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I care too much what my unsupportive family says
December 23, 2007
11:05 pm
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gannnana
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Hi all,

This is my first evening posting here -- this seems like a great place and I look forward to getting to "know" some of you.

My problem is my family (siblings and 86 year old mother) expresses their suppressed hostility with little swipes and snipes directed at me. I only visit them once every couple of weeks or so (I live 20 minutes away). The visits start off well, but invariably something is said that is disturbing or mildly hurtful. This has been going on forever, and used to be a lot worse. They are all adults. Our mother orchestrates a lot of doubt and mistrust among us, talks about ones of us who leave the room briefly, etc.

This doesn't seem like much of a problem I guess but because it's been going on all my life, and I want to break free of them, it's loomed large lately!

I appreciate your wisdom and advice.

December 24, 2007
12:12 am
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Zinnie
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Welcome Gannana,

This used to happen to me with my in-laws. I come from a huge family (eleven children), and was not used to this. If we had something to say to each other - we did; and we all loved each other - even when we fought.

My solution? I was direct and to the point. My husband's family used to do this all the time, and at first I was trying to be polite. Finally, I got to the point of "OK, this is stupid." One of my brother-in-laws, and my sister-in-law were the worst. They would mutter things under their breath. Just barely loud enough that I could tell the comment was about me, or our situation, and even loud enough to know it was hurtful. So, finally, I would literally stop the conversation and say "I'm sorry, WHAT exactly was that you were saying?" Needless to say, it stopped very quickly.

It took a while before my husband saw what was happening. He grew up with this so he thought this was normal. He spent a few holidays with my family and was shocked! He was like "wow... these are FUN!"

After a while for him, through me, he came to realize that you do NOT have to be a slave to this type of treatment. Yes, they are your family. Yes, you even love them. That does not give them the right to treat you like this. There is no law that says "they only live 20 minutes away, so I MUST see them." There really isn't.

My in-law's? They only live 20 minutes away. We see them maybe once a year; with the exception of my Mother-in-Law as she is in a nursing home so my husband does make a point of going to see her at least once a week. BUT, the minute she starts? He leaves. The rest of them? As I said, MAYBE once a year.

My family? They are all out of state, some even out of the country. We see them several times a year.

It's ultimately YOUR decision.

Z.

December 24, 2007
7:11 am
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Rasputin
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Hey gan,

Isn't it funny how the people who are next of kin and closest to us are those who are the ones who bring us the most stress and pressure?

I come from dysfunctional family and I know all about gossips, bickering grumbling, competitions and chatts. However, I chose to relocate later on in my life. I wish I did it even earlier...and that REDUCED so much stress in my life. Nowadays, I have wonderful relationships with my parents filled with love, respect and trust. With my siblings it is nice relationship even tho it's not on deep level . The only exception is my oldest sister who STUBBORNLY refuses to change, (it's her choice) and I told our Mom and mom approved of my "NO Contact relatioship" backed up by many professionals - since she abd they knew my sister is abusive and still is.

My advice to you is: Do what you think is correct to you and hubby. Bottom line is to avoid retaliation, revenge or doing things to get even with them. In time, you will find that everything will fall into its proper place and you will gain the respect of every one in you life.

Wishing you all the best and Season's greetings!

December 24, 2007
10:42 am
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Codi202
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If you stopped going so often what would happen.

I would think you could answer any inquiry by stating exactly what you told us. If any "they" in your family gets abusive...then that is what you are dealing with.

Are you enabling so that you are not "harmed" in any way...or do you actually enjoy thoe bi-monthly visits?

If it hurts, stop doing it.
The rule in CODA is that you cannot change another person, right?

YOU can, however, stop "caring too much about what(your) unsupportive family says".

Be careful. Learn how to deal with the types so they don't hurt you.

Remember, you cannot change THEM.

Coda.org.

December 24, 2007
2:15 pm
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gannnana
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thanks for the input. It confirms what I know to do -- visit even less often than I have. That will give me time to do some thinking and to let go of guilt about not seeing them (I'm the oldest and helped raise the three younger siblings). Ya'll are right -- they are not going to change. But I surely can.

Have a wonderful holiday, all.

October 12, 2012
12:29 pm
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Poookiyee
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Rasputin said:

Hey gan,

Isn't it funny how the people who are next of kin and closest to us are those who are the ones who bring us the most stress and pressure?

I come from dysfunctional family and I know all about gossips, bickering grumbling, competitions and chatts. However, I chose to relocate later on in my life. I wish I did it even earlier...and that REDUCED so much stress in my life. Nowadays, I have wonderful relationships with my parents filled with love, respect and trust. With my siblings it is nice relationship even tho it's not on deep level . The only exception is my oldest sister who STUBBORNLY refuses to change, (it's her choice) and I told our Mom and mom approved of my "NO Contact relatioship" backed up by many professionals - since she abd they knew my sister is abusive and still is.

My advice to you is: Do what you think is correct to you and hubby. Bottom line is to avoid retaliation, revenge or doing things to get even with them. In time, you will find that everything will fall into its proper place and you will gain the respect of every one in you life.

Wishing you all the best and Season's greetings!


October 12, 2012
12:40 pm
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Poookiyee
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I have conflicts with my family sometimes. I have resentment towards my sister currently. Nobody understands my point of view, and I'm labeled as difficult to get along with. My mother says something which I think is totally irrelevant, which is "If you can't get along with your family, how can you get along with people outside?" The truth is that plenty of people have issues with their immediate family and don't necessarily have trouble with "people outside"--that is, friends or acquaintances.

I'm not a person that has many friends, but that's because I'm not a sociable kind of person but a withdrawn person. My mother's logic saying that just because I don't get along with the family means that I can't get along with people in general is illogical. But I do agree on one thing: I should forgive people for their failings, especially since they may not even know what they said or did that cause offense. This is what my mother said is her "philosophy." She pointed out that I studied philosophy. Yes, the philosophy of forgiveness is correct, but it's easier said than done, especially if one is a highly sensitive person who also tends to obsess and rehash things, which I am such a person.

October 13, 2012
11:48 am
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Poookiyee
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My significant other went to heaven 3 years ago. We had a meaningful relationship on earth for 7 years. My sister is very uninivolved with my life. She never asked me a single thing about what I’m doing and never asked a single thing about my significant other. That doesn’t bother me in itself. However,…

What bothers me is that I briefly mentioned my significant other early on and my sister never even met him, and she says He has nothing to offer you.

What bothers me is that when I was about to move to another state to live with in my significant other’s brother’s house my sister said What, you going to move to a mansion? (sarcastically).

After I lived in my significant other’s brother’s house for a couple of months, I moved to an apartment. About one month later, my significant other moves in to the apartment also. Around that time, I called my sister and told her this, and immediately she says “You let him in?!” I asked my sister recently about this comment, and she said that she was being protective. I don’t see it that way; I see it as unsupportive. She never even asked me anything about my significant other,didn’t try to even get to knokw him.

And my sister never even asks me what I’m doing. It’s ironic that when I lived in another state, she criticized me for not calling the family. (It’s true that I called seldom, maybe once a year, but then my family didn’t call me either or even ask for my phone number.)

Even after my significant other went to heaven and left me life insurance, my sister had nothing nice to say. If she really cared and was “protective” of me, she could have said something heartwarming such as “You guys must have been really close.”

Recently, my sister said “You expect me to accept him as family?!” about my significant other.

But in my sister’s unaware head, she doesn’t seem to even realize that she doesn’t even know my significant other at all and doesn’t even ask a single question about him to find out something. Narrow-mindedness is what is apparent from her behavior.

Why the apparent negative attitude towards my significant other when my sister doesn't know a single thing about him and doesn't seem to realize that?  My “significant other” was and is significant to me (and we will meet each other in heaven), but both my siblings’ attitude is as if he’s an “other.” At least my brother says simply that he doesn’t know my significant other. That’s not offensive or negative the way my sister was. Even though when my significant other went to heaven, all my brother had to say was "Did he have anything contagious?", that's still not as offensive as my sister.

I don't know whether to try to bring it up again to be understood and acknonwledged or whehter to never try to bring it up again and just focus on trying to be a more forgiving person on my part. I can't wait until I die and go to heaven, although I'm not suiciidal. Nothing would please me more, though, than to die sooner rather than later.

October 13, 2012
11:54 am
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Poookiyee
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So I too have an unsupportive family who seems to think they're supportive. They don't listen to me and I'm labeled as difficult to get along with. I'm really angry at them.

October 13, 2012
12:01 pm
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Poookiyee
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I understand that sometimes biological family members don't like or care for the person's one's with--that is, one's significant other--but this is generally the case only if they are involved enough to know something about that person. My sister is so completely uninvolved and makes assumptions and knows my significant other nothing at all. It's so weird I don'tt even imagine anyone else in this same situation--where a family member is negative towards someone you're with that they no ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about? (I'm not totally sure if my sister actually had a negative attitude towards my significant other, but it comes across that way. In my other post, I mentioned the things she said. There is nothing else she said becuase she never asked about him or had no comment if I mentioned him. Based on those comments I mentioned she said, I don't think it's unreasonable for me to feel she has a negative attitude, but it doesn't make sense because she doesn't know a single thing about him. If she got to know him, she wouldn't need to be "protective", as she said. She was not protective, though, but simply unsupportive. I need to protect myself from my sister, not my significant other.  THAT'S BECUASE MY SISTER IS INSENSITIVE.

October 14, 2012
4:12 am
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onedaythiswillpass
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Just live your own life.  What happens between two people can never be explained to a third party.  Stop trying to make others see what you have.  If you are happy with it, you only need the support of yourself & the person you are with.

 

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