Family Over Friends: Saving Family Relationships

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When it comes to my own life, the one thing that I’ve been blessed with is a great family. I’m lucky that I can call my Mum and my sister my best friends. No matter what happens in life, they have always been there for me and we stick by each other always.

However not all family relationships are ideal. In fact, I do have certain family members who I don’t get on with as well. I recognise this is due to the different belief systems we have, the difference of opinions and ini some cases the way someone has been raised and the current mental health of a family member.

Despite our differences I try hard to maintain the relationships I have with family much harder than I would if someone I considered difficult to deal with was only an acquaintance.

Being Kind to Family Members

So It’s not always easy to be kind to those family members who seem to always have something negative to say, who don’t support you or look out for your best interests. In fact, you may find yourself distancing yourself from these types of people.

I won’t go into detail but someone I know has two siblings, one siblings is supportive and kind and despite living far away speaks regular to his older brother. The other sibling however is polite but doesn’t bother contacting family, only at Christmas and the contact never seems genuine but more obligatory.

I guess at some point in life we need to look at all our relationships, be it with friends or family members and decided how important they are to us.

Family Therapy to Improve Relationships

If there is a certain family member that you really want to improve your relationship with then the good news is there are lots of books, strategies and tips for working on this. However if things are at breaking point or there is a certain issue, there may be a time that you require a Family Therapist. If you want to find which therapist is right for your family then you could visit here!

Family therapist can help with many issues from Domestic violence to a major trauma, family adjustments, divorce, parental conflict, grief or behavioural issues.

Benefits of Family Therapy

Family therapy just like individual therapy can really benefit relationships which are strained or at breaking point and is a good opportunity for both growth and development. If one of the family members is unable or unwilling to take part you can always see a family therapist on your own to discuss the issues you are heaving and help you move forward with these problems. After all not every family member will acknowledge issues and not everyone is willing to have therapy.

Some of the benefits of family counselling can include:

  • A better understanding of healthy boundaries and family dynamics.
  • Better communication between family members.
  • Better empathy and understanding of issues.
  • Reduced arguments, conflict and anger.
  • An improvement in problem solving skills.

Ending a Relationship

Whilst the goal is improve family relationships and often is to improve a marriage or union, sometimes this is not possible. I for example have been divorced and that was the only healthy option for me and my own sanity.

When a relationship is too violent, too toxic and soul destroying, then no one should or has to stay or remain in this kind of dynamic, be it a marriage or a relationship between siblings, parents and child or other family members.

Sometimes we do have to put our foot down and protect ourselves from people who are damaging to our wellbeing. If after all we can do we find therapy is not working, or if the other participant is unwilling to work on things or make attempts to improve poor and unacceptable behaviour then sometimes we may need to cut ties.

I’ve experience both times when I’ve cut ties and times when i’ve worked on things and a relationship has improved. At the end of the day it really comes down to choice. You cannot control someone else, their thoughts or actions but you can control your own and control your own destiny….and a therapist may be super useful in this case.


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