Hungry For God

Friday, April 25, 2008

Just Wondering

What are the different ways people handle extended family dysfunction? Assuming that NOT handling it is not an option?


  • At 4:04 PM, Blogger Ruth said…

    Trying not to take anything personally is a good place to start....

  • At 12:06 AM, Blogger jON said…

    honest non-hostile, non-judgemental confrontation?

  • At 5:05 AM, Blogger wanting more said…

    yeah...both sound great..BUT. There's always a But, right? The things is, the last episode with my dad WAS completely personal because he basically told me that I am a bad wife and mother right out of left field.

    And, when laying down boundaries and being honest - or trying to be honest in a non-judgmental way, everyone just pretends that the issue did not happen at all. Luke and I have decided that we can no longer play the game...but it's like someone keeps throwing us the ball and telling us to run and score while we just sit there stupidly letting the ball bounce off of our chest.

  • At 10:04 AM, Blogger Amy said…

    Can you stay with someone else in Texas?

    I guess all I can say is don't play their games. I had to go through that with my family, although it wasn't as difficult of a situation that you're facing. It felt really petty at times, but I had to stick to what I knew was right. I didn't want to bow into their manipulation and guilt tactics, so I didn't. It has changed how we interact.

    I'm not sure if this is helpful or not. I know that the Lord will help you navigate this messy situation.

  • At 4:44 PM, Blogger Ruth said…

    Ouch...that hurts. Why do parents do that to their kids???? I think the hardest time in my life was those years with young children. The pressure!!!

    But they were also the best years too...those little ones are sooo precious. You need to trust your gut in raising your own children.

    My husband and I have learned to take our parents "advice" with a grain of salt...and to laugh at our family's dysfunction and strange ideas about the way things should be. They still love us and we still love them but it's easier to remove ourselves from the need for approval. And yes we both had to individually tell our own parents to back off in some areas. My husband let his mother know she didn't need to discipline our kids when she visited..that it would be great if she could just be fun Grandma. It really did make a difference and she took it well from him. I told my mother that I am totally fine with my kids watching Raven.

    Kari, I think you are onto something about letting the ball go. Just because someone passes you a ball doesn't mean you have to take it. They will learn that you are not playing.

  • At 6:12 PM, Blogger wanting more said…

    I have thought about staying with someone else...and may still do that if things are still as uncomfortable as they are now. There are a couple of things that have happened recently that have really hurt my sister and I...and we are just feeling our way into a response if we are to respond at all. I get so blurry in the midst of the craziness that sometimes I end up playing the game anyway.

    Amy...thanks for your encouragement, and knowing that you have been there helps a great deal.

    Ruth, I guess I really don't take much of my dad's advice at all. Mostly because I don't understand him and don't really want to live the life he does, which is judgemental, but it's the truth. This is a really ugly thing to say, but I almost have to laugh when he tries to give me marital advice, because from my vantage point, his is the comlpete opposite of what we strive for. I have told him that if I truly wanted his advice, I would ask for it, otherwise I would like for him to refrain. I know that hurt his feelings...

    This is all what I was thinking about when I was reading the conversation over at something else regarding sin...and I was realizing that there are not really any families that are not dysfunctional...and the ugliness we all experience is a result of sin. Sometimes I feel like as much as I don't want to contribute, it's almost inevitable that I do because of my own sin.

  • At 5:49 PM, Blogger Nate said…

    Hey, Just reading this, I have to tell you that I may have the only non-dysfunctional family I have ever heard of. How do we do it? mainly by loving one another, and accepting those people as they are, not as we want them to be. Meaning, I will not give advice to another sibling, unless they want it. Why, because they should have the right to be the way they want to be. If they want to be like me, they will ask how I do this or that.

    Also honesty. This is hard sometimes, but necessary. It is having those hard conversations in a non confrontational way, that let you know the information that you need to know in order to decide how you are going to deal with whatever comes out of that meeting. I am really blessed that I had the parents that I had. They created the environment that made that happen.


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