“It’s just a playing field crammed full of cause and effect, billions of dominoes, each knocking over billions more, setting off trillions of actions every second.”
Loyalty conflicts in families seldom stay between two people. When we believe we are right and another person is wrong, we also tend to believe everyone with sound vision should be able to see what we see. We continue on to believe that if they do see what we see, of course they would have to support us; our cause is righteous, right?
Let’s say we do get another family member on-side. Once we have this other person on-side, and they see what we see, and they support our cause. Now two people are in righteous alignment and that must mean the cause is righteous, right? So they solicit the next person … who they believe must see what they see, and support them … and so on and so on and so on …
Let’s be frank, there are many people in estranged families, who play this game of alliances and allegiance as though their lives depended upon it. Many of them play the game fully conscious of the harm it causes and yet choose to willfully disregard the follow on effect for others.
Conflict becomes warfare, where allies are recruited through drama, gossiping, scapegoating, cold war or guerrilla warfare tactics.
This way of navigating family conflict, is as damaging as the initial estrangement that kicks it off.
Family loyalty conflicts are potentially contagious and when they spread, there is always collateral damage. Get enough momentum going and the whole stack of dominos will fall.
Families are like that too.