My family is breaking my heart

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by kjade, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. kjade

    kjade New Member

    And I don't know what to do. :(
    My mother and SIL got into a major fight over the summer. It ballooned way out of control, and now I am wondering if it can ever be fixed. Too much time has passed, and too many horrible things have been said. It is really starting to tear my entire family apart, because their argument is now affecting everyone, not just them. DH and I keep being put into the middle, and I am so sick of it!!

    The argument itself is really stupid. It was something that should have been resolved within a day of the incident. But my SIL decided she was going to stay angry until my mom apologized, since it involed my nephew (her son). I know my mom, and she will never apologize - it's just the way she is. But my SIL said she is sick of her getting away with things, so she dug her heels in, and just won't budge.

    So much has happened since then (many family health and financial problems). My mom was in the hospital and my brother never brought the kids to see her, so she is angry about that. I have spent COUNTLESS hours on the phone with them both, and spent so much timne with emails too. I tell them both over and over that I don't want to be involved, but they will tell eachother things I said, and then get mad at ME!!! I have had a couple parties since then, and no one talks to eachother, and it is extremely uncomfortable for me. My grandparents are now all upset, and they said they don't even want to come to my house anymore, because they don't want to see SIL's faimly or my father (who they hate). Their was a big fall-out at my baby's Baptism party, and I am so upset (I just found out what really happened) because they should not all be acting so childish. That party was for my daughter, and they all got mad and left with no explanation.

    There is so much more to this story....I could write a novel. But I am just at my wit's end. I can actually see both sides, but they both refuse to see the other person's side, and refuse to just "give in" and stop this already. Whenever I talk to my mom, she screams at me (when she really wants to be screaming at them) - then she gets mad at me, and tells me I am taking their side (which I am not). Then she'll throw in that she doesn't understand why I defend them because they are always talking badly about me behind my back. I just don't know what to believe.

    This is tearing an entire family apart. And I don't know what to do to help fix it (even though I don't want to be involved, like I said, they involve me anyway). Please give me some advice....what do I do?

    Oh and thanks for letting me vent here.
  2. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Nothing you can do. It's like the war in the Middle East.

    To preserve your peace of mind, do your best to stay out
    of the fray.

    Don't even listen to their war stories. "I'm sorry. It's just too
    upsetting. I'd rather not hear anymore about it."

    Good luck

    PS: My brother and sister haven't spoken to each other for
    about 40 years.
  3. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    as hard as it is, for your own immediate family's sake, you MUST remove yourself from this situation. Refuse to speak with either of them about the other, if one of them brings it up, politely tell them that you are no longer comfortable discussing this with them. And if that doesn't work, firmly tell them that if they are not part of the solution, they're part of the problem.

    The reason why I feel you must remove yourself is because all that negativity that you are absorbing from them is causing you much stress and aggravation, and will spill over into your feelings and your moods with your own husband and family. They don't deserve that and I know you above all else do not want that for them. And if your SIL or your mom have the nerve to ask you why you are withdrawing from this situation, simply tell them, "I'm protecting the well-being of my own family. " Case closed.

    Good luck and keep your chin up--Laura
  4. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member

    I m so sorry to hear about all of this but you did not start it. How terrible that someof this was started at your dear baby's baptism. I don't know what else to say either except that I agree with Laura, Rock, Jam and whoever else has posted. Yes, it might be,or seem very hard to do, but that is the only thing I can see to do in this instance. Otherwise, you will be dragged in, more than you are in now.

    If it continues the way it is going now, it will only get worse and drag you and your family down with it. Just refuse to talk about it with the others and tell them why and what it is doing to you and your family and that you do not want it to get worse.

    That is just awful that your mother and SIL will not grow up and just apologize, especially your mom if you said she never apologizes, even if she is wrong. I don't know how many times I probably apologized for doing something, if only to just get the situation done with. I just like peace and quiet already. Some people also are not happy unless they are causing some kind of rucus (sp) and getting everyone in a tizzy. You do not neead this and neither does your husband or children. It can very easily escalate to include you as you can see already. Just refuse to talk to anyone about it and give the reason, as was stated before.

    Lots of hugs to you sweetie ! I hope this will be over and done with sooner rather than later. However, when you have two hard headed people, who knows ! Yes, dealing with this mess is only going to get you feeling sicker than you already feel and you do not need it !!

    [This Message was Edited on 12/06/2009]
  5. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    First, while I commend your intention to fix this, you've tried, and it's not fixed. Second, if you're acting as a go-between (wanted or unwanted -- sounds like unwanted), they'll never need to work it out for themselves. Third, if they don't want to work it out for themselves, you are unfortunately stuck with the consequences, even if this impasse isn't of your making.

    I realize it is beyond difficult, but please go back and read what you've written -- you mention that you are so upset because of something you didn't even know about when it happened. Try not to take on extra or old grudges.

    And last, this sounds like how my parents acted when they were in the midst of getting a divorce. I'm an only child -- I got really tired of the finagling and behind-the-back stuff, wanting me only on their side. I told them if they had something to say to each other, they knew the other one's phone number.
  6. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Thanks everyone for replying - I want to type up a reply but I just finished writing a lot over on the Fibro board, and now I am exhausted and my fingers are sore. :( I am going to try and write more later.

    I had my family over here last night for DH's birthday. Brother & SIL got here late. My mom stayed in the kitchen doing dishes and then she just left. They never even spoke....didn't even say hello to one another. I know I can't fix it, but it is just so hard to watch. And it really makes me and DH uncomfortable. With Christmas coming, I dread how things are going to go. This is my baby's first Christmas and i want it to be perfect....I already see everything just going wrong (as usual). Last night after they left and DH & kids went to bed, I just sat on the couch crying to myself. Because it feels like such a lost cause. DH & I went through this exact situation with his family before his mom passed away, and we were in the middle then, too. It didn't end well, and my fear is that this war in my family is never going to end either. I just wish they would see how much they are hurting everyone else in this family with their stubbornness. Being caught in the middle is really hard.

    Thanks you guys....I know I can always rely on you folks to help me put things in perspective.
  7. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member

    Believe me, nothing is ever perfect. I wish they were. Try not to get yourself sick(er) than you already are.

    I have had sort of similar situations with me and my family but rather long distance, so I guess that is not as bad. However, sometimes things do have a way of working themselves out without your assistance, like mine did. If it doesn't, then you have done all you can and will do.

    Just try and get yourself out of the situation and tell them why, IF they ask. If it gets much worse you might want to try inviting them at different times and don't talk about the situation. If they bring it up, just say you cannot and will not talk about it.

    Mucho hugs to you hon,
  8. quanked

    quanked Member

    behavior for your mom or sil? I bet not. And your desire to fix things--is that new? We keep doing the same things over and over and over and somehow expect something different.

    I know how hard this family of origin stuff can be. It can take over one's life. Relationships are lots of work. You can keep on keeping on or make some choices that support you and your immediate family.

    There is a kind of family therapy (family of origin therapy) that can help families but more than one person has to be willing to participate in the therapy or it doesn't work. And it is some the of toughest work anyone can ever do in terms of relationships and there are no guarantees for outcomes.

    Sometimes, an individual can seek this therapy on their own and may find a therapist to work with. Many therapists are not willing to work with just the individual in this kind of therapy. The individual has to be strong, dedicated and know going in that the outcomes may be very different from what they hope for. The rewards are endless, deep, freeing and so much more. But this therapy is tough, tough, tough.

    Just a thought.
  9. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Oh yes, I know nothing is perfect. I believe part of the reason I am ill is because of my need to be perfect. It is very difficult to let go of that. this is not new behavior. This kind of stuff is always going on in my family. Someone is always mad at someone else. It really never ends. And desire to fix things is not new. It is how I have been my entire life. And I know I really need to stop that and just let go.

    I would love to try family therapy like you described. But it would be REALLY scary. Because in all reality, if I am being honest, I am kind of afraid of my family. Especially my mother. I hate conflict and fighting. It makes me a nervous wreck...I can't stand it. I must say though, that I don't think anyone in my family would ever agree to participate in something like that, which is sad. Thanks for your advice!!

    I am dreading the holiday season with the family. Every year, we go through the same things. My husband and I try to please everyone, on both sides, and we are the ones who end up having everyone mad at us for something. Every year we say we are just going to stay home for Christmas the next year, and we never do it. We are the ones who have to drag 4 kids all over town, when they are overstimulated enough on Christmas. Everyone ends up crabby and fighting. If we spend too much time at one place, then I get all nervous that the other people waiting for us are going to get mad, but I know if we leave where we are at that time, that person is going to get mad at us for leaving. We can't win. And I don't get it. Already, the plans for this Christmas aren't looking like they will go well. But we shall see.....
  10. lilaclover30

    lilaclover30 New Member

    it is Christmas time and I know that this makes it even worse. but this is your darling baby's first Christmas. Try to make it the best possible time with just you, DH, and the little one.

    I know that sounds easier than it can be but do make it memorable for the three of you! You are the ones that are important now---the 3 of you

    Is it possible to just stahy away from them for a few days at Chrisgtmas? I know my anwers probably don'gt make sense but I want you 3 to be3 happy!!!!

    no good answers from my but my love goes to you and yourlittle family.

    Gentle Hugs,

  11. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I can sympathize with your situation.

    Something in your post reminded me what I used to do and try to avoid now even though it is easier said than done.

    We can sit and speculate all day with the "what if?"s "will this happen?" and it creates anxiety that doesn't have to be there.

    They will either make up or not.

    Maybe some counseling for you and hubby on how to deal with your family. Would it be doable to not invite the parties involved to activities?

    Have you and your husband been able to sit down and talk about this, maybe even drawing up a gameplan? I know this is hard with four children, but all this chaos has invaded your life. If your relatives do not like your terms, that is too bad.

    Sometimes we have to draw the line with families. Let them know in a kind, even voice, that you will not be in the middle and you will not explain it again. End of story. If you have to explain more than twice it will put you on the defensive. Would you tolerate the same behavior with friends?

    This behavior has been going on for a long time. It is time for someone to break this cycle, otherwise it just continues. Do this for your children. Let them know that while people can disagree, there are other ways to handle things. Your relatives can be just as toxic for them.

    I know this has to affect you a lot, but it is basically their problem.

    Maybe a calmer, quieter Christmas is what your family needs this year.

    Take care.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/11/2009]
  12. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    You said "Oh yes, I know nothing is perfect. I believe part of the reason I am ill is because of my need to be perfect. It is very difficult to let go of that."

    You could have been talking about me...this is my problem too, and the guilt that comes after I feel I've let someone down.

    You already have so much great advice but I wanted to let you know that I understand....I really understand.

    As a gift, could you ask you mom and SIL to give you this one special day so that you can enjoy this special day with your child?

  13. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I'm sorry to say this but your relatives are using guilt to manipulate you and keep you in the middle of all this chaos, then use you to blame and as the scapegoat. Gap is so right about it being time to set boundaries and show your children and all your relatives that they don't act this way with you or your immediate family. If they behave poorly at an event you have, ask them to leave right away and don't tolerate the behavior. Their behavior at the Baptism was unforgiveable and they should have been thrown out as soon as they started.

    Eventually most of the family will grow tired of this constant childish brawl and give up on them too. But now you have to draw your boundaries and stick to them. And I would not speak with them on the phone until they are willing to speak to you normally, and not about the other one. They are acting like bad children in your presence and you have the right to your boundaries. Many hugs.
  14. Gingareeree

    Gingareeree New Member

    Have you considered having a peaceful Christmas with just your immediate family? With a newborn and three others' to boot,maybe it's time to start your own Cristmas traditions. Perhaps give a try just for this year anyway. Maybe you could visit the extended family during the time between Christmas and New Years? I agree with other comments that you need to set boundries with your family. You sound exhausted and maybe a break from the same old same old is just what you need. Merry Christmas!~~Jeanne
  15. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member

    Yes, as Jeanne mentioned you might want to start thinking about trying some different things for the holidays and making your own traditions and memories. Like my eldest daughter as much as I want to have her and the familky here onb Thanksgiving Day they have been going to the other grandparents and aunt's lakehouse with the kids . So we only get to see them for Christmas. BTW, we get along really well, no problems there except that she is the first born and has the type A personality and everything muyst be so so and she knows just how she wants things, and her DH also.

    I know that your mother sounds like she might give you a hard time if you do not do what she wants but you just might have to take a strong stand after you talk to your husband and maybe figure out if you could perhaps do somethinhg on alternate holidays, and perhaps only see some of your family at separate times and or alternate times. Can you make your own plans without your mother having a hissy fit? I know that sounds terrible but sounds like she might be one to do so if she does not get her way.>

    Do you all live close to each other , in the same area, etc. That might make it a bit difficult but maybe you can sometimes make sosme different poland that does not include them. Also you might want to go visit one of them (or visa versa) at different times, like one for Thanksgiving and the other for Christmas. If they still keep talking to you about the whole situation when the other is not there, you need to tell them to stop immediately or you will not be inviting them, or be coming to see them again. Hope I am not making myself as clear as mud.

    I could have gotten veryupset when my daughter told me that they were going to be starting this new thing every Thanksgiving and visiting the other family but when I realized it was becoming a tradition I just smiled and told them they would be missed and would be thrilled when they came for Christmas. Both of them (your mom and sil) do not have to be there together all the time, as well as ALL of your family. Of course, you want everything to go perfectly and want EVERYONE to be very happy with your entire family but that is not always possible. Start talking to DH about some possible alternate plans for the holidays. Maybe if you do that too some of them will take the hint and start behaving (MAYBE) !!

    Don't know what else to say. Yes, it hard and I would love to see all of our kids and grand kids every holiday but that is absolutely impossible. Those two had better straighten up and smell the coffee, as they say or no one will want to be around them, EVER. You and your lovely family do not need any of this crap . I am like you and would love for everything to always be great and for everyone to get along all the time BUT I know that is almost impossible especially when you have head strong people in your family.

    Start thinking about some changes especially if those two do not want to do any changing. You need to go someplace else with just your husband and children. OR do not invite any of the trouble makers and then they would probably have reason to complain, Or see one of the trouble makers at one holiday and the other the nedxt one. You might have to try out some different things for awhile before you see what works. Hopefully they will get the idea that you are not going to put up with it.

    Sorry for this book. I had better sign off for now. Good luck sweetie. Jusgt TRY and remember you did not start this problem !
    [This Message was Edited on 12/13/2009]
  16. kjade

    kjade New Member

    Lilac, Gap, Deb, twocatdoctors, gingareeree, & Granni: Thank you SO much for your continued advice. You are helping me learn to set boundaries, which is something I know I need to do more with my family. It is getting to the point where (as hard as it is) I really am having trouble talking to anyone anymore. Because I just get so worked up.

    I was just telling DH the other day that I want this Christmas to be very special, since it is our baby's first Christmas. (and since she is our last baby, and we will never have another "Baby's First Christmas"). I don't want any of the fighting or chaos, like we have every single year.

    Thank you all again for your continued support and advice. It means a lot to me, and like I said, I am learning a lot from you all. Hopefully, things will go smoothly this year, and I will set up boundaries. Someone will inevitably get mad at me, but oh well....I already expect it.

    [This Message was Edited on 12/15/2009]
  17. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member

    It sounds to me like you said, that you expect someone will be getting mad at you anyway, no matter what you do. So, the way I see it - go for it kiddo and don't let them push you around and set up some boundries :) !!

    I will be thinking of you my dear and PLEASE do keep me and the rest of us up on what is going on during the holiday. That is just awful to have to go through that kind of stuff when you are just trying to have fun, get along and have a wonderful time with your family. They don't need to be there if they are always causing trouble. GOOD GRIEF!!

    We have a little bit of something similar with one of our sons in laws. He isn't a bad guy but he is one of those who thinks he knows everything about everything and that includes politics and religion. He also thinks almost the opposite of what most of us feel about alot of things. I am just happy that we don't have him down here to often but I think he is learning to keep his mouth shut a bit more when we discuss certain things. My daughter needs to learn more to give him what for once in awhile :) !! Even his mother said the same thing to me, really funny !

    I hope you will have a wonderful Christmas holiday with you family and may they learn to behave themselves. If not, may they learn that their behavior is not what you want in your home.