Why is unconventional thought of as wrong?(14 Posts)
I have lived as part of an extended family all my married life and although most of those that know us are broadly supportive of our chosen lifestyle we are having a real issue with Mark my brother-in-law.
I live with my husband Richard and daughters Dawn and Diana. Diana who got married last year to Paul and they both work in the National Health Service and they live with us. Also sharing the house are my sister Clara and Brother-in-Law Mike plus their two children Helen and Sue. Helen and Sue are both in their 20s and are respectively an IT professional and a teacher. To complicate matters Mike and I had a long term sexual relationship before Richard was on the scene and Mike and I remain very close and are what you might call best friends.
Mark disapproves about everything we do.
Public displays of affection, sitting on an adults knee (other than that of a parent) even keeping a diary of the ladies monthly cycles (6 of us) in the kitchen all seem to annoy him.
He is very religious and seems to use this as his justification for repeated attempts to "make us see the error of our way".
I really, really don't want to fall out with him or his wife - my middle sister - so has any kind reader got any ideas???
Put a caravan in the back garden and move Mark into it. It's a hard life if you are unhappy and it's really good that you have found something that works for you all. I'd evict him into the garden until he grows up.
So, can I clarify here? There are three adult couples sharing a house. Each of those couples is in a committed monogamous relationship, and some of them have (adult)children.
I can't think of any religion which says there is anything wrong in living together in extended families. In fact if you look at families in the bible, many of them have similar structures.
Ask him to tell you what specifically he thinks is "wrong" about your situation.
What a shame the blogspot is "open to invited readers only", Diana. Kinda dimishes your point.
Sadly in the short time the blog was open access it attracted a shower of abusive and aggressive emails ("Wank fodder" was one of less objectionable so guess how bad they got!). Two people were arrested this week for breaching a previous injunction in respect of what they wrote.
Yes there are three adult couples sharing a house. Each of those couples is in a committed monogamous relationship, and some of them have (adult)children.
Nothing more, no hidden agenda, no wife-swapping, just a loving and stable environment that seems unacceptable to a hard core of folk.
You suggest I ask Mark about the things we do that he doesn't like. Actually he has told us all, many times
Number 1 on his list would be our weekly meeting. This is where we discuss anything that is having an impact on the happiness or welfare of the members of our family. We have done this for 30+ years. One of our traditions is that at the start of the meeting we call the roll. If for example Sue cannot be present then one of us would say "I answer for Sue". This is our way of showing that Sue, although not present in person, is still in our hearts and minds.
The idea of a meeting without a Chairman (NB has to be a man for Mark)and especially the traditions attached to it seems to Mark to be "almost pagan" and "utterly unacceptable".
These meetings are very very special to us all and it makes me so sad that he rubbishes them in the name of his brand of religion.
What is his brand of religion? I can see nothing objectionable about the way you live, and he doesn't live with you anyway - why on earth does it matter to him?
agree with oldlady... if he doesn't live with you, what's his problem?
It all sounds very wholesome to me...
It has been suggested that Mark might have Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder.
People with OCPD feel that the way they run their lives is correct and that they are surrounded by people living the wrong kind of life. The disorder is extremely difficult to treat and it causes a lot of distress in relationships.
Conversations are strained because the person with OCPD clings to their own fixed beliefs related to morals, values and ethics. They are simply intolerant of beliefs that are different than their own. They see others as being incompetent, too casual, irresponsible, self-indulgent, and impulsive. They consider emotionally driven behaviour immature, irresponsible, and frivolous.
OCPD parents are domineering and rude. If the perfectionist believes that he or she has been wronged physical violence and/or humiliation are justified consequences.
He sounds lovely. What in earth does you sister see in him?
Sorry, that's rather rude of me. How often does he visit? Can you all just grit your teeth, smile sweetly and carry on? Could you see your sister without Mark?
Mark's problem is that he likes to micro-manage every aspect of his own life and the life of everybody around him.
This means that he can come across as very insensitive. When the newly-weds came back from honeymoon they used to get their "private time" by going up to bed earlier than the rest of us. Mark just could not understand why they would do this until we explained to him exactly what "private time" meant!
He cannot cope with anything unusual since to him unusual = wrong.
I'm no sort of expert, but this sounds more like he has Aspergers than OCPD. I'm not sure where that leaves you, though.
Just wanted to say that your way of life sounds great - I would love to live in an extended family like that.
What does your sister make of his reactions to things? Does he want to move out and your sisters is encouraging him to stay?
Everyday of my life in an extended family is a joy to me - even when Mark and my middle sister come up from South Wales to stay!
So many happy memories;
my sister and I giving birth within 3 days
the marriage proposal as the "happy couple" were walking into church
being surrounded by people I love and who love me
watching the love of our newly married couple broaden and deepen over their first year of life together (and us working out how to give them the time and space they needed in the early days
If only I could sort Mark out!
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