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mjmooney
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Posted (edited)

As distinct from the Relationship Thread, which focuses on sexual/romantic partners, thought I'd start one on our other family relationships - parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts and in-laws. 

How do you get on with yours? Love them or hate them? Or both? 

I'm convinced that a huge part of my personality (both good and bad) is due to being the only child of elderly parents. I'm consequently intrigued and baffled by siblings, and how they interact - my own two daughters are the best of friends, which is a huge relief, as some of my friends seemed to have quite bad relationships with their brothers and sisters. 

Basically, our family mostly seems to work pretty well, without too many problems, but I know this isn't the case for everyone. 

Fire away. 

Edited by mjmooney
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Got a huge one, very close too, my 2nd and 3rd cousins for example we just refer to each other as cousins as we all grew up together 

Both my mom and dad are one of 5, they're divorced and remarried, so are all my mom's sisters, my mom's mom has 11 grandkids and 13 great grand kids, all 4 grandparents are still alive but I don't see my mom's dad, he's a dick and pretty much all my life has caused trouble with the 5 of them... And it's huge trouble, they're always fighting with each other, I think it's largely down to them being so close, they are interfere with each others lives and shit stir, fortunately that's not passed down the generation

Would say its weird now with the in laws that I seem to naturally gravitate towards my mother in law rather than the father in law, I grew up with a single parent, a gran and four aunties... 

My relationship with my dad has swung wildly over my life but as I've got older and my mom went through a bad divorce with her 2nd husband in my mid 20s it's got better and is now quite good

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Haven't spoken to my sister in 4-5 years. Doesn't bother me either. She consistently have treated my old folks like shit her entire life, and me for that matter. To make it worse we are very very different both in interests, personalities and appearance.

When I realised I wanted to cut her out of my life a few years back it was rather pleasing. Some people are just toxic and they drain you. You come to a point where it's liberating to cut them out. 

I know it sounds crazy to anyone else though. I'm probably going to be settling down and having a family of my own soon enough. My girlfriend has a really strong relationship with her sister and so on, and she doesn't get that our kids will never meet their aunt on their fathers side.

Some people get it, some people don't I guess.

My mum and dad are great people mind. Lord knows how they have managed to deal with all of her drama over the years. It makes me exceptionally angry though, cause I know they hurt a lot when she treats them like shit. She's such a massive massive word removed.

Edited by KenjiOgiwara
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The closest family with mother, sisters, brothers in law and their kids are great and we have a good relationship.

Have cousins in Denmark which was very fun holidays and memories when I was younger.

Have friends with some really bad relationships; one cut the ties with his father and sister after the mother passed away. Hard to understand at first glance but with the full story it is the right decision.

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I have a daughter, we get on well (I hope)

I have 1 first cousin, can't stand her. I last saw her at my Dad's funeral, won't be bothering to speak to her again

I have 2 second cousins, one lives in Australia, the other in Stourbridge. We exchange pleasantries on Facebook from time to time

The missus has a Brother and we get on, she has a sister who has more intelligence than common sense, I'm not nasty to her, I just stay out of her way when she visits. She has two kids, the lad is nice, the daughter is a horror

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I moved to a larger house so my daughter and grandson could move in. At the weekend I moved the last of her stuff in. As I type they are painting in the conservatory. I was happy when she left home as it was time for her to get her own place. As soon as the last box went I wanted her to come home. A year back she split with her boyfriend and a combination of a low paid job and some significant mental health issues had me asking her to come home. 
I, and of course my wife have always been close to our daughter. She has shared every event and personal news with us. I know everything about her life as she has always felt she can discuss with me things that her friends perhaps couldn’t with their parents. 

As for my family. I can’t recall the last time I had a conversation with my brother. Maybe 10 years ago. Not sure. Don’t have a relationship with him, don’t want one. He is ghastly as are his family. 
My parents, hmmm well. They were **** awful and I promised myself and my daughter that I would not display a single trait or habit they had/have. 
My sister is one of the best people I know. 

Edited by Seat68
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Get on great with my parents. We're not an emotionally close family at all.... I put it down to all being reserved. I was an only child, my Mom was and my Dad practically was (he had a heavily disabled brother who died when he was a teenager). I see them every fortnight and occasionally exchange messages with them between visits but I don't tell them everything about my life. We're not that type of family, but we get on great and I love going to see them every fortnight.

I don't speak to my one surviving Grandparent. Basically she's not a nice person and treats my Mom like shit. I'm not putting up with that. 

That's it really. Very small family. 

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Nice one Mike, I was recently thinking about doing a parenting thread but this thread should cover that and more.


For me it’s nothing remarkable.

A 5 year old daughter whom obviously I love to pieces. That dynamic is probably about as good as it can be. I’m sure it will still be the same when she’s 15...

Both parents are alive, I get on better with my mum (66), she’s easier going. My dad (71), like me, is a bit stubborn and if we disagree on something (typically whether criticism of the current government is warranted) it can highlight our differences. I think we’ve silently agreed to just not discuss things if they could be contentious. But you know, love them both.

I have a younger brother. We get on well. He’s not as sociable as me. Broadly speaking, he’s more like my dad and I’m more like my mum. But again, love him. He’s an excellent uncle to my kid. And my folks love being grandparents.

They currently all live next door to me (literally next door) although the plan is to move around the corner into a bungalow (again, literally around the corner). So it’s handy we get on.

All my grandparents are dead. The first died in ‘89 (I think). The last in 2015. 

I have five cousins. The one on my dad’s side died about ten years ago. Didn’t really know him. The others on my mum’s side I can hold a conversation with. The one makes more of an effort with me, the others not so much but in fairness I don’t make much of an effort in return. Aunts and uncles, kinda similar, some I have an easier rapport than others.

 

I suppose I half wonder how different I’d have been if I had an older brother. A sort of template to follow might have influenced me differently. But I’m not sure there’s a proper rule of thumb for that sort of thing.

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Both sides of my extended family, my parents families, are those people that just live in a perpetual rolling feud. Absolute drama addicts since I was a kid. So I have nothing to do with them, no interaction with my family beyond my parents and brother, haven’t for about 20 years. Life’s too short for every meeting to end up in gossip and telling tales and shouting and bringing up what auntie whoever said about uncle whoever in 1987. It’s tiresome, negative, and basically, I didn’t want my kids thinking that was normal or acceptable or just plain being dragged in to it. If there is a family gathering beyond just my parents or brother, I don’t go. If my mum starts to tell me anything about any relative, I politely remind her I am absolutely not interested. It’s been liberating being out of it.

My wife’s side are perfectly normal perfectly nice ordinary people and we get on great.

My wife and kids are great, they’re my three best mates.

 

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Mine is almost pathetically harmonious, at least as far as I can tell. Mom and dad are divorced, but amicably so and get on fine, and their new partners are good people. Dad’s alright as dads go, and my mom’s a veritable saint. Just the one (younger) brother and I don’t think we’ve ever had a cross word. Ever. You couldn’t design a nicer person if you tried. I get on well with all my aunts, uncles and cousins, and had/have warm, loving grandparents. My wife and son also get on well with everyone, so I really couldn’t ask for a better family. I really feel like I won the family lottery. 

The in-laws are a bit (a lot) more complicated, but they’ve never been anything but welcoming and friendly with me.

Thus, the idea of not being on speaking terms with one’s immediate family is completely absurd to me. I totally support people who refuse to take anymore shit from a family member and just close that door, but it’s hard for me to understand how a family relationship could ever come to that. 

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On the drama thing, last week my auntie was with my mom having breakfast, she tagged them both in on Facebook with some such message as "having a great catch up on the gossip!!!" 

My other auntie commented on it "you better not be talking about me" 

Half a day later they've all had a blazing row, it all got deleted, one of the unfriended the other and currently isnt talking to my mom 

Its madness but it never stops, its a continuous cycle 

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My wife’s side of the family are very close. She has a elder brother and sister. Her dad, like mine isn’t around and rarely has been. My side of the family are not very close at all. Infact I wouldn’t piss on some of them if they were on fire. Me and my mum have a funny relationship. We are closer than we’ve ever been but we can’t show love to each other only when drunk. I can’t tell her I love her and vice versa. Things have happened in the past which have obviously left their mark on us both. 
 

I have 3 young kids and they bicker like what seems all the time, but I suppose it’s normal . I was brought up mainly by my grandparents who are sadly no longer with us. I was an only child, but my dad who basically left at birth has at least one other child, but we have nothing to do with each other. I always wanted a brother, so I’m glad my kids have each other to grow up with . 
 

my aunty has been disowned by us all. She’s always been a wrong un, but whilst my grandad was ill with dementia and in a care home she was taking thousands out of his bank and selling off his pretty valuable vinyl collection without us knowing. She was power of attorney because my mum isn’t up to that sort of thing and my uncle who is a good bloke was recovering from major back surgery, so she ended up with the job which she wanted all along. Once my grandad passed away which was not long after going into care, my uncle took over things, as it was stated in the will that he sees to everything. That’s when we realised the full extent of her evilness. The money was recovered, but sadly the most treasured of all things his vinyl is sadly lost forever. That’s part of the reason I’ve gone down the vinyl route to try and put things right in my head, although it won’t ever make things better. 

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Parents divorced when I was early 20s and whilst they still don't get on at least they can be in the same room as each other. My sisters are very different people and personalities to me but we get on okay enough. My brother is fantastic though, first rate, best guy I've ever met. 

Spoiler

He also regularly reads Villatalk. However I'm pretty certain that no matter how many times I've extolled the virtues of Off Topic he doesn't venture out here. Clearly he's a bit dim so I reckon a spoiler tag will confuse the dopey plonker just in case he does. 

 

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I will say I had a good upbringing by my grandparents . My grandad weren’t the best of dads to his kids, but he was never as hard on me. Me and my gran adored each other but I hold a lot of guilt for when she was really poorly in her later years and I wasn’t there for her. Couldn’t handle it and done the selfish thing and hid away behind drink and drugs. She was/is an absolute star. Such a great woman and hard as nails with it. 

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My dad is dead. My mother is a trusted confidante but she is very reserved and I still.feel like I don't know her sometimes.  I'm sure a shrink could dive in and unearth some doozies there.. My sister and I are close but I feel like she isn't always honest with herself or me. I feel like she is competitive with me when I am not with her. But we basically get along well. She has a 18 year old son who used to idolize me but now there's an awkward distance between us. I don't like it. Huge maternal pool of cousins that I interact with on occasion. Dads family mostly moved out of Massachusetts years ago and I don't see them anymore. 

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7 minutes ago, Seat68 said:

With my brother, he was the reason I left the family home at 14. He was a filthy National Front racist. He beat me up probably every day from the age of 5. I owned nothing, of the rare times my parents bought me a toy, he destroyed it. My first records were broken on a whim. To me now, I don’t hate him. I just don’t care if he exists or not. His wife and kids demonstrate the same traits as he did. All words removed. 

Thanks for sharing. I know these things happen. And you made the right decision. It’s just so utterly incomprehensible to me how anyone can treat a family member the way your brother treated you. 

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13 minutes ago, Seat68 said:

With my brother, he was the reason I left the family home at 14. He was a filthy National Front racist. He beat me up probably every day from the age of 5. I owned nothing, of the rare times my parents bought me a toy, he destroyed it. My first records were broken on a whim. To me now, I don’t hate him. I just don’t care if he exists or not. His wife and kids demonstrate the same traits as he did. All words removed. 

Well it’s good for you that you’ve dropped the hate. Hate is horrible to live with I imagine. Not a very pleasant person at all by the sounds of it. Life is too short, man .

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The only real aggro in our family was left over from when my parents got married. She was the youngest of four, in her 30s, and I think her parents expected her to stay at home and look after them in their dotage (her brother and two sisters were both married). Then she met my Dad. Didn't help that he was Irish. And a Catholic. They actually refused to go to her wedding, which upset her a lot as you can imagine. Her brother and the younger sister stayed friends with her, but the oldest sister sided with her parents, and their relationship remained strained ever after. Said sister inherited the family house and every sentimental item, and left it all to the church and her mates when she died, my Mom got nothing. I find it all hard to understand. 

And my parents didn't exactly have a harmonious marriage after all - they had wildly different personalities and rowed and bickered constantly, to the point I was glad when I was old enough to leave home and get away from it. They stayed married to the bitter end, though. 

Which is why I'm so glad that our kids are such good mates with each other. When they were about 10 and 12, I remember them saying that their plan was to always live near each other when married, so their kids could grow up together. And that is exactly what they've done - the little cousins (in our house half the week) are more like sisters. We like the sons-in-law, and in fact we're all going on a week's holiday together in August. 

I don't want it to sound too much like The Waltons - we've had our share of problems, too - but on balance I'm happy with how we all get along. 

Edited by mjmooney
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