Alright, let’s say for the sake of argument that I come from a completely normal immediate family. No abuse, physical, verbal, substance, or otherwise. Everyone is loving, supportive, respectful, etc. Disagreements, while rare and occasionally heated, are just disagreements. Other viewpoints are considered, no one gets nasty, things get worked out. Everyone is just regular. This isn’t to say that my extended family doesn’t have its special people, they exist. However, there exists a certain threshold for bullshit and once someone exceeds the limit, they get voted off the island. I haven’t talked to some aunts or cousins in years and/or decades, and I assure you it is for the best.
I assume that other people come from families like this?
Now, my wife’s family. Holy crap. There is a certain penchant for drama that I can’t begin to understand. My wife and I have been together nearly ten years, and still I am having trouble coming to terms with the shit her parents pull. It’s a huge cause of anxiety for the both of us. For example: The dad has not had a steady job since I’ve known him, and has been riding unemployment forever. (Despite really loving Jesus and voting Republican.) He will occasionally get a job, then find an excuse to quit two to three months later. Rinse, repeat. He asks us for money, because they’re going to foreclose on the house if they don’t pay the bills. $5000. After discussing the fact that we’re never going to see the money again (despite assurances to the contrary), we give it to them. The next time we’re over to their house, they have a brand new 52" HDTV. When my wife called him to try to explain that this is not, in fact, cool, he berated her and called her names. Shit like this all the time. The mom giving my wife the silent treatment for some percieved slight. The dad getting drunk at family gatherings and saying stupid shit. The brother in his late 20’s who still lives at home and literally does nothing but play video games.
Does anyone else deal with this? What do you do? I swear to god, my wife and I…it’s just too much anxiety about the next time they ask for money, or what the dad is going to say the next time he gets shitfaced, or who they’re going to be mad at next and for what. It’s just too much. How do you deal with this? I am unprepared.