What is wrong with families today?

 “There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families”- Margaret Thatcher

If society is made up of families, is there something wrong with families if society is becoming bad?                                                                                                                                 Something has been on my mind lately: family relationships. You love your family, yet don’t know what to do with them, although it bugs you beyond belief. I don’t know if I am being too unrealistic, but I still hope. I see movies and television about big, happy, connected families, yet I only can think of one, in real life, who is actually like that. I am super close to my mom, I can tell her anything, but I am not that close to all my family. Usually sisters are at least a little close, but my sister and I are like total strangers. My dad doesn’t even know what my food preferences are, let alone my personal life. The majority of my aunts and uncles are like acquaintances to me, and I hardly know any of my cousins well. The two cousins that I was close to, up to the teenage years, are now acting like they live on another planet. You can see the pattern. Is this really how a family is supposed to be? Is this how society is becoming? I cannot just accept this, even if my hopes are kind of naïve. I don’t know about you, but when I think about family I think about a family that socializes at events, chatting about everything and anything that is going on with them. When I was with my dad’s family last Christmas Eve there were little groups of people, mainly parents with their kids, that just picked a corner and kept to themselves. This was my first Christmas Eve that I was with my dad’s family since my parents got divorced, and as a result I was just sitting in the middle of the room, all alone, with no one to talk to or be with, since I didn’t have that immediate family close by. I would try to talk to the others, but I felt like that annoying sales person that keeps following you in the mall, begging you to buy their products, except I was the family member who didn’t know how to take a hint and leave. I sat there in the middle of the room, blushing from embarrassment and sadness, knowing this was not how I wanted my family to be. I thought about previous holidays when I was younger, wondering whether or not my memories were serving me correctly of connected holidays, or whether I was too young to realize the dysfunction that was the norm. I don’t expect our family to be as close as the Duggars or the Ingalls, but I wish that we could at least come to a common ground of family unity. I want my family outings to be where we all join together as one group, where we all talk to one another, and where we can come to a common ground for one enjoyable day without walls and electronic devices making barriers. I want a relationship with my sister where I can talk to her and not get met with a scowl. One thing that has been known in the world is that you can count on your family no matter what, but if your family is not united, who can you rely on? Who will have your back no matter what? Friends may come and go, but family should ALWAYS be there for you. If we are at a point in society where our own families cannot be there for us, we are at a very bad place. Instead of looking for wealth and happiness through gifts this holiday season, try something that doesn’t require a dime: connect your family. Comment below and tell me what you think.



7 thoughts on “What is wrong with families today?

  1. What a terrific post. You said what I have often thought about my own family. Apart from a couple of cousins, I am basically estranged from the rest of my family, and they are from each other, too. The family is atomized. I wish I understood what makes this happen. I was well into middle age when I realized that close families accompany adults to appointments and into surgery, and visit adults in the hospital, not out of a sense of obligation but because their presence actually makes the patient feel better. I think this is a bad thing and bad for society, but if one’s family is that way, it is basically impossible to fix on one’s own. As a result, I have made a few friends my “family.”

  2. Yes I like the above comment. As a therapist for 27 years, I have seen families that are so toxic, clients need to move away to survive. But there is always the hope and promise of creating your own family, with spouses, children or friends, that love you, value you, and WANT to be around you. There is no profit chasing after people who aren’t there for you. We deserve better~

    • Thank you so much for your comment and insight. It can be so difficult to move on, because it seems like the perfect family image is so ingrained, to the point where it plagues guilt upon the person to leave, even if it would be better. Your comment was very much appreciated!

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