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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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August 9, 2005, 9:45 am CDT

Repairing Broken Relationships

Quote From: johnster

Is this the right place to look for advice on step-parenting?  My wife has a 14 year old daughter that is sweet, talented and smart . . . but spoiled, according to my estimations.  I have big problems dealing with this.  It makes me mad when she doesn't act like I expect her to, yet I don't want to put any bad ideas in my wife's head about having a bad relationship with her daughter.  The daughter often seems distant towards me when we're alone, and somewhat more loving when her mom's around.  I don't know what is normal for teenagers behavior.  I have no children of my own.  We could go days without speaking to each other.  She does her thing and I do mine.  Thank goodness I work nights and don't have to be around them in the evenings.  I sometimes leave for work early so I don't have to be around her.  I want to be a loving dad to her, but just don't like her much.  I'd like to change my attitude towards her and have a happy home life.  any advise is welcome.
I agree with the other poster's advice, it was right on. It sounds like you want to have a better relationship, but you just don't know how to go about it. This is a difficult age...it isn't easy to establish a loving relationship with a teen, but it is possible. Be prepared to be the one who does most of the work to establish the kind of relationship that you want, though..I know that isn't what anyone wants to hear, but when dealing with a teen, its true. I have a 14 year old daughter, my husband is her step father, but he has been her step father since she was very young, so their relationship is solid, they have bonded, but he still has to work very hard to get her to allow him in her life. I think that it would be the same way even if he was her biological father, honestly. He doesn't understand her emotions at times, and he doesn't know what to say, so there are times when he doesn't say anything because he is afraid of saying the wrong thing. But when things settle down, he will approach her and tell her that he wants to be supportive, and he asks her what does she think he can do to be helpful to her? The answer is always "nothing.." but for him to ask her that means alot to her. Take your time, this doesn't happen over night, just do little things like ask her how her day was, or question her about her tastes, her music, stuff that she likes. Good luck:)
 
August 9, 2005, 11:54 am CDT

Repairing Broken Relationships

My husband and I have one daughter.  She's now 32.  We've been through rehab at the Meadows, we've also been through several (probably 4) suicide attempts.  We thought we'd gotten through most of the depression.  She married last year for the fourth time, but this time she married a captain in the military, meaning he had a job, car, career, etc.  The marriage ended last month and she has moved into one of our apartments.  She moved in with us briefly until we could ask for possession of the apartment.  She has four dogs (had five at the time she moved in with us).  I have three, so logistics were a nightmare.  We had short fuses during that period and I probably mouthed off when it would have been better not to.  However, I was trying to keep the yard alive, keep dogs from fighting and keep the house clean, which meant vacuuming sometimes twice a day and mopping daily.  She did try to help, but I feel it was very little.  Shortly after she moved into the apartment she fell off the porch and broke her ankle.  This has translated into my trying to be at her beck and call because I feel really sorry for her.  She now has a walking boot on and can get around a little.  I last saw and talked to her about four days ago.  She will not return my calls (I've called once a day for the past 4 days).  My husband is trying to build a deck at that apartment because she asked for it and he said she seemed really depressed this morning.  I tried to call again - again she has not returned calls.  The last time I was over there (four days ago) she mentioned that at some point in her life she would probably stop speaking to my husband - now I'm wondering if I'm included in that.  I don't know what to do at this point except acceptance.  Having read this now that I've typed it, it seems clear that perhaps accdeptance is what is needed until she re-examins her attitude.  However, having gotten this far with registering for the message board, and logging on, I could use some feed back.  I should add, she has some anger issues.  Which might also seem clear given the not speaking thing. 
 
August 14, 2005, 9:03 pm CDT

There are way too many variables in the situation to give you a pat answer; however,

Quote From: philkeith

BOTH OF MY CHILDREN WHO ARE IN THEIR MID-30'S ARE REFUSING TO DEAL. WHEN YOU ASK THEM IF ANYTHING IS WRONG THEY SAY NOTHING. YET THEY DENY US ACCESS TO OUR GRANDCHILDREN AS A WAY TO PUNISH US FOR SOMETHING WE DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH PEOPLE WHO REFUSE TO DEAL ? THIS HAS GONE ON FOR 2 YRS. NOW. PRIOR TO THAT THINGS WERE NOT BAD. OUR STRATEGY HAS BEEN AND REMAINS WE SHOULDN'T ROCK THE BOAT. YET THIS DOESN'T SEEM TO BE WORKING. WE'RE GETTING NOWHERE, WHILE OUR GRANDCHILDREN SUFFER THE LOST OF OUR RELATIONSHIP. DO YOU SPEAK UP AND CONFRONT THEM AND RISK THE CHANCE OF LOSING THE RELATIONSHIP ALL TOGETHER OR MAINTAIN THE SAME STATEGY OF BEING NON-CONFRONTATIONAL ?

There are way too many variables in the situation to give you a pat answer; however, you should attempt to slowly enhance, or improve the relationship, so that the main thing, what is better for the children, can wind up being the main concern for you and your grown children.  

I have dealt with a situation similar to what you are going through, and everyone told me to not rock the boat,  by having a chance of losing any contact with my granddaughter. I chose to confront, and take that risk, otherwise, I felt, I would have to be at the mercy of my daughter, the rest of my granddaughter's childhood,  and by then without a relationship with my granddaughter, she would probably not have the interest in having contact with me. 

It kind of worked out for me. I have more time with my granddaughter, but my daughter in the beginning, did threaten me with not seeing my granddaughter. She eventually need my help and came to me with conditions I did not feel was within my ability to live with, so I refused, and she finally came around. I feel I was lucky, and it could have totally gone the other way. 

You just have to use your judgment, know how they may act, and if things get worse, give them time to cool down, and rethink things, and they may, as my daughter did,  come around. If not,  some states have grandparents laws, at least I think they still exist, and then you could consider that. 

One of my concerns is why both of your children are having the same reaction? Maybe you need to do some introspection, and see if there are things you may need to change as far as your behavior, as these children are THEIRS to raise, and you can suggest, but Mom and Dad, have the last word, and accept it.  You may not agree with their parenting skills, but unless any real harm is coming to the children, you may want to stay clear of that subject.  

My daughter is not raising my granddaughter the way I would like, but my granddaughter is well adjusted, so something is going  right. 

I hope this helps. Good luck, and please keep us posted, as I am sure there are plenty out here with situations close, and would love to know how you handle it, as well as the outcome. 

 
August 16, 2005, 4:43 pm CDT

Mixed messages

Quote From: park_1709

My husband and I have one daughter.  She's now 32.  We've been through rehab at the Meadows, we've also been through several (probably 4) suicide attempts.  We thought we'd gotten through most of the depression.  She married last year for the fourth time, but this time she married a captain in the military, meaning he had a job, car, career, etc.  The marriage ended last month and she has moved into one of our apartments.  She moved in with us briefly until we could ask for possession of the apartment.  She has four dogs (had five at the time she moved in with us).  I have three, so logistics were a nightmare.  We had short fuses during that period and I probably mouthed off when it would have been better not to.  However, I was trying to keep the yard alive, keep dogs from fighting and keep the house clean, which meant vacuuming sometimes twice a day and mopping daily.  She did try to help, but I feel it was very little.  Shortly after she moved into the apartment she fell off the porch and broke her ankle.  This has translated into my trying to be at her beck and call because I feel really sorry for her.  She now has a walking boot on and can get around a little.  I last saw and talked to her about four days ago.  She will not return my calls (I've called once a day for the past 4 days).  My husband is trying to build a deck at that apartment because she asked for it and he said she seemed really depressed this morning.  I tried to call again - again she has not returned calls.  The last time I was over there (four days ago) she mentioned that at some point in her life she would probably stop speaking to my husband - now I'm wondering if I'm included in that.  I don't know what to do at this point except acceptance.  Having read this now that I've typed it, it seems clear that perhaps accdeptance is what is needed until she re-examins her attitude.  However, having gotten this far with registering for the message board, and logging on, I could use some feed back.  I should add, she has some anger issues.  Which might also seem clear given the not speaking thing. 
What about going over there to see her? Your daughter is depressed. Being depressed isn't an attitude problem. When she told you that she would stop talking to your husband at point, did she say why? It would be best if all three of you could talk about the reasons why she would want to stop speaking to him, and try to resolve those issues. In the beginning of your post you admit that you had "short fuses" when she was living with you, I think it could do your relationship alot of good if you were to talk to her and tell her that you acknowledge that. Just to tell her you know that you had little patience, and that you wished you handled your anger better. It could help to heal your relationship if you were to go to her and extend yourself, especially because she has depression and needs love and support more then ever right now.
 
August 17, 2005, 5:05 pm CDT

father daughter relationship

im 51 yrs old my mother and father have been divorced for over 40 yrs and my father remarried. my mother just died last sept and i just found out my stepmother died saturday, and the service was yesterday, but i just found out monday. my father forbade myaunt to tell me and requested that i do not attend the memorial services. i have 3 half sister and 1 stepsister and they were there, i just dont understand the reasoning. i really never knew my father since he was remarried again and had more children but i figured since he was getting on in years i would try and have a relationship with him since he is my father. im the oldest of all the kids and my brother will not have anything to do with him, but i figured that is him problem. right now im just trying to understand the reasoning not wantinng me there. my stepmother and i got along great before i moved and i live only 5 hours away.
 
August 18, 2005, 9:13 pm CDT

My mother and me

Hi everybody I'm new here. My situation goes as follows. when I was ten years old I was molested by my mothers boyfriend, my younger brothers' father. When I told my mother she didn't believe me. Then again at 13 by yet another one of her men. She didn't believe me then either. How can I have a relationship with someone who never believed me or taught me anything in life. Everything I've learned it the hard way. I've had to fight depression, self-esteem issues,and a lot more in my past because of what happened. I love my mother and respect her for giving me life but in my eyes thats all she did. How can I let it go. I've forgiven her but I'll never forget what she did and I can't trust her. We don't really have a relationship. anybody got any advice?.
 
August 19, 2005, 12:03 am CDT

It is tough what we wind up doing to each other

Quote From: rainne8

im 51 yrs old my mother and father have been divorced for over 40 yrs and my father remarried. my mother just died last sept and i just found out my stepmother died saturday, and the service was yesterday, but i just found out monday. my father forbade myaunt to tell me and requested that i do not attend the memorial services. i have 3 half sister and 1 stepsister and they were there, i just dont understand the reasoning. i really never knew my father since he was remarried again and had more children but i figured since he was getting on in years i would try and have a relationship with him since he is my father. im the oldest of all the kids and my brother will not have anything to do with him, but i figured that is him problem. right now im just trying to understand the reasoning not wantinng me there. my stepmother and i got along great before i moved and i live only 5 hours away.

I am sorry your father has done what he has done to you. It could be that someone in the family has been talking to him, and he has gotten incorrect information. The thing about weddings, funerals and such, you can't undo a mistake as far as someone not going to someone not inviting a person for their own reasons. 

  

I know of a situation where a man refused to go to his daughter's wedding,  and after the wedding she was moving about 800 miles away. The thing I was worried about was if something had happened on that trip, and god forbid, she has passed away, I would wonder if he would have had the same thought of I showed her, I didn't approve of her marriage or moving! 

  

Sometimes we allow hate/anger to alter our clear thinking, and we do stupid things. Maybe you should attempt to meet with your father, and the  two of you get the other's side of why what happened, and attempt a repair of the relationship. You don't know what someone from your family may have told him, for their own agenda. If he is not willing, well there is not much you can do other than have peace of mind, knowing you tried. 

  

I hope this helped, good luck, and I hope you can make amends 

 
August 19, 2005, 12:12 am CDT

Life is tough, and it sounds like you had more than your share of the bad things in life

Quote From: shirvon911

Hi everybody I'm new here. My situation goes as follows. when I was ten years old I was molested by my mothers boyfriend, my younger brothers' father. When I told my mother she didn't believe me. Then again at 13 by yet another one of her men. She didn't believe me then either. How can I have a relationship with someone who never believed me or taught me anything in life. Everything I've learned it the hard way. I've had to fight depression, self-esteem issues,and a lot more in my past because of what happened. I love my mother and respect her for giving me life but in my eyes thats all she did. How can I let it go. I've forgiven her but I'll never forget what she did and I can't trust her. We don't really have a relationship. anybody got any advice?.

Life is tough, and it sounds like you had more than your share of the bad  things in life.There are many stories where mother's closed their eyes, or refused to believe that the person they love could do such a thing. 

  

One thing you need to realize that not too many years ago, this was a taboo thing to even talk about, much less have venues such as this board to discuss such problems. Today we wonder how someone  could be clueless about such  things because it is discussed on television, radio, magazines and so many mediums, that one would almost have to live in a vacuum to not have some sort of knowledge.  

  

This was not the way it was during your mother's time. I don't know your age, but I am taking it to be at least old enough to leave home. Forgiveness is a gift, just as much for the one giving it as the one receiving it. Don't squander your forgiveness, and realize that your mother, more than likely did not want anything to happen to you, and she has, I would think, given you more than just life.  You had clothes on your back, food in your belly, and at least what she perceived to be, a safe place to be. It is tough that this happened, but if you are still holding bad feelings, I doubt you have forgiven as much as you think you have. I am sure your mother has plenty of guilt now, knowing she was wrong in her decision to not believe you.  

  

I hope this helps. Good luck, and I will have a good thought for you. 

 
August 19, 2005, 6:19 am CDT

Juballl

Quote From: juballl

Life is tough, and it sounds like you had more than your share of the bad  things in life.There are many stories where mother's closed their eyes, or refused to believe that the person they love could do such a thing. 

  

One thing you need to realize that not too many years ago, this was a taboo thing to even talk about, much less have venues such as this board to discuss such problems. Today we wonder how someone  could be clueless about such  things because it is discussed on television, radio, magazines and so many mediums, that one would almost have to live in a vacuum to not have some sort of knowledge.  

  

This was not the way it was during your mother's time. I don't know your age, but I am taking it to be at least old enough to leave home. Forgiveness is a gift, just as much for the one giving it as the one receiving it. Don't squander your forgiveness, and realize that your mother, more than likely did not want anything to happen to you, and she has, I would think, given you more than just life.  You had clothes on your back, food in your belly, and at least what she perceived to be, a safe place to be. It is tough that this happened, but if you are still holding bad feelings, I doubt you have forgiven as much as you think you have. I am sure your mother has plenty of guilt now, knowing she was wrong in her decision to not believe you.  

  

I hope this helps. Good luck, and I will have a good thought for you. 

I've been reading your answers to people, and I think you give wonderful advice. However, on this one, you may have stumbled.
As a survivor of childhood molestation, I think she's carrying way too much righteous anger to be forgiving just yet. Read on.
 
August 19, 2005, 6:27 am CDT

Wanting a mother/daughter relationship

Quote From: shirvon911

Hi everybody I'm new here. My situation goes as follows. when I was ten years old I was molested by my mothers boyfriend, my younger brothers' father. When I told my mother she didn't believe me. Then again at 13 by yet another one of her men. She didn't believe me then either. How can I have a relationship with someone who never believed me or taught me anything in life. Everything I've learned it the hard way. I've had to fight depression, self-esteem issues,and a lot more in my past because of what happened. I love my mother and respect her for giving me life but in my eyes thats all she did. How can I let it go. I've forgiven her but I'll never forget what she did and I can't trust her. We don't really have a relationship. anybody got any advice?.
I think what you would like here is your mother to admit that she believes you, and that she is sorry she did not protect you when you were defenseless against the attacks of her boyfriends.
Now that you are grown, I would try to talk to her about it.  Restate what happened as one adult to another. You see, in order for your mother to say that she believes you, she has  to take on a tremendous amount of guilt for her part in it. She may not be ready to do that. But to move on from this, you need to talk to her, to tell her your side of it. It may be possible that she gets angry and shuts you out, but you have to give yourself every chance to get this out of yourself. It was not your fault, and the adults around you all fell down in their duty to you. You deserve every happiness and to not let this hold you back in your life.
 
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