When Family Breaks Your Heart

01 Jan

By Terry Loving

“Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it Than a house full of feasting with strife.”

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Another New Year, and many resolutions are being made – some will succeed, while others will fall by the wayside. Many people will resolve to lose weight; limit social media; get a better paying job; save money and a host of life changes for the better. It is my sincere hope that leaving and no longer accepting abuse is at the top of the list for those who have suffered long enough – even if it means separating from family members.


Leaving an abusive relationship is not without complications in many cases. The lack of resources is often the main obstacle that hinders breaking free – especially financially. The well-being of children may factor in the decision to stay or leave. There are many situations that must be considered for a safe exit, and plans to never look back.


But what if the disruption of your home life and peace of mind is from outside sources? What if one or more of your family members are making your life so miserable that you wish you could move far away and never see them again? Are family holiday get-together(s) a disaster? Tired of the moocher? Can’t stand that touchy-feely uncle that makes your skin crawl when he gets near you? Sick and tired of jealous family members that try to put you down because you achieved your personal success, and they just drift through life?  Well you are not alone.


Family members can be just as toxic as domestic abusers. In fact, some of your blood relatives are abusers!  You probably didn’t realize this fact until you had a “last straw” moment. You can’t take anymore, and yet you hold onto the family tie because this toxic human is “family.” More so, the abuse may not have been physical, but damaging in other ways – economically, emotionally, and just plain evil behavior that keeps you awake at night.


Face it, all families deal with some form of dysfunction. There are no perfect human beings. Sometimes you can tolerate a little nuttiness – if no harm has been done to anyone. No one wants to be in a situation where they are estranged from close family ties – especially if you love them. But the reality is this – there may come a time you have to move on without that cousin you grew up with, no matter how close you were. One or both of your parents may be so poisonous that you contemplate disowning them for life. When children are involved, the ungodliness of negative parents causes them and the grandchildren to miss out on what could be positive family interactions. Even so, the children must be shielded from harmful familial bonds that wound.toxic family3


There are many articles online concerning “leaving toxic family members.” It seems to be a very common and troubling issue for numerous families. You cannot choose your family members, but you can certainly choose when to part company with those who hurt and demean you – especially for no reason at all. I am here to testify that parting ways with toxic family members saves your sanity. Your blood pressure and anger level will decrease, and you will be able to sleep much better at night. You will gain a new respect for yourself for being strong enough to not be a scapegoat anymore.


No one can tell you when you’ve had enough! Only when you reach that “last straw” will you begin the process of cutting ties. In any relationship, abuse and violence should be the number one reason to run far and fast! Sadly, even immediate family members physically harm one another – sometimes to the point of taking a life. The murdering of those closest to us is nothing new – it began with Cain and Abel. Since the beginning of time, family violence has escalated to an uncontrollable epidemic.


Negative family members are often referred to as being “toxic” to the point of literally making you feel ill when you are around them. They never have anything nice to say about anyone – especially you. Their damaging behaviors often exhibit jealousy, rage, criticism, put-downs, slander, mind games and a host of characteristics that unleashes unwanted responses such as migraines, unexplained physical pain, and emotional trauma that keeps you second guessing what you did wrong. In many cases – absolutely nothing!

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Some family members should come with a “toxic” warning label – detrimental to your health, will cause vomiting; headaches, nausea, insomnia, nervousness, and a host of other side effects. If you wouldn’t knowingly ingest a “toxic” substance knowing you would suffer harm, why do you continue to tolerate “toxic” family members? – Because they are “family?” Is that the only reason? Is it logical? Granted, if you need to depend on their support in some way, that is understandable. You may be ill or a dependent or going through a tough time. In those cases, it is more difficult to break free. The only alternative is to try to get the one causing you harm to see that truth, or find other assistance.


The following is a sample list of reasons to part from toxic family members. The reasons listed may also help you break free from so-called friends that challenge your sanity. The ultimate strength must come from within yourself once you realize you are in a relationship that is not good for your well-being.  It isn’t selfish to protect your heart and mind from negativity.

Valid Reasons to Terminate Relationships with Family

1. When the relationship is based on any type of abuse mentally, physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally. When the relationship is based on manipulation, overt or covert, you can be sure you are being used and abused. When you are living in constant anxiety never knowing or being able to predict how any engagement is going to turn out, it is time to love yourself enough to let go.

2. It is time to terminate a relationship when the only contact you have with them is negative. The contact you have with them serves to bring you down, put you down and/or make you feel you are not good enough, or you haven’t done enough for them.

3. When the relationship creates so much stress that it impacts the important areas of your life at work and/or at home. When your emotions are totally caught up in defending yourself and wanting to explain yourself and the chaos of your relationships with these people is all you talk about, it is time to let go.

4. If you find yourself obsessed with the gossip about you and trying to right wrong information, and you are constantly being ostracized to the point you are losing sleep over it you are becoming poisoned with their toxicity. Gossip only serves one family member to get others to gang up on you and you are left defenseless against the false beliefs about you being thrown your way. There is usually a ring leader gathering the troops for the assault and because they are joined together you begin to wonder if it is, in fact, you, that is the problem.

5. When the relationship is completely all about the other person and there is no real reason why the other person cannot make any effort towards the health and maintenance of the relationship with you. One sided relationships are set up for your failure. When you realize there is never going to be an “enough” place for you to reach in the relationship, you need to let go and start to focus on your own healing.

6. When and if the relationship is only about borrowing or needing money.

7. When crazy-making, no-win games dominate the relationship such as the silent treatment, blame-games, no-win arguments that spin around on you, there is no point in continuing in this battle. Verbal warfare is never the place you will convince them of anything and these types of verbal interactions are set up to be their way or the highway. If these are the negative consequences you receive each time this person or people don’t get their way it is time to let go.

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There are no set rules or actions when it comes to breaking free from negative family members. Sometimes it takes years to muster enough courage to let go. It may take just as long for you to realize that you are in the presence of toxic persons who mean you no good. And please understand this, if you are a Christian – it is not a sin to walk away. Many Christians will tolerate abuse because they erroneously believe that is what Christ called us to do – suffer evil from loved ones. Yes, in this world we are going to suffer all kinds of trials and ungodliness from the world. However, our homes should be where we refresh our spirits and gather strength to fight the good fight one more day. We should be on guard to not allow malevolent spirits to cross our threshold and upset our balance of peace.


If visiting the offending family member’s home is where you are attacked, then the solution is simple – stay away! It takes time to leave an abusive partner, and it will take time to detach from abusive family members. If they still insist on speaking ill of you to anyone who will listen, just pray for them and keep living your best life. You cannot change them especially if you have done nothing to provoke their negative behavior.


“Difficult Times Will Come”

      1But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

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12 Ways to Deal With A Toxic Family/Family Member


What I Learned When I Cut Ties With A Toxic Family Member


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© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2019
All rights reserved.


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Posted by on January 1, 2019 in Uncategorized


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