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Do not let estrangement ruin your life.

(122 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.

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!