Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation.
~ Margaret Mead
The first time I saw this quote, I just had to agree with her. It is quite an unfortunate place (or shall I say "box") we have put/found ourselves in.
When you think about it, each and everyone comes from a family and then moves on the form their own family after marriage to a person of the opposite gender. So why would anyone ever think that they can, shall I say, "go on" all by themselves?
I remember Pastor Tony Rapu used to talk to us about how bad and sad some people's prayers were - where all they said was:
Lord, be with and bless my family - us four and no more. Amen.
Did you just turn up you nose after reading that? So did I...and then over time I have sadly caught myself living in that mentality.
A lot of people and families want to be "left alone." If you were left alone - in all the world - how would you feel? You'd be lonely and not have the opportunity to "lean" on anyone else besides your nuclear family - and before you all know it, you'd be really tired of each other. Yes, I join you to say "God forbid!" However, that is the case for all those who live in a box... at least until a wise member of the family "runs" out of the box to connect with others.
As they say:
"No man is an island" - neither is any family an island.
Just to be clear, since I don't know how far this piece will go, I'm not saying that you should not have appropriate boundaries where you are leaning on or supporting your extended family at the expense of your nuclear family. Your nuclear family comes first, only after God...and then your spiritual and natural (extended) family. You cannot afford to live for only yourself and your family.
Live out of the box: there's so much love to go around and you have more to give & gain too.