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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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August 8, 2005, 3:03 pm CDT

young broken family in need of advise

My husband and I have fought from day one to share custody of his daughter with his ex.  My hubby gave the ex sole custody in 2002, thinking if it shuts her up then he'll give her the title, even though we were the ones who did everything for his daughter, I mean everything!  Now the ex has decided that she wants to move an hour away which will eliminate our access from 3 or 4 days a week to every second weekend.  I felt as I could not let our family be torn apart and I have been so angery at my hubby for the decision WE made to just let her have the title of sole custody.  All the lawyers that we have spoken with tell us that it is a waste of money and because she has went for court costs in the past she will do it again.  We have recently filed for bankruptsy due to all the lost money and unpaid bills due to legal fees.  We have a 2 year old son together and I cannot offer him alot of things because of the expenses of court costs.  I wish we could just get along with hubbys ex and agree for "our" daughters sake, it is hurting everyone, especially the kids.  I need advise, do I give up and just let our daughter go with her mom and visit every other weekend, or should I end the fighting, even though it will mean less benifits for my step-daughter and try to peice back together my broken little family.  My hubby depends on me to help him make these choices, i'm scared to make the choice and regret it when it's too late.  I want a peacful life, no fighting and arguing, with hubby or his ex, but having my step-daughter just come over every second weekend will hurt us so badly, especially my 2 year old son who idiolises her.  Any advise for a young broken family?
 
August 8, 2005, 4:03 pm CDT

broken family

Quote From: openarms

My husband and I have fought from day one to share custody of his daughter with his ex.  My hubby gave the ex sole custody in 2002, thinking if it shuts her up then he'll give her the title, even though we were the ones who did everything for his daughter, I mean everything!  Now the ex has decided that she wants to move an hour away which will eliminate our access from 3 or 4 days a week to every second weekend.  I felt as I could not let our family be torn apart and I have been so angery at my hubby for the decision WE made to just let her have the title of sole custody.  All the lawyers that we have spoken with tell us that it is a waste of money and because she has went for court costs in the past she will do it again.  We have recently filed for bankruptsy due to all the lost money and unpaid bills due to legal fees.  We have a 2 year old son together and I cannot offer him alot of things because of the expenses of court costs.  I wish we could just get along with hubbys ex and agree for "our" daughters sake, it is hurting everyone, especially the kids.  I need advise, do I give up and just let our daughter go with her mom and visit every other weekend, or should I end the fighting, even though it will mean less benifits for my step-daughter and try to peice back together my broken little family.  My hubby depends on me to help him make these choices, i'm scared to make the choice and regret it when it's too late.  I want a peacful life, no fighting and arguing, with hubby or his ex, but having my step-daughter just come over every second weekend will hurt us so badly, especially my 2 year old son who idiolises her.  Any advise for a young broken family?

I'm assuming that your husband has already talked with his ex and pointed out that this is going to be devastating for the child, him, and your son together? Or did she just make the announcment that she was moving, end of story?  

  

This must be very difficult for you all, but try not to be angry with your husband regarding the decision you helped him make. This is hurting him just as much as you and your son, you need to band together, be supportive in this stressful time. I know it really stinks to think of only seeing her every other weekend, but taking the advice that lawyers gave you, what else can you do? You don't want to go without essentials for yourselves, taking a risk that it will be for nothing. Keep in mind that it could also be alot worse, she could be moving further away, she is the one holding all of the power. Is it possible to go to court and get granted joint custody at this point? After all, she is spending 3 or 4 days at your home anyway, your husband deserves just as many rights as his ex. I wish you the best, stay strong! 

 
August 9, 2005, 8:55 pm CDT

Toxic Family Relationships

Quote From: elisza

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!

 

 

dear Dr. Phil. I agree you are say family first are we not family just because we are grandparents. I have 2 granddaughters 13 & 15 and they want to come to our home to visit but my daughter is using ever excuse in the world just to hurt us. Do you think it is right to use children as ponds to get back at someone, it is not only the spouses that do this it is many more adult children doing this to their parents. we have no rights like the spouses do. So please do a show on this issue and help all grandparents and grandchildren we are hurting so very bad(you have no idea) how would you feel if you had grandchildren and you could not see them. we are loving and caring people that deserve and chance to tell are part in this mess that these adult children have cause for us. even if it does not change anything we would at least be able to tell the world. I love you and robin and respect all of your advice so please  again do a show on this issue. I know that many many grandparents have written to you, I just don't understand why you are looking the other way on this subject.          Thank you in advance lynn dennet and hugs and prays to you and yours
 
August 11, 2005, 8:28 pm CDT

trying to help you see other side...maybe

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

 

Im sorry to hear that you are not allowed to have contact with your grandchildren. Unfortunately, I think the reasons why your daughter in law feels this way are important in helping to determine where and why this relationship went sour. as far as your son is concerned, sometimes actions speak louder than words and I believe he may also have something hes sweeping under the carpet and not being honest with you. He should be able to stand up to his wife if he truly means what he says. If you are comfortable with giving more info I could maybe help you undestand a little better. I have a similar situation with my own mother. She was a single mom, I am the oldest and my husband and I are not close to her at all. we have 2 kids as well. My mom however does not really show interest in my kids. Sometimes I think being the oldest in a single parent home is a lot of responsibilty, maybe your son has never dealt with that or shared that wih you. Im sure you were a great mom but he could be harboring some kind of resentment over that
 
August 17, 2005, 11:12 am CDT

Very Bizarre Mother-Daughter Relationship

Greetings to all: I have a friend (and no, its not me...I am not saying I have a friend when I really mean myself) who is just going off to college.  

  

  

I have known her for years. She and her mother seem to be best friends. Her mother isn't as old as mine, but isn't a young mom either. They have parties at their house and her mother is sort of a "stage mom" throwing extravagant parties for her birthday and back-to-school. The strange thing is that I never see her mother at these parties but maybe at the beginning and then she is gone some where else. Her mother (and my friend) will write extremely sweet devotional letters to one another and since they are the only ones in their family it seemed to be pretty logical to me.  

  

However, when graduation came around (I graduated in 2002 and this girl is a 2004 graduate) her mother released, for a lack of a better word, a press release detailing her daughter's accomplishments and college acceptance letters. She bought all of the teachers that my friend had asked for recommendations from very expensive gifts and gave them certificates recognizing them as "benefactors of her daughter's education". Its like she is a movie star or something and her mom is her personal PR assistant! 

  

I came to realize that this type of thing had been going on the entirety of my friendship with the girl. I don't know why but I wondered why this woman treated her daughter as her own prized poodle on parade...if "Chanel" did win something (like a part in a play, choir solo) then her mother would berate her, and if Chanel was criticized for an article of clothing then she would stop talking to whoever would make the comment. If someone expressed concern that she was focusing too much on her modeling career and didn't study then she would cut them off from being her friend or aquaintence.  

  

An example of this: My mother worked at the school where Chanel went (my alma mater as well). She was a history teacher there (we have sinced moved) and one day Chanel came down the hall with a pretty pink beret on. The rule of the school was that you could have no head covering. My mom told Chanel, "its a really cute beret Chanel, but you know the rules, you have to take it off." Chanel looked at her, took off the hat, turned around and never spoke to my mother again! 

  

  

I have always wondered what it would be like to have a mother who is also my best friend. My mother and I have a good relationship-- we have fun, but she has always maintained that that she will never be my best friend she will always be my mother. Sometimes drawing the line has caused us to have many rows. In the end though I think I am glad that we have very clear boundaries in our relationship. 

  

My question is this: Is it helpful to have a mother that pushes you to look like a super-model, try out acting, singing and other things without focusing on your school work? Her mother also wanted her to wait to go to college because she "wasn't ready to let her go just yet". She has waited a year-- and while that is recommended these days I suppose-- I think it is a bad idea to wait to go to college. 

  

Chanel has never had a job because her mother told her that she was above working the regular jobs that a college student would have (waiting tables, coffee-house). When I expressed my concern to Chanel that her mother was being a bit controlling and whether or not it bothered her she grew very cold.  

  

She yelled and screamed at me that I was jealous because her mother adored her and paid more attention to her than my mom did! I was floored. She said that her mother believed in her and that she wanted her to be a star and everything she could be. This is all well and good, but is it healthy to be so close to your mother that she tells you how to use your talents or when, where, and with whom you should go to college? 

  

I was wondering if anyone could give me some perspective. Chanel and I are no longer friends because I just couldn't take the drama that her mother was putting into our relationship. (apparently I wasn't the sort of person she wanted her daughter to know and she let me know that at every turn) I am concerned for my former friend and wonder if this is healthy. I have a sneaky suspicion that the answer is no? 

 
August 18, 2005, 9:01 pm CDT

Bad Fauther daughter relationsip

I am new to this board, I am having problems at home, my mother died may 22 she has been gone for only 2 months and since then things got worse at home to the point where I had to leave home, the only reason I stayed home was to take care of my mom, after she past my dad started hitting on my he first talked about my chest then he asked me to sleep with him that really upset me a lot and scarred me. I Left home after that and he doesn't know where I am and I plan to keep it that way. I took him to cort over it and they would not do anything about it I think because I wasn't under age I am 32, but I feel that the only way they would do anything is if he did something to my like rape me and I won't let him. things are hard wright now her birthday is next month and this will be the first time with out her. the only thing I am happy about is that I found a house and will be able to move into it soon but I won't let him find me I also had to change my cell number so he would stop calling plus since I took him to cort he stepped coming to my work that made me scarred to the point that I had to ask one of my managers to walk me out side after work to feel safe, its  sad that I have to live in fear of my Father finding me that is not how I want to spend my life.     

      

Sara     

 
August 22, 2005, 5:27 pm CDT

Parental Alienation Syndrome

What about a show on PAS Dr. Phil? I could write the book, it's happening to me again.  first with my older two sons, now with my younger son and daughter after being divorced 3.5 years.
 
August 23, 2005, 11:42 am CDT

Always alone and scared.

Dear Dr. Phil and others, I have written to you before about my family and friend relationships. For several years I have had problems with unknown persons, I think I know who they are, but not 100% sure, illegally entering my home/homes, vandalizing my car and just causing holly havick in my life.  My family does not believe me when I tell them about things that have occured when these things have happened, even though there is evidence. The local authorities are just as bad about believeing me, also.  It is a very sad situation and I am afraid if something dies not happen for me for the better soon I will not be allowed by these criminals to live out MY life.  You know the one GOD gave me to live out.  I am a good person and I know all they are attempting to do is break me to give in to their ways.  I WIL NOT do it, no matter how bad they make things for me.  This has been going on since 1986.  I ended up in a mental hospital because I was accused of abusing the 911 system.  But after the fact one of the persons responsible for my being put there said he was wrong.  Imagine that.  Unless good people wake up and help others like me we are all going to be put in our graves before our time. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Theresa 

millsthr1@aol.com 

 
August 23, 2005, 2:35 pm CDT

Respect

Quote From: sun_star

I am new to this board, I am having problems at home, my mother died may 22 she has been gone for only 2 months and since then things got worse at home to the point where I had to leave home, the only reason I stayed home was to take care of my mom, after she past my dad started hitting on my he first talked about my chest then he asked me to sleep with him that really upset me a lot and scarred me. I Left home after that and he doesn't know where I am and I plan to keep it that way. I took him to cort over it and they would not do anything about it I think because I wasn't under age I am 32, but I feel that the only way they would do anything is if he did something to my like rape me and I won't let him. things are hard wright now her birthday is next month and this will be the first time with out her. the only thing I am happy about is that I found a house and will be able to move into it soon but I won't let him find me I also had to change my cell number so he would stop calling plus since I took him to cort he stepped coming to my work that made me scarred to the point that I had to ask one of my managers to walk me out side after work to feel safe, its  sad that I have to live in fear of my Father finding me that is not how I want to spend my life.     

      

Sara     

                                  Dear Sara, I can relate to you, except in my case it was my grandfather. No one would believe me either, until two others stepped forward. I think I would try to get Him on tape, video or audio. Then you would have the proof you need for a restraining order or something. Good luck. I don't know if this will help you. God Bless. Lorrie
 
August 23, 2005, 3:04 pm CDT

Toxic Family Relationships

Quote From: bmosten

 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!
I am not sure about the U.S., but here in Canada we have a "Grandparents" law. It was put into place for exactly your reason. I am sure you can find something for your state/province on the internet. Look for "Grandparents Law" or "Grandparents Rights". Good Luck, We are having the same problem with my EX sister-in-law. My parents live in the same town, and have not seen my nefew in over a year. God Bless. Lorrie
 
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