December 31, 2010 - submitted by Marta, United Kingdom

"It's so hard to live without one of your parents. And I do not really know what to do. I live with my dad, but it's annoying. I can't understand all the things he does. I'm a teenager and I just can't live with dad. I need my mum. She's in England now, she and her family. What should I do? Marta".

The Oracle replies:

This is a very difficult situation and I'm not sure I can solve it in one simple answer. I don't know the reason you do not live with your mum or whether that's even a possibility but I'd be tempted to find that out. You may be finding it hard as you miss your mum and can't find common ground with your dad. Maybe you are confused and have some anger about the situation? Teen years are already hard enough without having to cope with such a huge change. Many divorces divide families but you obviously have a geographical divide that is also not easy to live with.
I think you need to talk to both of your parents and tell them how you feel; explain how difficult you are finding the situation and see if they can come up with solutions too. In the meantime have a think about what YOU want and see how possible that is to achieve. Hang in there Marta, the adjustment may take a while for both you & your dad. Over to you...

If you think you would be better off with your mom, then go for it. There's no reason to be unhappy and annoyed living with your dad. I think you should tell your dad that you want to be with your mother, he might be upset by this but I'm sure he wants you to be happy. I hope things will work out for you. Taameen, United States

Dear Marta,
I am a mom of two teenagers - a boy 16 and a girl 13. And to be honest, it is hard living with both of them at times. I used to have a great relationship with my son. We talked about everything. I loved being with him. Then sometime during middle school he stopped talking to me so much. I was really hurt. Then we went to a worshop at his school. Small groups of parents met with small groups of kids (but not their own child), and we asked each other questions. I learned that those kids were also starting to keep their private lives from their parents. So, we were normal and my son didn't hate me! With that knowledge I could look at it all more objectively.
I don't know exactly what is annoying for you living with your dad. Still, I think it would help for you to sit and talk calmly - maybe over a nice dinner. He needs to respect what you are saying as a young adult, and you need to listen to him. I think you'll work things out if you can remember the big picture - though there will be some tears along the way, you are going through an inevitable stage of growing up, and you love each other. Just remember, all parents are a little annoying if they are doing their job right. Lisa , Princeton NJ

Dear Marta,
Sometimes we can't understand what is happening around us... sometimes it's because it has no explanation.
I'm sure that your father loves you, even when you don't understand him. And your mother too from the distance.
Take this love and try to be positive. You won't be a teenager forever... and then you can decide who you want to be with.
Cheers. Fran... just a father

I understand how you feel. My dad passed away about 8 years ago, and since then I have not had the feeling of having someone as a paternal figure. I know you live with your dad and you are missing your mom, but I think both your parents are very important. You shouldn't say it's annoying, simply that you don't understand him, just as he doesn't understand you, specially with you being a teenager. It is hard for him too so, maybe you can talk to your dad and tell him that you need to be with you mom for a while. I think he will understand your situation, giving that you are a girl and girls need and trust their mom more than their dads. Good Luck. Camila

Hey Marta. Hope you're alright. I'm 16 year old girl and I know you need a woman in your life. I can't say "I know how you feel", because I don't. You should always try and keep in contact with your mum as much as possible, maybe even go and visit her if you can. I would advise you to get Skype and talk to her through that, so that you can see here and talk to her at the same time. Since you don't live in the same area as your mum, I think the best thing for you is to ask one of your best mate's mum for advice about your problems. I would also suggest you talk to your dad sometimes and clear things with him, and tell him how you feel, so at least he know you can talk to him about some of your problems and things that he needs to sort out himself to interact better with you. I really hope this may help you. Rana, United Arab Emirates

Given that you are becoming a young woman now it might indeed be best that you go to live with your mom; you will have to get both of your parents to agree to that. You know your situation better than anyone else, but it does sound like it is time to tell your dad about how you've been feeling. If you are uncomfortable talking with him alone perhaps you can get a school counsellor (or someone that you trust) to sit down with both of you while you talk things through? It won't be an easy conversation, however you might find that your dad is just as concerned as you are! Don't underestimate dads, they can be very good listeners, and very observant. He may already be aware that you are struggling, is trying to be the best parent to you he can and doesn't know how to ask what's wrong, or how he can help. Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do! Stena.

My relationship with my father doesn't seem too different from yours... It's hard to live with one parent, I get it. If I try to imagine a life with only my father... I don't like the idea. Everyone need a mum and a dad. In my case living only with my father would be a nightmare! We need our mother's support. Why? Because she is your mother... the person that you need the most, specially when you are a teen.
About the fact that you can't understand what you dad does... I'm not sure what do you mean? I don't understand my dad either. But it's common I guess... We often don't understand our parents. I hope this was helpful. PatrĂ­cia

Thank you to everyone who answered Marta's question.
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Wishing each and every one of you a very happy & healthy 2011.