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What do you do with a difficult family member?

My FIL is well known in the family for being a total a-hole, an even bigger one when he drinks. And of course he drinks, a lot, on holidays. Even better, he says totally ignorant, racist things around my SIL who is Asian (Chinese American) and my niece/nephew who are multiracial. And our adopted child likely will be not white. It is all I can do to not tell him off. How do you deal with a difficult family member?

Answer Question

Asked by TwoBrownDogs at 12:10 AM on Nov. 19, 2010 in Relationships

Level 15 (2,099 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • Sometimes the only answer is to cut the toxic people out of your life...even if they are family. I had to do this with my father 11 yrs ago. I don't pretend it was easy. The peace that has been gained though tells me it was the right decision. I wish you luck.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 12:12 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • Sounds like my brother. And I'm married to a Latino, so I have to try to convince him my brother is just an ass and doesn't really mean what he says. Short answer: You just spend as little time around him as possible and try not to take anything he says seriously. I've been working on that my WHOLE LIFE! Your situation is rough, though, considering your child....

    Answer by Adelicious at 12:17 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • yea in order for someone to see their faults sometimes it takes people not being in their lives. i wouldn't go to anything that he would be attending.

    Answer by melody77 at 12:18 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • We just stay away from our difficult family members as much as possible.

    Answer by MyGiftsFromGod at 12:22 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • I have learned that it is best to be upfront about things. Let him know he is hurting others, and let the others know he is an alcoholic and gets mouthy when drunk.

    Answer by MrsBLB at 12:44 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • I feel your pain! My middle sister is a complete ass like that. I just avoid her as much as possible, and try to keep my husband away from her, becuase she says and does stuff that really hurts my feelings, and then he feels the need to get all defensive. While I eventually move on and just forget it, he can't, so it just builds and builds. Especially if it comes down to your child and him saying nasty things, I would nicely remind him, "I chose my child, I didn't choose you. If you have a problem with this we can not come around anymore, and you will be missing out on your son and grandson's life, your choice" Maybe that will sober him up enough to not be a total ass. Sorry you've got to deal with it, and I wish you the best of luck!

    Answer by Erin_Jus at 2:32 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

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