How To Walk Away From A Dysfunctional Family

How To Walk Away From A Dysfunctional Family

Dysfunctional families are common in today’s society. In fact, research shows that nearly half of all marriages experience some form of conflict. And these conflicts often continue long after children are born.

When you’re dealing with a dysfunctional family, you need to take control of your life. If you want to escape a toxic relationship, you need to start thinking about your future.

You can’t just sit back and wait for things to get better by themselves.

If you find yourself in this situation, then it might be time to think about leaving home. But how do you know when it is the right time to leave? Here are three signs that you should consider walking away:

1. Your Parents Are Cheating On Each Other

If you notice any suspicious behavior between your parents, such as them spending more time together than usual, then you should probably pay attention. This could mean that they are having an affair.

2. They Don’t Respect Your Privacy

When your parents don’t respect your privacy, it makes it difficult for you to feel safe at home. It also means that your parents aren’t willing to listen to your concerns.

Instead, they will try to make decisions about your life without consulting you first.

3. They Won’t Listen To Your Problems

When your parents won’t listen to your problems, it becomes very hard to talk to them. They may not even acknowledge that there is a concern.

In addition to being disrespectful, your parents may also have trouble showing empathy. For example, they may ignore your feelings and emotions. Or they may act like everything is fine while you are going through something painful.

how to walk away from a dysfunctional family

When you live in a dysfunctional family, you are always looking over your shoulder. Even though you may be able to trust one parent, you never really know what the other person is doing behind closed doors.

But if you decide to leave home, you can finally move forward with your life. You no longer have to worry about whether your parents are faithful.

You can now focus on finding a new place to call home.

How Do I Know When My Family Is Dysfunctional?

If you are wondering how to tell if your family is dysfunctional, here are some warning signs that you may be living in a dysfunctional family:

  • Your parents fight constantly
  • Your parents argue about money issues
  • Your parents don’t communicate well
  • Your parents don’t show affection towards each other
  • Your parents don’t support each other
  • Your siblings don’t get along
  • People in your family are jealous of each other
  • Your family doesn’t celebrate holidays together
  • Your family has secrets
  • Your parents don’t spend quality time together
  • Your parents don’t share their love
  • Your parents don’t encourage healthy relationships
  • Your parents don’t help each other grow
  • Your parents don’t work together
  • Your parents have bad habits
  • Your parents are selfish
  • Your parents don’t care about each other
  • Your mom and dad don’t hug each other
  • Your mom and dad don’t kiss each other
  • Your mother and father don’t hold hands
  • Your parents don’t go out of their way to include you
  • Your parents don’t treat you like their child
  • Your parents don’t treat you like an adult
  • Your parents don’t take responsibility for themselves
  • Your parents don’t teach you important lessons

How To Walk Away From A Dysfunctional Family

4 Ways To Deal With Guilt And Remorse After Leaving A Dysfunctional Family

1. Talk To Someone Who Understands How You Feel

The best thing you can do when you feel guilty for leaving a dysfunctional family is to talk to someone who understands how you feel. This could be a friend, a counselor, or a pastor.

2. Take Responsibility For Yourself

Another good idea is to take full responsibility for yourself. If you were raised by parents who didn’t give you the tools you needed to succeed, then you need to start taking charge of your own life.

3. Don’t Blame Others

It’s easy to blame others for why you left a dysfunctional family. But it isn’t fair to blame anyone else. Instead, you should look at yourself first.

4. Find The Right Place To Live

Once you realize that you want to leave a dysfunctional family, you will probably want to find a better place to live. Fortunately, there are many options available today.

So, if you want to leave a toxic environment, you can do so without feeling guilty. In fact, you can even make things easier on yourself by getting rid of all the baggage that comes with being part of a dysfunctional family. The feelings of guilt and remorse after leaving a dysfunctional family can be overwhelming. The article Why Is Forgiveness So Hard? explores the challenges of forgiveness, including forgiving oneself, which can be a vital part of the healing journey.


To conclude, leaving a toxic, dysfunctional family environment is never easy. However, once you know what you want, you can begin making changes.

You need to begin to prioritize your own needs over the needs of your family as this is the first step towards healing from abusive environments.

Once we can harness our own power without the input of toxic relatives, we can work wonders in our own lives. You should talk to a close friend or confidant in order to help you establish an escape plan.

Above all, you should try not to feel guilty about your decision to leave a dysfunctional family environment as more often than not, you will have given your family copious opportunities to change their toxic ways.

This is your time to hold your head high and pursue your own happiness without feeling held back by those around you.

Consulting with a therapist when making the decision to leave a dysfunctional family can also be notably beneficial as they can also help you outline a plan of action whilst providing emotional support during the process.

About our Author Michelle Landeros, LMFT license# 115130
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT

Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.

Last updated: July 13, 2024