Remember when there was such a thing as bonds. Relationships that we took for granted and knew that they would weather any storm. We used phrases such as “Blood is thicker than Water” and “A Family that Prays Together, Stays Together”. Even still, included in marriage vows is “Till Death do Us Part”. How strong are the bonds between two people today? Do bonds even exist anymore? I sometimes find myself cringing when someone speaks about bonding. Especially, when I have on occasion, worked for bosses who insist that the staff bond and resort to repeatedly having you and your coworkers endure those bonding workshops and exercises that only bring to life why you really don’t like each other in the first place.
The strongest bond, we were told, was the bond between Parent and Child. I sometimes question to what extent these bonds still exist. At least once a week, you can turn on the news or open a newspaper in any city and hear of a child killing a parent or a parent killing a child. Children are abandoned, abused, and sold every day. Can you do this to someone with whom you have a bond?
My husband received a disturbing message just this morning from a friend who was in court with a young man who is in jeopardy of becoming a ward of the state. His mother doesn’t want him because he reminds her too much of his father and his father doesn’t want him simply because he just doesn’t. He is not even willing to work because he will be responsible for paying child support if he does. I recently heard a young man speak about how he dislikes his father. He didn’t care for the way his father spoke to or treated him. His father also had a baby on the way with a new girlfriend. He talked about how angry he would be if his father spent more money on the girlfriend and new baby than he would spend on him and ways he would like to punish his father. The main way was to put him on a desert island and starve him to death. He said that he would give him a little food before he dies from starvation just to keep him alive to continue the torture. Does it sound as though any of these parents and children have a bond? I think not.
I watch my sister, who is the mother of two teenage children, and I am baffled by her inability to bond with them. I see the loving relationships she has with the children of her friends and her nieces and nephews, yet when it comes to her own children, it seems there is no bond at all. I speculate as to whether or not it has to do with the poor relationship she had with her mate, their father, who is now deceased. Could it be possible that not having a healthy relationship with the mother or father of your children interferes with the bond or lack thereof you develop with the children the two of you create? I think so.
What is a bond and what makes it unbreakable? Webster’s defines a bond as something that binds, fastens, confines, or holds together. With human relationships this takes some type of commonality along with emotions, such as affection and trust for this bond to be created. But like anything that has been bound, fastened or held together, no matter the glue, if we’re determined enough, it can always be broken, torn apart, or separated. So I guess there is no such thing as an unbreakable bond.
I have seen long-term relationships that include friendships, marriages, siblings, and those between parents and child ripped apart over petty disagreements, money, lifestyle choices, hurt feelings, and envy. When you can give up on a relationship for things that are sometimes small and petty, how strong was the bond to begin with?
There’s an awful lot of blood around that water is thicker than. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966