The importance of family

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 23299
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

The importance of family

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 04 Feb 2018, 03:47

I’m a guy who comes from a pretty broken family. I have two living parents (long ago divorced). I also have a brother and a sister.

My brother doesn’t talk to my father or sister - and barely talks to my mother.

My sister doesn’t talk to my mother or my brother.

I’m literally the only person in that nuclear family who talks to everyone - but admittedly...not that often, I love them all, but they are all tough personalities. I don’t so much think of them as family than as something like veterans of the same years we were all thrown together.

But this thread is motivated by my relationship with my 55 year-old brother.

Without going too into detail - he moved to our area a few years ago and has been leaning on us heavily (both financially and socially) since he got here. We let him stay with us for a few months when he got to town. It might have been longer, but he is openly contemptuous of my wife.

Anyhow - he hit hard times last Spring. Much of it was avoidable, but he let himself get to the brink of homelessness. Then when it got scary, he took his last money and went on a trip to Europe where a friend let him stay with him for the Summer. He showed up penniless and homeless on my doorstep in late September.

So despite the fact that my wife felt constantly disrespected by him - we took him in with the agreement that he had 3 months to work and save enough for first and last rent somewhere. Over that time he worked when he could as a substitute teacher, but refused to consider any weekend or evening work, nor was he willing to find any holiday season work when school was out.

Of course, when the time came to go he acted like we were throwing him to the wolves. I saw him today and he told me that we were like people who “threw down 900 feet of rope to a person falling a thousand feet onto sharp rocks”. He further explained to me that he simply views family differently than us...less conditionally.

I don’t write all of this to ask for people to agree with me. I feel more than comfortable with where I set my boundaries. But I AM interested in the thoughts of anyone who disagrees with me. Is there anyone here who believes that family has the right to expect to be taken in indefinitely, regardless of circumstance?

Or for those that do agree with me...where do you draw the lines? It is easy to say, “family is the most important thing in the world” - but what does that mean in practice?

Thoughts?
Last edited by Davey the Fat Boy on 04 Feb 2018, 14:40, edited 1 time in total.
The opinions of this poster are subjective. That’s how opinions work.

Image

User avatar
take5_d_shorterer
Posts: 5742
Joined: 22 Sep 2003, 23:09
Location: photo. by Andor Kertesz, Hung.

Re: The importance of family

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 04 Feb 2018, 04:34

This is none of my business, but since you've asked, I'll note that, based on my limited information about your situation, you and your wife are responsible for taking care of and providing for your children, which in at least one case may continue indefinitely and for good reason.

Given this, there may simply be fewer resources available to assist those who are more able-bodied such as your brother. It may be necessary in your case to save enough to guarantee some level of security for those who depend the most on you.

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 23299
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: The importance of family

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 04 Feb 2018, 04:53

Well that’s definitely a part of it. As you clearly recall (I’m touched that you do - but I’ll soell it out for others), we have two children - one profoundly disabled who will never be able to care for herself, so the pressure on us is greater than with most people.

He regards us as rich, because we are secure day to day. But we weren’t able to start saving for our own retirement until two or three years ago. Still, we have an extra bedroom in our house - so he feels like it should be his whenever he wants it. If he were nice to my wife...we’d probably let him.
The opinions of this poster are subjective. That’s how opinions work.

Image

User avatar
Jimbo
Posts: 14664
Joined: 26 Dec 2009, 21:22

Re: The importance of family

Postby Jimbo » 04 Feb 2018, 05:01

First of all I feel sorry for you and your wife. Your brother is a bum. Luckily I have never experienced a family member leeching off of me like that. And blood or not, you should slough off any blood is thicker than water sentiment and treat him like a bum that he is. If you still care for the guy, however, some Jordan Peterson videos might help him. Unfortunately, Peterson's first bit of advice for directionless young men is to "Clean your room," and in his case he doesn't seem to have a room. But some sessions with a behavioral psychologist would help him get his shit together.

As for the importance of family, it isn't that important to me but if I'm forced to be cozy I can do cozy.
Gadfly

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 23299
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: The importance of family

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 04 Feb 2018, 05:14

Appreciate it.

But I didn’t post this to air dirty laundry or have people take my side. I’m actually interested in the cultural differences around family. I suspect that some folks from other countries would find me at fault here. He’s definitely a bum from the perspective of American values - but I wonder how folks from Latin America or Asia might view this.

Jimbo - you are in Japan. Would I be a heel there?
The opinions of this poster are subjective. That’s how opinions work.

Image

User avatar
Jimbo
Posts: 14664
Joined: 26 Dec 2009, 21:22

Re: The importance of family

Postby Jimbo » 04 Feb 2018, 05:29

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Appreciate it.

But I didn’t post this to air dirty laundry or have people take my side. I’m actually interested in the cultural differences around family. I suspect that some folks from other countries would find me at fault here. He’s definitely a bum from the perspective of American values - but I wonder how folks from Latin America or Asia might view this.

Jimbo - you are in Japan. Would I be a heel there?


Probably. Keeping one's shit to themselves, keeping it in the family is a big deal. One doesn't want to burden other people with your family problems. Like yesterday on the news some TV personality's daughter was busted for pot possession and the TV personality had to come before the press and apologize. Can you imagine if you had to go around and apologize to anyone who's been hassled by your brother? Might have to present each one with a tea towel or some other token to boot.
Gadfly

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 23299
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: The importance of family

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 04 Feb 2018, 06:02

See...that’s interesting to me.

Abstractly, I romanticize some of that kind of thinking. So much so that I let my wife’s parents move in with us for several years during the economic meltdown. We had enough pressures on us that we shouldn’t have done it - but I kept thinking that families in other cultures pull together in multi-generational homes. It seemed like the right thing to do.

But eventually it blew up. Family is hard.
The opinions of this poster are subjective. That’s how opinions work.

Image

User avatar
Fonz
Posts: 3519
Joined: 17 Feb 2014, 14:10
Location: Nevermore

Re: The importance of family

Postby Fonz » 04 Feb 2018, 08:42

Have you told him how his treatment of your wife affects things?
How that breeds resentment?
Heyyyy!

"Fonz clearly has no fucks to give. I like the cut of his Cupicidal gib."

User avatar
Toby
Arsehole all Erect
Posts: 22847
Joined: 28 Jul 2003, 23:13
Contact:

Re: The importance of family

Postby Toby » 04 Feb 2018, 09:34

Family is hard.

We don't really have such a situation in mine, but my sister is on very thin ice with regard to her future after my Dad dies. She'll get part of his inheritance, but it wouldn't be enough to secure any sort of property in terms of assets outright, and there's no way she would be able to get a mortgage because her self-employed income is simply at a subsistence level. She has a housing association flat that is secure in some way, but no partner or family in terms of children. I worry about her a lot, but there's not much in an immediate sense that either me or my brother can offer apart from love and emotional support.

User avatar
Deebank
Resonator
Posts: 22825
Joined: 10 Oct 2003, 13:47
Location: In a beautiful place out in the country

Re: The importance of family

Postby Deebank » 04 Feb 2018, 10:40

Fonz wrote:Have you told him how his treatment of your wife affects things?
How that breeds resentment?


Quite.

The least he could do is be civil to your Mrs.

I don’t envy the position you were put in and I think you did way more than most people would have done.
Paid anghofio fod dy galon yn y chwyldro

User avatar
quix
Posts: 6456
Joined: 11 Apr 2007, 13:49
Location: La la land

Re: The importance of family

Postby quix » 04 Feb 2018, 14:01

I’m from a UK Jewish family. We fight and argue and fall in and out all the time... but... we always forgive. But never forget! :lol:

User avatar
quix
Posts: 6456
Joined: 11 Apr 2007, 13:49
Location: La la land

Re: The importance of family

Postby quix » 04 Feb 2018, 14:04

Your situation is a tricky one and one which a close friend of mine is in at the moment with her family. I don’t think any family member has the right to be taken in indefinitely regardless of their behaviour. Rights come with responsibilities and that goes for family members too...

User avatar
Ranking Ted
Posts: 12037
Joined: 03 Feb 2004, 22:13
Location: Northern Britain

Re: The importance of family

Postby Ranking Ted » 04 Feb 2018, 14:16

Every family has its difficulties, some open, some unspoken. I’m fortunate in that my immediate family is close and relatively comfortable; it’s further out there’s the divorces, the fall outs, the suicides, the hopeless cases. I see good friends who’re estranged from siblings, parents, etc - it’s just sad to me, no matter the circumstances. My son is everything to me, it’d break me if we ever ended up like that. No sage advice and, for what it’s worth, I think you’ve done all you can.

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 23299
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: The importance of family

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 04 Feb 2018, 14:38

Fonz wrote:Have you told him how his treatment of your wife affects things?
How that breeds resentment?


Many times. He doesn’t get it.

One of the things that complicates this from my POV is my suspicion that there may be some undiagnosed mental or psychological disability involved. He’s unwilling to explore that - and it’s unclear where obstinance and narcissism end, and where some amount of chemical or emotional disability might be at play. So I feel responsible not to abandon him completely. But I can’t take all of that on.

Pivoting off of my personal situation again - this is something I think about a great deal. My observation is that western society has a set of expectations around normative behavior. We’re expected to get jobs, contribute to society...live within certain lines. But it seems to me that a certain percentage of people lack the skills to thrive within those lines - and we really don’t have answers for what to do about that. Most conservatives would say that the answer IS family - but that presumes much.
The opinions of this poster are subjective. That’s how opinions work.

Image

User avatar
quix
Posts: 6456
Joined: 11 Apr 2007, 13:49
Location: La la land

Re: The importance of family

Postby quix » 04 Feb 2018, 14:45

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Pivoting off of my personal situation again - this is something I think about a great deal. My observation is that western society has a set of expectations around normative behavior. We’re expected to get jobs, contribute to society...live within certain lines. But it seems to me that a certain percentage of people lack the skills to thrive within those lines - and we really don’t have answers for what to do about that. Most conservatives would say that the answer IS family - but that presumes much.


So true.

User avatar
take5_d_shorterer
Posts: 5742
Joined: 22 Sep 2003, 23:09
Location: photo. by Andor Kertesz, Hung.

Re: The importance of family

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 04 Feb 2018, 14:49

Just to continue my line of thought, your particular situation regarding providing for your children is special and requires much more estate and financial planning than most parents have to do.

In addition, given what you've mentioned, there isn't that much communication between you, your siblings, and your parents. If this is so, you may not necessarily be able to expect that those other people will be able to pick the necessary responsibilities in the event that you and your wife cannot.

That means that it's especially pressing on you to get everything set up to provide for your daughter. That would suggest that if there are any more resources available, they should be used towards those ends rather than assisting your brother, who is more able-bodied. That's just my opinion, but I'm trying to project far into the future.

On the subject, there was an interesting documentary I saw a long time ago, Best Boy, which might be of interest. The trailer is at




As a last editorial comment, both you and I live in a country where the motivator behind health care is profit first and maybe the Hippocractic oath somewhere down the line.

That means in the best of situations, one needs to manage actively the health care one gets either for oneself or one's dependents. You cannot expect the system to do what is in your best medical interests. If one does not have a strong advocate for you in the event that one becomes incapacitated, one expects that the course of action that will be selected will be one that enriches those institutions that are providing the health care and not necessarily what addresses one's comfort, wishes, or well-being.

P.M. to be sent with more.

User avatar
sloopjohnc
Posts: 61921
Joined: 03 Jun 2004, 20:12
Location: One quake away from beachfront property
Contact:

Re: The importance of family

Postby sloopjohnc » 04 Feb 2018, 14:57

It's interesting - I live in a town where many grandparents live with their married kids who have small children. If and when I'm home during the day, it's not uncommon to see grandparents with strollers taking babies and children on walks while the young parents are at work. It occurs less in the apartment complex I'm in now, but not when we were in our house. And it's very common in neighborhoods with more single family homes.

When we were living in our house, our next door neighbors on each side were Filipino. The adult kids lived in the house, with a retired couple on one side, and in the other, the late '20s daughter, who worked as a school nurse, on the other. From what I saw with the retired couple, their adult son, who was probably late '30s/early '40s, had no job. His kids lived there too for a couple years. No idea if it caused family strife.

On the other, the daughter had moved out for a year or so, but the parents were happy to have her live with them.

The happiest I ever saw my dad is when I told him I was moving out.

A week after my dad died, and after living and taking care of my dad for a year and a half, my brother asked me when I was moving out. It caught me off guard, considering how soon it was after my dad's funeral. And he did something else that pissed me off - he wanted to have something after the funeral at my dad's place with the family. He invited his whole wife's side of the family who had little to do with my dad and our family. I didn't even think of inviting my ex's side, who had met and interacted with my dad at family events as much as his wife's side. But, whatever.

In retrospect, I knew what he was doing. He wanted to get the house cleaned up and prep to sell, and there was a lot of junk in the place. I had a quarrel with him and moved back across the bay where my kids are. It kinda bit him in the ass, because if I had been at my dad's, I could've helped clean the place up more. But being across the Bay, having a new job, I could only come over to help on the weekends and for a few hours here and there - he got stuck doing lots of it.
WG Kaspar wrote:I'm a happy bunny.

User avatar
sloopjohnc
Posts: 61921
Joined: 03 Jun 2004, 20:12
Location: One quake away from beachfront property
Contact:

Re: The importance of family

Postby sloopjohnc » 04 Feb 2018, 15:02

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Pivoting off of my personal situation again - this is something I think about a great deal. My observation is that western society has a set of expectations around normative behavior. We’re expected to get jobs, contribute to society...live within certain lines. But it seems to me that a certain percentage of people lack the skills to thrive within those lines - and we really don’t have answers for what to do about that. Most conservatives would say that the answer IS family - but that presumes much.


I have a couple friends like this - they just couldn't handle the stress of regular jobs and such and had breakdowns. One is now an Uber driver and he can manage it, but he's pretty self aware and knew when he was having problems. The other is a writer and had a pretty stressful position at a major metro paper - he's really intelligent and that leads him to not have much patience with people (I'm one of the last friends he has for some reason, meaning I don't know why he still connects with me) - he now writes for lots of department at Stanford for the university and hospitals, and only has to meet with them occasionally. He wanted to have lunch a couple months ago and is having family problems - I'm surprised he didn't have them years ago, to be frank. For some reason, I can talk him down.
WG Kaspar wrote:I'm a happy bunny.

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 23299
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: The importance of family

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 04 Feb 2018, 15:16

Toby wrote:Family is hard.

We don't really have such a situation in mine, but my sister is on very thin ice with regard to her future after my Dad dies. She'll get part of his inheritance, but it wouldn't be enough to secure any sort of property in terms of assets outright, and there's no way she would be able to get a mortgage because her self-employed income is simply at a subsistence level. She has a housing association flat that is secure in some way, but no partner or family in terms of children. I worry about her a lot, but there's not much in an immediate sense that either me or my brother can offer apart from love and emotional support.



Stories like hers seem pretty common to me.

You know, I almost joined the conversation on the “Do You Care About BCB” where you very able framed your conservative world view in terms of the primacy of the family unit. But I stayed out of it, because my thoughts on the subject would have been a digression in that context. But maybe we’ve got a better set-up to talk about it here.

Without putting you in the position of having to defend all conservative thought - I simply want to push back a little bit on some of the expectations that come with it.

It seems to me that a glaring one is that families will act as they should. But do they?

I’ve spilled way too much of my family business on this thread, but I’ll spill a bit more: Around the time that my first daughter was born and we were reeling from her diagnosis - my family found out that my elderly grandmother had a large amount of money saved.

Due to some very complicated family history, she left none to her two sons and instead made myself, my siblings and a cousin the sole beneficiaries of her will. This enraged both my father and uncle (both of whom were financially comfortable), and so - they exploited her worsening Alzheimer’s disease by getting her to sign a new will making them the beneficiaries.

Once that was done, they had disagreements and mistrust about how her money should be used in her final years, so they ended up at wat with each other. In spite, they sued each other multiple times and allowed lawyers fees to eat up most of the money that the other one couldn’t drain out of the trust otherwise. By the time she passed, what should have been about half a million dollars to each grandchild was gone.

Given what my family was going through, this felt like a kick in the stomach. Less because of the money (it was never real to me) - but all of my illusions around families taking care of each other shattered right there. Even in the extremity of our situation...our family just couldn’t step up.

I don’t divulge this bit of tawdriness to elicit sympathy. But I think about my story and then I think about your sister (and several other stories I’ve heard) - and I can’t help but think that this is all fairly common.

So in this spirit- I ask you...is it right for society to have no answers for people whose families fail them? Are all families adequately able or willing to be each other’s safety net?
The opinions of this poster are subjective. That’s how opinions work.

Image

User avatar
Minnie the Minx
funky thigh collector
Posts: 29422
Joined: 29 Dec 2006, 16:00
Location: In the naughty North and in the sexy South

Re: The importance of family

Postby Minnie the Minx » 04 Feb 2018, 15:26

take5_d_shorterer wrote:

As a last editorial comment, both you and I live in a country where the motivator behind health care is profit first and maybe the Hippocractic oath somewhere down the line.

.


Can you break this down a bit? What do you mean as 'the motivator behind health care'?
You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

Dr Markus wrote:
Someone in your line of work usually as their own man cave aka the shed we're they can potter around fixing stuff or something don't they?