Supportive family member vs. not being able to cut the parental ties


I come from a big family, so it is not uncommon for a family event or get-together to happen on any given weekend (but definitely not every weekend). Plus, one of my parents passed away a few years back. Because of that, I stop by the remaining parent’s house once every week or two to help out with chores.

Where do you draw the line between supportive son/daughter vs. someone who is too tied to parents/family? I never thought of it as being an issue, but a recent significant other thought it was the latter. We’ve since moved on, and the next person will hopefully place the same value on family that I do… but curious of other people’s thoughts on this.



Gotta know more details. She/he thought stopping by was too tied to the apron strings?


Actually, I think you should be more worried about someone that does not want to spend time with their family. Since you come from a big family and you obviously have a connection to them, it would not be good for you to be married to someone that does not feel the same way.

Seeing your family once or twice a week is not a big deal if you live nearby. You are not going to just not see them once you marry. That is not realistic.

When my Mom was still alive, I used to talk to her on the phone every day, even is it was to ask each other what we were making for dinner. How I miss those days, and I am so glad we did that as we lived 6 hours away.

What some call apron strings, others call being connected to their family. The key is to find someone that has the same amount of connection.


I believe our families and their traditions, like getting together often and sharing a meal, have been under attack for so long and are so battered, that a normal family environment can seem abnormal to some.

I believe when someone is trying to pry you away from extended family life, they are unwittingly, or otherwise, trying to separate you from what is good in your life. This may seem harsh but it needs to be said. Extended family life, that is fruitful, is rare today.

Consider these possibilities.

A: This dear significant other wants to get away from you and is using your family as the scapegoat for why it is not working out between you.

B: This person wants to take advantage of you and needs to separate you from the people that know you well, and who can tell when something is going wrong in your life.

C: This person is from a dysfunctional family, and becomes psychologically defensive when he/she sees the joy in your life that is due to extended family interaction. This person may actually be in dire need of the joy your family offers.

Ask this person if he/she will join in deepening your faith. Will he/she join you in learning more about the faith, reading the Gospel aloud to eachother, attending monthly Sacrament of Penance or Eucharistic adoration. If the answer is no to all of these, then be careful.

Want to meet someone great in your life? Forget the bar scene. It is the line awaiting Sacrament of Penance on the first saturday of the month where you need to meet a great partner in life.

God bless you!



That was perfectly worded! :thumbsup:


They thought helping your remaining parent and getting together sometimes on weekends with the whole family is being “too tied to parents/family”?

That’s crazy. It seems like you have a really good family life. Your significant other should have been happy for your family relationships.


Thanks for the feedback… A couple comments of my own.

  • I was too vague. When I said we have ‘moved on’, I meant we’ve broken up.
  • I know my description of the situation is my biased view of things.
  • Rick - Your scenarios were interesting. I think my S.O. was a tiny part C, but some of part D. D being someone who thought that once you were married that you pretty much only focused on doing things together as a couple, and that time spent with either family was taking away from us as a couple (and it showed that I hadn’t cut the ties to become an adult). I only say a tiny part of C because they really struggled with how different our families were when it came to our interaction in normal day-to-day life. My S.O. is a great person, but we just saw things differently here.

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