The Biggest Reasons Families Fall Apart

Family bonds are arguably one of the most important elements of human society. From birth until death, most people rely on family support in a plethora of ways, whether it be emotional or financial. The bond that many families share is sacred and comes above all else, but there are times where seemingly important debates can rip families apart.
When a family is thrown into turmoil, everybody feels it. Because the fighting, anger and/or tension is so emotionally close to home, deep and sometimes permanent rifts can form. Moving past these problems can be hard, and some never do.
Even though there are many reasons why families can fall apart, generally, there are a few specific circumstances that cause most of the in-fighting. Today, let's examine the most common reasons that families can suddenly find themselves torn apart.
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Inheritance Disputes

When wealth and assets are a part of the equation, family bonds can be irreparably torn. In many situations, a titular head of the family passes on, leaving a large amount of wealth to be divided among family members as he or she sees fit. Not only may this person serve as the proverbial glue that holds the family together, but now, an additional element of conflict in the form of inheritance disputes have been introduced.
Whether various family members challenge the legality of the will based on mental condition and/or time elapsed, or a lack of a clear set of instructions results in a family free-for-all on the inherited assets, tempers flare. These will disputes are damaging; both words and actions can result in permanent damage between family members and cause the entire family a great deal of pain.
In order to avoid excessive pain and fighting among family members, arbitration and/or inheritance experts may prove to be useful. For families struggling with inheritance issues, professionals such as The Inheritance Experts provide services that can achieve fair and efficient resolutions, as well as a free consultation with an expert for families who need advice.

Drug Use

One of the biggest societal issues is drug use in the UK. While many have stereotypical images of who abuses drugs, studies show that drug usage is rampant across all socio-economic classes, with a disproportionate percentage of wealthier people partaking in one or more substances.
The pain and stress that drug use can cause a family is substantial. If even just one person has fallen into the trap of addiction, many people can find themselves hurting from the experience. Whether it be theft, abuse, or simple lack of financial stability, the gradual effects of drug use can ultimately cause families to explode in frustration.
Whether a spouse has lapsed into a bad situation or a grandchild is caught stealing, many families have trouble dealing with the consequences. In some cases, families are completely destroyed because of drug use.


There comes a point in life when some families no longer function in a healthy manner. Spouses – once in love with each other – suddenly find themselves in misery, incapable of being in the same home and living peacefully at the same time.
Immediate family members may suddenly find themselves living under different roofs in the wake of a divorce, causing siblings and former spouses alike to no longer trust one another or communicate. The especially sad part of this type of family failure is that young children can take up the sentiments of the parent they are around the most, projecting that onto their other parent and/or family members associated with the situation.
The physical separation – even without animosity flowing to the children – can cause a lack of connection between siblings who are split between spouses. With some families ultimately moving to different cities or even different countries, these individuals are deprived of the complete familial connection that many other families enjoy.


There are almost 100,000 people imprisoned in the UK prison system at-large. While this is a small percentage of the overall population, it is a huge component in why so many families fall apart. When a loved one is incarcerated, the effects are immediate: children lose their parents, adults lose their spouses and parents lose their children. Entire families are affected by the ordeal, resulting in added emotional stress and even financial obligations in some situations.
While family visits and the ability to connect in a number of ways still exist, not having that physical and tangible presence in one's life can be very traumatic for many. Especially true when it is a person who is one of the pillars of a family, relatives can begin to drift apart without them being there. Even among the elderly, there are several thousand imprisoned inmates in the UK.
Most commonly, however, it is young adults with children who find themselves imprisoned. This has major and meaningful effects on the children they've left on the outside, and can potentially affect their well-being, education and self-esteem. When dealing with longer prison sentences especially, children may grow up never truly knowing one of their parents, which often leads to anger and/or disinterest in reuniting after the incarcerated parent is released.


Whenever a loved one passes on, the trauma it can cause their friends and family members is immense. As family bonds continue to become less permanent in an advancing society, older individuals often serve as the matriarchs or patriarchs of their families, keeping multiple generations in constant contact.
When they pass away, suddenly an entire family is faced with the grief of losing that foundation and the lack of an established family leader. In many situations, the one thing these family members have in common is love and respect for the person who passed; when they are no longer present, they may not feel as obligated to attend family gatherings and other events. This slowly causes the erosion of extended family bonds, leading to new generations of that family losing touch over the years.


Less commonly discussed because it often manifests partially in other events on this list or doesn't result in the family completely falling apart, the stress of long work hours on a family can be devastating. When one or both spouses are away from the home every day for long periods of time, the amount of communication they enjoy is minimal. This, coupled with the realities of home life and exhaustion from work, can make it difficult to remain intimately bonded over the long-term.
It is especially difficult for families with children, as these children will not spend much time around their parents during this period of their lives. They may be forced to look after each other every day or be raised by other family members, but the cold, hard reality is that their parents are not there to truly raise them.
There is evidence to suggest that families built around hectic and busy careers do not remain as strong as families where family time is abundant.

As families provide much emotional and financial support, their presence in society is often the glue that keeps communities functioning. Unfortunately, all too many families fall apart due to a variety of reasons – some unavoidable. Whether it be death, divorce, squabbles over inheritance, jail time or high-stress jobs, the effects are often the same: a broken family. This unfortunate sadness is not an absolute nor a guarantee, however: by knowing what trigger points most often break families, people can take action to avoid these situations or prepare for their effects. 
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