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Why do people feel obligated to look after abusive parents?


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Old 2nd December 2012, 6:37 AM   #1
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Why do people feel obligated to look after abusive parents?

I don't understand this at all. His parents were both emotionally and physically abusive pretty severely. I don't know why my grandparents even had children. Yet only my aunt has sought out counseling. My dad hates his mother yet no one forced him to live near her. My dad is a control freak and takes over (as always) on purpose just so he can complain that he does everything (as always). He complains that he only sees her. We found out that he lies, no surprise. I mean as my grandparents was abusive, so I Blame them for their children (my dad and siblings) not wanting much to do with them. Is it any wonder? Why doesn't my dad blame his mum instead?
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Old 2nd December 2012, 4:15 PM   #2
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Sounds like your dad's issues may be the result of his abuse. Sometimes people grow up with one way of thinking, because that's all they know...even if they hate their parents for it. My mom recently admitted she hated the things my grandparents did, but she found herself doing those things as a parent, because it's the only thing you knew....but at the same time a part of you knows it wasn't right.
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Old 2nd December 2012, 6:50 PM   #3
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The pressure to defend the family unit is overwhelming. If people were honest, most people don't particularly like their relatives, the never got to choose them of course, but most people pretend to love their family. No matter how horrible parents were, the pressure to make up with them before they die is powerful.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 1:21 AM   #4
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@Sugarkane: I dunno exactly what you mean by "abusive" or the level of abuse you're talking about (since we most probably dont have the same level of tolerance/patience anyways)...but to answer your question:

a)they're your parents (or grandparents), no matter how bad they can be...you simply wouldnt even exist if not for them. So its natural to somehow give back something to them rather than get back at them.

b) blood is thicker than water. whevever you are, whatever you may have done, when the ***** hits the fan...you're first inclination would be to run to your blood relatives and they will cover for you (at least, im pretty sure mine would). My dad would be the first one to help me bury the bodies so to speak. Family simply comes first and foremost especially when threatened.

c)"Honor thy mother and father". Dunno if you're Christian or not, but this commandment is 4th/5th one depends, but the point is, its even (ranked) above murder and adultery and stealing...
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Old 3rd December 2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YorickBrown View Post
@Sugarkane: I dunno exactly what you mean by "abusive" or the level of abuse you're talking about (since we most probably dont have the same level of tolerance/patience anyways)...but to answer your question:

a)they're your parents (or grandparents), no matter how bad they can be...you simply wouldnt even exist if not for them. So its natural to somehow give back something to them rather than get back at them.

b) blood is thicker than water. whevever you are, whatever you may have done, when the ***** hits the fan...you're first inclination would be to run to your blood relatives and they will cover for you (at least, im pretty sure mine would). My dad would be the first one to help me bury the bodies so to speak. Family simply comes first and foremost especially when threatened.

c)"Honor thy mother and father". Dunno if you're Christian or not, but this commandment is 4th/5th one depends, but the point is, its even (ranked) above murder and adultery and stealing...
I have a hard time when I see people using cliches & biblical passages to advise someone to stay in an abusive situation. It's done all the time---and a lot of needless damage results from people being shamed/pressured into staying in contact with those who would deliberately hurt them.



There's a second part to the "honor thy father & mother" biblical saying--

'Parents, do not vex your children".


(it's often forgotten...)

No where in the bible does it state that a person has to remain in an abusive situation.

From the Luke 17:3 Website--written by Reverend Renee

In Luke 17:3, Jesus tells us very clearly that we are to forgive someone who sins against us IF he repents. He does NOT tell us to forgive everyone, including those who have absolutely no remorse and fully intend to continue abusing others and behaving badly. That would be preposterous and contradictory. God does not do nonsensical things that do not serve his ultimate purpose of bringing all men into his grace and his presence.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 1:24 PM   #6
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@freestyle, you're preaching to the choir (which I have not been on for quite sometime). Nways, no need to take out your Bible out and preach.

I simply answered the OP's original question: "Why do people feel obligated to look after abusive parents?"

The 4th/5th commandment seemed mighty appropriate to quote to answer the above (especially if you belong to any of the Christian denominations)...because it is the most well known that is associated with one's "parents" in particular.

In any case, it was not my intention to shame/pressure anyone into staying in contact with abusive people. It was just to emphasize a point that, ingrained "obligations" arose because of such a passage in the Bible (incompletely stated as it were) Besides, one can "honor" their parents without actually staying in close contact or proximity with them right?
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Old 3rd December 2012, 4:15 PM   #7
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I think I see what you mean. I wasn't brought up religious yet the commandments/ aspects of it are ingrained in us still. Meaning I was brought up by people who value morals very highly. But I still don't see why that's an excuse.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 4:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by YorickBrown View Post
@freestyle, you're preaching to the choir (which I have not been on for quite sometime). Nways, no need to take out your Bible out and preach.

I simply answered the OP's original question: "Why do people feel obligated to look after abusive parents?"

The 4th/5th commandment seemed mighty appropriate to quote to answer the above (especially if you belong to any of the Christian denominations)...because it is the most well known that is associated with one's "parents" in particular.

In any case, it was not my intention to shame/pressure anyone into staying in contact with abusive people. It was just to emphasize a point that, ingrained "obligations" arose because of such a passage in the Bible (incompletely stated as it were) Besides, one can "honor" their parents without actually staying in close contact or proximity with them right?
I may have misunderstood your angle then.

I've heard people spout off that commandment SO many times, when an adult child of abuse decides to cut ties---so I presumed that's where you were coming from.

So, I felt compelled to point out the often forgotten part of that particular commandment---because there is such a widespread societal bias towards the parents--those who are victims of abusive upbringings can be invalidated by that. It can make it hard for those who chose to cut ties to feel supported.

(and ironically--I don't follow any organized religion, either---I'm simply educated on a lot of Christian mythology, and text from my youth...)

I've seen religion used to justify & excuse abuse too many times, so I presumed you were coming from that camp. I apologize for the misunderstanding.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 6:08 PM   #9
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I would assume that your father feels a sort of obligation to his family, despite the abuse he suffered. I think this kinda of obligation is probably something that we, as humans, could possibly been born with, or a product of our culture. I think its very commendable for your father to consider taking care of his parents, despite the abuse, but I hope he is careful. Obviously abuse can be a very dangerous thing, psychologically and physically. It is my belief that leaving an abuser is one of the most difficult parts of being abused, so that may also influence his feelings of obligation.

I personally, have very emotionally abusive parents. I took me several years to realize that the way that they treated me isn't normal and I that I don't deserve it. I think its difficult for most people to completely walk away from their abusers, if they're family. We are taught that we must be loyal to our families, but we must look at the situation as a whole and protect ourselves, as well. I guess just realize that your Dad probably feels obligation to help his parents, because they're families. This doesn't mean that it is the right decision, it just means that it is his decision. And could possibly be why he is considering it. I wish your family the best of luck.
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Old 5th December 2012, 11:46 AM   #10
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They want to get them alone so they can chew them out and make them feel like crap and maybe even beat them.

Or they don't want to be written out of the will because its retribution for all they've endured.

Or they are just dysfunctional products of their environment. Like Stockholm Syndrome.
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Old 6th December 2012, 12:36 AM   #11
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I kind of blame him for never getting therapy. And thinking therapy is "for mental cases, for weak people" as he says. He always complains about his family. I don't see the point. No one forced him to live near her. It seems completely pointless we've lived near her all my life and yet we aren't actually close to her. I blame him for turning into his own parents.
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Old 13th December 2012, 1:48 AM   #12
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I mean he doesn't cut contact with his Abusive mother, yet would cut us off if we had children out of wedlock.
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