Families are wonderful to be involved in. Families don’t have to be the set parents and siblings that we think they should be. Family dynamics change all the time. What is important for any family structure is love being in the center. Being in a family and being in close proximity is the fact that there are times when you will be irritated, hurt, or angry with a family member. How you pick up the pieces is what defines what family means to you.
No One Wins when the Family Feuds
I have been in arguments with family members. It’s a part of life. Not all family members mesh well. If you are blood related just because you are angry won’t change that you are family. The issue sometimes comes from when you aren’t. Not all step families are super welcoming. Shoot, blood members act fun too so let’s be super clear. Families feud. I am not just talking about a fight over who is making the mac and cheese for the holiday dinner, I am talking about the types of fighting that would make Love and Hip Hop blush. Family members can be super messy. It would be super nice if you’re able to dust yourself off from family spats and pick up as if none of the issues ever happened. People are left bruised and battered by family members and its hard to navigate yourself back into the fold. The reality time is the biggest thing that you lose when family members fight. You don’t get that time back. You could be interacting and enjoying one another’s company but a rift can be super damaging. I encourage everyone to attempt to make peace with those that you can. Be aware there are times that even with the best intentions, some folks run out of chances and distance may be the best solution. Learn to wish folks well and don’t speak ill will towards them.
Some folks opt to take a break or a breather. Some opt to break away altogether and wipe their hands clean. This is a personal decision. Kids don’t get to know members of the family and the family use the kids to bring the adults back. There are times if we are honest that some family members are super toxic. Bringing a kid into toxicity if you can avoid it, please do. It’s one thing to simply not deal with a Family member but to know that if you left your child in a room with a person that all that venom inside of them would spew on a child, those types of things you disconnect from. I would personally never allow my children around any side of the family if I thought that would be the case. Why would I as a parent set up my kids who can’t defend themselves around that? Why would I as an adult want to be around that? If you need a break, take a break. If you break completely than at least make sure that if you talked it out, you said all that needed to be said. If you can say to yourself I mean whomever no harm and if something happened to them you would be of a clear conscience than so be it. If you can’t there’s work to be done to hopefully reconcile. Toxic situations we should all strive to remove ourselves from them. So no you don’t go around violence, abuse, etc in the name of nobody family or not. Let’s not ever do that!
Once you get married, you leave your original family structure and become your own unit. This doesn’t wait until kids are in the midst. A husband and wife are their own family now. As tight as a family can be, if you are getting married be prepared to leave your original and cleave to your spouse, this is your new family. You will always be connected to both of your original family but you shouldn’t be at the point where you can’t find health boundaries in how you interact. Marriages have been in shambles because if the original family has the presence made known in the couple’s lives and then dictates their every move, animosity sets in. You should be able to do things as your new structure like vacation, go on date nights, have fun between both sets of family members etc without your original family having to sign off. I know of couples who were lets say for argument’s sake, the bride only deals with the brides’ side. This is not cool. Find a way to fuse both sides. Start your marriage where the couple make decisions together and find ways of agreeing and learn to keep family as a focus but keep them out of your union. This means stop running your mouth every time something happens and then get mad when the family is mad at your spouse. Your husband shouldn’t feel like you still need your parents or family to agree on decisions and vice versa. You married into, you didn’t marry the individual bonus members of each other’s new family. Make sure your marriage is strong and have fun and do things with each side. No one side should dominate anything. If you aren’t mature to do that, I would advise not getting married.
Now What? Framily?
If you say, but ToiTime I took a break, I walked away from some folks, I keep folks out of my business but continued to enjoy the ones that were willing, but there is a void and I need it filled and my family is just too much. I would say, look in your inner circle. I always believe we truly do not lose, there is fulfillment with framily. Framily are friends who become family. This doesn’t mean you don’t have family. This doesn’t mean you do more for your friends than your family. The flip to that is too, family will say you are doing too much for your framily but forget the times they weren’t there and a friend had to step in. This is so real! I have had friends jump quicker than my family members. This didn’t take away from my family, it meant that who was supposed to be there for me at that time. If there is a pattern of family not being involved, a conversation needs to be had. I would say, if a family member is mad at a friend for stepping in, to the family member ask yourself how often have you stepped in. Even if the family member in question shuts you out, how often did you pick up the phone, check in, etc? I was always taught than regardless of how another person acts that you have to be willing to try. So for me that means, I will call when no one answers. I have sent cards to family members and never got a thank you. I sent gifts and never got a thank you, but my heart is clear knowing one I didn’t do it for the recognition and two I have done all I could and if they are okay with doing nothing on their side, I am okay waiting for them to reach out and my reach may temporarily stop.
Family I don’t Deal with
Even with all of this wisdom basically from being burned by folks over the years, having my family aka my parents teach me how to handle bad situations there are still family members that I haven’t seen, talked to, or associated with in years. I will never go into the why especially on an open forum. Regardless of what may have said or done I only can own my part in it and say that anything said I meant and I take full responsibility for my actions. I take full responsibility because I can never blame a person for what came out of my mouth or what was done. I don’t live my life waiting to play the blame game. Those situations were unfortunate but it revealed things about me mostly. It revealed how easily upset I was. It revealed parts about things that I thought I had healed and discovered I wasn’t truly healed. So it allowed me to go back into counseling to deal with them. Its been enough years that whatever sting or grudge I carried and carried it well then is NO LONGER an issue now. The distance and quietness and simply my own refusal to be apart of the equation was what I needed. It had nothing to do with being mad. I never want to give anyone the opportunity to ruffle me to the point where I am not in control of my own emotions and responses. However what I am learning is that removing myself and dealing with only me allowed me peace and it made me deal with the negative things that the very family members brought up. There was truth to the things said so I owned it. There was lies and misjudgments too. Now that I have owned it no one can roll up and say “but you aint..”My response would be simply, you were right on a few things but now I am good should I ever see them again. Will I ever see them? I am sure I will! Am I looking for an apology? Nope I gave myself permission to forgive them and me without getting one. I dropped the charges at least a year after the big blow up. Should I have done it sooner? Maybe but I wasn’t ready! I needed that time to live in that and it forever changed how I operate as a person.
The Incredible Storr 5
What I love about my little family now is that we apologize. Especially my husband and I towards each other, and with and to our kids. I learned a lot from them as a whole. We get to see the good and the bad sides of each other but we also see each other daily striving to be our best version. There are a lot of people who would love my portion and I am grateful everyday that we wake up together and get to try to get it right!
My husband and I come from good families. They aren’t perfect either but we have made up in our house that we will always be a family that keeps the drama to a bare minimal, we keep space in our home and keep peace, we allow our kids to be around same like-minded families, we have fun, we serve and love God, and we try our best even when it looks like we are failing to get it right! We will always protect the 5 in that home at all cost and that’s from a mental, emotional, and physical standpoint. I have seen my husband take stands with others concerning me and I do the same for him. And you can pretty much forget it if you think the 3 littles in our home will be in the middle of some mess. Like Jay’Z said:
“And I don´t have to worry, only worry is him
She do anything necessary for him
And I do anything necessary for her
So don´t let the necessary occur, yep!”