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Family Stuff- Really Complicated


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My family has always been close. I grew up very close to my aunts, uncles, and I have a ton of cousins, like 20, but we mainly see two of them at every holiday and family thing. 

One of my close cousins got married. We like her husband, but he comes with a ton of baggage. When my cousin met him he was married to someone else. But he hadn't been living with his wife for a long time. She moved out, took everything in the house. He was literally living in the empty house on a couch. My cousin really liked him so she pursued him heavily. 

He also had a very complicated arrangement with children. When he met his wife, she had a baby already, whose father wasn't in the picture, so he started raising him, and then he and the wife had a baby themselves. Now the son is around 11 years old and the little girl, his real daughter, is around 7. 

They both call him Dad and the son, who isn't his, only know him as his father. 

So he was splitting the kids between his wife and himself. My cousin gets involved, he gets divorced officially, he and my cousin move in together and start raising the kids part time, and he marries my cousin. 

But now things get more complicated. They share custody of both kids 50/50 between him and his ex-wife. The ex-wife keeps putting in complaints with the DCFS, Department of Children and Family Services against him and my cousin. So my cousin and him keep getting investigated constantly. 

The older kid, the boy is nice and easy to get along with. But he's often sadly ignored, or at least that's what I've noticed at family functions. The little girl is very bratty and not nice. She won't take NO for an answer, she doesn't listen, she hangs on my cousin like she's 2, but she's 6 or 7, and I even saw her hit an adult at a party. Not okay. 

What's now happening is, the little girl wants attention. So she lies to DCFS and says that her daddy is bad, so they dote all over her, and her mom gives her all attention. But when they investigate, they find no evidence of anything bad with my cousin or the dad. My cousin helps him care for the children and she's very good to them. The older boy also says that everything is fine to DCFS. 

My cousin and her husbabd are always in court fighting over the kids. Its terrible. And DCFS is always investigating, because the mom insists. 

What my family is worried about is my cousin bringing the kids over for holidays etc. My parents are terrified that if the kids get hurt in our yard or the dog plays too rough with them, that the DCFS will be coming to their door, or their mother will Sue my parents. We've never ever been involved with DCFS. My parents are really good people. I am a good person too.  My parents are terrified of this. My cat could scratch one of the kids, and now my cat, who is very nice, is hauled away and euthanized. 

We don't know how to broach this with my cousin. We love her and she's a good person, but we almost don't want her bringing the kids over. Especially, because the little girl has lied in the past. What if she ever said one of us hurt her, or touched her. That would never happen. But terrified we'll be pulled into something we didn't sign up for. 

How do we go about this? 

 

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7 hours ago, Alex39 said:

My cat could scratch one of the kids, and now my cat, who is very nice, is hauled away and euthanized. 

Did this happen or is this catastrophizing? Stay out of their business. This is all hearsay. You're not legally responsible for these children.

Try getting to a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Discuss the extreme anxiety and overall ruminating.

Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist who can actually help you replace self-defeating thoughts and behaviors with productive and rewarding thoughts and behaviors.

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Again, borrowing trouble.

What if you have a friend over and they trip over one of your area rugs and fall and sprain their back? What if they drink some water and there happens to be a contaminant in the water supply? What if a piano falls out of a transport airplane and lands on your head?

You can't prevent all accidents from happening. Yes, you can prepare such as putting potential dangerous items under lock and key and out of reach. You can put your cat in a large bedroom with her litter box and food and water and close the door. You can fence off the pool and lock upstairs windows. But other than that? It's out of your hands.

Are you in the habit of imagining the worst and then getting yourself all anxious over what "might" happen?

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I would not have them at your home. Meet in a park or restaurant.  I also agree with Boltnrun.  Also you’re not this child’s mother.  You assess her as bratty and lying. My guess is there’s something else going on that’s kind of a combo of your cousin and the ex wife. And a little girl who’s been through a ton of upheaval in her short life. 
it’s none of your business that he chose to be daddy to her son or that he married her. Given your cat and the dog etc your home might not be the appropriate place to host a 7 year old you see as bratty.  It won’t be fun for anyone. 
Also guess what. 7 year olds who’ve been through all that drama might hit an adult at a busy family gathering.  Maybe Cut out the judgey stuff. It’s “not ok “.  As you mentioned about her hitting an adult. 

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