Navigating One’s Family Relationships

I have a difficult time with extended family, due in part to there being so little communication amongst us.

And, to me, that begs the question: How did things get to where they are today?

Well, I think to some degree, they have always been like this – which is not encouraging.

My thoughts are that the modeling of relationships begins with parents, and aunts and uncles – as they are the older, more wiser ones.

But, what I’ve found (at least in my family) is that those people just don’t seem to care. For them, it’s kind of like, “out of sight, out of mind.”

As for me, I have reached out a number of times to various family members in an effort to strengthen ties.

Unfortunately, no one seems to want a relationship.

Thus, I have been forced to spend time, strengthening bonds with (mainly) old friends.

The funny thing about family vs. friends, is that you don’t pick your family, but you do pick your friends!

And, that often suggests healthier connections in a lot of respects.

So, when there’s no communication with family and you’ve reach the end of your willingness to continue to try with family, what do you do? What would you do? Or, what have you done?

6 thoughts on “Navigating One’s Family Relationships

  1. My parents were never that into the whole extended family thing. Aside from my grandparents, I had regular contact with some great aunts and uncles on one side of the family, but they’re all dead now. No one has ever pushed me away, but I’ve never reached out because it’s just never been on my radar.

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      1. My dad doesn’t talk to one of his brothers. His other two siblings live halfway across the country, so I didn’t have much to do with them or my three cousins. My mom just had one brother, who I saw regularly. He had a couple of stepkids, but I was never close to them.

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      2. I think that due to my illness I now have more time on my hands, and somehow thought it was normal to carry on with l even extended family. This has been something of a thorn in my side for a long time. There are parts at play that made me think we were supposed to all commiserate, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking. I’m still learning and extended family, for good reason perhaps, are not supposed to be with me on my individual journey. I blame small town living for part of it. Of course, there’s more to it than that. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!

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  2. My family was in the middle of extended family until those family members realized my parents were no longer a bank. I remember family reunions and being around cousins during family gatherings but we didn’t live close so i didn’t have a strong bond with many. I’m an only child and wish i had siblings for my children to have cousins but even in their dad side never saw them as they lived far away. I do think it’s sad how it seems unless you came from a big family there aren’t those connections

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear what you are saying, and sometimes a big family isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The people I wanted connection with are not interested in connecting. I think I’ve just moved on. Thank you for your words.


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