I can’t stand my family

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I had a little conversation on Twitter today with a handful of people. It started when one person said that he was looking for a 1000 sq ft home he could fit his family into. Knowing his family is the same size as mine, I replied that my family of six lives in a 798 sq ft home. He responded to this by saying that we must really like being with each other.

When I said that of course we like being with each other, two others jumped in saying I am in the minority and most families hate being with each other.

Is our family an anomoly? Is it really true that families can’t stand being around one another?

If what they claim is true, then I think it is very sad. I truly believe families should want to spend rime together.

As I write this, I am reminded of a Bloggernacle post not so long ago discussing the idea of “menrichment”, when men get together to bond without any wives or children. As the discussion progressed in the comments of this post, I began to feel that I was in the minority when I claimed that I have no desire to attend an elders quorum social without Mary, my wife.

Is it wrong to want to spend time with one’s family? I mean, I am away from them for over 8 hours every weekday. Why wouldn’t I want to spend as much time as I can with my children during the 2-3 hours between when I get home and they go to bed?

Why wouldn’t I want to spend time with Mary during the 5 waking hours I see her each day?

How will a man manage to live forever with his family,if he can’t stand being with them now?

12 thoughts on “I can’t stand my family

  1. My EQ gets together once a month or so for dodgeball (with the ym) or a movie, and that is about right for me. But the rest of the EQ gets together unofficially several hours a week to play D&D and I don’t get that. Why would any adult married man rather spend time with other guys in a basement playing rpg’s then time with their spouse?

  2. When we first moved into this ward, the elders would get together for LAN parties. I could never understand that.

    A while ago, when I was EQP, my counsellors thought it would be great to have a Playstation party at the church. I was against it, but thought we’d give it a shot. It ended up exactly as I envisioned, people in the dark, staring at the TV, not socializing. The closest we came to socializing was Rock Band. Funny thing is, my counsellors thought it had been a success.

  3. I really like both. I love being with my family and I love getting out to do guy stuff. It’s not an either or conversation, and I really haven’t felt one happening at the expense of the other. I’m a shift worker, so sometimes I spend less time at home and sometimes it’s a lot more. Makes me appreciate when I do have large chunks of time with my wife and kids. But I have to stake out my territory a bit in terms of my family time. Other demands on my time (read: church) sometimes need to get pushed aside for family time.

  4. I definately love my family, I do admit that I have trouble, after a long day of Seminary and work, not wanting to be alone for a little bit. I also have issues with noise, something I am hopefully gaining a bit of patience for. So I can empathize with those other individuals. The time I like spending away from my family is only to play sports, golf, basketball, squash, etc.

    I do find that far too often the girls want to plan girls night out and the guys want to hang out seperately as well. I really don’t care for that anymore. At one time in my life I was blissfully unaware of the damage that was doing to my relationship with my family. Now that I have come to the realization that if I want to spend time with my family I have to spend time with my family. I like it when we socailize with other couples I would just rather we did it together rather than seperate.

  5. For people who grew up in dysfunctional and/or abusive families, the word “family” is often a dirty word, or equasts to: “some people I was forced to live with until I could move out on my own.”

  6. I am not making any global about the church or anyone else’s experiences, I am just relating what is going on in my life right now.

    The whole D&D thing confused me so I looked at all of the 18 to 40 year old guys in my ward, both married and not. About half played D&D and I tried to find a commonality on why this was. I never really figured it out but I did noticed to the man, those who went on missions do not play and those who did not go on missions do. Just an interesting correlation, and again I am only referring to my experince in my ward.

  7. Introversion is not a sin. Some people (25% of the population) need time alone to recharge. If you’re married to one of those people, you have to allow them that time in order for them to be balanced and happy.

    I don’t hate my family, not even close, but I need time alone every day. We bought a house with lots of smaller rooms, so that everyone can find a quiet spot to curl up with a book or whatever.

  8. I love my family, despite any of their flaws. But I believe that I am lucky. Every member of my family is intelligent and empathetic. We are open with one another and except each other regardless of whatever lifestyle choice we may make. This is not to say that there aren’t moments where I can’t stand them. But that is being human. No one can stand another person 100% of the time, just the way sometimes everyone feels like they can’t stand to be around themselves. Privacy is a privileged, though. And it is up to everyone to communicate their needs and wants on that matter to their family. And if you are lucky– they will accept the terms.

  9. Our family must be very weird and or abnormal because we spend a lot of time together, Our children are now grown and raising their own families but other then those that live out of town, we do everything together, we camp together, we have frequent family dinners, we have our grandchildren over for sleepovers, we spend holidays together, we go up to Whistler together, we go on family vacations together. If that makes us dysfunctional then so be it :)

  10. We started needing to get away from each other a little bit as the older children became teenagers. They’re as tall as a adults, but they’re much more prickly.

    We’re spread out over 2,000 feet now. And we have recourse to go outside as well, since the weather doesn’t prevent that most days of the year.

    I was in Calgary last week transferring planes. I should have planned that better.

  11. Not close at all. And yet, the closest I’ve managed to go visit you and Mary.

    I was impressed by all the little old ladies in cowboy hats wearing red and white, assisting passengers at the Calgary airport. They had the air of being sweet retirement-age sister missionaries. Usually you can’t pay anyone to be that sweet and helpful–you only get that from volunteers.

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