Jump to content

Managing difficult parents
Possible no contact - how do you manage?


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 anonapuss

Posted 27 October 2012 - 09:43 AM

Hi

Going anon for this one and trying to be unrecognisable so giving the bare minimum but desperately need some advice.

I am happily married with a very young family. Long story cut short, my parents are incredibly controlling of me and disapproved of my husband so there was a period of time where we did not speak. They basically gave me an ultimatum - its either him or us so me being in a happy relationship decided on him.

A few years later I made contact with them as a family member on their side was sick and I wanted to put the crap aside (despite the fact that I did not drive it) and support them. So bit by bit they came back into our lives. I did not address any of the previous nastiness and walked on egg shells just to maintain the peace. Ive since had a family (they love the children but do play favourites) and the nastiness towards me and my husband has returned. I have my hands full with a large family of small children and work and I find I cannot mother and deal with the day to day with these hideous nasty attacks on my husband and myself.

If I try to address issues even current ones I get ridiculous accusations of what I think - e.g. "You hate us because we have blue hair" (Substitute blue hair for the reason but the reason is equally ridiculous because the word they use isnt even in my vocabulary and hadnt even crossed my mind).

Anyway the advice I'm after is: What strategies do you use to enable yourself to live with the horrible nastiness so that you can be as positive as possible for your kids and partner? How do you deal with the nastiness? How do you cut contact with your parents with minimum nastiness and how do you deal with the day to day. What contact do your parents have with the kids (my kids are very very young) so I'm thinking they are welcome to visit them while I'm there at my home during a pre-arranged time (not just a drop in).

Its just so upsetting, having going through this again but I cant deal with the constant attacks and productively raise my family and work.

I think I probably have depression anyway (I'm hammered constantly about doing the wrong thing and being a bad mother) but this situation has made it so that I cant even eat or go to sleep or talk to others. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

#2 Feral Alpacas

Posted 27 October 2012 - 09:52 AM

OP is the family member still sick? If not, I would start limiting contact with your parents again. They sound toxic and it sounds like they are damaging your self esteem. You have children and your own little family to think of now, they have to come first.

#3 mommyoffour

Posted 27 October 2012 - 09:54 AM

I would set boundaries and be prepared to follow through. For example, next time they say something like the blue hair thing, you say: "it makes me feel angry when you say things like that because it's not true. If you keep behaving in this way/saying things like that, I don'twant you in my life. I will cut contact with you". They'll accuse you of being ridiculous or threatening them or whatever, at which point you say you're serious and you need them to respect your boundaries if they want to be a part of your life. If they continue to belittle you, ask them to leave.

#4 JustBeige

Posted 27 October 2012 - 09:57 AM

I think you need to decide what you actually want from these people.  Then you need to look at what they actually can give to you.

Dont look at what you expect or mourn the loss of, but what they can truly give.   If your wants / needs are different to what they are actually capable of doing then the answer is clear.

Keeping them out of your lives doesnt have to be drastic, it can just be as simple as not calling, not returning phone calls or if you do, make it short and sweet.  I have always found that the less information people have about me the less they can interfere.

Dont have them in your lives out of guilt.  Your children dont deserve it and neither do you.

#5 FiveAus

Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:04 AM

I haven't had contact with my mother in over 12 years. My situation was a bit different to yours but I wanted to let you know you're not alone.

I had a pretty good relationship with my parents until I separated, then went back to work so I could support my 4 children. My mother became very judgemental, didn't like me working and did everything she possibly could to make life difficult for me. It got worse when I started a new relationship and came to a climax when she took my new partner aside and told him what a bad mother I was for not looking after my children, and for working when I should have been at home being a mother. Well, that's the short story but as you can imagine, there's a lot more to it.

I cut contact with her, and I have not seen her since. The stress I was feeling just rolled off my shoulders when I made the decision and all of a sudden I felt this freedom I'd not felt for years.

My kids were older (15 down to 5), so it was their decision as to whether they saw them or not, and they did. They'd arrange to go there for dinner or a BBQ or something and I'd drop them off and someone would drive them home.

The only downside to me was that in cutting off my mother, by default I lost contact with my dad, who I loved and who'd never sat in judgement against me for anything. I am their eldest child and I was always his "darling girl", even when I grew up.

Then one day, out of the blue, about 5 years ago, he came to visit me. He said he's missed me and was very sorry he hadn't made the move before. So we re-connected, just dad and me and he visits every few months and catches me up with all the family gossip etc. He does not expect me to be involved with the family because he knows I don't want to. He asked once if I'd visit my mother and try and "make up" and after thinking about it I said no. And he's never asked again.

My mother developed a cancerous condition a few years ago, and while it's not terminal and it's been treated, it could come back again and probably would be terminal next time. If that happens, I'll have some thinking to do and some decisions to make but right now, I'm very happy and comfortable with how things are.

#6 Guest_~Songbird~_*

Posted 27 October 2012 - 10:05 AM

Educate yourself on manipulative people and their behaviours, this will teach you boundary setting and tools to just let their bulldust go. You have my sympathy, dealing with manipulators is exhausting and damaging to your own mental health.

Here are some great links including one for a book and youtube videos

http://www.rickross.com/reference/brainwas...nwashing11.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBfvbWRDZN4...;feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUfNvswN7CE...feature=g-all-u

http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/book/in-s...people/9088183/




#7 Natttmumm

Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:40 PM

I think I would slowly cut them out again. I wouldnt make a big issue to them, I would just cut back - dont answer calls as much, if they say nasty things end the conversation quickly, dont make any arrangements to cacth up.

not easy to do - but sounds like they give you no other choice. You have your own children to focus on

#8 anonapuss

Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:25 PM

Thank you so much for your responses. I am still digesting all of this information.
Part of the way forward for me is looking for a way to be okay with all of this within myself and be positive and happy again. I was unhappy anyway due to the constant criticism.

So far its been one week and no contact. Ive at least been able to breathe.

#9 BucketONuts

Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:55 PM

I understand where you are coming from ...my mum has always had an issue with my husband, and now any opinion I have that is opposing to hers , she thinks comes from  my husband....what she doesnt realise is that all of this only makes me upset and not want to deal with her...
I realised early on that I could not confide in her anything I didn't want her to get  used against me at a later stage when she was angry with me. That leaves me quite dissatisfied with my relationship with my own mother.. sad.gif
In addition my dad just likes to let her do what she likes and say what she chooses because it helps him keep the peace...He doesn't oppose her at all so my relationship with my father ( with whom I was very close) has also soured...

They have rarely seen their grandkids ...they've usually blamed me for that as well...since of course I live several continents away and have a full time job, run my own home business and have two under 5...so of course its my fault I have to keep taking time off when my girls are sick....since we have no family I can rely on....DH gets paid by the day and works from home whenever he can when one or the other kid is sick but I have gradually eaten into my annual leave...My parents don't understand that and believe that I only want to spend time and let my kids spend time with my in-laws...fact of the matter is they are available to come in to cisit for extended lengths of time (6-8mths) the kids love it and my life is so much easier as they don't judge...or at least don't interfere ...My mum on the other hand think my DH is too "involved" in our kids lives and shouldn't be interefering when she is trying to do something for them...firstly she never does stuff for them as she is never around..but also as a dad he has to be involved in their life eh??

Contact is limited...that's the least I can do for my girls..



#10 RealityBites

Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:13 AM

QUOTE (JustBeige @ 27/10/2012, 10:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think you need to decide what you actually want from these people.  Then you need to look at what they actually can give to you.

Dont look at what you expect or mourn the loss of, but what they can truly give.   If your wants / needs are different to what they are actually capable of doing then the answer is clear.

Keeping them out of your lives doesnt have to be drastic, it can just be as simple as not calling, not returning phone calls or if you do, make it short and sweet.  I have always found that the less information people have about me the less they can interfere.

Dont have them in your lives out of guilt.  Your children dont deserve it and neither do you.


Excellent advice.

#11 Bubble11

Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:34 AM

If you truly believe having them in your children's lives is a positive (overall) then I'd try to make the situation work, but you need to look at it and see, do they really add anything to you and your kids lives or is it all pain & negatives?  My older sister hasn't been part of my life for a decade now.  It still hurts me, but I was talking to my dad about it the other day, and I realised that I don't want her in my baby's life (currently pregnant with first), not the way she is, a destructive force tearing everyone around her down, I don't want my baby to be exposed to that.  So maybe that's another thing to consider, do you want your kids to see and experience the way your parents behave?  for them to see that behaviour towards you and your DH?  If you don't truly believe that having them around will enrich your kids lives, personally I wouldn't bother.  I'd at least distance myself from them, just the occasional visit, dont' bother calling, just a quick chat when they call you.

If you decide they're not worth fighting for, maybe just start by not reaching out to them, and see what happens.  If you don't try to contract them, if you don't return calls, don't set times to see them, don't reach out maybe they'll just fade into the background of your life, in which case you know for sure the relationships are not worth fighting for because they're not willing to put anything into the relationship themselves.

#12 honeylulu

Posted 16 March 2013 - 11:21 PM

QUOTE (mommyoffour @ 27/10/2012, 10:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would set boundaries and be prepared to follow through. For example, next time they say something like the blue hair thing, you say: "it makes me feel angry when you say things like that because it's not true. If you keep behaving in this way/saying things like that, I don'twant you in my life. I will cut contact with you". They'll accuse you of being ridiculous or threatening them or whatever, at which point you say you're serious and you need them to respect your boundaries if they want to be a part of your life. If they continue to belittle you, ask them to leave.


This.
If friends treated you like this, would you still be friends with them?If one of your children described being treated like this, what would you advise them?Nobody deserves such behaviour and if they can't treat you and your family with respect, they don't deserve your time. I haven't had contact with my father for nearly 20 years because I expect to be treated humanely. I didn't have contact with my mother for several years because of her hysterical b*tchiness. When my mother did make contact, she did so knowing I expected some civility and we have a surprisingly amiable relationship now.It is hard sometimes and I used to turn a little melancholy now and then (Xmas, etc) but the self-respect, the peacefulness and lack of family stress is soooo worth it.

#13 pinksky

Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:05 AM

I'm not the OP, but I did want to say that the advice that has been given is so helpful and calming to me and my situation. I am printing off this topic, and will be taking on board much of the advice given. Thank you, thank you, thank you, wise women of EB.

#14 miriams

Posted 01 June 2013 - 06:38 PM

You have my sympathies.   bbighug.gif I am going through similar situation at the moment (posted on WDYT about my grandfather). He was a bit nasty to me last year but he's been horrible about other family members (and expects me to listen/sympathise with all that crap). I am at a point where I just don't think it's worth it anymore. Please keep the good responses coming everyone original.gif




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Empowering bikini photo of 46-year-old mum goes viral

When a group of teenagers made rude remarks about her body as she walked past them in a bikini at the local beach, Julie Cross refused to cover up.

Devastated widow discovers she's pregnant the day before husband's funeral

They had been trying to conceive a baby for seven years. Tragically Kristy Kirchner found out she was pregnant the day before her husband Royce's funeral.

Gabriella Goat sues Peppa Pig

Every toddler's favourite television pig is being sued by an Italian woman who shares a name with a Peppa Pig character.

Meet the Mpregs, the male pregnancy enthusiasts

"Men can't have babies - that's something only women can do! But our community is full of like-minded people who wish otherwise."

Your new motherhood survival kit

Forget about the bright, pretty baby things - while you're in survival mode, all you'll need are the essentials.

More than 100,000 cars recalled globally after death of pregnant woman

The announcement of a mass recall comes as Malaysian police investigate the death of pregnant woman in July.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

I had a 'good baby' but still suffered from postnatal depression

I had a much wanted precious baby girl, a 'good baby' who slept well, self settled and was mostly content. It just seemed implausible to think I could succumb to depression.

There's no need to eclipse a babymoon

As long as pregnant women do their research, travelling during pregnancy can be done safely.

Mum and daughter have babies on same day

"It's not really something you ever want or think could happen. To have my mum going through it with me is probably the most special, amazing thing ever.”

Our baby's reflux caused the longest endurance test of our lives

I'm glad she wasn't my first child, or I would have thought that this was normal.

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

The podcast that reminds mums they are not alone

A mum's complicated, gruelling labour gave birth to two lovely beings: her daughter and her delightful podcast, The Longest Shortest Time.

Is it too late to change my midwife?

My wife is nine months pregnant and we are planning a home birth - but we've had late problems with our midwife team.

The Very Hungover Caterpillar: a parody many can relate to

A new book released this month will be sure to have parents nodding and giggling in recognition the world over.

Babywearers unite against misinformation

Everyone has heard of people power, but what about passionate babywearing power?

Reliving the birth experience

When people ask about how my labour went, I usually respond: "Good, I think? Four hours long, and yeah it hurt, but I dunno, it's labour, it's giving birth, it's painful... but I guess it was good? As good as good gets?"

Literary baby name inspiration

From Harry Potter to Shakespeare and everything in between, we've scoured the library shelves for literary baby name inspiration.

Preparing your child to attend a sibling's birth

Thinking about having your kids at the birth of your baby? Here are some things to consider.

Counselling helps mum deal with triplets' early birth

When Kimberlee King's waters broke nine weeks before her triplets were due, she went into autopilot as she packed her hospital bag.

The women balancing babies with new businesses

Motherhood teaches us that we can be more tolerant, patient, and loving than we ever thought possible - and can also show us that we're innovative, creative and entrepreneurial, too.

It's true, kids grow up overnight

A dad ponders how his toddler daughter can change so much in just one 24 hour period.

Father sings to dying son days after losing wife

A heartbreaking video shows a new dad singing 'Blackbird' to his dying son just days after losing his wife.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

'It's not you, it's me': Boston bombing survivor mum to have leg amputated

Rebekah DiMartino is going through a break-up. She even wrote a farewell love letter. But it's not to her husband.

What it's like to go through early menopause

In a cruel twist, Carla had been breastfeeding and perimenopausal at the same time. But she's far from the only one to go through menopause early.

Restaurant served alcohol to two-year-old

Busy restaurants can be forgiven for getting food and drink orders mixed up from time to time, but not when the confusion leads to a two-year-old being served an alcoholic cocktail instead of the child-friendly beverage they ordered.

Julia Morris tells of miscarriage on a flight

Julia Morris has spoken about the devastation of suffering a miscarriage while on an international flight.

Woman's survival after birth 'a story of two miracles'

A US mother is home and tending to her new baby less than a month after surviving without a pulse for 45 minutes.

Eating ice may give mental boost to the iron deficient: study

A new study proposes that, like a strong cup of coffee, ice may give those with insufficient iron a much-needed mental boost.

Tiny lives in caring hands: Thank U NICU Day

Each year in Australia, over 40,000 newborns need the help of a special care nursery or neonatal intensive care unit. One day a year, the staff are honoured by the parents they help through those dark days.

I paid $50,000 to have a girl

This time my husband and I hadn't taken any chances. We had paid $50,000 and travelled 13,000 kilometres to make sure the baby growing inside me was female.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Dear firstborn, I'm sorry

Being a first-time mum is tough for so many reasons – particularly because you really have no idea what you're doing.

A trace of sesame could kill my son

Helen Richardson son's had two anaphylactic reactions in a month. It's traumatic for everyone.

When you know before the test says yes

It wasn't a pregnancy test or missed period that told me I was pregnant with my second baby; it was too early for those things. A doner kebab told me I was going to be a mum again.

What not to do when your partner is in labour

Robbie Williams stole the show during his wife Ayda's labour, pretty much demonstrating everything on the "what not to do when your partner is in labour" list.

Best maternity swimwear and beach cover-ups

Thinking about a tropical babymoon but have nothing to wear? Here are some great swimwear and beach cover-up options for mums-to-be.

Mark Latham, you have no idea

Parents who treat their depression are "cowardly", feminists are baby haters with a "psychoneurotic disorder". Really, Mark?

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.