How do you stop family feuds???!!
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- This topic has 36 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 11 months ago by scienceprogram.
January 29, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am #601804
Ok. My family is pretty normal on the outside, we all are B”H in school and going through the regular routine throughout the day.
So Why am I writing?? Because I have a major problem that has eaten me up for many many years…
Basically to make a long story short my uncles family refuses to have anything to do with my family!!
We call them to invite them over, we call them to see how they’re doing, we even try to get extended families input into the “deep” rational behind this problem but no one seems to know what caused it.
They also seem to hold grudges and can’t face conflict and aren’t the most easy to discuss things with but this has come to the extreme by literally ignoring our existence and not attending or finding silly excuses to get out of showing up to our functions!
As an aside on the outside they’re pretty fine they look like a typical family in my area ( a couple blocks away)
All I can say is we had enough this distancing and avoidance and it has got to stop!!
What should we do? Should we get people involved? Should I get a Mediator involved???
It’s come to the point I would pay someone anything to stop this asap!!
Please help what should I do??January 29, 2012 3:27 am at 3:27 am #870965TheGoqParticipant
Firstly rubberbands be careful that u dont snap from the pressure im pretty sure the adults know the reasons behind this feud, i know its painful to have these family rifts but unless the parties involved want it to change it wont.January 29, 2012 3:37 am at 3:37 am #870966zahavasdadParticipant
I dont know you and I dont know what this is about, but I can take a guess
There must have been some money dispute and those are not easy to fixJanuary 29, 2012 5:40 am at 5:40 am #870967RABBAIMParticipant
A neighbor of mi ne has a mother and her sister feuding for 60 years!! Both are now widowed. One is fairly blind, the other is pretty deaf. Wouldn’t it make sense they should live out their remaining years together?? A shidduch made in heaven! But no!! They will live one block apart and carry on their feud. Who won?January 29, 2012 6:30 am at 6:30 am #870968
That is the crazy thing about this problem no one understands it first of all there’s no money involved no yerusha or a/t like that.. it’s a “getting along” problem (don’t worry I tried to dig up all the possibilities of what caused the problem without much success! I contacted many many people to try to find out what went wrong…
There seems to be a track record of their family getting insultedslighted by people and they hold grudges and cant let go of it!!
I kind of wish it would be a money problem or something else!!! Something more concrete!!!
For example they don’t talk to some neighbors or some cousins who they felt intimidated by.
So I’m not here to sort out their problems but I don’t appreciate the silent treatment for doing nothing to them it’s baseless hatred REAL sinas chinam I had enough and I’m stuck ’cause what am I supposed to do???January 29, 2012 6:43 am at 6:43 am #870969
Also I have called and wrote to them with out any response back from them. So I assumed they didn’t get the calls but when I asked someone who does speak to them what happened they said that they were upset at me (because I wrote to them) and don’t want me to get involved.
What’s that supposed to mean do they think they can get away with this nonsense???!!! Whoever I speak to says feel sorry for them that they don’t know how to behave properly. But What I want to know is what for?? Why do they hate us soo much???
Really I want advice on how to solve this problem (and it’s also therapeutic to vent)January 29, 2012 7:39 am at 7:39 am #870970amichaiParticipant
It’s really the adults that must end it. as said before, you do not know the reason behind the feud.January 29, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm #870971ED IT ORParticipant
when there’s no will there’s no way
when there is a will there is always a fight!
how about if the children in both families start being friendly with each other will that start things off againJanuary 29, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm #870972abcd2Participant
rubbebands: you say your uncles family, has difficulty with conflict grudges etc.. for a while already. Perhaps with the help of their family Rav you can make shalom or find out why they got hurt originally. BTW this could have nothing to do with a family feud at all . This could even be from some emotional experience that happened to your aunt or uncle when they were growing up and in some misguided way feel that by running their house in such a way, or maintaining a distance/showing a ruthless exterior to perceived slights, they will not have the real or imagined difficulty repeating itself with their kids.January 29, 2012 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #870973
Life is very complicated and truthfully it’s not the place of a child to mix right into a heavyweight machlokes. The best you can do is daven that if there is NO BASIS for the machlokes, someone grows up and apologizes.
I don’t know your situation or any parties involved. Reading your comments, I caution you to be aware that your actions may in fact be strengthening the resolve of the machlokes:
-Nobody wants a niece (relative, etc.) stalking them. Sending letters or presents that are not wanted is considered stalking. This type of behavior besides for being downright creepy is also ILLEGAL.
-Airing your dirty laundry and feelings about your uncle’s ‘immaturity’ is a good way for him to strengthen his resolve. OR…maybe he’ll start revealing his ‘secrets’ he held in about your father for years. He might be acting anti-social and accepting the embarrassment, just to keep the family secrets hidden. He might literally be the family sacrificial lamb. This post of yours might give him the impetus to release the goods. It won’t be pretty.
As I tell my low level employees who criticize executive decisions, “Just do your job”. For YOU to hire a mediator, get rabbonim involved, write letters and follow up with calls to see if they arrived, etc. etc. are OUT OF BOUNDS. You are stepping into dangerous territory YOU have no business going into. Do your job of being a good daughter and keep out of other people’s personal secrets.
BTW:—Maybe find out whose brain cramp it was for two siblings who bring pre-existing feelings of animosity to move a couple of blocks away from each other. This is a no-brainer!January 29, 2012 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #870974
The adults (from my end) did get involved and reached out to them to break this up but they ever once got a return phone call or response!!
It’s funny another thing is that they respect some of the family members for ulterior reasons (wealth) and they want to look good and actually want to keep up with them (money wise) So those relatives have power over them and they want to maintain ties with them for the sake of Shalom Bayis!
I’m all for people being nice to them but don’t they realize it’s disgusting that they can act so nice to those families and not my family???
Should I call their Rav and find out what’s going on???
I really need guidance!January 29, 2012 2:59 pm at 2:59 pm #870975
It’s already ingrained in their kids to hate us and think negatively of us they’ve done a good job in whatever misguided parenting tactics they implement to make them act horribly to the kids of the family as well!!January 29, 2012 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #870976HaLeiViParticipant
Crazybrit, great advice. You can approach the children and tell them that they don’t have to continue their parents’ fight, and be freinds.January 29, 2012 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #870977
Really, I approached the children and explained how childish this whole thing is and what should I do about it but their response was
“you don’t understand we can’t do anything about it” —because it will cause a BIG FIGHT in our family”—
basically they’ve been taught not to face their problems but to avoid everything (it’s come out in many relationships they’ve had and if someone rubs them the wrong way they get angry) and won’t face conflict/problems and sit down to talk about it cause they’re scared of the reaction blowing up!January 29, 2012 5:01 pm at 5:01 pm #870978WIYMember
These people sound like they have serious problems. This isn’t the kind of thing you can solve with a phone call. They are ignoring you because they have issues. Don’t blame yourself or your side of the family. Some people are difficult to deal with and get along with. Its very hard for them to change. If they want to be left alone, leave them alone. However if there’s a chance to have a good relationship with the kids (your cousins) then go ahead and figure a way to pursue that. But the parents seem like a lost case. Not that they can’t change but people who are this way and have so ingrained this behavior will have a nearly impossible time of changing and undoing what they did.
Recognize that you can’t change people. You can’t tso stop trying. If they want to change they have to make up their minds that they want to change. Until that time, the situation will not improve. You will only be making yourself crazy and stressing yourself over something you can’t do anything about. Leave them be.January 29, 2012 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm #870979
Ok. but it’s coming from my kids more than myself they want to know them and they even go to the same schools and share many mutaul friends together!!
So backing off doesn’t seem like it will accomplish any more then whats happened until now it’s going on for 2 generations!!January 29, 2012 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #870980FL613Member
You might try sending them a real nice Mishloach Manos this year with a letter. See if that helps.January 29, 2012 6:09 pm at 6:09 pm #870981HaLeiViParticipant
So the children are afraid of their parents being angry at them for not conyinuing their fight. Tell them you can understand them. They don’t have to become close, but they can at least be cordial.January 29, 2012 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #870982oomisParticipant
Sometimes, you cannot win, you cannot right a wrong, and you cannot make shoolom where it does not exist. Sometimes you can. This sounds like one of those “let it go” stories. Face the fact that the other side just doesn’t want to be in this “shidduch” with you or your family, for WHATEVER reason. it could be petty, or it could be something very serious to which you are not privy, possibly with good reason. If all is accurately as you described, your family sounds very hardboiled and unyielding, to rebuff even your own efforts to maintain a relationship with them.
This calls to mind a machlokess my in-laws had with my MIL’s brother. From ALL accounts from all the other siblings, my MIL was in the right 100%. Without going into any specifics, the brother did not honor his parents’ express wishes (parents whom my MIL personally took care of in her home, for many years until their deaths), vis a vis my MIL and she was very hurt by her brother’s actions. Though she never spoke to him again, she encouraged my husband and sister-in-law to maintain a respectful relationship with him, because he was still their uncle, and she remained loving and welcoming to her brother’s children, who ALSO thought he was in the wrong.January 29, 2012 7:21 pm at 7:21 pm #870983dvorakMember
I know the feeling- we have this in our family, where one couple has alienated everyone else. At a certain point, it’s their problem and responsibility, and you’ll only make yourself crazy trying to do more. You’ve done your part; if they are aware of the letter and your other efforts, they know the door is open. The ball is in their court now. Give it a rest, and daven that one day, someone will see the light.January 29, 2012 7:57 pm at 7:57 pm #870984lebidik yankelParticipant
We have the same thing in our family. Here is my advice; don’t try to fix things. But you, the next generation, can have a wonderful relationship with everyone, both your cousins AND THIER PARENTS. As one cousin told me; “In our family there aren’t just issues – there are issues within issues!” It can be too much to unravel. And there is nothing holding you back from forging your own family relationships, as we have done.January 29, 2012 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #870985
It’s soo hard to come to terms that this will be the reality for the next generations and it’s hopeless…sort of like I’m pouring my heart out and stressing myself to the core while no one can do anything about it!!
One time I was talking with my close friend and she said something bad about her sister-in law and I said your so lucky you have people to fight and argue with…she’s like huh?? I said your so lucky since my own cousins won’t even look at me!! And I spoke to everyone and I don’t know what caused it…she supported me and said I should re-approach them which I did and then as I said on a previous post it’s so hard…
I wish (I would give anything to get rid of this!!) I would even pay (any amount of $$$)them in order for my children to have a cordial life!!
One thing I know is that when people fight and argue they have a chance to resolve the issue but silence is so horrible it’s worse than anything else in the world.
Is the true answer to keep up the ignoring and disgusting behavior Or is there some hope left??
My husband can’t believe they can act this way and get away with it…He’s nice and loves everyone (that’s how he grew up)..I wish I can make peace!! Please tell me should I go to a mediator/social worker/Rav etc. to get them to talk it out???January 30, 2012 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm #870986BTGuyParticipant
Family matters like this are commonplace and began at beginning. From Bereishis and on, family problems are all over the place.
It seems you and your family have done their part to interact with your uncle’s family.
Since they obviously are aware of your families gestures for friendship, here is what I realistically recommend:
1. Ease up on the gestures of friendship. You do not have to go crazy banging your head against the wall.
Easing up will also allow a gap for them to possibly think about why you are not making gestures, and in the realm of nature abhorring a vacuum, they may respond in kind, instead of them playing some cat and mouse game.
By them holding back from doing the right thing, probably serves to make them feel important. They may enjoy keeping this status quo.
In any event, if they dont have the decency to even talk about their problem, since they should recognize their obligation to make peace, then they are doing you a favor because, as you know, there are messed up people in this world, and sometimes they happen to be family members.
Try to fix things and let them know the door is always open, then let it rest a while and dont put too much focus on them. They may then respond in a positive way.
Hatzlacha!January 30, 2012 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm #870987
I feel sorry for them, that’s the truth because they can’t get over/ out of stuff.
I spoke to a Rav and he told me that it’s basically out of my hands you can’t literally force someone to apologize to you or get someone who has issues (mindset) to change without them getting help.
But he did say (which I plan on doing) is to have a family meeting with your family and explain how not everyone behaves the way you would like them to and some people even your relatives can be dysfunctional (how do you tell that to a 9 yr old they wouldn’t understand)
–I need to think about how I am going to present it to my kids it’s going to be tough!!
What I gained from speaking to my Rav was venting and also how to cope and deal with dysfunctional people.
Did anyone have to do this or tell kids not to get hurt by someone’s behavior because adults don’t know how to act???!!!January 30, 2012 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #870988
LISTEN TO YOUR RAV! The way you have presented your case in your multiple posts dribbling and drabbling bits and pieces, it sounds as though you are looking for a confrontation. If you are trying to patch a relationship, doing it with a confrontational approach is not going to allow you achieve your objectives. I reccomend, you let things drop and keep out of shark infested waters!
You asked how to present to your kids:
The more honest you are, the lest traumatized they will be. Don’t editorialize that they are dysfunctional. Stick to the facts:
“You know zaidy has a brother Yanky who for some reason they have been fighting for 20 years. I therefore had very little to do with my cousin Devorah. Devorah is the Mommy of your classmate Rochy. Even if Rochy is your best friend, her Mommy won’t feel comfortable inviting you over to her house. It is not against you, it’s just sometimes fights in families get really messy and can’t be fixed the way we would like”.
Your kid asks: Why can’t someone get everyone to make up?
“That’s what happens when people fight. Everyone wants to be right and no one wants to back down, even when they know deep down that they are wrong. This is why I always tell you kids to spend time and be nice to each other”.January 30, 2012 7:33 pm at 7:33 pm #870989
This sounds a bit over the top but my husband and I are sending $$$ to potentially use for a vacation and giving it to them without asking for anything in return (hoping they’ll come to their senses).It’s not something I can really afford at this moment it’s coming out of our savings but my husband and I think showering them with a great vacation like this might just blow them over.
If it doesn’t work I’ll know in my heart and conscience that I did everything possible to stop it and it’s out of my hands!
I called to let them know $$ is sent in the mail and they can use it for a vacation.January 30, 2012 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm #870990
And…they called you back and said let’s be friends!!! Aww! So delusional!
Get it through your head—Giving unwanted gifts, letters, etc. is legally defined as STALKING. Besides for being downright creepy, it’s ILLEGAL!
An investigator will likely conclude that you are obsessed and fixated on the person you are throwing unrequested money at. This is NOT HOW YOU FIX A RELATIONSHIP!January 30, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm #870991bptParticipant
The goyishe velt suffers from other kinds of family shenanigans (ones which cannot be named here).
Since we have B”H for the most part eradicated those sorts of problems from our midst, we do the the next best (worst?) thing:
fight for silly reasons.
And join my club. We too have a segment of the family that is not talking to each other. Funniest part of all? Its not even about a huge ammount of $$….
ITS THE PRINCIPLE
(gosh, how many tears have been shed over those 3 words)January 31, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am #870992
ya, it’s crazy how people fight over nonsense but there’s a fight and then there’s keeping up the fight which actually takes a lot of effort on their side to keep it going!!
We can only try I spoke to a few Rabbanim and some of their friends (whom we share mutual acquaintances with making sure they wont tell I spoke to them) We’re working together–the trip was a Rav’s idea! so I listened to it.
And soon I’m planning a get together (their friends will invite them out and me and my husband will be at the next table–meaning they’ll be forced to speak to us because they wouldn’t want to embarrass themselves!
I’m so grateful to their friends!January 31, 2012 4:10 am at 4:10 am #870993
Your plan will BACKFIRE so badly.
Such behavior constitutes the height of geneivas daas. The end result will be both YOU and the THEIR FRIEND’s reputations will be mud. Stories like this tend to spread like wildfire. People will avoid the two of you like the plague. You and their friend will have shown that you have no concept of friendship or trust.
You are doing your own thing and aren’t listening to your rav. You stand to lose much more than you are already missing. Your kids will never forgive you for your selfishness.January 31, 2012 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm #870994
really. what makes you so sure were you or are you in a similar situation and besides I had full guidance from my Rav/some other people in every action I’m taking. It seems to me that you are exploding at me and telling me to back off. due to your own experiences.January 31, 2012 8:31 pm at 8:31 pm #870995cherrybimParticipant
“They also seem to hold grudges and can’t face conflict and aren’t the most easy to discuss things with but this has come to the extreme by literally ignoring our existence and not attending or finding silly excuses to get out of showing up to our functions!”
Perhaps they were very hurt by your side and have had enough; they don’t trust you and don’t want to be hurt anymore. Telling someone to just get over it isn’t going to cut it.February 1, 2012 2:07 am at 2:07 am #870996
Possibly that’s what I’m trying to find out what caused it.
When people act a certain way there’s always a reason. I’m trying it’s like pulling out rotten skeletons from a closet. It’s not pleasant but I’m trying.February 1, 2012 3:57 am at 3:57 am #870997WIYMember
Some people are just difficult. You say that they have issues with other people as well. This seems to be a pattern with this family. There are people who look for silly excuses to be angry with people. From everything you have described thus far it seems like these people have some sort of social issues which makes them difficult to get along with or which makes it difficult for them to like other people. Maybe Im reading it wrong but this the impression im getting.April 27, 2012 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #870998sam responsibleMember
To bring up Ideas. It is very possible as it’s sometimes appearing, that people with high intelligence in a way that they are not understandable to the society, like how the saying goes “Destroyed as an Artist,” is the cause here.
Despite that it is G’aaveh involved (as in each person), but maybe that will be a help tool, to show them respecting their intelligence etc.April 27, 2012 9:27 pm at 9:27 pm #870999scienceprogramMember
rubberbands, do you realize that you are acting exactly like what you are accusing your uncle of? How?
WELL, many family feuds are because each family/person is brought up differently and have different personalities, needs… so that causes each person to have a different idea of what is expected.
For example, if one aunt works and the other does not, the one who works might not want to shlep out to evening events while the stay at home aunt might be chalishing to get out and might be insulted if the working aunt constantly says she can’t go out with her.
Basically, rubberbands, you are judging him saying why cant he just “get over the issue” and have “what to do with your family”.
Realize that whatever the issue is, your uncle feels strongly about it and it is important to HIM. You cant want to have a good relationship with him, and then still judge him harshly because you must make what is important to him, important to you. This is what relationships are all about.
Obviously, for a reason you do not know (so you cant understand), your uncle decided it is better to not have any contact. It is a smart thing to do because if for whatever reason, there is a feud, then there will just be more negativity and aveiros… when there is still contact.
I agree with cherrybim, but I must add that if they were hurt, you are being insensitive to their pain by just expecting them to “get over it”.
I am talking from experience because I know of a family who spent hours on the phone with their inlaws trying to make peace, but one feuding relative kept saying (by not admitting to herself) “I did not do anything wrong” “everything is fine; i am not upset” So, the second feuding relative said “If you are not upset fine, but I am upset, so I want to discuss the issues to try to have a positive relationship”. However, the feuding relative kept saying that the second relative had no right to be upset and said that the issue was “all in your head”… These type of comments just prove the insensitivity of the first relative. This is one of the things that pained the second relative. The first relative did not
acknowledge the things that were important to the second relative.
Obviously, the feud is deeper than the above as it would take pages to explain the details.
My point is that rubberbands, YOU MUST STOP JUDGING your family member for avoiding contact because then, you are being insensitive. How? you are not trying to see the situation from his perspective and therefore you are being insensitive to his pain which is the OPPOSITE OF FAMILY.
A family member should be supportive of whatever it is the other members sensitivities priorities…. areApril 27, 2012 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #871000scienceprogramMember
Anyone, please comment on what you think regarding the post because I would like to hear different viewpoints to be more understanding of each other.
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