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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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July 23, 2005, 12:58 pm CDT

Repairing family relationships

ONearly two years agio my two daughters in-law started telling each other thing that I had supposedly said about the other. They were twisting things I said and making things look bad. My husband and I talked to both our sons (one is 45 and the other 30) and they both agreed that it was all baloney, but they felt they had to stand behind their wives. The oldest son had been married for 14 years when the youngest got married. My first daughter-in-law could not stand his choice of a wife and would not hardly be decent to her. I tried to act as a mediator and that mad e matters worse. Then for about two years everything went along smoothly. Then my mother died and I guess they decided to band together against me. The youngest daughter in law told me that I didn't like her because she stole my baby boy. Then she told me that my mother liked her better than me. I told her that she was not playing teenage friend games...she is messing with family. My husband and I tried to set up counseling for the whole family and we would pay for it. The sons were all for it, but the daughters-in-law would not have anything to do with it. It wound up with just the two of us going and being told that until they were ready to work things out, out hands are tied. The youngest daughter-in-law lies every time she opens her mouth. She and my son and the two year old daughter are now living with her parents because they are so far in debt. My son has come home and lived with us twice during their four year marriage at his wifes request. They were so financially burdoned that we helped get them back on their feet even though she was not speaking and would not allow hin to bring the baby over here. He moved back to his house and within a few months they were behind again on payments and had to sell their house. She is a REal Estate salesman and ;put it on the market. The same week she went out and bought a new BMW SUV. How do you ever repair a family that has been torn apart by lies and the persons respionsible are not willing to mend the relationship and go on.?
 
July 23, 2005, 10:35 pm CDT

lost a reply...

I did reply to your message but lost it. This new board is frustrating. It was long too. Oh, well!

 

I have to ask---if you are jealous of her stealing your baby boy, why on earth is she requesting he move home??? LOL Your kids financial difficulties are their difficulties and you should let them keep them!!!

 

I have one word for you, but it comes in multiplies, BOUNDARIES. I watched my sisters make mistake after mistake with their kids ( I was the youngest of 7) and it all boils down to, they did not set boundaries with their own kids. Now even their kids' spouses over-step that invisible line my sisters never drew. If they don't like the heat in the kitchen, they can always get out. If they end up in jail, they should bring their toothbrush. If they lose their house, they should be able to rely on each other, not mom and dad. Obviously, they have not learned to eek by and it is a lesson they won't learn if you give them an easy way out.

 

Family counselling is not an option if they are not willing to lay bare their mistakes and own up to them. Clear cut boundaries are the only way they will be forced to accept their responsibility for their actions or inactions. It may seem to hurt you and your husband more than them, at first, but in the long run who are they going home to??? You don't have to live with them 24/7/265. One thing to keep in mind, telling them (daughter-in-laws included) that you love them and want what is best for them if not optional but a must. Then hit them with the quidelines; such as, moving in on Mom and Dad is not acceptable, etc.. And remember, if your are obedient in your authority (as the parent), God will reward you. 

 
July 24, 2005, 6:59 am CDT

children argue continually

I have two grown children in the north that do not speak to us, One of them is trying to mend the situation the other daughter will have nothing to do with us or her brother and sister here in Fla. We moved to Ohio to try to get them all together, which made it worse. I then realized that they all had

their lives to live and it would be best for us to go back to Fla. and live ours. They had no time for us nor did they want us in their lives. OK, then we came back but since then 4 yrs ago they still havent't spoken. I worked two jobs while I was there and their father had Alzheimers disease. I had

to spend most of my time when not working with him. I could see this was going no where so I told them we loved them but had to return to our doctors in Fla. Really they did not care. So back we came. Now after three years one of them is having a family reunion and we are invited along with the other two in Fla. we will all go. But my daughter will not come or have anything to do with any of us. Her husband does not like our family. But I pray we can mend that by going to visit and coming back in a few days. I am not allowed to see my grandchild which breaks my heart, if I call they hang up. She was my baby and most spoiled child. She would not go to her father funeral. I am so sick about this, should I just give up? stay away? or keep trying to be their mother. I am only breaking the ice on one side in Ohio, that is because of a grandaughter who loves me. my dearest daughter will have nothing to do with me which breaks my heart. I believe my ex-husband might have abused her as well as the other daughter, but the one down here is very forgiving,saying he is dead now so forget it. Before I die I would like to see all my children speaking insead of trying to destroy eachother.  twi twi  

 
July 28, 2005, 12:47 pm CDT

What I would do...

Quote From: twitwi

I have two grown children in the north that do not speak to us, One of them is trying to mend the situation the other daughter will have nothing to do with us or her brother and sister here in Fla. We moved to Ohio to try to get them all together, which made it worse. I then realized that they all had

their lives to live and it would be best for us to go back to Fla. and live ours. They had no time for us nor did they want us in their lives. OK, then we came back but since then 4 yrs ago they still havent't spoken. I worked two jobs while I was there and their father had Alzheimers disease. I had

to spend most of my time when not working with him. I could see this was going no where so I told them we loved them but had to return to our doctors in Fla. Really they did not care. So back we came. Now after three years one of them is having a family reunion and we are invited along with the other two in Fla. we will all go. But my daughter will not come or have anything to do with any of us. Her husband does not like our family. But I pray we can mend that by going to visit and coming back in a few days. I am not allowed to see my grandchild which breaks my heart, if I call they hang up. She was my baby and most spoiled child. She would not go to her father funeral. I am so sick about this, should I just give up? stay away? or keep trying to be their mother. I am only breaking the ice on one side in Ohio, that is because of a grandaughter who loves me. my dearest daughter will have nothing to do with me which breaks my heart. I believe my ex-husband might have abused her as well as the other daughter, but the one down here is very forgiving,saying he is dead now so forget it. Before I die I would like to see all my children speaking insead of trying to destroy eachother.  twi twi  

If it's possible that your daughters were abused, then you must understand that they have their pain/grief/baggage to work through.  Until they are able/willing to repair the relationship, the best thing to do is keep the door open.

 

You can try to communicate via the phone or letters, but it may be adding more hurt instead of healing.

 

All you can do is try your best and if that doesn't work, it should sit well in your heart that you've done all you can.

 

If it were me, I would make attempts every now and then and I would also let the distance remain if that's what needs to happen.

 

Q

 
August 4, 2005, 8:58 am CDT

brother's wedding

 I'm going through a terrible breakup right now, and my brother's wedding is coming up.   The last thing I feel like doing is going to a wedding, but it's my brother after all.  I've been the self-sacrificing one of the family, always there for my brother, for everyone in their time of need.  Now that I need some support, though, my brother isn't there for me.  Okay, he has wedding stresses and all that to deal with.  And I have a couple of close friends who provide me with alot of support.  But I feel I've been taken for granted for so many years by him and things have built up now to a point where I'm tired of having to sacrifice my own needs and feelings for everyone else.

My brother doesn't live anywhere near me, so it's a long journey to get to the wedding.   My friends are keen to come with me to help me with the drive, which is great for me to have company.  I won't know anyone at the wedding and don't have money to spend on a hotel room, so I asked my brother if we could stay in his apartment for the few nights.

Well, his fiancee (whom I've never even met yet) has "issues" with two strange women (besides myself) staying with my brother over the weekend of the wedding.  So I've been told I can't bring them along (or I could bring one to stay over but not both, for some strange reason).    It's actually easier for there to be 3 of us as the other two could entertain each other and go for a night on the town instead of coming to the wedding, and I would be free to spend time with my family.

Now I'm in my 40s for heaven's sake and my friends are all responsible adults as well  -- if we were irresponsible teenagers then maybe I could understand.  So I don't get what the problem is, not by any stretch of the imagination.  But I'm very upset that I'm being handed some crazy "rule" as opposed to being respected for not only who I am (I am his only sister after all), but for my needs (financial and emotional).  Once again, I need to swallow any feelings I have. 

I'm at the point now I'm so upset I don't want to go to the wedding at all.  Yet I'm not a selfish person by any stretch, so I'm torn as to how to handle how I feel and what to do.


 
August 4, 2005, 11:16 am CDT

Dear ZeeZee...........

Quote From: zeezee

 I'm going through a terrible breakup right now, and my brother's wedding is coming up.   The last thing I feel like doing is going to a wedding, but it's my brother after all.  I've been the self-sacrificing one of the family, always there for my brother, for everyone in their time of need.  Now that I need some support, though, my brother isn't there for me.  Okay, he has wedding stresses and all that to deal with.  And I have a couple of close friends who provide me with alot of support.  But I feel I've been taken for granted for so many years by him and things have built up now to a point where I'm tired of having to sacrifice my own needs and feelings for everyone else.

My brother doesn't live anywhere near me, so it's a long journey to get to the wedding.   My friends are keen to come with me to help me with the drive, which is great for me to have company.  I won't know anyone at the wedding and don't have money to spend on a hotel room, so I asked my brother if we could stay in his apartment for the few nights.

Well, his fiancee (whom I've never even met yet) has "issues" with two strange women (besides myself) staying with my brother over the weekend of the wedding.  So I've been told I can't bring them along (or I could bring one to stay over but not both, for some strange reason).    It's actually easier for there to be 3 of us as the other two could entertain each other and go for a night on the town instead of coming to the wedding, and I would be free to spend time with my family.

Now I'm in my 40s for heaven's sake and my friends are all responsible adults as well  -- if we were irresponsible teenagers then maybe I could understand.  So I don't get what the problem is, not by any stretch of the imagination.  But I'm very upset that I'm being handed some crazy "rule" as opposed to being respected for not only who I am (I am his only sister after all), but for my needs (financial and emotional).  Once again, I need to swallow any feelings I have. 

I'm at the point now I'm so upset I don't want to go to the wedding at all.  Yet I'm not a selfish person by any stretch, so I'm torn as to how to handle how I feel and what to do.


I'm sorry for you about your break-up. What an unfortunate time for your brother's wedding!! I can understand how you feel taken for granted and the overall feeling that in your relationship with your brother that you just don't get back what you give. It feels crappy, I know! What I have learned is that most brothers do not know how to be emotionaly supportive, they don't know what words to say or what to do; so they do nothing and hope you forget about it. Not all men/brothers are this way, of course not, but many are, like your brother and my two brothers, also.

What is happening to you is that you have this present hurt about your break up, etc., and then piled on top of that is all the past hurts and resentments that you never spoke up about. Your brother, most likely, doesn't even have a clue about the past resentments, how could he? He isn't a mind reader. But as for the situation right now, you could try to have an understanding conversation about it. It would be easier if he and his fiance could read your mind and get your rational for having two friends with you; but they can't do that. I think that his fiance's concern is valid, after all, they will be under alot of stress at the time that you will be there, and having two people that they don't know at their house could really add to that stress if they feel that they need to 'entertain' or feed these extra people. That is why you should discuss it with both of them, ask them exactly what their concerns are, and tell them why it will be more convenient for you to have two friends come, because I think that the reasons you stated here are very reasonable.

If you put yourself in your brother and his fiance's shoes, think about the reasons why they might not want you to stay with two friends: maybe the home will be too crowded, maybe she or he is concerned or worried that their house isn't clean or presentable enough, the list could go on and on. This can be talked about in a rational way, you just need to do it in a way that won't make them feel defensive, to do that it would be best if you started out by saying something like, "I know you said that I could have one friend with me, but I've been thinking about this and I really want to explain to you why it is better for me if I bring both of them..." Let them know that you guys will clean up after yourselves, maybe do some cooking or get take out or something, anything that could be helpful for them, just to get yourself through this wedding weekend.

After the wedding and honeymoon are over, you might want to try to reach out to your brother and his new wife and start a healthy relationship. When something is done or said that is hurtful towards you, you've got to speak up. No one likes to "rock the boat", thats why you can do it in a manner that, instead of escalating the situation, can give you all the opportunity to say what you are feeling and why, instead of just stuffing it all down and trying to forget about it, which causes resentment.

I wish you the best of luck, and hope that you can have a nice time at this wedding!!

 
August 4, 2005, 1:08 pm CDT

jenoc

 Thank you for your kind and understanding reply.  I guess I should elaborate further.....he and his fiancee do not live together, he's moving in to her place right after the wedding (he'll stay at her place on the wedding night then moving the rest of his things over the next two days following).  So his apartment is half empty already and he's the only one staying there.  Basically we're talking about two nights when we'd all be bunking in, with the three of us on air mattresses on the floor in a separate room.  It's just for sleeping as my two friends would be busy sightseeing the whole time.   So the issue of being underfoot or making a mess (besides he's knows I'm a clean freak). isn't the problem.  The way it was explained to me is that his fiancee is uncomfortable with strange single women sleeping in the same apartment as her fiance.   Only later did she say it was okay that I could have one friend staying in his apartment.  I don't know why it's somehow her call, or why she feels the need to lay down this kind of asinine rule, but I've asked for a logical explanation and there isn't one.  All my brother would say is that "she's kinda insecure".  (???)  I have to say I'm feeling very resentful at being treated this way by her, as it makes me feel like I'm somehow going to cause trouble or something, or like we're a bunch of kids.  It all smacks of control freakishness. 

And of course, with my emotional state, I'm just not handling this well.  I don't feel equipped to take care of his needs or be understanding, when I have needs right now and wish just once he would he would help me out instead of the other way around.
 
August 4, 2005, 4:29 pm CDT

PASSIVE-AGGRSSIVE BEHAVIOUR

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 ?
 
August 9, 2005, 7:58 am CDT

step parenting?

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.
 
August 9, 2005, 9:00 am CDT

Hi

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.
Teenagers are sometimes difficult to understand. I have a 15 y/o and my husband is her step-father. I will agree that my daughter is spoiled as well. She and my husband dont have much to say to each other as well, unless I am around. They do get along but I know she feels uncomfortable around him when it is the two of them together. She trust him and vice versa but it is kinda strange to them when they are alone with their step-parent. My husband just bought my daughter a 1998 mustang because she will soon be 16 this weekend. He does alot for my daughter and she respects that, but now a days, teens have their own things to do. It isnt that she doesnt like him, she is just more comfortable talking to her friends than him. He thinks that she doesnt like him but she does. She just has a hard time showing it to him. (I havent figured that out yet). You can build a relationship with your step daughter by trying to get involved in her life. Maybe take her shopping together (you and her), listen to her kind of music (even though it hurts your ears),  Joke around with her, or even help her with homework. My husband is doing these things with my daughter and they are getting along fine, sometimes they have quarrels (like kids)  but they work it out and she has to understand he is the parent figure, not just a friend figure. Sometimes she thinks she doesnt have to listen to him because he is not her real dad, and that is where I step in and let her know that he is the adult, and she is the child, and she has to do what he says also. He is not trying to replace her real dad, but he is still the father figure here at our home. Try to communicate with your step-daughter when her mom is not at home like ask her how her day was, or something. Get to know her for who she is. They will never be what we want them to be, they are individuals like us, and all we can do is set good examples for them. Start conversation and talk to her. Act silly with her. My husband does and he listens to her music and dances around and cuts up. It really breaks the ice. Good luck!
 
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