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Thoughts and opinions (The Friendly Version)

(238 Posts)
LostChild Fri 20-Sep-19 18:06:49

What are your thoughts on estrangement?

What in your opinion, justifies estrangement?

What measure do you think should be attempted before estrangement?

please keep in mind your fellow posters and their different experiences when answering

Pantglas2 Fri 20-Sep-19 18:25:36

Not sure this idea is going to work LostChild. My thoughts, my opinions and my measures are sure to upset someone as yours will also. People need to be able to answer honestly otherwise it’s a pointless exercise isn’t it?

LostChild Fri 20-Sep-19 18:34:01

Honest and polite is fine!

Joyfulnanna Fri 20-Sep-19 20:30:10

Thoughts-its more common than you think.
Justification for it - that's too broad a question to answer.
Measure - talk.
This thread will lead to strong opinions, over simplification of complicated issues.
I have a question for you, What are you hoping to achieve from the responses?

NanaandGrampy Fri 20-Sep-19 20:39:37

Isn’t there already an established and long running thread on this topic?

I have noticed, not on that particular thread as I am not estranged , that posters on other threads sometimes find they get answers that don’t fit with their expectations.

From my point of view - and I admit I have no personal involvement - I think only heinous crimes justify estrangement. Everything else should be dealt with communication , walking away solves nothing .

Sara65 Fri 20-Sep-19 20:53:28


Well I’m sorry to disagree, but sometimes walking away is the only way

NanaandGrampy Fri 20-Sep-19 21:02:22

That’s your view Sara65 and that’s your right, as I said I don’t have any experience in this arena , all I can say is how I feel about it.

We’ll have to agree to disagree.

LostChild Fri 20-Sep-19 21:56:03

I don't know Joyful. I'm hoping I will knwo it when I see it

mumofmadboys Fri 20-Sep-19 23:47:57

My only sibling has estranged me and I am heartbroken. She refuses to discuss it and at the moment I can do nothing except travel hopefully that in the fullness of time things may improve.

Namsnanny Sat 21-Sep-19 00:04:23

I think that's all you can do mumofmadboys flowers

OutsideDave Sat 21-Sep-19 01:25:39

As I said previously- any reason is a good enough reason. Adults don’t owe one another anything. If relationships aren’t positive for both parties then it’s absolutely fine to end them. Hopefully with compassion. Generally speaking familial relationships aren’t severed without significant reason.

Ginny42 Sat 21-Sep-19 01:41:16

There is plenty of evidence of how estrangement impacts on families and individuals on the estrangement threads, where posters articulate their views on this distressing experience. Respectfully suggest you consult those posts. (The Friendly Version)

Starlady Sat 21-Sep-19 13:00:29

Thanks for this, LC! The other thread was turning sour, sometimes a new thread can refresh things nicely.

My replies to your question in the other thread were not offensive, that I'm aware of, so I'm going to recap here...

Estrangement, IMO, is a very painful thing. Then again, if a relationship is painful, in itself, I imagine estrangement can be very freeing for one or more parties to the conflict. Granted, I don't think it should be done lightly. Efforts should be made to talk things through. Since mismatched expectations are often involved, I think those need to be explored. Boundaries may need to be set, in some cases, and others may need to find a way to accept them. If one person tends to make offensive comments, etc. the other may have to call them out on it and let them know how they feel about it. Apologies may need to be made and forgiveness given, if possible. If, unfortunately, nothing works, contact may need to be cut back to decrease chances of friction. Only when efforts to fix the relationship have been tried - and failed - do I think estrangement is in order.

I get N & G's feeling that a CO should occur only in the event of a "heinous crime," such as abuse. However, I would say that should be the only reason for an IMMEDIATE CO. At the same time, I can see a CO happening if non-criminal, non-abusive offenses are committed over and over, despite requests for them to stop. This includes the infamous "death by a thousand paper cuts." A steady stream of nasty acts and comments, no matter how minor, can, no doubt, drive some people to estrangement.

Starlady Sat 21-Sep-19 13:04:00

Mumofmadboys, I'm so sorry. Is there anything you and your sister have fought about or she has complained about that might give you a clue as to what's going on?

Perhaps she's having issues of her own and just can't relate to anyone else, right now, even you, her sister?

I agree you just have to move on, hoping that she'll reach out to you in time (I imagine she will).

LostChild Sat 21-Sep-19 13:11:14

Thankyou Starlady. I feel like it started out as paper cuts, but you build up a tolerance for that and stop reacting... So it was a gradual escalation for me. I'm talking about deliberate emotional abuse though. I expect some people are just difficult to get on with or just hold views others find horrifying.

Mumofmadboys, I've lost a sibling too and my children an uncle. It's painful, but if people won't hear you there's little that can be done even if they pretend to listen.

Smileless2012 Sat 21-Sep-19 15:45:22

Although it may not feel like it at the time, or for a long time for that matter you're right Starlady estrangement can be very freeing. Sometimes for the estranged as well as the one doing the estranging.

It can be only when you've been estranged that you are made aware of the toxic nature of a particular person/relationship.

It's hard when the manipulative and controlling behaviour of a third party results in the estrangement of a much loved family member. The relief of no longer having to deal or have anything to do with that individual, does nothing to dampen the pain of losing the one you love.

I understand N&G's feelings too and when that isn't the case, to walk away with no warning or explanation due to perceived offenses, without giving the other person/people the opportunity to talk about the relationship is cruel; cruel and cowardly.

IMO it's a miss conception that "generally speaking familial relationships aren't severed without significant reason" OutsideDave and an unfortunate one. It can give rise to the 'there's no smoke without fire' and 'you must have said/done something'.

That's a response that many EP's are faced with and I think it's unfair as quite rightly, that wouldn't be a response to an EAC.

LostChild Sat 21-Sep-19 16:07:24

A significant reason doesn't have to be something the parent or the child did. A significant reason can be an abusive other, a mental illness or an addiction. Those issues are not insignificant. Neither is a family member being bigoted an insignificant reason.

SirChenjin Sat 21-Sep-19 16:23:16

My thoughts are that it’s very sad but that unless both parties want to be in a relationship of some sort there is nothing you can do to force it.

The obvious things justify it - emotional/sexual/physical abuse, but there are other things such as constant fault finding, humiliating put downs under the guise of humour, constant criticism and negativity. Life is far too short to spend it with people who aren’t a positive force in your life.

It would be good to talk through differences and try and come to a compromise, but sometimes that’s just not possible for many different reasons. It’s a heartbreaking situation to be in and I sympathise deeply but ultimately you can’t force someone to want to spend time with you. We are currently witnessing DSiL and BiL cutting ties with us - she and DH had a falling out over something that could have easily been resolved but it suits them to distance themselves from us and the DC for reasons I won’t go into. I feel a combination of anger, sadness, shock and disbelief - we used to be very close but I cannot force her to keep in contact or speak to us.

Sara65 Sat 21-Sep-19 16:33:29


You’re right, more often than not I would think estrangement is caused through something traumatic, but for some of us, it’s a slow, corrosive process, and finally closing the door on the relationship, is totally liberating.

Smileless2012 Sat 21-Sep-19 16:49:50

SirChenjinflowers "anger, sadness, shock and disbelief" just about sums up the feelings when you see a once close relationship falling apart, especially when one 'side' just doesn't seem to care enough to work things out.

LostChild Sat 21-Sep-19 17:20:46

Its probably not very healthy to hold every comment accountable and relate it to our own experience. Different perspectives can help us all grow.

SirChenjin Sat 21-Sep-19 17:21:49

I agree. I know why they’re doing it, I’m not stupid but there’s nothing I can do. I’m just disappointed that they’ve chosen to reduce contact with our DC as well - they are innocent in all this.

rosecarmel Sat 21-Sep-19 18:32:08

I've pretty much plateaued out on my own personal take of estrangement- When I change my mind about it, fine- When they change their mind about it, great- Stay, go- Create distance, move closer- And let whatever ideas that have been committed to go in order to forgive and accept relationships as an ever evolving part of life-

LostChild Sat 21-Sep-19 20:02:30

Rose forgiveness doesn't work I all relationships, I had to stop forgiving mums behaviour to walk away and life to start getting back on track. If there is forgiveness is letting go of ill feeling towards someone, then I guess I am working towards that, although it makes me cross she got away with it.

Granniesunite Sat 21-Sep-19 20:46:01

Estrangement is such a painful and debilitating experience for us as a family. I understand that everyone has a different experience of estrangement but We love our family member that has walked away from us. We love that person and always will do. Nothing that happens will change that

Lost child .. If abuse or harm has been at the root of a family experience them of course be sensible and protect yourself and family by any means possible. That has been happening for years.

My concern however is that estrangement is being used for all the wrong reason and is causing mayhem to families.

Estrangement is not a game.