as our micro-environment, our family can, theoretically speaking, be as big a source of happiness as one of unhappiness, depending largely on our relationship with each family member. in real life, it is more often than not an external source of happiness and unhappiness at the same time.
just as we have little control over other external elements (either in the sociopolitical reality or at the working station), we have no choice over such elements within our micro-environment, except in the case of our spouse. it is true that we may divorce our spouses or break up with our partners, but this process is an unhappy one; it is also true that we can stop communicating with our parents or offspring, but we can never choose our parents, nor can we really psychologically 'disown' our offspring, whether we enjoy a good relationship with them or not. most of our unhappiness about family may have to do with this very 'unchoosability,' which has an unavoidable effect on our psychology.
while we love our family, this love, one of the most natural human feelings, can be a source of constant fear, worry or anxiety. coupling together with this love, our sense of responsibility drives us to do whatever we can for the safety and well-being of our family. while making such efforts, we are sure to face all kinds of dehappifiers and have to deal with them in one way or another. as Leo Tolstoy has put it, 'All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.'
family is always as much a happifier as a dehappifier to each of us.
the only way to turn our family from a dehappifier to happifier is to adjust our own psychology.
[as my eyes hurt too much and too long whenever i sit in front of a screen, i have to minimize my computer time in recent weeks. for the past half a year, the eye drops have been basically helpless. as a slow typist and prose writer, this situation affects my thinking and writing greatly.]