Repairing broken family bonds

TheosisSeeker

Robin
Orthodox Catechumen
Not to get into much detail, but I have a strained relationship with my immediate family. I believe it's been the biggest thing holding me back that I have not overcome. I've been able to practice some forgiveness over the years, but the negative feelings always surface when I am around them. This echoes like a chain into my normal life where forming bonds has even been difficult, although I have been successful.

I do not trust the psych industry and clergy have been lukewarm helpful in their advice. I do pray about it as well.

Does anyone have this issue and what have you done to alleviate it? Or is it just a cross I/we need to bear?

Edit: Another question can anyone reference legitimate practicing Orthodox or Catholic counselors?
 

SeaEagle

Robin
Catholic
Not to get into much detail, but I have a strained relationship with my immediate family. I believe it's been the biggest thing holding me back that I have not overcome. I've been able to practice some forgiveness over the years, but the negative feelings always surface when I am around them.

I do not trust the psych industry and prayer and clergy have been lukewarm helpful in their advice. I do pray about it as well.

Does anyone have this issue and what have you done to alleviate it? Or is it just a cross I/we need to bear?
I've been in this situation, and one can always pray more. It is certainly a cross to bear, but one should love from a distance if contact is a source of injury. Patience is key in situations like this, and acting instead of reacting.
 

Tom Slick

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Not to get into much detail, but I have a strained relationship with my immediate family.
I have been and am still in this situation, meaning that there has been amazing improvement in some relationships, but not in others.

Even before I became a catechumen, I realized I wanted to and must forgive my family, but I was only able to speak to one of them, who was fortunately totally receptive, and also obviously wanted to improve the relationship, which had been our mutual desire for some years. However, old patterns kept repeating when we spent time together, which caused us to continue getting on each others' nerves, to say the least, lol.

After I found the Orthodox church, became a catechumen, and learned to pray, I asked Mother Mary, the Theotokos, to help me and my family, and the improvements were immediate and have continued since, which was one of several things that I experienced that convinced me how important the Orthodox church is because we need it in order to learn how to pray, how to follow God's law and will, etc.

The family member with whom my relationship has improved so drastically, I would say miraculously, was someone that I could easily see as often as we wished because we lived nearby each other, but there was another close family member for whom I've prayed, but there has been no change. We don't live in the same city and I still to this day have great difficulty forgiving, so it's likely because I am not ready and/or the other person is not ready that nothing has happened. There has been no occasion for us to meet, which might have been for the best if we're both not ready as it would just be awkward and uncomfortable.

I believe it's been the biggest thing holding me back that I have not overcome.

For me, it seems that the inability to forgive is one of the biggest things. God knows this about me and I believe that because I entered the church, learned to pray, and have asked Jesus to order my life as he will, that I am being helped to learn how to forgive and let things go. I believe God helps me to see my fault with more clarity as time goes by and to take advantage of opportunities to improve as much as I am able, which I think is how he helps all of us on the path to salvation when we are willing to accept his help and guidance.

It really looks like the one family member with whom my relationship has improved was able to put everything in the past rather quickly, like in a couple of months it seemed, whereas I am taking years, but that's what I am able to do. If I persist, God will keep me on track and things will improve.

I have an intuition that because of God's help, eventually I will be able to forgive and love the other family member(s) for whom I still harbor some resentment.
 

magaman

Kingfisher
Orthodox Inquirer
It's been said that we are supposed to be forgiving towards family and put them above everything else but I'm at the point right now to where I don't care about it anymore. No one really reaches out to one another and the one family member I live with, it's becoming clear that my father and I are fighting way different battles and we are starting to resent each other. I'm at the point right now to where I want my dad out of my life. He just had an almost-meltdown because I told him that complying with COVID tyranny is not how we win. He tried to imply he knows what I'm going through but then I told him he's never had to deal with anything like this and now he says he doesn't to understand yet he's "on my side". If I had the means I would have been gone already because our relationship has been nothing but problems for months. He also criticized me for wanting to fight a culture war (which I guess you can call it that) and tells me I'm not living in reality when the reality is he hasn't had to work since the 90s and has no experience with the world today, other than what he sees online.

Honestly I'm pretty heated right now because my Dad's attitude is that of a loser boomer that talks a big game but always ends up going along with the narrative. I've just had it and I don't want him in my life anymore. I'm sure the Bible would say something against that but I'm a sinner and I need Jesus to have mercy on me and for Theotokos to save me. If it wasn't already crystal clear before, there are no middle roads anymore; no roads that will satisfy everyone; I've got be all in with you guys. I'm proud to say that I don't even want and refuse to get a COVID test unless it's basically forced on me, let alone a vaccine, because playing their game only emboldens the regime and will cause things to get worse. I'd rather be homeless and miss a day or two worth of meals than to enable the regime.
 

EndlessGravity

 
Banned
Protestant
Not to get into much detail, but I have a strained relationship with my immediate family. I believe it's been the biggest thing holding me back that I have not overcome. I've been able to practice some forgiveness over the years, but the negative feelings always surface when I am around them. This echoes like a chain into my normal life where forming bonds has even been difficult, although I have been successful.

I do not trust the psych industry and clergy have been lukewarm helpful in their advice. I do pray about it as well.

Does anyone have this issue and what have you done to alleviate it? Or is it just a cross I/we need to bear?

Edit: Another question can anyone reference legitimate practicing Orthodox or Catholic counselors?

At some point you have to accept your family are just people, flawed and full of mistakes. Understanding what you want to get out of the relationship and setting healthy boundaries to stick to can usually fix most things. Then also, when the relationship steers toward old habits or old problems, don't feed back into it with negative emotions. Recognize what's happening, speak clearly if needed about it but don't make a big deal out of it, and re-establish the boundaries.

I can't let hardly any of my family be alone with my children because of how toxic they can be. However, I made that commitment and I stick to it. I don't get emotional about it because I'm in control of the situation and how I want the interactions to go. So are you.
 
Top