Archive for August 1st, 2022

August 1, 2022

Families are complex places

by Rod Smith

It is easy to sit in judgment of men and women who do dumb and hurtful things within their families. It is easy to jump to trite and self-righteous explanations as to why he left her, or why she found another lover, why he resorts to pornography.

One or two line clichés seldom explain complex human behaviors and misbehaviors.

Everybody is living a complex story, a story born out of his or her own family complexities which often span several generations.

I do not know, after many years of consulting with families, a single family that I would consider free of family complexities, no matter how idyllic things look on the surface.

Conflicts and breakups and abandonments escape logical explanations because they come from confused and painful and illogical histories. This is not an attempt to excuse hurtful behaviors but rather an attempt to promote patience and understanding, mercy and love.

Dig deeper, always dig deeper. Listen closely, very closely. People are always leaving clues about the unsolved or unresolved issues of their family of origin.

Men and women don’t wake up one morning and make a decision to abandon a spouse and children. The person who does this has been living on a volcano for years and might not even know it.