Home General She thinks family feud is about her.

She thinks family feud is about her.

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible.

Almost two years ago while visiting my parents’ house for Thanksgiving (just across town), a big argument ensued over something ridiculous, (my parents are very opinionated, inflexible and think everyone should think like they think). Moving on. As the situation escalated my father’s cursing (which we had to warn him about all of the time) escalated, right in front of my son who was 4 at the time, and my nephew who was two. As it continued to get worse, my husband (whose lap my son was sitting on) finally said to my father, “if you use that word again, (GD) in front of my son again we’re leaving.” He did it several more times, so my husband picked up my son and left.

As he was leaving my mother threw in “maybe you should leave.” Husband and child go to the car, my father goes outside to apologize to my husband, my husband just reminded him that he has said he would watch it in front of our child and he never had.

About this time my mother came out and was throwing things in the car over my husband. (child strapped in back) She them proceeded to say to my husband “I’m a much better mother than your f’ing mother.” His mother had nothing to do with the conversation. I watched my docile husband lose it.

He looked at she and my father and said the next time I step foot over here will be when you’re gone and by gone I mean dead and buried. OK, my parents have issues, my husband knew they had issues, but my one for sure was that he would always know how to handle it. The end result has been that I haven’t seen my family for almost two years because of this. I defended my husband completely at first, but I am now realizing that I’m really angry at him for stooping to their level and causing irreparable damage.

I somehow thought that one of these people who are supposed to love me, would try to fix it for my sake and my son’s sake. I’m just getting more and more depressed everyday. I’m so hurt and in so much pain that my parents, my brother and my husband do not care enough about me to try to fix.

There’s more but I didn’t want to bore you too much.

Thanks for any and all help.

Slow down. This isn’t about whether the people in your life love you. This is about an argument that got way out of hand and now people don’t know how to save face and back down. Each person’s self-esteem is so caught up in being “right” that they are willing to lose a family. From where I sit, everyone has a piece of what’s “wrong.” Your dad was wrong to swear in front of kids and to keep it up when reminded. Your mother was “wrong” in making a “your mama” comment. They are both “wrong” in holding on to their rightness. Your husband may have been absolutely right in leaving but was “wrong” to stoop to their level with his own comments and he continues to be “wrong” by expecting people as inflexible and pig-headed as your folks to change. You are “wrong” in making this issue into a test of love for you and waiting for everyone else to solve the problem. What a mess!

What complicates things further for you is that you are apparently the only one who really cares whether it is fixed. Rather than stew about it, it’s time for you to take some action and see if you can give people the chance to be a family again. You’ll never know until you try.

One way to solve the stand-off is for you to give everyone a way to be equally wrong in their part of it and equally right in wanting to make up, if for nothing else, for the sake of the children. Call each person involved. Spoken to individually, maybe each person will be able to own his or her part. Then suggest that life is short and it’s time to let this go. People said harsh things but no one in the group is an ax murderer. Suggest a get-together where everyone apologizes at once and gets it over with. Make sure there is something fun to do so everyone has a chance to cover their awkwardness with an activity. Then get on with life. Good luck.

I wish you all well.
Dr. Marie

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