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Family Dilemma

Discussion in 'Personal' started by emmam25, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. emmam25

    emmam25 New commenter

    My mother passed away 10 years ago leaving my father and I with my two young brothers. Within a few months he met my step-mother who is significantly younger than him. In general I have gotten on well with her, perhaps as we are close in age, but my brothers have never gotten along with her. Mainly as, in the early days whilst they were still children, my father spent most of his time and attention on his then girlfriend. As time has gone on I have moved away and set up my own life but my brothers, now both adults still live with my father and step-mother in an uneasy truce. It has come to a head tonight, a much loved family pet has died whilst my father is out of the country. To support my stepmother I travelled a long way to be with her but this evening when my brother came and sat with me to watch tv she went wild at him; screaming and saying he should move out and get his own life or interact with her and my father when I am not around. I know she is grieving but feel she was out of line speaking to my brother as she did. By the same token I do agree that as adults it is time my brothers started to move onto the next stage of their lives as they work full time but don't contribute to the running costs of the home. Not sure any of this makes much sense but outside opinions greatly appreciated! I don't want to "take sides" but am feeling forced to!
  2. If your brothers are working full-time, then yes, they should either be contributing to the household, or getting ready to move forward, as you suggest. It is unfair of them to live rent free, while doing their best to ignore your step-mother. What is your father's stance on this? Is he accepting of the uneasy truce, or supportive of your step-mother? I can understand why you would be upset at your step-mother shouting at your brother, but being in a relationship myself, with someone whose adult children have caused us all sorts of problems in the past (mainly resolved now, apart from one still major problem) I can understand why she should suddenly snap, especially, if she is grieving. I can understand you don't want to take sides, and I suggest you try not to. If things are ever resolved between all parties later, and you have openly supported someone, then it could backfire on you. Try and stay on the fence... probably safer! Good luck! x
  3. You may not like your stepmother shouting at your brothers but remember ,she has looked after them for ten years and they have repaid her by ignoring her but continuing to live under her roof although they are both adults. An uneasy truce is a horrid way to live. They really do need to move out.
    Annie's advice is sound. Try not to become involved, after all, it really isn't your problem.
  4. Annie's advice sounds good to me
  5. As adults they should be making their own lives.
    They should certainly be contributing to the household.
    I understand how they feel, they were children who had lost their mother, she moved into their home not them into hers. They had no control over, and as for her taking care of them, sounds like they didn't need or want her to.
    Seems to me it's time dad got off the fence and did some sorting out, it's not your responsibility and you shouldn't be left with it. You stay firmly on the fence.
    As for shouting at your brother, she's lucky he didn't shout back louder and clearer.
    She has no rights over him nor him over her.

  6. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Yup, stay well out of it. It's up to your dad to sort it out, frankly, but don't hold your breath. (I'd have expired years ago if I'd waited for my dad to man up!)
  7. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    isn't he living in her house?
  8. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    It doesn't say. I kind of assumed that step-mother had moved into family home. Even ten years later it can still feel to the grown up kids that she has moved in on their space, their dad etc etc...Perhaps that's why they arfe stil living there? Maybe, what with new wife under the roof so soon after the death of their mum, they are still in a state of suspended grief? (if such a state exists?!)
  9. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    As children, your brothers may have felt very hurt by the way their father seemed to move on quickly to a new relationship following your mother's death, and I can completely understand how this may be very difficult for them to overcome. Residual feelings of grief and anger over their mother's death can resurface again and again over the years if not properly dealt with. As you say, if your father was a little distracted by his (then) new girlfriend, he may not have paid proper attention to his sons' grief and helped them to deal with it properly (as properly as it can be).
    I'd suggest that, if your bothers are still unable to accept your step mother it probably has something to do with deep rooted anger and grief that they associate with their father's decision to move on to a new relationship. This could be something that requires talking about as a family and/or some counselling to help them deal with it.
    That said, I totally agree that, as adults, they should be contributing to the household and if they are still not willing to properly accept your stepmother as part of the family and interact with her properly after 10 years, then they should be seeking to move out.
  10. emmam25

    emmam25 New commenter

    Thank you all for the advice. Thus far I have tried to sit on the fence and not take sides but it is all reaching a head. My stepmother, very rightly, is reaching the point of moving out of the family home as an answer to the problems. I think I will perhaps show my father what is written here, perhaps he will then see how much his ignoring the situation is affecting everyone.
  11. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    It sounds as if your Stepmum and Dad need to talk this through. You could suggest Relate to them.
  12. It goes a bit deeper, I'd say, than just the fact thatyour brothers are living in the house and not contributing. If they were sidelined by your Dad when she first came on the scene, that hurt is deep for them and will be ever-present when they deal with her.
    What is she like usually? Is she prone to screaming at your brothers? She'll only get the respect that she deserves if shouting is her first port of call. Look after your brothers - they might be of adult age but it sounds that their world was turned upside down when they were children. If she's a screamer and wobbler-thrower it might be best for everyone if she did leave.
  13. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    As a stepmother who has been in a fairly similar situation to the one described by OP,this thread has comfirmed to me that I was right to encourage my stepkids to move out as soon as they could. The thought of them still being here as fully grown adults does not bare thinking about.
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    It doesn't need to be. They're adults and, as such, should at least be civil. What a pity no-one thought to teach them good manners.
    I don't have a tremendous amount of sympathy for this sort of behaviour from adults.
  15. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    However,that deep hurst doesn't seem to prevent from still living in her house free of charge!
    You would have thought they'd want to get away as soon as possibe.
  16. I thought that the stepmother was the one who wasn't being civil by screaming at them.
    Is it not their house any more then? That's harsh.

  17. It was their childhood home

    It is their Dad's home

    But no, it is not their house ... never has been
  18. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Here's is the old TES debate again. If we take out the second marriage situation out of the equation (as this issue can be quite emotional from any side you look at it),one could argue that it's quite reasonable for parents to expect grown up children with proper jobs to move out and make their own way in life as well as letting their parents getting their own life back.
  19. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Even though they are adults, the fact that they have a parent/child relationship should not be denied, I think, and no step parent should try (or behave as if they are) to come between the parent and the child. (not that I know if this is happening in your family.) I wonder if your dad and step mum ever talked to your brothers about their marriage? Do they talk about your mum? It might help?
  20. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Not sure this is the case at all.

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