Toxic family.


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I have three brothers and we were all brought up in a very toxic home. My father was mentally and physically abusive. Now that he is dead, my brothers are all toxic or at least I think they are I am not an expert in psychology. My one brother has been diagnosed as bipolar. He is on meds and a lot better but he was insufferable when he was not. My other brother was very emasculated by our father and followed him in the family business. He was always in competition with me for being daddy's boy. He was in this competition alone.

I gave up wanting or needing daddy's pat on the head or an atta boy. He got really upset when dad was dying and needed help and he called me because I was the responsible one. I did it for two reasons, no. one is I have enough regrets in life that I did not want to add any and think when dad was dying I ignored him. The second my dad had built up a financial portfolio and two of my brothers really could use it to help them out and my dad was always trying to use it to get women to stick around. The issue was he was so controlling that they could not take it and would walk.

Now that its all over and settled I have one brother who will ignore me if we disagree on anything, he is the younger one and has made mistake after mistake in life. I felt like I needed to fill a promise to my mother before she died to watch out for him. He married a woman who is literally about 475 pounds and she and I am not exaggerating sits on the couch and goes to bed and the bath and that is it. My brother works at a factory and comes home makes dinner, does the laundry, makes the bed and all the house work and I have watched this he takes her dinner plate to her on the couch and takes it to the dishwasher when she is done.

He was such a happy go lucky kid now he is 40 and he has two daughters and they do nothing much in the home and he buys them phones and most of what he can afford to give them and they do nothing to help. His escape is to go to the basement and play video games which he is so into that its the only thing you can talk about that he has any passion for.

His politics are not IMO well thought out and if I point out that his points are not correct because of XY and Z he gets all ticked off and then I am banned from talking to him. I have always sent the nieces money for Xmas and birthdays and never gotten so much as a thank you card.

He has just now started to talk to me after a year when he sent a political picture in a text to me when we were all talking on the thread about a new dog my other brother has just bought. I made a smartass comment back to him because I was annoyed that he was hijacking the conversation to something political. Now he is not talking to me again because I made a comment on our joint text about something political. I did not direct it at anyone just made a comment about the political issue and he is no not talking to me.

The brother who is next youngest to me and was the or wanted to be the daddy's boy I am on the outs with because I blew up at his wife. His wife is a nut job from the get go. I never said my opinion but 7 years after the birth of his son she tells him she wants to leave him and that his son is not his but one from an affair she had. She has cheated on him many times. She is also very vengeful and has been diagnosed as bipolar. I had argued with my brother to leave her, kick that trash can to the curb. But he traded one abuser my father for another and seems to like being abused. When she left him he ran to the state she was in with her family got on his knees literally and told her dad was about to die and was going to get an inheritance and would buy her a new car and put in a pool ect. She came back and they have been together since.

His wife hates me because I called her out for what it was, she was a manipulative disgusting whore. I could not believe my brother ran back to this and adopted the kid. I don't blame the kid at all but I could not go back to such an abusive relationship. Every one of his friends was telling him the same thing I was, get out and find someone who treats you better than this. So since then I am on the outs and he is still trying to be No. one boy in competition with my and my brothers and I am not in the game and have no desire to be.

My third brother is the bipolar brother who is very highly educated and is a CRNA and makes good money and like to talk about it and how important he is all the time. He has been fired two times for going atomic with Doctors. The last time he called me and I had to remove all the guns from his home and hide them because he checked himself into an institution and was suicidal. This brother love to get between and be the one who keeps the rest of us separate. He has done this since he was a kid. He would not invite my little brother to games and outings because their friends he wanted to control. Now he does this where he will call me and say brother one said this about you, and vise versa. He was married and it was very strange relationship. His wife wanted to be a CRNA. She could not do the schooling as its not really easy at all. So he took her dream and became a CRNA. This really did something to her. She started to drink heavily and before she married him she was anti alcohol except for a glass of wine here and there, no beer or spirits. She got drunk one night and drowned in the bath tub.

My brother was very upset when he was in counseling and the therapist asked if he thought she committed suicide. This had come to my mind also but I never said anything because I knew it would erupt badly if I did. Since then he has dated women who are much younger and try to get at his money which is no surprise if you saw the women. One took his credit card and blew 2500 bucks on stuff, the other he took on a cruise and she charged things like 700 dollar Coach purses to the room. they are all very nice looking and half his age. I did tell him he is dating women that are not looking for a relationship but a meal ticket.

Its very difficult to be around any of them. One I can not because his wife would blow a gasket and the others I have nothing in common with at all. I would have to talk about and play video games all day to have something in common with one, and the CRNA brother I never have a good time with. Since he is bipolar I call it walking on egg shells because he can get mad and go off the handle at any time over anything. I hate to cut them off but there seems to be no upside to these relationships. I would like to hear what others think. Thanks.

We were raised in a large extended family that most were Jehovahs Witnesses. This is a cult and a dangerous one at that. Since I decided this cult was controlling and destructing I left. I got my brothers out by showing them all the wrong predictions over all the years and the crazy controlling teachings including hiding pedophiles due to their two witness rule. So most of my family treat me as a disease and the cult tells it members that if one leaves the religion they become mentally diseased and are to be shunned. So my brothers were all I had. But it seems that these are toxic relationships to me.


Hi @edteach, sorry for what you've been through. That's tough for sure. Unfortunately you can't choose your family and can only do so much before it's just hurting your life. What's a CRNA?

do you have friends? Is there someone you can talk to?

I didn't have contact with my brother for about 8 years. My family also had many problems.


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Hi Survivor. CRNA is Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. So he is not a Dr but he runs the anesthesia room along with other CRNAs. There is a Dr who over sees the CRNAs but its like being a Nurse practitioner. He makes around 175k a year although that is not Warren Buffet teritiory he makes good money but loves ot use it as a way to say he is better than others. It can be a real turn off.


So, I have lots of thoughts and some might come across as abrasive.

First, you come across as extremely moralizing and I could see it being a very big issue in how you perceive others and your relationships with them. It’s like no one is “good enough” to get your approval and I’m wondering if you’ve noticed that. Even when you start saying something positive about someone it ends in a negative, if that’s how you are with them then of course there will be friction.

Also, I don’t understand why your brothers’ respective relationships are your business. They have every right to pursue whoever they want to and to live their lives how they want regardless of you think they are doing it “right”. They are adults and if they aren’t happy are capable of making changes. Personally, I’d but out. The more you try to push someone away from something the more they will gravitate to it. No amount of moralizing and being condescending to them is going to switch a lightbulb on in their heads that makes them want to be like you.

Whether these relationships with your brothers are toxic or not is individual, if you aren’t happy being around them then by all means don’t be. But I would have a sit down or two with a therapist because there seems to be a glaring pattern that I would bet carries over into other areas of your life. I could be wrong though.


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Big foot, I have a tendency to be or see the negative side of life. I am not an optomist that is for sure. But i feel I live in the real world. Things are what they are and don't look at things as it will all turn out for the best. Most times in life it does not. My father did not ever believe anything he did not like no matter how much evidence there was for it. When he was dying he had Siroccos of the liver, kidney failure, congestive heart faliure, Heart blockage, extrem low platlets, and a few other issues. One day we went to Dialysis and the Dr told him in on uncertain terms he was dying and did not have long and there was nothing that could be done. He told the Dr he did not know what he was talking about. The Dr took me aside and said that he had never ever talked to anyone who was so in denial of reality. Growing up in this kind of thinking made me more tuned into the fact that most times in life things do not go your way. I am called a pecimisist but I prefer to think I just live in reality. I agree that I felt like I wanted to help my Brothers make good choices in life, and should not have gotten so involved. I have since not put my two cents worth into their life's situation. If my brother is happy with a wife that cheated on him and had a kid that was not his and she did not tell him for seven years I hope the best for him but I don't think it will end well. I call it like I see it and I don't color it in to make it better. That is just my nature and I can not deny it. I try to have an open mind, I have strong opinions and will listen to the counter argument. If I am wrong I want to know it. I usually just get ad Homonym attacks though.


It’s absolutely easier to be a pessimist, not denying that. But, does that truly make you happy? Genuinely? Because it seems like it would be miserable. Now I’m not one to go around being uber optimistic about everything, I’ve definitely cornered the market on life not working the way it’s supposed to. But it’s miserable to continue to only search out the negative.

I want to point out a few things- brothers wife number 1 is 475 lbs. How does that affect you in your daily life? Does that mean it affects your brother who then comes to you and complains about the same thing over and over? Then it would be time to tell your brother hey, I am here for you but if you aren’t happy you need to change something because I don’t have the brain space to be your sounding board anymore. If that’s not what’s happening and you aren’t affected- then who cares? She could be 100 lbs, 300 lbs, 700 lbs and it still won’t be your business unless it’s affecting your life.

Your brother having a cheating wife. Again, does that affect your daily life? If it is, what’s something you can do to change that? If it’s not, who cares? He knows and is choosing his life, that’s his business, not yours.

If your brothers come to you for advice or to vent, then obviously say whatever you feel. But if they don’t? Then it’s their lives and you can go on finding something positive in your own life to focus on. If there’s nothing positive in your own personal life, then it’s time to figure out why and fix it.


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My youngest brothers wife being 475 pounds does not affect me other than I can tell he is miserable in his life. I never said anything to him about it. But I can see that he is miserable in his life. He was told by his Dr. that he needed to dump sugar and start to eat better. He lives on McDonald's and junk food. So he actually did. He lost weight and was doing well but his wife made fun of him and attacked him relentlessly. So after about 6 months of eathing right and doing better he gave in and went back to the junk food. She never helped him take care of himself Hell she can not take care of herself and loves every minute of it. It is so bad he never took care of his teeth and he got an abscess so bad it looked like he had a hard ball in his cheek and lost all his teeth at 40. He now has dentures. So its hard to watch a family member make such horrible choices. I guess I felt like I was the one who had to help out the brothers, My youngest brother married to the heavy wife would call me all the time asking to borrow money because he would blow his money on stupid things and not have enough to pay the mortgage. He quit asking after one time I lent him 200 bucks and found out he bought his wife a case of cigarettes with it and went out to fast food and video games and I told him he had to pay me back. When my dad was dying he called me several times asking for his or part of his inheritance because he was loosing his home. I told him there was no inharitance until dad was passed and that I would pay his Mortgage so he did not loose his house. When dad died I managed his money before I gave him what was left by paying off his home and all his Xmas loans and car. I got him to square one and even took 5 grand and started a TD Ameritrade IRA for him and bought solid blue chip stocks. He got ticked off saying he can do it himself so I gave him the last 20 grand and it was blown inside 6 months. I tried to tell him that his furnace is old and was amazing that it was still working. He never put a dime away. He also had a leaking basement and several other issues on his home he wanted me to repair. [I grew up in a family that was into the trades. My father was a master Plumbing and Heating contractor, my uncle was a master electrician and I worked for my famly from my dads heating and cooling co to electrical and concrete and construction rough in to trim. ] I told him it would cost about 3k in materials and a lot of work but it can be fixed. But I now am not offering to help any more. He is on his own. My Brother who is a CRNA before he even had a nursing lisc. I had to give a job to, and when he moved to go to college I had to pay his rent for a year while he was working and going to school. He did pay me back but I had helped all my brothers and never asked for anything in return. Even when I used them for help I.E. moving or other I paid them an hourly wage. I only have the Brother who is a CRNA that will always say that if it were not for me he would not be where he is today. The others never said as much as a think you. I am talking to my wife about leaving our financial to a local Animal Shelter which I am very passionate about. We domesticated these animals and then abandon them. Anyway I have been treated as a welfare office when they need something but its never returned in any kind of support and anything else. So no more money help or fixing homes ect. I have too much to do in my life and as I get older I just can not handle my thing not to mention their things. I don't like the idea of cutting them off but its never a good time to be around them. My CRNA brother told me its always a beat me up when the other three are together. If two of them have an issue with each other they blame me for it. Even if I have not spoken to them in a year. So yes I can be negative I believe in owning ones own crap. But I don't believe its at all or close to all my fault.


You have every right to tell them no, you have every right to not associate with them if you choose not to. I’m not arguing that. Only stating my observations of your side of the story but I can’t make anyone look at themselves.


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I will not change my opinion on my sister in law. Its one of the most disgusting things I can think of to do that to someone. But as I said I don't talk to that brother any more so its not an issue for me, bit my opinion is the same, she is a disgusting whore. What other words are there for it? She called the police on my brother and lied to them saying he pulled a gun on her then retracted it, she told her cousins to go to the house where he lived and screw with his truck and they did, they tore out the wiring under the hood. I don't know what you would call her but I think disgusting whore is being very generous. Of course we all have PTSD. First off we grew up in a mentally and physically abusive home, and then add on we were in a cult the Jehovah's Witnesses of course we have PTSD. If you don't know anything about the Jehovah's Witnesses look up a few videos on youtube and learn what its about. One of the more dangerous and destructive cults out there right up there with the Scientologists. I was a fourth gen born in the cult person. And when you are born into something you tend to believe that mom and dad are right. I struggled with being told I ask too many questions and just to believe and not think too much. Once the internet came out and I found others who left the cult and were on the inside like Ray Franze who was a Governing Body member and left due to the practices and abuse and read his book and others it still took me many years of self anylasis to see just how much damage this cult did to us.


I will not change my opinion on my sister in law.
i'm not asking you to.

What other words are there for it? I don't know what you would call her-
"she is abusive. here is what she did."

it does sound like all of these reletionships are toxic. as little said you are not under oblegation to continue speaking with them, as you are an adult.

If you don't know anything about the Jehovah's Witnesses
i'm familier with it. it is regretful that you grew up under that. religious abuse is very diffecult to overcome and put in its correct context.