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To be shocked at how many people think having no contact with family is normal?

(368 Posts)
dogscatsandbabies Tue 12-Aug-14 06:14:22

I'm a lurker. Can't help it, I find AIBU gets me through many a night feed. I'm always totally shocked at how blasé some posters can be when giving advice "she sounds unbearable to me, I'd go NC" and similar phrases.

Really? Just like that you'd advise someone you don't know to break all ties with a relative over a situation you've only heard one side of, creating a family situation that can become unbearable for husbands / wives / siblings who are very literally stuck in the middle?

I know there are some situations when decisions are taken not to see family anymore for various good reasons but I'd seriously hope these were carefully considered and thought through in time given the wider impact it can have. NC just seems so normal to so many. Is it just me that thinks (safety of children etc aside) most problems are at least worth working on?

Weathergames Tue 12-Aug-14 06:17:52

Isn't NC the new phrase for sulking? ;)

I agree OP.

bakingtins Tue 12-Aug-14 06:20:08

Only on Mumsnet! I'm always shocked by the ease with which LTB/ go NC is trotted out too.

Chipandspuds Tue 12-Aug-14 06:20:10

If you had family members like mine you'd understand wink I'd love to have a nice happy family but there we are!

sandgrown Tue 12-Aug-14 06:26:08

I am always surprised how easily people advise cutting contact with grandparents over minor issues. Is it right to deprive children of that important relationship? I grew up with no grandparents as they had all died and always felt I missed out.

combust22 Tue 12-Aug-14 06:29:52

I think that is a naiive atitude.

malteaserbunny Tue 12-Aug-14 06:31:55

I agree OP. It's a response that comes so often it surprises me. While at some point I'd love to have NC relationships aren't always easy.

Bohemond Tue 12-Aug-14 06:36:22

I agree OP. I have rarely seen the bolshiness I see on MN in real life.

dogscatsandbabies Tue 12-Aug-14 06:37:22

combust I did say I understand decisions are taken by individuals. It's the knee jerk advice to others that gets me. We are NC with DP's mum by the way. It's not our choice. I would never advise someone else that this was the solution to a problem.

HPparent Tue 12-Aug-14 06:57:01

I am no contact with my Mum. I took that decision after a long period of her abusing me and then turning on my DH and kids. Of course I feel upset but if someone just wants to scream abuse at you, that is no relationship. I have had counselling to try and come to terms with the awful things she said and did. If someone was in the same position of dealing with an utterly toxic parent/grand parent I would advise the same. Unless you are in that situation it is probably difficult to understand.

mummytime Tue 12-Aug-14 07:00:26

Have you actually read the threads?

Or to put it another way. How many people do you think read and use Mumsnet? Of those how many post a thread complaining about their family? (especially on relationships) Its a pretty small number.
Those who do tend to have pretty extreme issues.

Yes there are a few jokey "Should I leave my husband because he left the butter out of the fridge"; or "Do I go NC because my Mother has offered to babysit so I can have my hair cut in peace"; ones. But most are serious. Often people don't post until they are at the end of their tether.

Most people are also pretty reasonable, so aren't whinging about the trivial. Often those who do post, do bring up going NC themselves; even if only as "and don't tell me to go NC". (Which is because they know really/subconsciously that this should be considered seriously.)

Quite often people with toxic families need to be given permission to go NC. They are caught in Fear Obligation and Guilt. They need to know that not everyone will judge them, if they break ties. That sometimes it is much better for children not to have contact with grandparents etc. that after years of being told they are the "bad" one, maybe they are not.

Doingakatereddy Tue 12-Aug-14 07:03:17

It is incredibly hard to go NC even when the relative in question is harmful.

NC is the nuclear option & agree far too many people trot it out as an option instead of other courses of action.

There will always be posters who should go NC to protect themselves or family but I personally feel they are the exception.

Floisme Tue 12-Aug-14 07:06:19

I agree with you, op. I never knew any of my grandparents and, trust me, it leaves a hole. Of course there are cases when no contact is the only solution but I find some posts on the mother in law threads quite upsetting. I've started avoiding those threads to be honest and don't intend coming back to this one either so no need for anyone to reply.

MardyBra Tue 12-Aug-14 07:07:37

I lurked in gransnet recently and there are some heartbreaking threads by GPs who are in NC situations. Of course, it's going to be justified on many occasions, BUT I can't help feeling that sometimes it will be over something trivial.

I also agree that here on MN we're only getting one side of the story and advice to go NC should not be flung around willy-nilly.

LindyHemming Tue 12-Aug-14 07:09:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

combust22 Tue 12-Aug-14 07:09:49

"I never knew any of my grandparents and, trust me, it leaves a hole."- how does it "leave a hole"? If it's something you have never known, then you just live with it.

I grew up without a brother- that didn't "leave a hole".

MrsAtticus Tue 12-Aug-14 07:15:12

I agree OP, same with the LTB advice.

Delphiniumsblue Tue 12-Aug-14 07:17:08

It shocks me too. I am surprised at the number of women who see ILs as a necessary evil and would never see them without DH , or even worse send DH on his own with the children -or won't do anything simple like buy a birthday card because it 'is his mother, his responsibility'
You can have some minor personality clash and the woman is prepared to deprive their children of grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins!

There are also double standards. I started to read one from a woman whose husband couldn't stand her mother and wouldn't have anything to do with her. This was generally seemed to be the man's fault and he should make the effort. Had it been the woman who was having problems with the man's mother you can be sure he should have been standing up for his wife!

However I do find MN a parallel universe!

HappyAgainOneDay Tue 12-Aug-14 07:18:25

I have no contact with a relative (A) and life is so much easier. There's no fear of meeting (A), no wondering what I might say that will go down the wrong way, no more being on tenterhooks and worrying about anything concerning (A). Life is happier without (A).

LadyLuck10 Tue 12-Aug-14 07:18:29

Yanbu, I usually take both the threads and advice given with some doubt. You never know who really is advising you from the other side of the screen.

Floisme Tue 12-Aug-14 07:19:16

Well of course I lived with it. But all my friends had grandparents and I didn't. It used to make my wonder. If it had no effect on you then I'm very happy for you.

Anyway I really am off now, have a nice day.

Flangeshrub Tue 12-Aug-14 07:19:49

I also think too many people put up with crap because they are 'family'. My mother would be (could be?) on gransnet making people cry for her over the way she's been treated over a few minor incidents and how she never sees her grandchildren when she has treated me like a chew toy for years. I've needed years of counselling to come to the decision to go NC.

Things are very complex sometimes. When you come from a happy, settled home you can't imagine why anyone would be mean to granny. It's taken my DH 8 years to understand how evil my mother is as his mother is perfect, full of love. He didn't know some mothers DID THAT.

Delphiniumsblue Tue 12-Aug-14 07:20:51

I think you have to accept that people are different. I never knew my grandmother because she died before I was born. It leaves a hole. Someone should have the imagination to know that just because it doesn't leave a hole for them it might for their child. It would leave a huge hole finding out that my mother had deliberately made the hole- especially since I am just as likely to be like my grandmother as my mother.

Delphiniumsblue Tue 12-Aug-14 07:23:32

I can see that some people have abusive family members and have to cut contact, but advice to do so shouldn't be done without hearing both sides.
It is like LTB- written far too easily.

mummytime Tue 12-Aug-14 07:25:10

I only knew one Grandparent really - and I could have understood if my Mother had gone NC there (especially after I learnt how she had treated her DD as children). I still missed having some of the Grandparents other people had.

My DD has an Aunt, but still feels that she misses out as her Aunt is nothing like her friends Aunts and Uncles.

You can have a hole even if they are around.

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