AlterEgo, do you find that you have anger issues, too, like your brother? And what does your DH have to say about your family?
I had always had a lot of sadness and frustration because of my family. Now that I've finally stopped giving into the crazy and have learned to just live my life, I've been immensely happier. My DH's family is dysfunctional in its own way, so he just lets me handle mine the way I want to and I let him handle his. I don't think I would have been happy married to man who came from a healthy family because he wouldn't have been able to understand what I've been through.
No, I don't--I'm not sure anyone else in the family does (though I don't know any of my extended family very well).
My DH handles my family pretty well, though he really hates to be around them, and has only minimal discourse with my brother. One of the rude things my mother does is bring up very controversial topics, and then not. let. it. go until she's absolutely convinced that you agree with her 100%, and that's difficult for him to handle, since he usually has very different opinions from hers. For example, she's a fan of a political party known for its extreme conservatism, and a visit with her will go like this:
Mom (out of the blue): So, what do you think about [hot-topic political question of the moment]?
Me (knowing I don't agree with her): Oh, I'm not sure. Beandip, beandip, beandip.
Mom: What do you mean you're not sure? How can you not be sure? You don't think [opposition argument] is the stupidest thing you've ever heard?
Me: I don't know. Beandip, beandip, beandip.
Mom: What do you mean you don't know? What's not
stupid about it?
Me: I'm not sure. Beandip, beandip, beandip.
Mom: (Relates extremely biased, and often factually incorrect, state of affairs) So now, don't you think [opposition] is the stupidest thing in the world?
And so on, ad nauseum, until she's either beaten you into saying that, of course, she's absolutely correct, or that she's gotten mad at you for being so rude as to not engage in the conversation. (In case you're wondering, there's no such thing as polite debate with her. If you so much as hint that there might be another opinion on a matter, she starts hounding you and pointing out all the ways you're entirely wrong, and will not ever give it up, ever.)
It looks as if everyone who's had a similar situation has just had to cut contact down to a minimum, which does make me a bit sad. She wasn't and isn't the best mother, but she did want to be. She was one of those people that came from a bad family, and wanted to make the perfect family of her own. Unfortunately, she ended up with a daughter who disappointed her most of her life, a drug addict son who regularly goes into violent rages and doesn't treat her with even basic human decency, and a husband she hates who never helps her through difficult situations. Yes, a lot of it is her own fault, but she always thought she was doing the right thing.