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

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John Wiley & Sons, Sep 28, 2007 - Psychology - 272 pages
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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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Forced to be family: a guide for living with sinister sisters, drama mamas, and infuriating in-laws

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Dellasega (humanities & womenƒ¯‚¿‚½s studies, Coll. of Medicine, Penn State Univ.;Surviving Ophelia ) presents a groundbreaking work about woman-on-woman aggression within families. Drawing on ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
PART ONE Females in the Family Way
7
A Tale of Two Sisters
9
Relational Aggression between Female Relatives
17
The Female Family Clique
29
The KinKeepers
39
Men Are Like Bricks Women Are Like Mortar
47
A Help or a Hurt?
55
Mothers and Sisters by Law
119
Daughtering the InLaw Way
133
Extended Extra
145
Carebearing and Carewearing
156
Divorce
171
The Female Family Maintenance Plan
187
The Transformation Treatment Plan
200
A Time to Act
209

How True and for Whom?
65
Friend versus Female Family Feuds
76
PART TWO Mothers Sisters and Daughters
85
Motherhood Revisited
87
Distressing Daughters
97
Sweetly Sinister Sisters
106
Special Strategies for Mother or Sister RA
217
Special Solutions for InLaws and Exes
231
What a Therapist Has to Say
240
Turning Relational Aggression into Relational
246
Index
255
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Cheryl Dellasega, PhD, is a professor in the department of humanities at the College of Medicine and Women's Studies at Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of Mean Girls Grown Up and four other books: Surviving Ophelia, Girl Wars, the award-winning The Starving Family, and Bloggrls, a fiction series for girls.

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