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Old 3rd January 2018, 2:08 AM   #1
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How do you broach the subject of a...

Bad family to a new guy you just met?

I know I swore off online dating but there was one guy left I wanted to give a chance to so I went back on just to give him my number.

He called tonight, and man, he wasted no time with the rapid fire questions... not that he was rude, but he mixed trivial questions in with some unexpectedly big ones in quick succession that left me no time to think. One of them being... why have I never married? and did I have a happy childhood... ? Are you close to your family?

I choked on those questions, because they are the ones I always fear and he threw them at me like curve balls leaving me no time to see them coming. I hesitated and said my childhood was a 'mix', when he asked if it was happy.

That was true in a way, but generally, it was HORRIBLE. I was the youngest and the designated scapegoat of the whole family, so it left me scarred, and untrusting and has a lot to do with why I never married though I've spent my whole life denying it.

He, on the other hand is a family oriented man, it's very important to him. While in the meantime my siblings are absolutely off the wall... no doubt narcissistic, they've all tried to destroy my life, so I have no relationship with them at all or any of their kids because they saw to that... so for me, it wasn't just a ****ty childhood, relations between my siblings poor... it's a very different and much worse situation than that and always has been.

I know I'm scarred by it, but I'm a good person. Possibly, the 'normal one' as the research says because I was the one who was scapegoated. But I can't even begin to think how to broach the topic of my family. I feel like throwing up even touching on the subject, and I know if it comes to the point where it gets into detailed conversations between us, it'll just look like we're ALL insane.

This is why I don't date. I'm a good person who wants a peaceful life but all I anticipate are my siblings finding out and causing trouble and the man I'm with not understanding...

maybe I'm thinking too far ahead, but I don't even know how not to choke on the preliminary questions in the getting to know you stage when it comes to questions about my family. Does anyone here know what I mean? Can anyone relate, and help me handle this? I think I'm really going to like this guy and don't want to blow it right away.

And I don't want to deny myself happiness again by running away because of this. It's a new year, and I want a new beginning.

Much love, loveshackers.... all the best in 2018.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 3:45 AM   #2
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I wouldn't entertain this line of conversation with someone I had yet to meet in the flesh, and think it's poor form on his part.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 3:51 AM   #3
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A whole lot of tricky questions, but yep, I wouldn't bother with someone who preferred giving the 3rd degree over getting to know me over time.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 7:28 AM   #4
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My siblings and I fought like crazy when we were kids. We beat each other up mercilessly.

We still fight but not like we did before. My siblings and I have always been close (even though we fought from time to time) but we grew closer as we grew older.

I think the key is to forgive, be understanding and remain hopeful no matter what. Don't give up on each other. Today, no matter how much we fight, we still find a way back to each other. We are connected by blood and nothing can break that connection. You can't get rid of your siblings no matter how much you try so it's best to just get along with them. Put yourselves in each other's shoes, try to understand each other and talk to each other more.

As for potential suitors, I wouldn't worry about trying to explain your relationship with your siblings to them. Just tell them, the relationship is not perfect but it is a work in progress.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 12:17 PM   #5
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My siblings and I fought like crazy when we were kids. We beat each other up mercilessly.

We still fight but not like we did before. My siblings and I have always been close (even though we fought from time to time) but we grew closer as we grew older.

I think the key is to forgive, be understanding and remain hopeful no matter what. Don't give up on each other. Today, no matter how much we fight, we still find a way back to each other. We are connected by blood and nothing can break that connection. You can't get rid of your siblings no matter how much you try so it's best to just get along with them. Put yourselves in each other's shoes, try to understand each other and talk to each other more.

As for potential suitors, I wouldn't worry about trying to explain your relationship with your siblings to them. Just tell them, the relationship is not perfect but it is a work in progress.
Nope. Can't be done. Most people don't understand this unless they're willing to research family scapegoating and narcissism. This is not normal sibling rivalry.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 12:23 PM   #6
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A whole lot of tricky questions, but yep, I wouldn't bother with someone who preferred giving the 3rd degree over getting to know me over time.
Yes, it actually did feel like the 3rd degree. It was only the first phone call. He even asked if I was a 'recovering alcoholic', which I thought was very strange.

He's going to call again, he says. What do I say to him? That he's being too pushy? Good-bye, you're not right for me? Play it by ear or not answer the phone?

Now that I've had time to think, I didn't exactly get butterflies hearing his voice... probably felt a little put off. But again, the second guessing. It was only one phone call. Should I give him another chance?
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Old 3rd January 2018, 12:40 PM   #7
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It was only one phone call. Should I give him another chance?
No.

He's not who you are looking for and he never will be. You'll just frustrate yourself dealing with him.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 4:14 PM   #8
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He said family is important to him...it's an expectation for some, but don't take it personally. It doesn't make you out to be a bad person, you are a person without a family connection due to dysfunction. It's being caught up in ongoing family drama, is the concern and would be a deal breaker.

I think with open honest communication on how things are positive in your life now will change opinions.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 4:27 PM   #9
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I have a few subjects from my past that I have trouble broaching with new men too. I think you have two options:

(1). Just tell him the truth. Make sure he knows that, from your adversity, you have learned quite a bit and look forward to having a family that feels the love and acceptance you lacked. If he judges you for this--a situation that was completely out of your control and despite which you survived and thrived--then you are better off without him. Someone who cares for you will accept you and realize that, past adversity or not, you are worthy of love because of the wonderful person you are today.

(2). Tell him that you are not comfortable answering these questions yet but that you will discuss these things with him in time and as the relationship develops. These are very intimate topics, and there is nothing wrong with not being ready to talk about them until you feel emotionally safe with a new man. Again, a person of maturity should understand that.

In my experience, I have stressed ad nauseam about telling new people certain things about myself. I have been surprised that, in all but one case, they have been willing to listen, understand, and move forward.

You are not your family. You are not your past. Sometimes going through difficulties makes you a more sensitive and empathetic person and, as a result, a better partner. Please don't devalue yourself or let anyone else devalue you because of past hurts inflicted upon you by others.

Happy New Year and keep us posted!
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Old 3rd January 2018, 4:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Fair View Post
Yes, it actually did feel like the 3rd degree. It was only the first phone call. He even asked if I was a 'recovering alcoholic', which I thought was very strange.

He's going to call again, he says. What do I say to him? That he's being too pushy? Good-bye, you're not right for me? Play it by ear or not answer the phone?

Now that I've had time to think, I didn't exactly get butterflies hearing his voice... probably felt a little put off. But again, the second guessing. It was only one phone call. Should I give him another chance?
What the actual F?

I initially was going to respond to this because I can understand where you are coming from: I grew up in an abusive household, I have had to set boundaries with toxic adult parents and a sibling, and people who haven't had to experience this find it difficult to understand.

I have never had it come up as a barrier to a relationship, though, because usually by the time we actually discuss these topics, the person has gotten to know me. In each case, honestly, my partner has kind of been in awe of what I have survived and how I have taken those experiences as life lessons who have shaped who I am today. (And I recognize - I am still far from perfect)

That said, in your situation, this is all coming up very prematurely IMO. I can appreciate a family oriented person wanting to ensure you have similar values, but this is just intrusive and frankly ... weird. Recovering alcoholic?

I would not engage with this person any further.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 4:35 PM   #11
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One more point:

My sister is like your siblings. She did try to ruin my relationship with my former husband. He loved me, and he saw through her cr*p. He just ignored it an proceeded with our relationship. Honestly, a good man will be able to see the truth of what's happening--or will love you enough not to care and simply be happy to be with you.

Don't let your siblings prevent you from dating. This is something I worry about too, but I will not let her win by scaring me into staying in my apartment alone.

Also, this guy really shouldn't have been questioning you like this in the first phone call. There is really no excuse for him to ask you if you are an alcoholic. The fact that he brought that up out of thin air makes me wonder if it's an issue he struggles with himself...
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Old 3rd January 2018, 4:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lamartine View Post
I have a few subjects from my past that I have trouble broaching with new men too. I think you have two options:

(1). Just tell him the truth. Make sure he knows that, from your adversity, you have learned quite a bit and look forward to having a family that feels the love and acceptance you lacked. If he judges you for this--a situation that was completely out of your control and despite which you survived and thrived--then you are better off without him. Someone who cares for you will accept you and realize that, past adversity or not, you are worthy of love because of the wonderful person you are today.

(2). Tell him that you are not comfortable answering these questions yet but that you will discuss these things with him in time and as the relationship develops. These are very intimate topics, and there is nothing wrong with not being ready to talk about them until you feel emotionally safe with a new man. Again, a person of maturity should understand that.

In my experience, I have stressed ad nauseam about telling new people certain things about myself. I have been surprised that, in all but one case, they have been willing to listen, understand, and move forward.

You are not your family. You are not your past. Sometimes going through difficulties makes you a more sensitive and empathetic person and, as a result, a better partner. Please don't devalue yourself or let anyone else devalue you because of past hurts inflicted upon you by others.

Happy New Year and keep us posted!
I agree with most of Lamartine's points (and 100% on #1) when dating, but for a first phone call? I would be completely turned off by someone asking these types of questions before we have even met. Maybe just my take on it, because I prefer someone to judge me for who I am and my character rather than what I have been through.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 5:35 PM   #13
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You learn the art of deflection.


Q: Why have you never married? A: Because you haven't found the right person yet.


Q: Did you have a happy childhood? A: It had it's moments (even if it was 1 moment where some random thing happened). Then you Segway into turning it around to ask the other person the Q. Hopefully they will forget you didn't fully answer. If pressed, you share that it had more than its share of bad memories & you promise to tell them all about after you have been together for a long time but for now you'd prefer to stick to fun breezy topics.


Are you close to your family? A: Let's just say you won't required to have dinner with them any time soon. Then again you transition the conversation to them


If it begins to feel like an interrogation, you make fun of the technique: Hey are you gonna get out the rubber hoses any time soon, copper? Then you redirect the conversation to a topic & tone that you want.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 7:18 PM   #14
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They seem like very strange questions to ask on the first phone call. I feel having a close knit family is an odd want from a potential partner, but each to their own. I feel that if he wants to ask tough questions, he should expect tough answers. Which is why you shouldn't ask too many tough questions on the first couple of dates, let alone the first phone call. It's more about seeing the person now rather than their past.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 9:01 PM   #15
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What the actual F?

That said, in your situation, this is all coming up very prematurely IMO. I can appreciate a family oriented person wanting to ensure you have similar values, but this is just intrusive and frankly ... weird. Recovering alcoholic?

I would not engage with this person any further.
I think you're right. Intrusive and weird pretty much covers it. It states clearly on my profile I don't drink, smoke or do drugs... so the recovering alcoholic question especially threw me for a loop. Very odd.
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