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Do not let estrangement ruin your life.

(91 Posts)
Peonyrose Sat 06-Jul-19 07:34:41

When you are estranged from someone you love so much, it us hard to think of anything else. After trying reconcilliation and being rebuffed, please try hard not to let it spoil your life, keep busy and work at being happy with what you do have otherwise it's a waste if a life.

mosaicwarts Sat 06-Jul-19 09:10:35

It is very hard isn't it. I haven't seen my Dad now 19 years now and have come to terms with my father not loving me. I've come to the conclusion that his dreadful childhood stunted him emotionally. He's 87 now, and the only way I can find out about him is through my 82 year old aunt who doesn't have a sensitivity filter smile

Smileless2012 Sat 06-Jul-19 09:17:26

A great thread for the estrangement forum Peonyrosesmile.

Pantglas1 Sat 06-Jul-19 09:56:24

You can have a good life even when you’re estranged from loved ones, a different life from the one you’d planned, but a good one nevertheless. However you do have to be proactive and not allow negative thoughts to overwhelm you on a daily basis. Sometimes the very thing you want the most I.e reconciliation comes when you stop trying so hard to achieve it.

Dawn22 Sat 06-Jul-19 22:53:44

I have very difficult in laws. It has hurt me like nothing else in my life and even though l have tried to stand against injustice, sometimes l feel it has defined me.. I really like your insights Smileless. This is a good post to help us explore the impact estrangement has on the human psyche. Not many places for that type of spotlight.

Namsnanny Thu 11-Jul-19 12:16:40

Peonyrose...thanks positive post thanks!
Not up to commenting more than that (for fear of the usual bashing!!)
But appreciate the common sense and kindness behind pointing it out.

Smileless2012 Thu 11-Jul-19 14:21:07

For the first 4 years of our estrangement, when we continued to love just 15 doors away, I used to get waves of hopelessness and despair.

I struggled to sleep, to leave the house for fear of seeing them. I felt as if I'd suddenly for no discernible reason, been cast down a long, cold, damp and unforgiving tunnel which if there was a light at the end of, I couldn't see.

Now, 20 months since we moved to begin a new chapter in our lives, those waves have all but disappeared and been replaced with waves of extraordinary peace and happiness.

I am sorry Dawn. In a way your painful experiences at the hands of your in laws have defined you, but perhaps not in the way that you think.

You are not the person they have defined you as, no more than we are the people our ES and his wife have defined us as being.

Your experiences, the way you have handled them and to a certain extent come through them is what defines you just as our experiences and our handling of them define us.

You have tried to stand against injustice, as have we but there's only so much you can do. It takes courage to stand against injustice so let that be one aspect of your relationship with your in laws that defines you. It's good, it's positive and it's true.


Starlady Fri 12-Jul-19 00:46:06

Beautiful post, Smileless!

Dawn, so sorry for what you've been through! Hugs!

Sara65 Fri 12-Jul-19 06:59:43


You are right, it may not be life as you imagined it, but it can still be a good life

Dolcelatte Fri 12-Jul-19 07:11:41

Peony, thanks for starting this thread and you give good advice.

I identify totally with what Smileless says about the waves of hopelessness, sleepless nights, long dark tunnel and feelings of despair. I also agree with the poster who says that reconciliation may come when you least expect it and when you stop pushing for it.

I am semi-reconciled with DD now, but there is still a long way to go and she has hurt me so badly that I think I am always going to be a bit wary. To be honest, I think a little piece of me has, if not died, then certainly frozen over, in order to protect myself. But I do feel much stronger, I have stopped beating myself up about what I did and didn't do to cause the estrangement. I am moving forward positively but cautiously and enjoying all of the positive aspects of my life, including my relationships with my other two lovely children. I realised that ESD was taking up too much head space and that I was spending far more time thinking about her than the two who were so loving, supportive and loyal, and that's not fair on them.

So, yes, let's embrace Peony's message and not waste our lives on things that we may not be able to change. Let's count our blessings and enjoy and be grateful for what we have.

Bordersgirl57 Fri 12-Jul-19 07:20:57

Well said peonyrose. Nice to see some positivity, we are more resilient than we know.

BradfordLass72 Fri 12-Jul-19 07:55:18

Good advice Peonyrose it is so difficult to live with.

I examined my situation very closely and at length with my younger son. Eventually I was able to say quite honestly that I had done nothing to cause the estrangement (the reasons elder son gave were things which simply hadn't happened) and the guilt was lifted.

After almost 2 decades I still miss my elder boy, the daft beggar. He's too stubborn to back down even if he now regrets cutting himself off from all 3 members of his remaining family.

The biggest thing which helped me (thanks to my younger son), is that it is not ME but him; his choice to divorce us. Nothing we did. sad

sodapop Fri 12-Jul-19 08:20:34

I can't imagine how painful it has been and continues to be for a such a lot of people.
It's good to have a more positive message on here, life can still be enjoyed despite everything.

Witchypoo Fri 12-Jul-19 09:07:51

Life can certainly be enjoyed although part of my heart has been frozen. Do not know what caused the estrangement. Asked but no reply. Have lovely people around me and i very very rarely think of what could be. Their loss, i am surrogate grandparent to several littleones and surrogate parent to their parents so family life continues for me

Nanny27 Fri 12-Jul-19 09:16:51

We are still at the incredibly painful stage of estrangement when DH's only and much loved child has rejected every attempt to contact her since DH and I got married. The guilt I feel is massive. He and his previous wife had been divorced for several years by the time we met but his daughter could never forgive him for finding happiness.

CanOnlyTry Fri 12-Jul-19 09:18:41

Thank you so much for this Peonyrose Myself and DH are only just experiencing this incredible heartache. Just taking it all a day at a time atm and doing all we can to keep going despite all the negative 'propaganda' against us.

Dawn22 I'm so sorry you've suffered injustice too

polyester57 Fri 12-Jul-19 09:33:46

Why do I feel that my life is being taken over by American talk shows? Can you not just meet and talk about it over a cup of tea?

Minshy Fri 12-Jul-19 09:50:43

Life is certainly never the same again.
A part of my heart died. The hurt goes on and it’s hard to describe how a child can do easily discard a mother.
But life does go on. But like I said never quite the same.

Tigertooth Fri 12-Jul-19 10:13:37

I know of 3 adult children who have cut all contact with their mothers - all 3 are the eldest child of 3 siblings.
Is this a ‘thing’ with the eldest - do they never really forgive their mothers for having more babies?

RosieLeah Fri 12-Jul-19 10:18:40

Tigertooth...that's very intriguing. My daughter is the eldest of 3 and has cut me out of her life. I haven't been able to figure out why because we didn't have a row or disagreement. She was the only child for 3 years, then her first brother was born. Perhaps, as you suggest, she has never forgiven me.

Smileless2012 Fri 12-Jul-19 11:06:32

Don't you think that if it were possible to "just meet and talk about it over a cup of tea" we'd have done that polyester?

maddyone Fri 12-Jul-19 11:33:31

Your life is never the same, during or after estrangement. The pain you feel is indescribable, and the questions go on and on. You query what you did or said, you wonder how you could possibly have raised your beloved child so that he/she behaves in this way. What did you do wrong? Were you just a lousy parent? Are there mental health issues? Is it a genetic trait? And the most sad of all, why me? You grieve as if your child was dead.
But Peonyrose is right, eventually you have to get on with your life and enjoy your life, because this is the only life you have, and it’s precious. Try not to waste it.

inishowen Fri 12-Jul-19 11:35:54

We're estranged from hubbies side of the family. It doesn't cost us a thought. They said unforgiveable things a long time ago.

Nannanna Fri 12-Jul-19 11:36:16

Many years have passed with no more to say that won't end in anger avoid this and to protect yourself best to keep your distance. Lives to live and not waste energy and time on endless painful conversations where no kindness is shown. Soul destroying !
No one has a right to cause this kind of hurt on anyone. 💐

Nannanna Fri 12-Jul-19 11:37:41

I agree - to protect yourself and live your life xx

Sara65 Fri 12-Jul-19 11:40:28


That’s really interesting, I’m not estranged from my eldest daughter, thank goodness, but she’s the eldest of three, and definitely the easiest one to upset, we tend to walk on egg shells around her, and are selective about what we tell her, It’s very hard to be 100% fair all the time, but believe me, we try!

maddyone Fri 12-Jul-19 11:47:24

Nannanna, ‘no one has a right to cause this kind of hurt on anyone.’

That is so true. All kinds of abuse is against the law, quite rightly, but the abuse dished out by some adult children to their parents is still completely acceptable.

BusterTank Fri 12-Jul-19 12:07:52

I haven't seen my eldest daughter for 12 years i have spent many of days crying . Some days i felt i just couldn't go on but i am grateful for my life and everything i have got . Sometimes I have to remind myself there are a lot of people worst of than me . Also you just don't know what's around the corner .

keffie Fri 12-Jul-19 12:12:38

My remarkable wonderful husband passed away last year. His family of origin have become estranged. I am not prepared to go into it on a public forum.

It's enough to say I am in no way at fault. If I was I would say so and I would have made my amends to them. Our eldest son took over dealing with the situation to no avail. It devastated me. I could not believe anyone could do what 2 members of the family did.

My late husband would never speak to 2 of them again. Has for the brother he wouldnt be standing if my late husband could do anything about it.

Those 2 btw didnt come to the funeral either. Says it all.

It is called secondary loss. I still have bare minimum contact with 1 brother in law and sister in law and 1 nephew and 2 nieces who are grown through social media.

The one brother in law and sister in law we were closest too it has just filtered way.

It's taken alot of working through. It's incredibly hurtful. Fortunately they arent local so I dont have to see them.

I am blessed though as I have alot of my own family and amazing people around me so I am not lonely or anything.

It's just unbelievable how some families can behave. Having says that the 2 who caused it did the same thing when their dad died with other family of there's, so really I shouldn't be surprised. How you do one thing is how you do anything

Stella14 Fri 12-Jul-19 12:35:24

I absolutely agree that not being able to ‘set aside’ the estrangement enough to enjoy life is “a life wasted”. It takes time. It’s a bereavement when we lose someone we love to estrangement, and we have to grieve. Thankfully, I have moved on. I still feel it sometimes, but I will no longer dwell on it.

sandybh6 Fri 12-Jul-19 13:04:54

Estranged from a brother right now. He is unforgiving and holds grudges about the most trivial things (ie, we didn't bring a dessert for the dessert table at his oldest son's wedding in 2011). I'm frankly tired of walking on eggshells around him and decided I'm done with it. I have 4 other sibs who like me and I'm good with that. Life is too short to tiptoe around mean-spirited, angry people.

Starlady Fri 12-Jul-19 14:05:24

I feel so deeply for everyone here who is estranged. I think Peony's point about focusing on "what you do have" is very important. Not only will it bring you some joy and peace of mind, but it's more fair to the loving family who have stayed in contact and even offered support sometimes.

But I also understand the poster who said this is a bereavement. If not the loss of a person, exactly, it's the loss of a relationship. I imagine people often need time to heal and get a little past the grief before they can start paying more attention to their other, more loving relationships.

That's an interesting point about the eldest AC, Tigertooth. If I recall correctly, the eldest is usually either the most responsible child or the most rebellious. Perhaps those who CO their parents are in the "most rebellious" category.

Keffie, unfortunately, I don't think your experience is that unusual. I know someone who was dropped by her DH's relatives as soon as the funeral was over, even though they had been very close. They had rigid attitudes about "blood," etc. Since she was no longer married to their DB, they no longer saw her as "family." Sad but true.

It seems as if, in your case, there were some issues between the 2 troublemakers and your DH before he died, however. Otherwise, why wouldn't they even come to the funeral? Unfortunately, those issues may have spilled over onto you. Either way, I'm so sorry.

Day6 Fri 12-Jul-19 14:24:11

I know people are hurting dreadfully from the estrangement of relatives and grandchildren, and I do feel for you.

I am now estranged from one part of our extended family and the break came because of extremely hurtful and untrue things written about me. The writer implied all the family/inlaws felt the same way about me, that I was hated. Given I have very cordial relationships, even friendships with all the family members mentioned, that knocked me sideways and I had to ask OH if it were true. (I knew it wasn't but it dents your confidence, self-belief and self esteem. You wonder if people are being two-faced.)

I have had plenty of reassurance from family that the writer was being petty, spiteful and immature, but I have no qualms in saying I want absolutely nothing to do with that person again. It means OH has had to hold out an olive branch to her in order to see his grandchild so it has caused a family rift in that I am no longer Grandma. The writer succeeded. I am left out (by choice) and feel sidelined. You try not to let it get to you but it does. I have never, ever fallen out with anyone like this, in all of my 60+ years. I hate bad feeling.

You are right Peonyrose, you do have to try not to let such stuff spoil life, because it's too short and there is so much to be enjoyed. I have discovered though that a part of me does feel damaged. I suppose I am holding on to a hurt, but it was such a nasty, vicious and poisonous attack, out of the blue, that there is no way back from it. Life goes on however.

user2058 Fri 12-Jul-19 14:27:44

Does anyone have any practical steps to ease the pain of estrangement?

Fernbergien Fri 12-Jul-19 14:44:05

It was our eldest son we were estranged from. Sleepless nights etc. Then had a truly light bulb moment. Slept well that night after over two years. We were told by people that we were not at fault so not to reproach ourselves. See him very rarely now. Always on eggshells and guarded. At least some contact.

Smileless2012 Fri 12-Jul-19 14:53:17

This may sound strange user but go with it. When you want to cry, cry; scream, scream; shout, shout. Don't fight the pain it's all part of the grieving process and when you find yourself estranged, you grieve.

In time, the intensity of the pain begins to subside and when it does, go with that too. Don't feel guilty because you begin to feel that you're 'getting over it', that you don't think about them every minute of every day.

When it's you own child you've become estranged from, it feels unnatural when you eventually reach that point where you decide that enough is enough, that you simply don't want too, and can't spend the rest of your life in no man's land, waiting for the call, text, email or knock at the door that you now know you wont get.

It's a long, hard and painful road. It took me 4 years to reach that point, a point I never thought I'd reach but I did.

I'm not saying, 6.5 years after it happened that I'm over it, I don't know if you ever get over it but I'm as over it as much as I can be. Enough to have been able to move on with my life and find peace and happiness again.

Tillybelle Fri 12-Jul-19 14:55:39

Oh Peonyrose Bless you! and all you other good people living in this pain. I am lucky since mine is not quite the same - I have a lot more hope, but it still hurts so much. I am so moved by the kindness and love you all share and the support you give, Peonyrose, you are so right! We must live as positively and purposefully as we are able. 🌈🌺🦋

maddyone Fri 12-Jul-19 15:00:42

I’m so pleased that you feel you’re ‘over it’ as much as it’s possible to be Smileless. When my adult child was being very difficult, I received much support from you and others on the estrangement thread. I’m happy to say that it is all resolved now, but I will also say, I’m much more guarded now and I probably always will be. So long as we can see our dear ones, I’m okay with it.

Tillybelle Fri 12-Jul-19 15:14:39

keffie. I am so sorry to hear of the death of your dear Husband. He was a wonderful man from what you say, a man who endured much. 💐
As far as I can discern, your experience has some parallels with my own. I decided, on Police advice, to cut all ties with one part of my family after the death of my mother. It was not a completely strong tie, but I cannot explain fully in public. The fact that the Police explained things to me concerning the younger generation on that side led me to see that these were people who were a danger to me and were completely different from me. As I was widowed young I had to protect my children on my own as well. I had already had a searing experience leading up to my mother's death which left me gasping with incredulity at what they had done.

The whole thing still causes me actual physical pain and I feel ill when I think about it. There are people in this world who think and act in ways that are unbelievable, I agree. I think they are evil in the literal sense, they have no kindness in them and only appear to be kind when it serves their purpose.

My other estrangement - to which I referred in my other post above - is different. Not as painful as most people here and I am grateful since I realise it could be worse. It is partly a force of circumstances. But causes me many days of tears none the less.

I repeat that Peonyrose is so right - to be as positive as we can is essential.
Take care of yourself keffie, lots of love, Elle x 🌺🌼

blue60 Fri 12-Jul-19 16:28:18

I have been estranged from my dh since she was eleven; she is now 37 years old.

We did try to reconnect about 15 years ago, but it was not possible.

I was grief stricken when she left to go live with my ex husband (she loved him more than me, she said) and it took years to come to terms with it, but I did and have got on with my own life and am happy. I hope she is too.

blue60 Fri 12-Jul-19 16:29:09

That should have said dd (daughter).

Granless Fri 12-Jul-19 16:45:22

......... and it goes deeper than just estranged. There then comes the issue of ‘do I name them in my Will or not’. Will I feel guilty if I omit them in my Will and .... if they have not bothered about me, why should I bother about them .... and on it goes battling with your own emotions.

Grannysmith Fri 12-Jul-19 17:26:08

I have been estranged from my daughter for 3 years now. No contact at all. She has 3 children & I have not even seen the youngest one. It was a gradual estrangement, not one particular argument. She has always been a difficult woman & we always had to tread on eggshells whenever she was around. She is married to a GP & we are so disappointed that he has done nothing to help us reconcile. The pain is unbearable sometimes, I feel such loss. I live in hope but in my heart I know it will never happen. Sorry for the rant.

Niucla97 Fri 12-Jul-19 17:40:21

I have posted this before but it is relevant. My eldest son fell in love and disowned his entire family. We weren't even allowed to go to the wedding.

My elderly neighbour came round in the afternoon ( the day of the wedding) to see if I was okay.

I will never forget his words- today you have just finished a page in a chapter of the book of life. You must now turn the page and a begin a new chapter. One day your son may return , only you know if you will forgive him but you will never forget. I often think of those words.

My son is in a controlled marriage and has even had to move out of the area from a job her loved

grandma1954 Fri 12-Jul-19 17:59:24

Estranged from my oldest son for nearly 17 years. Not due to anything my dh or I did. I had a bit of a breakdown after the event. Have slowly rebuilt my life. Had to consciously write him out of our wills on solicitors advice as didn’t want younger son having problems. I miss him every day and still don’t understand how it came to this. He was so loved by us. It hurts as much today as it did all those years ago. I will never fully get over it and it definitely changed me.

skate Fri 12-Jul-19 18:01:17

It's very hard and even worse if you just don't know why. My son, who used to be a lovely boy and a very nice young man, suddenly turned against me in his late twenties after his father died, and I just don't know why. His girlfriend at the time said he had changed towards her too, and she was devastated when she got dumped. He later met another girl and married her, and I hope he is happy because I love my son very much. I tried to talk to him to ask what was wrong, but he just said I was an awful person. I don't know why - I haven't changed from being the mother I always was when we had a good relationship. I think something happened in his mind to twist his thinking, but I don't know what. Anyway, it's many years since we had any contact despite my attempts to be reconnected, and there comes a point when you can't take any more rejection. He is my only child and if he knocked on the door tomorrow I would welcome him with open arms, but I don't think he ever will. He lives in another country now anyway. So I have built a life as a virtually childless widow, not dwelling on heartbreak but concentrating on all the good and positive things in my life, which are many. No wallowing, no self pity. The door is always open but I am not going to become my son's victim. Any mother will know that I could never stop loving my son, I wish him every happiness in life, but I cannot spend mine yearning for a reconciliation which will never come.

Peonyrose Fri 12-Jul-19 18:41:26

Today's posts are particularly poignant, it made me feel so upset for those of you that have just been left, it makes me bewildered how anyone can do that. I feel a fraud as I am not estranged, my friend has been slowly moved out of her daughter's over the last few years until contact stopped. It made me look at posts on here. As an outsider but with empathy for anyone in that position, it could be anyone it happens to, one thing stands out to me, anyone that will just dump their parents without any explanation are not worth spoiling the rest of your life for. I know it would take time for it to even sink in, no one expects it, but you only live once and you did your best so it's just a pointless waste to let it ruin the rest of your life. You all seem to have made the decision, although heartbroken, to make something good for the rest of your life. Who knows one day they might come back, but how they could ever justify anything I don't know. I know I would worry it could happen again

Pantglas1 Fri 12-Jul-19 19:09:12

I don’t think they have to justify anything Peonyrose we are are all so grateful to have any contact at all that we will build on any foundation however wobbly. My thinking was that I would never mention what had gone before and we could rebuild a different relationship and this has happened for us.

We don’t talk about the past and looking to the future seems to be the way forward and I’m happy with that.

Jennyluck Fri 12-Jul-19 19:51:30

Like everyone else, I never thought it would happen to me, when it did (oldest child of 3). I was heartbroken, couldn’t believe how bereft I felt. Like everyone else, it was all I could think about. The last time I saw my son, he spoke to me like he hated me, that was 3 years ago, I haven’t contacted him, I knew there was no point.
But you have to get on with life and make the most of it. It still hurts like mad.

Stella14 Fri 12-Jul-19 20:27:03

That doesn’t apply to us all Pantglas1. After 11-years of estrangement, if my son ever came back (and I seriously doubt that would ever happen), I know his preference would be to pretend there hadn’t been an issue, but he has put me through so much, I would have to know that he recognised what he had done and I’d want an apology!

maddyone Fri 12-Jul-19 20:48:15

Sadly, although our estrangement with our daughter is over, my son has now turned against us. I think he hates us. I think the reason is jealousy. He was supportive whilst we were estranged, but now we’re not estranged, he has turned against us. We must have been bad parents, I can’t think of another reason.

Teddy111 Fri 12-Jul-19 20:50:34

My daughter in law wanted to move to the Isle of Lewis.My son worshipped her.She was consumed by jealousy and had a poor opinion of herself,she felt it would keep him away from women and that she would get pregnant.
Two days after my gd was born,her parents went to see her.She left the island that night with them. She started divorce proceedings,remarried as soon as possible and had another baby.Never allowed any contact.My son used a 'specialist' lawyer,always excuses when contact had been arranged.She left the area and we have never seen them again.No arguments,no explanation.My son has never really recovered,he loved her very much.I see and hear people with grandchildren and I just have a void.July 2008

maddyone Fri 12-Jul-19 20:53:26

Teddy, I’m so sorry, I don’t know what else to say.

Teddy111 Fri 12-Jul-19 21:26:19

Thank you,maddyone. Never ,ever thought that anything like that would happen.

Evie64 Sat 13-Jul-19 00:07:27

Quite a sad thread this. All I can say is a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt - "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent". Don't give anyone your consent eh? Easier said than done I know, but hey, hope it helps?

Starlady Sat 13-Jul-19 06:58:01

Oh, TeddyIII, my heart aches for you and DS. What an odd young woman XDIL is. Or maybe just a manipulator (to the extreme). It sounds as if she is very unhappy w/in herself, thought the island would make things better, but it didn't, so went home w/ her parents. Unless something happened on that island that you don't know about, then I imagine the problem is w/in her. So sad that is has affected DS and, also, of course, you. Hugs!

"She started divorce proceedings,remarried as soon as possible and had another baby."

Are you saying she was pregnant w/ DS' 2nd child when she left him? Wow. Again, so very sorry.

Maddyone, OMG, I can hardly believe it! Lightening isn't supposed to strike twice, etc. Please don't jump to the conclusion you were "bad parents" though. The issue may have to do w/ sibling dynamics and nothing to do w/ you and DH at all. As you say, it's may be jealousy - he resents it when you have a good relationship w/ his sister and likes it when you're upset w/ her. Or perhaps your son likes to be the "good one" who's there for you when you're having trouble w/ your daughter. But now that you're not, he's unhappy. Or maybe he just thrives on drama, and if his sister isn't creating any, he will. Childish stuff, IMO, but could be just the same. Or hey, you may simply have difficulty dealing w/ AC, many parents do. Hopefully, he'll come around - w/o your D 'having to" cut you off first. Hugs!

Starlady Sat 13-Jul-19 07:06:37

Day6, what an awful experience! Hugs! And I'm sorry about what an awkward position it put DH in, too. I know you may feel "sidelined" sometimes. But, IMO, you are better off w/o this nasty person in your life.

Smileless2012 Sat 13-Jul-19 10:05:01

So much pain and suffering, so many sad stories of abandonment and yet, so much courage.

I salute you ladies, each and everyone of youflowers.

Please don't say you must have been bad parents maddyone, even the most beautiful of trees can produce less than palatable fruit.

maddyone Sat 13-Jul-19 10:14:42

Thank you Starlady, I really thought I wouldn’t have to go on the estrangement threads again, except now and again to offer support. We are of the opinion that it is to all to do with sibling rivalry/jealousy ourselves. But I can’t help feeling responsible in that we must have done or not done something in their childhoods to create this situation. Of course with our first estrangement, I suspected, and was subsequently found to be correct, that there were some mental health issues, and now my daughter has had treatment, she is much better. I don’t feel that there are any such compncerns with my son. Given that both have in the past accused us of favouritism of the other, it seems likely that is the cause. But if both accused us of favouritism, how can one of them be the favourite? What is so sad is that we love/loved them, all three of them so much, and did everything we possibly could to give them a good life and opportunities. At this point, we are not fully estranged, but with the email we have just received, I don’t see a future to be honest.

maddyone Sat 13-Jul-19 10:18:51

But at the end of the day Smileless, that’s how I feel. If it happens twice it must be our fault. Maybe we didn’t love them enough, or show them enough attention. Maybe it’s a genetic flaw, since my sister did it to our parents. I don’t know, somehow it must be our fault. But thank you for those kind words.

Sara65 Sat 13-Jul-19 10:32:29


I get why you feel that way, we haven’t had anything like what some of you have had to deal with, but when things go wrong, I always say it’s down to us, no one else to blame, but my husband says we’ve done our absolute best in every way, and continue to do so, they’ve had the very best educations, we’ve supported them in everything they’ve ever wanted to do, it’s down to them now. I think he may be right, but I still feel I went wrong somewhere.

MacCavity2 Sat 13-Jul-19 10:33:25

Thank you Peonyrose at last positive and encouraging advice for those of us estranged. Enough of the crying and beating ourselves up for something we have absolutely no control over.
Time to realise we have a choice. Live in the past and continue to be miserable or take a good hard look at what is left of our lives. Choose to be great full for what we have in our lives, keep telling ourselves we are worth more than one persons opinion of us.
If we choose to focus on the wonderful people and good things we have it really does start to lift the gloom and unhappiness, we have to work on finding happiness, it won’t happen overnight but believe me it does work eventually.
Thank goodness we have this forum to support each other.
Let’s keep this going to help others in this awful situation.
My very best wishes to you all.

Mollyplop Sat 13-Jul-19 10:53:11

Like many on this forum I am estranged from my son whom I adore. But I have learned to focus on those that care and have finally stopped blaming myself. There are still the bad days I.e. his birthday,But generally I don't think about him nearly so much. I've also "allowed" myself to remember happier times with a smile. It's a bit like grieving the death of a loved one. Hugs to you all xx

maddyone Sat 13-Jul-19 10:54:27

Thank you Sara, for understanding my feelings. We did everything possible to give them love, holidays, relationships with extended family, we played with them and cared for them in every way. We then sent them to independent schools so they could achieve their best as the local schools in our area weren’t the best. I worked full time to pay for that, which wasn’t easy with three children. We then supported them through university, financially and with regular visits and love. We supported as they got married, and had families. We love our grandchildren and did childcare for them. I know millions of other families did the same, so I ask myself, what did we do wrong? Thankfully our daughter is better now and we have regular contact with her and the children, but our son first cut off our daughter, and now has attacked us verbally by email in such a way as I cannot see a way back. But still we love them.

Teddy111 Sat 13-Jul-19 11:01:52

Hello Starlady,thank you for messages. My gd was only 2 days old when she left.She never spoke to the islanders,she said they all looked down their noses at her.She made no friends and had none in the little village that she grew up in before she went up there. She could get cross at the smallest things,a cup handle facing the wrong way when it had been put in the cupboard. The next baby belonged to the new husband. It left our close family completely devastated. I have three younger sisters and a younger brother,all married and children. They were hearbroken,not to ever know their tiny relative. Nothing like it had ever happened in our family.

Pantglas1 Sat 13-Jul-19 11:05:26

Maddyone don’t ever reproach yourself for doing your best even if it seems for some it’s not enough.

Please understand that nothing will ever be enough for them. It is their problem, which they can’t handle, so they turn it around to make it yours. It is manipulative and controlling and horrible to see and hear about, let alone experience.

Enjoy the good things in your life, I’m sure you have lots.

Sara65 Sat 13-Jul-19 11:33:50


Pantglas is right, but I know how you feel, as I said, we’re not estranged from any of our children, but we have had problems, and I totally relate to what you’ve said about jealousy, I think that’s the basis of all our problems, we try to be scrupulously fair, but one child has needed more support, her problems are of her own making, but we love her, and help as much as we can, how can we not?

Stella14 Sat 13-Jul-19 12:31:15

That’s a lovely post Smileless 💐

maddyone Sat 13-Jul-19 14:15:03

Agree Sara, thank you for support ladies. I’ll probably go back on the estrangement thread I think, it was helpful to me last time, and this thread is also supportive. I can’t see any real way forward after what my son has said.

Smileless2012 Sat 13-Jul-19 15:00:07

Recently when discussing estrangement from the perspective of the EAC, there's been some references to AC no longer living in the FOG. Apparently this stands for fear, obligation and guilt.

Once they realise they've been living in this FOG and no longer want to do so, they cut their parents out of their lives.

It seems to me that there are plenty of EP's and GP's living in this FOG. Fear of being cut out, feeling obliged to put up with whatever their AC throw at them in case they are, and then when they do, guilt for not being a 'better' parent.

Jennyluck Sat 13-Jul-19 15:08:37

The mistake I made with my son, was thinking he loved me as much as I loved him 😢😢
He didn’t !!!!
Hard to come to terms with. It also seems a lot of entrancement happens when your child meets someone and falls in love, there new love and family become so much more important than their own family.
This hurts so much, the new partner I get but why the family. ??? 🤔

Missiseff Mon 15-Jul-19 12:49:12

I really don't know how to live with the pain. All this talk of start a new life. My kids are/were my life and I don't know how to live without them. They've got each other but have both decided they don't want or need me. We used to be very close. I messed up for which I have grovelled and apologised for, but have been told saying sorry doesn't fix it. I'm missing out on their lives, which I have always been there for, and that of my soon-to-be-born grandson whom I have been told I have to wait for an invitation to meet. I've said some things in the past which I regret but I am getting some very very hurtful things said to me that I am finding hard to live with.

Sara65 Mon 15-Jul-19 13:24:59


At least you’re being honest with them and admitting you made mistakes, which let’s face it, don’t we all?

Keep trying, it sounds like the door hasn’t been completely shut

Smileless2012 Mon 15-Jul-19 14:05:29

MissiseffflowersI'm so very sorry.

Sara is right, we all make mistakes. Could you block the means they are using to deliver their hurtful rhetoric?

If it's via text messages and/or emails you could block them. Before doing so say you'll only be available for contact on your 'phone (landline) that way, there is a way for them to get in touch but it's being limited and if during a 'phone conversation they become abusive, at least you can end the call.

Dawn22 Mon 15-Jul-19 22:12:59

Thank you Smileless you give such solid practical advice.

Thank you Can only but try for your understanding and empathy.

Estrangement is hard to deal with especially when our natural tendency is to like and to love. Through no fault of my own many very tricky personality types were put on my path, family, friends - you name it, l have it.

Smileless2012 Tue 16-Jul-19 15:27:37


sharon103 Tue 16-Jul-19 16:33:57

maddyone after reading your posts I saw your son's estrangement in a different light. I don't know what trauma your daughter caused you but you do say that your son was very supportive of you and know doubt he was very upset and worried about you. You're his mum. Know doubt he was angry too with your daughter for what she did to you.
You've now taken her back into your life and in his mind thinks she doesn't deserve it and she could do the same thing to you all over again. After all, he went through it all with you too. I don't think it's jealousy. I think it's protection because he loves you and he doesn't want to see a repeat performance. I think, and only my opinion but as I've already said, I think he is angry and thinks 'you've made your bed now lie in it' and don't expect me to come running when and if she disowns you again. I reckon he needs some time to calm down and to be honest this is how I would be feeling too if in the same situation and a little pushed out. flowers I hope you can work out what I mean.

Starlady Sun 21-Jul-19 06:13:07

Sharon makes a good point, IMO, Maddy. Come to think of it, S could also be wondering how you could possibly have reconciled w/ her after all she put you through. He should have expected it, but perhaps he didn't. If so, hopefully, he'll get over it in time.

Smileless2012 Mon 22-Jul-19 09:29:36

If Maddy's son is reacting in this way because of what his sister has put her though, why on earth is he doing exactly the same thing?

maddyone Mon 22-Jul-19 11:16:53

I’m afraid if any of you ladies could read the email my son sent to both myself and my husband, you would not be able to think that he is in any way trying to protect us. Smileless will most likely remember that our sons were both very supportive when our daughter was avoiding us. Our son states in his email that we have ‘aligned’ ourselves with our daughter. But Smileless will also remember I think, that I regularly said how much we loved all our children, but our daughter was suffering from mental health issues including severe PND. She has been treated and is recovering well now. Our son is clearly jealous of his sister, he was jealous of her before he had his child, and continues to be jealous now. Last year he totally cut off his sister, telling her he never wanted to see her again. This was not helpful in her recovery. He has now sent us a vile email, listing all our faults as he perceives them, telling us he has no respect for us, and that we do not know how to love, and have no sense of commitment or obligation, and he returned the money we had given to him for his birthday. Now obviously I can’t put all the details on here, but to put it simply, I thought he had outgrown his jealousy of his sister when he supported us in our distress over his sister, but it turns out to not be the case. We have done regular childcare for him, loved him and our grandchild, been on holidays with him, but now this. He has not however cut us off from our grandchild, who is coming for an overnight stay later today. That is why this is not a grandchild estrangement, but does appear to be an AC estrangement, clearly we have not seen him since his email. His partner will bring our grandchild to us.

Soozikinzi Mon 22-Jul-19 11:17:55

We have 5 sons and 1 stepson we are close to them all apart from the third of mine 4th of DHs . He doesn’t get on with his dad who has had 2 strokes. He will agree to see me on my own but then I feel disloyal to his dad . He seems to only remember bad things from his childhood where the other brothers remember all the good things. It’s very upsetting some days it’s all my DH will talk about. I just keep reminding him that we get on fine with the others . I’m not saying we’re perfect by any means but it’s a terrible thing when you’ve had a child that rejects you in this way . I just say it’s his loss which my DH does seem to accept now.

maddyone Mon 22-Jul-19 12:10:30

Thank you Smileless, you’re right, why would he do this if he was protective of us. These two children of ours got on so well as children. The jealousy really seemed to start when we paid entirely for our daughter’s wedding, but we gave our sons a substantial sum of cash towards theirs. Now I think we should have taken all the money and divided it into three and given it to them. But we can’t change the past, we can only go forward and accept our behaviour may have been a mistake. Even then, although there were clear signs of jealousy, I chose to think it was not too important. Probably wrong again. It kicked off very badly when our son had his child, thus making our daughter’s children no longer our only grandchildren. Plus mental health issues, plus family history of mental health issues.
Anyway, here we are again and to be honest I’ve had enough of it. If he wants to hurt us and reject us, after seeing how upset we were before, I think I must have hardened somewhat, because I’m just thinking he can get on with it, I’ve had enough.

maddyone Mon 22-Jul-19 12:11:37

Soo I, it is terrible isn’t it? But you have five others who are not doing this, try to enjoy them.

Smileless2012 Mon 22-Jul-19 13:07:19

Yes maddy I do remember. I remember your D's problems which was why you tried so hard to keep the means of communication open to her, and to constantly remind her of your love. She was ill so the pain and suffering she put you through was not under her control. Your son on the other hand is in control.

Thank goodness his partner is not allowing his petty jealousy to impact on your relationship with your GC. I hope that she will be able to stand against him on this issue for the sake of their child.

It's good to hear that your D is receiving the treatment she needs and is making such good progress. What a shame that your son rather than join in the celebrations of his sister's recovery and re connection with her parents, has decided to mimic her behaviour and behave in a way he was previously so incensed by. envyis such a destructive emotion; it was our ES's wife jealousy of our relationship with our ES and mine in particular, that resulted in our estrangement.

A terrible position for you to be in Soozi. To agree to see you but not your DH is IMO out of order. You are both his parents and come as a pair.

mumofmadboys Mon 22-Jul-19 14:17:55

Although I agree parents come as a pair, I think if your son is prepared to see one of you go along with it and hopefully he will eventually be happy to see you both.

Namsnanny Mon 22-Jul-19 14:25:48

Mumofmadboys...I can see the sense in your suggestion. It does seem to be the pragmatic way forward.
But I do feel for the partner who is ostracised, treated like the scapegoat with the finger of blame silently pointed at them.
It could be construed as a controlling action ment to divide the couple in question and silently collude with the protagonist.
I don’t know how I would react in that situation!

Starlady Tue 23-Jul-19 05:43:24

Maddy, it definitely does sound as if your son is acting out of jealousy - and has been all along. Even his support of you and DH when you were having problems w/ your D was, I'm afraid, probably a reflection of his jealousy of her. My guess is he was hoping you'd come to see her in a more negative light and that's what he was supporting (sigh). So sorry about this.

About the weddings - As far as I know, it's traditional for parents to spend more on their DD's wedding than their DS', just as his bride's parents often spend a lot on his/her wedding. Granted, times have changed. And yes, giving 3 equal wedding contributions may have been a better idea. But it wasn't "wrong," IMO, to do things the more traditional way, and I think it's rather childish of your S to have been upset about that. Perhaps his feelings of sibling rivalry w/ your D go back farther than that? Regardless, his current behavior is out of line, IMO, and very immature.

Starlady Tue 23-Jul-19 05:59:12

Soozi, I'm sorry about DH's health issues and hope he is much better now. Also, I'm so sorry about the problems w/ your YDS (youngest dear son). Whatever "bad things" her remembers from his childhood, unless abuse was involved (and I'm not getting that impression), I don't understand how he can still be holding it against DH after the man has suffered 2 strokes! Mindboggling!

Are there any particular issues between him and DH that could be resolved. If so, does DH feel up to working on them?

Regardless, what an awful position YDS has put you in - rock and hard place - get to see him and leave DH behind or stand by DH but lose out on seeing YDS. I'm not sure what choice I would make. Usually, I would stand by DH, hands down - wouldn't even have to make a choice, it would be obvious to me. But, IMO, it's a more difficult choice when a DS or DD is involved.

Hmmm... I THINK in the end, I would, generally, stand w/ DH, taking the position that we're a team, a package deal, etc. However, if I thought DH had caused the rift or was being too stubborn to do what he needed to do to begin to fix the issue, then I might focus on salvaging what I could of my own relationship w/ my AC.

Then again, I see mumofmadboys' point. But that's something I'd have to talk over w/ DH. If we agreed that my seeing YDS might lead to his seeing both of us, in time, then I might go ahead and see him w/o DH. But if DH said he would feel ostracized, etc. as Namsnanny mentioned, then I wouldn't. It would be a joint decision between DH and me even if it were not a joint visit.

Starlady Tue 23-Jul-19 05:59:55

Please us know what you decide, Soozi.

SparklyGrandma Tue 23-Jul-19 06:22:26

Well said Peonyrose there is life after and during estrangement in a family. Best to keep busy, build a different but positive life, don’t dwell on the why’s and maybe’s. Distraction, self forgiveness if needed and loving the life, friends etc that we do have, is the way to go.

And not to just survive, but to have a good and happy life 🌻🌻🌻

Smileless2012 Tue 23-Jul-19 10:16:42

A terrible situation to be in and for me, there's no way I would see our ES without Mr. S. That said, it's more likely that our ES would want to see his father without me. This is no reflection on Soozi.

I think that Namsnanny is right about the distinct possibility that divisions could be created in the parents' relationship; 'divide and conquer' springs to mind. How would the other parent cope, knowing that their husband or wife was seeing their EAC and quite likely the GC too?

We all want to be selfless don't we, do what we can for those we love but could we really know how our partner would feel if they didn't want to stand in our way but by being honest, and saying how upsetting the situation was, they'd know that for their sake we wouldn't agree to see our EAC without them?