When your parents hate each other, it’s natural to wonder whether you’re to blame. It’s natural to think you could have done something to change the situation.
You might have heard them arguing about you in the other room (or right in front of your face). You might have felt like you were the core of all of their problems because you overheard them fighting over how much they should be spending on your birthday presents or about how late you’re allowed to stay out or how much rent you should be paying to live under their roof.
Even if those arguments were about you, they weren’t because of you. You didn’t do anything wrong. Their inability to communicate and cooperate isn’t your problem.
But at the same time, it’s bullshit for them to say their arguments are none of your business. It’s bullshit for them to act like you don’t have any right to be upset because this is between the two of them and has nothing to do with you.
If they’re arguing in front of you, it’s impossible not to hear. If they’re coming home at three in the morning stinking of pot or someone else’s perfume, it’s impossible not to notice. The worst part about your parents hating each other is it’s impossible not to get involved.
Even if they don’t drag you into arguments and make you choose sides, you’re still seeing everything that’s happening. You’re seeing one less dinner plate at the table. You’re hearing doors slam. You’re feeling the tension.
When your parents hate each other and you’re all living under the same roof together, it’s hard to remember this isn’t your problem to solve. And this problem wasn’t caused by you either.
Your parents might argue over you, but they could have handled the situation like mature adults. They could have acted as a team and come to compromises like couples are supposed to do when they reach a crossroads. It’s their fault they weren’t able to figure out how to raise you as a team. It’s not your fault their relationship crumbled as the years passed. It’s not your fault they’ve resorted to acting this way.
When your parents hate each other, you have to remind yourself healthy relationships don’t look like their relationship because if you’re not careful, you’re going to end up inheriting their baggage. You’re going to assume this is the way couples are supposed to talk, this is the way couples are supposed to fight, this is the way couples are supposed to treat each other. But that’s not true.
Relationships are supposed to be respectful. They’re supposed to be loving. You might not have role models to remind you what a healthy relationship looks like, so it’s up to you to keep telling yourself this is not normal, they shouldn’t be acting this way, this is not okay.
You have to remember, it’s not your fault your parents hate each other. You didn’t do anything wrong. Their marriage is not your responsibility.