family, life

Relationship Challenges

old-man-having-confused-10094861stockimagesfdpHave you ever been baffled by someone in your family? Okay, let me clarify.

Has there ever been one particular person in your family, by marriage or by blood, that you couldn’t figure out how to get along with? Even though you loved the person and wanted to be a part of their lives, you couldn’t figure out a way to understand each other?

No? Just me?

This is where my characters, Ava and Meg Whitaker were born, out of the mind of someone who struggled with family relationships.

Over the years, through lots of personal inner work, I came to a better understanding of my relationships. Some of the time, I found that I was taking things personally that really weren’t about me. A family member may have their own deep-rooted issues that have not been addressed. Other times, I really had to take a look at my own behavior. The trick is, knowing which it is, their issues, or your own, or maybe a little bit of both.

Just when I’d think I had it all figured out, another relationship issue would pop up, like recently. I’ve been filled with gratitude over being back near family again and spending time with them. While I was away, a new family member entered, and we never really got to know each other due to the distance.

So, a new challenge has arisen. Is it me? Is it their own issues? Is it both? I think that perhaps we have people in our lives to teach us something about ourselves and the world. Sometimes I get frustrated, because it seems like I’m the only one willing to grow and learn from these challenges.wecover9title

On the other hand, new ideas for novels are growing in the mind of this author.

In my novel, Whit’s End, each character in the Whitaker family deals with personality conflicts in their own way, be it for good or for bad. If you have the time or inclination, I’d love for you to let me know what you think of how they handled their situations. Click on the book cover to learn more.

What about you? Have you ever had to resolve family relationship issues?



24 thoughts on “Relationship Challenges”

  1. You tapped into something universal, Lori! Loving someone doesn’t mean we understand them.

    I’m finally getting a grip on knowing myself pretty well. Other people? Not so much. I live by a few simple rules when it comes to others in my closest circles. When I remember to live by these rules, my relationships go pretty smoothly. Here they are:

    1. It’s never all about me (I’m not the central, main character on the stage).
    2. Compassion doesn’t require understanding the reasons why a person behaves as they do; it just requires remembering that they are a person not all that different from you.
    3. I’d much rather be happy than be right.
    4. Treat the other person as you would like them to treat you.
    5. If you have nothing constructive and kind to add to a conversation, keep quiet and listen.
    6. Never assume ill intent (these are your loved ones, right?)—most often miscommunication leads to misunderstandings that blow way out of proportions.

    There may be others, but those come to mind first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These are great points for our society today, Lorna. They should be on a meme and shared to go viral. 🙂

      As far as my family member, I seem to be the target of the snapping and rude attitude. Makes it uncomfortable for me and can be exhausting. By the latter I mean, being around the negative energy drains me. I realize it’s not really about me and I do “keep quiet.” I just hope that holding it in doesn’t cause me to blow up at the person one of these days. I mean, I can only take so much.

      So far, I’ve looked at it as an interesting armchair psychology case to dissect. 😉

      Thanks so much for sharing those points. They are fantastic.


  2. Coming from a large extended ‘hands on’ family, I learned early on that we all love each other, but don’t necessarily always like each other. I also learned that time often offers glimpses into how we can better connect and learn to ‘like’ – ya know?
    Also my biggie rule of thumb: never-ever burn bridges.
    But then, you know this stuff, just validating it for you! HA!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good lessons to share, Laura. Sometimes I forget them and I thank you for reminding me, especially about “time offering glimpses into how we can better connect.” I appreciate your input. Hope you are well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. Yep. I did think of using this for more Whitaker family issues. Actually, I had started a sequel a while back, but stopped writing it because I have another novel I’d like to finish first. I’m not doing too well at writing lately though.

      These new situations may end up in a sequel someday. 😉

      Good to see you, Carrie.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I was working on two projects before we moved. I focused on whichever one called my name that day. Now, just trying to work on this one is a challenge.

          It’s good you know you can’t take on too much. Do what you can with one. You’ll eventually get to the other. Good luck.


    1. This is a person I have to be around with family on occasion. However, I’m thinking our interaction is going to be extremely minimal, if at all. I am getting ideas for novels though … perhaps another Ava story? Ha. Thanks for your input, Anneli.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It takes two to make a relationship work and if the other person is shutting you out, there’s not much you can do about. I sure wouldn’t lose sleep over it, but I wouldn’t let that person dictate anything about my life.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hey there. Well, it’s a bit more complicated than a “shutting out.” Don’t know if you read my conversation with Jill. The person gives off tension when I’m around and snaps at me frequently. Then the next day will contact me as if nothing happened and is all sweet and kind. It goes back and forth like this a lot. It’s uncomfortable for me, but I’ll need to be around this person when gathering with family. I’ve pretty much decided how to handle it for now (written about with Jill). I say for now, because I may need to change my approach later. I know what you’re saying though. I’m really not interested in trying to make something work with someone who doesn’t want it to work. I just have to figure out how to make myself comfortable when in the same room.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. The beauty of life! Never stop learning and growing. Everyone goes through this in a myriad of ways. It is the person who never believes they have a role in it that has the most learning and growing to do!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s always going to be people or family that we don’t get along with. I’ll usually pray for them rather than react emotionally. I’ve got enough going on in my life to worry about their issues. LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha. Good for you, Jill. I’m struggling with a particular person snapping at me every time we get together. I just feel so much tension coming from this person, and I’m not sure where it’s coming from or why. If it were once or twice, I could let it pass, but it’s all the time. I’m pretty much being disrespected and I’m not sure where to go from here … other than using this for writing material. 😉


      1. It sounds to me like she’s jealous. Don’t give her the satisfaction of knowing she’s pushing your buttons. She obviously got something going on that you may never know. When possible, I’d avoid interacting with her. If you can’t, break out that notebook! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, jealousy did cross my mind. Thank you for validating, because I had also decided to try and avoid interacting whenever possible. I did my own armchair psychoanalysis of this person and can kind of figure out where the behavior is coming from. But, that doesn’t make it any more comfortable to be in the same room. Tension emits from that person like a cloud. Sometimes I just want to “spank” people like this with my own assertive personality (using words, of course), but it won’t help matters. It’s difficult for my type of personality to stay cool and not speak up, but in this case I think I need to remain silent. I will try it for a while anyway, but I don’t know if I can do it endlessly. We shall see. Sorry for the long response. As you know, I do tend to over analyze. LOL

          Liked by 1 person

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