“Suffering”-Constructive or Destructive in an emotional relation?

We gather our best resources and are motivated to achieve our short term and long term goals in life including acquiring a valuable academic degree or a decent employment or materialistic benefits.

But, how many of us reflect on the “suffering” we go through in the pursuit of our goals? How many of us reflect on this “suffering” in the relationships with close family members or intimate relationships as playing a constructive and positive role in our growth?

When we are afraid of a particular situation, say writing a competitive exam, the whole world seems to gather its energy to support us and help us keep our courage to go through and cope with the difficult phases. But within the closed doors of our own family, when one is suffering at an emotional level, how many of us know about or care about or offer support to those in need?

It is possible that our own family members, with whom we are expected to connect emotionally, are sometimes blind to or negate our suffering or hurt. In what conditions or situations can it happen? What is the best way out?

Competing or conflicting interests between family members can lead to a lack of understanding of the emotional needs of others. The unmet needs of the family members can lead to a period of frustration, anger, sadness, hopelessness, despair and a whole range of emotions. This may become a positive force by bringing together the entire family to work together for solutions that help everyone achieve their goals. It can become a destructive force where those who “succeed” or those who “fail” become insensitive, blunt, non responsive or indifferent to the needs of others. It is a debatable point if the relations can return to normal once everyone meets their needs once the relationship has entered a destructive phase. It depends on the pre-existing emotional bonding, the bonds that existed before the relations got strained by different needs.  If there is a healthy space between members and clarity on each members roles in the family, it is still possible that the relation can return to normal or at least become more in harmony. If the foundation of emotional bonding is already weak with conflicting roles and confusing expectations from each other, even after a balanced state, the desired emotionally healthy relationship may not be achieved.

The way out is definitely to take time out to reflect, analyze and develop clarity over the strained relationships. Be open to a honest, direct discussion. However, the motivation of other family members to work on the relation is a major influencing factor. Untangling the complexities of relationships can be difficult and lead to more problems and more brooding. It might be better to seek the help of an experienced family therapist who can play a neutral role and help untangle and navigate through the complex relationships and expectations.  However, the results are only as good as the motivation of the family members to work on the relationship!

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