Are your Family Relationships Causing Heartache?

two women sit on couch feeling sad while mom covering face with hand
by Vance Larson

“They’re toxic and belittle everything I do. But they’re family, and I can’t turn my back on them.” I have heard this my entire professional life from my clients. You may be different. You may stand out however there is no reason why you should endure negative relationships. I don’t care if they are family. Wrong is wrong. It’s not about how they feel about you. It’s about how they feel about themselves. 

Far too many people stay in unproductive relationships but what’s worse, is staying in unhealthy relationships. You may have grown up under the same roof, but that doesn’t mean you should endure years of behaviour that does not support you. Sometimes people are just acting in your best interests. Family or not, it is okay to stand up for yourself. If you are acting with pure intent and they still berate you, simply leave. No one should have license to stifle your spirit, much less darken your soul. 

Blood is biology, not necessarily family.

In the 34 years of providing mental health services, this is a common theme I see play out within my clients. If you are reading this and it resonates with you, then it’s time to leave, cut the cord, or acknowledge that blood is not the end all be all of relationships. I have watched hundreds (if not thousands) of clients over the past 3 decades be subjected to very poor behaviour because of blood. Let me tell you about blood in a relationship. Blood is biology, not necessarily family. You don’t owe anyone, anything, if it is causing you to lose yourself. So if you’re looking for permission, here it is. Run!

I personally have an amazing family, although some I had to exit my life. For those who I have cut ties with, I still love and pray for them nightly. However, what I won’t do, is limit my light for the sake of blood. Not only is that a betrayal on my spirit, but I believe it’s a betrayal on the gifts that God has bestowed upon me. You should not condemn yourself for wanting a life that is healthy. Some of the closest families I have seen, are a beautiful combination of blood and common interest. 

So do yourself a favor. Cut the cord on relationships that are bringing you down. You deserve to be happy. Blood is just biology. It is not ownership papers that tie you together indefinitely.

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