There are a total of six siblings. I am nineteen years old and I have a younger sister and brother who have to witness this kind of behavior from my parents very often.
I feel hopeless and frustrated because there is nothing or very little I can do to about it. I ask Allah to help me cope with it. Things are just not working out. They have been this way pretty much ever since I was a kid myself, and now watching my younger siblings go through the same just eats me up.
In this counseling answer:
•You can advise your parents with respect and politeness, using non-accusatory language.
•Try your best to talk to each parent separately and help them feel comfortable talking to you about their problems.
•Listen to them and help them process some of their feelings of anger and frustration towards each other.
•Your parents deserve to hear from you about the impact their behavior has had on you and will have on your younger siblings.
Thank you for writing to us. You are obviously very frustrated and hurt because of the way your parents are treating each other. Here are some thoughts for your consideration:
First, realize that you and your parents have a mutual obligation to advise one another, especially when it comes to behavior that might be displeasing to Allah. How you go about advising a parent is quite straightforward in principle, but perhaps very difficult and emotional in practice.
In principle, you can advise your parents with respect and politeness, using non-accusatory language. In practice, you will find it challenging to try to advise your parents because they are supposed to be taking care of you, serving as role models for you, and most importantly, advising you.
Second, try your best to talk to each parent separately and help them feel comfortable talking to you about their problems. At 19 years of age, you might think that there is not much you can do to help your parents, but in reality, you can, at least, listen to them and help them process some of their feelings of anger and frustration towards each other.
No matter how difficult it seems to you, your parents deserve to hear from you about the impact their behavior has had on you and will have on your younger siblings. If talking to them in person is challenging, then write down your thoughts and share them with your parents separately. Send them a letter or an e-mail. Let them know you care and that you are making du`aa’ that they change their behavior very soon!
Third, since they have been fighting for so many years, it seems the problems between them might be more complex than what help you can offer. We suggest strongly that you recommend each parent separately that they should both seek out a marital therapist which will help them repair and rebuild their relationship.
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Again, your suggestion could be rejected, but it is worthwhile for you to at least make them to seek therapy as a possible solution to their problems.
Finally, remember that ultimately you are a child to parents who have struggled hard to raise you and your siblings. No matter what, they deserve your respect and they also deserve to be advised about their actions. Make lots of du`aa’ and continue to seek the guidance of Allah as you advise your parents, and help them restore tranquility, love, and mercy in their marital relationship.
And Allah knows best.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.