Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Family Politics

It's nearly time for our annual trip to visit family:  as usual there are some difficulties to sort out as we are only going for a week this time - not enough opportunity to visit everyone in the area and therefore much opportunity to offend. As my husband has 6 brothers and sisters and countless grown-up married nephews, this dilemma expands exponentially. The younger generation are inclined to be tolerant but there is a certain amount of sibling rivalry among my husband's nearest and dearest.  The nice thing is: they all clamour for us to come. The bad thing is: most homes we love visiting but there is one in which the husband/wife tension is so great is makes visiting unpleasant. We go dutifully for one night and then scurry away as fast as we can as the tensions mount up and guests feel uncomfortable. These people are often hurt that visits to them are brief but seem not to understand the reason. After the passing of many years in this fashion (there is no question of divorce) - its just how they are since the husband had a debilitating illness which has left him not quite himself, I sometimes challenge myself to say something.  But should I?  There are quick tempers in this house and I am really afraid of causing huge ructions in the family.  So I keep quiet, allowing that my husband's maxim of walking away from any possible fight in this large family, is arguably the best way. Am I a coward?  Similarly, my relationship with my best friend is perhaps somewhat similar - although we love each other have a lot in common, we often seem to say things that irritate or are misinterpreted and to keep the peace, we just make efforts to change the subject.  After all, like family, we've been friends for twenty years or more. Perhaps we'd all better go on as we are.


  1. Hello from! (
    I have finally made my way over to your delightful blog after you kindly left a comment on mine a while ago-Blogger locked me out and then I went away so it's taken me some time to get here. But I am really glad I did. I'm your latest follower because I'm fifty and definitely odd, I adore South Africa and have visited several times and your blog looks like lots of fun. Ah relationships are always complicated - you should read about my mother some time-she is a hoot and we don't really see eye to eye. mercifully i only have her and SOn to deal with-just as well since Hubby is full-time!
    I am off to explore this lovely site.
    Look forward to seeing more of you.
    Warm wishes

  2. My family is not very close so I don't have a lot of problem with these kind of things. We have wonderful friends that we like to visit but when it comes to family I am pretty much the lost relative! :) I see my mom and two cousins and that's about it.

  3. Hi Carol! What a great welcome.... I'll visit you again soon. Book Nut - big families are an odd kind of mixed blessing, but they are always there for us. Friends are just amazing.