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Should I Dump a Family Member?
Should I Dump a Family Member?
02/19/2017

The impact of family on your personality and reactions to the world is extremely profound. Unfortunately, many of you have not had good experiences, and now as adults, you’re faced with a very tough decision:

“Do I continue a relationship with my parent/grandparent/sibling/etc.?”

Most people who call my show with this dilemma are consumed by feelings of guilt, failure, emptiness, doubt, grief, or abandonment. They’re often getting crap from other family members who say that if they cared about family, they would let the bad behavior slide. Many parents, particularly mothers, are willing to turn a blind eye to a child who is a drunk, druggie, thief, or molester and cajole the good kid to eat the wrong-doer’s dirt.

So, when is it OK to dump a family member?

  • If they’re physically or mentally abusive.  

  • If they cause you stress in an on-going way.

  • If you spend a tremendous amount of time and energy dealing with them, even losing sleep and health over it.

  • If there’s only one side to the relationship, and it’s mostly about your money.

  • If they’re trying to take you down with them.

  • If they’re gossipy and manipulative, playing you like a chess piece against the rest of the family.  

  • If the only contact you have with them leaves you feeling ill.

  • If something bad always happens when you interact.

If any of the above qualities describe your relationship with a family member, it’s time to cut and run. Don’t enable and don’t cater. Block him or her from your phone, email, and Facebook. Don’t get in the middle of any family squabbles, and try to only have contact when something major happens, such as a birth or death. If you’re married, remember that your current family is your priority. If your parents or siblings are impacting your spouse or kids, you need to take action. The vows you made when you got married mean your moral obligation is to your spouse and children, not your toxic mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, or sibling.

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Tags: Abuse, Addiction, Adult Child-Parent, Bad Childhood-Good Life, Behavior, Character-Courage-Conscience, Mental Health, Personal Responsibility, Relatives, Ten Stupid Things Men Do to Mess Up Their Lives, Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives, Tips, Values
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