19 answers

How to Get Rid of Toxic Family Members???

I am at the point were I don't want my kids or myself around my brother in law and sister in law anymore at this point in time. How do I do it should I tell her how I feel or just stop communicating with them? We haven't seen each other since my daughters 3 birthday get together which has been almost 3 1/2 months and neither of our families make an effort to see each other but my son's birthday is coming up and I don't want them over to our house. A little background would be nice so here is a little info. My father in law was an alcoholic when my husband and his brother were growing up and was never there for them and it has caused a lot of issues with both boys I really do feel like my brother in law is now an alcoholic and my sister in law is just a plain not friendly person and is all about drama and attention. They do nothing for my kids except for Christmas and birthdays but you always get that we have to feeling instead of we want to feeling. I have three nieces and the oldest will be 16 and is having a lot of teenage issues but most I feel has to do with the environment over there at her moms (my brother in law is her step-dad and they do not get along). My almost 8 year old niece acts just like her mother and I can't stand the way she treats my son when they are around each other. My son is the only boy in the family so it's hard on him sometimes and they have always been jealous that we had a boy and they didn't. Any advise would be wonderful please don't be negative or judging.
I have got the what are you teaching your kids if you don't invite them to stuff well I feel it's best for my kids to not be around the negative drinking people. Thank you

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So What Happened?™

Thank you everybody for your advice we did have a family Easter get together today and my BIL and SIL had nothing to do with my kids like always and I didn't really talk to them so I think that's how it's going to go for awhile I will only deal with them when I have to. As for my son's birthday I did tell them they could come over Saturday night if they wanted to that was a month ago and I'm not going to remind them about it so we will see if they come or not.

More Answers

Don't make a big deal out of birthdays and Christmas. Keep those celebrations private, small, and quiet. IF they find out, or even if you mention in passing conversations, simply say we are going to keep it light. You don't want people to feel obligated to give/celebrate. You will begin to distance yourself without being rude. You can't change people. Let them be and make subtle changes on your home front.

2 moms found this helpful

You have every right to make your own home an alcohol-free zone. Would that help?

2 moms found this helpful

I am a bit more blunt.
BIL- Hey, why didn't you invite us to your party?
Me - Because you drink to much and I don't want my kids around that.

SIL-Hey, why didn't you invite us to your party?
Me- Because every time you come over you are so negative that it distracts from the fun party I am trying to have for my son. Also, your daughter is extremely rude to my son, so it's not fun for him.

Your main job is to take care of your immediate family. Who cares if they don't like you? They don't live with you, they don't raise your children, they don't give you money, they don't sleep with you. Oh well!
Maybe it's harsh. Maybe it's rude. But, it's the truth..and if these people are toxic then they don't need to be in your life or your son's life.
Just my 2 cents!

2 moms found this helpful

I just realized after 40 years that I am not going to get any acceptance from my family. Oh it hurt!! I finally figured out that there is not a damn thing that I do right. I really don't care now. I think the key to dealing with negative people is to be a really happy person and be very secure with yourself. I have always been a happy person and raised my kids to be very secure and non judgmental. I think that this would be a great thing for you and your children. My daughter (who is now 19 and in her first year in college) is just a wonderful person with a very strong, secure, non-judgmental personality. We were talking the other day when she came down for spring break how I make a lot of people insecure. She is very sweet and would not mention any names. I knew that she was talking about my sister and my mother. It just makes me sad that they try to ruin my relationship with my daughter by talking about me to her. I am a single mother and times are hard for us financially right now. My relatives try to make sure that she realizes that they are helping her because I can't be a good mother. She is a smart girl. I have to admit that I raised her right. Long story short....read all the self help books that you can. I read the self help books a lot to expand my knowledge of my own mind. It is great!! Your kids are watching you and learning from your emotions. Laugh and be happy and sad, unhappy people do not want to be around you. Remember, a sad person has to deal with themselves 24/7!!

2 moms found this helpful

i say avoid them, and if you get the "have to" feeling from them, they'll probably be relieved(family functions cutting into drinking time!). You're teaching your kids to be discriminate when choosing whom has access into their lives, and not to be guilt-ridden people pleasers, sounds like a win-win to me!

2 moms found this helpful

I'm sure you'll receive many response to this question as most families have someone related that is 'toxic'. I think avoidance is a common response and honestly don't know if that is the right thing to do or not. I think if the family member is a danger to your child, protecting them is your responsibility and therefore, avoiding them would be warranted. It's a fine line as to what you are teaching your children - is it teaching them to avoid anyone they don't like or is it teaching them to surround themselves with positive minded individuals in hopes that they will do the same? If you decide to spend less time with your brother & sister-in-law, if your children ask why they haven't seen their aunt/uncle, you will need to find a positive way to explain to them the reason. Helping them to understand in a non-judgemental way, that isn't damaging or negative to their view of their aunt /uncle will help your family in the long run.

1 mom found this helpful

Thats a hard question, but I get it! If you truly feel that these people shouldn't be around your kids, then they shouldn't. How does your husband feel? Maybe you could try talking to your brother and sister in law, and tell them what behavior or conversation you feel is appropriate around your kids and whats not. And then if they can't abide by that, they won't be welcome at your home. At least that way they can't say you didnt try. Family issues are so tricky and just difficult. I COMPLETELY sympathize with you! My family could be their own reality show, and NEVER run out of drama. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I would have to agree with Tammy S. She says it straight to the point- I have had to do just this. I have this similiar situation with my lil brother and his wife. She makes the rules, and he just has to follow- if she is wrong or not! I sat there one day and spoke with my children (ages 14/10/8) about why things were going to change. To my surprise, there were "wanting" me to not hang out so much with them!!!
Amazingly, our kids know way more ahead of what we do. Sometimes, the families know how bad they are- my bro did- and I am sure your family does to. Avoiding this longer and hoping they will get the hint WILL NOT WORK. Be a grown up, throw the first hook, and let them know how you feel- They will not understand and be offended- expect that- but speak your mind, and make sure they hear the 1st and last words ...
I am sure you will do just fine. You control/allow what your family will be ok with, and you are the one that holds their future... remember that!

1 mom found this helpful

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