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Family - Blood or not - which relationship is stronger?

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    Family - Blood or not - which relationship is stronger?

    We all have families we came from, whether we like it or not. Some bonds are in mere blood, but others are more than that. You can have a big family, yet still feel like it is small, as you might hardly feel connected to them, despite them being 'family'.

    Questions:
    (It's not necessary to answer them all, pick those you find interesting to answer, or come up with your own if you desire so.)

    What does the word 'family' mean to you?

    When do you consider someone to be 'family'?

    Which relationships are stronger/more important for you: your relatives (by blood) or your friends/partner/etc

    With whom do you have the best connections (uncles, friends, your mother, etc, etc)?


    #2
    What does the word 'family' mean to you?

    I have a cynical conception of the (blood) family. I’m not a huge proponent of the nuclear family structure since it puts all of the pressure, doubly so if they’re both working and there are a lack of safety nets in place, on the parents to raise the children all by themselves. What ends up happening is that the parents unconsciously channel the stress and pressure onto their children. They place all of their hopes and dreams, especially unfulfilled ones, narcissistic desires, and indoctrination onto their kids, and thus the children are pressured to follow suit. And when they chose not to or fail to, resentment and anger builds between the children and parents. Though familial bonds are supposed to be loving and strong, there’s an inherent tension between parent and child, not too dissimilar to the relationship between the working class and the upper/capitalist class in Marxist theory. The inherent antagonism may seem to lie in the unequal power relationship between parent and child, which is natural and necessary. But the true antagonism lies in how the parents leverages that power which usually rests upon a sense of indebtedness that the parent and child feel toward each other. The parent is indebted to the child by keeping them safe and making sure they thrive. The child feels indebted to the parent, which the parent makes sure to remind them of, because they gave birth to them and they achieved the minimal requirements expected of a good parent. The child is enfolded into a contract they didn’t consent to and is sentenced to a lifetime of idebtment to their parents. If you think I’m speaking from experience, I am.

    When do you consider someone to be 'family'?

    I always consider my close friends as family. Regardless of what arguments we have, or what fire we throw at each other, there’s an unshakable bond that can’t be broken.

    Which relationships are stronger/more important for you: your relatives (by blood) or your friends/partner/etc?

    Definitely friends and partners by leagues. Our relationship is built upon the choice of coming together. Or maybe it wasn’t a choice, but a strong compelling attraction towards each other. It’s a relationship where we’re more than willing to work out our differences and feelings with each other in an honest and no-bullshit way. This leads to our relationship constantly evolving into newer, better, and stronger homeostasis.

    With whom do you have the best connections (uncles, friends, your mother, etc, etc)?

    Again friends, but I’ve always felt a deep connection with my stepfather whom I suspect is SiTe 6w5 1w9 3w4 sp/so. He had a serious and saturnine demeanor, but I could trust him to have honest and deep conversations about important things happening in our lives as opposed to my mother who lets things fester or things just go over her head. He told me secrets that he would never trust my mother with.
    http://thanatesque.com/

    Comment


    • Atelier
      Atelier commented
      Editing a comment
      There are a lot of things we don't consent to in life, but the nuclear family structure leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

    #3
    Atelier

    Regarding your ideas about family and the nuclear family:

    I don't think a nuclear family is necessarily fraught with the contracts and strain you describe. While I also feel a sense of indebtedness to my parents, I never felt that they forced this upon me or often reminded me of all they were doing for me. It was only after thinking about what my parents do for me, that I came to feel that way. I genuinely believe that my parents just want to see me be happy, learn to thrive and develop as a person. In a sense, I am gladly indebted. I actually want to return the favor when I can, not out of obligation, but because I simply desire to. Obviously, I imagine they do have some expectations. I don't imagine they would be very happy housing a person who leeches on them for the rest of his live, never really doing anything for others or society. I would consider that to be a legitimate self-protection mechanism. As in, ‘we love you, but you can’t continue going on like this’.

    Although they never explicitly stated it this manner, I came to learn from my parents that they think that love for one another within a family needs to have certain freedom to it (I do realize that this is simply my guess as to what’s most fundamental about their beliefs). Letting your loved ones think for themselves, decide their own path is incredibly important. As forcing someone into something only creates resentment. I imagine that having that indebtment forced upon you is also a breeding ground for more resentment. Parents can have hopes and dreams for their children, but they should in the end allow the child to take their own path. I agree with this view. I do recognize however that it is important to get involved in the lives of those you love, when you don’t, an entirely different range of problems come into existence. If you think someone is making a mistake, I think it’s important to share your thoughts on that, but it is also important not to force your thoughts upon them.

    When you don’t allow your children (or anyone else you love) the appropriate freedom of thought and action, relationships (eventually) become strained. In this sense even having huge heaps of more distant family members to rely on may not be beneficial if strong expectations and demands are forced upon (extended) family members.

    So, in the end, nuclear family or not, I think what matters most is whether the family member’s love for each other has freedom or not.


    ---

    But, also, I agree that friends rule. Good friends are family, in which relations by blood are of little importance.

    Comment


    • Atelier
      Atelier commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't get me wrong I do love my family, but seeing what they've done for me and knowing what I owe gives me anxiety and makes me feel invaded. I think this is why i hold my autonomy so tightly; I don't want to owe anyone anything that I can't provide.

    #4
    What does the word 'family' mean to you? When do you consider someone to be 'family'?

    I met my soul brother when we were kids, and he is as much family as my blood family. He just stopped by - we have known each other (platonically) on every level for near three decades! He often travels, so I don't see him or hear from him for a few years - but he comes back when beckoned, or when he wants to. There is absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind that even if we don't speak for long stretches, the relationship is as strong as ever.

    I suppose this is the difference between friends I adore down to the bone and trust completely, vs family. With family, you just know they're your family no matter what. That being said, I would not be above cutting off blood relatives if they were shit people, and no longer considering them family. In fact, I have relatives like that, and I don't stress about it, I just don't... consider them. Until questions like this come up, I forget they exist. My nuclear family also does not burden me with obligatory connections. They do their thing and I do mine. For me, this is a requirement for 'family' because I don't do well with anyone breathing down my neck except for my lover. As a rule, if you're not biting and kissing my neck, don't breathe down it, because I withdraw completely. People who share this mindset and don't need to negotiate about it (which, luckily, includes my nuclear family) - but yet, are still completely present with me when we do see each other, are usually the type of people that end up feeling like family. Them being 'family' feels more like an "obvious fact" than something I have to choose.

    Which relationships are stronger/more important for you: your relatives (by blood) or your friends/partner/etc

    My partner above all. With the exception of my soul brother who is practically like my soul-twin (he's the evil one! just kidding), I don't like pulling rank between my friends and family. I don't have a lot of friends, just a handful of really amazing close ones - including three I've known most of my life and consider family. The reason I place my blood family at the same exact importance as those who know my soul inside and out, is because I have an amazing blood family, who also know me and loves me fully, work with me on creative projects, blow my mind with their awesomeness, have values that I jive with, etc. My nuclear family members are people I would be friends with even if we weren't related. Just great people. Due to all we have been through together, the fights we have fought together, and the intense traumas we have undergone together, my nuclear family is definitely tops for me when it comes to trust, openness, truth, and respect. However this is not something I take for granted due to 'blood' - it's something we earned with each other.

    With whom do you have the best connections (uncles, friends, your mother, etc, etc)?

    Same answer as the above, since I base "importance" on in-depth personal connection. It took me a minute to figure out why these were two separate questions, but then I got it, haha.

    Well, actually, I can add one point about my soul brother. I would not say that I "love him more" than some of my other best friends, but I just want to point out how profound this connection is. He considers Daeva his family too - not just because of me, but because they bonded together without me as well. It's no surprise that my soulmate would find himself so at home with my soul brother, and vice versa. My soul brother is kind to anyone that I introduce him to, but the level of bond that we all share as soul companions, who have lived other lives together, is a whole other experience. I would expect that whoever my soul brother ended up with would also feel this bond with me and my husband (soulmate). It's inevitable.

    And that's... the "whole other level" and why I thought of him on the 'importance' question, although it is a hard question because I love my nuclear family and all my close friends, and love cannot be measured.
    Last edited by Animal; 03-08-2020, 03:21 AM.

    Comment


      #5
      Been thinking about this, I think I don't really have a strong concept of family, whether by blood or not.
      Growing up I enjoyed having a family (not just parents but aunts, uncles, etc.) like from perspective of...it being a group of friends that can never leave you lol and they buy you lots of presents
      I liked gatherings, guests and intrigues and such.
      I always had quite a small family though and we weren't really as tight knit or traditional as most, so that may have an influence on my attitude.

      I never really felt tied down by family, I don't think someone being family inherently makes them special unless you decide you want them to be, and if you do that makes it into an individual bond in my mind and doesn't have anything to do with family.
      So bonds within family can be meaningful or less meaningful and if you have different people with mutual bonds you can consider it family if that's how you feel, but the word itself sounds meaningless to me so I wouldn't really go out of my way to consider anyone my family just because I feel close to them.

      As for demands and indebtedness, it goes both ways and I don't see how it's different from any other relationship aside from the fact that you don't get to choose your family. But you can still do things on your own terms, and if they demand ridiculous things then it's on them and debt is all theirs.

      Even when I think about my future family I don't really think in terms of building a family , the word family literally never comes up even though I'm already thinking of how I'd name my children. As far as children go, I think it's only natural to feel a bond and complete responsibility for someone you gave birth to, who is a product of your and your partner's love, who you've been with through everything since day one and who your life revolved around for years, etc. , so yes it's special on both sides because you are 'family', but I just don't see family as any sort of magic word.

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