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Family troubles @ Christmas


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My family includes myself, my older sister and brother, my parents, and new to the family - my sisters boyfriend (whom I consider my brother, but for story-sake he is family because he is attending christmas).

We are all at my parents home and have been for 3 days. We are all leaving tomorrow together to attend christmas at my aunts house and then will be going our separate ways for the holidays.


Generally, our family gets along. Personally, I like to think I get along very well with the rest of my family, but like any family, we struggle. Specifically my sister and dad.


My dad has a very bad temper and is very stubborn. My sister has a very bad temper and is stubborn. They are the same, but neither will see it that way.


Most Christmas's, there is a fight between the two that sort of 'ruins' christmas for everyone. And while their relationship is strained, I fear that one day, they will get into a fight that neither will agree to resolve...and their relationship will completely fall apart. I recall very clearly last Christmas morning my sister screaming at him at the breakfast table and my dad hurling a coffee cup at her. Somehow, they both act like victims - and I usually side with my sister...but she is definitely not blameless.


This Christmas we were sitting (all 6 of us) playing a board game. My sister (who is 7 years older than me - 28) has been tired and grumpy all night, and when my dad accidentally gave a hint to a question that he shouldn't have (this had happened a few times and was definitely gettting really annoying, but it was not his intention to ruin the game) my sister yelled at him. My dad responded by yelling 'go to hell' and then leaving the table. He then said something about how rude it was for her to react that way to him being that he is the head of this household or something like that. Anyway, he stormed off and is currently in the basement.


She sat at the table and pouted while the rest of the family (included her boyfriend, whom is VERY patient) tried to convince her to make amends - that it was no ones fault and that we were all tired, etc.


She decided to be stubborn and her and her boyfriend are hiding out in her room. And if I know her, she is planning to escape somehow, leaving the rest of us here. She doesn't seem to know/care that this affects me, my brother, and my mom.


My dad is stubborn as well, and while his temper and stubborness has caused a lot of harm to this family throughout the years, it is, from my perspective, to be expected when he is tired and stressed, and if one wants to keep a decent relationship with him, patience is key.


I am not taking sides, but I am sick of this - and neither of them will listen to me, as I am the youngest. I can't expect my sister will listen to me if she won't even listen to her boyfriend, and I know my dad doesn't respect my opinion enough to listen to me - especially since he doesn't even listen to mom. Normally, I would cry in my room about how my family sucks and how my Christmas is ruined, but I'm sick and tired of this. What do I do?

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That's awful...I'm very sorry to hear. Stubborn people are stubborn no matter what sometimes. It does sound very embarrassing the way they are acting, it's like come on people, you are adults. I'm not sure what would help stubborn people like your father & sister other then counseling.


Whey they argue do you interrupt them before things escalate? Just to break the ice and so both parties can drop the issue before more anger and stubborness build up, why not interrupt them with something to get their mind off? I think unless they can really see that they are being stubborn right away they probably won't acknowledge it or admit that they are. And even if you're the youngest, you're not directly confronting their anger or stubborness that way.

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