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Topic : Toxic Family Relationships

Number of Replies: 1900
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:18:00 am
Author : dataimport
Whether it stems from substance abuse, violence or manipulation, some family relationships are harmful and need to be terminated until the abuse stops. Are you involved in a toxic relationship?

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July 23, 2005, 11:49 am CDT

31 year old daughter of toxic parents

My homelife was abusive from a young age. Mental and verbal and emotional mostly. I have been punched by my dad. THings ended up being good with us until I married a nice man and my dad lost control of me. My hubby works 80-100 hours aweek, I get to stay home. We have a really nice house. I have 2 children, one from a boyfriend 14 years ago and our toddler who is 3. My 14 yr odl was molested by an ex husband of mine. She has been diagnosed with bipolar, ptsd, and anxiety disorder. My parents wanted me to NOT press charges on ex husband for the molestation. ARE THEY CRAZY i guess so.

Then when my daughter was diagnosed with bipolar, they told me it was my fault and if my husband and myself would spend more time with her she would be ok. We live with her so we spend all our time with her...

I had to have her admitted to a psych hospital (not fun for a mom) and my dad said I should be the one who is locked up.

Anyhow things go tso back we stopped talking for about 1 year. I have begun speaking to them again but cannot get past the last couple years of the stuff with my daughter. Whenever I bring her up in conversation and what is going on with her illness they change the subject or tell me to go to schurch. I do go to church and do not get me wrong I believe and have faith. BUT a mental illness just doesn't go away. Why don't they get it,

I try to not talk about my daughter with them and then they say they feel left out. SO then I end up not talking to them at all.

Am I wrong?

 
July 24, 2005, 4:43 am CDT

Do I really want to fix things with my dad?

My dad is somebody how is very self centred. He was married to my mother for 17 years but ran off with her best friend. His actions devistated the family. Our family unit was broken up, we had to move house. We had hardly any money etc.. things settled down eventually and we tried to make peace with my moms best friend. He married her and we thought he was doing the right thing. They seemed very happy and were married for almost 7 years. We were really attached to her and even my mother began to come round and we even got together for 1 xmas (since my parents split I always used to have 2 xmas and 2 birthday etc..and hated it..I used to get very stressed about it when I was young). Anyway, my father ran away with another woman (well I say ran away...we don't know the full story but he told his mother he was 'looking for somebody else' while he was still married which is dissappointing and so typical of him. I was 13 when my parents split and I'm now 33 and he still annoyes me...I can't seem to forgive him what's wrong with me!!!! I just can't seem to get over it (I think?). I live in a different country to him and he is now in a relationship with a woman about 20 years younger than him. I don't see him ever and we only chat via email every 3 months or so...he doesn't bother to keep in touch as he says he's too busy and I guess I don't either as every time I hear from him I get annoyed and teary...just feel so horrible everytime I think about him and our pathatic relationship. My mother gave me some good advice as she knows what he's like - she said to lower my expectations of him that way I wouldn't be disappointed all the time and I have followed this advice and seem to have left my bad feelings behind and moved on. We got on okay when he lived closer and was married to his second wife but since he moved countries again and now is with this new woman (who seems quite nice) he is really into her 2 children who are quite young. He keeps sending me pictures of them all laughing and having 'family' time together...I feel quite bitter that I missed out on that stuff with him due to his selfish ways! He doesn't think it's insensative and I have told him many times how I feel about everything but he just says this is his life now (basically accept it)...I do accept it...but why do I keep feeling so horrible when I think or talk to him? Why can't I let it go...I can't help feeling deep down that (as I never see him) if I let 'it' go I will let him go too! My husband hates me getting letters or talking to my dad as it upsets me for months after...what should I do...move on and forget about him? I can't deal with him and not feel like this (realise this now)...put up with it?? what? I have my own baby now and with my husband feel like I have my own family set up so 'need' him...so why can't I let it go?
 
July 24, 2005, 4:50 am CDT

Toxic Family Relationships

My dad is somebody how is very self centred. He was married to my mother for 17 years but ran off with her best friend. His actions devistated the family. Our family unit was broken up, we had to move house. We had hardly any money etc.. things settled down eventually and we tried to make peace with my moms best friend. He married her and we thought he was doing the right thing. They seemed very happy and were married for almost 7 years. We were really attached to her and even my mother began to come round and we even got together for 1 xmas (since my parents split I always used to have 2 xmas and 2 birthday etc..and hated it..I used to get very stressed about it when I was young). Anyway, my father ran away with another woman (well I say ran away...we don't know the full story but he told his mother he was 'looking for somebody else' while he was still married which is dissappointing and so typical of him. I was 13 when my parents split and I'm now 33 and he still annoyes me...I can't seem to forgive him what's wrong with me!!!! I just can't seem to get over it (I think?). I live in a different country to him and he is now in a relationship with a woman about 20 years younger than him. I don't see him ever and we only chat via email every 3 months or so...he doesn't bother to keep in touch as he says he's too busy and I guess I don't either as every time I hear from him I get annoyed and teary...just feel so horrible everytime I think about him and our pathatic relationship. My mother gave me some good advice as she knows what he's like - she said to lower my expectations of him that way I wouldn't be disappointed all the time and I have followed this advice and seem to have left my bad feelings behind and moved on. We got on okay when he lived closer and was married to his second wife but since he moved countries again and now is with this new woman (who seems quite nice) he is really into her 2 children who are quite young. He keeps sending me pictures of them all laughing and having 'family' time together...I feel quite bitter that I missed out on that stuff with him due to his selfish ways! He doesn't think it's insensative and I have told him many times how I feel about everything but he just says this is his life now (basically accept it)...I do accept it...but why do I keep feeling so horrible when I think or talk to him? Why can't I let it go...I can't help feeling deep down that (as I never see him) if I let 'it' go I will let him go too! My husband hates me getting letters or talking to my dad as it upsets me for months after...what should I do...move on and forget about him? I can't deal with him and not feel like this (realise this now)...put up with it?? what? I have my own baby now and with my husband feel like I have my own family set up so 'need' him...so why can't I let it go?

sorry said 'need' him...I ment to type - I don't need him. Thing is I have made sure I don't have any 'need' for him by having no expectations...so if I don't speak to him often and don't have any 'need' for him why do I keep feeling like this? What is stopping a 33 year old grown woman with her own husband and baby from moving on?? I want to let go of these feelings but perhaps I feel I need to forgive him to do so...and I don't know if I can as he's put himself first so many times...I forgave him once with my mothers best friend as he told me it was love etc.. we (the family) all worked so hard to get along and we came such a long way...then he cheated on her (we think)..so why forgive and forgive...Oprah said when somebody shows you what they are like the first time don't make them show you again and again...so true...so he has shown his true colours...why can't I let him go?

 
July 24, 2005, 12:11 pm CDT

I can so relate to you

My dad is somebody how is very self centred. He was married to my mother for 17 years but ran off with her best friend. His actions devistated the family. Our family unit was broken up, we had to move house. We had hardly any money etc.. things settled down eventually and we tried to make peace with my moms best friend. He married her and we thought he was doing the right thing. They seemed very happy and were married for almost 7 years. We were really attached to her and even my mother began to come round and we even got together for 1 xmas (since my parents split I always used to have 2 xmas and 2 birthday etc..and hated it..I used to get very stressed about it when I was young). Anyway, my father ran away with another woman (well I say ran away...we don't know the full story but he told his mother he was 'looking for somebody else' while he was still married which is dissappointing and so typical of him. I was 13 when my parents split and I'm now 33 and he still annoyes me...I can't seem to forgive him what's wrong with me!!!! I just can't seem to get over it (I think?). I live in a different country to him and he is now in a relationship with a woman about 20 years younger than him. I don't see him ever and we only chat via email every 3 months or so...he doesn't bother to keep in touch as he says he's too busy and I guess I don't either as every time I hear from him I get annoyed and teary...just feel so horrible everytime I think about him and our pathatic relationship. My mother gave me some good advice as she knows what he's like - she said to lower my expectations of him that way I wouldn't be disappointed all the time and I have followed this advice and seem to have left my bad feelings behind and moved on. We got on okay when he lived closer and was married to his second wife but since he moved countries again and now is with this new woman (who seems quite nice) he is really into her 2 children who are quite young. He keeps sending me pictures of them all laughing and having 'family' time together...I feel quite bitter that I missed out on that stuff with him due to his selfish ways! He doesn't think it's insensative and I have told him many times how I feel about everything but he just says this is his life now (basically accept it)...I do accept it...but why do I keep feeling so horrible when I think or talk to him? Why can't I let it go...I can't help feeling deep down that (as I never see him) if I let 'it' go I will let him go too! My husband hates me getting letters or talking to my dad as it upsets me for months after...what should I do...move on and forget about him? I can't deal with him and not feel like this (realise this now)...put up with it?? what? I have my own baby now and with my husband feel like I have my own family set up so 'need' him...so why can't I let it go?

When reading your message all I was thinking about is my own dad and how I stand in our relationship with him. I too have trouble letting go of how he is and not being able to accept just that. I too still wish he was different and that I could accept him and love him more than I do now. It is hard to even love a man who is so different than I am, and the way I think about what is appropriate or not.

I mean, I love him because he is my father, but I don't feel the love that I for instance feel for my twinsister, or my older sister, or my mother. It's hard to come to terms with that.

I think the main thing is, to stop being vulnerable around him. It's like your mom has said, lower your expectations of him. He's not the 'perfect guy' you thought your dad was when you were growing up. He's a grown up that makes stupid misstakes and unfortunately he's the one living with the consequences.

It's like Dr Phil said, if you need HIM to do something that will make you able to get past this, you may have to wait a long, long time. So YOU yourself need to do something to make you able to get past this.

You have your own life now, that is good. Focus on that. You don't want your baby to pick up on the anger and resentment you feel towards your father, so that your baby grows up with this same anger and resentment. Babies pick up more of your emotions than you would think at first. They know.

Just accept your dad is who he is, and make sure you let go of the anger and resentment for what he has done in the past. I know it is hard. I am struggling with that every day with my own father. And sometimes i do well, and other times I go hard against him and we get into a fight and I feel I am even more vulnerable than before.

I guess what I am trying to say is, stop giving your dad the power over your life and over the way you feel and experience things. Stop letting him put a dark cloud over your life when you think about him. Just accept him for who he is and let him be.

Concentrate on you and on your own family.

Sending you much strength....

Petra

 
July 25, 2005, 8:34 am CDT

why can't i meet my real gamma?

Dear Dr. Phil,

 

 

You promised not to leave a stone unturned but I have yet to see a show on this particular theme: children locking parents out of the grand-children’s’ lives as a result of a messy, violent divorce/separation of their parents.

 

 

I did not want to marry my husband because I found him very selfish. But after he raped me I decided to, to ‘save my honour’. (1968)

 

 

Bad move, yet I would do it again because despite the events in our marriage, three children were born. He wanted me to abort the first child because I was in Teachers College at the time. (1971) I found out and they put pressure on me to pull out. I refused and had my child and wrote my last exam within 24 hours. It was not easy because I have a neurological disorder called Charcot Marie Tooth Syndrome. I can live with that but the idea that a man can think abortion is an option haunts me!

Secondly, in my 9th month, he insisted I cook him boiled potatoes…. It was so hot out, I

had spent the day in school, ninth month into pregnancy was HEAVY soo tired, etc. etc…. well, I gave in and a pot of boiling water spilled on my huge belly gluing my polyester gown to my flesh: I suffered severe burns and to this day I shiver when I think he blamed me for being clumsy and did not come to the doctor with me: I tell you this as an example for having said he was selfish.

 

 

Life went on. He raped me for my third child. (remember rape was legal at that time in Canada the police tell me 1976). I was not ready for this one as I had just given birth to my second (1975) and had started a good paying job as a special ed. teacher

 

 

I gave birth to my sole daughter in 1977 and she inherited my syndrome: needless to say I went full steam ahead to try to avert surgery for a severe scoliosis in 1983. By 1986, the world famous back surgeon said I had performed a medical miracle: I had sought out the help of Dr Jeno Tyjani, Alex Bowman’s swimming coach for help! Remember Alex Bowman won the world swimming  -gold in LA. Dr. Phil? Why did my husband refuse to share the work involved in her therapy? Why did he poison my girl’s mind saying I was trying to make a handicap out of her? Why was he making her deny her disability as though it would disappear?

 

 

I guess that’s another issue!

 

 

Seems that is water under the bridge for me now…. She has a Cinema degree now and is in Law school… but she won’t talk to me blaming me for things I cannot acknowledge.

 

 

My issue is this! When my husband left, he vowed he would have me on the streets homeless! This happened! And I was recuperating from severe kidney problems undergoing surgeries for years and recuperating in Women’s Shelters. Not fun! I was made to look like the loser who could not get a life!

 

 

My husband waged a vicious war! Bt what hurts the most is the fact that t was not easy for me in many ways! But, I would do it over again to se them have a life!

 

 

Here is the show I would want to see Dr. Phil:

 

 

1-      show how a parent should never be victim of a war game In marriage

 

2-      show that it is an act of inhumanity and cruelty to continue this war and stop a loving gramma from seeing her grand-children

 

3-   explain the dynamics of anger, and confusion and the long term repercussions for grand-children robbed of a gramma like me!

 

 

With Family First etc. I feel I have found an ambassador for my values. I feel the pain of millions of gammas caught in this web of baseless hatred! Please count our tears and change them to laughter and a child on a grammna lap listening to a story and looking at his father and what he did as a kid turning the pages on the photo album!

 

 

 
July 25, 2005, 10:16 am CDT

Sad Grandmother

Dear Dr. Phil and others,

 

I was a single mother who worked hard to raise my three sons. I held two jobs, ran carpools, ran the household, and got them scholarships every summer to attend camp. I look back and wonder how I did it!

 

I thought my relationship with my oldest son was solid. It was until he married four years ago. Now he is allied with his wife - as he should be. But his wife wants nothing to do with his family. After the birth of their first son she wrote me a letter telling me that I ruined the most important days in her life - her wedding day and the birth of her son. And now I should stop contacting her. "When my son is 18 he can decide whether he wants a relationship with you." Huh? 

 

Without going in to her reasons, the end result is that I never saw my grandson after the day he was born. And now a second son has been born. I was told about it in a phone call.

 

How can a loving son make such strange choices? He is living a script that he mis-interpreted when he was yound and without a dad in the house. He denies his sons access to a loving grandmother, and treats me with such disrespect.  He does call me periodically and on the phone tells me he "loves" me. "Mom, you were great. You raised three sons alone. I don't know how you did it?" He doesn't get it.

 

I am so very confused. I have a wonderful relationship with my middle son's wife, and my youngest son and I are close - he is single. All of them live far from me, and I live alone recreating my life, but wondering if others have these kinds of experiences as the mothers of sons.

 

 

Austinmoon

 

 
July 25, 2005, 4:49 pm CDT

Is there any hope for my family???

Hi Dr.Phil,

  My parents have been married for 22 years. They started dating when they were only 12. My brother was born when they were 17. They had my sister when they were 22 and me when they were 25.  Although my parents have been together for so long, their entire lives is a complete mess.  You see, my father is anything but a loving father and husband. In fact , he's the complete opposite.  I do admit he has been the primary financial supporter of the family, but that is all he has provided.  When I think of my father, I think of a liar, adulterer, and wife beater. For as long as I can remember, my father has been unfaithful to my mother. In fact, he has two kids outside of the marriage. (Their mother is his cousin)  What makes my father infidelity so bad is that he thinks nothing is wrong with it. He has never tried to hide his affairs.  For example, When i was little my mother had several nervous breakdowns, instead of my father allowing my siblings and I to stay with family, we were forced to live with one of his girlfriends.  His affairs are so bad, that we can't go anywhere without running into one of his mistress.  For example, while at my mother's niece wedding, a lady kept staring at me, finally my sister told me she was a fling of my  father's.  What's even worse than his affairs is his abuse.(mentally and physically) My father has always cursed my mother out and called her terrible names.  He was very physically abusive when I was little and then he kind of toned it down.  Just the other day he slapped my mother. When my sister threatened to call the cops, we all got into a verbal confrontation. He's now angry and hasn't talked to my sister or I in days. I am 17 years old and will be entering college in august.  He told me that he will not be of any financial assistance to me. I'm am the only one of his five children to go to college.  He told me to consider him dead.  I don't know what to do.

 
July 27, 2005, 12:19 pm CDT

Heartbroken

Quote From: austinmoon

Dear Dr. Phil and others,

 

I was a single mother who worked hard to raise my three sons. I held two jobs, ran carpools, ran the household, and got them scholarships every summer to attend camp. I look back and wonder how I did it!

 

I thought my relationship with my oldest son was solid. It was until he married four years ago. Now he is allied with his wife - as he should be. But his wife wants nothing to do with his family. After the birth of their first son she wrote me a letter telling me that I ruined the most important days in her life - her wedding day and the birth of her son. And now I should stop contacting her. "When my son is 18 he can decide whether he wants a relationship with you." Huh? 

 

Without going in to her reasons, the end result is that I never saw my grandson after the day he was born. And now a second son has been born. I was told about it in a phone call.

 

How can a loving son make such strange choices? He is living a script that he mis-interpreted when he was yound and without a dad in the house. He denies his sons access to a loving grandmother, and treats me with such disrespect.  He does call me periodically and on the phone tells me he "loves" me. "Mom, you were great. You raised three sons alone. I don't know how you did it?" He doesn't get it.

 

I am so very confused. I have a wonderful relationship with my middle son's wife, and my youngest son and I are close - he is single. All of them live far from me, and I live alone recreating my life, but wondering if others have these kinds of experiences as the mothers of sons.

 

 

Austinmoon

 

 My daughter is the one who has decided that we are  "evil" and has forbidden us to see our three beautiful grandaughters, ages 13, and twins 9.  Prior to her "meltdown" we were very close.  It has been over a year and a half.  She has threatened us with restraining orders and lawsuits.  Fortunately, our former son-in law and his new wife have been keeping us posted on how the girls are doing and makes sure we get the latest pictures.  He is hoping to reunite us with the girl's but she has brainwashed them and threstened him with more legal action which he cannot afford.  There has to be a solution!
 
July 31, 2005, 10:25 pm CDT

Toxic Family Relationships

Quote From: dynasty

Hi Dr.Phil,

  My parents have been married for 22 years. They started dating when they were only 12. My brother was born when they were 17. They had my sister when they were 22 and me when they were 25.  Although my parents have been together for so long, their entire lives is a complete mess.  You see, my father is anything but a loving father and husband. In fact , he's the complete opposite.  I do admit he has been the primary financial supporter of the family, but that is all he has provided.  When I think of my father, I think of a liar, adulterer, and wife beater. For as long as I can remember, my father has been unfaithful to my mother. In fact, he has two kids outside of the marriage. (Their mother is his cousin)  What makes my father infidelity so bad is that he thinks nothing is wrong with it. He has never tried to hide his affairs.  For example, When i was little my mother had several nervous breakdowns, instead of my father allowing my siblings and I to stay with family, we were forced to live with one of his girlfriends.  His affairs are so bad, that we can't go anywhere without running into one of his mistress.  For example, while at my mother's niece wedding, a lady kept staring at me, finally my sister told me she was a fling of my  father's.  What's even worse than his affairs is his abuse.(mentally and physically) My father has always cursed my mother out and called her terrible names.  He was very physically abusive when I was little and then he kind of toned it down.  Just the other day he slapped my mother. When my sister threatened to call the cops, we all got into a verbal confrontation. He's now angry and hasn't talked to my sister or I in days. I am 17 years old and will be entering college in august.  He told me that he will not be of any financial assistance to me. I'm am the only one of his five children to go to college.  He told me to consider him dead.  I don't know what to do.

hi,,im sooooo sorry to hear how crappy it is for you,,why dont you write an email to dr phil ,,maybe he will help you out,,you are much too young to have so much grief,,a mother with nerve problems is hard also,,mine included,,,i can relate to some of what you said,,but you must get help,you need to get to college and make what you can out of your life for yourself,,god luck my friend,,wish i could help
 
August 4, 2005, 9:50 am CDT

sisters

 
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