Historic family issues are what keeps families separate. It doesn’t matter the upbringing or the issues unless those circumstances are satisfactorily resolved or addressed, families emotionally will never stay together.
Perhaps that’s part of what a dysfunctional family is. A family in which conflict, abuse and misbehaviour on the part of a parent occurs regularly, leading other family members including children to replicate such actions.
Sadly, children growing up in such families has become more normal. Where one parent is overtly abusive and the other becomes a co-dependent and who may be affected by an untreated emotional or mental illness that becomes normal for that person, or by addictions such as substance abuse (e.g. alcohol or drugs).
Dysfunctional behaviour doesn’t stop there and that’s what makes this behaviour historic. In some cases, the dominant parent will go on to emotionally abuse one or more of their children, misleading the other children to assume the blame and responsibility on occasions for the other parent, who may struggle to meet the demands.
The prevalence of dysfunctional families is common, but there is still a misperception that the parents might separate. Perhaps it’s because the behaviour is so dysfunctional it would be hard to believe that any parent would stay or accept this behaviour, but the reality is that the parents’ bond is usually very strong.
The parents’ faults usually complement each other and is the reason why they stay together. Any additional stressors that interfere with the family can cause existing conflicts affecting the children to become much worse. Historically, children of dysfunctional families are expected to obey and conform.
When those children become parents themselves, they may go on to continue the historical behaviour in their own families, unless they choose to deal with and change their behaviour. When it comes to their siblings, there is often sadly no relationship, because the damage from their childhood has already been done.
If this affects you, you’re not alone.