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Do I have duty to love my family?

22 Answers
Last Updated: 03/16/2020 at 12:31pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lindsay Scheinerman, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My work with clients is to help them recognize and build on their strengths to find solutions for the conflicts presented in their lives.

Top Rated Answers
May 14th, 2015 5:07pm
I think this can be a really tough question, and a hard one to answer for ourselves. Do you have a duty to love them? No, I don't think that you do. Being your family doesn't mean that they deserve your love, as selfish as that may sound. If your family is harming you or having a negative effect on you then it is our duty to take care of ourselves. For some people, that might mean not loving your family or not being there for them. I know from personal experience that withdrawing from your family isn't easy; it can be painful and cause more conflict. However, the only person you have a duty to love and take care of is yourself. Sometimes we love our families even though they have done bad things to us. Sometimes we can't help it. But that doesn't mean we have to love them.
May 27th, 2015 7:49am
Personally I say no. For the last ten years my family has been too hurtful, damaging and triggering for me - in the end I have had to totally cut myself off from them so I could live the kind of life I could be happy and healthy in. But at the same time, it's really hard and really painful. I'm better off without them, but it wasn't all bad, they aren't essentially bad/evil people. So I still really miss the good, I still think I love them. But do I have an obligation to do or be anything for them any more or to allow them in my life. No.
May 9th, 2016 4:33pm
No everyone can love their family. That's perfectly fine. I have never loved my family but get along fine with them. No one has to love anyone, even your family.
July 18th, 2016 12:25pm
You don't have the duty to love anyone. Love isn't anything you can decide upon. Love happens or it doesn't happen.
March 7th, 2016 6:33am
Philosophical answer: No, it is not your duty. This question involves morals: it's morally great to love your family. Morals were invented to give humans the illusion that they are not savage creatures - that they are above wild animals, yet it is complete nonsense. You have no duties in life. It's all up to how you feel and think. Do YOU think that it's your duty?
November 15th, 2017 12:12am
Personally, I say no. Your main duty is to take care of you. Since the death of my. Mother 16 years ago, my family have been extremely toxic towards each other, but mostly directed towards myself, as I was left the responsibility by my mother to ensure my sister with learning difficulties could remain in the house. Therefore, my siblings could not sell the property as they wanted. This has been a very painful experience and I have felt bullied and isolated in their presence, which has caused me a great deal of stress over the years and led to a heart condition and sometimes feeling suicidal at having to deal with the constant ganging up against me. For a long time I felt I had to put up with their behaviour out of some sense of duty to family. 3 years ago I decided to severe all links with them, except for my disabled sister. Although, this was extremely painful for me as it felt like another breavement for me, sometimes you just have to look after yourself and realise that your family are just not good to be around.
April 16th, 2015 1:37am
If you're family with someone who brings nothing but negativity into your life, then no - you have no obligation to love them.
July 17th, 2017 6:58am
You have no more duty to love your family than you do for anyone else. If someone in your family does something that hurts you you don't need to love them or keep them in your life. If you just don't connect with a family member you don't need to feel guilty. There is nothing wrong with not loving someone in your family. The reason people say all that family above all stuff is because they expect that there's never any reason to dislike a family member which simply isn't true.
August 15th, 2017 5:29am
I dont think anybody has a duty to love anybody. There are so many factors when it comes to loving someone and sometimes blood connection is not enough. If you have a bad relationship with your family it may not be true or real for you to say you love them, and that is okay. The only thing you have duty to is to treat people with respect and humanity.
December 12th, 2017 2:21pm
You do not. Even if your family has spent your whole life giving you support, if this is conditional it is not true care. The hope is that support will be unconditional regardless of what path you've chosen, but if your family conditions that love and support on the choices you make or the qualities you embody, then you are under no obligation to return it. It certainly isn't easy, but it is possible. I am here for anybody struggling with this.
June 25th, 2018 2:06pm
Not at all. Just because your family brought you into this world doesn't mean you automatically have to love them. They still have to earn your love and respect just like anyone else in the world has to.
February 6th, 2018 6:00pm
Biologically speaking we love our Family because that increases the chance of having our genes passed on to the next generation. If they treat you badly however, then you should stay away from them.
February 27th, 2017 9:55pm
You do not have a duty to love your family if they are abusive in any way towards you. Just because they are your family doesn't mean you have to give them second chances if they hurt you or make you feel bad.
April 10th, 2018 1:01pm
A very good question! I think love cannot be a duty. Love is a freedom and a choice. It is difficult to practice love to our family because they are the ones who can hurt us the most. But i guess it hurts because of Love! which is somewhere behind the layers of broken promises, expectations, etc. and pretty much unconditional. So the question is to practice love or not- is a separate matter, which requires skills, patience, acceptance perhaps. So thats my philosophical view on it..
July 17th, 2018 11:14am
If your family has given you multiple reasons to not like them, you shouldn't have to love them. It's not your fault if you can't love them.
May 23rd, 2016 3:03am
It is not a duty to love your family no. But family are people who have brought u up and will always be there even if u need them or not. Might as well have a good relationship with them.
March 16th, 2020 12:31pm
It was really depend on how they treat you. People feel guilty about feeling indifferent to their family member because society pressure us to love them just because we share the same blood. But there's peoples out there that get abused, there's peoples out there who experienced things that shouldn't have happened in the first place. And I think it's important to consider that, I think its important to know that it's your life not theirs and it's not your duty to love a person, even as a family member that cause you nothing but pain. But, if they have love you endlessly than it is your duty to love them endlessly as well.
June 6th, 2015 11:00am
well one should love their family, because your family loves you and has been there for you, supporting you whenever you needed help. even when you didn't know about it. You shouldn't think of it as a duty but love should come naturally.. :)
September 29th, 2015 1:11am
YES! I should love them I mean they're my family.
November 21st, 2016 7:59am
I'm not sure if it's so much of a duty I think loving ones family just comes naturally. I guess in our society we just deem it to be natural to always love our families unconditionally
April 11th, 2017 11:27am
You don't, even if they are biological or whatever. You can't control your feelings and that goes for your familt as well. If you don't feel love for them, then the question remains... Have they done good enough to deserve this love of yours
April 3rd, 2018 9:24pm
You don't owe anybody anything. You are free to do anything you want, but you are not free from the consequences of your actions. So if you decide to distance yourself from your family because of a toxic environment, that's okay. But if there are only differences in opinions, think about it before taking any definitive decision. If you want to lose contact, that's alright, as i said, you don't owe anybody anything. But you may one day need them, or they may need you. Think of that and analize what you would do in that scenario, then try to figure out what feelings you have towards your family