Family issues


I hope nobody minds that this isn't fitness related, but I know that the people here have provided thoughtful opinions in the past so here goes...

I am having real issues with my mother over the fact that I fell out with my brother a couple of years ago. Because Christmas is coming up, she is being very emotional about the fact that we have to see her separately. He has two small children and she wants to have everyone together. Sounds fair enough..... But....

There are very good reasons why I decided not to be involved with him any more. I won't go into deatils, but suffice it to say that even my mother says "I know he has a nasty streak but we've put things aside because we want to see our grandchildren". He has caused a lot of upset in my family, and both my partner and I agree that we don't want that in our lives. My Mother said that I should do it for her and this makes me so angry.

This is making me feel awful. I had reached some peace with it all, but recent conversations have brought me back to square one. I'd like to hear the thoughts of people from the outside. Thanks in advance.


You've been tough (rightly so!) with your brother, now you need to show some tough love to your Mom. But NOT a confrontation.

Take her to lunch, tell her you love her, then calmly say that you will not be together with your brother for Christmas. Tell her she needs to accept that, and that after this lunch you will not discuss it further. And if she continually brings it up after, you will either hang up, or leave the room. If the next day or next week she brings it up, say "Mom I told you I'm not going to talk about this anymore" then change the subject. If you're in a room, leave. If she follows you arguing, leave the house.

You're going to have to be firm on this. Every time you have to hang up, or leave the room, tell her you love her first, then do it.

The most important part is to not second-guess yourself afterwards, don't re-hash it in your mind. Think about something else, do something else. Don't spend the energy on it.

All these conversation haven't helped. It's just upsetting you, and it's like picking a scab opening up all the hurt again. And she doesn't have to like the fact that you won't see your brother, she just has to know it's a reality. Good luck! (Be firm!)

Just my opinion..... :)


First of all, big {{{{{{{{HGUS}}}}}}}}!

Dealing with family issues is so difficult. I agree with what Lisa said. If your mother agreed with you in the past, it sounds like she'll be reasonable about this if you explain it to her again. If she chooses to see your brother because of the grandkids, that's her prerogative, but you have the right not to see him, nor to get grief from your mother about it.

Again, agreeing with Lisa, be sure to tell her you love her, but she needs to respect your decision. Best of luck!



Thanks to you both. Its so hard being firm when it is upsetting her, but the thought of getting involved with my brother is even worse. The point Lisa made about re-hashing things in my mind is so true. This is driving me mad as I keep going over the conversations we had or might have to have. Its also difficult not getting visibly angry with her and this is something I have to work on. Thanks again.


I am also in the midst of a family crisis, so your post is close to my heart.

Do you think you can be civil to your brother for just one day? I'm not saying to open up another relationship, just for one day.

My mother asked the same thing of me, and I was adamantly against it. But, after much, much prayer, the thought "What am I teaching my children?" prompted me to change my mind.

I found that the things and scenarios I conjured up in my head were FAR worse than what actually transpired.

Good luck. I feel your pain.


Thanks for your response. I've considered seeing him just at family get togethers, but honestly, I don't think it would work. I do agree that imagined scenarios can be worse than reality, but in this case, the reality has been worse. We've had some major family rows when we have all been together and they have turned very nasty with some people's drinking involved. I wouldn't wish that on his children. Plus I doubt that he would get through the day without wanting to confront me about us opening up a relationship.

I will think this through some more though. I think for this Christmas I have to just leave things where they are, but I need to sort my own head out in order to deal with things better in the future.


I agree that it is very difficult when drinking is involved since things can easily spiral out of control.

Family issues totally suck and is made more prominent during the Holiday season.

I wish you peace, solace and contentment in your your decision.

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