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Old 11-19-2012, 11:36 AM  
tooge tooge is offline
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need advice with family issue

Ok, so about 4 weeks ago, I get a call from my mom. she's sobbing as she tells me her fiance (my dad passed 4 years ago) has been verbally abusing her and shoving her and she has decided to have a restraining order and have him removed from the house. I applaud her, tell her I'm there for her, call him and let him know that I am aware of what has been going on, and as far as I'm concerned, he is out permenantly. My mother on the other hand, said things like "if he gets therapy and goes to AA, maybe I'll start by dating him again". She told me that he told her that my father never loved her or us kids. That's when it became personal for me. So I call jackass up, ask if all this is true, he beats around the bush, but eventually fesses up under the guise of too much drinking and some anger management issues. He promises he will get help but just loves my mom. I tell him I'm only 2.5 hours away and wont hesitate to come up there to make sure she is OK. I even let him know, I'm not afraid of a few nights in jail.

So, yesterday, I get home from a weeklong vacation. I call my brother, who my family will be staying with when we go up for Thanksgiving. Through casual conversation, I find out that jackass is back in my mothers house, and plans on being there for Thanksgiving.

I call my mother, she says he's trying very hard and if he screws up, he is out. He has been to a counselor once since this, and no AA meetings or anygthing like that, though he is reportedly on "medication" now.

I told my mother that I'm not comfortable taking my children up there, and since I wasn't the one that made the situation what it is, then perhaps he could leave the house for the day while we are there. She refused, so I said **** it then, we aren't coming. She gets all pissy and tells me all the things she did for me as a mother and I should come up for her. I'm not going on principal, not to mention, I'd be uncomfortable and might even get in the guys face. Am I doing the right thing? Should I just eat my principles, and go and be a good little son and sit there and act nice? What say you Dr. CP?
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:17 AM   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiefshrink View Post
This

You mom is a classic co-dependent who is dating an alcoholic who really thinks he doesn't have a problem and is just going through the motions right now because the heat is on. Your mom has cleaned up a lot of this guy's messes already I'm guessing and now she expects you to go along as well. But your boundary setting has exposed her selfish insecurity of having a man at all cost So much so that she verbally abuses her own kids when they disagree with her(e.g. YOU) Co-dependency from the family and friends of the addict involved can be sooooooooo sick at times.

Stay the course if you want your Mom to truly see her behavior for what it is and eventually get better. It will get ugly and will take time, but you will have to let her lie in her own messy bed she has created in order for her to realize for herself that she actually needs to change and not others . There are no guarantees and she may not get better. It will be tempting at times to give in and take care of her by not sticking to your boundaries because it is very difficult as a son not to step in and take care of MOM.

But you see, the co-dependent hates healthy boundaries and literally takes on the same 'personality of manipulation' just like the addict but without physically taking drugs/alcohol. The co-dependent is addicted to feeling responsible for everyone's actions and especially their emotional well being. She is trying to get you to feel responsible for her feelings while she already feels responsible for her alcoholic BF's feelings. And the endless cycle of co-dependent dysfunction just keeps metastasizing from one family generation to the next family generation.

Did your father or grandfather have drinking problems ?? Because this stuff is sooooo generational.
Holy shit. you sound like you've been sitting on the wall watching my mother and her interactions with this guy and us kids for the last two years. Yes, my grandfather had drinking problems. My father did as well, but was "functional". And by problems, I mean, he had a couple of coctails every night while watching TV or reading, but was never violent or even visibly drunk. You nailed this situation and my feelings for it. I do find it very difficult to not give in, but as you said, I've set my boundary and I've got to stick to it. thanks
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:08 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post
I didn't need any time to get up the courage. I had the courage from the beginning. I could have said anything I wanted at that point but didn't because you didn't deserve a response and a great many people agreed.

I needed the time because I walked away from the computer and went outside to build some fence. Don't get too many 60-degree days in November around here.

Let me ask you a serious question: what in the world is your point?

His mother TOLD HIM she was being abused. What AT ALL does MY definition of abuse have to do with anything? Perhaps if you explain your motivation for wanting to know, it would help the situation.

As it is, I - and about a dozen other people - see your question as typical DC-style "turn it on the victim" deflection.
What does this have to do with politics and why do you keep mentioning that?

The point was that "abuse" hadn't been defined at all up to that point other than the fact that it was verbal. You placed A LOT of emphasis on the word ABUSE when you responded to my first post, so I wondered what you thought it meant. Maybe you realized that you didn't have a clue what his mother meant at that point or maybe you didn't, but whatever the case, our dialogue went downhill from there as a result of your insecurities.

I wonder what sportsshrink (or any other psychologist) would think about your need to repeatedly refer to all of these people who supposedly agree with you or your references to me being a DC poster. It's kind of weird behavior, IMO.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:26 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
It seems to me like he shouldn't push you out of your own family. Just go and keep your distance from him. Your mother will eventually have to be the one who makes the final call on the guy, and you can't control that.
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I like this approach best of the ones posted so far. As long as your mother wants him there, I don't know why you (tooge, not Rain Man) think it's a good thing to put her in a position of having to choose between the two of you.

I'm with these two.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:30 AM   #154
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
What does this have to do with politics and why do you keep mentioning that?
Because this type of "gotcha" behavior is generally the type of behavior you exhibit in the DC forum, when talking about politics. It very rarely comes out in the main forum from you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
The point was that "abuse" hadn't been defined at all up to that point other than the fact that it was verbal.
She said he verbally abused her, PUSHED HER, and that she was considering a restraining order. She told her son she was BEING ABUSED. Yes, it most certainly had been defined, by HER, not by me, and my definition of abuse is completely irrelevant.

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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
You placed A LOT of emphasis on the word ABUSE when you responded to my first post
No, I didn't. I placed A LOT of emphasis on the fact that his mother has said she was BEING ABUSED. You're quibbling over words, I'm not.

And MANY people thought the same, even publicly in this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Maybe you realized that you didn't have a clue what his mother meant at that point or maybe you didn't, but whatever the case, our dialogue went downhill from there as a result of your insecurities.
Again, you completely and utterly misunderstood. I fully understood what his mother meant. I don't have any insecurities, I just wasn't in the mood to listen to your psychobabble bullshit.

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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I wonder what sportsshrink (or any other psychologist) would think about your need to repeatedly refer to all of these people who supposedly agree with you or your references to me being a DC poster. It's kind of weird behavior, IMO.
Ironically, he agreed with my original thoughts on the situation, before you tried to derail the conversation into some kind of philosophical debates on what constitutes the word "abuse".

And again, the only weird behavior here started and ended with YOU.

Let's look at the conversation again, in a nutshell:

tooge: my mom says she's being abused, i don't like it and i don't want to go to thanksgiving

htismaqe: don't go

patteu: htismaqe, what is your definition of "abuse"

Now THAT is weird behavior.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:38 AM   #155
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Quick update:

So I stick to my guns. She says she understands about my principles. Then she texts me that the BF is really hurting over this. I tell her that I don't intend to "hurt" him, but that his actions have consequences and time, therapy, and not apologies are what it will take with me. Today she basically tells me to **** off and she and the BF need time and not to call her for "a while". Wow. Sad.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:40 AM
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:59 AM
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:20 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post
Because this type of "gotcha" behavior is generally the type of behavior you exhibit in the DC forum, when talking about politics. It very rarely comes out in the main forum from you.
I deleted my big response since we've talked this out via PM, but I just wanted to point out publicly that there was no intent for my question to be a gotcha question at all.

Sorry to hear about your update, tooge, but I'm sure I'm speaking for all of us when I say that hopefully it will work out in the long run.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:28 AM   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tooge View Post
Quick update:

So I stick to my guns. She says she understands about my principles. Then she texts me that the BF is really hurting over this. I tell her that I don't intend to "hurt" him, but that his actions have consequences and time, therapy, and not apologies are what it will take with me. Today she basically tells me to **** off and she and the BF need time and not to call her for "a while". Wow. Sad.
Sorry bud. It's tough. But ignore the "don't call me for a while" crap. She's hurt and she wants you to hurt as much as she does. Pretty typical of a woman who isn't getting her way and I mean that with all due respect to your mother and females who may read this. There's a lot of human nature in this scenario and it takes logic and analysis to overcome it. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of logic and analysis occurring when emotions are running high. Make sure you take time to call her at least once a week despite her demands. She'll come around. I hope he legitimately gets the help he needs or gets the hook.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:29 AM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tooge View Post
Quick update:

So I stick to my guns. She says she understands about my principles. Then she texts me that the BF is really hurting over this. I tell her that I don't intend to "hurt" him, but that his actions have consequences and time, therapy, and not apologies are what it will take with me. Today she basically tells me to **** off and she and the BF need time and not to call her for "a while". Wow. Sad.
Tooge, sorry to hear this but boundaries have been crossed in a bad way all around here. However, your beef with the BF is sort of misplaced but understandable. Your Mother is the person making choices which make her a victim but also an abuser herself. SHE IS WELCOMING AND ALLOWING HIM IN HER HOME. She is turning your concern into a weapon against you. I am not sure if your involvement (confronting the BF vs. holding your mother accountable) in this was wise. It's one thing to be someone's confidant quite another to take matters into your own hands and start injecting yourself in the middle of your Mom's problems which you now firmly are.

Unfortunately what she has been able to accomplish with your good intentions (remember the road to hell is paved with them) and involvement is transference. From him being the bad guy to you being one. The one who will ruin her holiday. The one who doesn't understand or appreciate her. The one who hurts her due his actions and words...

All of this plays right into the hands of the abuser boyfriend. He likely thrives and survives on divide and conquer.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:30 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post
Because this type of "gotcha" behavior is generally the type of behavior you exhibit in the DC forum, when talking about politics. It very rarely comes out in the main forum from you.



She said he verbally abused her, PUSHED HER, and that she was considering a restraining order. She told her son she was BEING ABUSED. Yes, it most certainly had been defined, by HER, not by me, and my definition of abuse is completely irrelevant.



No, I didn't. I placed A LOT of emphasis on the fact that his mother has said she was BEING ABUSED. You're quibbling over words, I'm not.

And MANY people thought the same, even publicly in this thread.



Again, you completely and utterly misunderstood. I fully understood what his mother meant. I don't have any insecurities, I just wasn't in the mood to listen to your psychobabble bullshit.



Ironically, he agreed with my original thoughts on the situation, before you tried to derail the conversation into some kind of philosophical debates on what constitutes the word "abuse".

And again, the only weird behavior here started and ended with YOU.

Let's look at the conversation again, in a nutshell:

tooge: my mom says she's being abused, i don't like it and i don't want to go to thanksgiving

htismaqe: don't go

patteu: htismaqe, what is your definition of "abuse"

Now THAT is weird behavior.
You have no idea what you're talking about.

You're classless and deranged...












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Old 11-20-2012, 11:41 AM   #160
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+1 with patteau's sentiments. It is sad and doesn't make much sense. There's only so much you can control in your life. You can still maintain a happy and healthy environment for you, your wife, your children, & the rest of your extended family. Give thanks for everything that makes you smile in your life, and pray for everything that doesn't.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:56 AM   #161
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I deleted my big response since we've talked this out via PM, but I just wanted to point out publicly that there was no intent for my question to be a gotcha question at all.
Yep, all just a big misunderstanding.

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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Sorry to hear about your update, tooge, but I'm sure I'm speaking for all of us when I say that hopefully it will work out in the long run.
This. Sincerely.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:33 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by tooge View Post
Quick update:

So I stick to my guns. She says she understands about my principles. Then she texts me that the BF is really hurting over this. I tell her that I don't intend to "hurt" him, but that his actions have consequences and time, therapy, and not apologies are what it will take with me. Today she basically tells me to **** off and she and the BF need time and not to call her for "a while". Wow. Sad.
Damn.

I'd be inclided to take Phil's advice and go ahead and continue your relationship. Mad props for sticking to your guns.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:02 PM   #163
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yeah, I generally regard Phil's advice as very well thought out and sound. I am going to follow it. I will call her regularly every week or two, and I'll keep the conversation very clear of the BF. In fact it'll be very trivial talk about the kids and such. Thanks to all of you for your input. Hollidays shouldn't have to be ruined by things like this, but such is life. I'm looking at this as just another lesson life gives me that will help me to do something better next time a difficult situation arises. Happy Thanksgiving all.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:17 PM   #164
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yeah, I generally regard Phil's advice as very well thought out and sound. I am going to follow it.
...

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Old 11-20-2012, 02:08 PM   #165
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yeah, I generally regard Phil's advice as very well thought out and sound. I am going to follow it. I will call her regularly every week or two, and I'll keep the conversation very clear of the BF. In fact it'll be very trivial talk about the kids and such. Thanks to all of you for your input. Hollidays shouldn't have to be ruined by things like this, but such is life. I'm looking at this as just another lesson life gives me that will help me to do something better next time a difficult situation arises. Happy Thanksgiving all.
Tooge, the bummed out
I've had this relationship with my mother for many years. I let my guard down a few years ago and tried to develop something deeper and it blew up in my face. NEVER again.

Tooge, in all honesty, I think you are focusing too much on the symbolism and tradition of the holiday at the expense of the big picture. Thanksgiving is one day on the calendar. Your mother's issues transcend that day. She is dealing with some deep shit right now. Your challenge is to develop a healthy boundary of concerned son vs. willing participant/figurative punching bag.

Lastly, get over the image of the perfect holiday. It does not happen except on the Hallmark Channel and in marketing campaigns. Holidays are generally a stressful time for fully functional families. It can be sheer hell for dysfunctional or addicted/codependent families. Lots of drama and ignored dynamics come to play in a big way at a time when we are lead to THINK everyone else is having a great time with their families. Sounds like the BF probably has had this very scenario played out in his midst before. It likely is not the first Thanksgiving he's ruined. Rather, your families first.

So do yourself a favor and adjust that image of what a successful, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving 'should be.' With that said, toxic people are not required to be around you or your children no matter what their blood type or relation to you is or what the date on the calendar says.
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