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What is the limit?

TooManyStepsBetween's picture

I've been wondering for a long time what someone has to do for their family to be comfortable with finally writing them off for good. In DHs family there are ex cons, drug dealers, those who have lied to, stolen from and threatened to kill family members, do drugs and drink with young kids and least of all treat the entire family like garbage until they need something, yet they are still embraced and everyone blows it off as "That's just "SS, SD, SIL, MIL, BIL, SIL", (enter your choice here). My bios wouldn't dare even come close to any of the things on that list except maybe lying every once in a while but not on the scale these others have done. But what is the limit ? Not to mention how everyone on this sight seems to be treated poorly by a step or in law, what has to happen for DH and the rest of the clan to say its enough? Why do I feel like the crazy one watching all of this and wondering why forgiveness is given over and over for disposable acts? I know some will say blood is blood but I'm one of those that believes that family doesn't give you the right to be an a**hole and if your not a good person you're not my family, it's plain and simple for me but I know maybe heartless for others but life is too short to be surrounded by jerks and be forced to forgive when you feel strongly about things, they aren't any more important than anyone else so why are they allowed to trample all over everyone all the time? What's your limit?

Kes's picture

My personal limit is probably fairly low - if people transgress my boundaries more than a couple of times they get written off. I disengaged within a year of meeting DH's two daughters, that was 17 or so yrs ago and I haven't re-engaged, although these days the SDs have grown up a bit and we have civil conversations on the rare occasions we host them at our home. Two years ago DH and I went no contact with his mother and step father, as they just behaved abominably to us and it wasn't the first time.  He is recently back in email contact with her but I will never visit again, he can do what he likes.  

In terms of expectations of others' behaviour - I have changed in the last 5 yrs or so and now require much higher standards than I used to.  I now require people to behave with respect to me at all times, and if they don't, bye bye!  I also used to make myself uncomfortable for the sake of others being comfortable, and I don't do that any longer.  

shellpell's picture

I also used to make myself uncomfortable for the sake of others being comfortable, and I don't do that any longer.  
 

this used to be me too! It's awful and I think it stems from always wanting to be a "good girl" as a child. No more. 

ITB2012's picture

Forgiveness means acceptance. It does not. You can forgive someone and still not accept what they are doing and also not engage with them. 

I just had this kind of conversation with DH about OSS, wondering why he still defends OSS, doesn't hold OSS to the same standards he holds his young coworkers, especially when all of the unacceptable behavior has been related to DH. (I disengaged and watch the circus from the stands so I rarely interact with OSS.)

Kes, your last lines about making yourself uncomfortable so others could be is exactly what DH is doing with his own kids and what he expected me to do, but wouldn't make himself uncomfortable for me. That's an apt way of putting it. 

Kes's picture

"Kes, your last lines about making yourself uncomfortable so others could be is exactly what DH is doing with his own kids and what he expected me to do, but wouldn't make himself uncomfortable for me. That's an apt way of putting it. "

It was a real revelation to me that I didn't need to do this!  I'll never go back to my old ways. 

SacrificialLamb's picture

My mantra is I am not a second (or worse) class citizen in anyone's life or family.  Short and sweet. If I am treated like one, I am done with them. 

2Tired4Drama's picture

As I've gotten older, my B.S. meter has a much shorter span.  And that includes for my own immediate family members. 

It is very liberating to be "done" with people.  Just recently, had a friend of almost 20 years push it too far with his own personal political rhetoric. Got to the point that every conversation started out with ranting and raving and went on and on.  At no point was I asked "How are you?" or even "Is this a good time to chat?"  The expectation became for me to merely be an audience and verbally head-nod to everything said.  I'm not playing that game. 

So I've gone gray rock.  It's been a couple of months and if I don't hear from my friend again, I figure it's no great loss. 

somethingwicked's picture

I have no limit. Avoid 100%.

I am allergic to cheats, grifters,liars ,thieves, druggies who rob family to support their habit and any user/loser  negative pot stirring ,dramaholic types who exploit family ,friends, anyone for their own gain. I'd suggest you avoid them like the plague as well.

 

ITB2012's picture

Of a relative that has made some poor life choices. My mom is surprised that this person has approached everyone in the family for help EXCEPT for me and my brother. We are not surprised. We are pretty sure this person knows the kind of answer we would give and facts we may enumerate with any requests for help ($$).

Catmom23's picture

For my boyfriend it was when two of his drug addict offspring stole, forged and cashed a bunch of his personal blank checks.  But then of course after a few years he thinks they've changed and all is forgotten about.  Currently he's not speaking to his daughter because she reamed him out for not paying her student loan for her (she failed out first semester), plus she was arrested for dealing drugs out of her apartment (she has a 6 year old kid living with her).  But...the grandmother, aunt, siblings, cousins, etc wouldn't ever dream of cutting contact.  In fact, the opposite...they see it that the individual needs MORE support (enabling).

Thumper's picture

OP you wrote:  DHs family there are ex cons, drug dealers, those who have lied to, stolen from and threatened to kill family members, do drugs and drink with young kids and least of all treat the entire family like garbage until they need something, yet they are still embraced and everyone blows it off as "That's just "SS, SD, SIL, MIL, BIL, SIL", (enter your choice here).

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There, right there,  is why there are many families, generation after generation are a total mess.  NO WAY in heck would I go to a BBQ or Christmas with any of your dh family...sorry. Nor should he.

My ex husband and I Had a rule for our kids,, if you go to jail YOU are on your own. My now dh just shy of 20years has the very same rule. You steal from anyone especially from your own family? You vandelize our home, you hurt siblings, you hurt our family pets. You get arrested, use drugs? Rip people off, ---

Take a hike. You are no longer invited into our home or our family.

A Priest in our parish told all of us about a husband and wife in our church who some folks were hounding them because they would NOT bail out their criminal kid "again". How on earth could these parents NOT help out their kid.

The Priest said, these parents should not bail out or enable their child what-so-ever. IF they did the kid would never learn to change his actions. He praised the parents for sticking to their guns and told them is it OK to try to move forwad and away from the chaos the kid was bringing to this good family.

Enough was enough a long time ago. We will only surround ourselves with people who are decent. Doesnt matter if the thugs are family --take a hike.