Family relationships - difficult, wonderful, changing
How family relationships are formed, how to fix them and how to start creating new ones.
The beginning is the most important
There is no need to convince anyone that healthy relationships in the family are essential for a happy life. Building proper family relationships is a real challenge in the modern world, full of stress and without enough time. The most basic factor for maintaining good family relationships is undoubtedly spending time together. However, just living together will not form these bonds and ensure happiness. We can coexist in the same home, but in fact live separate lives. If, as parents, we have not maintained our lasting, deep relationship while bringing up our children together, then when they move out of the house, the abandoned nest syndrome can appear. Suddenly it turns out that we no longer have common interests with our partner, and we cannot spend time together as a couple. Then what? Can this be changed? Can everyone live in their own way? Whoever is in a long-term relationship knows that difficult moments can happen at any time. It’s important to be able to talk about it without grievances or blaming yourself.
What can you do if you have bad memories?
It will not be easy but you have to be aware that what has broken down over many years cannot be rebuilt in a week. It is a long process and only those who really want to repair the damage can enjoy spending time together again. Remember to show cordiality and kindness, let us try to surprise each other. Our previous hobbies, which we may have neglected due to lack of time when the children were growing up, may be of great help. You can also start discovering new things together, getting to know new places, i.e. doing what gives both of you pleasure. There are many possibilities. We still have many years to look forward to living together. Let's build our relationship anew. Take into account your common needs and interests, but don’t forget about your individuality. Let's enjoy life and our time together as if we were 20 again.
Do you need help?
If, despite our best efforts, we do not enjoy being together, and all attempts to get closer to each other are unsuccessful, then we can always seek outside help. Getting the advice of a counsellor, psychologist or psychotherapist is no longer something embarrassing or to be ashamed of. It is worth investing in improving one’s relationship. It is worth believing in yourselves again and in your unity. We still have many years ahead of us. Try to make the most of this chance.
It may happen, however, that despite repeated attempts, we are no longer able to be together. As lonely strangers, living under the same roof, we realize every day that we are not happy. Maybe the moment has finally come to change something in your life. Maybe it would be better if each of you go your own way and find happiness again, in a new place with a new partner...? This is the most drastic, final option.
Adult children - a new chapter begins
We all grew up in different families. Some were toxic, some were amazing, but most were quite ordinary. The parents were loving and caring, but they also made some mistakes and were helpless at times. Even if we have grown-up children, in difficult moments we often feel a strong need for closeness, usually with our mother, with whom we have special ties. There are different styles of parenting. Depending on what we have adopted in our home our relations with adult children may be affected. There are mothers and fathers who, even when the children leave the family nest, continue to control, evaluate and criticize - that is, repeat their mistakes from the past. This has a negative impact on relationships and if we do not notice it in time and do not work on it, we can lose everything. After all, as we grow older, we also want love, closeness and warmth with the people we love most in the world.
By controlling and criticizing your adult child, we will make contact very limited. Instead of repairing relationships, we will push each other away, there will be distance and emotional coldness between us. Children will be reluctant to let us participate in their lives, and yet the connection between parents and children is one of the most important and beautiful relationships in life. It is very important to understand the fact that children are independent and want to live their lives in their own way. Try not to interfere in their affairs, but provide support in difficult times. Listen to their problems and try to resolve past conflicts. Don’t be afraid of criticism. It is likely to be painful, but honesty will clear the tense atmosphere and change the nature of the relationship between parents and adult children. Initiate conversations on difficult topics and don’t sweep problems under the rug. Remember that adult children want to have adult contact with their parents. Try to be equal partners with our children. Above all, remember that you can’t live the lives of your children. Look for new passions and develop existing ones. Don’t limit your thoughts and actions to what your children do and how they live. Now you can enjoy the benefits of life. If we are fulfilled and happy, this positive energy will be felt in our relations with children. Remember that we hope it will be our children who will help and care for us in our old age. Make this task easier for them, and they will do it not out of duty but out of love.
Fortunately, most relationships with adult children are good. We can count on them, and they can count on us, and when the grandchildren come along, the daughter or son may show a greater understanding of our past mistakes. Relationships often become partner-like, respectful and trusting. Supporting your children, even when they are adults, strengthens this unique bond. We can enjoy our time with grandchildren and help in raising them, provided we do it wisely.
Distant relations - or close relatives?
When we refer to the family, we usually mean parents and children. However, the family is also close and distant relatives. When we are middle aged, we often become reflective and sentimental. We often think back to our childhood and remember the beautiful, carefree moments spent playing with our brother or sister. If there was a warm atmosphere at home, our relations with siblings will probably also be close in adulthood. It will be worse if those relations were not forged when growing up. Very often, love and closeness are intertwined with anger, antipathy and competition with each other. Our relationships in adulthood depend largely on us, but not only. The partners of a sister or brother will also be of great importance in shaping them. Large age differences will no longer matter anymore. Good relations between siblings will result in mutual care and understanding. Sometimes it happens that unresolved conflicts from the past disrupt these relationships. It is worth sitting down and having a sincere conversation, because only then can we gain a friend, a confidant we can share our secrets with or a companion to spend time together with as a brother or sister.
It is worth taking part in family celebrations, such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and finally funerals. These are opportunities to strengthen family ties not only with your immediate family but also your extended family. At such meetings, not only is information exchanged between individual family members, but there is also room for tenderness and expressing positive emotions. A cousin or even a distant cousin can once again become a friend with whom we share common roots. Celebrating Mother's Day and Father's Day makes young people appreciate the values passed on by the older generation and identify with them, passing them on in turn to the next generation. Common values unite and bring family members closer.