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Family breaking apart... caught in the middle..HELP!

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Hey everyone... I really need some advice on this situation that I am in because I honestly have no idea how to handle it...


My boyfriend of over 3 years (who I have posted about in the Getting Back Together section a few weeks ago) and his mother and sister had a huge falling out about 7 months ago and he has not spoken to them since and vice versa (mind you he still lives with his family while he is getting an education)... it has bothered me since the day I realized that he really dosent intend to speak to them... ever.... they do not make an effort either. The argument, in my opinion, was not worth this reaction from either side, but then again was not involved so I may not know the whole reasoning behind it. But, nonetheless is has really bothered me for a long time now. I have always felt that it was not my place to "fix" it as much as I want to, because after this amount of time I feel as if these people are my family and my family is breaking up. I had tried to talk to my boyfriend, to no avail. I end up getting attitude whenever I try to help.


To make matters worse, the other day, the day of my boyfriends graduation from the Fire Academy, his father (whom he was still speaking to at the time) got involved after 7 long months and told my boyfriend that if the whole family was not invited that he was not going to go either... my boyfriend told him that if he does not go to the graduation, which is very important to him, that he would not speak to his father either. His father didn't go. He is now not speaking to his father.... so his whole immediate family is now (in his mind) cut out of his life. His cousin told me that he told him that if we get married that his family is not invited and that he wants nothing to do with them ever again.


They used to be a very close family, and now I feel as if I am caught in the middle. I convey messages to and fro when I am at his house, and I get along with everyone. I think they are going to kick him out soon and he does not have the money right now to live on his own because he has been in the fire academy full time. So many things trouble me.


This situation bothers me every day. Every day I try to think of a way to fix it, a way to AT LEAST make things better. But, at the same time I feel like it is not my place to give my opinion or talk to either side about it because it is not my family and it is not my problem. I am so torn, but it is really taking a toll on me. If, in time we do get married I don't want my family to be broken apart like this and I want any children we may have to have all their grandparents. Even if we do not, it kills me to see such a close family broken apart. As upset as I have been with my family I can never imagine cutting them off completely or vice versa.


Can anyone give me any new outlook or advice on how to handle this situation. Is it my place to try to fix things or speak to anyone involved (including my boyfriend)? Is it a family matter I should stay out of?? Is there anything I may be able to do to help?? Please, any advice you can give would really mean alot... this is driving me crazy and I think about it every day...



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Unfortunately, it's not *your* family... You have already pointed out to him what you would like. It is up to him (or them) to make things right. Butting in the middle is going to cause more harm than good in my opinion. If *they* aren't trying to talk to him either, there must be something a little deeper going on. Be there for your boyfriend. You don't have to support his decision, but you can support him.

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I would be a little bit concerned that he likes to burn his bridges too easily. What happens when you get on his bad side?


Families from time to time go through these things. Past hurts etc what people sometimes fail to realize is that life is limited and short and your family is all you got in the end. No matter what happens its amzing how some families pull together and forget all the past stuff but sometimes its too late. Other families dont ever get back on track.


Ask him this question: How would he feel if one of his family members passed away tomorrow?

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I would be a little bit concerned that he likes to burn his bridges too easily. What happens when you get on his bad side?



That is another thing I just don't get...as much as I have upset him, angered him, and driven him crazy over the past three years and after every fight we have had, he dosent... so I don't understand how he can just stop talking to his family. What makes me different. There must be something else that happened but I still want to fix things...


I was thinking about asking him about "what if they passed away", but I dont want to upset him more than he is right now or make him get defensive....


NJron I know I should support him... I seem to have a problem doing that with him even though he supports everything I do.. It is hard for me to change that when I have a strong opinion on a situation or a feeling about it...


I am so lost..

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I would imagine that your strong opinion is based upon what *you* would be doing. That's not support. Support is recognizing that others feel differently and then allowing them, without judgement, to do what they feel is right for them. You don't have to agree, you don't have to follow... but accept the differences.


Different families have different interactions. It's just the way it is. Some are very dramatic.. others are anti-drama (talking just every few months, if that)... some need to be in close geographical proximity.. others, it doesn't matter.


Unless you know everything that has led up to this point, from childhood to present... then you are in no position to place judgement. Seek to understand before giving advice. Allow him to explain to you his reaction... there is a basis for it. Don't try to change his mind yet.. just learn.

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Thank you NJRon... that has really make me think..


You are right, my strong opinion is based on what I would be doing... it just feels so wrong to me... but like you said every family is different..


Should I just be there for him and act like nothing is going on even though it really affects me??

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If you have been pressing him lately, I would give it a few days. Then, I would approach him and tell him that the situation is making you anxious. You would like to understand. You don't want to keep offering advice when it is unsolicited, but, if he could just talk about it, maybe you would be able to understand where he is coming from.


Give him an opportunity to just share. And then, just listen. Don't offer advice... don't cast judgement... just validate feelings and be there.


If he doesn't want to share, then let him know that's alright. You're still there for him if he wants to open up. In the meantime... just act as if nothing is wrong (because nothing seems to be wrong between you two.. and that's what should really matter to you). Don't, allow him to complain about it all the time though without him offering a valid explanation...


Imagine, if your best friend had a similar situation. Wouldn't you just let her vent her whole side of the story? Constantly bringing up what *you* would do puts someone else on the defensive.. it makes it hard for them to share. Keep it up, and it can create a very large rift. The last thing he needs is the only person in his life (that is left.. now that he has disowned his whole fmaily) to push him away...


And, keep in mind, I am not saying what he is doing is *right*.. just that he hasn't shared enough to know whether it *is* right...


Hang in there..

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thank you so much NJRon.. im going to need your help through this.. you really helped me see this in a different way...


rose2summer, everyone who helped me out last time... anyone else have any opinions.. i just want to hear everyones perspective on this...


Im trying to take all of this in...

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Hey empty,


This is a tough one,


You cannot get directly involved because you are not family,


But you also don't want to be drawn away from them,


I would talk to him and tell him how important family is,


At the end of the day, the only people we can turn to is our family and friends,


And family should be ahead of friends in my opinion,


They gave birth to him, raised him, nurtured him,


They do not deserve to be shunned out of his life,


No matter what the circumstance,


He needs to let go of this "ego" and have a talk with them,


I am concerned as someone else brought up,


Does he have a short fuse?


It just seems worrisome that someone would block their family out like that,


I really suggest having a serious talk about it with him,


You surely don't want to marry someone in the future,


Who would block you out like that,


And I follow this saying and found it to be true:


Watch how a man treats his mom, that's how he will treat you,





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