8 signs your family has a strong and unbreakable bond

I always say that family isn’t just about blood. It’s about how you treat each other and how much effort you put into keeping your connection alive.

Or, as Jim Butcher once said: “When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching – they are your family.”

So, does your family have a strong and unbreakable bond? These are the 8 signs.

1) You can rely on each other in times of need

Every time something bad happens to you, you immediately know which people have your back and which are in your life out of pure convenience.

A month ago, I called my sister crying because I’d just broken up with my long-term partner. She’s been regularly checking up on me ever since, offering advice and support to the best of her ability.

The word family originates from the Latin “familia, which meant “household”, so quite literally something that “holds the house”.

That’s precisely what my sister’s been doing: holding the unit that we form together by giving me emotional support, and therefore making sure that I – an important part of the whole – am able to stand.

So, my question to you is: when the world seems to be falling apart, does your family come to the rescue and offer you shelter?

If your answer’s yes, it’s a big sign you have a strong and unbreakable bond.

2) You’re not afraid to show who you truly are

Families live in close confines. And let’s be honest, it’s pretty darn difficult to put on a mask 24/7 – most of us eventually let it drop and show our true colors.

But if your family gives you a reason to hide yourself – for example, if their beliefs go radically against who you are or what your lifestyle stands for – you might very well choose to play the part.

I probably don’t have to tell you how damaging that can be. If you can’t be your authentic self around the people closest to you, how are you to cultivate a strong connection with them? How are you to feel loved?

Your family should support you and accept you just as much as friends do. It shows they aren’t only interested in you as a family member, but also as a person independent of the family unit.

And speaking of independence…

3) Independence and love co-exist in your family

Have you ever heard the term “an enmeshed family”?

It’s what happens when there is an extreme lack of boundaries within the family unit. Family members tend to be too reliant on each other, and there is almost no space for individualization.

For instance, parents might obsessively dot on their children, vicariously live through their achievements, trauma dump and use them as their personal psychologists, or force them to follow strict rules that give them very little independence.

Well, if your family has a strong bond, there is a high chance your family dynamic is the opposite of that.

Ideally, parents ought to love their children enough to give them the freedom to actualize themselves and build their own lives – even though it’s hard.

Sometimes, letting go is the highest act of love.

4) You respect each other’s boundaries

Boundaries are of utmost importance when it comes to relationships with relatives. After all, these are people who are so familiar with your presence in their lives that they might easily cross your limits.


Because they expect you’ll never leave. At the end of the day, you’re family, right?

However, even families collapse if nothing holds them together. And oftentimes, that glue is mutual respect.

If you tell your mom that her one-hour-long complaints about your dad are crossing your boundaries, she should try her best not to do it again.

If you let your grandad know that you consider his jokes offensive and don’t feel comfortable when he makes them, he ought to be more careful in the future.

If you forbid your sister from borrowing your favorite earrings, she’s supposed to respect your decision.

Where there is respect, there are boundaries. And where there are boundaries, there is healthy communication and a desire for connection.

5) Everyone takes responsibility for their actions

“I told my mom that her actions had really wounded me, and she just said I was too sensitive.”

I hear these stories from my friends way too often to think they are exceptions.

There are plenty of parents out there who don’t take responsibility for their actions, be it because they’re worried it’d lower their standing in their children’s eyes or because they think that it is their parental right to win every argument.

“Dad, can you stop criticizing everything I do?”

“Right, because I’m such a terrible father! You live under my roof and eat my food, but I’m the bad one!”

That’s a great example of not taking responsibility if I’ve ever seen one.

Contrary to popular belief, parents who admit they were wrong and apologize are actually much more worthy of respect than those who stick to their guns no matter what. 

What’s more, they lead by example, teaching their kids some important lessons in emotional maturity. Not to mention it helps them foster a genuine connection with their children that’s based on respect, not just blood.

6) The living room is a place of comfort

The living room is a space where everyone gets together, watches TV, chats, plays games, and just has a relaxing time overall.

Unfortunately, not all families are like that. Sometimes, the living room is a place full of bad energy because the people occupying the space are simply not on good terms.

Think of your family home and ask yourself: “Do I enjoy hanging out in the living room? Do I feel at ease when I’m there?”

If you nod yes, it’s further proof that you have a strong bond with your family because it means you feel comfortable around them.

7) You look forward to your get-togethers

Just like with all relationships, family members need to keep in touch in order to have a thriving connection.

And I don’t just mean co-existence. I mean proper quality time, be it a family dinner, a board game night, or a trip to nature.

Through fulfilling conversations, you’re able to continue getting to know each other even after so many years; through the pleasant atmosphere you build together, you’re able to relax and bond; through fun experiences, you can create memories.

Do you look forward to when you see your family next? Does a family holiday feel like a gift rather than a chore?

These are some important questions to consider.

8) You connect on a friendship level

Finally, the best way to build an unbreakable bond with your family members is to take your relationships beyond blood and biology – it’s to cultivate true friendships.

Of course, this may look very different depending on which family member we’re talking about. The things you discuss with your sister might completely differ from those you share with your dad.

But the point still stands: families that hold firm do not do so only out of duty but also out of genuine love.

And that love stems from a deeper connection. It stems from friendship.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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