Social Question

rooeytoo's avatar

Does the perfect family truly exist in real life or is it only on television and the internet?

Asked by rooeytoo (26966points) December 30th, 2011

Especially over the holidays (but not only then) so many people tell horror stories of fights and feuds (often fueled by alcohol) between family members. Or they tell of messed up kids, depressed adults, unemployed relatives and marriages deteriorating. The list goes on forever. Yet on telly and online, I hear people speak of their perfect children, best friend spouse, wonderful family relationships. It always makes me wonder, are these people kidding themselves and their audience or do these lucky ones actually exist?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I think it doesn’t exist, and I think I am a happier person because I believe that. Most people I know who idealize other families feel they got a bad deal in the family department, and tend to be miserable people who dwell on hating their childhoods. Of course there are extremes that truly are horrific, but a little dysfunction seems to be statisically normal from where I sit.


Depends on what one thinks the “perfect family” is. All families have conflicts, because like Charlie Chaplin once said, “Life is conflict.”

If the “perfect family” is one where there is no conflicts at all, then it doesn’t exist in real life. But if the perfect family is one where the members get along relatively well and in peace and are happy for the most part, love one another, and where there is little discord and major conflicts, then yes, it can exist in real life. If that is the perfect family, then my family is a perfect family, but there will always be disagreements, fights, and heartache. That’s life.

judochop's avatar

My uncles direct family are pretty picture perfect. He is long time married, holds a VP of sales job for a gigantic company, has 4 very successful kids and my aunt is the superintendent of the Detroit public school system. His first child is a doctor and teaches psychology, has published several books and holds his own radio show. The second child is a US Marshall and the third is a principle of a very nice private school. All of them married to equally successful partners all with three children. They never fight, they are all beautiful and always happy. They volunteer time, give to charities and pretty much act like Leave it to Beaver.
All and all, I love the hell out of them. They are so perfect that when I am with them I feel like I am living in a movie.
So to what you are talking about, they are it. It exists. They play board games, basketball, go to swim meets, drive nice cars and live in homes with white fences.

stemnyjones's avatar

First of all, I don’t think there is a “perfect family”. Nobody is perfect 100% of the time, so the idea of an entire family without conflict seems far-fetched. And even if this was the case – even if there was a family with happily married parents who were still in love, who never fought in front of the children and held jobs that brought in enough money to never have financial issues, with kids who were treated well and got straight A’s and never had problems with their peers… it still wouldn’t be perfect. Like the saying goes, you can’t have sunshine without rain. I’m pretty sure someone in the family, of not all of them, wouldn’t be happy because they wouldn’t realize just how good they had it.

And as far as people on TV and talking to friends, I don’t think they’re kidding themselves. I talk about how wonderful my life with my daughter and fiance is all the time, and I mean it, but it’s not perfect. I just don’t see why I should talk about the faults that every healthy relationship has, when 90% of it is good.

JLeslie's avatar

@judochop I know a family that looks like that, but I am close girlfriends with an inlaw, meaning she married into that perfect family, and it isn’t as perfect as it seems. Everyone is very successful in their careers, and beautiful children, no one is divorced. Overall it is a very nice family, but there is peer pressure within the family and obligations not everyone is happy about, and appearances mean a lot to most of them.

But, the family you describe might really be perfect. Are you a man or a woman? I only ask because I think women or more likely to hear the real deal from family members.

smilingheart1's avatar

The best you can hope for is authenticity which is far more wonderful than the illusive “perfect”.... cheers to real!

augustlan's avatar

I doubt very highly that such a family exists. From the outside, my previous marriage/family situation looked pretty damn close to perfect. People around us were shocked as hell when we announced we were getting a divorce, because they thought everything was just peachy in our house. It wasn’t, though, of course. No one can ever really know what goes on on the inside of any particular family.

zenvelo's avatar

I know of a few families that appear perfect. But one never ever really knows. One must not compare one’s insides with other people’s outsides.

judochop's avatar

@JLeslie you don’t think those pressures exist on T.V.?

JoeyOhSoClever's avatar

I’m not too sure that this question deserves a simple answer, but I believe the answer is simple. There can’t be a perfect family, because individuals aren’t perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. The people who claim to have a perfect family, have a different view of perfection than you do.

comity's avatar

Speaking as someone who has been around the pike for a long time, the only perfect family I have seen has been on TV. Right now they’re in the series Blue Bloods, in which the entire family of three generations eat, talk and interact with each often. I say Aaah when I watch the program. In actuality, many generations are separated long distances because of jobs, etc. and don’t live in the same area, they have their “shtiks”, but, when they do get together to me, the matriach of the family, it’s Aaah and doesn’t have to be perfect. Love ‘em all!

marinelife's avatar

Perfection and human beings do not go together. There is a wide range of dysfuction that goes along with families and behavior.

I just enjoy what is right with the family and the relationship.

john65pennington's avatar

All relationships and marriages have their ups and downs.

Its the strong ones that survive.

rooeytoo's avatar

Thank you all and lurve for your responses. I agree with those who say perfection does not exist regardless of outward appearances. I knew 2 sisters, only a year or two apart in age whose recollections of their home life were vastly different. A privileged childhood but with an alcoholic father and mother. One sister remembered the horrors, the other only remembered the good, so perception has a lot to do with it as well.

Hope you all have a wonderful and humanly happy new year! Cheers

fizzbanger's avatar

On the internet, it’s the Facebook filter effect. Families seem fantastic when they only post good news and pictures of puppies and vacations. Blogs and whatnot are peoples’ own projections of their lives.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther