Familial Ties Advice?


I have a bit of a challenging relationship with much of my immediate family. Perhaps it’s just because I have lived in close proximity to them and their quirks for my entire life, but as of late, I am rather inclined to get as far away from them as I can and get on with the rest of my life while maintaining minimal contact with most of them.

I’m trying to do the right thing and not to run away from any responsibilities I may have to them, but I am having difficulty discerning what those responsibilities are. How do you honor the Fourth Commandment and such while simultaneously going your own way in a situation like this? If you are financially independent, what obligations still remain? My mother (who I have the best relationship with by a long shot) has essentially given me her blessing to leave and never come back, if I so choose, but I doubt such a path would be morally permissible.

I’ve read that honoring your mother and father can sometimes best be accomplished from afar, but I guess I would feel a little guilty applying that principle to my situation because I don’t feel like my reasons are dire enough to warrant it. It’s not like there’s some traumatic or toxic situation going on - the lot of them simply irritate me to the hilt and I don’t wish to be around them.

Thank you.


If you’re an adult and can take care of yourself, you have no obligation to stay. Go West :cowboy_hat_face:


If you are an adult, are self-supporting so you don’t expect your parents to finance your travel or your lifestyle where you end up, and plan on at least visiting your mom and dad once or twice a year or staying in touch via Skype, it’s perfectly reasonable to go live somewhere else. A lot of us need a “break” from living close to our family or simply don’t enjoy having people “in our business” all the time or want to see what it is like being ourselves on our own. My mother and father both had jobs that took them many states away from where their families lived, and in my mother’s case several of her siblings did the same. It wasn’t because they didn’t love their families, they just wanted to see what else was out there or else had an offer for a really good job. I also moved about 8 hours away from my parents the minute I got out of college so I could have a job and an independent life. It was no big deal.

I presume that if your parents really had a need for your presence, like someone was dying or they needed financial support, you would go help them, and also that you will visit them from time to time, write to them, Skpe with them, etc. so it’s not like you’re going off and disowning them.

I realize this can seem a little daunting if you don’t have a lot of siblings who’ve gone off to live somewhere else, but it’s not like you have to have some trauma to go leave your family and do what you would like to do. Good parents give their kids wings to follow their dreams and often the dreams take the kid to somewhere far away. It’s normal. And your mom even said it was okay.


I think your feeling of wanting to get away and set up on your own is a natural one. There is a saying: ‘A parent’s love must grow toward separation from the child’, rather like a bird tossing its young from the nest so that it can fly on its own. In a way, it is honoring your father and mother to do this. For you to be a mature and independent adult is proof that they raised you well.


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