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Thread: Becoming estranged from my family

  1. #1
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    Becoming estranged from my family

    Some background: last year around this time my girlfriend and I were going through a pretty substantial mental health problems (she's bipolar and I'm autistic). Between the problems in my relationships and other issues I wound up attempting suicide. Ever since then there's been some animosity between my family and girlfriend because they're blaming her for my suicide attempt (my sister in particular).

    Things have been a lot better in the past year, my gf and I get along, I got a better job and I moved. I managed to get my gf and mom on good terms for awhile but was struggling to set things right with my sister. Back around thanksgiving my sister refused to let my gf come over for the holiday which caused greater tension. A few months ago I met with my sister to attempt to smooth things over and she wanted an apology letter from my gf, I thought it would go over better with her but it caused more frustration.

    Yesterday my mom invited me to do family therapy in a couple months but as soon as I mentioned it to my gf she got up in arms thinking she was being excluded from it. Her and my mom got in a dispute so now they're on bad terms again. I love my gf and my family even though I'v3 had problems with both of them throughout life. Me and her live together hundreds of miles away and have pets together. I want to maintain the life I have without having to cut my family out but both parties want me to choose.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Depending on how old you both are and how much financial or emotional support you're receiving from your family, I'm not so sure about your family dynamics there, Beastelstein. I'd start controlling or limiting the amount of personal information you both share with your family members in general and start operating on a more independent level as a couple.

    You have good intentions it seems but you're not fully functioning as an independent adult.

  3. #3
    Your gf seems to be the main factor in all these fallouts. It's family therapy. She's not family. No one should force you to choose so don't. Tell them they either both accept how things are or you will walk out on them all. Don't let them force you to chose. You have your own mind.

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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    Depending on how old you both are and how much financial or emotional support you're receiving from your family, I'm not so sure about your family dynamics there, Beastelstein. I'd start controlling or limiting the amount of personal information you both share with your family members in general and start operating on a more independent level as a couple.

    You have good intentions it seems but you're not fully functioning as an independent adult.
    I've been a little more independent in the last couple years. It's just that having to become very distant from my family because of a conflict is a little saddening.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Excellent you got a new job and moved. You do not need family therapy with your mother/sister. You need individual therapy to address the suicide attempt and other issues. Be polite and friendly and kind with your family. Let everyone have their own issues and stop bearing the weight of the world on your shoulders. Stop forcing people together. That perpetuates the already severe dysfunction in the family.

    Your sister is the one with the issues. She is in complete denial of your problems. No one "causes" a suicide attempt. If she continues to act like an ass and disrespects your relationship/gf distance yourself further from her. You need to cut the cord and the apron strings no matter how tightly your mother is pulling them and especially steer clear of your sister and her controlling manipulating behavior.

    They are causing great stress and unhappiness. Sadly they are so toxic that this suggestion of "family therapy" with them is sheer poison. Accept them as flawed people, love them but see them for who they are and accept it. Do not try to force fit or change them.
    Originally Posted by Beastelstein
    Things have been a lot better in the past year, my gf and I get along, I got a better job and I moved. thanksgiving my sister refused to let my gf come over for the holiday which caused greater tension. Yesterday my mom invited me to do family therapy

  7. #6
    Gold Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Beastelstein
    I've been a little more independent in the last couple years. It's just that having to become very distant from my family because of a conflict is a little saddening.
    I agree with you. I think however that a partner should evoke feelings of security, independence and freedom in both your lives. Your life with her should feel fulfilled and without the strong need for family approval. There's no peace between the parties and that's why you're torn.

    Try and work out in your own mind what the cause for the rifts are. Depending on what they are, you should make decisions that you feel comfortable with regarding your own personal relationships. The areas are very gray in this area and different people from different upbringings, countries, walks of life and personal beliefs will all have different ideas. You're the one who should be making decisions for yourself so start with the problems whether they are communication issues or too much communication in general.

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    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    I would tell both sets of people to be quiet and leave each other alone.

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    She is not your family, she should not be included.

    Why does your sister hold her responsible?

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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    She is not your family, she should not be included.

    Why does your sister hold her responsible?
    We had getting in frequent fights leading up to it. I was unconscious in the hospital when the two of them had interacted so I'm not sure how it came to that.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    There's no law that says your family and your GF 'must' like one another OR get along. I'd negotiate the degree of inclusion GF wants you to have with her family in exchange for her staying out of contact with yours. I'd make occasional trips to visit family and speak with them as often as it suits me, but my days of trying to play social worker would be over.

    If family raises GF with you, I'd tell them that we can talk about anything in the world except for GF--she's off limits. Anyone who doesn't 'like' that, it's too bad, so sad. They're just using her as a manipulation device to make you miserable for being with her. Skip that, and Next.

    Same with GF. She IS excluded from family gatherings because she cannot resist fighting with your mother. So those are her boundaries, and if she cannot accept this, then she's welcome to make her own choices about your relationship because you are not going to play.

    Boom, done. Everyone lives in peace--at least to your face, and anyone who wants to push their agenda on you is told that they can keep it to themselves.

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