Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: oceanus on March 13, 2013, 11:23:39 AM

Title: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: oceanus on March 13, 2013, 11:23:39 AM
I wanted to get some feedback regarding the old saying “Blood is thicker than water”.  I know what it means, but I don’t necessarily agree with it 100% all the time.

For example, last year the (adult) son of a relative in another state got himself into some very, VERY serious trouble.  I feel badly for his parents, but the fact that he is related to me does not excuse what he did.  My feeling is that he knew what he was doing was wrong/illegal, and he is going to have to face the consequences of his behavior and pay the price (which is going to be quite steep and will affect the rest of his life).  This also is not the first time he has been in trouble.  Some have said family is family, people make mistakes, and a person must always stick by their family, and family will always be there for you so you should always be there for them.

OTOH, A few weeks ago a cousin visited me and we went out and had a nice dinner.  I enjoy her company tremendously, and we hadn’t seen each other in quite a while.  During a discussion, I said “I don’t necessarily believe that blood is always thicker than water.  She said “Oh, neither do I.”

Well, that’s not true.  Mentally I replayed many scenarios I’m aware of when she defended members of her immediate family when they were clearly wrong.  She made excuses, justified their behavior, and even twisted what had actually happened.  But – that was a long time ago.  So, I said nothing, and bean-dipped.  I didn’t want to argue, and we continued to enjoy the evening.

So, what is your opinion………is blood thicker than water?
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: LeveeWoman on March 13, 2013, 11:28:55 AM
What does this have to do with etiquette?
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Cat-Fu on March 13, 2013, 11:29:14 AM
Just had to put it out there: http://www.cracked.com/article_20251_the-5-most-frequently-misused-proverbs.html
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: miranova on March 13, 2013, 11:33:23 AM
  family will always be there for you so you should always be there for them.



This is simply not true for a lot of people.  My family has NOT always been there for me, in fact, they rarely are.  So I feel no obligation to go out of my way to do anything for them that I wouldn't do for others.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: WillyNilly on March 13, 2013, 11:34:59 AM
Well just as an aside, the expression was brought up in another thread not to long ago, and its original meaning was friendships are stronger then family bonds (blood referring to mutual blood spilled on the battlefield, water referring to amniotic fluid).

But to your point, I think its all just a bunch of expressions. In reality relationships are based on the people involved, and how they interact, more so then how people were originally connected/brought together.

Sometimes our closest relationships are family by default - a a kid you might not have much exposure to outside persons, but excessive exposure to family, so by default your emotionally closest relationships are going to be family. But as a person's exposure widens, sometimes your closest relationships will be with people outside your family line, and depending on the nature of those relationships they can be much stronger. Take spouses for example - often at some in life a person is closer to their spouse then to their siblings, even if they originally grew up being close to their siblings.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: oceanus on March 13, 2013, 11:38:07 AM
What does this have to do with etiquette?

I did say something about bean-dipping.  Some may feel I sould have said more.

You also might want to review the Forum Rules for recent posts about general discussions.

You don't always HAVE to comment/participate if you're confused or don't care for the topic.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Mal on March 13, 2013, 11:42:08 AM
As the relative of a complete sociopath and his denying, enabling family, my strong opinion is: no, blood is not thicker than water. If your relatives cannot behave like decent human beings, nothing compels you to help them, or even be in contact with them.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: oceanus on March 13, 2013, 11:52:42 AM
One thing I neglected to say is that sometimes a person can get defensive about a femily member and we know about that river in Egypt.

So, is it better to pretend to agree, bean dip, or flat out disagree with them?
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: War_Doc on March 13, 2013, 11:54:10 AM
oceanus, if you have a problem with something someone has posted toward you, it is easier to report it to the moderators then to escalate the situation...especially with that last snide sentence of yours.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Mal on March 13, 2013, 11:54:29 AM
Quote
One thing I neglected to say is that sometimes a person can get defensive about a femily member and we know about that river in Egypt.

So, is it better to pretend to agree, bean dip, or flat out disagree with them?

If it's a close family member, I usually go with disagreeing. Which has proven futile and frustrating, but maybe it'll sow some seeds - or at least make you feel like you did what you could to change the situation.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: War_Doc on March 13, 2013, 11:55:15 AM
What does this have to do with etiquette?

If you have a question in regard to this issue, then I suggest you report it instead of posting this question.  Saves a lot of headaches down to the road of people reacting to said statement.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 13, 2013, 11:58:58 AM
I agree with Willy Nilly.   I'm not nearly as close to extended family as an adult as I was growing up.   I still care about them, but I'm much closer with my friends and my IL's than my FOO.

As for bean dip or disagree? I say bean dip if they seem like they're drowning in that river. But on the other hand, sometimes just saying something like "Really? Your sister said you're required to give up walking across the stage at your graduation because she needed a babysitter for a massage?  She sounds awfully entitled!" might not get them to agree with you, but at least hearing an outsider's perspective might make them realize over time that the way family treats them is NOT normal.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: snowdragon on March 13, 2013, 12:01:48 PM
My brother was arrested ( and convicted) of drinking and driving multiple times. We as has family have always been more impacted by these than he has.  License lifted? Mom always expected the rest of us to drive his butt around. Schedules in conflict? His was expected to take precedence. Even if that meant the person driving his but have to be really late, or really early for their event  - at this point mom is the only one who will drive him, because I am sick of paying the price for his mistakes and my other brother s too busy running three businesses to be asked.  The first time I refused to give up a concert to get this drunk where he wanted to go,  I got all kinds of flack -mom did not speak to me for weeks.
  When she finally, wanted to discuss it I told her "yes, he's my brother, but he has made my life miserable for YEARS, he's a arrogant jerk, when sober and when drunk he's verbally abusive. I am sick of having to work around his behavor and deserve to have a life of my own. If he needed to go to the hospital - of course I would drive him. This is not anything like that, this he wants to go have fun his way and I want to go have fun my way. He got drunk, he drove, he got his license lifted, yet again, why am I being punished for his actions and he is being catered to?"   Mom's response was "he's family, that should make what he needs more important to you."
  I love my brother, I see standing by him as appearing in court when he needs a ride there,  not denying he's my brother and not providing him with the means to get drunk and wreck his life further, but standing there and saying anything but "You were a dumb jerk to do this, don't do it again." ain't happening. Standing by someone does not mean you enabled or excuse them, it means you let them know you still love them and expect better from them. And that you are willing to let them take the consequences for their actions. to do less denies them the ability to grow.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Bethalize on March 13, 2013, 12:02:42 PM
I was just going to share the cracked.com link! Yes, "The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb." The saying means the opposite of how we use it. It's probably why we find ourselves thinking it's a daft thing to say so often.

And then I try and post and there are nine responses.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: oceanus on March 13, 2013, 12:04:47 PM
Quote
I say bean dip if they seem like they're drowning in that river.

Funny!   ;D

Yeah, a lot of that going around.

One relative gets really defensive and angry if anyone even begins to imply that her mother is a gossip and a troublemaker (which she IS).  I've often seen people exchanging looks, like, "Is she for real?"  ::)
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Sterling on March 13, 2013, 12:13:07 PM
Maybe people should think about not talking badly about her mother in front of her since it is obvious it upsets her.

Fact is just because you think a person is horrible and you shouldn't have to stand by them doesn't mean that other family members have to comply to your choice.  Lots of people point out my nephew's negative traits and I have made it known that they can think all they want about him but they better not comment in front of me because I will always stand beside him.  Now these are typically just personality traits other people don't like.  He has never hurt anyone or broken any major laws (though he seems to collect speeding tickets for fun.)  But when people point out that he can be lazy I remind them that I love him and they need to talk about something else while I'm there.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Auntie Mame on March 13, 2013, 12:40:02 PM
  family will always be there for you so you should always be there for them.



This is simply not true for a lot of people.  My family has NOT always been there for me, in fact, they rarely are.  So I feel no obligation to go out of my way to do anything for them that I wouldn't do for others.

If I want to hang out with judgemental bullies who instead of seeing who I am hold me accountable for every single thing I've done my entire life and still pretend I am the exact same person I was at 16 years old instead of a mature adult.  I will hang out with my family.

I want to hang out with people who love and accept me for who I am and support me.  I will hang out with my friends.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Judah on March 13, 2013, 12:44:02 PM
This is really going to depend on the person. For me, family will always come first. Always.  That doesn't mean that I don't see my family members' faults, but we all have faults and no one loves me the way my family does. No one understands me the way my family does. No one has been there for me the way my family has. I have some friends who are like family, but those are rare.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 13, 2013, 12:49:16 PM
  family will always be there for you so you should always be there for them.



This is simply not true for a lot of people.  My family has NOT always been there for me, in fact, they rarely are.  So I feel no obligation to go out of my way to do anything for them that I wouldn't do for others.

If I want to hang out with judgemental bullies who instead of seeing who I am hold me accountable for every single thing I've done my entire life and still pretend I am the exact same person I was at 16 years old instead of a mature adult.  I will hang out with my family.

I want to hang out with people who love and accept me for who I am and support me.  I will hang out with my friends.

Pod.  Me too.  I've always been a believer that friends are the family we choose.  I was also lucky enough to marry into a wonderful family and was made to feel completely at home and welcomed by them.   Loving someone doesn't always mean blowing sunshine up their rear end but it also doesn't mean putting them down at every opportunity or trying to change them into someone you can love.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Mal on March 13, 2013, 12:56:57 PM
This is really going to depend on the person. For me, family will always come first. Always.  That doesn't mean that I don't see my family members' faults, but we all have faults and no one loves me the way my family does. No one understands me the way my family does. No one has been there for me the way my family has. I have some friends who are like family, but those are rare.

With my immediate family, I feel exactly the same way :) I'm glad there's this perspective here as well.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Virg on March 13, 2013, 02:07:37 PM
As a direct answer to your question, oceanus, the answer is no.  That is to say, how people interact with their family is based on their own experiences (good or bad), and so it's not universally true.  There are those who would consider family paramount, and there are those who wouldn't spit on family if they were on fire, and so any rule that implies that either view is always right or always wrong will be inaccurate.

As to how to deal with someone who insists that such a rule must be always right or always wrong, that too depends on the person and the relationship so no single answer works in all cases.  Whether bean-dipping someone or arguing/discussing is better is to be decided on a case by case basis.  You yourself presented to scenarios that IMHO could be handled differently.  In the first case, simple avoidance is rational because someone who wants you to stand behind a relative who did something heinous just because they're related to you isn't likely to be willing to have a rational discussion about it.  On the other hand, having lunch with a relative who responds to your comment with something that could trigger discussion might be a place where you'd want to continue (although you weren't rude to bean-dip her like you did if you didn't want to continue).

Virg
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: miranova on March 13, 2013, 02:19:22 PM
  family will always be there for you so you should always be there for them.



This is simply not true for a lot of people.  My family has NOT always been there for me, in fact, they rarely are.  So I feel no obligation to go out of my way to do anything for them that I wouldn't do for others.

If I want to hang out with judgemental bullies who instead of seeing who I am hold me accountable for every single thing I've done my entire life and still pretend I am the exact same person I was at 16 years old instead of a mature adult.  I will hang out with my family.

Wow I felt like I was reading something I wrote there.  One of my sister's favorite phrases is that she did everything right in life while I and our other sister made all the mistakes.  It still upsets her that I landed on my feet.  She landed on her feet as well, but apparently seems to think that I don't deserve anything that I have because of my screwups.  She also seems to think that everything bad that happened to her was in NO WAY related to any decisions she made.  Yes, her first husband left her, yes he doesn't pay child support which is awful, but she DID pick him against several objections that she didn't want to listen to.  He was lazy and unambitious the day they met, 5 years before they ever got married.  That choice in partner in and of itself could be seen as a "mistake" but she will never see it that way.  I don't sink to her level and have never actually mentioned that hey, maybe the total lack of any ambition whatsoever should have been a clue that he wouldn't support future children.  I don't want to point that out, because then I'd be just like her.  But when I get "what did you expect?" from her for every bad thing that's ever happened to me, it's hard not to retaliate..

On the other hand, my "mistakes" were more easy to judge, belittle, and criticize so anything I went through as a result was my fault anyway and I deserved it.  These mistakes are now over a decade ago when I was in my early 20's, and she still seems completely unwilling or unable to realize that GASP!  I've grown up.  I'm not the same person.  But I've been cast in her play of life in a certain role, and will never escape it, no matter what I actually do and who I actually am. 
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Winterlight on March 13, 2013, 03:17:51 PM
This is really going to depend on the person. For me, family will always come first. Always.  That doesn't mean that I don't see my family members' faults, but we all have faults and no one loves me the way my family does. No one understands me the way my family does. No one has been there for me the way my family has. I have some friends who are like family, but those are rare.

Agreed.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Tea Drinker on March 13, 2013, 03:39:41 PM
With regard to Oceanus's original post, maybe this was the cousin's way of saying "I've changed my mind about that." She used to defend her relatives when she wouldn't defend someone else who did/said the same things, but as the OP says, that was a long time ago.

My own feeling is that relatives start with a bit of an advantage as far as affection and loyalty, but it's only a foundation: if people don't build on that, they aren't going to be close later, and they aren't going to be able to depend on each other that way. I know not everyone feels the way I do: that's probably true on every subject, though.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: oceanus on March 13, 2013, 03:54:31 PM
Quote
With regard to Oceanus's original post, maybe this was the cousin's way of saying "I've changed my mind about that."

Very good point!  I hadn't considered that.  Maybe if I had explored the issue, she would have said that.  But........meh......still a potential 'hot button', so I decided to play it safe by bean dipping.  :-\
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: MOM21SON on March 13, 2013, 04:03:37 PM

My own feeling is that relatives start with a bit of an advantage as far as affection and loyalty, but it's only a foundation: if people don't build on that, they aren't going to be close later, and they aren't going to be able to depend on each other that way. I know not everyone feels the way I do: that's probably true on every subject, though.

This was a great way to put my feelings.  Thank you. 
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Softly Spoken on March 13, 2013, 04:16:08 PM

My own feeling is that relatives start with a bit of an advantage as far as affection and loyalty, but it's only a foundation: if people don't build on that, they aren't going to be close later, and they aren't going to be able to depend on each other that way. I know not everyone feels the way I do: that's probably true on every subject, though.

This was a great way to put my feelings.  Thank you.
Excellent way of describing it. ;D

Basically I think blood can get "thicker" or "thinner" depending on how any given familial relationship progresses. My brothers and I are close and very loyal to each other. I am not as close to my father. I have extended family that are virtually strangers to me - I do not feel I owe them anything just because we happen have a last name or genetic material in common.

I was quite amused/exasperated to see my older brother E wade through the river in Egypt and come out the other side in regards to our brother H. I warned E from day one that H was taking advantage of him, but E would shrug and say "he's my brother." Now, he has reached his limit and beyond and says "He's my brother and I love him but he has to go." I am thrilled to hear E talking Bed/Made/Lie instead of coming up with reasons why he should be helping H. E was so concerned about being a loyal brother that he failed to realize how lousy H was being at it.

Blood is sometimes thicker...and it should flow both ways! ;)
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Judah on March 13, 2013, 04:34:46 PM
Maybe people should think about not talking badly about her mother in front of her since it is obvious it upsets her.

Fact is just because you think a person is horrible and you shouldn't have to stand by them doesn't mean that other family members have to comply to your choice.  Lots of people point out my nephew's negative traits and I have made it known that they can think all they want about him but they better not comment in front of me because I will always stand beside him.  Now these are typically just personality traits other people don't like.  He has never hurt anyone or broken any major laws (though he seems to collect speeding tickets for fun.)  But when people point out that he can be lazy I remind them that I love him and they need to talk about something else while I'm there.

Agreed. I'm not blind to my mother's faults, but I'm certainly not going to let her be criticized by anyone and I'm surprised anyone would think that would be okay.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Twik on March 13, 2013, 04:47:42 PM
Water density 1.0 mg/mL at standard STP.

Blood density 1.06 mg/mL at standard STP.

The saying is confirmed as accurate.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: afbluebelle on March 13, 2013, 04:54:20 PM
Water density 1.0 mg/mL at standard STP.

Blood density 1.06 mg/mL at standard STP.

The saying is confirmed as accurate.

That isn't even counting in the clotting factor!
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Minmom3 on March 13, 2013, 07:36:17 PM
With regard to Oceanus's original post, maybe this was the cousin's way of saying "I've changed my mind about that." She used to defend her relatives when she wouldn't defend someone else who did/said the same things, but as the OP says, that was a long time ago.

My own feeling is that relatives start with a bit of an advantage as far as affection and loyalty, but it's only a foundation: if people don't build on that, they aren't going to be close later, and they aren't going to be able to depend on each other that way. I know not everyone feels the way I do: that's probably true on every subject, though.

I think that was VERY well said!
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Miss Tickle on March 13, 2013, 07:43:22 PM
Water density 1.0 mg/mL at standard STP.

Blood density 1.06 mg/mL at standard STP.

The saying is confirmed as accurate.

That isn't even counting in the clotting factor!

Up to the freezing point, then water becomes thicker.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: afbluebelle on March 13, 2013, 08:46:15 PM
Science!
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: StarFaerie on March 13, 2013, 08:58:55 PM
Maybe people should think about not talking badly about her mother in front of her since it is obvious it upsets her.

Fact is just because you think a person is horrible and you shouldn't have to stand by them doesn't mean that other family members have to comply to your choice.  Lots of people point out my nephew's negative traits and I have made it known that they can think all they want about him but they better not comment in front of me because I will always stand beside him.  Now these are typically just personality traits other people don't like.  He has never hurt anyone or broken any major laws (though he seems to collect speeding tickets for fun.)  But when people point out that he can be lazy I remind them that I love him and they need to talk about something else while I'm there.

Agreed. I'm not blind to my mother's faults, but I'm certainly not going to let her be criticized by anyone and I'm surprised anyone would think that would be okay.

Feel free to criticise my mother. I can get you started and then take up the litany when you run out of steam.

Not everyone has a mother/father/brother or other relation that they feel should be defended. Some relations are just nasty toxic people and the more people who realise that, the less people who can be hurt by them. Blood is only so thick after all, it's not pitch.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: oceanus on March 13, 2013, 09:35:37 PM
My maternal grandmother (deceased) was one of those who went to Egypt, drowned in that river, and choose to stay sunken at the bottom when it came to one of my uncles/her son.  Toxic, abusive, sociopath does not even begin to describe him.  As a kid I recall him physically abusing two of his four wives several times right in front of grandma’s face.  Yet, when a couple of men restrained him, grandma cried and pleaded “don’t hurt him!”   :o ???  (This was back in the day before domestic violence laws).

I almost wish one of those women had taken a cue from Farrah Fawcett (“The Burning Bed”).  But that uncle died relatively young – and alone.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Miss Tickle on March 13, 2013, 09:57:33 PM
Maybe people should think about not talking badly about her mother in front of her since it is obvious it upsets her.

Fact is just because you think a person is horrible and you shouldn't have to stand by them doesn't mean that other family members have to comply to your choice.  Lots of people point out my nephew's negative traits and I have made it known that they can think all they want about him but they better not comment in front of me because I will always stand beside him.  Now these are typically just personality traits other people don't like.  He has never hurt anyone or broken any major laws (though he seems to collect speeding tickets for fun.)  But when people point out that he can be lazy I remind them that I love him and they need to talk about something else while I'm there.

Agreed. I'm not blind to my mother's faults, but I'm certainly not going to let her be criticized by anyone and I'm surprised anyone would think that would be okay.

Feel free to criticise my mother. I can get you started and then take up the litany when you run out of steam.

Not everyone has a mother/father/brother or other relation that they feel should be defended. Some relations are just nasty toxic people and the more people who realise that, the less people who can be hurt by them. Blood is only so thick after all, it's not pitch.

I know it sounds terrible, but it's so true, yeah? Everyone thinks of Mother as the mother they had, so it's hard for them to relate.  It's even harder if they themselves are parents, because of the assumption you are judging because of your experience.

My DH said, "Blood may be thicker than water, but gold is thick than both."  I don't know if he stole that but I don't care.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Coruscation on March 13, 2013, 10:05:57 PM
Maybe people should think about not talking badly about her mother in front of her since it is obvious it upsets her.

Fact is just because you think a person is horrible and you shouldn't have to stand by them doesn't mean that other family members have to comply to your choice.  Lots of people point out my nephew's negative traits and I have made it known that they can think all they want about him but they better not comment in front of me because I will always stand beside him.  Now these are typically just personality traits other people don't like.  He has never hurt anyone or broken any major laws (though he seems to collect speeding tickets for fun.)  But when people point out that he can be lazy I remind them that I love him and they need to talk about something else while I'm there.

Agreed. I'm not blind to my mother's faults, but I'm certainly not going to let her be criticized by anyone and I'm surprised anyone would think that would be okay.

This is point of view I have never understood. Someone doesn't have to be perfect before I like them. I know I have faults and I admit to them. If your nephew is lazy, he's lazy, saying he's not doesn't make it any less true.

I like both my mothers two sisters but one of them is late everywhere. She has been known to turn up two hours late for a trip to see her brother then want to shop before she leaves. A typical conversation about her would be "Well, we want to leave by lunch, so we'll tell her it's ten o'clock. We'll get to the mall (meeting place) at ten and buy X, Y and Z while we wait for her." This avoids her assuming  that we've added time to the meeting time and turning up later.

On one occasion her daughter got annoyed by us talking about how she was late everywhere so we put her on the 'People who can't deal with reality list." My aunt is funny, nice, intelligent and loyal but she is late everywhere. Saying otherwise is just a flat out lie.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Hillia on March 13, 2013, 10:21:44 PM
DH's extended family makes me a little nuts with the hyposcrisy of this.  The dysfunction is incredible; none of them can stand each other, and any gathering will include copious amounts of nasty gossip about any who aren't there.  Get persons A, B, and C together, and they'll talk about D.  Get A and D together, and they'll talk about B and C,and so forth.  They treat each other like crap and hold grudges forever.  Yet they will all piously hold forth about the sacred bonds of FAAAAMMMMMIIIIILLLLLY - ugh. 

I was roundly chastised for speaking sharply to DH's idiot cousin, age 26, who announced that 'all military guys are ***holes'.  Well, some are; any population is going to have some members who are jerks.  But it's ridiculous to make that kind of all inclusive statement, and I'll be doggoned if I'll let your slacker butt slander my brother, who is fighting PTSD after 26 years active duty including tours in Somalia, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Iraq, not to mention his friends and companions who didn't make it back.  But no; we're faaaaammmiilllly and family forgives each other.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: GSNW on March 14, 2013, 12:06:14 AM

My own feeling is that relatives start with a bit of an advantage as far as affection and loyalty, but it's only a foundation: if people don't build on that, they aren't going to be close later, and they aren't going to be able to depend on each other that way. I know not everyone feels the way I do: that's probably true on every subject, though.

This was a great way to put my feelings.  Thank you.

I also agree - word for word.  My mother still tries to steer me towards socializing with an aunt who only shows up to family funerals and has done and said a lot of very mean and nasty things to me and others.  Whenever I say I don't want anything to do with her, I get the, "But she's faamily!"  I feel sorry for anyone who feels obligated to subject themselves to toxic behavior and abuse because they share DNA.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: violinp on March 14, 2013, 12:39:30 AM
Maybe people should think about not talking badly about her mother in front of her since it is obvious it upsets her.

Fact is just because you think a person is horrible and you shouldn't have to stand by them doesn't mean that other family members have to comply to your choice.  Lots of people point out my nephew's negative traits and I have made it known that they can think all they want about him but they better not comment in front of me because I will always stand beside him.  Now these are typically just personality traits other people don't like.  He has never hurt anyone or broken any major laws (though he seems to collect speeding tickets for fun.)  But when people point out that he can be lazy I remind them that I love him and they need to talk about something else while I'm there.

Agreed. I'm not blind to my mother's faults, but I'm certainly not going to let her be criticized by anyone and I'm surprised anyone would think that would be okay.

Feel free to criticise my mother. I can get you started and then take up the litany when you run out of steam.

Not everyone has a mother/father/brother or other relation that they feel should be defended. Some relations are just nasty toxic people and the more people who realise that, the less people who can be hurt by them. Blood is only so thick after all, it's not pitch.

Exactly. My grandmother beat my dad at least once a week, committed acts of violence on him that make me too sick to think about, played mind - games on him about Christmas presents, and kicked him out of the house because he refused to get a prom date, since he was still recovering from his girlfriend killing herself in front of him. In addition, she was a mean, bitter person who refused to speak to a sister because Sister and her husband dared to buy a house of their own, because she wanted to be the only one who made something of herself. Yeah, I'm not fond of her, and Dad would have played "Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead" as she was lowered into the coffin if it wouldn't have been disrespectful to other people.

There's a major difference between annoying character traits (such as laziness) and deep personality flaws that make you a horrible and toxic person to be around. I will always criticize the latter.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 14, 2013, 07:02:27 AM
Maybe people should think about not talking badly about her mother in front of her since it is obvious it upsets her.

Fact is just because you think a person is horrible and you shouldn't have to stand by them doesn't mean that other family members have to comply to your choice.  Lots of people point out my nephew's negative traits and I have made it known that they can think all they want about him but they better not comment in front of me because I will always stand beside him.  Now these are typically just personality traits other people don't like.  He has never hurt anyone or broken any major laws (though he seems to collect speeding tickets for fun.)  But when people point out that he can be lazy I remind them that I love him and they need to talk about something else while I'm there.

Agreed. I'm not blind to my mother's faults, but I'm certainly not going to let her be criticized by anyone and I'm surprised anyone would think that would be okay.

Feel free to criticise my mother. I can get you started and then take up the litany when you run out of steam.

Not everyone has a mother/father/brother or other relation that they feel should be defended. Some relations are just nasty toxic people and the more people who realise that, the less people who can be hurt by them. Blood is only so thick after all, it's not pitch.

That made me laugh! I'm the same way and I agree.  My dad's side of the family and one of my mother's sisters talk like the sun shines out of my mother's every orifice.  Okay that's hyperbole but you get the idea. Not a single negative word is said and they just don't see her as I have.   It meant the world to me when my mother's youngest sister sent me a message on fbook saying she understood where I was coming from and also had issues with my parents in the last year.   So it's nice when you know you're not the only one that sees the dysfunction.   I think my brother does too, though we don't talk about our parents much when we're together, preferring to discuss more pleasant topics.

Last time he said anything negative about either of them was when he told me he decided to pursue an engineering degree after much debate because he didn't want to be like our dad but then decided it would be unfortunate to not do something he was really interested in just because our father did it.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Miss Misery on March 14, 2013, 07:27:42 AM
Quote
Is Blood really thicker than water?

No.

My older sister wouldn't grow up and get a clue and had de-evolved into a soul-sucking drama queen leech with no shame. I honestly believe she's a sociopath. Anyway, I haven't talked to her since January. She got kicked out of my parents' house in February. Nobody has heard from her since and that's fine with us. Bed. Made. Lie.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Jones on March 14, 2013, 07:46:36 AM
I have 9 adopted siblings. We have no blood between each other whatsoever, but for the most part we all get along.

All but the brother who served time for sex abuse, was released, and because a moocher/thief of the highest degree...he's now serving time for burglary, theft, drugs and witness tampering. It still amazes me that he both abused and threatened my sister and most of the family is still speaking to him...that's their right, and has nothing to do with blood, so I have no explanation.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: *inviteseller on March 14, 2013, 09:30:46 AM
I love my family deeply, but there are members who have pulled stunts that are unacceptable (not just to me, but society as well).  I give everyone a second chance but when you continue to make mistakes or just be a general rear end, I don't care what DNA we share, I will not condone your lifestyle and will distance myself.  Right now, my brother, who is a mess himself is angry at me that I am not jumping for joy that his ex convict lazy son is having a baby with a women who left her husband for him.  Nonono...I already wasn't speaking to him due to some extreme drama he had caused over the summer, but a baby is not softening my heart just because it is family.  I have watched friends suffer over guilt because they want to be away from toxic members, but can't because they were always taught it's all about faaammmmilyyyyyyy. 
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: RubyCat on March 14, 2013, 10:16:10 AM
I totally agree with family starting out with an advantage. I strongly believe in family sticking together and helping each other out but have learned that family loyalty is a two way street and has its limits.

I put up with all kind of disrespect and felt that I "deserved" it due to some bad choices I made as teen/young adult.  Fast forward 20 years when it dawned on me that If I had committed murder, I could have been out of jail by then.  And i had done nothing even close to that and certainly nothing criminal. (I got pregnant out of wedlock & married the bum). That's when I started to push back & certain members of the family didn't like it. It really hurt.

The other time I have really struggled with this was when youngest child got really out of control, even threatened me with a hammer. I tried everything I could think of, counseling, etc, but nothing worked. Attempted arson was the last straw & i pressed charges. It was one of the hardest thing I've ever done but it did lead to her getting even more help. My mother & my sister were furious with me because she's *family*. It didn't matter that I and my other children were afraid.

After a couple of years of treatment, youngest child was supposed to come home. I made it clear that when she did she would be expected to go to school & get a part time job. She made up a story about being "afraid" of me & reported me to social services. Nothing came of it except her social worker asking me about it but I felt like my heart was cut out of me. She's an adult now and living in a group home due to mental illness. She's doing really well with medication but while I've had her come stay with me for a day or two (which makes me nervous) I will never allow her to live under my roof again. Even though it breaks my heart.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: Cat-Fu on March 14, 2013, 10:36:56 AM
In my life (using the current meaning of the term) blood is thicker than water. But toxic blood? That's more like gasoline.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 14, 2013, 02:42:24 PM
My mom was kind of like this, but not to the extent of some of these stories. She and her second cousin were both only children, and close, like sisters.  My "aunt" as we called her, has 3 kids. My oldest cousin is about 4 years older than I am, the next is about my age, maybe a year older, and the last is 10 years younger than the oldest.

My middle cousin is selfish, rude etc. I wasn't that close to older cousin due to the difference in age.  We didnt' see them all that often growing up, but my mom wanted us to be close, I think like she and my aunt had been.And she never really got it when I told her cousin was "mean" to me, as she was.  She just tried to tell me to be nicer to her.

Mom and aunt kept in touch as we all got older, but I really never saw them.  After both my aunt and uncle passed away, my oldest cousin came to visit my parents, and I was there too. She and I are now close, in fact, she tells me she thinks of ME as a sister!  But more importantly, younger cousin is still selfish, etc. adn my mom finally gets it. I htink older cousin telling some stories too helped her realized what a witch with a b my other cousin really is!
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: bloo on March 14, 2013, 03:58:18 PM
I'm not impressed by DNA. My parents, Dad specifically, cut off his toxic family members so I learned from them not to put up with much. My DH has had to excise some toxic relatives and together we had to cut off our best friends who also happened to be related to DH.

Funny thing is DH's family and extended family treated him like dirt his whole life, but when we cut off friendship with his cousin* we were startled to get the litany of 'but they're faaaaaaaaaaamily!' from all these different family members that had no problem with mistreating or cutting off DH.

When DH's Dad did it, I wanted to grab the phone and yell, 'You're the one who taught DH not to stick by family! You abandoned him when he was a little kid!'  :o

In our minds, his family is not 'family'. Just people who happened to have the same last name. The nicer ones are too close to the toxic, yucky ones. So we just don't have anything to do with any of them. 

ETA: I meant to explain the asterisk (*) on cousin in my post. DH's cousin's husband molested a girl. I wanted to clarify that we weren't the type to cut off family for trivial reasons - it's serious toxicity that we try to avoid.
Title: Re: Is Blood really thicker than water?
Post by: oceanus on March 14, 2013, 04:02:29 PM
The "faaaaaaaaamily" references in this thread are cracking me up. :D  I know exactly how it sounds when people play the "faaaaaaaaaaamily" card.  ::)