Why is family important?

+98 votes
asked Apr 5, 2015 in Culture & Society by MelisaKellet (260 points)
This may sound strange to a lot of people, but I want to know why people think family is important? Perhaps I should explain. I come from a somewhat dysfunctional family. I’m not close to either of my parents and I haven’t spoken to my siblings in years. My girlfriend, on the other hand, is very close with her family. Because of this, she doesn’t want to move overseas with me, despite an amazing opportunity, would never want to live more than a twenty minute drive from her parents and insists on having them around for all her big moments, graduation, birthdays, etc. I can’t see why they need to be such a big part of her life, especially considering half the time they drive her crazy. I don’t think I’m particularly damaged for not having my family close to me. So…why is family important?

3 Answers

+26 votes
answered Jul 23, 2015 by DeandreEdens (360 points)
I think you need to start by understanding that you’re looking at your girlfriends’ situation from your own perspective. You need to look at it from hers. For her, family is always there, they are her friends, her support network, and her moral compass. They cheer on her achievements and they console her through her losses. They are the ones who she can call for help at four in the morning because her car has broken down and she’s half an hour from the nearest town. They’re the ones that bail her out when her rent is due and her paycheck is late. For those who come from a close family, like your girlfriend, the idea of living without that love and support is terrifying.
+2 votes
answered Apr 18, 2015 by ChristelAfz (190 points)
Is your girlfriend a “nurturing” personality? Because all the things that have been written above about why is family important are very true, but they left something important out. Family gives you all those things: the love, support, friendship, help, comfort, etc. But it also allows you to give them in return. You can be somebody else’s rock, their failsafe, their advisor, and their happy-to-take-a-call-at-three-in-the-morning-because-someone-needed-them. Family lets you give unconditional love, and there is no greater feeling in the world.
+1 vote
answered Jul 2, 2015 by JuliusOrosco (410 points)
I think the assumption that ‘you turned out all right without family so why are they necessary’ is a massive oversimplification (and, let’s be honest, possibly just a fluke). There wouldn’t be so many books written about traumatic childhoods if families weren’t that important. Recent studies also share that having a good family network is better for your social, emotional and physical well-being.
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