My feed

to access all these features


To ask those from dysfunctional families, have you managed to create the family you never had?

19 replies

Questions459 · 14/12/2019 12:40

I come from a somewhat dysfunctional family (certainly not the worst). My in-laws are extremely dysfunctional, controlling, no boundaries, enmeshed, emotional abuse etc. There are cultural elements to all of this.

I just wondered if in your partner but more so your children, you have managed to create the family you never had? That kind, loving, supportive, secure family? Or is that stuff just a dream and very few have it?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

10 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Catscakeandchocolate · 14/12/2019 12:45

Yes. My inlaws are awful and are terrible parents. My own parents are horrific, think every abuse going inflicted on DB and I. I have managed to build a stable, happy, loving family and close as family circle of friends with DH and our DC. A lot of inward reflection and acceptance of what happened got me to this point.

Lex234 · 14/12/2019 12:49

Yes me too! What happened to me as a child made me more determined to have a stable and happy life for my children. Its the ultimate "sticking my fingers up" to those who tried to break me and didn't.

Howtosupportmyfriend · 14/12/2019 12:51

I have the most amazing little family of my own. Nothing like the family I grew up in.

MoominKitty · 14/12/2019 16:05

I'm hoping to! We are expecting our first any day now and my partner and I have already said we well do our best to be a united team and break the dysfunctional cycle from both families.

I'm glad to see others have done this as gives me hope that I won't just become my mother.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude · 14/12/2019 16:18

I think you can but I would sound one note of caution. My DDad was always trying to create the family he never had (his mum died when he was very young) and it put a lot of pressure on us DC. He couldn’t cope if we didn’t fulfil his image of a happy family.

So a bad start doesn’t stop you from having a great family life in the future but address the issues of your childhood separately.

Things did get easier as we got older, partly because my Dad started to talk about his childhood more.

Orangeblossom78 · 14/12/2019 16:22

I think so, but I went NC with my family of origin

EmrysAtticus · 14/12/2019 16:48

Yes absolutely. DS, DH and I are a fab little team and DS is experiencing a loving, happy childhood.

FudgeBrownie2019 · 14/12/2019 16:54

Yes. I grew up in care and was adopted at ten. DH's family was very different but no less dysfunctional, just in a upper-class-keep-it-quiet kind of way.

Between us we've built a good life, we're good parents and our DC are happy, safe and nurtured. They can be asshats, we make mistakes and we're always learning. But on the whole our DC have the polar opposites of everything we grew up with, and it's a bit like putting balm on a burn in terms of helping me resolve my own childhood.

Roselilly36 · 14/12/2019 16:56

Yes and you can do it too OP.

Cloudyyy · 14/12/2019 17:01


HideYourBabiesAndYourBeadwork · 14/12/2019 17:03

My own family unit isn’t without its issues (additional needs, my kids’ dad is abusive and they have a stepdad in my partner) but I think I try much harder than my own parents ever did to make sure my children feel happy, secure and not sidelined. That said I’m not perfect and I’ve fucked up a few times but I think the key is to learn from that so it doesn’t happen again and I feel like I do that.

BlackSwanGreen · 14/12/2019 17:06

Not me but my mum. She had a difficult childhood and a lot of issues with her own mum and dad, but she and my dad have been amazing parents to me and my brother.

SpongeBobJudgeyPants · 14/12/2019 17:08

I've done the best I could, and certainly a lot more boundaried with my DD than my DM and ex DMIL ever were. Unfortunately because my self-esteem was so low after my upbringing, I picked an abusive idiot for a husband, and father of my DD. Although he followed the script, and got worse after she was born. So I'm sure DD would say mistakes were made, although we have a really good relationship, but given upbringing I think I've made a good stab at it. FWIW, my DGP's certainly on DF's side were worse....I don't think it usually starts with one generation IUSWIM.

surlycurly · 14/12/2019 17:18

I had a shit home life and moved out at 17. I married very young which turned out to be a mistake. About 6 yrs ago I divorced my shit ex, I've cut out most of my family and trimmed back my friends. I can honestly say that I've never been happier or more secure which has had a profound impact on my kids. They are fantastically well adjusted people (we are all ASD too so that is a huge achievement in itself). We are close, honest, supportive and loving. We have the odd big row but they know I do everything I can to make home loving and secure. It's hard work but they have the love, respect and time from me that I feel I didn't get growing up.

aHintOfPercy · 14/12/2019 17:20

Another one here saying I did it and you can do it too! When you're a child you just accept the way things are because you don't know any different. At various stages in the lives of my children when I have been guiding them, supporting them, loving them, I've silently cried for the child that I was who didn't ever get to experience any of that. My DH comes from a decent family, if a bit controlling.

Our DC are adults now, happy, confident and secure in our love for them.

BlackSwanGreen · 14/12/2019 17:20

Yes I agree about the generational thing - my my maternal grandparents both had terrible childhoods, so although they weren't great parents to my mum it was still a big improvement on their own experiences.

honeylulu · 14/12/2019 17:25

Yes I think so. H and I are both from dysfunctional families - middle class and appearing very nice and normal from the outside but very fucked up dynamics within. We both had a golden child/ scapegoat thing going on (not hard to guess but we were both the scapegoats).

In addition in my family, children were way down in the pecking order. It was God/ Jesus first then the man of the house, then mum, then the children. Very "be seen and not heard". Despite being quite well off our gifts were often practical things we "ought to have" like new school shoes. It wasn't all bad, we enjoyed ourselves and got excited. But I enjoy Christmas more as an adult and I'm sure that's the wrong way around!

We have relaxed, lovely, fun Christmases, just us and the children. We are all important and all deserve to enjoy it, and being together.

TemporaryUsernameAIBU · 14/12/2019 19:40


I’ve broken the cycle of child abuse.
My Mum came from a huge Catholic family and she told me her father used to sexually abuse her. My mums a narcissist so I take everything she says with a pinch of salt mind you.

She was violent to me as a child, consequently I grew up cold towards her, am indifferent to her and almost NC in adult life.

My own daughter however, is as close and cuddly to me as possible. I specifically brought up both my children bearing in mind the mistakes my own mother made with me.

EmiliaAirheart · 14/12/2019 20:41

@TemporaryUsernameAIBU you don’t think that the abuse might have driven the poor parenting you experienced? Seems a bit callous, even in light of what you’ve experienced, to disbelieve a potential victim of CSA. Don’t underestimate just how much it can fuck up in someone’s life.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.