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Family Relations/i get very angry at my parents. please help.



I dont know from where to begin but past few years my relation with my parents is going from bad to worse. specially with my mom and i get too angry and irritated with her.
I dont know when it all began. iam the youngest daughter now 34 yrs old and my sister who is an year elder is already settled n married and has a kid. my mother and my sister are mostly close and share things. my mother was always more loving towards my sister thats what i felt during my growing up days.
- I will tell somethings that happened in my life past few years in brief
1. Iam dating a guy from past 9 yrs whom my parents dont approve of due to status , looks n very different backgrounds.Then around Jan 2013 we thought of eloping n i told my mother i want to marry. at that time my grandpa was in death bed and she told me wait let him be well and she promised me she will talk to his parents and we can marry. But as my destiny goes, my grandpa died and my mom never talked to his parents
- another thing that happened is that few years back i had a brief liking for another guy even when i was with the person iam dating and he found out and started abusing me. His anger grew all the more since i broke the marriage in jan 2013. after that he tried couple more times to marry me, but due to my parents fear and i want their blessings i backed out. . Now few months back my mom saw my phone and read all my messages where this guy would say bad words to me. I would maintain a diary as well and she read that. iam not justifying him but i got really really angry that iam 34 yr old woman and my parents have no right to see my personal stuff.
- but my parents say they own me and have every right to know whats happening in my life.
- my mom  doesnt like my friends also as she says they influence you negatively. lately i was complaining to a friend that my mother keeps seeing my phone and tells me i cannot go out of home n they want that i should listen to them for everything. she reacted that my parents dont own me. which my mother got to know and now she doesnt like my friend at all.
-i love my mother a lot thats the reason i wanted her blessings for my marriage but her opinions and mine never match. she wants to keep seeing what i do and what i dont do, which irritates me a lot. she keeps nagging me if i make a mistake or forget things. as per her ,i should not go out , i should not be with friends and most important i should leave this guy and get married to where they want me to.
i always end up having arguments with her. and though i feel very bad when i shout at her or answer back but iam not able to control my anger. whenever i ask her something, she will keep dilly dallying it. when i asked her i want to get married , she kept delaying her answer. when i ask her i want to go out, she will keep delaying it saying wait for sometime. she wil never say anything straight.
i dont know how to bring back that love in my relation with her.  i want to control my anger but iam never able to . when i sit and talk to her, she wil only throw her opinion on me and the same goes with my dad. no one wants to have a discussion , when i tell them pls dont see my personal stuff they say its their right.
how do i handled their behaviour and how do i change my behaviour.

Please guide me

many thanks

ANSWER: Hi, Jyotsana, thanks for your questions. You asked, "how do i handled their behaviour and how do i change my behaviour".

I think the answer depends a lot on your local laws and the customs of your caste (of which I know nothing). So, what I have to say might not be helpful at all.

In the U.S., most people move out of their parents' house before the age of 34, and live on their own and make their own way in the world, their own decisions. Adults over the age of 18 have the same legal rights as do their older parents. But, when kids over 18 live with their parents, the parents can dictate many rules, and kids accept those rules, or move out.

It might be the same where you live or not, but it seems to me that anyone who lives under the roof of someone else has to either abide by those rules, or move out. It might be possible that the owner of the house might be willing to negotiate, but they might not.

So, it might be accurate to say that you must either accept their rules or move out.

Alternatively, I know from experience, and psychology tells us, that the interactions with others can be thought of as a system. As with all systems, if you change one part of the system, you will change the rest. IOW, your actions toward your parents prevent them from changing, just as the things they do prevent you from changing. Thus, you must break the pattern - stop doing the things you always do, and try different things. It almost does not matter what you try, as long as it is different enough from what you normally do. There are 1000 varieties of 'different things' - humor, acting crazy, not responding at all, being dramatic, being vulnerable, etc etc etc. As long as you break the mold.

Some things will work and some things won't. Some things will work for awhile, and then stop working. As long as you keep experimenting with different things, something will eventually work.

It reminds me of an experience I had with my 2 year old nephew. He was throwing a temper tantrum. As you know, adults around kids throwing a tantrum react in only a few, very predictable ways. Mostly we try to get the tantrum to stop. Well, I decided to try something different - I 'mirrored' the kid, by anticipating his next actions, yelling the same yells, and crying the same cries, at the very same instant that he did! Needless to say, I'm sure it was a sight to behold, this big guy (500+ kilos), throwing a temper tantrum.... It only took about 30 seconds of that before he was rolling in laughter.

Whether you stay or don't stay, you can break the mold of your pattern of interaction with your parents by trying new things - things that are unexpected, that people don't normally do. Use your imagination. At least you will be free, even if others are not.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thanks for replying sir. maybe you are right, if i change my pattern or try to it might work out. Things are indeed very different here in our customs and environment. And i feel too attached to my parents to move out and live on my own, thats the reason i have never been able to make a decision or be confident.

Hi, Jyotsana, you said " feel too attached to my parents to move out and live on my own".

Almost everyone, all over the world, in every situation, is 'waiting until they feel like it'. IOW, we think to ourselves, 'someday I will feel confident', or 'someday I won't feel so attached to my parents', and 'when that happens, THEN I will be able to go out there are live the life I really want'.

But, unfortunately, that someday never comes. How do I know this? Because it has been this way, for you, for the past 16 years. If it hasn't happened in 16 years, it's never going to happen.

So, every day you have a choice - to allow fear to control your life, or to live the life you want, even IF (or EVEN THOUGH) you are afraid. You likely are not satisfied with yourself or your life the way things are, so why not live a more fulfilling life, and just sometimes be afraid?

I guarantee you that the other problems you mentioned will quickly resolve themselves.

BTW, here's a little life-secret - if you do take this on, you will be kicking yourself, because you will quickly realize that you were afraid of (literally) nothing. Yes, there will be some times that you are hurt and disappointed, but the satisfaction more than makes up for it

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.


questions framed similarly to 'what are some ways to respond when someone does/says X' are best. Questions posed in the form of 'why does my father do/say Y', or 'how would you diagnose my mother when she does/says Z' are difficult, if not impossible, to answer. I will probably reframe your question to fit the first question (what do I do). Nay question regarding any family member is fair game. Some of the most difficult are in the area of step-parenting and divorcing families.


I've been a licensed psychologist in Florida since 1994. I've evaluated and/or treated thousands of patients.

American Psychological Association Florida Psychological association National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology


Psy.D., Miami Institute of Psychology, 1993 M.CS., U. of Dayton, 1984 B.A., Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978

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Award for Years of Dedicated Service, Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society, 1999

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