Broken Bonds: How To Heal Your Divided Family


Repairing broken family bonds can be a challenge that takes time and effort. The process can be complicated and involve other people in the family, as well as the conflicting parties. Making these repairs often involves going through a series of steps that gradually increase understanding and diminish hard feelings. Here are some ways to help heal your divided family.



1. Examine the Problem in Detail

In many cases, a break in the family relationship can be triggered by psychological problems, alcohol use or drug addiction. If these issues are involved, you can begin to understand that these problems themselves have caused the break in the relationship. Sometimes, admitting these issues can be very painful and can take some time to come to the surface. They must be faced, however, if there are to be any lasting changes in the dynamics of the relationships.



2. Get Professional Help

If you suspect that substance abuse problems or psychological issues have caused the family member to behave in destructive ways, seek professional help such as psychological counseling or drug treatment to treat the problem before you tackle the issues of the relationship. An experienced therapist such as those at Family Matters Counseling can also help couples and teen problems with family counseling in Kalamazoo.



3. Don’t Assign Blame

Blame is an inherently negative approach to life. Understand that many broken relationships are often caused by an entire dynamic of a family group and not the fault of just one individual or another. Counseling can help others in the family to look at their own behavior to determine if better ways of communication or behavior can be developed for better relationships. Instead of responding with the typical, reactionary finger-pointing, all involved members must step back, evaluate their own actions and try to empathize with the other family members.



4. Admit Your Part in the Problem

When a break occurs in a family relationship, it’s seldom the fault of only one person. Others may have taken sides, exerted pressure or have marginalized the person to help support the family structure. As long as everyone remains in their defensive, set perspectives, no one involved will be able to understand how their actions are affecting those around them. If you can see your part in the conflict and commit to changing your behavior in the family dynamic, this commitment can go a long way toward helping to find ways to help the family heal.



5. Be Forgiving

Forgiveness is a skill that many people find difficult to master. It involves an understanding that not everything can be made right, but you can still make a family work. Forgiveness does not leave the individual vulnerable to be hurt or betrayed yet again either. The person can be fully aware of the issues that caused the problem and can continue to guard against further trouble. However, the person must also show a willingness to allow the other party to advance the relationship in a positive manner. And forgiveness does more than simply put the other person at ease; forgiveness allows you to also drop your own negative emotions and leave yourself a happier, more at ease person. Anger impacts the person experiencing it as well as the recipient.


Building better relationships requires that people take the initial step of recognizing how important the bond is to their lives and begin the steps to heal the hurts of the past.

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