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Dear Frankie: Trouble Brewing on the Home Front

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Dear Frankie, 

My parents have started argu­ing a lot. I don’t know what’s going on with them. When­ever they start, I go upstairs and hide under the bed. 

At my weekly support group, I asked if anyone else’s parents argued. One said her parents didn’t, another said sometimes, and then someone said that’s what my parents did right before they got divorced. I totally freaked out. It never occurred to me I would become a child of a divorced couple. I can’t imagine living apart from one of my parents. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I’m going to faint. Is there anything I can do to help them get along better? I’m beside myself. 

Frazzled, Georgette 

Dear Georgette, 

No one likes to be in the company of people arguing, particularly one’s parents. What might help to alleviate some of your anxiety, as unpleasant as it may be, is for you to stay and listen to what they are arguing about. But, as they say, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. They may be arguing about a specific issue that will blow over in time. Say, for example, your mom wants a facelift, and your dad thinks it’s ridiculous. Or your dad wants to buy a Corvette, and your mom thinks it’s a waste of money. These kinds of arguments are not pleasant to witness but probably not cause for a divorce. 

On the other hand, if they are arguing because your mom thinks your dad has a girlfriend or your dad found out that your mom maxed out the credit cards that they just paid off, these issues might indicate real trouble between them.

Let’s hope the issue they are arguing about is situational. The only thing I can suggest is as soon as you hear them start arguing, bark, pound your paws, and howl. Act up and let them know that their behavior is upsetting you, and you want them to stop. Let’s hope this helps them see they need to settle their differences more rationally and less emotionally. 

Best, Frankie 

© 2021 Geneva Woodruff Comments and letters can be sent to Frankie at dearfrankiecolumn@gmail.com.

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