The answer somewhat depends upon your age however, your post reveals considerable maturity and so I'll reply appropriately.
First, I do get how difficult and uncomfortable it has been for you. Secondly, how absolutely great for you to write. Your parents should be very proud of you. Notice how few children ask similar questions? Not to diminish your plight but millions and millions of children (yes millions) suffer the same growing pains as their parents, divorced or not, learn how to communicate.
“… and a child shall lead them …” As strange as it may sound, it’s your responsibility to support them in communicating lovingly and supportively between themselves and with you. The way you do it is by committing yourself to knowing and telling the truth. I say knowing because the truth is not always what your mind thinks it is; seldom if ever is the problem what your minds thinks it is, because your mind doesn’t address the source, the very beginning, of the problem. This is what’s perpetuating the friction between your parents, neither are addressing the source of the friction.
So far you’ve learn how to talk. Most adults master talking, few ever consciously enter the realm of communication, fewer still begin the communication mastery curriculum. Talking is an exercise of the mind. It gets us through each interaction. Talking is primarily motivated by survival. One talks so as to survive whereas with communication one communicates so that all concerned feel good upon completion. Notice that your parents are mostly oblivious to how it feels for you to have to witness (to experience) their abusive arguments. Each is concerned with being right and making the other wrong.
What’s missing in their relationship with you is respect. Unbeknownst to either they simply can’t absolutely respect you because you silently support them in treating each other as they do. For example: Neither would dare argue with each other in front of, say, the Pope. It would be both disrespectful and impolite; yet they think nothing of being rude and disrespectful to you. It simply hasn’t entered their mind that it is abusive to you.
So how can you influence the outcome of an argument? In the field of particle physics one discovers that outcomes are dependent upon the observer. The polarity of a particle isn’t known until the exact moment it is observed. What this suggests is that how you
observe is a factor in how the argument turns out. If you observe passively, simply watching/listening, then you get what you’ve been getting, specifically, less than desirable results. Watching, albeit with excellent hurt expressions on your face, results in (causes) them to continue abusing each other.
You’ve been made aware of a most valuable lesson, that silence condones, and in fact is tantamount to intending. Your post reveals that how you have been watching (using your extremely effective non-verbal communication support-skills) is guaranteed to produce more of the same. It also reveals that you have
in fact been communicating something but not the truth, not your experience. It could be said that you’ve been a silent cheerleader on the side of the field yelling, “Go go, more more.” When the truth is told there is always an experience of love.
When the truth is told it affects the outcome of an interaction. Communicating your upset, disappointment, and hurt nonverbally the way you have been causes more of the same. In other words, most anything else you might do will produce different results; such as writing to me.
The trick is to communicate from your experience as opposed to from your mind. Your mind judges them and they can experience your self-righteous judgment (coincidentally they unconsciously respond with appropriate reactions to your nonverbal cheer-leading). In truth they have no choice but to argue more, in part because of your
positions, (I’m not old enough, I’m not smart enough, it’s not my place to say anything, I’m just a child, I don’t know what to say, it’s not my responsibility, and the biggie, I can’t make a difference), but more so because you haven’t been telling the truth, you haven’t been sharing your experience, what you
experience. Not what you think, not your thoughts, but what you experience when you hear them arguing.
For example: If you verbally said, “I wish you two would stop arguing. You’re just like two children.” Their minds would react to this make-wrong and ultimately find a way to make you wrong and to feel badly. i.e “Yes, I know, but, you shouldn't’t say such disrespectful things to your parents.” Or, they’d spout out some ludicrous reasons which would increase your disrespect of them, not your love, but part of your admiration and respect would be diminished.
So, what’s an experience and how do I communicate it so as to effect outcomes?
Ask yourself what you experience when you hear them arguing. For me, when I hear two arguing I experience comfortableness. It doesn’t feel good. I’m embarrassed. I’m confused, in part because I don’t know what to do or say and so, I tell the truth, something that neither can argue with; I say, “This doesn’t feel good.” Or, “I’m uncomfortable.” Or, if you are aware of your experience, “I’m experiencing hurt.” Followed with, “I’m going to my room/outside.” No intention to change them, no make-wrong, simply a communication of what’s so.
What this does is it wakes them up. This in-your-face truth causes them to switch from mind to experience. Your communication will cause them to have an experience; most likely it will be embarrassment or comfortableness. Depending upon how much therapy they need it could even trigger upset and anger.
I mentioned above is that you
must be willing to share your experience continually, each time. If you resort back to manipulating them non-verbally, they’ll continue to argue, worse yet, one or both will take out their unresolved childhood incompletes on you and the breakdowns in communication
will continue. Both need a sparring partner. If one died you’d soon find yourself arguing with the survivor.
Your post seems to imply that you haven’t taken sides, but you have. That you want to reward your dad with more of your time reveals that you have conspired with him in treating your mom as he does. What’s true is both are equally argumentative (equally abusive). A conscious person can see how each starts the arguments. Typically one partner will develop an amazing sneaky ability to start arguments non-verbally and then blame the other for starting it. You, the observer, given that you have been somewhat unconscious, have been manipulated into thinking one is a bit less argumentative, that one is the nice peaceful sweet one and that the other, if truth be told, really needs some therapy. Don’t be fooled, both are equally damaged, both are equally abusive; both need the exact same amount of coaching/counseling.
Now here’s the kicker. This reply can be the fork in the road for you. If you are run by fear in your relationship with both, if you’ve already taken sides and can’t see how they have conned you to prefer one over the other, then you too will end up arguing with your spouse as they do because you’ve been trained by them. If, on the other hand, you are willing to be outrageous, precocious, and wise (knowing that you know, knowing that you can see things they can’t), then you can effect a mutual supportive relationship between everyone.
Now for your homework. Print or show both of them our coms.
Feel free to reply.
Check back occasionally for minor edits.