Family Relationship Problems

One of the most difficult matters to confront when it comes to family relationships is that you don’t have complete control over it. You cannot control another member of your family. You can’t change them and you can’t fix them and you can’t make them be like you. It takes at least two to tango.

Sometimes you can get another member of your family to change but I wouldn’t count on it. Another option is to accept them just the way they are. This can cause resentment, if your needs are not being met by this person or especially if this person steps over your boundaries.

A third option exists and that is to change yourself in a way that solves the problem. In this case, you need to redefine the problem as an internal one instead of an external one. Your solution will then take the form of an expansion of your awareness as you change your beliefs.

When someone upsets you or causes you frustration, they are reflecting back to you a part of yourself that you dislike. I always say that when someone annoys you, you are looking in the mirror. The mirror will reflect a conflict that you have in your own thinking. As long as you look outside your problem for the answer, you will never resolve that external problem. It may become easier to solve when you look inside for a solution.

Your belief system is at the core of the problem. When you harbor one or more beliefs that perpetuate the relationship problem in its present form, it is the actual beliefs that are the real problem, hence the unhealthy relationship.

An example of this is, perhaps you have the belief that family members are always more important to you than any other relationships. I thought that when I was twelve years old. My sister was my best friend and one day she met a new girl in school and didn’t want me around any more. I was hurt and upset and could never understand why she didn’t like me any more. A big cavern had been created because I didn’t understand. To this very day, it was never resolved. Now, I am too grown up to care.

Perhaps family members treat you badly and you put up with it because they are your family. Ask yourself if you would tolerate this behavior if it came from a stranger. Ask yourself what beliefs you hold, that would make you choose to put up with unacceptable behavior from relatives. Are those beliefs really true and are they working for you.

I love my parents and siblings unconditionally but we are not really close. I believe that I was the black sheep and now we live very different lives. I am a flamboyant liberal and they are conservative. That’s just the way it is. We still visit occasionally and talk until midnight.

Our family is important to us when we grow up. That is where we learn the most. Our interactions with them are the classrooms of life. Each and every confrontation we have with them is a lesson that we will take with us when we leave the nest. I’ll actually go so far as to say that the purpose of human relationships may be the expansion of consciousness itself. Through the process of identifying and resolving relationship problems, we’re forced to deal with our internal incongruencies. And as we become more conscious on the inside, our relationships expand towards greater consciousness on the outside.