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Why is my father being so cruel to us?

Q: My father is almost 90 years old. He is suffering from cardiac ailments and other aliments like diabetes colitis, etc. He is still mobile and very fond of eating. But he has made life impossible for us. He is constantly complaining that we don't take care of him, don't feed him, neglect even though 40% of our time is dedicated to his affairs. To top it all he lies to outsiders about being ill-treated and pretends to forget all good that is done to him. He mistrusts everyone including me and my wife and sons and spreads ugly and baseless messages to family members. Yet he has a sharp memory and is very aware of current affairs and knows what legal actions that he can take to protect him. He is equally aware of monetary affairs of the house. To sum it all up he is an evil person. Please guide us as to how to deal with the situation and what steps can be taken that I too can protect my family from his wickedness? He even threatens to throw us out of the house!

A:He really might not be an evil person but a person in need of time, love and affection and perhaps expression of some gratitude towards him. Do you work? If so, do you think the needs of your father are adequately being met with most of the time. The statements that you have mentioned – are they your own or pronounced by someone else. As they say child is not a small adult, in the similar fashion an old person is not just an old adult. But, they are having unique needs, desires, and expectations etc. Some retain the need for control, (as they have had done in their prime), some don't. Some cannot tolerate the term dependent and cannot ask for assistance even if they have to. Some start expecting the very best because they have strived in their life and tried to do for others. And again is it wrong to expect from a son whom you have brought up and made what he is today! I would expect you to spend time with your father in a father – son relationship, and not as if he is the dependent person being obliged by your family. Introspect – are you speaking and behaving well with him, are your family members doing the same with him. Think if your son does the same as you are doing with him would you be contented or unhappy. Are you spending quality time with him, are you speaking softly to him etc.

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