Home
Log in / Sign Up
    Private Messages   Advanced Search   Rules   New User Guide   FAQ   Advertise   Contact Us  
Forum -> Yom Tov / Holidays -> Pesach
Seeking advice on a delicate family situation



Post new topic   Reply to topic View latest: 24h 48h 72h

amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 10:26 am
My brother, whom I'm very close to, has invited us over pesach, which is wonderful. However, another brother, known for his manipulative behavior, will also be there. Recently he put me in a difficult position by asking me to do something impossible for my parents. I told him I do a lot and can offer what I could. But this specific thing was something I just couldn't comply. He started calling me selfish and throwing a lot of hurtful comments towards me . He hurt me on a very big level . I kept pretty cool by not answering him too much. I didn't continue to react.

Right now I'm at loss how to navigate this situation. I don't want to give him the silent treatment, as that might be perceived as playing the victim. On the other hand I don't want to become too friendly which won't even feel authentic either , especially given his history of unpredictable behavior. I'm exhausted from his cycle of building up trust one moment, only to tear it down the next.
I'm naturally soft - hearted but I can't allow myself to be treated poorly. He tends to challenge any responses that doesn't align with his own views, leaving me feeling invalidated and hurt. It's clear there is a deep issue going on in him.

As much as I'd like to avoid confrontation, I cannot change my plans for pesach..The brother that invited me, we are really close and hold a good relationship.

I would love to hear advice on finding the right balance between being friendly and setting boundaries with this difficult brother while were staying in one house for first days. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
Back to top

ShishKabob




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 10:32 am
Hugs, and more hugs, really difficult.
Since you seem to know the dynamics really well, can you just be civil to him? Don't be overly friendly or too invested. Don't converse one on one or have dmc's with him. Be civil but protect yourself by not opening up to him, like that he can't really hurt you.

It's really hard when we, genuine people, need to put a cap on our realness in order to protect ourselves. It hurts us also, but it's the lesser of the two evils.
Back to top

dankbar




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 10:35 am
Maybe you can stay at a private space and just come over for the meals and stick to the women
Back to top

lilytee




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 10:40 am
What you’re describing sounds a lot like borderline personality disorder. Maybe look into that? If it does match the criteria, there are some really good books that can help you navigate this relationship.
Back to top

Dolly Welsh




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 11:07 am
I counsel to ignore him. Not the silent treatment, a civil greeting and the occasional civil look or behavior, but no talk. Then, simply do not have contact beyond that.

So, in the middle. Not the silent treatment, but also no interaction.

You talked too much to him. You explained things. You expressed yourself. You said, I mean well but I can't do that thing, for these solid reasons.

That was way too much communication and interaction. You should have heard him out, then said, in a considered manner, "I don't think I can do that." Then, you should have calmly left the room.

If he gets aggressive, and he certainly might, and occasionally will, for the rest of your life, give your husband a "rescue me" glance across the room.

Your husband knows that is the moment to walk over and start chatting nicely with your brother while you just plain walk away.

That was agreed upon in advance, with your husband.

Your brother may even learn, if he is capable of learning, that every time he lights into this sister, meaning you, that her husband just sort of shows up and takes over the conversation, nicely but firmly. And that isn't much fun.

Yes, as other commenters are saying, he's just plain nuts and there is nothing to do with him.

I do not particularly agree with making a study of borderline personality people to learn how to deal with him, because I do not want you thinking about him at all. He is not worth such a study, and it might keep you involved with him.

But I am no shrink, and BT, so maybe I just don't know. Those are just my thoughts.
Back to top

amother
Cornsilk


 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 11:16 am
You literally described my sister in law. And every time I complained to my husband (it's his sister) he would just say that she's in pain.

Always a roller coaster with her and she wants to be close and is fun and can be a good listener. But I learned that I need to protect my heart and always have my guard up a bit and assume she may at any moment come out and bite and to just let it blow over.

You can't take these ppl too seriously. Following.
Back to top

amother
Brunette


 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 11:26 am
I know someone who sounds similar to your brother.
It’s probably some type of personality disorder.
The thing is with these types of people is that they get heated up very fast and tend to let off steam without thinking about how hurtful the words they say are.
And then after they let it all out, they become regular again. They don’t really remember the outburst and what they said. They don’t understand why people get upset with them.
So, I would advise you to go to your brother and don’t think so much about what your other brother said. For the future, you’ll have to remember to just play it cool with him.
He’ll probably say things again that will hurt you or other people and that will be that.
I know you feel bad about what he said to you but he probably doesn’t even remember the intensity of his words.
Btw- I feel bad for his wife if he’s married.
At least you have other people in your life who treat you well and wouldn’t knock you like he did.
Just be your regular happy self and realize that someone who can hurt you so deeply probably isn’t so emotionally healthy.
Back to top

amother
Cornsilk


 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 11:59 am
amother Brunette wrote:
I know someone who sounds similar to your brother.
It’s probably some type of personality disorder.
The thing is with these types of people is that they get heated up very fast and tend to let off steam without thinking about how hurtful the words they say are.
And then after they let it all out, they become regular again. They don’t really remember the outburst and what they said. They don’t understand why people get upset with them.
So, I would advise you to go to your brother and don’t think so much about what your other brother said. For the future, you’ll have to remember to just play it cool with him.
He’ll probably say things again that will hurt you or other people and that will be that.
I know you feel bad about what he said to you but he probably doesn’t even remember the intensity of his words.
Btw- I feel bad for his wife if he’s married.
At least you have other people in your life who treat you well and wouldn’t knock you like he did.
Just be your regular happy self and realize that someone who can hurt you so deeply probably isn’t so emotionally healthy.


My sister in law who is like this it actually builds up in her and builds up and then poof, out it so comes. So I'm always wondering what she's thinking and getting mad about me at any given moment... But you are right that she doesn't realize how hurtful it sounds and I think for her it's a relief to finally get it all out.
Back to top

amother
Brunette


 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 12:08 pm
amother Cornsilk wrote:
My sister in law who is like this it actually builds up in her and builds up and then poof, out it so comes. So I'm always wondering what she's thinking and getting mad about me at any given moment... But you are right that she doesn't realize how hurtful it sounds and I think for her it's a relief to finally get it all out.


Right. And after she lets it out, she just moves on. These types of people don’t realize how much damage they do when they explode but as soon as they explode, it’s like- over and forgotten-next… “hey why are you angry at me? I didn’t do anything wrong! You did!”
So, you just can’t engage with people like this.
Back to top

Cheiny




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 1:36 pm
amother OP wrote:
My brother, whom I'm very close to, has invited us over pesach, which is wonderful. However, another brother, known for his manipulative behavior, will also be there. Recently he put me in a difficult position by asking me to do something impossible for my parents. I told him I do a lot and can offer what I could. But this specific thing was something I just couldn't comply. He started calling me selfish and throwing a lot of hurtful comments towards me . He hurt me on a very big level . I kept pretty cool by not answering him too much. I didn't continue to react.

Right now I'm at loss how to navigate this situation. I don't want to give him the silent treatment, as that might be perceived as playing the victim. On the other hand I don't want to become too friendly which won't even feel authentic either , especially given his history of unpredictable behavior. I'm exhausted from his cycle of building up trust one moment, only to tear it down the next.
I'm naturally soft - hearted but I can't allow myself to be treated poorly. He tends to challenge any responses that doesn't align with his own views, leaving me feeling invalidated and hurt. It's clear there is a deep issue going on in him.

As much as I'd like to avoid confrontation, I cannot change my plans for pesach..The brother that invited me, we are really close and hold a good relationship.

I would love to hear advice on finding the right balance between being friendly and setting boundaries with this difficult brother while were staying in one house for first days. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.


Considering that he was so nasty to you and hasn’t yet apologized, I think you should act cordial but not friendly. If and when he (hopefully) asks you if all is okay, you should tell him his behavior towards you was hurtful and unacceptable. An apology is in order. Until then you should give him the message that all is not ok and you will not allow him to mistreat you.
Back to top

amother
IndianRed


 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 1:39 pm
amother Cornsilk wrote:
My sister in law who is like this it actually builds up in her and builds up and then poof, out it so comes. So I'm always wondering what she's thinking and getting mad about me at any given moment... But you are right that she doesn't realize how hurtful it sounds and I think for her it's a relief to finally get it all out.


My mother was like this. I behaved as you did until I read about BPD in the book Stop Walking on Eggshells.
Back to top

imasinger




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 3:38 pm
Whether or not there's an official diagnosis likely, learning how to handle interactions with this guy would be helpful.

Tey looking up "gray rocking".
Back to top

amother
Clover


 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 3:53 pm
What Dolly Welsh said. You don't debate with such people. You state your decision and leave it at that. When they become offensive, you don't continue to engage; you walk away or hang up. And if you have to be in the same room at the same time, you are just civil enough not to be rude, but again you don't engage. You involve yourself with other people and things.
Back to top

disneyland




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 4:01 pm
I agree with the poster who said to just not interact with him
Try to keep very stable and brief with him. It's not worth it to have a conversation with him and then feel hurt. Your husband and children need you to be healthy for them. Your emotional health isn't worth giving up. I have a friend who told me she can't speak to me anymore because she feels it affects her mental health and she cant risk not feeling well emotionally since she has children. Children sense your mood and I wouldn't want your children to have a mother who is in pain. They feel it.
Back to top

amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 9:27 pm
Thank you all for your insightful responses and ideas regarding my difficult situation with my brother. And I'll definitely take your suggestions to heart. It's been a tough and ongoing issue for years with his behavior swinging between extreme niceness and judgement. No matter what I do, I feel like I'm "constantly being judged or criticized. I'm looking for ways how to manage this situation confidently and hopefully even surprise him by no longer tolerating his behavior.
Back to top

amother
Camellia


 

Post Mon, Apr 08 2024, 9:43 pm
Don’t you think maybe you should have a conversation with him and bring it out in the open before you spend Yom Tov together?
Maybe he will apologize and then you can both move on and if he doesn’t then you can try not to have to much interaction with him
Back to top

amother
OP


 

Post Tue, Apr 09 2024, 12:02 am
I've already reached out to my brother, expressing how deeply he hurt me, but unfortunately, I received no response. I know his patterns well, and he is never one to admit or acknowledge his mistakes. He always believes he's right, even when he's not. In my experience, discussing it further won't lead to anything; it'll likely only make things worse, as it has in the past. So, no , I don't think it's worth revisiting the discussion. It will only take us back to square one.
Back to top

amother
Brunette


 

Post Tue, Apr 09 2024, 1:34 am
amother OP wrote:
I've already reached out to my brother, expressing how deeply he hurt me, but unfortunately, I received no response. I know his patterns well, and he is never one to admit or acknowledge his mistakes. He always believes he's right, even when he's not. In my experience, discussing it further won't lead to anything; it'll likely only make things worse, as it has in the past. So, no , I don't think it's worth revisiting the discussion. It will only take us back to square one.


100%
These types of people can never see that they are wrong. There is no point in even trying to get him to see. It will only cause you more heartache. Having a “discussion” is for emotionally stable people.
Back to top

amother
Brickred


 

Post Tue, Apr 09 2024, 2:11 am
Our family is getting together after many years of being apart for Pesach. One of the in laws has a very serious illness. This person was difficult, dishonest, and manipulative before, but is now using the illness as an excuse to behave horridly to my relative. I was the only one in the family who ever tried to stop the behavior, particularly when they tried to take advantage of me on many occasions. Others were too polite or Erlich to push back, but were shocked by the way this person exploited the family. We are trying to give chizzuk to our relative, but the partner’s current behavior is beyond appalling. Most people outside immediate family don’t realize, and believe that this person is a tzaddik going through a terrible trial. I recognize that there is a serious illness, and have tried to act compassionately despite the history. But now that we are spending the week together, I am trying to figure out how to behave in a mentchlich manner but convey that our family stands behind the extremely kind and frankly abused family member.
Back to top
Page 1 of 1 Recent Topics




Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Yom Tov / Holidays -> Pesach

Related Topics Replies Last Post
Hate my curly hair now- advice?
by ThisMom
7 Yesterday at 7:59 pm View last post
Do your sons babysit? (not family)
by amother
32 Sun, May 26 2024, 9:59 am View last post
Family Health Plus/Essential Plan
by amother
0 Fri, May 24 2024, 7:01 am View last post
Toilet training SOS. Need advice!!
by amother
18 Thu, May 23 2024, 8:59 pm View last post
Seeking school for gifted DD
by amother
43 Thu, May 23 2024, 9:10 am View last post