Got Toxic Family?
I know from the comments some of you have toxic families of origin. Maybe it’s your mother, or father, or both. Maybe it’s an older sister who still hates you for being born. For some of you, it’s a group effort with everyone including Aunts, Uncles, and In-Laws being ugly and destructive most of the time.
Please believe me when I tell you it is not God’s will for you to get endlessly beat up by your family! Or by his family for that matter.
I mention this now because we’re coming out of the holidays, and odds are those of you with toxic families got hit by them in the last couple of months. While that’s fresh in your minds, I suggest you and hubby have a hard talk about difficult relatives.
Odds are he won’t see the situation the way you do. Men tend to be better at ignoring rudeness and we may miss some of the more subtle things. Most guys want to fight their battles out in the world and have peace at home, and that sometimes means we’re willing to overlook or put up with more than we should. Saying things like “Being treated that way is wrong” and “I need you to protect me” might help him see the situation more clearly.
Beyond how you and your hubby are treated, toxic family can be harmful to your children. Even if they’re spared direct harm, seeing you treated wrongly sets a bad example. It’s easier to disrespect mom and dad when you see adult relatives doing it – and getting away with it.
The most effective way of dealing with toxic family is to limit exposure. This means both how often you see them and how long you stay when you get together. A strong ultimatum sometimes brings change, but it then requires diligence to keep the wrong things from slowly creeping back in. Another option is to reduce contact and then when you’re asked why you can answer honestly and offer to get together more often if they’re willing to change.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m so thankful the family I have locally isn’t toxic!
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