The feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys resulted in a decade-long, life and death struggle. Today, we humorously refer to their memory but what about conflicts within our own families? Sometimes the rifts are just as enduring.
The main cause of a family feud is when someone steps outside of our shared values and leaves the rest to choose sides. It’s not that we desire to draw a line yet, we’re forced to. This is especially true when a loved one’s well-being is at stake. We cannot sit idly by.
When a family member betrays our long-held values, we go through a time of shock and anger. If things are not resolved, there will never be honest conciliation.
I remember the time when a friend was called into a dispute between her son and daughter-in-law. Her son had physically abused his wife one too many times. My friend lost him to prison and her grandchildren to the other side of their family. The same can happen after infidelity. When core family values are violated, the damage spreads like wildfire.
Lying our way into conflict
Lies hurt everyone, especially the children involved. They’re taught by parents, and other authorities in their lives, to always tell the truth. When the adults around them model something else, the very young become confused and the older may follow suit. The ones that remain truthful, often lose respect for the liar and never regain it.
Lying is at the heart of many family struggles. When adults are in the habit of lying to each other or one uses another, and covers it with lies, it’s often hard to get to the truth. Lying erodes the closest relationships and usually, only those who feel helpless will stick around.
It shows a lack of respect for its victims and makes light of their trust.