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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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May 22, 2009, 2:40 am CDT

Mama Drama

Hi, i am a 28 year old woman, wife and mother my problem seems to be my own mother however. My mom was always emotionally and verbally abusive to me as a child, many times using manipulation to control the entire family dynamic. As a main part of her manipulation she not only withheld love but also swears the manipulations never occured. I am dealing daily with being a survivor of her abuse but still do maintain somewhat of a relationship with her. Aprox. 12 yrs ago my mom had an affair which even though it was proven was and still is claimed to never have happened only by her of coarse. My parents worked through this and remained married seeking a few counseling sessions and then putting it on the back burrner. Well here we are 12 or so years later and my dad decided to ask for a divorce now -- problem being that now i am always being bombarded by my mom about how I should disown my dad and "hate him forever for leaving her". I understand that this was something that did not involve me frankly I just think that my dad was also tired of the mental abuse and had to leave for his own sanity and happiness. She is always acting the victum on this situation and it seems that I keep being thrown in the mix with her side handed coments about how I should hate my dad. I am just looking for some advice on how anyone thinks there would be a good way to handle her comments and stop her from baggering me.
 
May 23, 2009, 6:16 am CDT

I'd prefer to love you equally should cover a lot

Quote From: imthemommynow

Hi, i am a 28 year old woman, wife and mother my problem seems to be my own mother however. My mom was always emotionally and verbally abusive to me as a child, many times using manipulation to control the entire family dynamic. As a main part of her manipulation she not only withheld love but also swears the manipulations never occured. I am dealing daily with being a survivor of her abuse but still do maintain somewhat of a relationship with her. Aprox. 12 yrs ago my mom had an affair which even though it was proven was and still is claimed to never have happened only by her of coarse. My parents worked through this and remained married seeking a few counseling sessions and then putting it on the back burrner. Well here we are 12 or so years later and my dad decided to ask for a divorce now -- problem being that now i am always being bombarded by my mom about how I should disown my dad and "hate him forever for leaving her". I understand that this was something that did not involve me frankly I just think that my dad was also tired of the mental abuse and had to leave for his own sanity and happiness. She is always acting the victum on this situation and it seems that I keep being thrown in the mix with her side handed coments about how I should hate my dad. I am just looking for some advice on how anyone thinks there would be a good way to handle her comments and stop her from baggering me.

Can I suggest you get obsessed with the concept of being fair?  If your mother 'phones then you owe your father a call and vice versa.  Invite them both to family gatherings and if they both show up and argue - unlikely if your in-laws are invited too - leave the room and let them get on with it.  Do not give either of them lifts to anywhere controversial like lawyers' appointments and court dates.

 

Give into this stuff and it never ends - the root cause of my children rarely seeing their paternal uncle is the divorce of his wife's parents.  I know it sounds stupid but essentially kowtowing to the difficulties in his wife's family left my BIL being very inconsiderate towards my husband and I and in the end I insisted on opting out as far as possible from a) being treated as second class and b) allowing my children to be part of events that completely for all the "family is very important"  talk were a demonstration of petty and spiteful behaviour.

 
May 30, 2009, 10:13 am CDT

How do I talk to my sister ?

Hey everyone and thanks for reading this.

I am in a bit of a bind. My older sister has been in a 15 yr relationship with a man who to me, is no man at all. There are a lot of issues when it comes to him.. his immaturity, his lack of social skills, the fact that he drags her into debt, and the most, that he has never accepted her children from her previous marriage as his.

She has three kids from a previous marriage, 22,20, and 14. The eldest who is now 22, went through TURMOIL with him during her teenager years, and she was a great teenager compared to some of the teens out there these days, but he always downgraded her and diminished her self confidence. Luckily, she was very close to me and the rest of the family, that she was always supported and we were her escape. She is a beautiful young lady now. The second child from her marriage, who is 20, has moved out on his own since 18. He didn't get the same treatment from 'stepdad' as the daughter did, but seeing how those two always fought, he was just itching to get out. He is doing as good as a 20 yr old can do on his own. the third child, who is now 14, and a great teen (she has her moments but every teen does).. seems to be going through the same turmoil as the eldest daughter did. She is constantly told she is stupid and he is constantly arguing with her. The sad thing is, my sister, who works ALL the time to pay off their (his) debt, is never home, so when she does hear about this, she takes his side, as he says the teenage child fabricates and exaggerates her stories. I have reached out to my teenage neice to let her know I am here and that I love her.

I have never talked to my sister about this as she is a very negative person. She is very envious of us other siblings if we gain any accomplishments in life, or if we have great relationships. She puts on a great front at work and amongst a social crowd, but she is a whole other person at home. She argues with him constnatly, throws things, swears, and I truly beleive she is depressed (who wouldn't be with him) and also, she probably sees no way out. He is verbally abusive to her, and manipulates her and her self esteem. I dont understand it as we were raised with the same parents and none of us have fallen victim to a jerk like she has.I want to talk to her and say "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?", but that would be a big mistake. She would basically tell me to 'screw off' and probably never talk to me again, as she can hold grudges like no other. I have considered writing her a letter explaining my thoughts and feelings, and how I want the kids to be her number one, but she would just laugh at it and tell me I don't know what goes on so I should stay out of it.

It's one thing for her to make her mistakes, but I can't stand to see my teenage neice go through what her sister did. Her personality isn't as strong as my older neices, and I fear his lack of parenting skills can really hurt her in the long run. I wouldn't want her to settle with some jerk when she is older like her mom has, but at this rate, the cycle wouldn't be broken.

Any advice on how to approach this without ruining my relationship with her, would be great. Or is it worth me risking saying anything, and perhaps being the voice for my neice, even if it means not having a relationship with her?

Thanks,

Ana

 
May 31, 2009, 5:08 am CDT

Toxic Sister-in-Law

Hello and thank you for reading this.  I am 33, well educated, attractive, content and well liked by those in my life.  have 3 beautiful kids under 4 and a great husband.  My husband's brother is married to a woman who has

on numerous occaisions, said and done things serving only to hurt me, chip away at my self-esteem.  She uses to say similar things to my husband until he "put her in her place". She is 7 years older, from a different country, also educated.  Mu husband has many times expressed how she says and does thoughtless things and 'that's just how she is', also that she is jelous of me.  Others in the family simply say, "oh, she's funny" as they know "how she is".From walking through the dance floor while we had our first dance as a married couple, to often questioning what I do, to refusing to clink glasses with me at family toasts, to now, saying things (not in front of my husband's parents, of course) to my daughter lik "oh, you want attention, eh?" and now refusing to say hi to me at functions. Her husband has actually said that we (she and I) need to have a "reconciliation".  I have done nothing wrong! Once last year I tried something new and avoided her at a function and didn't say hi.  I feel as though I spend much time disliking her and want to cut her out of my life, and only see her at the in-laws, at CHristmas and not speak to her.  Especially since I believe she says and does a few "nice"things fo my kids, though only when the in laws are watching. Your help is greatly appreciated.

 
June 14, 2009, 3:21 pm CDT

toxic brother

We have been living with my parents for about 17 years and my father passed away in 2004.  My mother asked us to go down to Georgia to transfer my father's truck over to my brother.  She would state that if he is on drugs he doesn't get it but that didn't apply this time.  In fact he was on drugs crack cocaine.  We went down there to transfer the pickup and get something out of the back of the truck but it never happened.  My brother controlled everything when to pick him up from the psych ward to getting the truck transferred.  When we got to where the truck was it sounded bad low on oil and wasn't taken care of like my father would have.  My husband didn't like doing this because he controlled everything.  Then with the help of a neighbor of my sister's we got everything done for my mother.  My brother ended up in jail for telling someone that he wanted to kill his probation officer.  Then he got out and would call my mother for money because he would be out of a job.  And of course my mother would send him money which went for drugs.  He came up to Iowa, tried to live with us but his temper and drinking he went balistic and was very close to hitting me or my mother.  Well he left and went to Cedar Falls Ia for work which everything was fine he was working then it came down again that he was out of a job and all his bosses and workers were a piece of garbage that only he was the one that was right.  Well he came back home here and my mother said only for a week.  Well that week has grown into 10 days now and he called up to des moines VA for a program but they want 1/3 of his pay to live he doesn't want to give up his money at all.  He rather live in his truck and call my mother to lay a guilt trip on her.  She falls every time for it and she will give him more money.  She says its over no more money but she bought his topper for the truck got him a tailgate for the truck.  It doesn't matter what I feel because he is more important than I am and it shows.  I get migraine headaches and all the stress that I get from him she just doesn't understand or won't understand.  My husband calls him a con man and he knows how to work it too.  He is very controlling and he is very lazy too.  She just cuddles him and doesn't let him hit rock bottom. 

The only thing I am is in the middle because my husband wants to get another house because he can't live with my mother who brings in my brother.   And how can I leave my mother because she needs me and I don't want my brother to go thru all of what my mother has saved up.  He uses her and if he would know that she has alot of money he would not leave at all. 

My mother holds this house over our heads because she doesn't want us to leave but she can't leave her son alone. 

Any suggestions on how to keep the peace between my husband and my mother.  I hate my brother and I can't be here at all.  We don't know if she will allow him to come home again.  And we don't have the money really to get a new house paying off our vehicles.  HELP PLEASE.  How do I show my mother that my brother is toxic and should be left out there.  By the way he is 52 years old and has not paid any taxes for about 20 years now.  He works for people that pay him cash or he thinks they do because he does get a W2.  And he owes $37,000 for child support which he says they can't get to him because he has a judgement against him in the state of Ga but he is in the state of Ia now which is the state where the child support is.  His money doesn't add up when he says that he has $900 but when he comes here it isn't that much what has he done with his money.  Also he will not take a pee test for drugs.  HELP.  I feel like I should just run away or better yet there is another way that I can end it.  Barbetta R

 
June 23, 2009, 1:08 am CDT

I'm scared for my sister and her family

Thanks for reading this and offering your opinions and or advice. I'm so worried that something terrible is going to happen within my sister's family but don't know what to do. I've talked with her, listened to her, and suggested therapy. But, she says they can't afford therapy since they're really struggling financially.

 

Their family consists of her, her husband, and their two young teen sons. The home is very chaotic and often volatile. It's just a normal day for them to all (parent to parent, parent to child, child to parent, and child to child) verbally asault and sometimes physically assault one another. There is no consistency, no boundaries, and no respect for one another. The boys are now old enough and big enough to physically cause serious injuries. The youngest son has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD (Obsessive Defiance Disorder). The older son is highly emotional. They both have little to no self control and react with great anger . The boys physically fight; the oldest son and his parents have exchanged blows. The law has even been called to their property once that I know of. However, the boy had changed his bloody shirt, all blood had been cleaned up and they downplayed it to the law, who did nothing.

 

Today, the two boys got into a an argument that escalated to one of them getting his dad's rifle and pointing it at the other. My sister did a lot of yelling and crying, and said she doesn't know what to do but can't afford therapy. However, they cannot afford to continue down this dangerous path. I'm so frightened that someone will end up dead or seriously injured. I've asked my sister to get counseling for herself or her and her husband since the boys were very young. They never have worked constructively on their problems and now I'm afraid that it will be too late for my nephews.

 

I so very badly want to help them but don't know what I can do...

 
July 3, 2009, 1:43 am CDT

I think my mother is a pathological liar

Hello and thank you for reading.  I need help with my mother and I don't know where to start.  She has lied my whole life about large and small things.  Every time she is caught in a lie she gets very defensive.  She has been living with me, my husband, and our 2 children for the past 4 years.  We are looking to purchase a home and had to tell her we wanted to be on our own.  Since then, her lies have become worse.  She does not work and has no friends to talk to.  She has been lying to my children about me.  She manipulates them by telling them she doesn't know why we don't want her to live with us because she is a good person.  This makes us feel like she is trying to turn our own children against us.  She lies about little things such as moving my husband's tools.  I will watch her pick them up and then when I ask her where she put them, she says she never touched them.  I have overheard phone conversations where she has told people that we throw away all her stuff when she leaves.  She also takes food that I buy and hides it in her room.  I have no idea why she does this.  I have 2 sisters and she tells us each lies about the other.  I have heard her tell my sister that I treat her badly and she can't stand it here anymore, but we were the ones that had to tell her we needed our own space.  We have never been a close family and I think it is because of her.  I remember when I was a child she told me on numerous occasions that she tried to kill herself and when she gets caught in a lie she gets very defensive and says everyone would be happier if she wasn't around.  She once told me when I was around 7 or 8 after she got in an argument with my older sister that she went for a walk and tried to step in front of a car, but it swerved.  She then told me I was too young to take care of myself so she would not do that again.  My 14-year-old son knows what she is like, but the problem I am having now is with my 5-year-old daughter.  I do not want my daughter to go unsupervised to my mother's new home and she doesn't understand why.  She blames me and I don't know how to tell her it is because her grandmother is a lying, manipulative, backstabber.   My husband is absolutely adamant that he does not want our children unsupervised around her.  How can I make my daughter understand? 

 
July 24, 2009, 5:52 pm CDT

A little boy unwanted.

I have brought my 9 y/o grandson to live with me, my husband and 17 y/o daughter.  It was suppose to be for the summer while his mother removed herself from an abusive relationship but I have been asked if he can remain with me and go to school here as his mother is moving out of the county with the guy she was suppose to be getting away from.  My grandson is a very hurt little boy and feels as if he means nothing to anyone.  There was a time when his mother was everything to him, and he to her.   But, the last few years she has been doing the "partying-thing" and put him and his needs on the back burner.  She was in a relationship for 3 years with a man that physical and verbally abused my grandson.  She finally left that man and now has gotten into the very same type of relationship with someone else.  I finally went and got my grandson and she was happy to let him come with me.  She knows that he needs more than she is able to, or willing, to offer him.  His dad, my son, doesn't have a very good relationship with him either.  He has two other sons by another woman and they live a happy little life in their dumpy little trailer. And as dumpy as the little trailer is, my grandson knows he is missing out.  My son is -half- trying to make a relationship with my grandson but things are so difficult that I fear it will never happen.  My grandson is so mean and bullies  his little brothers.  Everyone is miserable when my grandson is around.  Because of his bitterness and hurt feelings, he acts out.  If he's unhappy, he makes sure everyone else is as well.  He seldom ever laughs or smiles.  It's so sad to watch. Things continue to spiral downwards for him because his mother doesn't appear to miss him and his dad is very close to his brothers.  I don't know if my son ever truly bonded with my grandson and it seems the more time his dad tries to spend with him the worse things get.  It's getting harder and harder for me to try to get my son more active in his life.  My son doesn't know how to deal with his son.  Still, sometimes I just want to smack him and tell him to act like a parent!  I've even tried to get him to come live with us for a short time to get some one on one time with his oldest son.  I'm sure that's not the right approach for him to leave one family behind to try to bond with the other, but I thought it was worth a shot.  Nobody else thought it was a good idea.  We are now trying to get him into counseling.  This morning I again tried to make him an appt with Mental Health, but his mother has to be the one to do that.  She didn't get the opportunity today so I'm hoping Monday she will do that.  This is a little boy that is so hurt and so resentful towards the world that I fear that by the time he is 12 y/o he will be in trouble with the law.  He's ADD and that's a struggle for anyone, much more so for a little boy that is hurting.  To add insult to injury, the most important person in his life, his other grandmother, remarried last year and he is not allowed to spend as much time with her now.  Yesterday my grandson referred to her husband as a b*st*rd.  I didn't even bother to try to discipline him, beyond telling him how inappropriate that language is.  I've never tried to discipline him since he has been living with me.  He is impossible to handle when he is angry because he's going to do what he wants to do.  I think he would fight me if I were to try and discipline him, as in physically sitting him down or trying to make him stay in his room.  He just loses it so at this point I'm not willing to go there with him.  I know that the first time he wins one of those situations, it would be the start of even worse behavior.   I'm just so at a loss as what to do to help my grandson.  He deserves better than what he gets.
 
July 29, 2009, 7:36 pm CDT

focus first

Quote From: coffeeslp

Thanks for reading this and offering your opinions and or advice. I'm so worried that something terrible is going to happen within my sister's family but don't know what to do. I've talked with her, listened to her, and suggested therapy. But, she says they can't afford therapy since they're really struggling financially.

 

Their family consists of her, her husband, and their two young teen sons. The home is very chaotic and often volatile. It's just a normal day for them to all (parent to parent, parent to child, child to parent, and child to child) verbally asault and sometimes physically assault one another. There is no consistency, no boundaries, and no respect for one another. The boys are now old enough and big enough to physically cause serious injuries. The youngest son has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD (Obsessive Defiance Disorder). The older son is highly emotional. They both have little to no self control and react with great anger . The boys physically fight; the oldest son and his parents have exchanged blows. The law has even been called to their property once that I know of. However, the boy had changed his bloody shirt, all blood had been cleaned up and they downplayed it to the law, who did nothing.

 

Today, the two boys got into a an argument that escalated to one of them getting his dad's rifle and pointing it at the other. My sister did a lot of yelling and crying, and said she doesn't know what to do but can't afford therapy. However, they cannot afford to continue down this dangerous path. I'm so frightened that someone will end up dead or seriously injured. I've asked my sister to get counseling for herself or her and her husband since the boys were very young. They never have worked constructively on their problems and now I'm afraid that it will be too late for my nephews.

 

I so very badly want to help them but don't know what I can do...

Just turn and look the other way?. Wait for a law to be seriously broken and then call police? . It then gets worse?.They don't know what to do either. 

 

A family cannot be fixed from the outside. The break is coming  from the inside . Look around real hard honest and DEEP and indiscriminatly. And get honest answers from all members . Try not to let the main trouble maker find out you are snooping around  or you might get smashed into a wall or have police called on you. Because some families are so well at being bad and getting away with it (its in breed into them)  that they also know how not to be discovered and broken down. I would do my homework and not get caught doing it. In  other words find MAIN source of trouble (always is one) and but don't let it find out about you and what you are doing in the meantime. (007) It will discover you eventually but if there are any good ones in the family  left you will have atleast saved them from same outcome in their future. If there isnt any good ones left there is nothing you can do but run and hide so it doesnt get YOU TOO. That is ALL you can do. Again, problems come from inside families like this and that is where the solution is.Or isnt . Do your homework.Might not be nobody left to save.Dont work on the whole family JUST work on the ones WORTH saving.The ones who have hope and life left in them (sort of speak) Believe me that will be more than enough for you to do.Or TRY to do.Focus it is all about focus. on single targets not entire families. find the good one and identify the bad ones and work from there. Only save the good the bad are already dead to any good help most likely.

 
July 29, 2009, 7:59 pm CDT

does your daughter trust you?

Quote From: confused1974

Hello and thank you for reading.  I need help with my mother and I don't know where to start.  She has lied my whole life about large and small things.  Every time she is caught in a lie she gets very defensive.  She has been living with me, my husband, and our 2 children for the past 4 years.  We are looking to purchase a home and had to tell her we wanted to be on our own.  Since then, her lies have become worse.  She does not work and has no friends to talk to.  She has been lying to my children about me.  She manipulates them by telling them she doesn't know why we don't want her to live with us because she is a good person.  This makes us feel like she is trying to turn our own children against us.  She lies about little things such as moving my husband's tools.  I will watch her pick them up and then when I ask her where she put them, she says she never touched them.  I have overheard phone conversations where she has told people that we throw away all her stuff when she leaves.  She also takes food that I buy and hides it in her room.  I have no idea why she does this.  I have 2 sisters and she tells us each lies about the other.  I have heard her tell my sister that I treat her badly and she can't stand it here anymore, but we were the ones that had to tell her we needed our own space.  We have never been a close family and I think it is because of her.  I remember when I was a child she told me on numerous occasions that she tried to kill herself and when she gets caught in a lie she gets very defensive and says everyone would be happier if she wasn't around.  She once told me when I was around 7 or 8 after she got in an argument with my older sister that she went for a walk and tried to step in front of a car, but it swerved.  She then told me I was too young to take care of myself so she would not do that again.  My 14-year-old son knows what she is like, but the problem I am having now is with my 5-year-old daughter.  I do not want my daughter to go unsupervised to my mother's new home and she doesn't understand why.  She blames me and I don't know how to tell her it is because her grandmother is a lying, manipulative, backstabber.   My husband is absolutely adamant that he does not want our children unsupervised around her.  How can I make my daughter understand? 

Tell your daughter the truth. And what makes your daughter want to be around grandma so much . as long as you tell daughter not to believe everything she hears from grandma as the whole and nothing but the truth what is wrong with letting them spend time together. Obviously she doesnt see (or hear) what you see and no physical abuse and you must not be teaching your kid REAL honest to goodness stuff if she is so easily swayed by grandma.If you cant control what your daughter thinks of grandma either you are wrong about her (grandma) or wrong about the trust you have developed between you and child. all i notice out of your letter is your grandma and your daughter. all the other stuff seems to be understood clearly amounst all. maybe you should forget about grandma (good or bad dimenshia or alzheimeres) and teach daughter before grandma does. maybe hang out with both and keep an eye on grandma and see why daughter like her so much. And talk to your daughter when you see something wrong so she learns as you would like. My mom is the same way and I find it crazy when I see my sisters and brothers complain about grandma doing this and that (just better than tthey do it) and then DO THE SAME THING THE SAME WAY. I chaulk it up to who is getting the attention (good or bad aint got nothing to do with it) Mind boggling to say the least.any time you loose a child to another authority figure it means you done something wrong to loose that trust. what is It? Could it be the same thing grandma is doing and you just havent noticed? because she does it SO WELL! Just a wild guess. no mean to offend.

 

 
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