Forced to be Family by Cheryl Dellasega

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.

Cheryl Dellasega earned her Ph.D. in health education and counseling, and has worked clinically as a nurse practitioner. She is an expert on relational aggression (RA), a form of bullying used by females. She is the author of five nonfiction books on issues affecting women: Forced to be Family (Wiley, 2007), Mean Girls Grown Up (Wiley, 2005), The Starving Family (Champion Press, 2005), Girl Wars (2003), and Surviving Ophelia (2001). In 2007, Dr. Dellasega’s YA fiction series, Bloggrls, was launched by Marshall Cavendish. Dr. Dellasega’s speaking, writing, and teaching offer essential insights into the different conflicts that arise within the context of female friendships and family relationships.