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Read Letter

Difficult Parents

My dear Jil, this problem with your dad, I’d say watch it. I’ve seen too many of these kinds of things destroy marriages and your marriage shouldn’t be a casualty. A lot of marriages have been destroyed from unresolved issues with parents. The anger and sense of impotence create bitterness and unhappiness. Bitterness from anger and impotence tends to lash out, at anybody close by. Since your husband is the proximate figure you end up punishing him for stuff he knows nothing about. You have to accept your father is who he is and accept your mother for who she is. You’re not going to change them. They’re way past the age people change. You have to accept them. Now, I understand the pain of being reported all over the place – to aunties, uncles and relatives. I understand the feeling of anger that can result from the disappointment that YOUR parents are the ones doing this to you. They’re spoiling your name all over the place despite the fact you take care of them and continue to do. And despite the fact they never contributed much to your education. You’ve come this far without them. And it’s painful when those aunties pass independent judgment on you and your parents concur. The children of these aunties don’t do half of what you do for their parents, and they know. You give so much care. And so it’s consternating your effort is not appreciated. It’s even rubbished. Instead you’re denigrated and reported all over the place. Like you don’t care for your parents. But think about it, what can these aunties really do to you? The truth is, nothing! What effect, REALLY does all the negative talk have on your career, progression or promotion? Nada! So why worry about what they say. It’s their prerogative to talk, it’s your prerogative to ignore.

You can’t react to everything people say. You’ll become thin-skinned, and so sensitive. You’ve got to learn to shrug off unsavoury and untruthful gist about you. Even if true learn to shrug things off. As you grow older you’ll realize that life has a way of resolving these kinds of things. A few more decades on earth and you’ll appreciate what I’m telling you. You don’t punish your parents however for those nasty things they say. You just keep supporting them with upkeep. If you go punitive on your parents then you get on the wrong side of life’s equation. Just do what is right. Honour your father and mother, even if you disagree with them. It’s the first commandment with promise. As they grow older too, they’ll realize it’s all futile. Life has a way of passing across such information. The more blessed you are the stronger you’ll become against those accusations. So pray for blessing. The reason so much attention is devoted to you is because you’re doing well relatively, and your potential is high. If you’re a no good with no potential no one will pay you attention. Solomon said a poor man’s relatives will see him and wave him off from afar. They don’t want him near. Your aunties just want you to spend on them like you do your parents. This is of course wrong since they have their own kids.

Continue to be responsible for your parents in their old age. You’re all they got! If you withdraw your support for your aged parents you punish them, and then you become something you don’t want to become. When you do good in life, you do good because it’s the right thing to do, not because you want appreciation. You can do good to people and they’ll still turn on you. You have to accept that as one of life’s possible outcomes. When your parents complain you’re not doing enough you have to understand they speak in relative terms. They see you buy a car, live in a good apartment, and so they feel you have a lot of money. To them, if you can buy a car for yourself why not for them! Of course that’s curious accounting. Your parents don’t know your expense profile. All they see is the new car. And you know your mum. She has a quaint processing system that’s directionally untoward. Accept the fact. Any progression of her selfish disposition shouldn’t surprise you. That’s who she is.

You didn’t choose your parents. No one does. Accept the reality you have. Keep focus on your life goals. Don’t let these bywords and malicious denunciations distract or detract you. There’s still going to be showdown when your marriage comes up. They’re going to make unreasonable demands on the occasion of your wedding. Accept these in advance. Some people are lucky with parents. Some people are not. Some people are lucky with in-laws and some are not. You’re unlucky with your parents but you have a wonderful father-in-law and mother-in-law to be. Accept their love. Jack’s parents are so wonderful, and they’ve taken you as their daughter. That’s your compensation. But if you don’t control your anger against your parents, modulate the pain you’ll punish everyone, Jack in particular. Then you would have lost the past and lost the future too. Then what do you have? Love even those who persecute you. It’s a very counter-intuitive but effective strategy. It works! The most important factor about loving your enemies is that you don’t become filled with hatred like them. When we hate our lives grow dim with darkness. Without control of negative feelings you’re susceptible to depression. You’ll fill your home with so much pain and anger.

Do good, not expecting return or appreciation. You do good because that’s you, not because of someone else. Don’t let your past destroy your future. Your parents made their choices. Don’t let their choices wreck your future. I wish you and Jack the best as you approach marriage.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Parents

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