How to Deal With Returning Home to a Boring Family You Are Upset With

You have problems, I have advice. This tip does not contain powdered sugar – in fact, it does not contain sugar and can even be slightly bitter. Welcome to Tough Love .

This week we have a son who starts to resent visiting his boring family.

Mind you, I am not a therapist or any other healthcare professional, but just a guy who is willing to talk about it the way it is. I just want to give you the tools you need to enrich your damn life. If for any reason you don’t like my advice, feel free to file a formal complaint here . So let’s get on with it.

Hi, Patrick,

How do you build relationships with your parents? Can they be repaired at all? As a child, my dad and I were always pretty close. We played chess and tennis together, talked, rode bicycles, received advice, went for a walk, etc. It seemed that a pretty good relationship was growing. But over the years it seems that we are increasingly moving away from each other. For the most part, the conversation has dried up, he cannot / does not want to do many of the things we are used to, and there is essentially a wall between us.

Every time I visit, my mom cooks an endless dinner and all he needs is to watch TV and drink. I hate to just sit and overeat while watching TV. I don’t drink either, so I can’t be his drinking companion. I try to captivate him (actually both of my parents, not just him), but they always refuse me. I understand he is too old for tennis, but a walk in the park is quite possible. Even so, films, museums, theater, chess, social events … they won’t have it. Just eat, watch TV and drink. From time to time, they make bad jokes (from inattentive and inattentive to racist comments). To be honest, I am beginning to resent their visit. I see all of this experience in a negative light.

I don’t want to have that kind of relationship with them; I feel terrible about this. They are my parents, they took care of me, brought up me. I can’t just leave because we have different points of view. How do I fix this? How can I attract them? Can I have a constructive relationship with them? Do I just keep visiting them, gritting my teeth and maintaining the status quo? I’ll take some of the blame for this; I’m not that good when it comes to relationships from the start. It’s not only bad for me to talk to them. This is why I need help.

Best, darkest son

Hello gloomy son :

You say you want to improve relationships with your people, but to be honest, your relationship with them isn’t all that bad to begin with. You are still talking and spending time together, you are not insulted, and as far as I can tell, they are not even judgmental or proud of you. It’s great that you want to improve the situation, but don’t act like it’s some kind of terrible situation when in reality it’s just boring frustration.

I know getting home to them is difficult and you have nothing to associate with them, but remember, they probably just like it when you are around . You are their son and they miss you. Now that the nest is empty and they are older, they are used to the new routine. You’ve gotten older and you’ve probably changed too. The reason you feel like you drifted apart is because you are. I think you need to come to terms with this to some extent. It will never be the same as it was as a child. Come to them, give them your love and try to find what you like when you are around them. Feel nostalgic if necessary. That being said, there are a couple of things you can do to improve the situation:

  1. Plan ahead : As people get older, they sometimes lose their sense of spontaneity and whim. Come to my father to do something with you once he opened the beer and drown on the couch to watch the game will not work. Also, if you can help, don’t ask. Asking gives them the opportunity to go through and return to rotting in the house. Buy your tickets to the museum before you even get home and tell your mom and dad when you’re going. Tell them that you love them and be adamant that family activities are important to you and that you will not accept a negative answer.
  2. Attend shorter, more frequent visits : If you still can’t get them to do things with you, accept the way things are now and spend less time at home with each visit. Go home more often so your people can still see you (which is what they really want), and just avoid gimmicks before you get so bored that you start to resent them.

Finally, Grim Son, I suggest you conduct a little soul search here and accumulate a little gratitude. Be grateful that you even have a family home to return to, Grim Son, with parents who want to be by your side and cook for you. At the end of the day, it’s not about what you do together, but how much time you spend with each other. Appreciate this as best you can.

That’s all for this week, but I still have a lot of frank and honest advice. Tell me what is bothering you? Does work upset you? Are you having problems with a friend or colleague? Is your love life going through rough times? Do you just feel lost in life, as if you have no direction? Tell me, maybe I can help. I probably won’t make you feel warm and foggy inside, but sometimes you need tough love. Ask a question in the comments below or email me at the address you see at the bottom of the page ( please include “TIP” in the subject line ). Or tweet me #ToughLove ! Also, DO NOT WRITE ME IF YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR INQUIRY TO OPEN . I don’t have time to answer everyone for fun. “Until next time, figure it out yourself.


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