In a recent survey it was discovered that four in ten people are “at war” with at least one family member. | wikipedia


The old adage “You can chose your friends, but you can’t choose your family” appears to be very much alive in modern life it seems. Believe it or not, in a recent survey it was discovered that four in ten people are “at war” with at least one family member, with one in three not having spoken to a particular relative for more than three years.

The survey commissioned by I.C.E. 36, gave the top reasons for this rather sad state of affairs being - selfishness, life choices (whatever that means!) - relationship issues and parenting differences with children. So far, so normal I would have thought, but it appears that in this modern world of ours most of us have family members that we want nothing to do with and no amount of attempted reconciliations will make any difference at all. I don’t know about you dear reader, but I find all this incredibly depressing.

Nevertheless, when I think about it, even my largish extended family could extend itself a little more if it weren’t for one or two long-standing minor ‘misunderstandings’ otherwise known as family rows that have festered over the years to nobody’s advantage. I suppose to call these break-ups in relationships “minor” is perhaps the wrong word, but it seems that almost half of us aren’t speaking to certain other family members for some reason or another and that can’t be either good or healthy - can it, or can it? Funnily enough I reckon it is in the nature of family members to divide and then sub-divide on occasions - then to get back together when the original problem is solved or perhaps forgotten, before awaiting the next embarrassing schism to show itself. However I have this theory that very rarely do family members have big bust-ups, mostly we just drift apart slowly, nothing to do with ill-will, just the pressures of life in general.

Going back to an earlier point, most of us when we have young families just don’t have the time to keep closely in touch with brothers and sisters and the like - in fact I am one of four siblings and in general terms we rarely contacted each other, apart from weddings and funerals for more than thirty years. Now that our children have flown the family nest we all keep in touch on a regular basis and go on day-trips and the occasional holiday with each other - something we would never have done even five years ago. Okay, I suppose I am avoiding the subject of the pent-up row, the feeling of annoyance with certain members of the family - that feeling of irritation you get when being lectured to by an ‘outlaw’ or worst of all being told why your long held values in life are somehow misplaced. Indeed, as young people like to say nowadays - “Do not even take me there!” So then, if you have difficulties with relationships within your own family you are certainly not alone in this as this survey proves. However, unless you are really unlucky within this aspect of inter-family feuding, a ceasefire should be agreed upon at some time - and then you can inwardly pull-a-face whenever he/she gets on your wick once again.