Family Conflict 2018-02-22T19:18:49-05:00


Everybody deals with some family conflict. Family conflict is extremely common. It may be a minor issue, or it could be a major issue. When it comes to family, no matter how hard we try, we cannot trade them in. It is in the family dynamic that we learn how to love, trust, and socialize. When we do not have good examples of this, we may grow up with misaligned ideas. Not all families are perfect, and although you may face issues, it is always best to try to resolve them.

The family is such an important part of who we are. It is an important part of our development as well. Things that we do now as adults are typically related to how we were raised. The way we think and act is also a reflection of our childhood environment. Even our belief systems tend to reflect our families. Some of us come from a big blended family, where we lived with step-parents or grandparents. Others had a more intimate family dynamic with just your mom and dad and maybe one sibling. Either way, I’m sure we have all had a disagreement, especially with our siblings.  When you are so close to people, arguments are going to happen. Everybody is different, and their ways of doing things may not be the same as yours. It does not necessarily make them wrong.

Family conflict begins when family members have a difference of opinion. When everyone agrees, there is no conflict; it is only when there is disagreement that conflicts originate. It may be a difference in thought, or it could be a disagreement in action. Family conflict typically involves more than just two people. It usually involves everyone because people begin to take sides. It may even be a situation where everyone is against one person. Conflicts may start over money or divorce. Other conflicts affect family dynamic. There may be disagreements on having kids and the proper way to take care of the child. As kids reach school age, there may be a disagreement on which school the child should attend. As newlyweds, conflict is nearly inevitable.  

It is the larger conflicts that are hard to get over. Whenever your trust is broken, regaining it becomes a hard task. It is unfortunate that sometimes members of your family can just be spiteful. They do things purposely to get under your skin. They lie, cheat, and attempt to make your life difficult. It is really sad when family members take advantage of you because you are kind or giving. There could be conflicts that result from just someone being offended. Some families go years without speaking because of unresolved conflict. It is not good to hold a grudge against family members forever. It is best to attempt to talk things out and come to a solution.

Most of the time, family conflict is resolved by simply talking it out. It may even take a mediator to sit down with you and be a neutral party. In larger family conflicts, you may have to use a third party like therapists. Therapists do not only help in individual situations, but they can be helpful in family conflict as well. A marriage and family counselor is a good source of help. They have the tools and methods necessary to help resolve a conflict. When there are deep hurt and resentment, a therapist is also there to help you heal from those feelings. It may take several sessions before anything is resolved, and it may take even longer for a complete resolution. Going from a situation where you were not talking to your family at all, to a situation where you can at least be in the same room with them, is definitely progress.

Going to court may not be the method of choice for you, but it may be the only option. When money or property issues are involved, the court is best at settling it. You should always try to settle things without the interference of the law. When you and your family just cannot come to an agreement, outside people may have to get involved. If you have the proper paperwork, you can have a legit court case. You cannot go to court with “he said, she said” information. Many times we do things for our family members based on their word. This is not always the best way. In business situations, make contracts. Make sure there is a clear understanding of expectations. When those contracts are broken, it is possible to go to court.
Family conflict should not tear your family apart. Disagreements are just a part of being in a family. There is always going to be a difference of opinion, but being able to talk it out without the fighting and bickering makes conflict resolution easier. You should be willing to work things out. Do not allow small offenses to draw a huge wedge between you and your family member. If you are unable to resolve your problems, speak with a family therapist. Sometimes have that neutral third party is helpful. In more legal matters, take your problems to a judge to settle. No matter what the conflict is, learn to forgive. Your family may not be perfect, but they are yours.



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