Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Dysfunctional loveless family gets me down every Christmas

Community Member


I was hoping this Christmas would be full of joy and love, like I do every Christmas but every year it doesn't live up to my hopes.
I have a family that is dysfunctional.
Gosh how I wish our Christmas was like other families.

My mum always gets angry at someone on Christmas eve or day and her negative mood spoils it for all.
My sisters are estranged, I am estranged from one sister. My estranged sister is also estranged from my mum.
My sister and her husband are in a loveless marriage of convenience. I've never seen them affectionate (hug, hold hands, kiss, talk nice to each other).
My other sister (who I am estranged from) cheated on her husband and she is hard to get along with, she's poison, the whole family tiptoes around her, she bullies us, she attacks me.
Her husband tells me they're going well, marriage okay. I can't see my nephew and niece due to this estrangement.
He's hard to trust, don't know if he's for real or not.

Today my mum attacked my dad over something he said over the phone to his sister and they haven't been speaking all day and my mum is in a foul mood at me and dad. At me even though this has nothing to do with me.
I said nah, I am not having this negativity on Christmas day and so I drove to my sisters house (the one in a loveless marriage) only to find more unhappiness there and my brother in law getting angry at my sister mocking him. He said he should belt her one, and he said this in front of my niece. I decided to leave after that "joke" of his, I don't find violence against women, especially my sister funny. Especially considering his violent past with women. He swears he has never hit my sister and she has never said he has. I didn't say anything, I am considering pulling him up on this comment as it is not the first time he has "joked" about belting my sister.
I don't want my nieces thinking that violence against women is a laughing matter or that it is normal.

I am fed up with my family. Another Christmas down the toilet.
They are all a bunch of grinches.
I can't wait to have a girlfriend (future wife?) that I can have Christmas with. Away from this negativity.

Sorry had to vent, don't know who to talk to or where to go (I live with my parents).

14 Replies 14

Community Member

Hi Anna,
Thank you for your kind post. Appreciate it. I hope to be in a better family one day.
Your post did not come out wrong at all.

Hi Paul & Dools
Thank you

Community Member
I don't know whether or not I should confront my brother in law over his comment about belting my sister.
I felt like saying something on Christmas but decided not to.

I don't really know much about these sorts of situations, but if I had witnessed my sister's partner talking to her like that I wouldn't confront him, he may hurt you or just deny it. It would probably be best if you spoke to her. Ask her if she feels safe or if she needs help, that way you can find out if he was just making an incredibly terrible joke, or if maybe someone (like a police officer) needs to intervene. I know it would be hard because they have a family together, but having children grow up in an abusive home is worse than in a home with separated parents.
Then again, if you don't feel comfortable talking to her, maybe your parents could?


Hi Anna,

My parents are not the types to speak about these things.
They are elderly immigrants with poor English skills and are easily manipulated and very gullible.
It makes me laugh to think of them trying to intervene.

He's told me he's never hit my sister a while ago.
I feel like saying to him that what he said made me feel uncomfortable and that it shows that I am not respected as he said that in front of me.
I don't know what to do.
I feel I can't let it slide as that would be condoning it.

Community Member

Hi MisterM. I had a similar situation years ago where I saw my sibling beat his wife on more than one occasion. I decided to 'stay out of it' as 1) my sister in-law might think I was interfering: and 2) marriage is something best left to the people concerned. As it turned out the marriage didn't last, my sister in-law bailed out and my sibling couldn't have cared. No matter how long a couple are married, they seldom appreciate so-called well-meaning help, even when they ask for it. I have seen the police called out to 'domestics' where both hubby and wife abuse them for interfering. I don't approve of domestic violence, but if the victim approaches me and genuinely needs help, I will do what I can. However, it's the victim's call and if your sister needs assistance, no doubt she will act. If she does approach you, then -yes, do whatever you can, but it's her choice and you have to respect that.