The Loveless Family: Getting Past Estrangement and Learning How to Love

The Loveless Family: Getting Past Estrangement and Learning How to Love

The Loveless Family: Getting Past Estrangement and Learning How to Love

The Loveless Family: Getting Past Estrangement and Learning How to Love

Synopsis

This scholarly and personal exploration of what it is like to grow up feeling unloved describes personality types and syndromes that often manifest, regardless of whether the family unit was "dysfunctional" or not.

• In-depth examinations of seven personality types and syndromes that manifest in the loveless family

• Bibliographic reference sources

• A subject index

Excerpt

Some years ago, I happened upon a TV show in which a celebrity was interviewed in his home. As he gave the reporter a tour of the house, he said one of the most profound things I have ever heard: “Home is where we love.”

I have no idea what the celebrity’s home life was actually like, but what he said got me thinking. Statistics tell us that the U.S. home is all too often not a place where people love. About 3.5 million episodes of family violence are reported each year in the United States. One in four women experience domestic violence. An average of three women and one man are murdered each day by their spouse. About 1.25 million children experience child abuse or neglect each year. Upwards of 5 children a day die from child abuse. Almost 70 percent of all sexually abused children suffer the abuse from a family member. Anyone who has ever watched a TV crime show knows that immediate family members are the first suspects when someone is murdered.

Yet even in less extreme households, love all too often appears to be in short supply. Indeed, simply from talking to people from many walks of life over the years, I have reached the sad conclusion that the loveless family is all too common. A sibling or parent dies, and the surviving 25- or 60-year-old adult sheds not a tear and feels little or nothing. Or maybe the only sadness she feels is that she doesn’t feel sad, even though she is supposed to. I know any number of perfectly reasonable people who are far more likely to cry if a beloved pet dies than if a family member does. Person A may, as an infant, have lost his father, while Person B’s father is alive and well—yet both seem to have had the same father, in terms of the father’s lack of emotional presence.

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