This letter sent in to Dr. Laura is about a family member who is a bully, and not sorry about it at all. The letter writer describes how one of her brothers that used to bully her as a child, still hasn’t grown up or tried to reconcile with her like her other brother. She is married, and her husband refuses to put up with their treatment and stands up for her at family gatherings – as a result, they are shunned by their family (even her parents who never addressed the situation in the family in the first place, they’d rather pretend it doesn’t exist). Watch to see Dr. Laura’s advice to this woman in regards to letting go of her parents and brother, and letting them get the privilege of being together – more than likely, making each other miserable.
We had a situation much like this in our marriage, and have taken a lot of heat for pulling away from the toxic relatives in my husband’s family. My husband finally stood up to his bullying cousin and his family who backed him, and even had to stand up to his own parents who blamed everything on us (him and I specifically). Letting go was hard, but staying in toxic family relationships where every holiday had the potential to end in tears and drama was much harder – especially psychologically. We finally made the decision to not put our children through that every Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter – it was just too hard and painful.
If you’re in a situation like this with a family member who is allowed to be a bully, and when you or your spouse confronts the behavior, you’re both met with defensive relatives backing the bully, you might take comfort in this video urging you to find peace in letting go.