I need to learn how to shut up !

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by shellyd67, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I am trying to make a long story short.

    husband has some really screwed up brothers and sisters (really screwed up) anyhow his one particular brother has an adult son who lives at home and drinks and does drugs, has no job, comes and goes as he pleases and has lots of friends and strange women in and out of brother in law's house.

    Not to mention nephew has a son of his own who he does not see nor support.

    He is constantly in trouble with the law and spends alot of time in and out of a courtroom.

    brother in law is always complaining about his son, how he borrows money, no job, court, cops, etc ...

    So last night husband and I told him he needs to kick son out ! Yeah it is easy for me to say my kids are minors, blah , blah , blah

    husband's brother was mad and said " He is my son" I shut up then and husband went on to say you are enabling this kids and doing him no good !

    husband's other brother was present during the conversation and said nothing. He has a child who also is a hot lazy mess and he does nothing either. His son is dating a girl much younger (4 years and a minor)

    I just think they all stink as parents but do feel guilty for giving our "advice"
    Should we have shut our big mouths ?

  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    You said your piece based on what you know from here and other kids like difficult child-nephew and got it off your chest. I hoover at family dynamics, but I think it's good that you said it. If you continue to tell him beyond this one conversation, I think that would put a strain on relationships, but I'd stop listening to him complain about difficult child-nephew until he's ready to do something about it and is looking for affirmation in the form of advice (i.e. when he asks for help with difficult child-nephew).
  3. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Thanx HaoZi for responding. I do feel guilty for running my big fat mouth. I just feel like husband and I are going to be cursed because we speak our minds about everyone elses screwed up kids !
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    brother in law complains to y'all and expects you to do what....? I would think he's known you both long enough to know you speak your minds, yes?
    I'm having "Here's your sign" flashbacks now. :p
  5. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    True he does know we both speak our mind. I never really thought of it like that. And he complains so often that he must have suspected we would say something soon.

    But I myself am like a mother bear when my kids are the targets. I will rip someone a new *** if the say anything about my kids. LOL

    But with that being said, husband and I do not have ostrich syndrome and are open and honest about difficult child's issues and work extremely hard to help difficult child become a decent young man. (and easy child too of course)

    I just see all his siblings as lazy, uncaring, selfish parents and that is that.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'd have to say, just stop listening until he's ready to hear. Change the subject or suddenly start having real "drop out" issues with your phone ;)
  7. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    You know what Shelly? I'm starting to feel like all I ever do is pull punches when it comes to speaking my mind, yet no one else does when it comes to criticizing me/my kids/my house/my seperation/my dog/how I shovel snow/my facebook posts/my auto e-mail response, etc.

    You don't sound out of line to me; you sound like someone who wants them to "put up or shut up".

    If they don't want your opinion, they should stop complaining. I could understand if they were upset and needed to vent, but truthfully, the way you described it was looking for a response.

    Tough toenails on them!

  8. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Thanks Beth ! I must say no one really says anything about husband and I or the kids (not to our face anyway, LOL) I am just so sick of hearing it !
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You've expressed yourself. I don't think you can do anything more. Chances are he is not a reader (assumption) but maybe he will happen on to an appropriate showing on Intervention so he'll understand that addiction can lead to a lost son. DDD
  10. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    It sounds as though your brother in law was looking for a response with his complaints; you gave him one. Since he didn't take it well, in future I wouldn't offer any
    opinions unless he explicitly asked for help. He may need to digest your reponse, too - may know it's true inside but not be ready to acknowledge it explicitly.
    You can just do the bobblehead routine with any future complaints - That's too bad, gee, isn't that a shame. How about those Packers/Steelers? - until
    something changes on brother in law's part.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I think these things can go one of two ways.......for one of unnumberd reasons.

    Either your brother in law is complaining to you because he believes you will listen attentively as a sounding board, be sympathetic to his needs and tic-a-lock. Thus he gets what is known as a free bitc*$&G buddy, gets his frustrations out of his system and NOTHING ever changes - which by the way IS his choice as a parent.


    Your brother in law is complaining to you in the hopes that you will listen attentively as a sounding board, be empathetic to his needs and give him sound advice, and offer up free solutions to his problems, get his frustrations out of his system, and get free physchological counseling and he will PICK AND CHOOSE out of your advice what suits him.

    Problems I see happening with both scenarios -

    Scenario 1 - Your brother in law continues to cry on your shoulder about his self-destructing son, you say nothing and one day the kid EXPLODES or worse and there you are the parents of difficult child's who got help or got your help and he turns to you both and says WHY OH WHY didn't you say anything to me? WHY? and blames YOU BOTH for not speaking up or offering some kind of advice. He uses you for a scapegoat.

    Scenario 2 - Basically what you have written about - He's cried on your shoulders - and you felt so badly for him you told him what you felt would ease his pain at the cost of damaging a relationship. NOT GOOD. Why? Well = like you said you too have difficult child's, and this is common knowledge right? So when the information/advice you offered him BACKFIRES? Guess who is going to get the "YOU WERE WRONG I HATE YOU BOTH" treatment? Yeah - you. Then what? You've not only caused this huge rift in your relationship with brother in law - but possibly the whole family because a.) you have no idea really what is going to happen and b.) when it (your advice) backfires? If it does? He will be looking for a scapegoat.

    My thoughts at this point about your brother in law? Make someone else the scapegoat. Either HIMSELF, or a psychologist. How? Not so hard.

    The next time he comes crying to you or hubby - sit him down and tell him that you and hubby have had a long and serious talk about him and nephew and the problems that arise out of these circles of destruction from nephew and you feel that it's gotten to the point where you can't offer any advice any longer. Explain to him that you feel for him, and love them both and have even discussed it with a professional - and HE feels it is crucial to get both brother in law and his son into professional counseling. Explain to him that this situation has just gotten so voliatle that you feel if you offer any more advice? It may be the wrong advice, and you wouldn't want to ever do anything to hurt either of them.

    This does a couple of things -

    1.) Stops brother in law from running to YOU (who is already overburdened with your own problems) every time there is a crisis, and makes him start understanding he needs to DEAL with his own problems and allow his son to deal with HIS problems.

    2.) Starts brother in law and hopefully nephew down the path to getting well. Enmeshed, enabler, co-dependents - whatever you want to call it - is not healthy. You can't just come at someone like brother in law right now in this state of mind and say YOU ARE AN ENABLER ......wow does that not help at all.

    What you can do is gently suggest that this situation is bigger than ANYONE would have ever imagined and how you know HE must feel alone, overwhelmed, tired, - how hard it is for him - and that when things like this happen - you know PLENTY of people that have gotten assistance from people who can HELP HIM get answers to helping HIM help his SON.

    Sometimes it's not WHAT you say - it's HOW you say it....

    Hope this helps.
    (who rarely stays quiet) -
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Evidently I svck at family dynamics too. I'd have told brother in law once he got mad over said advice to not come whining to people if he thinks he won't like their feed back.

    I've gotten to the point where if you're gonna whine and ask, I'm going to tell you. Don't like it, not my problem, don't give a hoot who you are.

    That said............I rarely discuss siblings kids. Can't think of one of them who is NOT a difficult child, some milder than others.......but whew yeah, full blown difficult child.When I do, I tell them what I"d do in their place, not tell them what they should or shouldn't do. Then phht after that it's up to them to decide if it's advice they want to use or not.

    Star made very good points. But I've had referring them to professionals backfire just as bad as any other advice. Let's face it, we've all met our fair share of awful "professionals". And far too many people rarely want to admit the problem is THAT bad Know what I mean??

    He'll either listen or he won't. Either way........perhaps you won't have to listen to him constantly complaining about a situation he refuses to take steps to change.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds as though you waited and listened to him for quite a long time before offering advice. So you have been that sounding board that didn't judge, criticize or "fix" him and his family. It finally became too much of an issue for you to stay silent on, so you let him know your opinion. Chances are his words asked for your opinion when what he watned was your sympathy and "poor you, nephew takes such advantage of you and you are such a good man for not letting him be homeless and hungry or in jail, you are such a good person, dear saint martyr!"

    I hope you pointed out that nephew is spending his $$ and doing nothing for grandnephew with it. That would be a tough thing for me - I would have to tell him that I would kick the son out and use the money to support the grandchild.

    Whatever you said, he will not be happy with you as you did not tell him what he wanted to hear. Sending him to a professional is an excellent move and Star is largely right - esp about how to do it.

    THis is just in my opinion, and I am NOT an expert on relationships by any means.

    Bad as I am with this sort of thing, I would still likely have told brother in law I thought he was a real jerk for continuing to support the son and prevent him from growing up and accepting any kind of responsibility - and for not supporting the grandson instead of his son (unless he does support the child financially and emotionally). But you are likely not as rash with words as I am!
  14. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    brother in law does not support grandson just his low life of a son !

    husband's siblings are so backwards and selfish.

    They are really crappy parents. husband and I are FAR from perfect but really try to raise decent kids.

    Heck, we have a difficult child too and the last thing I want is to have to kick my difficult child out of my house but if he follows in the footsteps of his difficult child cousin then so be it !

    I will keep my mouth shut for now on and tell brother in law to "tell it to the judge" LOL