Family Ties?

I’m a bad relative.

Outside of my husband and children I really truly and honestly feel no familial ties to anyone, other than my aunt, my cousin and her children on my maternal side.

Sad.

Before you start judging there is history. I never grew up in a tight close knit family. When my mother was living for as long as I could remember it was us, her two sisters and my cousins, then one of my aunts died and you do the math. This is a sad realization because my father has a huge side but I never really got close to them. I point no fingers, but I will say that I was a child and had no control over those things. Since Facebook I have had more contact with my father’s side and they are all open to growing a relationship with me and I’m not trying I just feel like its too late, although I know it isn’t.

Now as an adult I realize in some ways that this has made me cold hearted unintentionally toward family ties, needs, requests, etc. This makes me kind of inwardly sad. I read your posts of how close your families are and I can’t connect in the least bit. Like zilch. How am I going to teach my children something that I don’t know.

I find more loyalty in my friends than family at times, but I think its because I don’t try to give family more of a chance. My inlaws have been okay with me, but there have been things said and done around my mothers passing that makes it very hard for me to forgive and forget but I move on. Yet, I feel that some of them want something from me that I really can’t give. It’s not in me.

I say I will try to call more often, send pictures of the children etc…but it never happens because these things and let’s be honest people are not really priorities in my life. Some have said awful things, thrown major shade and others haven’t been there at the most important times in my life, yet I stand in the gap when they need something..it’s cool. Really.

What can I say. I’ve tried. It’s not working. I move on. I’m fine with it…except I don’t want my children growing up this way. I’m just not sure how to fix it.

How are your dealings with your family? If not so good how do you not pass this on to your children. If you don’t have children how have you overcome these issues or did you just throw up your hands?

This was an (unofficial) stream of consciousness. Is All things Fadra’s linky still open?!!!!

About the author
Mom, wife and friend. I moonlight as a cooker, baker, laundry folder and organizer. I like to think I do it in style. Unlikely Martha is my contribution to the internet in helping women "Keep House and Stay Fly!"

20 Comments

  1. Family sucks sometimes and the reality is we don’t choose them they are given to us. I’m not in your particular situation because I have been close to several of my family members growing up and into adulthood. The problem I’m getting is that the older I get I’m starting to grow apart from them. Sadly I realizing that most of them I really don’t like as a person I could never see myself around them if they weren’t my family. And it’s even sadder that most of them do nothing but talk bad about me or take joy in seeing my fail or not do as well. People like that I don’t need in my life so I choose not to have them close to me. They are still family so I’m cordial but I keep them at arms length. I want my kids to understand the importance of close family ties as well. They are close to their little cousins just like I was close to mines. The best way I can show them the importance of family is within our own little family. That sets the foundation for what family should be like and hopefully they will carry that on to future generations and create a family bond. We can’t change the past or the people in it so it’s best that we create a better future starting with our future, our children.
    Kim recently posted..Celebrating Our Love

    1. Well said. As we grow we start to see certain people in a different kind of light and at times it is not a good look.

      It is sad that people will readily rejoice in your downfalls and your victories. Always have something to say but when need something will come and look you in your face with no remorse. You are right, our legacy starts over with our own children and we have the ability to mold their views and experiences. The hard part is making sure not to repeat certain behaviors.

  2. Well my family has died out I lost all my close family members in less than one year so I don’t know anything about family either. I would like to have a close knit family but like you my friends do more than family and I am not even going to touch the in laws subject I can write a book on them. I do feel bad that my kids don’t have family but I do try to make sure that my friends are a part of their lives and to them that’s family.

  3. I may speak out of turn here but I just think if you have family that you could potentially have a relationship with then I say put all of the trivial stuff behind you and build a relationship. I would give so much to have family close to me. We’re so far down here in texas and friends and family are few and far in between. My I laws keep to themselves which is cool with me but MY family is very important to me that my daughter know who they are and build a relationship. I don’t know I just feel as if you’re blood then u owe some sort of effort to build something. I know family can hurt u worst blah blah but in the grand scheme of things they’re suppose to be family. I would give anything to have family members close to me.

    1. I wish I felt that way. I guess to have that feeling is to have known a true family unit. I’m trying to maintain relationships for the sole purpose of my children but sometimes I try so hard that I am quite certain that it comes off fake. Phony I don’t do, so I would rather just leave it be and let time heal old wounds and move forward.

  4. I’m more close to my brother and mom than I am to anyone else in my family. My sister–no comment. I do understand what you mean though, my father’s side of the family I’m not really close with, but I’m trying to open that relationship up. I’m glad for Facebook that allows us to keep connected to family, but I don’t see myself going on there as often as possible (or posting pictures). I’m not good at calling, or sending pictures. I just think that it’s hard to change patterns that were created for you, but it takes one step at a time.

    As for my husband’s family, I’m so GLAD I don’t speak Chinese (yet). They’ve said so many things (which was really off base), that they’ve been trying to “make it up to us” now–years later after they said it. I won’t hold a grudge against them for ignorance. But time has made things a lot better.
    KalleyC recently posted..Getting to “That” Stage in Life

  5. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile but was unable to leave a comment until recently–something glitchey I imagine! Anyhow, we have a few things in common. I too, recently lost my mother (four years ago 2/8. I also lost my husband in the same year 11/8) and I am also not close to my family. Wow, truly felt like I could have written that post! My family is relatively small as death has consumed many. My grandmother was an only child, my grandfather went to “visit” his family in TX and never returned to his wife and six children, three of those children who are now deceased, and I don’t know my father, so that leaves a whole lot of people missing. Of my five siblings, only two really interact with me, even though I had guardianship of my estranged brother’s child for 2.5 years…I’m always standing in the gap…My youngest sister did not attend my baby shower nor came to visit us when my son was born. She did not see him until he was a year and four days old and that was because we attended nmy brother’s wedding. Even at the wedding she barely mumbled a greeting to me and never glanced at my little boy. My fiance was amazed at her nonchalance and still talks about it to this day.
    I have three aunts left that I was close to when I was younger, but I’ve grown apart from them all. I just try to accept it, although many find it strange that we are not close, but it is what it is. I refuse to force any relationships. I try my best to supply my children what they need. It does make me sad that they don’t have access to everyone as they should. But a lot of my family members are users and only want what they can get out of me because I have a “good job.” This post really hit close to home!
    I am currently engaged and I feed his family with a long handled spoon as well. They are messy, jealous, and drama-seeking. My fiance has a child by an exgirlfriend and they invite her to every family function solely to see if any heat jumps off. I tried in the beginning but I just couldn’t pretend that those are the kind of people I enjoy dealing with. It bothers him because he really wants me to be close to them, even though he has admitted he “knows how they are.”I’m sure I am perceived as stuck up and that I think I am better than them because I am educated (the same attitude I receive from my three siblings that dislike me). And I really wanted a good relationship with his mother because I need an older female influence in my life, however, she has cussed me out twice for trying to “take her son awayfrom her.” Albeit she was drunk, but I just can’t deal with abusive behavior like that. I had to put up fences and blocked her from calling my cell and house phone. I only attend a few of their family functions per year. Nor do I visit, call, or text any of them. When I do see them, I am cordial, but that’s it. I don’t deal well with greedy, opportunistic people like that. It’s been alluded that I keep my son away from them. It’s true that I don’t take him to their houses, but if they want to see him, they know the address.
    Yes, it’s hurtful and gets lonely but I am learning to accept my life. as it is I truly see my family as my two sons, my fiance, my brother and his family, and my sister and her family. We can’t all be the Huxtables.
    Morocco recently posted..Pink Potluck: A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

    1. We need to have a virtual drink. I think losing a mother just starts somewhat of a downward spiral. You really see who is in your corner and who isn’t when you go through that process.

      I think you said a moutful when you said you are learning to accept your life. I’m at that point. It hurts to deal with the bad things about myself. Good or bad in other people’s eyes I have to be true to me and I am fine now with being the bad guy. I’m just not going to be uncomfortable in my life to accomodate others. You all made valid points. I have to start with a strong family unit within these walls.

  6. If you have extended your hand before that is all you can do. You will stress yourself out trying to get people on the same page. I NEVER had a relationship with my father. Now he acts like I am a bad daughter because I dont call him. Plus he has kids… I’m like… I dont know you… Your not that relevant for me to even think to call. That’s a whole other blog!

    I would just suggest loving your kids the best you can!
    Baby Shopaholic recently posted..Versona Accessories Grand Opening

  7. I can truly relate to this. There are many reasons why I’m not closer with most of my family and I guess I’m still sorting through all of that. I also get the part about feeling like my friends feel more like family to me than many of my family members do. At some point, very recently actually, I decided to stop feeling guilty about it because it just brings me down when there is so much to feel positive about. I still have lots of unsettled feelings toward my family, but no hard feelings. I just wish them well from a distance.
    GG recently posted..Becoming a Certain Kind of Woman

  8. I’m one of those who was always very close to my family. My parents have always put family as a priority. My cousins and I grew up like brothers and sisters, but i find myself growing away from them as we get older. But some family you just have to recognize that they are family and move on. No amount of hand holding , phone calling or kumbaying is going to help that relationship. With family, sometimes you have to forgive and try to forget. Because they are family. It’s hard. I hold grudges. But if any of them needed me, I’d be there…within reason. :). All you can do for your kids is to start with your own family, and emphasize the importance of that.
    Rose’s Daughter recently posted..Back in the Saddle Again…

  9. I can imagine from where you are writing this post, everyone can so relate one way or the other..there are some part of my father or mother’s family that I don’t want to even know them but for family sake and the act of forgiveness. The things they did to my mother and father, God help me forgive them. Reality is that I choose to associate more with their kids and less with the adult themselves. More like my cousins and nephews in my age range…less with aunts and uncles, they are all older than me and if I don’t have anything to talk about, why am I calling? lol All I do is respect them, rarely call..lol
    destiny-ync recently posted..My nail polish collection so far….If you don’t like nail polish, this post will be so boring to you. Happy weekend everyone, may God keep you always..bye!

  10. Wow… you really touched home. I can definitely relate to this! I’m really only close to my mom and my siblings. My dad and I were once really close, but some things happened so it’s not like it was. Since he and my mom separated when I was no older than 2 or 3, I’m not as close with his side of the family. Well… I can’t use the separation as an excuse. When I was younger, I was so close with them. As I got older I just kind of drifted away and I really do hate that now. When I go around I sometimes feel like I’m not apart of all of their close relationships, but that’s no fault of theirs. I just don’t go around, so they don’t really have a chance to get close to me. But… I REALLY want those close relationships. Really! It’s just strange feeling like I have to grow relationships that were once there and were lost for no reason. Maybe a should make an effort. I think you should at least give it a try also. A close knit family is a great thing to have.
    AllThingsMe recently posted..Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

  11. You that saying blood is thicker than water? Yeah, I don’t believe in that. While we can’t choose our biological family, we can still build the family we need using friends, spiritual leaders, etc. I’m not close to my dad’s family except for his half sister and I’ve started to drift apart from my mom’s family. With the exception of my aunts, I don’t really communicate with any of my other family members.

    I refuse to surround myself with drug users, people who want to case my place and are always looking for a handout. As a child, my aunts and uncles made it clear that they felt like all me and siblings were going to do was make babies. And now as an adult, I haven’t forgotten those words. We have all proved them wrong and lead successful lives.

    In fact, my mom is the only person in her family who’s children have not been to jail, done drugs or anything seriously illegal. And now they hate and say that we think we’re better than them. I feel bad that outside of my siblings and our individual families that I don’t really have any other family bond, but I do realize that like you, I was a child and I couldn’t control where the chips fell. Now as an adult, people are still throwing shade and I refuse to ignore it because we’re blood related.

    The Bible says if your right hand offends you cut it off and I have cut off some of my family. As far as in-laws, I don’t deal with them either. My husband’s mom didn’t care enough to give up drugs to raise him and left him on the street one day chasing a fix. So, he ended up in foster homes, group homes and eventually got his own apartment. Your children will be fine.

    You have to tell them about what you went through and let them know that you want that cycle to end. I’m teaching my kids about what family is supposed to be about. I’m surrounding myself by friends and mentors and leaders who can serve as our adopted family. Sometimes, you have to make a way.
    YUMMommy recently posted..Future Fortified

  12. I’m not close to my family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) as I would like to be. My husband’s family is REALLY close and I get a little jealous sometimes. I feel closer to some of them than my own “blood” relatives. Thing is nothing bad happened, but nothing ever really happened to seal our bond. After grandma aka Big Mama died everyone went their separate ways…….
    I think that you can still raise your children in a way that promotes family & love. Regarding your relatives be kind, love them in spite of, and your children will see your walk & follow in your footsteps. They will also see how they respond to you and easily know right from wrong.
    Also, I have friends that are closer than family. 😉
    Optimistic Mom recently posted..Finding your Passion – honoring Harriett Tubman

  13. you hit a nerve with this one, didn’t you? well, it looks like many of us have some sort of family issues. i don’t have a close relationship with my dad’s side of the family at all. wish it was different but what can i do at this point? we’re cordial and we get along when we see each other at family functions but that’s about it. my mom’s side of the family is the side i’m closer to. i really grew up with them. we spent summers together and stuff so we created that bond when I was younger. that wasn’t the case with my dad’s side of the family and it feels odd to force it now. ya know?
    Cam | Bibs & Baubles recently posted..When Cooties Attack

  14. Thanks for sharing such a person stream of consciousness sis! I’m very close to my family, but DH is not close to his family at all. He’s grown to love mine, but I know he has issues of resentment related to it. They’ve embraced him openly but because he didn’t come from that, it’s taken him a long time to realize that they hold no ulterior motives beyond loving him as an extension of me. I’m definitely much closer to my mom’s side, but thanks to FB, I’m growing closer to my mom’s side.

    Like all things, you’ve got to make your way and your decisions. I applaud you for considering the long terms effects on your children. But, as a few others have said, sometimes the village of friends that we turn into “family” is just what the doctor ordered. It’s obvious that your children are surrounded by love!! (((((HUGS)))))
    MrsTDJ recently posted..A Little of This and A Little of That

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