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Topic : Toxic Family Relationships

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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 29, 2009, 8:38 pm CDT

walk gently but carry a big stick

Quote From: olistellaana

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.

dont get too nice and dont get too close. blackmail friendship is the last kind anybody needs.better to not get along than to get along along under blackmailing conditions. A control freak, is dangerous person . her games about domination>> who is the boss etc... oh you want attention sounds like you got an outsider trying to PUSH her way in. It will show up eventually as to who she really is eventually  . give it time. let her make the mistakes. after all,she is the one WORKING  to decieve FROM  the outside looking in.the truth always eventually comes out. sounds like she is very insecure of who she is and where she belongs, hence her overabundant pushiness and actions .Let it take its course and when it does just leave her out there like a lost log floating down a river. 
 
July 29, 2009, 8:48 pm CDT

ignorance treats ignorance

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.
ignorance . You dont owe your mother any more love than she has given you and pick who you love more  and not let your mother do it. She is a shelfish witch it sounds like to me and unless SHE changes and she is too hard scorned and old to do that then anything you do will be to be for her benefit and not anybody elses Like always.Not your job, dutie or debt  to hate nobody but it is your choice to love share and care whoever and whatever . choice is freedom and you dont have to kill babies to make one or two or three or more of them. Mean old women wont tell ya that but I will.  Big difference.  Some things never change . serenity prayer. LOOK IT UP
 
July 31, 2009, 4:26 pm CDT

sounds like blackmail into censorship they are trying on you

Quote From: tammyo1973

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?

Your parents don't seem to want to know too much. but want to "ACT" like they do and yet want YOU to think they want to to help as much as they can.so they don't loose your attention and can then tell you which way to go and turn to. Dependance is big with incest. They are no help except to themselves.

 

How did you find the man that you first married (crazy question I know)  ?. Incest runs in families and alot of times  it finds partners in  other families, NOT,by  purpose but by coincidence. It just happpens that way.just as incest " JUST"  happens. "Just" being nothing can be done about it except accept it. Talking about it ONLY to yourself makes you accept it over time . What else can you do except talk to somebody else.That is what you are doing wrong.Talking about it to yourself. Self hypnossis. Go to church yea, but, but alot of people there  seem to think or want to go to be perfect type of people here too . Find someone you can trust,  and it won't be easy, but it is gold when and if you do. Child molestation by a stranger everybody wants to know about ""BUT""" Incest is something NOBODY wants to know or talk about. It is the biggest secret in the world . No kidding.  literally.Let your child know atleast know YOU LOVE her if anything at all and it will go further than anything anybody else will do or want to do. The problem is not your parents , it is your''s and your daughters. Don't let it be either. Press charges . If they don't like it they aint going to like anything else GOOD you do either so it isnt like you got anything to loose.And don't wait beyond statute of limitations and make sure to save all evidence. If your parents don't give a hoot don't turn out the same way . That is the last thing your kid needs, is more people like her dad.Different is good. Teach her there is a better way.Beware though because if ya get wrong social worker  you might have to fight to get e a better one. 

 
August 8, 2009, 8:53 am CDT

Family Feuds

To Dr Phil and everyone,

I'm in desperate need of your help and guidance in how to talk and understand my mother's feelings towards my current long term girlfriend.

Me and my girlfriend have been togther for the last 18 months and met at university but unfortunately for the last 5 months, my mother and I have been constantly arguing over my current girlfriend and things have been getting from bad to worse as each day goes for example fighting verbally with my mother. This I don't understand cause I'm use to having a vey close relationship with my mother and family but since I've moved back home, I feel like the whole family has turned against me saying that my girlfriend isn't good for me and having abusive language said about my girlfriend. I have listened to me and tried to present my feelings but then it seems to end up on phone's slamming down or who can shout the highest. Recently from what my mum has said "as I'm living under her house, its her rules. There will be no travelling up to see your girlfriend, she can only call a certain time and I don't want her in my house and that you have no time for a girlfriend, so why do you need this one. You should basically leave this one because, I'm never going to get on with her and that if you continue with this relationship I will cut you out of my life".

This has put alot of pressure on me and my girlfriend and that most of our agruements are started from what my mother says. I am 22 and this is my first serious relationship but I am in need of your help into sorting out this relationship because from all the arguing that is happening, I'm tired of it and stressed from it and honestly i don't know what to do anymore.

 
August 9, 2009, 2:50 am CDT

Emotional blackmail

Quote From: london22

To Dr Phil and everyone,

I'm in desperate need of your help and guidance in how to talk and understand my mother's feelings towards my current long term girlfriend.

Me and my girlfriend have been togther for the last 18 months and met at university but unfortunately for the last 5 months, my mother and I have been constantly arguing over my current girlfriend and things have been getting from bad to worse as each day goes for example fighting verbally with my mother. This I don't understand cause I'm use to having a vey close relationship with my mother and family but since I've moved back home, I feel like the whole family has turned against me saying that my girlfriend isn't good for me and having abusive language said about my girlfriend. I have listened to me and tried to present my feelings but then it seems to end up on phone's slamming down or who can shout the highest. Recently from what my mum has said "as I'm living under her house, its her rules. There will be no travelling up to see your girlfriend, she can only call a certain time and I don't want her in my house and that you have no time for a girlfriend, so why do you need this one. You should basically leave this one because, I'm never going to get on with her and that if you continue with this relationship I will cut you out of my life".

This has put alot of pressure on me and my girlfriend and that most of our agruements are started from what my mother says. I am 22 and this is my first serious relationship but I am in need of your help into sorting out this relationship because from all the arguing that is happening, I'm tired of it and stressed from it and honestly i don't know what to do anymore.

Your mother is attempting to control your life with emotional blackmail.  Move out into a bedsit or shared house.  Then take your time with your relationship with your girlfriend.  Maybe she is not right for you in the long term, may be she is.

 
August 9, 2009, 5:40 pm CDT

Toxic Family Relationships

Quote From: a_n_other

Your mother is attempting to control your life with emotional blackmail.  Move out into a bedsit or shared house.  Then take your time with your relationship with your girlfriend.  Maybe she is not right for you in the long term, may be she is.

In response, i'm glad i get an outsiders point of view. Unfortunately I'm not in a good financial state to be moving out as i'm currently in process of taking my last exam but what i need help is to be able to take control of my life without offending my mother and so that she can realise that I don't need to depend on her as I use too and to make her take notice i have a my own life to get on with.

 
August 19, 2009, 8:31 pm CDT

My mother ... emotionally absent

Dr. Phil,

I have been hesistant about writing this post for quite some time.  I am 18 years old and will soon be moving out of my home and into a dorm room.  This last summer has been extreme. At the end of May my father was deployed to Iraq where he is still located.  My mother and I have never had an emotional and caring relationship; therefore my father's absence has caused quite the chaos in this household.

My mother cannot control situations by herself.  My younger sister (16) has been tested for many mental health issues.  Personally, I do not believe she has any.  After years of observing my sister's behavior, I think she is the type of teenaged girl out for trouble.  I hope that years from now she "grows out" of this stage. However, my mother does not see it the same way.  When my sister because severely irritated it leads to frustration, physical and verbal abuse towards everyone.  During the first few weeks of my father's deployment, mom resorted to calling 911.  Hmmm, may I edit that with mom immediately called the police.

I understand that solo parenting is tough but from what I know, she is not taking the matters into her own hands.

For the rest of summer, Mom has been taking her trips an hour south to visit her parents.  She leaves right after work on friday and comes back late (10ish) sunday night.  She communicates through texting, which occurs when she is drunk.  I am not saying my mom is dependent on alcohol though (I'm talking about a woman how can get drunk off of 4 Miller Lites).

My mother and I completely lack communication skills.  Recently, I was being harrassed by a fellow co-worker who had been my exboyfriend.  A few minutes prior to reporting the incident to my manager, I called mom during her work hours.  She answered the phone and explained what was going on.  I was troubled and tearful.  Instead she diminished the conversation by saying she was extremely busy at work and had to go.  I know it sounds like I should take the blame, after all, I called her at work.  But my mom enjoys trying to control the household by calling 3 - 4 times a day reminding me about college payments or what I'm doing that day.  Her minimal reaction to my problems with the coworker made me even more emotional.

Lately mom has wanted nothing to do with me.  All she cares about is my college expenses (which is being taken care of, I shouldn't have to hear about it every moment).  Just before I began this post, she flatout told me I should just find a different place to sleep tonight.

I pains me to think that my mom and I will never have a good relationship.  Before my "glorious" teenaged years, our relationship was flat and practically nonexistent.

My mom looks at me as the unappreciative daughter. All she expects of me is to become a nurse in years to come, after all she is paying for my college money (lie.)

What do I say to my mom without her lashing out against me? I want to tell her how I feel when she blows me off and doesn't care to elaborate an opinion.  If this doesn't resolve soon enough, I will want nothing to do with her.

-Andrea

 
August 25, 2009, 7:50 pm CDT

mother and husband...with me in the middle

Hi,
I am at my wits end.  I have no idea what to do.  I am my mothers only child and emotionally I am drained.  Guilt trips, degrading my husband and my choice of marrying him, alcohol dependency...just to name a few.  My mom only deals with me through email and they are very hateful, and getting worse. I dont really know where to begin.  this is the last email she sent me today.. "ok i accept your husband, just to have you back in my life. I realize that I wont see you at the holidays......because you have an excuse of working and his family.......so will you come to my funeral atleast..............that is the least you could do.  I loved your grandmother and you are not loving me like I did your grandmother" 
There is so much I want to say about these emails she sends me, but I just let it slide and I dont email back.  I dont want to say anything that I will regret, but on the other hand, it just keeps building up inside me.  I can't talk to my husband b/c the initial email from mom back in Feb. said things like "dont bring him with you when you come to see me" 
I was raised by my mom and grandmom since I was in first grade. I went to college, lived on my own, and married, while my mom still lived with my grandmom.  Mom hasnt worked in years, so she "took care" of my grandmom, when she didnt need daily care. Grandmom passed away 3 years ago.  I understand my mom subconsciously wants me to leave my husband and live with her and take care of her until she dies, so we can continue the "trilogy".  But I'm not going to.  I understand the underlying issues that my mom has with my husband.  She feels like he took her away from me by marrying me.  Then on top of that, we moved  1300 miles away from her.  Now, my husband does not want to be around her.  She degrades him  to his face.  He knows that mom doesnt like him.  He already has a battering parent, he doesnt need another one.
I don't want to just let all these emails "go", because they are very hurtful and it changes the way I act around my mom and how I treat her.  And,  it will happen again in the future (this is the 3rd time she has sent/emailed me hurtful letters during my life).  Mom really needs to get some therapy to work out her issues that she is pouncing onto me and my husband.  My assumption is that she would not, (but u know what that makes me)because she closes up when I rebuttal her arguments.  She just walks away and says fine...you're right.
The three of us really need to talk to someone about this issue and get it resolved.  I won't be the middle man anymore.  I feel like I am to a point where I need to choose between them...if thats the case, I'm choosing my husband...and that really hurts me to say that.  How do we get help when we are so far away from each other?  I havent really talked to her since Feb from the first hateful letter, b/c I dont like her right now and have too many other things I am consumed with emotionally and physically to have to deal with a jealous parent.  help!

demolished and dispaired
 
August 28, 2009, 1:53 pm CDT

Toxic Family Relationships

Quote From: kdtrump

Hi,
I am at my wits end.  I have no idea what to do.  I am my mothers only child and emotionally I am drained.  Guilt trips, degrading my husband and my choice of marrying him, alcohol dependency...just to name a few.  My mom only deals with me through email and they are very hateful, and getting worse. I dont really know where to begin.  this is the last email she sent me today.. "ok i accept your husband, just to have you back in my life. I realize that I wont see you at the holidays......because you have an excuse of working and his family.......so will you come to my funeral atleast..............that is the least you could do.  I loved your grandmother and you are not loving me like I did your grandmother" 
There is so much I want to say about these emails she sends me, but I just let it slide and I dont email back.  I dont want to say anything that I will regret, but on the other hand, it just keeps building up inside me.  I can't talk to my husband b/c the initial email from mom back in Feb. said things like "dont bring him with you when you come to see me" 
I was raised by my mom and grandmom since I was in first grade. I went to college, lived on my own, and married, while my mom still lived with my grandmom.  Mom hasnt worked in years, so she "took care" of my grandmom, when she didnt need daily care. Grandmom passed away 3 years ago.  I understand my mom subconsciously wants me to leave my husband and live with her and take care of her until she dies, so we can continue the "trilogy".  But I'm not going to.  I understand the underlying issues that my mom has with my husband.  She feels like he took her away from me by marrying me.  Then on top of that, we moved  1300 miles away from her.  Now, my husband does not want to be around her.  She degrades him  to his face.  He knows that mom doesnt like him.  He already has a battering parent, he doesnt need another one.
I don't want to just let all these emails "go", because they are very hurtful and it changes the way I act around my mom and how I treat her.  And,  it will happen again in the future (this is the 3rd time she has sent/emailed me hurtful letters during my life).  Mom really needs to get some therapy to work out her issues that she is pouncing onto me and my husband.  My assumption is that she would not, (but u know what that makes me)because she closes up when I rebuttal her arguments.  She just walks away and says fine...you're right.
The three of us really need to talk to someone about this issue and get it resolved.  I won't be the middle man anymore.  I feel like I am to a point where I need to choose between them...if thats the case, I'm choosing my husband...and that really hurts me to say that.  How do we get help when we are so far away from each other?  I havent really talked to her since Feb from the first hateful letter, b/c I dont like her right now and have too many other things I am consumed with emotionally and physically to have to deal with a jealous parent.  help!

demolished and dispaired

 

Hello-

 

Please read, "Toxic Parents," by Susan Forward.

 

  This book has been one that I repeatedly return to when I need to re-evaluate my relationship with my parent, who is still abusive at age 90!  I've chosen to have very limited contact and that is working  for me.

 

Best wishes to you!

 

 

 
August 30, 2009, 6:57 am CDT

At 52 they still get to me!

Hi Dr Phil and crowd!

I am 52 and helping with two aging parents. They watch the show religiously since my sister and I have become therapists. I'm finishing my master's degree in Social Work this year.

My dad has been the kind of dad that thought of himself more than anyone. He has his good side, but for the most part he would spend and keep debt mounting until recently he can go no further (I thought). After his heart problems he kept buying new cars, one after the other, until he now owes 40 thousand in debt on cars back balances. He still has to make his payments on the newest car he bought. He ask the salesman if he could sign my mothers name without her and the salesman said yes, so he did. Mom is very upset. Now he wants to sell their house and move to a really nice retirement home (which is not within their means). They barely make 36k a year in Oklahoma. When one of them dies, the other will be left with half that amount to live on. Rent in this community is quite high and they currently par 200 dollars a month house payment (third mortgage).

Dad says he watched your show about being debt free. So he has used this an an excuse, also says my mom might hurt herself on the 3 steps in front of their house, as an excuse again, to sell the house and pay off that 40k (which is all his debt and mom got no benefit from it at all). The house would bring 80k if they are even lucky enough to find a buyer. He repeatedly makes bad financial choices. He is abusive psychologically to my mom, and has been all their marriage life.

Mom recently opened up to me to let me know that , throughout their marriage dad would tell her he was leaving her and would not be back, when he would leave for work, (he traveled alot) she would worry and struggle for money for food and shoes for us while we were in school. She went without shoes for two years. Dad collected 50 cent pieces and had them stored in his drawer. One month when dad was gone, she got them and gave us each a 50cent piece for school lunch. Dad to this day is still verbally abusive about it and blames her for his financial problems.

They have pulled me into this situation, because dad now wants us to talk mom into selling the house. I say no...their is no rent cheaper than what he has now. Dad really just want to spend money on what he wants and neglect my moms future. She is in good health and his health is failing. Chances are she will outlive him. We want our mom to have a nice place to live and their home was built by her dad and brother, built on land of my greatgrandmother. It means a great deal to all of us.

I'm sad and worried for her. I love my dad but he is an asshole! Any suggestions would be helpful, and a show on keeping your home when its the cheapest place to live would be good.

I don't think my dads mind is working well these days.
 
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