Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

People who have bad luck for years and years.

(19 Posts)
ishallconquerthat Tue 29-Dec-15 18:20:05

I have a relative who has loads of bad things happening to her at the moment. Ill partner needing constant care, problems with money, rented an inherited flat and the tenants never paid and destroyed the place (not in the UK, the laws are very different there), all sorts of things.

She is very resentful with the lack of help from other relatives. I'm very worried about the person, but I live in the UK so I can't help very much (source of more resentment). And all my suggestions regarding the tenants and money problems have always been ignored (I understand, it's very easy to suggest things when you're not the one with the problem directly - and I'm in the comfortable situation of being away.)

But sometimes (and I feel guilty for that) I feel she must be doing something wrong. I can't believe someone can have so much bad luck with money, legal issues, tenants, etc. I know it's not AIBU but AIBU for thinking that some people bring some bad luck to themselves?

I wish I could help this person, but it's such a difficult situation, every time I try to get more involved, I end up exhausted and drained, and nothing changes.

Any suggestion? She is very unhappy, she is spreading this unhappiness to everyone who is near, and I wish I could help!

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 29-Dec-15 18:26:57

What kind of suggestions do you want?

You can't help her. You've offered advice. She has ignored it. Some people are like that. You'd be better off helping the unhappy people close to her. They might need help to extricate themselves from her self-made dramas.

Ultimately if a person drags everyone else down and refuses help then the others eventually have to step away to protect themselves.

SoThatHappened Tue 29-Dec-15 18:39:27

Ill partner needing constant care, problems with money, rented an inherited flat and the tenants never paid and destroyed the place (not in the UK, the laws are very different there), all sorts of things.

How is any of this her fault? An ill partner needing constant care, money problems, no doubt through having an ill partner needing constant care as he cant work.

Destroyed flat with no legal recourse as the laws are different.

How would she have brought the bad luck to herself particularly with her partner needing constant care?

KirstyJC Tue 29-Dec-15 18:47:21

Ignoring advice that might have helped may well be 'her fault' but sometimes when you are in a bad place you are not able to fully understand the implications of every decision. It may be obvious to those on the outside but maybe it wasn't to her?

So in some cases, you might say that a person brings 'bad luck' on themselves to some degree, by simply being too worn down to see a way out of their situation - therefore making poor choices that make things worse. So then they think there is no point as it all goes bad anyway and then don't bother trying to find and answer or listen to advice. And so things get worse and worse.

It's sad but I can't see what you can do in this situation other than try and support as much as possible.

ishallconquerthat Tue 29-Dec-15 22:06:12

KirstyJC but how can I help her? Every time I try to help I get dragged down. It feels like (and I know I'm not impartial) she won't rest until every one is as miserable as she is.

She has been unlucky. Part of me understands that, as a reasonable human being would. The other part of me asks how the fuck it's possible to be so fucking unlucky that every time you have a new problem???

Maybe I'm asking for help to see the whole thing in a more sensible way.

Sothat as I just said, part of me agrees with you. Runrabbit it's not all self-made. Definitely not.

But for example: her flat is not in a good condition, and she doesn't have the money to refurbish it. It's a very large place, so it's expensive to rent. But people renting big places want new places, so she always end up with crap tenants who don't pay. The laws there don't allow throwing people out like would happen in London, for example. What could she do?

She is being horrible to the partner. Partner (who is her husband of 40 years) knew he was ill. Never did anything the doctors said. Now he is bad and needs lots of care. Relative is angry because if partner followed doctors instructions, he wouldn't be so bad.

But I think there's a time you just get over it, forgive partner for being an idiot and move on (by move on I mean "care for him"). She doesn't forgive and doesn't move on.

How many years she needs to forgive him, ffs?

(sorry for the random rant, hope it still makes sense. I can't talk to many people IRL about that, would love to hear sensible opinions from people who are not involved in the whole thing).

TopOfTheCliff Tue 29-Dec-15 22:29:25

I can relate to this a bit. My SIL has had a tough life due to marrying a shit. She divorced him eventually but her life is one long drama. He doesn't support his kids, stalks her and manipulates everybody to feel sorry for him. But all she does is continually moan about how awful everything is (for an hour at a time on the phone). She hates her job and needs to lose weight and exercise a bit and build a social life. When she has a good rant we listen and sympathise but she never ever takes our advice so we have given up expecting anything to change. She could change the locks and sell the house and move. She could get another job. She could join Weightwatchers. But she chooses not to.
Eventually we are seeing she likes her life with all the drama and the blaming. Her choice! But we are choosing not to have to listen to all the negative ranting.

KirstyJC Tue 29-Dec-15 22:37:43

How close are you? And how 'blunt' are you? If you're close then have you tried just asking her why she is not listening to you and tell her that you are finding it really exhausting and that she is making you all miserable. Say you can't keep on being made to feel so bad when she isn't letting you do anything to help her.

Ask her if she really wants things to change or whether she is so stuck in her life that she doesn't really want it to? She can change things - she could leave the partner. (OK I realise that is extremely harsh but it IS an option. There is always an option). If she doesn't leave him then she needs to be there for him. Which will she choose? And the flat - can she not sell it? Maybe not for much money, but if she can't rent it properly then maybe selling is an option?

Shakey15000 Tue 29-Dec-15 22:50:03

I think often, when you're in the quagmire of persistent bad luck, it's really nigh on impossible to see any positives.

DH and I have had almost 3 years bad luck. Not to go into to too much but think major surgery, job losses, continued ill health, operations looming which obviously lead to financial worries and insecurities.

I/we have tried to not pass our doom and gloom on, have accepted help etc but it's not easy! I think, if you're in a period of stability (good luck) then try to be more understanding. If you can't help practically that's fine, you can still be emotionally supportive and make the right noises. If you find it's dragging you down then get over it, you're still better off than them (in the nicest way smile )

Sweetsweetjane Tue 29-Dec-15 23:48:39

I have been through a series of shitty events. Many of which have been life changing and soul destroying.

People do offer advice but often it is advice that either shows that they haven't listened nor understood or that they clearly don't believe my situation.

I have consulted number professionals as well as CAB. I feel so trapped. I wish with all my heart that someone could offer a practical solution.

My life has changed beyond recognition. I see people around me seemingly do nothing and achieve great results.
I don't have any family support and I'm trying really hard not to be bitter.
I have learned not to open up anymore as it's clear that nobody wants to hear it. No doubt because like you they think that I bring it all upon myself.
I feel like a fucking car crash when I'm trying so hard to hold it together, to keep my job and home for my gorgeous innocent children.

LivingInTheShadows Wed 30-Dec-15 01:15:37

Maybe she just needs a rant? Is she actually asking for advice or does she just need a listening ear? Is she actually expecting practical help as I think in the situation she is in, there isn't anything you practically do so you need to tell her that and tell her you will listen when she needs to offload. You don't need to stress yourself about it, only she can change her situation - sell the flat when the tenancy is up and use the proceeds to buy in extra care for her husband, etc. Which seems like a no brainer to you and me but may be unacceptable to her. With regards to forgiving her husband, I don't think it is up anyone else to judge her whether or not she does that.

I have been through some terrible bad luck in my life starting with my father abandoning me with my abusive mother, onto losing a child to rare disease (she was only the 7th recorded case in the UK - how's that for bad luck), losing my home and business, bankruptcy and homelessness. My family, the ones who dumped me and my DC when I started suffering from mental health issues, would say that I have brought my current situation on myself due to my 'poor' choices.

Well, yes, we all make choices, with hindsight it's easy to see that they were not the right ones but do we need to blame ourselves and do we need others to blame us? I think people who haven't experienced much shit in life find it hard to believe terrible things can happen to people just like them at random, it frightens them, so it is much easier to believe that they are in control of their lives while they're running smoothly and easier to blame others for bringing it all on themselves.

howtorebuild Wed 30-Dec-15 01:21:24

*I have been through a series of shitty events. Many of which have been life changing and soul destroying.

People do offer advice but often it is advice that either shows that they haven't listened nor understood or that they clearly don't believe my situation.*

This.

InionEile Wed 30-Dec-15 01:23:14

You do tend to hit a negative spiral when you've had a run of bad luck. DH and I had a few tough years just before starting our family - jobs, financial stuff, family arguments and health. Our son is 4 now and we have a 1 year old and really life is much better and we are comparatively lucky. Still though it takes mental effort for me to view things positively and DH can't at all. He is constantly convinced that doom is just around the corner.

So I don't think people with a lot of problems bring it on themselves but I do think a negative mindset is very hard to climb out of. OTOH I also think that it is exhausting dealing with a relentlessly negative person too so it is fair enough of you feel unable / unwilling to offer support anymore.

Klaptout Wed 30-Dec-15 01:48:26

Maybe she isn't looking for solutions, just a listening ear? To offload in a safe way, that in its self maybe enough for her.
It might seem to you that she has caused the problems she has talked about, as much as you tell yourself that is true, it doesn't make it true.
It may feel frustrating to you because you are seeing it from a distance without actually living it, living it can wipe all ability to rationalise and activity do anything, doesn't make her wrong and you right.

RudeElf Wed 30-Dec-15 01:55:29

I have a friend whose life is just a pattern of bad decisions. From little things like buying a chinese when she had to climb down the back of the sofa to pay for it to huge things like falling for awful men. I used to be very blunt and tell her to wise the fuck up. I used to help her do budgets and point out what his behaviour was telling her but i've come to realise she is actually just built that way and will carry in regardless. She is very happy to moan about people treating her so badly and keep her fingers crossed that "next year will be her year". Its been over 10 years now and it still hasnt been "her year" i leave her to it now. Smile and nod. Hug when necessary. Wine when hugs dont cut it.

Imbroglio Wed 30-Dec-15 10:27:15

Having a sick partner who needs constant care must be really draining. Does she get any respite? Could this be something you and her other relatives could help with?

Re the property, maybe she doesn't want to sell in case she needs it herself.

TheSecondViola Wed 30-Dec-15 10:35:32

Luck doesn't exist, bad or good. Stuff happens. But a lot of it happens due to poor choices and often the spiral continues in part due to an unwillingness to acknowledge those bad choices. Often when people have a long run of "bad luck" they treat all events as things that happen to them as if they have no input, taking a passive role in their own lives.
And when we fail to acknowledge our mistakes we are doomed to repeat them. Its not about blame, its about taking the first step to improving your life.

Yseulte Wed 30-Dec-15 10:47:04

I've been through a shedload of shit in my life but I've never resented other people for not supporting me, at the end of the day it's my shit to deal with.

If I moaned on and on about how tough life is I'd expect my friends to get fed up in the long run.

With your relative it seems like a combination of external factors over which she has no control and also poor decisions in her part.

Inability to forgive her husband is not a positive choice. Without knowing the illness it's hard to say but - would he not have degenerated anyway in the long run? It seems like she resents having to care for him full stop.

Yseulte Wed 30-Dec-15 10:49:58

Bit a lot of it happens due to poor choices and often the spiral continues in part due to an unwillingness to acknowledge those bad choices. Often when people have a long run of "bad luck" they treat all events as things that happen to them as if they have no input, taking a passive role in their own lives

Really well put.

mum2mum99 Wed 30-Dec-15 10:56:05

Some people view themselves as victims, I am not saying it is her case. But sometimes this view of the world is making people take decisions accordingly, so a vicious cycle. I would say that it is not her fault, however, within her limited choices, she may be able to experience her limited power, if that makes sense.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now