Forced to Be Family. A Guide for Living with Sinister Sisters, Drama Mamas, and Infuriating In–Laws

  • ID: 2242331
  • Book
  • 272 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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You can survive the "kitchen wars" and live in peace with your family

"My sisters–in–law couldn′t stand me. I was really hurt when my kids weren′t mentioned in their grandmother′s obituary because they weren′t ′full–blooded′ family."

"My mom is always giving advice, always telling me to do such and such when she doesn′t do it herself. If my husband and I have a fight, she takes his side!"

"My sister did call me a week later to apologize but proceeded to tell me everything that was wrong with me, my husband, and my children."

Sound familiar? There′s nothing new or unusual about conflict between mothers, sisters, and other female family members but that doesn′t make it any less painful or destructive. Adding to the hurt of relational abuse within the family is the permanent nature of the relationship: you can sever relations with an abusive friend, but you can′t stop being the sister/daughter/niece of an abusive relative. Does that mean that there′s no way out?

In Forced to Be Family, you′ll discover how to determine whether a female family member is being abusive, recognize the sources of that abuse, and break the vicious cycle that keeps the abuse alive. You don′t have to choose between accepting abuse and "making a scene." This insightful, reassuring guide gives you the strategies and understanding you need to reestablish warm and loving relationships with the women who will always be closest to you.

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Acknowledgements.

Introduction.

PART ONE: FEMALES IN THE FAMILY WAY.

1: A Tale of Two Sisters.

2: The Kitchen Wars: Relational Aggression between Female Relatives.

3: The Female Family Clique.

4: Hardwired to Care: The Kin–Keepers.

5: Men Are Like Bricks, Women Are Like Mortar.

6: Competition: A Help or Hurt?

7: How True, and for Who?

8: Friend vs. Female Family Feuds.

PART TWO: MOTHERS, SISTERS, AND DAUGHTERS.

9: Motherhood Revisited.

10: Distressing Daughters.

11: Sweetly Sinister Sisters.

PART THREE: IN LAWS AND OTHERS.

12: Mothers and Sisters, By Law.

13: Daughtering, The In–Law Way.

PART FOUR: NOT QUITE FAMILY, DEFINITELY RA.

14: Family, More or Less: Extended, Extra, or Estranged.

15: Carebearing and Carewearing.

16: Really Forced to be Family: Divorced.

PART FIVE: CONNECTED, CARING, OR COPING.

17: The Female Family Maintenance Plan.

18: The Transformation Treatment Plan.

19: A Time to Act.

20: Special Strategies for Mother or Sister RA.

21: Special Strategies for In–Laws or Exes.

22: Relative RA: What a Therapist Has to Say.

23: Turning Relative Aggression into Relational Affection.

References.

Index.

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Relationship counselor Dellasega adds to her long list of self–help books dealing with mean and troubled women (Surviving Ophelia,Girl Wars,Mean Girls Grown Up). Chock–full of real–life, victim–oriented stories by complaining women, Dellasega′s latest is based on the idea that no one can hurt a woman more than a member of her own family, especially if the aggressor is female. Dellasega, a professor in the College of Medicine and in the department of humanities and women′s studies at Penn State, offers depressing tales of women betraying their sisters and mothers–in–law humiliating their sons′ wives. No longer a symptom of what used to be called a dysfunctional family, Dellasega labels this unrest Relative Relational Aggression or Relative RA. By the end, one can′t help but long for the sensible advice of the late Ann Landers. Once, when someone wrote in to her asking what to do when a family member was rude to you, Landers told her to simply say, Excuse me? But then where′s the drama in that?(Oct.) (Publishers Weekly, August 20, 2007)
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