I've been having this problem for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a very abusive, dysfunctional family and have 2 older siblings. I live about a mile from one of them with their family and I'm happily married. My question is whenever anything, and I mean anything big happens there, I never hear anything from them. I have to find out 2nd hand. It really irritates me no end. My husband's family's the same way. These families seem to be self-absorbed and completely seem to forget we exits. We do almost all the calling and invites, yet they don't seem to reciprocate. I can't think of anything I did or we've done to make our families not want anything to do with us. BTW, as a child I had a lot of learning problems and failures, got into trouble with the law, etc...but that's been looooong cleared up. I have turned my life around, yet can't help to feel that I'm still the black sheep. I'm seriously considering creating my own family out of close friends who really give a you know what. Any advice would be appreciated. Thx


3121 days ago
It must be very painfull being alienated like this. In my life I've experienced alienation from my own family for a small period and my husbands family is notorius for using alienation as manipulation regarding money matters. You mentioned that you feel like the 'black sheep' of the family - it's hard to shed that because it has been integrated within the dysfunction of the family.

The only thing I would suggest is talk with the more reasonable family members and nicely explain where you feel unhappy and how it can be improved. It may also be they're in the habit of you always initiating invitations etc. and don't have enough manners to think about reciprocating back. If talking calmly doesn't work then don't invite them anymore and wait to see if anyone mentions why you stopped.

In the meantime do exactly what you said and branch out and make your own network of support from friends - but you should expect the same give and take from them too. I find many people don't know the art of entertaining much anymore. Best of luck and good for you in cleaning up your ways. Bella :)

3121 days ago
Good advice from bella.

It's hard to say why they don't reach out to you. Maybe they just don't reach out to anyone and it's nothing personal. Maybe there's something you do that irritates them. Maybe, like you suggested, they just see you as an outsider. It's possible that they see you as needy right now and are pushing you away because of that.

I think finding another group is a great idea too. When they see you're not dependent on them, they might be more likely to include you. I don't know whether they'll start including you on conversations, but I think that if you form your own group, it won't really matter.

3120 days ago
Thx for the reply. But, that's the thing. I'm not needy. When I was much younger I had troubles and was, but that was so long ago, I can't see why they'd see me that way now. I'm happily married and doing my own thing. His family is also the same way. It's sickening.

3120 days ago
Then maybe it's time to create your own network, as you suggested. I think that'd work out nicely. If your family comes around, it'd be nice, but not necessary for your well being.

3120 days ago
I admire you for wanting to reinforce relationships with your families. But these people are grownups and it's obvious that they simply do not feel the same way that you do. I lived through the same thing for 30 years. I did finally create my own relationships and friendships with people I had common interests with so that my life had meaning and my husband and I had good friends to share with. I have also noticed that there comes a time in each of our lives when our own mortality hits us in the face and suddenly family ties become more important. Perhaps that might happen in your families. Who knows? But for now, make your own lives meaningful with good friends.

3120 days ago
I feel I can identify in some way with your experience. I left my country at age 18 partially for family reasons and so I seem invisible to family members now, so be it. Our extended family especially tends to only share the good stuff like expensive holidays, new cars, job promotions, diplomas, etc. but funnily enough you never hear any bad news, I mean everyone has their ups and downs, who hasn't ? Your resolution to create your own network is probably a conclusion that most people arrive at in this situation (myself included but not only in relation to family members but also to disloyal or user 'friends').

3115 days ago
I do not think there is a thing wrong with creating your own network, either.

Can you ask them why they are treating you this way? Would it cause more drama than it is worth?



3114 days ago
In Scott Peck's book The Road Less Traveled, he writes about phychological problems and families.

The theme of what he says is this: people tell themselves: "Oh, but I really love my mother"...when all they've ever gotten is abuse! Or I really love my family,....when in fact their family brings them little in the way of happiness or comfort.

Your idea to create your own family is a very, very good one......why knock your head against a wall for people whom you have nothing in common with other than blood.

You choreograph your life....put in place people with shom you can enjoy live, trust, have empathy, etc. etc.

Don't waste your time on family that doesn't give a you know what!