Common Family Fights That Can Last A Lifetime

May 16, 2019  |  
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family fights together

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I have spoken to a lot of people about their family drama. Perhaps because they know what a roller coaster my family has been, friends see me as a sort of pseudo therapist in these matters. I am not trained officially in the matters of family therapy but I have certainly had my share of first-hand experience with some of the most awkward and complicated family matters. So, people talk to me. And what I have come to learn, is that, yes all of our families are a little bit crazy. I have also come to learn that when it comes to family feuds, we all sort of fight about the same thing over and over again. Many fights are just a different manifestation of the same issue. Family is funny like that. You may never resolve these things, and yet you will love your family the entire time, anyways. Here are family fights that can last a lifetime.


You don’t spend enough time with me

There will always be a relative—be it a cousin, a sibling, or a parent—who insists you don’t spend enough time with her. When you visit, she’ll only point out that you should have stayed an extra day rather than give you credit for the time you stayed. It’s just her backwards way of expressing love.


You don’t help the family enough

To some degree, you’ll be made to feel guilty for not helping the family more. You should’ve traveled to your grandparents to help them move or you should have taken time off work to stay with your sibling the days after she had a baby. This will be especially true if you’re the child who moved away from home.


Why aren’t you more accomplished

The question won’t come off like this, but your parents may always want that next big thing for you. You may feel they look right past your accomplishments and just ask, “Why aren’t you the CEO yet?” Or “why don’t you make as much money as this other person in the same job?”


I don’t understand your line of work

Your family may not understand why you went into the line of work you entered or, more specifically, why you didn’t do what they wanted you to do. You may try forever to get them to see what you love about what you do and that day may never come.


You don’t care about my spouse

Perhaps your sibling feels you don’t make enough of an effort with her spouse or your parent thinks you need a better relationship with your stepparent. The relationship with outside parties like in-laws can always be criticized in some way.


You like this family member better

Jealousy is a big thing amongst family members. Maybe your parents are divorced and both look for signs constantly that you favor the other parent. Maybe you have multiple siblings and each argues over who has the better sibling relationship.


You help everyone more than me

There is often a martyr in the family who feels slighted. This could be your sibling who feels slighted because you let the other sibling live with you, but won’t lend this one money. It could be your mother who feels you show up whenever your father is sick, but don’t do the same for her. There is always someone who keeps score of how much help they do or don’t receive.


We aren’t close enough

My mother, for example, has complained for years we aren’t close enough. She only seems vaguely satisfied with our interactions if by the end of them everyone is crying from a heart to heart. And even then she’ll call me after I leave and say that our relationship isn’t what it could be.


You chose to leave us

As mentioned before, if you’re the only family member who left town, you may always get grief about that. It can feel unfair—aren’t adults supposed to leave the nest and forge their own path?—but they will mention it your entire life.


You left your religion

If you left the family religion, your family may make it their 24/7 mission to bring you back into the religion every time you visit. Any time you have a life problem, they will somehow point to your lack of religion as the source of the issue.


You’re too critical of my home

Feel your family is too critical of your home? They make too many comments on the decor or cleanliness? Well, pretty much everyone feels that way. On the flip side, if you get in trouble for seemingly small things like leaving crumbs on a table at your family house, that’s common too.


You’re too critical of my appearance

Does your mother or sibling always make comments about your appearance? From your weight to your clothes to your haircut? Almost everyone has a family member who does that. And, it’s usually the mom. And it’s usually her backwards attempt at showing love and trying to make sure the world sees you as beautiful as she does. Yeah, it’s messed up.


Sharing the burden of a troubled family member

It can be tough if you have one family member who just struggles. Perhaps one with a mental illness who struggles to keep a job or a relationship. The rest of the family always swoops in to rescue the person, and argues over who does this the most—or not enough.


You don’t tell me things

My mom always complains that I don’t tell her anything. If she learns a few days late that I had a cold or got in a fight with my boss, rather than jumping to sympathize, she jumps to getting upset I took so long to tell her.


The divorce stretched you thin

If you are a child of divorce this could mean you’re running around from one parent to the other during holidays. Each parent complains to you they don’t see you enough meanwhile you are exhausted and wouldn’t mind some credit for spending your holiday driving back and forth.

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