Dilemma: Should I get involved in my parent’s bickering?

Jo Brand / 21 May 2018

Will a reader do more harm than good in preventing her parents’ bickering?



Dilemma: Bickering parents are getting a bit too much

My parents bicker constantly. I feel I should intervene – particularly when one is obviously wrong.

Will I do more harm than good?

Jo Brand's advice

To some extent, it’s a good thing that your parents’ marriage has made it through this far and, as their child, you are probably the least likely person to be objective about how it’s going.

Has the bickering increased? If they have always bickered, I’m afraid you are not going to change things. You could try to talk to them and say you find it upsetting, and could they desist while you are there.

If the bickering has increased recently, it’s possible that one of your parents could be deteriorating mentally and this has affected the balance in their relationship, in which case a check-up to see what their GP thinks would be useful.

For all we know, they may actually enjoy arguing and see it as an integral part of their relationship. Ask them if it upsets them and, if it doesn’t, just let them get on with it. And try not to be too worried by it.

Also, I’m hoping that it never goes further than verbal bickering because, if there’s any sense of potential assault, then you really will need to do something about the situation.

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