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10 Common Problems Every Family Has

by Rowan Marley 2 years ago in list

No, you're not alone. You're probably suffering from one of many common problems every family has once in a while.

When we are young, we're told that we will marry the person of our dreams and eventually have our happily ever after. We assume that having our own family will mean that everything will be perfect. It'll be all sunshine and roses, right?

Well, not really.

You will have problems, even if you try your hardest to avoid them. Thankfully, there is some good news. You absolutely, positively, are not alone. Every family has issues.

As we age, we soon realize that there is no "perfectly happy ending." Every family has flaws, just as every person has flaws. Even that picture-perfect family down the street has problems.

I'm willing to bet that the problems you face are actually fairly common problems every family has had to deal with at least once or twice. These problems are hard to deal with, but can be overcome in most cases.

This is a rough one, indeed.

Addiction is a mental illness; a pretty terrible disease, no matter what you're addicted to. If left unchecked and untreated, it can actually end your family members' ability to keep a roof over their (or your) head(s).

When you're addicted, substances become what your family should be. Thankfully, there are plenty of free programs to help your loved ones, as well as guides to help you hold an intervention for them.

Your relative is not alone! Even celebrities like Russel Brand have been addicted to substances and gotten clean. That said, it's up to your relative to get help and stay clean.

At the end of the day, it's important to realize you can only do so much. If your family member is becoming a threat to the wellbeing of the rest of you, it may be best to cut ties until they sober up.

One or more family members suffer from mental illness.

Mental illness can be a serious issue, but it's by no means rare. Around a quarter of all Americans qualify as anxious or depressed. With all the people who struggle with mental illness, it's good to know most people will be understanding of these common problems.

At times, a little help is all you need, and therapy isn't selfish. If you all agree to seek help and get the treatments you need, everyone will feel exceptionally better in the long run.

Being miles apart doesn't mean being destined to grow apart. There are so many ways to spend time together using technology! You can use Skype to chat with them over video, post on their Facebook wall to see what they are up to, send text messages just to say hello, and call them to hear their voices.

Sure, it's not 100 percent the same, but it is a good way to keep your bond tight. I personally call my family members every day. It's how I cope when I'm away on work.

Scheduling is a nightmare.

Timmy has soccer at 4 PM, Alice has ballet at 5. You and the hubby are supposed to go to a dinner at 7, about 15 minutes before Timmy and Alice both finish their classes. How do you make it work?

These common problems aren't easy to deal with, especially if you are a working single parent or are part of a two-income family. Using Google Calendars to sync your family's plans can do wonders to fix this, and get you on the right track to stay organized.

Oh, and plan ahead. Like, way ahead.

There is a divorce in the family.

Divorces can get real ugly, real fast. It often leaks into the family structure whether you are currently involved or not. Be there for your family member, lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on. Do your best to be supportive, but remember it is important not to take sides. While it might be tempting to bad mouth the one in the wrong, it is crucial to remain neutral. Not only is it the right thing to do, but you never know how things might play out.

There is a new family member in the picture.

Perhaps your dad remarried and you are meeting your stepfamily for the first time. Maybe your older sister just gave birth to her very first child. Changes to the family structure can be hard on the best of us. These instances can be stressful while posing a threat to current bonds. However, moments like these can be used as an experience to strengthen relationships, and form new ones. It might be easy to argue from petty instances of misunderstanding, but with time, subtle differences might converge into strong foundations—at least we hope!

There's no work-life balance for one or more of you.

This is one of the most common problems every family has faced, especially during tough economic times. You have to work to eat, so to a point, it can feel relatively inescapable. Work is absolutely mandatory at times in our lives.

The important thing here is to have family members all pitch in whenever possible. If it's getting to the point that you're concerned for someone's health, collectively putting your feet down and insisting on a day of downtime is usually a wise suggestion.

One relative is a total source of stress.

We all have that one relative who just grinds everyone's gears. You don't want to hurt their feelings, but you just can't stand the way they deal with certain things. They are a constant source of stress, and cause more family problems than they solve.

Dealing with this can be done a number of different ways. Talking to them honestly can be a good step. Having an intervention can help them learn better, too. Realistically, making them aware of how their behavior or attitude is affecting the people around each of you should just be enough. However, if none of those options work, avoiding them like the plague may be your only option.

You can't seem to argue effectively.

Arguing is never pleasant, but it is necessary at times. Unfortunately, we are a non-confrontational culture that tends to take arguments as a personal insult. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, unresolved issues, and hurt. It's rough!

Thankfully, you don't have to settle for heated conversations and swallowing down your emotions. Offering to go to family therapy to learn better problem resolution methods can help in ways you didn't even know were possible.

There's abuse, resentment, contempt, or other serious relationship problems present.

From what I've seen, this is actually scarily common in a lot of "families," though it shouldn't be. Hard as it is for me to say this, there's no solve for this situation. You can't make someone love you, and you can't force them to be kind when all they want to do is hurt you.

I want to point out something very pressing here: Family is not necessarily who you are related to. In life, you get to choose your family.

Every family, if you go back far enough, has at least one person who abused another, causing relationship problems. While it's one of the common problems every family has, it doesn't make it right. You don't have to put up with that. Help is available via RAINN and other domestic violence hotlines.

You do not owe anything to anyone who repeatedly hurts you. It doesn't matter if they are your parents, your spouse, or your siblings. Abuse is not acceptable.

While you may not be able to control your abuser's actions, you can control yours. This is your sign. Leave your abusers!

Rowan Marley
Rowan Marley
Read next: Understanding the Effects of Addiction on the Family
Rowan Marley

Rowan Marley is a 20-year-old sports enthusiast who hails from Brooklyn. When he's not hitting up a local Zumba class, he's drinking organic smoothies. That's just how he rolls.

See all posts by Rowan Marley

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