(Closed) Family members that will never change, and cutting off contact

posted 6 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
Member
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

First of all, you have all my sympathies having to deal with people like this.

It’s not my family, but my husband’s father. He didn’t raise him (he was thrown in jail when my husband was a kid and didn’t reappear in his life until Darling Husband was 18ish) and left my husband and his brother to be raised by their grandparents. The man is, to put it bluntly, fucking worthless. He was living with us for over a year until we finally kicked him out. He complains to anyone that will listen that we’re evil and should respect our elders and we’re cruel and heartless for kicking him out – it’s really divided my husband’s family and it’s awful. 

At some point you basically have to say you know what? I don’t want you in my life any more and be done with it and it sounds like you’ve hit this point. We haven’t spoken to him in going on 2 months now, and the change in my husband is incredible. He’s just so much happier without all that stress weighing him down and it’s had a wonderful effect on our marriage! You have to do what is best for YOU, so if cutting them out will be best, DO IT. Just stop talking to them. If they attempt to drag it out, ignore them. They’ll get the hint eventually. I know deep down, my husband still cares for his father on some level, but they just cannot have a relationship if my husband wants to keep his sanity. Admitting that was hard, but it’s been good ever since.

Post # 4
Member
2009 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’ve done this once.

After many bad visits, a few nasty phone calls, I just started disappearing.  

I felt like I had given her significant evidence of her abusive and unkind behavior.  I gave examples, I explained my feelings, I allowed for her to explain but she couldn’t stop mistreating everyone around her.  It was like a sport and she loves an audience!!

Finally, I stopped picking up the phone, returning calls, never saw them when they came around, didn’t send cards etc.  

Like I just faded away.  It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for my mental health.  I’m 30 and I can be treated like shit for free by anyone.  I don’t need to put up with it from someone that supposedly loves me.

Post # 5
Member
3174 posts
Sugar bee

I don’t talk to my cousin at all anymore. She has caused so much drama in my family and she has to make everything about her. It was hard but it needed to be done. 

Post # 6
Member
9672 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’ve done the fade.  Once I realized that some people are simply toxic and life is too short, I decided to keep my distance.  They can’t hurt me any more if they’re not in my life. 

Post # 7
Member
693 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I like how Sunfire says it..I’ve done the fade.

My parents divorced when I was 12ish…my mom immediately moved away, back to FL. My dad had custody of my sister and I. I will be 34 next month and I can count on both hands how many times she has called ME, sent ME a card…I have been going to florida every year since I was 18 to visit her. I even had my wedding in Florida 3 weeks ago. She didn’t come and blamed everyone else. If it doesn’t involve making her money, (she refuses to work, she expects my sister and I to pay her bills..we refuse, so she plays lotto all day…) or her reaping some benefit, then she completely doesn’t care.

It took me a long time, but when my daughter started saying things I knew it was time to just let it go..of course I still sent her an invitation thinking she would get it together, but no such luck!I’m waiting for her to get the balls and call me to ask why I haven’t called her.

With my Dad’s family, I’ve just tried to fade out and limit contact. They never have anything nice to say, always judging…criticizing my wedding choices-location, my dress, my cardigan, my hair, asking who paid for it… (none of them came)

When we moved to Mississippi for husband’s job it was really like a breath of fresh air!! I don’t HAVE to answer the phone because I know that no one will show up accusing me of anything…I don’t HAVE to go somewhere or visit just because they want to see “that baby that you’re just giving away to DH’s family” (she’s 8, and not a baby… but they make it clear they only want to see her) No guilt!! It’s the best feeling. I refuse to feel bad about it any more. It has made me insecure with myself and untrusting of others. I always feel guilty about any little thing…husband is always bewildered by this…knowing that I am only going back to visit on the holidays that I CHOOSE is SO empowering. I have felt like a whole new person this last year..Darling Husband says he can see a change…that I haven’t been so moody and defensive..and I never complain about headaches anymore..hmmm

If you can do the quietly fade out, and stick with it, and not cause a fuss, do it. You will feel so much better. I personally didn’t feel that anyone deserved anything from me explaining why I stopped coming around. If it makes you feel better to write a letter, or send and email, then do it…you will feel so much better!

Post # 8
Member
204 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I’m willing to bet that giving them a letter or discussion or explanation of any type will just fuel the drama in your situation.  Since that’s what you are trying to escape, I wouldn’t give them an opportunity to cause any more hurtful scenes.

If you think it would help YOU to write a letter, then write one and keep it for yourself, to remind you why you had to cut them off, and your rational frame of mind when you made the decision.

It’s your choice whether to fade out or cut them off, but you have to remember that you aren’t doing anything wrong by getting them out of your life.  They are the ones who have been hurting you for your whole life.  And they sound so awfl, it’s hard to imagine they would really be hurt by you leaving their lives, at least they wouldn’t feel hurt the way decent people feel it. 

Post # 9
Member
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Toxic people are difficult at the best of times, toxic relatives can be super-stressful… and the closer the relationship within your immediate family the worse it can be.

Over the years, I’ve had to cut out certain people from my life because they were hurting me and my quality of life … to the point that I would experience a myriad of emotions including severe depression.

The two most notable persons happened on the closest “branches” of my Family Tree … one within my immediate family, and the other my Ex-H

And BOTH of these individuals did a lot of things to hurt me not only emotionally, but also physically, finanacially etc.

In BOTH cases, I made it clear to them upfront WHY I was no longer going to deal with their hysterics and drama that inevitably brought TRAUMA into my life.

BOTH of them got super upset with me, because I was refusing to let them be the “centre of attention” any longer

Sadly, there are some folks who just THRIVE on bringing others down along with them

And overtime I just keep reinforcing my “distance” from them, so that in the end our relationship truly faded away

That doesn’t mean it was easy… by no means

Because it wasn’t, in BOTH cases they were very angry that I had shut them out… and didn’t want to take NO from me as an answer

My Ex-H went out of his way to make my life miserable in any way that he could (although I truly believe that when he was about to die he may have had a change of heart… but he never reached out in any way to me, to actually say he was sorry for the pain / now grief, that he has caused me)

The other individual and I do not speak, but they certainly try hard to hold onto the relationship that we last had some 15+ years ago… (mind you it had been rocky for the 20+ years previous to that even) and to this day, they still send me cards and letters… of course ALL of which express their point of view, and fluctuate between how I am being unreasonable (for they have no idea what they have done to offend me)… thru to I am an outright B!tch

I’ve come to realize that this person will pretty much NEVER change.

And the quiet time in between their correspondence is when I am most a peace.  It is only when they write or they find a way to let me know of their personal drama (thru others) when I am still “somewhat” upset by them (thankfully the days and weeks of them getting me in a stir after each in person encounter, are now for the most part over)

Sure this way I have chosen to handle BOTH these people sounds well and good… BUT the truth is there is certainly an element of GUILT that is also associated with it.

For I have been raised to believe that

(a) LOVE should see past all these flaws in people (and technically as both of these folks are / were in my immediate family I have and do LOVE them in one way or another), and

(b) Forgiveness is important.  Forgiveness is the ongoing challenge for me.

Because although I truly forgive them for being the type of people they are (I don’t really believe they can control it either) … it is at times difficult to forgive them because of WHO they are in my life (example… one would expect more of one’s Husband).  Or WHAT they did to me.  As I truly think some of what went on were CHOICES that they made (ie Hubby made a choice to rip-me-off for the half of our Marital Property that I was owed as a result of our splitting up / divorce… he truly CHOSE to make it so I was virtually homeless)

(c) And lastly other peoples opinions.  It is VERY difficult to deal with other people who don’t know the FULL STORY in these relationships… who choose to verbalize their criticisms of me and my choice to distance myself from these toxic people.  (You really should talk to ___ and forgive them, because they are in a bad place now).

Sometimes GUILT comes from an external source, and can make the personal internalized GUILT that I already have, that much more difficult to deal with.

So as much as I’d like things to be different… both in regards to wishful thinking (If ONLY our relationship had been different / better etc) … and when it comes to my own Guilt at having to enforce the distance between us all.  I have come to grips with the fact that I do not see any other way to handle these people in a way that is HEALTHY for me as a person.  Period.

I try to reinforce my belief system on this topic (and many other difficult things in life where GUILT is also involved) by repeating a saying that I heard a long time ago that fits these types of situations…

“I did the best I could with the skills and knowledge that I had at the time”

It is a good mantra to live by, and can make the guilt less intimidating.

 

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