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Topic : Repairing Broken Relationships

Number of Replies: 1122
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:14:12 am
Author : dataimport
Is there a rift in your family that has gone on too long? When someone isn't speaking to someone else and they drag the whole family into it, things get ugly. Share your stories and solutions here.

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October 6, 2005, 5:47 am CDT

Bonus son ditched us.

Hello, Any ideas on how to get your fifteen year old son to come back to our side of the family. One year ago he decided he didn't want anything to do with us, my husband [his father] is beside himself with grief.He has tried to call him, written him numerous letters, he even went to see him once but got the door shut on him.We've pleaded with family and friends to talk to him but no wants to get involved.His mother is no help I rhink she happy to see my husband get what he deserves.My husband is now going thru depression and getting physically sick from the stress. And our two kids get the effects of the one not coming over. Help please!
 
October 6, 2005, 10:51 am CDT

"bonus" son............

Quote From: annlinn

Hello, Any ideas on how to get your fifteen year old son to come back to our side of the family. One year ago he decided he didn't want anything to do with us, my husband [his father is beside himself with grief.He has tried to call him, written him numerous letters, he even went to see him once but got the door shut on him.We've pleaded with family and friends to talk to him but no wants to get involved.His mother is no help I rhink she happy to see my husband get what he deserves.My husband is now going thru depression and getting physically sick from the stress. And our two kids get the effects of the one not coming over. Help please!
Urge your husband to seek counceling/therepy for his grief. THis is a really big event in his life, and its likely that his depression isn't just going to "go away" on its own- he needs help! Its too bad that friends and family are reluctant to get involved, but put yourself in their shoes: do they have a valid reason for not wanting to get involved? Is there something that your husband needs to, or should, apologize for? If so, he needs to do it in a way that takes responsibility. Whatever the "wrong" that the son feels that has been done to him is, I'm sure that what he wants to hear from his father is that his dad understands why he feels that way...meaning, he needs to be validated, told that his feelings matter, that they count. Until this happens, this son is going to be distant. I wish you the best!!
 
October 6, 2005, 3:35 pm CDT

My Heart has been broken

I am writing this to hopefully find something to help. I am a mother of one and a step mother of two. I have been married for eight years and i see it all falling apart. my husband and i , well we fight a lot. this last time we had a very bad fight and he told me to chose of what i wanted, if i wanted him or not. he trow his wededing band on the table and i was beside myself, was hurt and felt alone at that moment. then not even an hour later he cam to me and said he wants me in his kife and it will all work out. we have fought so much in the last few years that i chould not say anything but i don't know. that is all i know now i am afaid to tell him how i feel b/c i do not want to fight. my heart has grown cold over the years but i still love him. his kids have put me through so much but i am still here but i don't know how to deal whit this hurtful pain he has left me in this last time. 

 
October 6, 2005, 5:16 pm CDT

Hope you are still reading the board

Quote From: lonelylady

MY PARENTS WERE MARRIED FOR 45 YRS AND A SISTER IN LAW ON MY HUSBANDS SIDE GOT INVOLVED WITH MY DAD AND CAUSED THEIR MARRIED TO END IN DIVORCE THIS HAS WENT ON FOR 4 YEARS NOW AND IS STILL GOING ON I LIVE IN THE SAME TOWN AND SEE IT DAILY I HAVE A HARD TIME FORGIVING HER AND DON'T KNOW IF I EVER CAN IT CAUSES PROBLEMS IN MY OWN MARRIAGE CAUSE THIS IS MY HUSBANDS BROTHERS WIFE HOW CAN I EXPECT MY HUSBAND TO CHOOSE ME OVER HIS BROTHER IT HAS CAUSED MANY PROBLEMS AT FAMILY HOLIDAYS AND FUCTIONS CAUSE I DON'T CARE TO BE AROUND HER MY FAMILY CAN NEVER FORGIVE HER WE CAN NOT HAVE ANYTHING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY CAUSE I DON'T WANT TO INVITE HER ANY SUGGESTIONS ?????????? 

The other replies you had I felt missed the point.  Yes it does take 2 to tango but smiling sweetly at family dinners with the in-laws when you feel your sister-in-law needs to be told a million home truths is difficult.   

  

My situation is somewhat different but I'm a few years further down the line than you.  First thing counselling helped.  We went there and said we've been having the same in-law row for 8 years and can't resolve it.  Having the third party in the room stopped us turning the volume up and we started listening to each other's point of view. 

  

Second thing.  It's difficult for your parents-in-law and others as well.  They have to invite everyone or they will be seen as taking sides and they are dreading an argument breaking out in the middle of their parties. 

  

Third thing is to manage each situation as it arises.  Work things out before the event.  Generally all you need to do is breeze in say "Hello, anything new since I saw you last?", comment on whatever SIL replies, make an observation about the weather for her to agree with and then excuse yourself to the ladies.  When you return avoid SIL.  You've done your duty.  You've been seen to be pleasant under difficult circumstances.   

  

 
October 7, 2005, 5:02 pm CDT

Thanks for advice

Quote From: jenoc99

Urge your husband to seek counceling/therepy for his grief. THis is a really big event in his life, and its likely that his depression isn't just going to "go away" on its own- he needs help! Its too bad that friends and family are reluctant to get involved, but put yourself in their shoes: do they have a valid reason for not wanting to get involved? Is there something that your husband needs to, or should, apologize for? If so, he needs to do it in a way that takes responsibility. Whatever the "wrong" that the son feels that has been done to him is, I'm sure that what he wants to hear from his father is that his dad understands why he feels that way...meaning, he needs to be validated, told that his feelings matter, that they count. Until this happens, this son is going to be distant. I wish you the best!!
Hey Thanks for writing. My husband does talk to our pastor. And he has tried to talk to his son but if he doesn't tell us what he problem is we can't begin to figure our the real reason for his distance. We think it's jealousy and that fact that we don't give him everything he wants like his mother does. Also we don't have all the up to date '"toy"s at our place. Also here he has to share at his mothers he is the only he even has no cousins on that side to share with. We have heard that he is so mature but until he comes to us and talks with us about things we aren't seeing this maturity. And unforunately family and friends just don't want to get involved. Our pastor says can't unless the boy contacts him first, because it's considered counceling so he can't make the first contact. Which we don't understand.
 
October 7, 2005, 6:11 pm CDT

I just dont understand

I am a 32 YO mom of 3...I just meet my father about 6 months ago or so. I have not seen him since I was 16 and before that I had never seen him. I dont know why I feel the way I feel but See he has 3 other kids with the wife he has now and of course they are all grown now as well. But my father still does not have anything to do with me. He has said he was sorry for never being there while I was growing up but has yet to show to me that he means it. He will do whatever for his other 3 kids but nothing for me. He also will talk to my kids when they call but he never ask them how I am doing or anything like that. He has just met my kids also.I sometimes feel I am being a baby but there is so much more about all of this but really dont think this is the place to air all the dirty laundry.Can someone please tell me why I feel the hate I feel for him and my siblings I do and how to overcome it? 

 

       Thanks, 

       SAD IN TEXAS 

 
October 8, 2005, 7:56 pm CDT

Repairing Broken Relationships

Quote From: jaamty2

Ok i've never done this before but i'm hoping there is someone out there that can give me some advice or there thoughts on this matter.  My daughter is 21 and her ex-boyfriend is 22.  They have been together since they were 15 and 16.  Looking back I would have never let her get so involved at such a young age, I guess I never really expected them to be together for 4 1/2 years.  The problems in their relationship started after high school and i think my daughter was starting to mature faster and she realized she was not happy with the way her boyfriend was treating her, she is outgoing and a people person, he's not very people friendly.  He never took her anywhere, just sit at our house or his, he didn't want her around his friends, he's very jealous and possive.    She told him she needed to take a break and told him exactly what the problems were between them as she saw it.  That was almost a year ago, but in that year they still saw each other occasionally and talked on the phone everyday, even getting back together 2 times, but he usually went back to his old way in a very short time.  But over this summer he seemed like he waw starting to understand where she was coming from and he would tell her all the time he loves her and will never give up on them and that she is the only one for him, he needs her, so after a summer of this she was finally convinced he was worth giving it another try to see if they could work things out.  She is in school for med. assistant right near our home, he went to comm. college for 2 years and now in college (about 30 minute) drive from our house.  He told her they would be together almost every weekend.  Now here lies the problem,  he was moving into his apartment which he shares with 4 other guys, one being his best friend on a thursday morning.  That tuesday they decided to make a go of it, talked about how they need to communicate better, etc.  Somehow when thursday came and he was moved into his apartment and she was going to come visit he suddenly told her he didn't want to see her, and why should they get back together right when he's goin to school.  How does love or someone change their mind about loving someone in just 2 days.  She feels that he lied to her all summer and was just using her when he didn't have anyone, now that he's in college and has his own place there are so many other options and girls that he doesn't need her anymore.  I am devasted also, cuz I took this boy into my home and treated him like one of my sons, he was so close to the family and she to his, he went everywhere with us even on vacations.  I can't understand why he is doing this, he doesn't even seem like the same person to me.  How do i help my daugher when i'm having trouble coping with this myself.  Should she forget about him and move on or should she wait around for him.   At this time he only wants to be friends and she said she can't do that after all the years they had together, she doesn't want to see him with anyone else, it would be to hard for her.  He also likes to drink alot, and he knows it bothers my daughter, so while at college he could drink all he wants and she not know about it.  I just don't know what to think.   Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks

Hello jaamty.  I was reading through a few posts and I came across yours.  I'm not much on replies, but having read some of the advice you were given, I felt at the very least I had to say something.  He's a jerk just doesn't cut it.  So, here's my two bits on the matter; it probably won't give you a definitive solution to your situation, but at the very least I hope I can give you a little more insight into it.   

  

First and foremost, you're not alone.   What your daughter and her ex are going through is not unique.  It's actually so common I'm suprised it doesn't have a clinical name, especially given how many times the kids fall into the hole.  I worked for several years as a college counsler, helping the incoming freshman adjust to their new life and deal with various issues that came up.    When it came to relationships, it wasn't uncommon for highschool sweethearts over the summer to swear undying fielty to their beloved, promising to wait for them until the day they graduated.  It also wasn't uncommon for them to get dumped the first week of class because "I don't know what my future holds."  Furthermore, these same sweethearts usually spend the next four years breaking up and getting back together and then breaking up again.  And inevitably, too many people get drawn into the situation and someone somewhere is called a callous, selfish, heartless, cheating -insert word here- brute for doing what they did in such a fashion.  Sound familiar? 

  

Three things worth looking at here.  One:  Inexperience  These kids wake up one day eighteen years after their birth and are told guess what, they're now responsible for everything in their life despite not having the foggiest on how to handle financial, social, personal, emotional, or any other affair.  For some it takes a few short months, for others well... we all know that old man who still acts like he's 16.  In short, they don't understand consequence expands beyond the immediate limits of a single moment in time.  Two:  Their personality is changing.  Where once mom and dad (or some other authority figure) were the unspoken, absolute authority on all matters in life, suddenly, they are not.  And just as suddenly, the basis for their judgment has been obliterated.  Who am I if mom and dad are not always right?  Three:  Growing up is a seductive affair.  Suddenly, they can do just about anything, but only if they pay for it.  To compensate for all this, they usually dance between clinging to definitive icons of one's stabler youth and obliterating their past completely to make way for the new.  This usually ends up causing more harm than the breakup originally intended to prevent, but then that goes straight back to issue one, doesn't it?  (And yes by the way, they will calm down... later.)   

  

Now, empathy is not justification, but I highly doubt any of this was done to intentionally cause you and your daughter emotional pain.  He's still that sweet young boy you knew, but you also knew he'd grow up at some point.  I'd worry more if at 25 he acted the same way he did at 15.  So what's my advice?  First, your daughter needs to let him go for now.  They're at the point where it's not a relationship, it's a safety net:  A way of coping with change without actually confronting it.  If this means she can't see him, then don't (and stick to it!).  There's nothing wrong with taking a moment to clear one's head and figure out what they want to do.   Secondly (this one's gonna kill ya), you have to understand you can't fix this for her.  I know, I know, you're her mother and you want nothing more than to jump in and make it all better.  But she needs to come to her own decision on the matter.  This doesn't mean you can't console her or offer her advice, but make sure to give her a respectful distance on the affair.  I'm sure she's genuinely aware of how much this is affecting you too, and that may distract both you and her from the matter at hand:  Does she really want this relationship and all the baggage it entails?  Last thing you want her to do is make a decision that will keep the peace at the price of her happiness.  

  

I wish I could offer you a more productive answer, but it's all I got.  I hope it helps some.  :)  Good luck and God bless.   

 
October 9, 2005, 9:43 pm CDT

How do you get the kids back?

I have a good friend who had an emotionally scarred childhood.  His father abandoned the family when my friend was 11 and then he was sexually abused at age 13 by a 34-year-old woman.  He is now 52 years old and has not spoken to his father in more than 20 years.  At age 25 or so he married a teenager (age 18) whom he got pregnant.  Neither loved each other, but he stuck in the marriage for 25 years for the sake of the 2 kids.  For the first 15 years he was completely faithful, but he came to a point where he was extremely starved for affection and sought it outside the marriage.  He had a string of affairs until one of the women went to his wife in order (she said) to get the 2 of them to seek some help for their marriage and especially for him.  Even though the wife knew he was seeing other women and not stopping him, she took this meeting with the other woman as proof of his infidality and went straight to their kids (who were in their early 20's at the time).  That was 4 years ago and my friend has had no contact with his kids ever since and is devastated.  He kept hoping they would come back.  He has sent numerous emails without a response.  He is unable to call them or even see them as his now ex-wife won't give him their phone numbers or addresses.  She is playing the role of the victim and has completely turned their kids against him.  He has come to a point now where he is so depressed about the loss of his kids, who were the most precious things in his life, that he is seriously considering suicide.  Is there any hope for this family? 

 
October 10, 2005, 7:24 am CDT

Where should I start?

I have been married for 20+years. Our relationship has had many rocky times. My husband and I saw a counselor early in our marrige for problems with our relationship and his infidelity. He quit going because  he sad he "had no use for these types of people". I learned a lot about him and myself when we were going that was helpful. We have two children ( 9 and 16) and now we have eldercare to deal with. Things have been extrmely stressful for quite awhile but now are to the point where I know we need outside help to see what we need to do to deal with all that is going on. My husband would rather leave than deal with our problems.He says we get along better with out him but I know this is not the answer.I fear we are getting to the point of no return. I do not know where to even begin but I am worried about how this is affecting  both of my kids.This is not how I want to live! Where do I start and how can I do this by myself if my husband won't try. I will do what I need to do to help us work things out and make our life better.
 
October 11, 2005, 11:16 am CDT

How do you fix things after all these years

I am a 27 year old mother of two that struggles everyday tring to be happy with the new life i have made for myself and children. When I was nineteen I had a falling out with my parents and brother. I since have seen my mother about three times over the years at local stores and she litterally runs the ohter way like she doesnt even know me. I have seen my dad once I got in line behind him at the grocery store and he turned and talked to my son, so I decided I would let him know he was talking to his grandson. He looked at me with complete shock and said I would of never know it was you, and he walked out the door. My brother recently got married and I wrote him before his big day in hopes we could patch this  up but he has told everyone he is just not ready. My husband says I should shut that chapter of my life because I am not being fair to the family that does want to be in my life.My question is how can eight years not be enough time and is my husband right should I forget where I came from and move on.
 
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