Advice need for a friend

From the start I need to apologise that this post for advice has nothing to do with France, though knowing that this site is full of worldly people I knew it would be the right place to post a question or two.

Like :)

Philip Larkin - 'This be the Verse' - look it up, it is on umpteen sites then reflect.


Tell your friend, you can choose your friends, you can't choose your family. BUT you can choose who spend time with, who you respect & who you care about. He shouldn't keep being disappointed by his family and the only way to stop this cycle is to say I've had enough, I'm not going to be hurt or bothered by you anymore.

It's their loss not your friends.

Suz x

Your friend did his utmost to be there for his family, they did their utmost not to be there for him. If he goes on letting his father treat him with contempt and then his children he is setting an example that it is OK to treat people in an inhuman and thoughtless manner and expect to get away with it.

That it is OK to never have to answer for your actions. If he wishes to take the Christian attitude of turning the other cheek he has that right also but not to tell his father that he must not to it to his children is wrong. His children will feel betrayed no matter how good his intentions are in constantly forgiving his father. One of the things I remember the most is how my mother let others say what they wanted about me and to me. We all have feet of clay but let's not forget that we all deserve respect it's not a one way street.

I've had a similar situation recently. But it was the 'difficult' person that cut me off. Anyway - it got me to thinking that she was a little silly to do this when simply taking a step back (and to stop expecting so much) would perhaps have served her better than severance.

Making something final may be a regretful mistake later down the line. I will AWAYS be there if she REALLY needs me. But otherwise, I have opted to keep a dignified distance/silence.

I hope this helps.

Was going for funny (it's a quote I found)-- but yes. I do have a lot of issues --maybe not so much with men as with fathers, particularly ones that hurt their kids.

You're right. My apologies to Simon. We all have issues and buttons around family stuff. No need to poke each other's wounds. Guess I was just reacting to mine.

My guess would be that your friend's father has a serious problem (which is not mentioned in the text) which is the root of the problem. I would bet a large amount of money on the problem being alcohol. I could be wrong - so your friend needs to chech out the underlying reason for his father's unreliability. If I'm right, he needs to give his father an ultimatum - seek help and sober up or never see your grandchildren again.

There is no 'natural' tie that makes people close but we fall into dependencies because we are a gregarious species and tend to 'hang out' from birth to death. Many people have substituted family and if in-laws cut it then so be it. Friends can be better than families too since they are rarely right on one's back permanently. We are no different to other creatures and you know, for instance, how farmers act with great compassion to save a calf or lamb whose mother rejects it. They more often than not pass those saved livestock into the foodchain later, but the early compassion is always impressive. That is what mates is fer, innit?

hi james,

families !! since coming to live in france i have learnt a lot about my own family, also realising part of my decision to come here was to remove myself and my children from a narcissistic unit. i would suggest that your friend seek professional help. it is easy to make the decision to cut ties but extremely difficult to live and fulfil that decision. things happen and before one knows it, one finds oneself in the thick of it. friends can offer support but it takes a certain amount of reconditioning and a good therapist is worth their weight in gold.

i wish him the best.

Sage advice.

What should worry about is patterning his behavior towards his family on the models he had as he grew up. Concentrate on not copying the bad behavior and allowing the father's mistakes to pass down another generation.

Hi's always very sad to watch someone you care about being hurt (I have seen one of my best friends in the world rejected outright by her mother for no real, understandable reason) but if there's one thing I've learnt in this life after having myself spent many years waiting for someone in my life to change but with no success, it's that you need to go towards those that show you proof of love and loyalty without having to be asked and without always wanting things in return. It is, sadly, in my view a waste of your friend's time to continue hoping that his father and his brothers will ever be the family he hopes for. Sometimes, perversely, people even get a kick out of knowing that they're making a person suffer and the more they see that person suffer, the more they continue their hurtful behaviour...I don't know if this is the case for your friend but whatever the reasons it seems clear to me that he has to find a way to put emotional distance between himself and his family and perhaps tell himself that family is not always the safest place for a person as we all know from the terrible things we read in the news sometimes. Sometimes the family you come from can, sadly, be the most dangerous place and needs to be replaced by true friends and spouses and children. I wish him luck as it is terribly difficult to admit that the people you want to be loved by simply don't love you for whatever selfish and twisted reasons perhaps, and probably never will.

Dear James, there is a point at which you have to turn the page and start over. Your friend seems to have just got to the bottom of that page. He doesn't need to take any more angst from this disfunctional family but he has how own wife and kids and should just focus on them. Wish him good luck and tell him he has nothing to feel guilty about - its the others Who should feel guilt!

Been through a situation like that with my father. He slowly turned into a self-centered, egoistic man that managed to scare away most of our families friends in the course of a few years. Tried to defend his behavior for a while, after al he was my father, and accepted that I could never do anything that would please him. But as this was a gradual process of years you get used to it and really needed someone to give me a wake-up call. My best mate just couldn't bear to see me slowly going down and kicked my @ss so to speak. (what are friends for if not for this?) This happened about 25 years ago, a hard decision I told him in the face and I never looked back. When he died in 2010 he was a very bitter and lonely man. Like a lot of the others say: use all that energy on the ones you love and the reward is immense and you can go on with your own life.

Feel that you, Denise, have a lot of issues with men, and consequently tend to generalise. We all know the Mars versus Venus thing, but not all men are bastards! Might be wrong, but, for me, that’s how your responses come across?

Paternal behavior varies widely throughout the natural world. Take the rather devious sand goby. This little fish is native to the coasts of Europe. The females lay their eggs in sandy nests and then take off, sticking the male with all the work of guarding the eggs, and fanning fresh water over them until they hatch. That's not always good news for the eggs.

Professor COLETTE ST. MARY (Zoology, University of Florida): It's quite common in the species and lots of fish species that provide parental care for males to eat some or even all of their young.

ELLIOTT: That's Colette St. Mary, an associate professor of Zoology at the University of Florida. We reached her at a research station in Sweden where she's studying the mating habits of sand gobies. She says that while male sand gobies may snack on their young when left to themselves, they behave very differently if females are around.

Listen -- this is not of me to say. Family stuff can still be painful even at our age, but this is the same Dad that was absent during your childhood?