sh*t. I'm totally a codependent parent. I guilt and manipulate and yell at my kids. I honestly had no idea. Now what do I do?

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      Sandy 

      4 months ago

      I think codependent aka narcissistic parents are very aware of what they are doing! And do not have their child best interest at heart at all. They are similar to psychopaths, they will use every tool necessairy to make people comply to their own selfish needs. Who gets hurt in the proces is of no importence to them AT ALL

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      Less Insanity Plz 

      4 months ago

      Hi, I was wondering about a particular section in this article that stuck out to me:

      "In fact, the codependent parent does not usually manipulate because they want to; they manipulate because they have to. They simply don’t know any other way to communicate with the adult child who is beyond their direct control. Thus, they will manipulate with finances, emotion, guilt, and any other tool at their disposal to maintain the imbalance of the codependent relationship."

      Just of curiosity, why do they HAVE to manipulate? What would it do to them it they didn't or couldn't manipulate (or if they actually took a son/daughter's suggestions to attempt to interact in a new, non-manipulative balanced way)? Are they trying to avoid something? Just trying to understand this better (as well as understand my mom better, whom this article describes almost to a T).

    • profile image

      rition 

      4 months ago

      Hi Kara,

      I'm not sure what the differences are between codependent and narcissistic parents. Either way it's not a good situation for anyone dealing with these relationships. The best advice is to get away and cut off all contact at an early age.

      I can't really relate to the stories on here about parents with their own mental illness. I feel like my parents wouldn't have been able to handle having a daughter or an extroverted son. The disagreements I'm having with them now would've happened 20 years ago and the person would've moved in with someone else.

      I was also born with deformities, so the control wasn't exactly holding me back from anything. Just had no idea that if I were still around at this age it'd actually get worse. It feels like an office environment at times, not a family.

      I tried to talk about my dad's behavior with him one time and he said "He's just saying that because you don't ignore him (when I need help) like I do." My mom actually tried to accuse me of having BPD for standing up to him.

      So yeah, just recognize the signs early and live your own life if possible.

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      Kara 

      5 months ago

      @getting there (and anyone else for that matter) : They will never stop guilt-tripping or manipulating you, so get away while you can.

      Do you want this to go on for the rest of their lives? Or, how about the rest of yours? Studies have proven stress takes a toll on health. Don't let them ruin your health, life, and sanity.

      My mom did this to me for years. I felt like the most demented, guilty, evil person because she told me I was. Well, last year she had a stroke. Who had to care for her? Me. I did it with love and kindness.

      That wasn't enough. Now she calls every day, several times a day saying I don't love her or I'd sit and visit. If she has company, she acts feeble, fraile, and makes me promise to not put her in a home. we never discuss that!

      This past week I just started telling her i cannot and will not real with negativity or guilt trips. And I won't.

      Do yourself (and future self) a favor and remove yourself from the situation while you can.

      God forbid you need to be their caregiver.

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      Getting there 

      5 months ago

      Reading this and other people's comments really helped me feel less alone.

      I've realized over the last couple of years that my relationship with my mother isn't normal, after a childhood of just thinking this is what loving parents are like, and that the mood swings and sudden explosions must be reasonable responses to how uniquely terrible her life apparently is.

      From a young age, I felt the burden of trying to make her life better for her - making sure all the housework was done before she could do it and then complain about how tired she was, trying to diffuse arguments between her and my brother before they started as if it were my responsibility as a child to make sure that she as an adult didn't get too upset and end up doing something stupid.

      Because that's her favourite manipulation; if things aren't as she would like, she is going to kill herself. And I always thought, if she DID kill herself, then that would be my fault so I had to do whatever she wanted in order to prevent it.

      Even now, I'm still stuck with this. I stupidly moved back in with her after university, and now I don't feel I can move out again because of the guilt she places on me. She talks about it like she needs me here, that I'm the one that makes her life bearable, that she is always so depressed and at the end of her rope (although she refuses to seek any professional help, preferring to place it on my shoulders).

      I don't feel I'm at a place yet where I can get out of this situation without feeling guilty and scared of what might happen. But at least learning about the dynamics of our relationship, and that other people suffer this too, I feel like it's not impossible to be free of this.

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      Tired 

      5 months ago

      My mother is constantly fighting my with my father and never fails to make me feel bad that i do not side with here - to top it off , they are both almost always in pain, and i am the one always having to massage them and listen to their problems. all while trying to live a normal life in my 30s - i am so tired!

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      Embarrassed 

      5 months ago

      I truly believe I have the most controlling cruel under minding abusive parents ever and 35 I’ve never been able to have a relationship and be happy there in the middle of everything they undermined me as a parent and are all around horrible This is really opened my eyes even when you’re grown-up you can’t get away from your parents it’s a sickness

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      Anon 

      6 months ago

      My mom is still so immature halfway through her life that it must be hardwired into her. I wish she had never existed.

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      Mairi 

      6 months ago

      A lot of people commenting are confusing narcissistic personality disorder with dependency. They are not the same thing. Often the codependent is the result of a narcissistic parent and although they can be manipulative, they actually do have empathy, are capable of change (if they realise they have it) and love their children.

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      Random duh 

      7 months ago

      Sh*t both of my parents are codependent and manipulative. I always thought they just love me too much but they actually don’t. All of them explains my daily life . I’m so done with them now.

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      Jennifer 

      7 months ago

      I watched the video and it pained me cause all of the signs are the same descriptions I go threw in life and even to this day I deal with this non sense. I've always been the scape goat and it's definitely a hard and horrible life. I've been to counseling to get help only to realize that I'm not the sick one all these years I was made to feel crazy or ill myself. Why do parents project such unhealthy ideas on children. I have never had a best friend or a normal life. It hurts me the most when I see normal families and mothers and daughters who are friends and who do get along. I wonder what it feels like I envy them. I secretly wish I was loved and wanted by my parents. My parents want me for only what I can give them they have no real interest in seeing me be happy. They expect me to stay home and have no life and no friends. Or go to work. I find myself want it to be at work. I have two children they take care of while I'm at work. I feel trapped cause in have no partner and no real people to talk to I feel like I'm my own best friend who never lets herself down , I'm so tired mentally from these people. I read other comments and I can say you're not alone and I feel sad that others go threw this , mental health does and should be recognized cause were only human. I'm tired of the generations of denial and it needs to stop.

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      Anonymous 

      7 months ago

      I have had issues with co-dependent parents, especially my mother, for years now but it was never as bad as it has been recently. This article has really opened my eyes to the situation and a lot of these signs are exact descriptions of what I go through.

      I have been married for less than 2 years. We have our baby's baptism coming up and the whole event has become about my mother and how it will fit into her life. Never mind that we tried to find a date that would work for majority of the family and especially the godparents... it also happened to fall on the same date as something else my mother refuses to miss, and now it has become me and my wife's problem to change the day, time, and location so my mom can attend. We weren't able to do so, and its been WWIII for the past few days.

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      Anonymous 

      7 months ago

      Above all else that has been mentioned above, my parents give me physical and mental complexes in vain hope that I will miraculously change in an instant, much like bullying only though they express it in a hysterical way. It discourages me to live any further and being the cotton-wrapped child I have been my life, I was never able to have a social life and therefore being the antisocial person, I would see the people around me get girlfriends or boyfriends and for me to be lonely.

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      Lindsay 

      7 months ago

      This article blew me away...it was like it was directly describing the relationship I have with my mother. It’s wild. And it makes me feel better knowing that I’m not alone. For years our family has been ignoring this problem that just keeps building and I think I’ve finally reached my boiling point. Thank you for the insight and everyone else for their comments. It’s truly eye opening .

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      Lindy 3330 

      7 months ago

      I have a codependent mother. It is so hard dealing with her. Ever since I was a little girl she would get overdramatic over somethiNg so trivial and would always let me defend her. It breaks my heart everytime especially at times when I honestly don't know how to deal with adult problems yet I have to find solutions because she would say things like it's better for her to jump off a bridge or whatnot. And more often than not she is inconsistent to the point of driving us (me and my siblings ) knots. I must admit it is so hard to deal with a codependent parent. I often hide in the toilet and cry my eyes out because I get exhausted all the time. Even a siMple text message she gets she would asks me what to reply. As simple question like, "how are you." It would have been more bearable if my father had lived longer but he died when I turned 13. He was a lion. And I miss him ef everyday. I miss having someone stronger than me. Especially on days when I don't have the energy to fight.

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      rition 

      7 months ago

      Does anyone still live with one or both of their parents as an adult? I imagine it being difficult when you have your own life and getting unexpected phone calls or having them drop by unexpectedly, but it's a lot different when you live with them and they change the narrative to suit their needs.

      If you have a problem even a physical illness, it doesn't exist or "no one wants to hear about it." If you try to assert yourself, they exaggerate your issues and blame it on "mood swings" for reacting to something that any normal person would feel offended about. If you get them in a group situation with a professional, they say "We try to get him

      to do this and he doesn't listen."

      I honestly don't think either one of them are aware of their behavior. I've been reading that parents like this were probably treated this way by their parents, but I'm not sure. My mom was at least allowed to leave the house when she was younger and moved out in her late teens or early twenties.

      I don't have the life skills but this is who they are anyway. It just so happens that I have these problems and my siblings are also introverted. Life would already be difficult even if you waved a magic wand over my parents and they were better versions of themselves. This is just a sick joke though. It feels like I'm living in an office environment. When either of them are in a good mood, I don't lower my guard anymore because I know it'll change, it's just a matter of when.

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      rition 

      7 months ago

      "If Im tired my mother is more tired, if im sick shes even sicker, if im upset noone is more upset than her."

      Sounds familiar. Also, "No one does more than me." Everything's a competition and she's the victim.

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      Anonymous 123 

      7 months ago

      My father is an alcoholic and my mother is codependent. I’ve never been able to go to either of them for comforting or anything like that. I don’t know what it is like to have parents you can rely on. If Im tired my mother is more tired, if im sick shes even sicker, if im upset noone is more upset than her. Im 33 now and I truly am exhausted of both of them. If my alcoholic father says hurtful things to me, shes dealt with worse....Im not married, I have no children and I often think maybe its better this way. I would hate to be a bad mother. From the outside you would never know what I deal with. Im usually very outgoing and social. But some days, days like today Im feeling like I have PTSD. Her calling me crying about something just brought back so many messed up memories. Memories that I cant shake off....the sad part is they will never be able to sympathize or just give me a hug and use words of comfort to make me feel better.

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      Sarah 

      8 months ago

      My parents are exactly what you are describing. My parents had always been codependent but I had never gone through any situation that made me suffer from it. Until I decided I wanted to study abroad for six months with some college friends. They never liked the idea, thought it was stupid, risky and that I was an idiot for choosing that and missing out job opportunities during those months. They also thought I wouldn't be under their control so I shouldn't go. I honestly thought about this a lot, for over seven months, I read and asked a lot of people about its pros and cons. Until I finally convinced myself it was what I truly wanted for my life. I had my heart set on it. My parents freaked out. They always thought I wouldn't do it. I wasn't going to ask them for money (of course they had told me they wouldn't give me a dollar). But that was

      it for them. They could not accept that their daughter was doing something they didn't think was good. But up to that point, even though the arguments and fights were intense and they always ended up yelling, I still felt I could choose. So when they realised I had finally made my choice, which wasn't the one they expected, they started with their manipulative tactics. Just two weeks before I had to go (I had already bought the flight ticket) my mom started crying saying I was dead to her. She didn't have a daughter anymore. She didn't want me to call her or ever talk to her ever again. And after that, my dad told me one of the worst things he could have ever told me and that I will never forget nor forgive. He killed me. I couldn't believe he could say such a hurtful thing to me. He wanted me to feel extremely guilty for wanting something they didn't want. The problem with manipulative and codependent parents is that they create this unhealthy relationship which they cannot see. They think they are doing what is right and that someday I will understand. And the truth is I won't. I am living a life that is not what I chose, even though I am 23 and I could have financed that trip on my own. That is destructive for our relationship. How can I ever forgive them for forcing me to live a life I did not choose?. I never meant to hurt anyone with this choice. I never thought they would take it this far. But I do know that when I am older I will regret not having done it. And that also hurts. This situation only creates more pain and makes me want to leave the house as soon as I can. I really hope we can all all learn from our parents' mistakes and be better with our children, let them choose what makes them happy.

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      AdriT 

      8 months ago

      I was mind-blown when I came across these 8 signs. It was as if someone was describing every aspect of my relationship with my mother in detail. This post has helped me understand the dynamics of an unhealthy relationship - it's very difficult to understand what is happening when it's the only thing one has known their whole life! I am in the process of establishing boundaries and experiencing an uphill battle, specifically tantrums thrown by my mother where my friends, loved ones, and members of our community are brought into these (embarrassing) discussions (via email, phone, social media, etc) with the purpose of getting what she wants. I only wish I would have been aware of this years ago... I am now in my thirties and have had many issues that were a direct cause of these unhealthy interactions including depression, anxiety, and personality insecurities. All of course have had a negative effect on personal and work relationships. I strongly encourage everyone that is in a similar relationship dynamic to act as soon as possible and take control of your life. THANK YOU FOR POSTING.

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      Amber Lerella 

      8 months ago

      thank you so much for this post. I'm 16 now, but I've been aware of my mother's codependency issues for quite some time, even since my father divorced her. he was her rock, he told me on numerous occasions how he felt like their relationship was more father-daughter as opposed to the marriage they affirmed. I struggle with depression and anxiety, potentially even bipolar but my mother simply does not care enough about my life & welbeing to arrange a doctor's appointment, or anything of the sort. I've told her how I felt like my life wasn't worth living and she disregarded it repeatedly, she didn't even tell my father that I needed help. she pushes all my problems under the rug and complains about herself all the time, especially her first world problems. it's always "me me me" with her, I basically do not matter unless I'm trying to improve my life. she has something to say if I propose the idea of me going back to work or college, I took a temporary break from both due to my depression and dire lack of motivation. she doesn't have a job, claims she desires one yet makes no effort to acquire one. she doesn't have a car, refuses to drive out of a fear of "crashing". I'm home bound with her all day and she doesn't seem to care, she asks me if I'm ready to re-attend college but never offers me any solutions. all I ever wanted from her was for her to say, arrange a spontaneous spa break for us both. that's what normal mothers do when they sense their child is suffering, no? she has no mind of her own and everything turned to crap once my dad moved out. I've literally thought about doing that for myself, because she would never conjure up such a gesture. she never wants to show me love, appreciation, or anything, and I feel it's because she can't, not because she's withholding it. I don't remember the last time she did something for me that I hadn't asked her to twenty times first. she used to complain about making me cups of tea, as if it was the hardest thing anyone's had to do. I do everything for myself now, and she'll still complain about trifling things like a single wrapper not in the trash. I'm living independently, but I'm doing everything for her. I've given up on my own life as a result of her giving up on hers. I've had to be independent all this time, but my life has become a total catastrophe in the process. she asks me for help with EVERYTHING, we're supposed to be moving house soon and I bet she expects me to do EVERYTHING at 16, it's her job to arrange house viewings and removal vans, etc, not mine. I'd be happy to chip in, but why on earth does she leave everything to me? codependency.

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      Jane Best 

      8 months ago

      My Mom has had a temper since I can remember – her reactions do not ‘tally’ to whatever ‘event’ has happened. A classic example from a few years ago is when I nipped into a local boutique to grab a birthday present. It was c. 3pm and I was due at her house to take her to choose a new TV. When I told her that I’d dropped into the boutique, she instantly became toxic towards me with comments such as “Why couldn’t you have told me, your old mother who you know likes to get out?!” She accuses me of doing things like that in secret even though it’s not secret ‘cause I told her. Btw, she is completely capable of getting out to shops herself.

      I explained that I was in and out as no time for browsing or wondering around the village – plus it was out of my way to pick her up just for such a quick visit to a shop.

      She was horrible to me. On the journey in my car to choose her TV, she was hissing expletives under her breath (I’m sure she thought that she was only thinking them but I could hear her!) I’ve had several of those instances over the years. That and comments like “I could be dead soon anyway”. Had those since I was a teenager and am now 46. I retaliated once saying that I could be killed on the fairly long motorway journey to / from work and that shut her up for a bit.

      When I caught my husband of three years having a major sexual and emotional affair (end Nov. 2016) and found out it had been going on for nearly four years, (kicked him out for four months), it was two months before I told her – and I only did that over the ‘phone ‘cause I’d been drinking. I was amazed at her sympathetic response to be honest esp. considering that shortly after I’d caught him but before telling her, she was yelling at me, with her face almost contorted, telling me that he was a “Nasty little man. NASTY LITTLE MAN.” Why? Because we’d asked her to join us at a local pub for big surprise visit for some family over from Oz. She didn’t believe he really wanted her there, ‘though he did. Paranoia seems to be another of her traits. Anyway, she said she relieved to know why I was on anti-depressants which I am sure she was; part of me also thinks that she felt she had ‘one over’ on my husband. I could be being unfair on that one.

      She’s mellowed a bit until recently, when she’ll blurt out for no reason, “I’m just a burden to you aren’t I?” I am there every Saturday afternoon to take her shopping and have done that for over twenty years. I’ve been there several times last year painting and staining outside steps, walls and the shed. I’ve been seeing a therapist about husband’s selfish affair with his married mistress and about my Mom’s controlling behaviour. I told her I wanted one Saturday off a month and she called me selfish. I said my brother would come over once a month from Wolverhampton (I told him he had to step up) but she said “I don’t want HIM taking me shopping; I remember once he did that and then drove off and I had to get the bus home.” He was about 18 then, he is now 54.

      The latest, last Friday, I went to the pub opposite where I live and the battery on my mobile went flat. Got in the house and shortly after the landline rang. She was going nuts saying that she’d not been able to get me on either ‘phone. I tried to explain but I couldn’t get a word in and it got so bad that I had to hang up on her. I must that admit. I wished she’d die that night so that I could be free of her bullying ways. At the time, I think that I meant it which makes me ashamed as I am a Christian. I called her Saturday night but got one word answers. No “God bless” to me at end of call like she normally does, even though I said it to her. Drove by her house on Monday after work to check she wasn’t lying on the living floor but she had her blinds pulled shut tight which she doesn’t normally do, so she’ll have known I was likely to stop by. She knows how I’ll react to her amazing way of making me feel guilty as much as I do. Called her Monday night and got a few more words from her but she was still miserable towards me and no “God bless” again. I didn’t say it this time either as just felt emotionally ‘battered’ by her. She hasn’t called me. One of us calls the other just about every night (unless we fall asleep) to say goodnight but she hasn’t bothered. It’s now Thursday.

      I’ve told her several time to call my husband if she can’t reach me as chances are, I’m stood next to him or he’ll know where I am. She forgets to do that and instead launches into a rage.

      I want to check on her as I worry, as she is 88 but the thought of another hard telephone conversation fills me dread. She makes me feel like child. People say it’s her age but it’s NOTHING to do with age. Her neighbour who died a couple of months ago was 90+ and she wasn’t like it. My brother’s Mom-in-law, Joyce, is in her late 70s and she’s not like it. Some say it’s ‘cause my Dad died when I was six, but Joyce lost her husband young too.

      My Mom is generous with her money but I’ve said many times to family etc. that I’d rather she kept it and gave anything in her Will to charity, and instead that she was nice towards me and my brother.

      She can be really funny and light but her rages really come out of ‘left field’. I honestly believe that she has something called Borderline Personality Disorder as she fits 5-6 of the 9 traits: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-disorder...

      I know I won’t change her and I’ve been working hard to change my reaction to her; Friday, I’d had a drink and she was just shouting over me so I snapped. So, I want to call her, if anything to try get back to ‘normal’ however long that will last.

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      To robynbase 

      8 months ago

      I really appreciate your post. What beautiful comments despite such terrible circumstances. Your heart is in the right place.

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      Rition 

      8 months ago

      I just wish I'd known this information years ago. I figured it wouldn't matter with my problems but I also had better life skills when I was younger compared to now. Either my life would've improved or I would've crashed but not under their authority. Now I have no option but to live with one person I despise and another who has good qualities but is still controlling/plays the victim/defends the abuser. It's either that or become part of the system and have absolutely no independence. Homelessness isn't really an option either because I live in the middle of nowhere.

      One thing that'd help is if they both took a vacation, but I'm lucky to get maybe a few hours of alone time.

      It's just hard living a lie because there aren't any other options.

      I'm sorry for anyone who has to deal with this kind of control. Living at home makes it tougher but I imagine it's just as bad when you have your own life but you're getting calls from them left and right.

      I'm not sure what causes this type of parenting. Neither of my parents were overprotected. My mom's implied that my grandfather was tough but I know that her and her brothers and sisters weren't kept on tight leashes.

      She's a lot easier to deal with than my father who basically has no redeeming qualities.

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      robynbase 

      8 months ago

      I have parents that have traits of some disorders. I paid a good amount for counseling and felt some freedom in just being able to articulate my experiences. Ultimately I have to change on my own by asking God for help because I know what a mess I am. I have accepted who they are and have let go of expectations. I don't want to diagnose them myself, but I can say my mom has traits of a co-dependent and borderline personality or bi-polar. My dad has traits of narcissism and co-dependency. My dad has enabled her emotional volatility and alcoholism. As many have explained about their own parents, they are also loving and caring. No one would describe them as bad or mean. But they have been destructive, nevertheless. Holidays and family gatherings are my mom's worst time of manipulation and control. She expects everything to be perfect. No one can make an expression she doesn't like. She spends without any budget in mind, although they're on a small fixed income. If anyone tries to rein in her spending by saying we don't need all the food and gifts, she will cry or say she's going to do it anyway. It seems nice, but it's clearly another way to salve the wounds in her soul. It's either that, or alcohol, or some other distraction. I've talked to them both about how they are hurting me deeply, and they respond by cutting off communication for long periods. I do not ask for an apology or tell them how their actions in the past hurt me. There's no point. I've just asked them not to share details of their marital problems (which they've done since I was a toddler) or send me hateful texts with cuss words and horrendous accusations. They will stop for a time until they feel that I'm over it, and then they do it all again. I can barely stand their company for more than an hour. They have a way of messing with my mind and making me feel like they're digging at my soul. They're hurt deeply inside, so they can't break free permanently from their behavior. It's sad for me because I wish my parents could have been part of my life in a wholesome way, but they just cannot do it. I ask God to fill up that loneliness in my heart and to help me grow because I am still unable to respond to them with love and maturity.

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      Arch1e 

      9 months ago

      I've just read this and showed it to my brother. He asked did I write it. It describes our mother to a tee. It makes heartening and horrible reading in equal measures. I'm so glad to be able to put a name to what it is we experience, but find it massively upsetting that it happens, and other people have suffered it to the point that it has a label and a webpage(s) about it.

      I am currently suffering from a major bout of depression and was hospitalised for a week just before Christmas because of it. My mother's response to this has been centred around her and she shouts at me when we try to discuss things. This leads me reacting to not being listened to by swearing at her (which I'm not proud of = guilt) and then she deals out the more guilt and becomes emotionally aggressive. She is Irish and says its just her manner.

      She is quite simply impossible to deal with. My brother and I agreed that it is like being in an abusive relationship. I would rather have no contact with her but know will be hammered by her because she is bi-polar and her sons should support her and how dare I cut her off because she is ill and that she raised me when her marriage split up (I was 5 at the time, now 42).

      I would really like her to read this page. Has anyone on this forum ever shared this with their person and what was the outcome?

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      Rica 

      9 months ago

      My mother is extremely manipulative, and my father is both manipulative and abusive. Infact, almost everyone in my family is manipulatiave and abusive. I'm now blamed for ruining Christmas because apparently I didn't smile "enough" when opening my present. And now she's spreading the word of how ungrateful I am, how I don't love her, and then she got family friends to turn on me. This kind of behaviour didn't just happen on Christmas, it happens almost daily, it's a regular occurance. I seriously have no where to go, and I'm bloody annoyed at all the lies she's told. She's twisting stories, twisting my words, I thought when I escaped one abusive parent, I would never have to deal with it again.

      Well, there goes that.

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      rition 

      9 months ago

      Hi Xanna,

      Sorry for the late response. I think myopic is a better word to describe both of my parents. I don't think either of them are aware of what they're doing which makes it worse. Being intentionally controlled isn't any better but it would have been easier for a professional to spot years ago. A mom that cares too much might have just made her come off as concerned and slightly overprotective instead of what it really was and still is.

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      rition 

      9 months ago

      My parents bought me a video game system for christmas. The problem with this is i'm in my 30s and haven't played video games since middle school.

      They knew i didn't want anything. I'm also a minimalist anyway. I tried to stay out of the gift exchanging but they told me to come down. Now i'm being blamed for ruining christmas.

      Shows you how clueless they are. Like buying a gift could make up for all of the passive aggressive side comments and control. They told me they had to search all over the place for it. Now i'm being pinned as the abuser.

      I don't have the greatest people skills but i wouldn't spend hundreds of dollars on a gift i know someone would never want then blame them for not being able to keep a poker face. I'm just sick of this.

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      Teddy 

      9 months ago

      I have a mother that makes me fly back and forth by plane to university and back every week. Its been hard. I am her world and I just thought it'll be healthy for me and her to be apart for awhile. She visits me every 2 weeks, therefore I see her 9 out of 14 days, and I'm by myself every 5 days. I have siblings but there id no offset. Therapists are useless. Everyday, I'm deciding whether I should surrender or runaway. I often have fights with her every week because She puts most oh her loss on me. She is the bread winner of the family, so most of the time she gets to be right. She has a tragic past so there's lots of room to play victim. I'm at the edge trying to figure which is best to do. We both want opposite things. One would indeed have to suffer. I love my mum, it'sad and laughable.

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      Xanna 

      9 months ago

      Rition,

      I understand what you are saying about others not seeing it. Your mom is probably narcissistic which makes her a good manipulator. Narcissistic people can put on a good show to anyone outside of family that truly know them.

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      Xana 

      9 months ago

      I have codependent parents and my husband has a codependent mother.

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      ME 

      9 months ago

      When someone says - wow this is so accurate it almost like you made this up yourself its so exact. HA. *cries*

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      TAACCT3 

      9 months ago

      I'm just glad I'm not as alone as she always made me think.

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      rition 

      9 months ago

      Why is it that therapists have no idea about codependent or narcissistic parenting? I tell them what's going on in my house and they just listen and don't ask any further questions.

      My current therapist actually bought my mom's victim act until he got to know me more and I'm sure he still probably might feel bad for her.

      The other professional I confided in believes me but the social workers he recommended don't take my crappy insurance anyway.

      Parents like mine want their adult children to live with them forever and then complain about them living at home. I wonder what would have happened if they'd had a daughter or an assertive son instead of me and my other sibling. They wouldn't have known what to do because they would have stood up to them at a much younger age.

      Sorry if I'm venting, but it's frustrating when no one steps in. My dad's an emotionally abusive prick even to my mom and he walks around guilt free while I'm having panic attacks. My mom gets mad at me when I give it right back to him.

      TL:DR: If you have the life skills, assert independence as early as possible or you'll be stuck forever.

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      Tim 

      9 months ago

      Saved my sanity. Now I'm not going to go therapy for this. I know its okay to let go of them permanently without the accompanying guilt. Now time to just move on with life.

      Thank you.

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      tam 

      9 months ago

      thank you Kim B. =)

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      random teen 

      9 months ago

      Wow I knew something was up with my mom. We have the worst relationship. Now I know that she’s codependent. This was a veg informative and good article, thank you. I just wish I knew how to handle my mother bc she is becoming unbearable and literally makes me depressed. Oh well

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      rition 

      9 months ago

      Update:

      I talked to a professional who told me that my father's actions qualify as abuse. Not only the verbal insults and stonewalling, but also raising a hand to any of us shows intent even if he never actually hits anyone.

      I'm glad I found this article and some of the accompanying links. Sometimes I let my guard down because either he isn't home or he's nice for a short period of time. Looking back on it he's always made these comments to everyone in the family. Seeing his actions get progressively worse forced me to talk to someone else about it.

      My mom's actions are a lot more manageable because of the lack of a temper. We also spend a lot of time together whereas my father's made no effort to get to know me as a person and shut down any talk about anything important.

      I'm not going to report it yet because there's a lot to think about and a lot of potential dominoes to fall that affect everything else. I might also have less credibility because of my own mental health issues but the person I talked said they'd vouch for me and this has been discussed with most therapists I've seen in the past.

      I'm just glad I found this info and know that I'm not alone in dealing with this.

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      rition 

      10 months ago

      My mom has both codependent and narcissistic traits. Used to live through my problems, now she blames me for her problems. Then if I try to establish independence she turns back into codependent.

      Dad is definitely a narcissist. Never thought it described him because he doesn't really like attention and doesn't have any friends outside of work. The only people that see it are me and everyone in the house. Verbally insulting.

      Never admits he's wrong about anything. Blames us for other people's mistakes. Cares what the neighbors think even though he doesn't talk to them.

      One thing that's helped me is separating my own issues from their behavior. Sometimes it's easy to think "I deserve it" but they're the same way with my other siblings and they'd have the same personalities regardless.

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      Anon 

      10 months ago

      This article describes my mother's behavior as of recently to a T. Glad I read the comments so I could

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      Ggg 

      10 months ago

      Yep this is a narcissist. Describes my own mother. Not codepenant at all....... and it’s at the top of google. I hope people searching for info bother to read the comments.

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      John 

      10 months ago

      This article 100% describes the narcissist. Who ever wrote is either a narcissist themselves or has no clue what they are talking about.

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      Debra 

      10 months ago

      Amy is correct. This is describing Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This is my 99 year old mother who, even now, makes my life miserable. I am 61 and exhausted. I wish I could go ‘no contact’ but it is not possible to turn your back on someone so old. Frail in body, maybe, but totally evil.

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      Amy 

      10 months ago

      This article is describing Narcissistic Personality Traits- not codependency.

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      Biting Bird 

      10 months ago

      We just recently went No Contact from my codependent mother and father over a year ago. I am 48 years old and struggled for years of dealing with everything listed in the above article plus many issues not covered.

      I come from a family of confusing upbringing, abuse on multiple levels and once I became an adult the manipulation from my mother manifested into a more clever and sinister form similar to what's mentioned in the article about subtle manipulation and guilt with retracting after the adult child acquiesces etc...

      My mother would 'rewrite' our childhood history to perhaps sound better than it really was which is pointless and many times inaccurate according to timelines due to the age differences in my siblings and myself. Most of the true stories were fine as they were: our not having enough money to afford certain clothes, my not driving a specific car we owned. I don't know why it necessary to embellish our history to make it seem 'better' when the truth is what gave us humility.

      However, the abuse and trauma she would rather I leave in the past all together and she doesn't acknowledge any of it, and there was plenty to cover. Enough for me to seek therapy and decide I could no longer play 'Good Little Daughter' any longer.

      Thankfully I have a wonderful husband of 26 years that has helped me through this journey and I have found a fantastic tribe of supportive friends (one being my sister) that have stuck with me through something a lot of people just don't generally understand. I don't expect anything of the rest of my family. This was my decision for my healing. I forgive. I love. But I can't forget.

      One can love from a distance.

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      Marcus1778 

      10 months ago

      Alright so needless to say this was a very interesting read.

      I'm 23 years old and I have a crippled 60 year old father that I still live with. Mom took off claiming that my dad was all of these things when I was 7 years old and dad made her out to be an evil woman for it. Dad raised me homeschooled which was really no schooling at all.

      Recently i've started seeing more and more bad things about my current situation, and maybe even seeing what my mom was talking about now even though i haven't spoken to her in years. I tested at 17 for a GED so I could go out and start working, I didn't have much of a choice because my dad hasn't worked since I was 14 and we were on the verge of losing our house and going completely bankrupt. He always said he was too crippled from a lifetime of hardwork to continue working. I always thought that the right thing to do was to take care of him since he took care of me, I worked myself crazy for many years and saw no personal benefit out of it. Finally I worked myself up to where I am now, I'm an oilfield worker on a 7 on and 7 off schedule making plenty of money to go out and finally live life instead of working 6 on 1 off like I did at my last job. I make plenty of money to continue paying down the mortgage I inherited and even stash some away.

      However My dad hasn't gotten off the couch for 6 years now... Occasionally he might cook or clean the house up a little but thats it. No helping out with the financial situation, Which even that would be fine but everytime I try to make plans or go do something I get guilted into staying home with him, Or something else comes up to stop me from going out and actually living a life.

      I would love to move out and just live on my own, but He's now been a Diabetic for 8 years and isn't really dealing with it in a healthy manner. He does have trouble walking which is why I don't begrudge him for not working. I don't want to leave and have him lose his house that isn't paid off for yet, Nor do I want to see him get sick or fall down and hurt himself without someone being there.. but at the same time i'm 23 years old and I can't go out and do basically anything except work because He will throw a pity party for himself and basically guilt me into staying with him so he won't be lonely. Feels like i'm left with the decision of either throwing away his life or throwing away my own life.

      Not sure what to do.. but it's atleast nice to see that i'm not alone and this appears to be an issue among alot of people. Best of luck to anyone out there who is dealing with issues that pertain to this subject. I know first hand how hellish it can be.

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      Lydia 

      11 months ago

      Thank you very much for posting this. It was like you wrote this just for me. I have been struggling with my codependent mother, especially as an adult. I am 45 years young. LOL I am an only child. She always put me down, comparing me to other people, harping about my weight, my grades (despite being a straight A student), my career choices. I even graduated top of my class in college (summa cum laude) and yet that wasn't good enough. She didn't even attend my graduation, because she was embarrassed that the college that I graduated from didn't have a "good name."I went to graduate school. She refused to attend that graduation, saying that grad school was a waste of time. She has done everything that she can to maintain control. First, it was financially, holding on to my inheritance, which I finally gave up fighting for. Then, she tried to manipulate my daughter/her grand-daughter by telling her of all my "mistakes." I finally had enough when we bought our house, and she started calling my husband a loser and stupid, and telling me that I was stupid. After she sent a very nasty text message, I blocked her on my social media and phone. My husband and I have had problems in our marriage, but since ceasing contact with her, we have had peace and can see how damaging she was to our marriage. But she has persisted on finding ways to get in touch with me. I have changed my email address and am about to change my phone number. She is so controlling. I feel bad for her at times, but know that I cannot keep the cycle going. I doubt that I'll speak to my mother again, but I know that I'm doing the right thing. I don't want my daughter around someone so manipulative.

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      Chatterbox76 

      11 months ago

      I truly don’t know what my situation is with my family. I went from taking care of my mother for the most part. All 59 years I am her only daughter and have three living brothers all within a 30 mile radius of each other. My mother was diagnosed with dementia and then the grief begins. My brothers and in laws and nieces and even my one daughter (38) all ganged up on me. I was her POA and doing everything the POA was supposed to do, I tried relentlessly to have a meeting with my brothers and they refused. Saying there is nothing wrong with her and she just has short term memory loss, she is 85. Now my mother and I have always had a rough relationship, she simply does not know how to Love. For years I would do anything and everything to try and get her to love me. To fill that void I have been longing for since I was a child. She blamed me for everything. She always protected my brothers. She and my daughter are very close. She shows favoritism to her over all her other grandkids. My daughter and I used to be close. It’s all changed and I don’t honestly know why. I tried to express my hurt over all of this. And it kept getting pushed back on me. My other daughter gets treated like crap by her. Always has. She’s used to it she said. Her and her sister have no relationship. Well, my daughter (her favorite) is now her POA. I got thrown under the bus by my entire family with exception of my one daughter. Now the estranged daughter lost her house and has moved in with my mother. She is married (I paid for her entire wedding) she has a 2 year old son that I have been stripped from seeing. Been almost a year now. My heart is broken beyond belief. I live alone with my four legged best friend. And still after all of this non-healthy toxic crap I am standing. Had cancer twice and currently in remission. My doctors want me to remain as stress free as possible. My one brother attempted to choke me during this nightmare drama over my mother. All because they don’t get it. Denial. I don’t know. They wanted me out. I believe my mother is a game player too. She tells stories. Untruthful ones about me and they believe her hook line and sinker. I have been accused of stealing taking advantage of and you name it. My aunts my moms sisters, no better. They know I would never do something like that. They know all I have done for her etc. I truly think my mother is sick and not only with dementia. Her whole family is dysfunctional. I got out of it almost a year ago now. However, my heart remains broken. My loss of my mother and daughter and grandchild is almost unbearable. I ask myself why are you still yearning for your mother and daughter to love you? I think that makes me co dependent perhaps. My mother years and years ago blamed me for my father divorcing her. I was only 21 then. I took on the guilt and kept trying to find her approval of me. In this whole mess my daughter latched on to her. My mother is a liar, she’d tell me one thing and her another. And I truly believe she floats over all of this. I wish I knew why? I may never know why. My family refused to talk to me. And just yesterday my ED moved in to her home. Why am I hurting so much. I do seek therapy over this mess. I am putting my focus on the one daughter and grandkids who do love me. However I still have a hole there. I think of the kindness I have given to my mother and my ED. All I wanted in return was respect. And I couldn’t get even that. My cancer did not bring our family closer. My mother was not there emotionally for me, nor my daughter. But she is for my ED and her my mother. I walked away, however not completely. Hoping they especially my ED would come to realize some things. But I still remain a broken soul. I got to the point of constantly doubting myself. Question myself is it me? Wow, the whole family against one. What message does that send to me? There has to be something wrong with me. Although deep inside I think it’s not me, it’s them.

    • StephieAuggie2010 profile image

      StephieAuggie2010 

      11 months ago

      Hi I'm new here I kept doing online searches for my situation and I kept coming back to read here. Long story short I moved in with my 60 yr old mom because the last couple of years she's not been herself she isn't remembering she's engaging in inappropriate behavior and has seemingly lost any sense of boundaries (I can be getting dressed and she'll start talking to me through the door and just walk in and keep talking or she'll offer waaaay too much info on her bodily happenings in convo with people) she hasn't been taking care of her house like she used to, a few times she's forgotten to feed her bird all day she was seeing a psychiatrist for depression and anxiety but I think she's manic bipolar I've seen her go from extremely depressed for three days to suddenly out of nowhere she's upbeat cleaning the house it's two extremes all my life I bent at the will of my mom and there were a few times she put me in situations where I was alone and had to fend for myself or caused trouble like when I inherited money at 20 she helped me put $ into a CD and told me "don't tell your father you have this account" I get back to my dad's to find out she called him and told him in what must have been right after I left her house because they lived only 5 minutes away driving distance, she's been pouting when I go with my idea instead of her she really pushes her ideas and it feels like she's bossing me or manipulating me because if she doesn't get her way or I speak up she pouts and for the next few days she claims to have all day long panic attacks BUT WONT SEE A DR she stopped seeing her psychiatrist and stopped meds she's given many reasons for this from not liking the Dr to not wanting to take meds because they are more dangerous than helpful, my fiance and son are here with me so I have my fiance to talk to but he has no experience so can't give advice just an ear to listen. I don't know what to do with her being stubborn and not seeking medical care for her mental illness, she has gone from pretty peaceful to sometimes combative verbally and passive aggressiveness, she is also coming up with memories of things that never happened or even make any sense like I went to visit her neighbor with her and she told this woman I was so bad when I was little that she kicked me out of the house when I was 9 said that she picked me up and physically removed me from the house, that is so bizarre to hear I have no idea what to make of it that's just one example there's more, I don't even know if I've covered everything I just had to come and talk and would love advice tonight was hard i stood up for something and spoke my mind (not rudely or about a sensitive topic it was about my son's rabbits cage) and she suddenly got withdrawn and stood in the kitchen at the table in plain view and just stood there silently and still for nearly 19 minutes it was so creepy it was like she didn't like what I said so she was pouting to get me to react or coddle her? Just my take on how it felt it was like a child pouting for attention, I do NOT handle people trying to manipulate me well at all

    • Sheena Bradley profile image

      Sheena Bradley 

      11 months ago from Ireland

      Ryan, I am sorry you are so sad about the relationship troubles you are experiencing. You are young, I am 51 and am only now feeling strong enough to 'hold my boundaries' with my family members. I suppose I'm saying, I think you do know what you need to do. I'd love to say 'perhaps your mum and sister will change' but experience tells me that they probably won't :(

      Just take small steps at first and see how you get on. Distance yourself gradually as yes, it is painful... but so is being involved with people who hurt you and can't treat you well. You will hopefully have many years ahead of you with your wife, perhaps even starting your own family. Be true to yourself. Good luck!!

    • profile image

      codependent parents 

      11 months ago

      How do you move away from codependent parents with literally no help out on the outside?

      Neither of them are interested in helping me and then just complain about me as if they're the victims.

      If I go for a walk, one of them tracks me down immediately. A couple times they called the cops even though I was just trying to get away from them.

      When they feel like they're losing control, they've also threatened to bring me to the police station or the hospital just for standing up for myself.

      Unfortunately I don't have a time machine to assert myself at a much younger age and put my life in my own hands.

      My therapist's answer is deep breathing techniques lol. Unless you've been in the situation, people don't understand how toxic this parenting technique is and the only answer is to get as far away from them as possible early on.

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      Chatterbox71 

      11 months ago

      Spot on. Thank you for sharing these insights; it's so important for children of such people to understand--as EARLY on as possible--that they are not losing their minds but are being manipulated and made to feel blame they don't deserve. I am just beginning to understand the level of mind games played on me, especially from age 10 on, after my dad died and I was alone with such a parent--and I am in my 40s! I've only just begun to begin severing ties, and I am disgusted by the number of hours I was made to feel awful about one thing or another, the numbers of hours I spent (and still spend) in therapy because of someone else's blunders, and the way it has unravelled relative normalcy in my life (SO many ways). Bless any of you who have gone through this. I hope you can find new people to be in your corner your whole life through. I know personally how hard it is to "create" family when there is none to speak of.

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      Harps 

      11 months ago

      This is very sad! I've lived a life full of happiness but also so much sadness, my parents always argue over stupid things, my dad left the house when I was 16 I was hurt and confused. My mom had a brain surgery when I was about 8-9 my parents were absent my whole childhood. My dad would constantly drink and never care and my mom would be in the hospital crying. I knew from an early age that my family was broken and I hated everyone around me. Things just seem to have gotten worse my mom is constantly moody and always yells at me I've tried so much to help her and keep her positivity and she doesn't care me and my sisters are always upset but have to put a smile on our faces Becuase no one must see us sad. I'm 21 now I still feel jealous of other kids who have amazing parents that listen to them. My parents are great parents to other kids.

      I hope that one day I never treat my children the way my parents treated me and my sisters, I hope we are all happy and can stay positive.

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      Anna 

      11 months ago

      I've been married for 9 years now. My MIL is the codependent parent to my husband. It's exhausting and I can see even how our relationship is getting affected!

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      12 months ago

      I don't know why no one here gives any answers as to how to deal with parents like these. It's all about venting. No one is listening to each other?

    • profile image

      Sulaymaan 

      12 months ago

      That's almost exactly what's going on between my father and I. It all began in high school, we always had a tight relationship. As a child I was unaware of the lack in the fatherly provider department of my childhood circumstances. So being the hard worker I am I picked myself up a paper route, shoot" I even got myself2-3 routes innocently earning money as a little boy and saving my money for the things I wanted most to make up for my father's shortcomings.

      Not to say I "ungrateful" for having a loving father, roof over my head, and groceries. However once I graduated high school I immediately found myself a good job. Unfortunately simultaneously my father lost his job, plus the recession hit!

      All was cool, I was attending college plus working2-3 jobs, until a bitter reality kicked in that here I am working my a** off meanwhile my father's on staycation not even keeping a clean home for me to come home. Where I find myself doing chores which I don't mind, but I clearly bit off more than I could chew. Then I find myself getting in heated arguments with my father which seem like he was always home, and I had no space for me. Now I'm30 dropped out of college, trying my best to keep on track again and live my life. However it is challenging being that I'm currently dependent on my father "now he's working" steadily for once, yet he's still dependent on me to do stuff for him. When I dislike being selfish (as he once before described me being, [guilt tactic] but I need to focus on me! I enjoy be independent, way before I can take care of anyone else. I don't like having to rely on anyone else for what I want and need out of (my) life.

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      Zarina 

      12 months ago

      I believe my mother is exactly as this described. Our situation is very long and complex to explain, but she's always felt fake. Like every word or emotion she's said or displayed to me was forced or not real. And she always started arguments with me about EVERYTHING. even after I turned 18. She's shame me and insult me, and if I fought back she'd cry or blow up even more and say things like " I never want to see you again for the rest of the night" and try to ground me. She got mad at me for not telling her I was moving out after highschool( age 20 now. . I'm a slow learner) and started a fight with me when she found out. Then she was cold city. Until the last two weeks before I left, where she turned the situation around to look like a saint. I haven't spoken to her since, and have her blocked on everything. Including her number.

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      Fiona 

      13 months ago

      I feel as though my parents really hate me! My dad hasn't spoken to me in 7 yrs and will walk past me and my toddler on the street, and my mother is always angry at me! They never like this with my brother! Its hurtful and makes me sad and angry inside! Im beginning to think i am a problem!

    • profile image

      Ryan 

      13 months ago

      My mom is in competition with every female that enters my life and cannot reflect on her actions to see that they are ever wrong. My mom is over emotional and never actually listens to anything I say. When I am talking she is only brainstorming what she is going to say next.

      My mom thinks that my sister(28) and I(31) need to be best friends and we do not have personalities that work well together. My sister is always in competition with me but there isn't really anything to compete over. She cannot elevate her life to me emotionally, financially, or respect that I get from others. She often makes irrational decisions that are based on emotion and doesn't consider others feelings. I make very calculated decisions and don't think much of competing with her in any way. I think that my sister would be excited on the inside if something drastically bad happened to me but would be the first person to post on facebook that she is so sorry for me.

      My mom constantly tries to make us all get together for any event... I am in my 30's and my mother gets mad if I invite her and my dad to dinner for my birthday and not my sister. My sister is also married but only dated the guy for 3 months before deciding he was "the one" and got engaged and married 6 months later (irrational and emotional). Married for 2 months now.

      I am currently at the end of the rope with my family. They have said so many crazy things and are somehow always spinning every situation to seem like my girlfriend did something that caused every problem. I am getting married in a 11 days to my girlfriend. We have been together for 3.5 years and got engaged on christmas eve. The day before my sister got engaged to her bf of 3.5 months. I knew that my sisters bf was talking about asking my sister to marry him because he had asked my dad after knowing my sister for 8 weeks. When I asked my girlfriend to marry me on christmas eve I was told by my mom in front of my girlfriend that I was stealing my sisters moment because her boygriend was going to ask her to marry her on christmas. However, I had ordered the ring for my girlfriend when my sister and her boyfriend knew eachother for less than a month. That moment when my mom was telling me that I had stolen my sisters moment in front of my girlfriend after asking her to marry me was the deepest I have ever been cut emotionally.

      If it wasn't for my father I would have probably ditched the toxic relationship with my mother and sister a long time ago. I have tried very hard to keep a relationship with my dad separate from my mom and sister but that is very challenging (my parents are married).

      I love my dad and he has made a lot of financial sacrifices for me to go to college and I appreciate everything he has done for me. He has always supported me and my dreams of racing dirt bikes. However it is coming to a point where I just cannot keep putting my future wife and myself through the emotional roller coaster of my family. I don't know how to continue a relationship with my father or if it is even possible. My mom runs his ass over when it comes to making any decision that isn't financial. I just don't know what to do.

      I am leaning toward cutting ties with my family after our wedding so we can lead a drama free life. I know my future wife and I both need a break from them.

      There is a lot more to this story but I cannot write it all right now. Stuff like this has gone on for close to 11 years now with multiple woman that I have dated. My mother and sister always find a way to dislike or hate the person I am dating. In one situation my sister became friends with a girl after I stopped dating her after she hated her while I was dating her. I think the girl was okay with it cause she missed me and thought maybe it would help her to get back with me.

      Writing all of this down makes me sick to my stomach and makes me mad at myself for wasting so much time on my mom and sister. Cutting my mom out of my life is not an easy thing. It is emotionally straining and all of my friends/ family are people that will have questions. I am the type that tries not to talk about family issues with friends but my mom and sister will somehow blame it all on my future wife and tell anyone who will listen how horrible she is. My life is a disaster and I am supposed to be excited about getting married.

      Most will never understand the attitude that I brought to my sisters wedding but they invited over 200 people to the wedding and my future wife has a sister that has spent holidays with my family for the last 2 years, has been camping with my family, has been invited to everything we do and is a nice person. My sister and her have never had problems but she was specifically not invited to the wedding even after I asked her to be so there wasn't any hard feelings. I know that my sister only did this because it was my future wifes sister and she thinks she can get away with it and it will make us irritated. My sister invited people she hardly new to her wedding. People she hadn't seen if 5 years were invited but someone that is around all the time was not invited. If the same person was not related to kristyn and new my sister as well as she did she would have definitely been invited. My sister even invited my soccer friends from high school (I was surprised to see them there). Long story short my sister is evil. A week before the wedding my sister said she would invite my wifes sister if we invited her new husbands parents to our wedding. First off, I had only VERY briefly met them twice (my sister has known my future wifes family for 7 years). I have a lot smaller venue than my sister and couldn't invite people that I wanted to invite much less his parents. I had to tell her that I couldn't invite them and so she said she wasn't inviting my future wifes sister. My sister is manipulative and evil.

      There is always 2 sides to every story but I can tell you my story is very accurate. My sister would tell a much different story but her timelines would be all mixed up, peoples words would be spun, and nothing would be her fault. I am not having my sister and her husband in my wedding but my future wife and I were in her wedding. I thought that my sister was having me and my future wife in her wedding cause she wanted me in there and wanted my future wife in there cause she liked her as a friend. The truth is that she only did it cause she wanted her husband in my wedding. My sister was asked to be in my wedding and her response was only if her husband was too (I hardly know this guy and I am only having my closest 3 friends in the wedding). Regretable I asked him to be in the wedding only to have to decide against it later after my wifes sister was not allowed to attend their wedding. I am done trying to make everyone happy in my family. Sometimes I have dark thoughts but i know I don't deserve this manipulative behavior from my family.

      I really just want nothing to do with my mom and sister but cutting family out of your life is really hard. Especially when you know all of the same people and they love to talk shit about you and your future wife.

      I guess this rant is over. If you have any suggestions please feel free to share. Also, don't judge people you don't know and always know that the other side of the story may be the real story when someone is talking crap.

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      Raj 

      13 months ago

      This accurately describes the relationship and challenges with my mother. Problem is, I am the only child, she is dependant on me and lives with me full time. I have a successful, stressful career and the constant arguing with her is impacting my ability to be sane. There is NO happiness in my life. No relationships either. Just work and my home life centered around my mother and the constant every day, multiple times a day fights. Any suggestions for me?

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      Clem 

      14 months ago

      My wife is codependent with her mother or vice versa. My wife since we have been married for over 10 years has phoned her mum every day. If not that 3 times a day. She seems to tell her everything. My relationship with Mother in law aint that good as to me she is an old bag. Lives on her own and has no pets. Always complaining about the neighbors or how cold her house is. Or she has no money. Yet frequently travels overseas. She seems to want to know everyone's business. Is overweight and wont do anything about it. I may sound mean but really does her daughter need her that much in her life or is there something drastically wrong here.

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      LoriXc 

      14 months ago

      Great article, I'm pretty confident I have a codependent female parent...

    • profile image

      codependent parents 

      14 months ago

      I was born with social limitations. Not quite autism, just introverted and a mild learning disability but socially aware. My mother ignored the bullying issue at a younger age and instead added to it by trying to get me involved in activities I had no interest in, even showing up as a chaperone and making things worse. When the bullying got worse, I wasn't pulled out. Keep in mind I was struggling academically too. I was told to wait for college and that things would get better and I'd have the last laugh.

      Neither me or my brother were allowed to leave the house as teens and 20s and were punished for things like getting stuck in traffic after going to the supermarket. Wanted us to have the skillset of extroverts, in particular having the independence and having a job, without realizing the irony of the situation.

      Would have had problems making friends and going on dates anyway, but knew that it wasn't worth trying and that I wouldn't be allowed to leave the house or have anyone over the house.

      My mom spend the last 10 or 15 of my life bringing me to therapists, telling them my "story" as if she was living vicariously through it, unaware that her actions made things a lot worse. Ended up spending that time as a part of the mental health system and overdiagnosed and overmedicated for what amounts to being harmlessly shy and PTSD from the unaddressed bullying.

      Dad is emotionally dismissive and verbally abusive. His parents were sick/died when he was younger so he didn't have any positive influences. Makes me wonder why they even had kids.

      People over the years, both online and real life friends, dropped hints about codependency, which I either dismissed or just thought that it didn't matter because I didn't have the skills or money to survive on my own.

      Am on disability, mostly for the insurance and to see a doctor if I needed to, but can't help but think that they've been using the money as a form of rent. I was never declared incompetent, but haevn't seen any of my own paperwork and whenever I've brought it up over the years, was just dismissed.

      Both parents lack self awareness, so when I read this article, it made perfect sense.

      I think my mom is well intentioned and my dad just likes the control and authority.

      I've talked about these issues in therapy over the years but have been unable to find a social worker to help with the situation. Since I don't drive, it requires being in the car with someone in the family, which kind of defeats the purpose.

      Anyway, I'm glad I found this article.

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      Megan 

      15 months ago

      My fiancé just broke up with me a month before the wedding because I am "dramatic" and "he is my only happiness". This is complete BS I actually have a ton of friends and a wonderful supportive family. My "guilt" is I have disagreed with his mom about control. His parents have interfered with everything and are constantly manipulating him. They didn't like the invitations I had so forced us to get different ones, they didn't want me to have a shower, they refused to come to the shower I had. I love him more than life but he has let them ruin us and I am worried he will never find someone. Our relationship has been so beautiful and the toxic relationship with the parents is unsettling. If you think that this is something you are experiencing please go see a councilor and get your self out before you get heart broken. I am so hurt and so humiliated.

    • profile image

      Smith568 

      15 months ago

      I also have a stepson who is in a codependent relationship with his mother. Any time he has a problem, she steps in to address it (she has switched his classroom teacher twice midway through the year, both times over fights with the teacher who would not accept late homework that she brought in for her son), thereby establishing her control over him. Whenever she is angry with my husband, she tells her son about it and soon he is also angry at my husband. For example, my husband was recently going to attend the school science fair and wanted to pick the child up to attend with him. This child had already gone to the science fair earlier with his mother, but my husband had to go later due to his work schedule. The child's mother first accused my husband of forgetting the science fair and trying to blame her for that, then told him that she wasn't going to rearrange her schedule for him (the kids were at home playing video games and she knew the science fair was happening). When my husband said that was fine, he'd go alone, she then told him the kids could go (she didn't want him to tell the kids he had to go alone because she wouldn't let them go with him), but he was an unreasonable jerk. As soon as my husband finished this conversation with his ex wife where she told him he was a terrible person for wanting to attend the school event with his child, my husband gets an angry phone call from his son saying "dad, why are you picking me up?" When my husband said "because I'm going to the science fair and I want you to show me your project," the child replied "I don't want to go to the science fair with you." We had something similar happened with a ski trip we had planned on our weekend. After the ski trip was planned, the child's mother found some other activity that she thought the child should do and wanted us to reschedule our ski trip. At first, this kid wanted to still go on the ski trip, then he called later to say, he was going to do the other activity. His brother told my husband that their mother had been pressuring them to do the other activity, even though she planned it after the ski trip and even though the ski trip was on our weekend, not hers. She then told my husband that the child in question doesn't like skiing, so of course, he didn't want to go. Two weeks after that, this same child was asking us when we were going to go skiing again because he wanted to go.

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      Kee 

      15 months ago

      My mother in law is co dependent on my husband. He want him

      all by herself and now me and my husband are living separately. What do I do?

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      Kathleen 

      15 months ago

      My mother is codependent on me! We lost my father 10 years ago and since then she has relied on me to do everything for her even though I have 2 brothers. She says I have better sense than them.

      I'm newly married and she wants me all to herself she gets upset when I challenge her and tell her no I'm not going to do something. She makes me feel guilty. How can I get away from this other than ignore her?

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      Tece 

      15 months ago

      I am actually a step mom of a 7 year old son who biological mom controls and makes him dependent upon her. He is currently spending 2 weeks at his Dad's during the summer. He cries often that he wants him mom and explains how he picks at his leg because he is not able to rub his mom's neck. She is still sleeping with the child. She will not allow him to bathe himself or learn basic hygiene, she does it for him. She only allows him to eat certain foods. Oatmeal-which this was all he ate until 2 years ago. Since then he now eats Cheese Pizza/Nuggets/meatless spaghetti/One kind of cereal/2 kinds of chips/m&m's/fruit snacks. If it don't look what she makes he wont eat it and regurgitates. She speaks ill of his dad, in an attempt to turn him against his dad. I can only imagine what she tells the child where I am concerned as a step parent. I'm just looking for suggestions who I can reach out to, to help the child grow into a Independent Adult who knows all his family loves him. She has requested from the courts to move out of state with the child. Telling the dad she will remove the child support if he allows such - he declined. She does not work, after inheriting money from her deceased dad.

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      Kathleen 

      15 months ago

      Are there any books that are specifically about the mother-son codependent relationship?

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      crash311 

      15 months ago

      I believe my mother is codependent with my brother. My brother has lived with my mom for years and shows no signs of getting a job or wanting to stand on his own two feet. He is now 28 and I'm 36 by the way. She works at home so she rarely goes anywhere and has no close friends or significant other. She relies on him to do the household maintenance and for emotional support. She's gotten deeply upset the few times he's tried to move out which usually lasts a week due to some fight they've had. They always hang out togther and smoke weed constantly. Now I lost my job and needed to move in temporarily while I worked to get back on my feet. The moment I moved in it was clear that although I was working hard to regain my independence, I was a burden and made to feel unwelcome. It didn't matter that I contributed money toward bills or that I found a teaching position a month after I moved in. I was told that I turned her life upside down and that I've taken over the house, both of which are untrue. How can it be true when I leave at 6:30 and I don't come back until 8:30? At the same time she allows my brother to do as he pleases including driving her truck drunk with no license. I have to get permission to watch the TV. They will go fishing or do other activities without thinking to ask me, but if I was to suggest we do something without my brother (which I would never do) she wouldn't think of it. She is very defensive of him and obviously favors him. He's always right and I'm always to blame. When I bring this up they both think I'm full of it. I hate that that 1.I'm stuck in this situation and 2.I'm allowing it to upset me this much. I'm two weeks away from moving into my new place so this nightmare won't last forever but the blatant favoritism has really damaged my relationship with both my brother and mother.

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      Ck 

      15 months ago

      1. She is always the victim. Had a very bad marriage, daddy was a violent alcoholic....she divorced him 25 years ago and we still have to hear about how bad daddy was. We (the kids) acknowledges that he was terrible, no argument, mom repeats the same stories over and over trying to get pity. None of us can stay in the room. At which time she either gets mad or sulks away like no one loves her. We just want her to get over it and quit living to tell the story. Now she judges our children, not by actually trying to understand them and see them for young and still needing to learn things, but she judges them on how they treat her as to what she would like them to be like. Just this evening she said she did not wayang to ever see my sisters kids again, because they make her sad and do not talk to her right or listen to her. She doesn't listen to them, she does not even know them. My mother hates my dog, my niece was giving attention to the dog, so mom said if you are going to play with that dog I am going to my room. My niece is 10 years old!

      It is like everything that comes from her mouth we must think are golden words of wisdom. If our in our lives we have learn something more about the topic, well we are wrong and confused. Then she jumps into a story about how bad daddy was....over and over.

      This woman is an avid coffee drinker, but when I am around she acts like she has forgot how to make coffee. She says out loud what she is going to do, such as feed the dog or check the mail, as if she is really asking you to go do it for her. She is impossible. She is so negative, even talks about people that have already died, such as her sister in law stealing her red shoes....oh, please pray for me. She is 73 and now needs care, but having to live around her is wearing me thin!

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      Jade3 

      15 months ago

      How does a parent protect their kids from their codependent grandparent?

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      David G 

      15 months ago

      I have to agree with others who have said that you are not describing codependency. What you describe is more in line with a cluster-b personality disorder. It's an important distinction.

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      Agreed 

      16 months ago

      I grew up where factors like the ones stated in this article were commonplace... This explains my past situation to well.

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      Rubbish 

      16 months ago

      Can U tell me how old you R. and how many kids you've had to tell us your qualification on bringing up children. I only see that you have been around for 4 years?????

      Very concerned on your information being all this and that you are confusing the issue on relationship between parents, kids and adults.

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      Lala 

      16 months ago

      I'm sure I have a co dependent parent. I have siblings but her behavior shows more with me. Why I don't know. I've severed ties before and will again more permanently. I don't see improvement or therapy. She is of African heritage, where they sternly agree with such remedy.

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      Nikky 

      16 months ago

      I never realized this about my father until i just read this article. I have always known my mother (and step father)was codependent, she is an alcoholic and he just is because of her, but i was raised with the notion that my real father was never wrong. An installation in my mind that he put there since i was a kid. I was always wrong and no matter what reasoning i used i was still wrong. I am an adult now. Every night i wonder if i am the insane one and who i am. Its driving me insane. I have a total devotion toward my dad (nothing weird) and i woud do anything for him. Including drive myself insane thinking that i am the one who is thinking wrongly. I have all my facts straight and try to reason with him and he gives me off the wall reasons why i am wrong, or it didn't happen the way i say it did, or my opinion and views are all wrong. And i don't have a normal parent to compare any of this to. Its shattering me. I don't even know who i am or what i believe because im still trying to be and do what my parents believe and think i should be doing. I don't even know what i want out of life. This is so hard to figure out. Wtf am i supposed to do with this??? 3 messed up parents and no friends or positive NORMAL people to compare myself to or help me cope.

      My dad also uses his relationship with God and how forgiving God is to justify his actions... which confuses the living shit out of me.

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      Jen 

      16 months ago

      I am 35 with my 12 year old son,struggling with life. I had two bad marriages and keep going back to my controlling parents. My son is dealing with it and I do not know how to get out. I care for my grandma because no one else will. I get paid low amount to cook clean serve and get yelled at everyday for something that goes wrong.

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      Josh 

      16 months ago

      This is spooky how dead on it is for my mother. She is the only person in my life I have every lost my temper with, and she loves it. She loves getting me to the point that I am unable to function, she does everything she can to make me the bad guy no matter what the situation is, she is extremely manipulative and has road blocked me so many times in life. Just typing this is making me emotional, she has done so much damage and caused me so much stress with her abuse. I'm so tired of her constant guilt trips, and pity parties. She has made me feel worthless my entire life. I am thirty one years old, and to this day she has never listened to a word I have said.

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      Brina 

      17 months ago

      This sounds the same as Narcissistic parents.

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      Ihatemalife 

      17 months ago

      Good article.

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      Nico 

      17 months ago

      This will help me a lot, I'd like to thank the person who made this article

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      Jackie 

      18 months ago

      It would be interesting to see what is the role of the other parent. Like in my case, I think my father was a very normal person to begin with. But he truly loved my mom and we were 3 siblings. He was well aware of her strange codependant ways. In the early years to tried to correct her but soon gave up. What was scary is that soon he joined her and they were a team. She always had the reins in her hand and it was as if because my dad could not do anything else, he joined the game with her.

      But what happens in other cases. Does the other parent support the child?

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      Nana 

      18 months ago

      My m.I.l is a so called Christian. She will blow up my phone on a daily basis or even my husband's phone. There isn't a day she doesn't call. There are times that she calls at 6am just to say she is in victory. A few months ago she came to visit and she stayed with us for about 3 weeks. In those 3 weeks she went to church with us and after church the congregation was saying hi to each other and an elderly brother from church asked if she was my Mom because I called her mom but I said no she is my m.I.l just call her mom sometimes so I said to him to come with me to introduce him to her so he did. And he said to her hello sister nice to meet you God bless you. That's all he said. When she went back home she called my husband a week later and said that she had a dream that the man from church was going to be her next husband. She was so serious about it that she wanted my husband to call him and ask him personal information about himself. She even offered to clean his house, that's crazy considering that she doesn't even know him. I told my husband that since he is the oldest of 5 boys he has the responsibility to have an intervention with her and explain why and how her behavior is unacceptable. This man from church has numerous times said that he does not want to be with anyone because he loves where his life is now serving God. I think that we all including my m.I.l should respect that and leave it alone. When I took her to the airport she said that she doesn't care what anyone else thinks because she will be back and the way that she left with the same mentality of wanting to changing this man's life is the same way she will be back to carry out her plan with the help of her son. She says it's the Christian thing to do.

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