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I don't have any desire to be close with my relatives

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Lucy 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #299569

    Nardis
    Participant

    I read a post here earlier about not having the desire to be close with my family and decided to sign up and get your thoughts on it.

    So let me tell you my story. When I was younger I use to go over to my 3 cousin’s house a lot and we use to play and have a good time together.  I’m much younger than them by at least 8 years. When they got older (when they became teenagers) they suddenly ignored me when I came over with my best friend who also lives in the same city. I wanted to play and hang out with them but we didn’t really talk that day and that hurt me. Obviously this was years ago and I’ve gotten over it but things just haven’t been the same since.

    Over the past years I’ve always had a feeling of dread when I went over to see them. They live a bit far, driving distance but not close where I can see them often. We don’t communicate outside of these events. I’ve forced myself to go their get together (weddings, their children’s parties, etc). It’s always been awkward and I absolutely hate going. My parents are disappointed if I don’t go and it’s hard because I still live with them now so whenever an event comes up that we’re invited to I feel pressured to go. I didn’t go to their last event because I’m tired of going but also feel guilty because they’re suppose to be family even though I don’t have a connection with them. Plus my dad made be feel bad about not going. I never told my parents about how I feel because I’m very sure my dad won’t understand but perhaps my mom would.

    I just want to give up on seeing them because I don’t feel like there’s anything there. Am I suppose to show up to events that have no meaning to me? There are other instances when my parents get invited to something and I feel like I have to go. I don’t want to disappoint my parents and yet I feel like I’m not being true to myself either.

    #299575

    Nardis
    Participant

    One thing I forgot to mention is that they are not bad people. And also, if this wasn’t clear, it’s not awkward because they didn’t talk to me that day when I came over when I was younger, this is just in general whenever I see them. I have no connection with them.

    #299615

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nardis:

    It is very common to “have no connection” to family members, and to have a negative connection to family members. We like or dislike our family members based on emotional experiences we had with them.

    Of course it is your right to not show up to those events. Problem is your father’s disapproval (your mother may be okay with you not going?)  which is more uncomfortable for you because you live with him. I assume the reason he feels uncomfortable about you not showing up is that it makes him look bad in front of other family members (your cousins’ parents perhaps)-

    – is he close to (or competitive with) your cousins’ parents, one of which is his brother or sister?

    anita

    #299645

    Nardis
    Participant

    Hi Anita. Thanks for the reply. Yes my mom seems fine with me not going.

    It’s my dad’s brother’s family. I wouldn’t say they are close nor distant. They rarely talk on the phone together and when they do it’s very short. Only time they really talk is on a holiday but that’s a rarity that they will greet each other. I wouldnt call them friends. My dad seems like he treats his brother as more of a burden from my estimation.

    It’s total bs that I had to deal with this for this long. Oh yea I remember when I was younger (teenager) I didnt show up to my cousins kids bday party. Next time I came the husband told me “oh you decided to come this time.” Ever since then I never liked that guy.

    #299663

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nardis:

    Your father feels it is a burden for him to interact with his brother/ his brother’s family and yet he wants you to burden yourself with what he considers a burden to himself. Well, I think you should assert yourself with your father and announce to him (with a confident but not an aggressive voice and tone) that you will not attends events with your cousins. Who knows, maybe it will encourage your father to do  the same…

    anita

    #304497

    Lucy
    Participant

    Dear Nardis,

    Thank you for sharing. My family is quite troubled and I avoid them, because nothing other than drama comes from our interactions. They purposefully do things that harm my mother and affect me as a result, and are not supportive, so I feel absolutely no desire to see them. In my case, it’s easier to avoid socializing—they are in a different country, so I simply stopped visiting six years ago. Your case is a little bit different, but I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about family obligations and expectations. My thoughts are: you should not feel guilty. My friends and spouse’s family are much kinder and supportive than my family, and I have a better connection with them, and consider them more my “family” than actual family members. That being the case, I don’t think you should let social expectations define how you “should” feel about others. If there is no connection, there is no connection, and I don’t think that should be a big deal.

    That said, I do want to address doing things that we don’t like sometimes. If you don’t feel like it, I don’t think you should waste your time doing something that you don’t enjoy, but please make sure that you aren’t inflexible (since they don’t seem to be bad people). If it makes your father happy when you go, and it might make things easier between both of you since you share the same house, or if it’s something that maybe could be enjoyable if you approach it with the right mind, I would encourage you to be open to it. If you don’t feel the inclination to do these things, or really believe the is no connection, that’s totally fine. But what I’m trying to say is: make sure you are not stuck with a certain idea and unwilling to change. I’m not saying this is the case, I just wanted to point that out.

    Good luck!

     

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