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Relationships Unhappy Families Are a Blessing

Relationships Unhappy Families Are a Blessing

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Published by ElsabeSmit
If you have a destructive relationship with a parent or child or other close relative, read this article. Once you understand what the relationship is about, you can decide whether to tolerate the person or cut off ties.
If you have a destructive relationship with a parent or child or other close relative, read this article. Once you understand what the relationship is about, you can decide whether to tolerate the person or cut off ties.

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Published by: ElsabeSmit on Dec 10, 2010
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Copyright © Elsabe Smit 2010
Unhappy families are a blessing
By Elsabe Smit, Author of It’s Over! Move On And Feel Good About Yourself I recently read a fascinating book about Henry VIII and his six wives. The author of thebook states that happy families all resemble one another, while unhappy families areunhappy in their own unique ways. And Henry VIII was very good at creating unique unhappy families. He was married sixtimes. During an age where divorce was the last option and the divorce of a monarchwas unthinkable, he divorced his first wife, had the second one beheaded, lost the thirdin child-birth, divorced number four, had number five beheaded and left number sixwidowed.I recently attended a talk where the presenters described their upbringing to give someperspective to their product. They started the presentation by asking the audience howmany people were from dysfunctional families. As you could expect, some hands wentup immediately (some people like to define themselves by means of their history ratherthan who they really are) and other hands went up reluctantly (because we all havesome skeletons in our closets).The one presenter then said “As I expected – we are all from dysfunctional families” asif that was a given. It became clear during their presentation that their view of theworld being populated by dysfunctional families impacted on everything they hadpersonally experienced.It reminded me again that we like to put labels on people, because it makes us feelsafe. We tend to compare ourselves to other people, see their challenges in life andthen see our own challenges in a far better light. You may have heard about the woman who discovered that her husband was having anaffair. They moved in circles where this happened quite often, but people were verydiscrete about it. However, this woman was determined not to share her husband.She confronted her husband with the evidence, and he calmly acknowledged that hewas having an affair with a particular woman. He reminded her that his friend Bob hadbeen having an affair for years, that she was aware of it and never had an issue with it.However, the wife would not tolerate her own husband having an affair, and of courseshe then threatened to divorce him if he did not end the affair immediately.His response was “OK, you can have a divorce. You will also have your credit cardtaken away from you, which means you will have to get a job. You will no longer get a
Copyright © Elsabe Smit 2010
Copyright © Elsabe Smit 2010
new car every two years or holidays on tropical islands once a year. You will not beable to buy designer clothes or get your regular beauty treatments. Would you reallylike a divorce?” The wife thought about this for a while, and then said “I think our mistress is far morebeautiful than Bob’s.” On a more serious note, the reasons why families are “dysfunctional” or challenging arebecause they teach us things about ourselves. We choose our families before we enterthis existence because our interaction with them highlights our own particular needs forspiritual growth. Somehow we allow families to get away with behaviour that we woulddefinitely not tolerate from others. We do this because we intuitively know our familieslove us and will always love us no matter what. We tolerate their actions until we havelearnt what we needed to learn from them, and once we understand, our love for themonly becomes deeper.Some people thrive on their badges of being from dysfunctional families. That blurstheir own perceptions, but that is also part of their journeys.I know of a couple who were both abandoned as babies. The husband was from alarge family, and he was given away to an unmarried aunt who had a no children but avery strong maternal drive – so strong that she in fact emotionally abused the boy. Bythe age of about ten, he was claimed back by his mother. You can imagine the impactthis upbringing had on him.The wife was given to her grandparents when she was a baby, because both parentshad serious health problems. She grew up thinking that her grandparents were herparents, until she was six years old. She had no contact with her biological parents anddid not even know that they were alive. Then her parents simply appeared one dayand claimed her back and took her home with them. Imagine the impact this had onthe little girl, being taken away from a familiar environment and having to get used totwo complete strangers who were now the new figures of authority in her life.These two people then married and had a daughter. The daughter became anorexicand suicidal in her teens and nearly ruined her parents financially and emotionally withher excessive demands for things and situations that could potentially make her happyand stop her torturing herself and her parents.The parents liked to describe the whole experience as an intervention from the HolySpirit to help them realise that money and earthly possessions are not important. Theydescribed their daughter as a “very mature teacher” of spiritual lessons.My view was that they were both abandoned as children, and then overcompensatedwith their child’s upbringing by smothering her with their version of parental love. They
Copyright © Elsabe Smit 2010
Copyright © Elsabe Smit 2010
did everything they could to give her the opposite of the childhood they had. Thedaughter then rebelled by becoming anorexic and by playing on their guilt feelings andmanipulating them to the hilt.How would they react to a different view on their experiences? Would they sit up andthink about it and learn even more about their journey? Would they reject a view thatclashes with their view of the world and continue to miss the point? Or is this a point Iwant to make based on my ignorance? After all, I was not there and heard theirversion of the events long after they took place. And those are the questions that each of us – at least those that do come fromunhappy families- have to ask of ourselves.Being a member of an unhappy family is a challenge because our relatives remind ustime and again of our own dark sides. Because it is a challenge, we tend to prefer theleast painful perspective on the issue.How would each of us react to a view of our lives that focuses on the pain? Would weunderstand that the healing will only take place once we experience an equal amount of pain and pleasure, and achieve a balanced perspective on our experiences?Confronting our own dark side is a brave act. We often choose to gloss over it, or wearit as a “badge of injury” rather than deal with it.Once we start to search for the advantages in the experiences that shaped us, we gainan understanding of where and how it fits into the Master Plan. We see that everysingle experience has a positive and a negative side. We stop focusing on the negativeside and get a balanced view. Only then can we experience gratitude and get a feelingof the immense Love that God has for us. That is the moment where our lives reallybegin. And that is the moment when a dysfunctional family begins to heal and start to see andlove the lighter side of one another.If you want to discover why you have such a challenging family relationship and howyou can deal with it, click on the links below to obtain yourFREEe-book How Do I Get Out Of This Relationship?worth £6.97  AND A FREEcopy of the videoWhy relationships Never Failworth £8.87 If you want to finally put a destructive family relationship behind you and get on with
Copyright © Elsabe Smit 2010

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