You can divorce your spouse, or put an end to a toxic relationship with your significant other, but what if your own parent is the source of constant negativity, stress and misery in your life? Of course, no parent is perfect, and there are some who believe you should always maintain a relationship with your parents, regardless of the situation. But is there an exception?

Here are six signs you need to divorce your toxic parent:

1. Your Parent is Constantly Dismissive

If your parent has been dismissive your entire life, chances are that feeling of being insignificant followed you into adulthood. If your parent isn’t open to listening to you, and puts down your ideas and opinions like they mean nothing, they must not truly be there to support you. This type of parent can cause a child to feel unworthy of attention, and experience deep self-doubt while constantly searching for validation.

2. Your Parent is Unreliable

We all like to have someone in our lives we can truly depend on. Someone that we can turn to no matter what. More often than not, this person tends to be a parent. When a parent has a history of being unreliable, a child can’t help but lose trust. Never knowing what to expect from a parent – whether or not they’ll show up, whether or not they’ll be supportive — turns into a game that you aren’t obligated to take part in.sad child baseball

5. Your Parent Uses You

It can be hard to differentiate between real friends and those with a hidden agenda. The last thing a child wants or needs to be used by their own parent. If your parent is constantly taking advantage of you, using you for their own personal gain or taking things from you, cutting them out may be the best way to get rid of the negativity in your life.

4. Your Parent is Emotionally Unavailable

An emotionally unavailable parent who actively withdraws at their child’s approach or withholds love inflicts a permanent scar on their child. These behaviors can include lack of physical contact such as hugging, refusal to comfort, unresponsiveness to their child’s displays of emotion and abandonment. If your parent has been emotionally unavailable your entire life, it may be time to move on.sad girl and teddy bear

5. Your Parent is Self-Involved

If your parent is constantly self-involved — a narcissist —maintaining a solid relationship may be nearly impossible. A parent who is focused solely on their own wants and needs may be incapable of empathy. The small connection you believe that you have may be superficial, and your parent will inevitably always choose their own happiness over yours.

6. Your Parent is Abusive

Whether it’s physical, verbal or emotional abuse, if your parent is abusive in any way, it’s time to remove them from your life. An abusive parent will become the source of negativity, unhappiness and pain in your life. You may hold onto the relationship, longing to feel a connection, waiting for the day your parent tells you that you are good enough, but the truth is, you don’t need any sort of validation from them. You are enough, despite them, and it’s time for you to move on and focus on your own happiness.sad girl (2)

Psychology Today
Psychology Today
Psychology Today