Primo: My parents couldn't stand ex and they had some good reasons. They actually visited us a few times, and ex was a terrible hostess.
Me: Like what?
Primo: The house wouldn't be ready when they arrived, for example, and I had to do everything.
Me: Welllll – they are your parents, not hers. Who did the work when her family visited?
Primo: She did. But she wasn’t working. She had time.
Me: Were your mom and dad nice to her?
Primo: No. She knew they had told me not to marry her. And they never made any attempt to have a good relationship with her.
Me: Yeah, I’m having a hard time siding with your parents on this one. I wouldn’t have knocked myself out, either, if I had been in ex's situation. Did they complain to you that she didn't write to them?
Primo: They did not want contact with ex.
Me: They don't want contact with me, either. So why do they complain about me?
Primo: They want you to be better than ex, but they think you must not be better because you don't want contact with them. They get decide what the contact is, not you. You’re supposed to want contact with them regardless of what they want. You're supposed to earn their admiration and affection.
Me: But I don't want their admiration and affection. They don’t like how I eat bacon. There are no holds barred anymore.
Primo: I know. I just feel so sorry for my mom. You know what my dad is like. She needs someone to be nice to her.
Me: You’re right. And you do realize you are like the poster child for adult children of alcoholics.
Primo: I just want my poor mother to have more than one person in her life who is nice to her. It’s my dad who is the real problem.
Me: You could tell him to go to hell. That could work. I think they teach that at Al-Anon.
Primo: Maybe. No.