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Cutting ties with emotionally abusive relatives

Cutting ties with emotionally abusive relatives

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Prolific scribe
Lily17

Re: Cutting ties with emotionally abusive relatives

Mine in the end was very simple. We moved interstate, changed my phone number and email address and didn't bother letting them know. The kids miss their cousins like crazy but if they want to fly and see them I have no problem with that but everyone has to travel a little as we have issues with our previous state. The kids are quite happy and very agreeable to it as it allows them to feel safe and have some control which they didn't have.

 

I think I just got to a point where I hadn't thought about them for so long I was no longer irritable with their garbage.

Parent Peer Supporter
taokat

Re: Cutting ties with emotionally abusive relatives

Thanks for sharing @Lily17. Distance and time can be great healers, that's for sure.

 

I can imagine it would've been hard on the girls missing their cousins, but as parents we sometimes need to make some tough decisions to do what's best overall for our kids or family as a whole don't we.

 

 

 

 

Parent Peer Supporter
Beingme2017

Re: Cutting ties with emotionally abusive relatives

How are you going @Big_Crab - did you survive the school holidays? Smiley Happy

Scribe
ShamedScott

Re: Cutting ties with emotionally abusive relatives

Hello, I have been through the same story. In 15 years of marriage I don't believe my parents have come over 30 times. Yet we have visited them every other week. There was always an excuse, and a scolding on how I disaplined my kids infant of them. I finally realized they will never change. They have had other fily members ignore them for there self centered ways. Fortunately I have moved away from my manipulative parents. I plan never to talk nor see them again
Mod
Taylor-RO

Re: Cutting ties with emotionally abusive relatives

Hi @ShamedScott,

Thanks for sharing. We are sorry to hear that you can relate to this experience but also know that it can be comforting to find others going through a similar thing. Cutting out family members can be really challenging but sometimes it can be for the best, especially if the relationship is unhelpful, negative or having an undesired impact on you. It sounds like you have made a lot of peace with your decision although I am sure it took some work to get there. If you'd ever like to share more, we'll be here to listen Heart
Casual scribe
Heidot

Re: Cutting ties with emotionally abusive relatives

Keeping away from damaging in-laws is a tough but important call- to protect your husband and your kids. Sounds like you made a reasonable effort but the writing was on the wall. You could look at this from the perspective of what this is teaching your kids about healthy respectful relationships- always a necessary thing to reinforce. We have taken this approach in our family. We cut my father out, who has been an abusive and destructive influence all my life. When I explained it to the kids, they were just relieved. I reminded them that my dad does love me, but he is too damaging and too old to change- so it’s important that we are not exposed to that. But always show kindness- he is a person too. I have finally agreed to case manage his medical stuff (I am a health professional) but I can no longer fill the role of daughter. This compromise has worked well for us all. Kids see consequences, compromise and kindness in action but also boundary setting and self respect.

You have bravely and rightly drawn a line in the sand. Be wary of guilt dragging you all back- maybe see if there is a low-risk compromise that could work for your family? Kind Regards. H
Mod
Taylor-RO

Re: Cutting ties with emotionally abusive relatives

Hi @Heidot,

I am sorry that you can relate to this topic but also want to thank you for sharing your experience. It can be really comforting to know that others have struggled with the same thing. I like your idea of teaching your kids about healthy respectful relationships, noting that family does not get any exclusions from this. I also really appreciate how you are still able to show kindness towards your father and have taught your children to do the same. This can be easier said than done and I am sure it took you some time to get there but it sounds like you have been able to work through this. Do your children have any contact with your father?

If you feel comfortable answering.. what tips would you give to other people facing a similar situation? How were you able to adapt this view of kindness and healthy boundaries despite the difficulty of cutting off a family member? Did you have any supports? Heart

Again, thank you.
Casual scribe
Heidot

Re: Cutting ties with emotionally abusive relatives

Ok/ interesting questions.
1. Tips- setting your boundary with your parent is really hard, but super important. Worse than quitting smoking is quitting parents! I tried about 7 times in my life to walk away. So, tip is to keep at it. You actually know what is right for you.
Tip 2. You may have to be your own strongest advocate. My siblings did not, and still do not, support my decision to step back. You can imagine the recrimination. My tip- find your rationale for stepping back- for me…as I didn’t choose my parents, and because they chose to parent the way they want led rather than parent the kid they had, and as I now know they cannot help me with out punishing me first, they can never be a good influence on me- or my kids. That is the line I hold and keep restating to myself and to whoever needs to hear it.
Tip 3- make it a compromise you can genuinely live with. My dad is not allowed to contact me except during business hours, and only about his healthcare. I made this clear to him. I remind myself that a case worker does not take calls out of hours about their personal life from their clients- so that is how I keep the conversations with my dad- infrequent, kind and helpful but impersonal. If he starts in, then I just say I have a meeting and I have to go. Always a good get out- which you can only do in business hours!


My position took a while to establish- and was suggested to me by a wiser and older friend. My kids are delighted- they can’t stand him anyway, but they are able to see and accept that my dad needs my help- and I can do that but only on my terms.
So far, so good, and it’s been 18 months. In the nicest possible way, if he died tomorrow I would have no regrets- I feel comfortable about my choice. And really, that says it all!
Mod
Taylor-RO

Re: Cutting ties with emotionally abusive relatives

Hi @Heidot,

Thank you so much for sharing your tips! Your advice about finding your own rationale, keeping at it and making a compromise you are happy with is very helpful and insightful. As you know, boundary setting can take a lot of effort and time - making it a journey rather than a simple process. I also like what you mentioned about the influence of other people. You are so right, others might add their opinion, but at the end of the day, it is your decision. It is so important to back yourself, even though it can be difficult at times especially if you are going against the grain, so to speak. What you mentioned about feeling comfortable about your choice really does say it all as this is the most important part of any decision making Smiley Happy