Author Topic: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?  (Read 2919 times)

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SamiHami

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Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« on: December 10, 2012, 12:32:58 PM »
This is such an ugly family situation. I will try to keep it down to a reasonable length...

BG: My brother is, and always has been, a devoted family man. It's just who he is. He and his first wife raised two daughters together, "Rene" age 26 and "Kerry" age 22. DB's wife cheated on him and they subsequently divorced earlier this year. She married her boyfriend and my DB met and married another woman recently.

Rene has always had self esteem issues, which I have always found odd because she is, honestly, extremely pretty. She is tall, slender and could easily have been a model. She's been a magnet for guys since she started developing. So, why she chooses losers has always baffled us.

She started secretly dating a man when she was 17. He was quite a lot older and when she married him at 19 she wound up with stepchildren almost her own age. There was a lot of family drama over this relationship, but she ultimately told all of us that if we objected to her relationship we could all go somewhere very hot because she was going to do what she wanted to regardless. Predictably, that marriage was a disaster and they split in less than two years, but not before she had a baby that they could not afford.

DB and his then-wife forgave all and took her and the baby in, allowing them to live in their house for a couple of years while Rene tried to pull herself together. This never did seem to happen, although she did eventually get a pretty good job eventually.

Then she met Harold. Harold seemed to be the man of her dreams. Age appropriate, nice looking, nice family, etc. Turns out that while her mother was cheating on my brother, she was confiding everything in Rene. Rene wanted out of the house because she knew things were going to implode soon and she didn't want be around for it. So, about a year ago, Rene and Harold got married.

Since then, things did indeed implode and things were very stressful in the family for some time. Things have settled out now, but now Rene is the problem. Since her marriage to Harold she has pulled away from the family. Not just pulled away, but started threatening family members, saying if they try to contact her she will have them arrested for harrassment. She has said ugly, horrible, hateful things to my brother and his exwife. She not just left the family, but did so with as much vitriol and hatred as she could. She now hates her sister, both of her parents and apparently my parents (her GPs) as well. I am the only one she has kept any contact with. I don't know why.

Since I am the only one she has contact with, the family has encouraged me to keep it up, so she'll have someone that she keeps in touch with. However, I am honestly getting sick of it. Every time I talk to her she goes out of her way to say nasty, ugly, hurtful things to me about other family members. I've asked her many times why she suddenly hates everyone and she never has an answer-it's always, "Oh, I'll tell you someday." I mean, I can understand being hurt by her parent's divorce, but her sister has never done an unkind thing in her life. Neither have my parents. It makes no sense.

Now she has given birth to another baby. She won't tell me when the baby was born because she doesn't want me to tell other family members. I'm not allowed to have a picture of the baby, because she's afraid that I'll show it to family. I got a little angry and told her-truthfully-that she need not concern herself about that happening, because no one wants to know anything about her or the baby - it's too painful for them, so they'd rather not know. Her response? "That makes me so happy!" Essentially she's turned into a monster Female Dog. Sorry, but it's true.

I think it's got a lot to do with Harold. I don't know if she knows it, but he has quite a police record, including a conviction for assaulting his second wife, as well as several DUI's. He convinced Rene to quit her job and they now live on welfare, in his parents converted garage. His parents evidently enable his bad behavior and I think he's got Rene brainwashed a bit. Still, she's an adult and has to be responsible for her own choices.

I am at the point where I am ready to cut her off myself. I cannot stand her hate-filled nasty comments about people who have done nothing but love her, and who she will undoubtedly turn to for help when this marriage inevitably falls apart. She has done so much damage. I have been working on some spiritual self improvement and am trying very hard to let go of hatred and to be more understanding and sympathetic to those I've considered enemies, but being exposed to her vitriol is making it a challenge. But...she also has two children now and I would hate for them to be entirely cut off from our family.

What thoughts do you have? I can give more detail if necesary, but I wanted to keep this from turning into the longest post ever on ehell. Would you keep up contact? Would you let her go and move on? Would you let her back into your life when her current mariages fails (which I truly think will)?

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MrTango

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2012, 12:40:40 PM »
I think you ought to disregard what others want you to do an decide how to handle things based on what is best for you.

If other family members want to maintain a connection with her, they can step up and do it themselves.

guihong

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2012, 12:41:33 PM »
I think right now it sounds more stressful than it's worth, and you're not getting anything in return.   Rene made the choice. 

I would back way up, but if she does change her life, consider letting her back in for the sake of her sons.  Letting go of hurt and forgiving others doesn't mean you allow them to abuse you over and over.



mich3554

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 12:44:45 PM »
I think it's got a lot to do with Harold. I don't know if she knows it, but he has quite a police record, including a conviction for assaulting his second wife, as well as several DUI's. He convinced Rene to quit her job and they now live on welfare, in his parents converted garage. His parents evidently enable his bad behavior and I think he's got Rene brainwashed a bit. Still, she's an adult and has to be responsible for her own choices.

I wonder if Harold is the reason why she is pulling away from her family.  This is classic actions from an abuser, to isolate the person from any support group.  As the guy has a record for assaulting his second wife, it's not such a huge stretch that he'd be abusing her as well.

I'd probably try to leave the lines of communication open......

BeagleMommy

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2012, 12:47:07 PM »
Sami:

This has to be giving you mountains of stress.  I can appreciate that you want to keep in contact with Renee, but she is proving to be unconvinced that her family is anything but evil incarnate.  How soon before she decides you've done something unforgivable and breaks contact with you?

This is a young woman with some serious emotional baggage.  It might be time to cut ties and let her fend for herself.  She is not using you for emotional support; she is using you as a sounding board for her vitriol.  Whether Harold is the root cause is irrelevant.

You know best what you need to do to preserve peace in your life.  It might be the hardest thing ever to cut Renee off, but it might be the best gift you give her and yourself.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 12:54:35 PM »
I think it's got a lot to do with Harold. I don't know if she knows it, but he has quite a police record, including a conviction for assaulting his second wife, as well as several DUI's. He convinced Rene to quit her job and they now live on welfare, in his parents converted garage. His parents evidently enable his bad behavior and I think he's got Rene brainwashed a bit. Still, she's an adult and has to be responsible for her own choices.

I wonder if Harold is the reason why she is pulling away from her family.  This is classic actions from an abuser, to isolate the person from any support group.  As the guy has a record for assaulting his second wife, it's not such a huge stretch that he'd be abusing her as well.

I'd probably try to leave the lines of communication open......

This is my take on it as well.

Two Ravens

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 12:59:03 PM »
How much contact do you have with her? How often do you talk? It is once a week, once a month? That would affect my answer...

bah12

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 01:00:23 PM »
So, I don't think it matters what your family wants you to do in regards to Rene.  If it doesn't work for you for to keep in contact with her, you shouldn't feel obligated to.

Now, I can see the dillemma if you truly believe that Harold is an abuser and that she and her kids are in danger.  And this is a tough situation, far outside of etiquette.
My advice would be to tell Rene that you respect her choice to cut off ties with her family and respect that she doesn't feel like she can tell you why at this point, but that it's very difficult to hear her bad-mouth them.  Until she's ready to talk to you about what is going on, you would ask her that she refrain from talking bad about the family and instead focus on other topics that you both enjoy.

If she can't do that and chooses to cut off contact with you, then so be it.  She's an adult.  If she can't do that and doesn't choose to cutoff contact with you, if you feel that you have to cut off ties with her for the sake of your sanity, then you are well within your rights and that's what you should do.

Mikayla

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 01:09:35 PM »
I wouldn't even consider maintaining ties with her.  She thinks of you as her safety valve, but it's obvious she controls the on/off switch on that.  The incident where she said you couldn't see photos of the baby proves this.  It also suggests she's being manipulative -- maybe this is exactly what she wants you to do if you saw them.

If you do decide to cut ties, I guess the etiquette question is how to do this politely.  I'd send an email (only because this is what I did myself).  Keep it brief and just tell her that you're having trouble with some of the choices she's made recently, and you would appreciate it if she doesn't contact you again.

Then live those words.  Block/defriend/don't respond.

onyonryngs

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 01:13:18 PM »
Have you told her that you don't want to discuss other family members?  Your post doesn't sound like you've told her that you don't want to discuss family members with her and hear these negative things, it sounds like you've been left as the 1 contact to report back to the family or something.   If she knows that you won't discuss family with her then she'd have a good idea that you won't discuss her with family, but it doesn't sound like she trusts you not to do that.  It seems healthier to just cut ties if she's that horrible.

CaptainObvious

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 01:41:00 PM »
If she is this hateful and nasty, cut off contact with her. If you aren't getting anything out of the relationship, then just let it go.

Even though her father is your brother, I sincerely doubt that you know everything that went on in their house. She may have a very good reason to cut ties, she just doesn't wish to share that info.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 01:42:49 PM by CaptainObvious »

Hmmmmm

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 01:52:25 PM »
I think you can keep the lines of communication open, but refuse to discuss anything that remotely involves the family.  If she asks you your plans for Christmas, just respond with generic "oh the usual." or "I think it will be a quiet one."  Keep conversations focused on current events, work, or things that you'd discuss with any acquantance. 

If she brings up the family just say you don't want to talk about that and change the subject.

Then if she does end up needing someone, she can reach out to you but you don't have to go insane listening to her.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 02:08:08 PM »
My advice would be to tell Rene that you respect her choice to cut off ties with her family and respect that she doesn't feel like she can tell you why at this point, but that it's very difficult to hear her bad-mouth them.  Until she's ready to talk to you about what is going on, you would ask her that she refrain from talking bad about the family and instead focus on other topics that you both enjoy.

If she can't do that and chooses to cut off contact with you, then so be it.  She's an adult.  If she can't do that and doesn't choose to cutoff contact with you, if you feel that you have to cut off ties with her for the sake of your sanity, then you are well within your rights and that's what you should do.

I agree.
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Ontario

Wordgeek

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Re: Broken Family rel@tionships..what would you do?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 02:17:40 PM »
Sympathies to the OP, but this is not an etiquette issue.

Please consult the appropriate professional advice in real life.

Best wishes to those involved.