By Clay Robinson
Remember when there was such a thing as bonds. Relationships we took for granted and knew they would weather any storm. We used phrases 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 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 see on the news or read in a newspaper in any city 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?
Throughout my years of working in and volunteering with social service agencies I have dealt with plenty of mothers who have abandoned their babies in hospitals after giving birth and fathers who have turned their backs on children because the relationship with the mother had ended. I have visited nursing homes where I find parents and grandparents who have been left behind and practicality forgotten and talked to young children who fantasize about ways to torture their parents when they don’t get what they want. Does this sound like people who share bonds? I think not.
I watch my sister, 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?
Clay Robinson is the president R&R Domestic Services, a local company that prevents domestic violence through early intervention. He teaches anger management and conflict resolution classes with the Knights of Pythagoras Mentoring Network.