Father Badmouths me behind my back

Postby peaceseeker78 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:59 pm

Hello,

I am new to the forums and would like to get some advice. I lost my job 5 months ago after holding that job for 15 years and I have been applying like crazy. I have had several interviews but no job offers. The problem is my dad badmouths me behind my back. He will talk badly about me to my mother and then she in turn runs back to tell me what he says. He will say things like "People just don't want to work these days" or that "She could have found a job by now." He will then tell my mother not to tell me what he is saying. But why say it at all if that is the case?

He takes cheap shots at me but never directly to my face. He has even started to indirectly take his jabs about me in front of others and of course mom runs back to tell me even though she knows it hurts me. I am getting to the point that I don't even want to visit because I already know how he feels about me. He has made his comments about me not working not once, twice, but over a dozen times. I know that I am unemployed and talking about me behind my back will not magically make a job fall in my lap. It is hard enough looking for work without people trying to crush my spirit. To me it seems like he is scared of what others will think of him having an unemployed daughter.

Anyway how should I go about this? Should I confront him in an adult manner or should I just let it go and limit my visits? I am also thinking I should tell my mother to stop being his mouthpiece. I am doing the best that I can.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:55 pm

Your Father
He is talking to his wife to vent his frustration. Parents want to see their children succeed. He is frustrated, but doesn't want to discourage you so he doesn't vent directly to you. At some point in the past he has learned you don't take criticism well so he avoids a direct discussion with you. He may or may not know his wife will tell you what he says. You know your parents.

Your Mother
Unless this is the normal family dynamic, where your father intentionally communicates indirectly via your mother, then your mother is wrong in violating the trust of your father. An alternate possibility is that your mother is also frustrated, but knowing how you respond to criticism she is able to criticize you by making it appear these are only the thoughts of your father and that she does not support his view, but thinks you should know.

As a Couple
It might very well be that your parents over the years have figured out you don't handle criticism very well so this kind of odd dynamic is the way both of them try to communicate their true feelings to you.

You
Holding a job for 15 years places you at least in your 30's. You are an adult and should be able to cope with criticism. You should not be seeking nor need your parents approval. I understand that of course it is nice to have and is preferred, but it should not be needed.

Bottom Line
This entire situation has probably developed over years and years of avoiding direct conflict and trying to communicate with each other indirectly, avoiding criticisms as to keep you from shutting down.

What You Do
Either -1- forget about it as whatever your parents say has no actual bearing on whether or not you get a job or -2- have a direct conversation with your father and mother. Explain you are no longer sensitive to their criticism, so if they can please just stop using indirect methods and if they want to criticize to come to you directly.
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#2

Postby peaceseeker78 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:26 pm

Thanks for your response!

His anger and emotional abuse is one of the reasons I left home at 17. The unspoken rule seems to be that he can criticize me and others (yes he constantly nit picks others) but no one dare not do it to him or else he rages. The slightest criticism thrown his way gets him extremely angry to the point he cusses and stays angry for weeks on end. I have had to ask him nicely to leave my home a few times for running his mouth to my guests and friends. He does not like to be challenged or called out on his wrongdoings.

I know my mother does not share his view. She told me she has explained to him that things are tougher now and that he should be proud of his daughter. A lack of a job doesn't diminish a person's worth or value.

Since I don't know how my dad will react to my telling him to come to me instead of talking behind my back, I will instead write a letter. Whether or not he reads it and takes it seriously is on him. As for my mother I will call her over and tell her face to face to stop carrying messages.

On the job front I got a voice mail a few minutes ago asking me back for a 2nd interview. Maybe my hard work has finally paid off.

Thanks for your valuable input!
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#3

Postby Worthlessandnogood » Sun Jul 18, 2021 12:02 am

Dick@decisionskills couldn't have been more off target. I know it's been 5 years but damn I had to say something for any future readers.
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#4

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Jul 18, 2021 12:47 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:Holding a job for 15 years places you at least in your 30's. You are an adult and should be able to cope with criticism. You should not be seeking nor need your parents approval. I understand that of course it is nice to have and is preferred, but it should not be needed.


If 5 years later the same problems are occurring, it wasn’t because of the advice provided.
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