There’s a whole lot I could say here, but I’ll try and keep it somewhat short and relevant.
Me and my partner live halfway across the country from our parents, so we only get to see them in person a couple times a year. We go there for the winter holidays, and they come here in the summer.
My partner is really close with her mom and texts with her almost every day, as far as I can tell. Her abusive dad not so much.
I only text my parents once every few weeks, if something important is going on or something comes up that makes me think of them. I’ll text my mom today because it’s Valentine’s day. I’ll probably chat with my dad about Olympic Hockey at some point. Most of the information they get about my family comes from my partner posting pictures of our kids on facebook.
I don’t hide anything from my parents, but I don’t share a lot without them asking. Opportunity-wise, I owe them a ton… I’m a middle-class white guy from a middle-class white family that grew up in a quiet middle-class neighborhood with good schools. They made sure I got into a decent college. I didn’t have to take out any loans of my own to get through four years.
But emotionally I never actually felt all that close to them. They never seemed to take much interest in the things that I enjoyed doing. While they never actively discouraged me from spending time on video games and computers, whenever I showed interest in something else I realized how excited they actually could be if I chose to do something they thought was more appropriate.
My feelings about my relationship with my parents are weirdly complicated considering how vanilla my childhood was.
Somewhat relevant: once when I was a kid watching Everybody Loves Raymond (a sitcom where the main character is constantly torn between pleasing his wife and his mother), I remember my mom making a comment about how if I got married and started a new family, they should be the most important thing in my life, not her. That if parents do their jobs right, they won’t be needed forever.
Edit: Ages are probably relevant here. My partner and I are in our early 30’s.