Gransnet forums


I have some questions

(63 Posts)
Yennifer Mon 23-Dec-19 20:51:53

So I've been spending the last few evenings reading through the conversations here. I've noticed some things that I am curious about. Please forgive me if I muck up the abbreviations. Please don't think I mean any offence. It really is curiosity and thinking about how a lot of what I read here made me feel.

1. There seems to be a lot of distrust between EPs and EACs and animosity at times. Why is that?

2. Reconsiliations stories are seldom and don't seem to be very happy, trust doesn't seem to come back and there doesn't seem to be much effort to repair the rift with wider family. Why is that?

3. I've seen comments from some saying that there is no justification for estrangement, is that genuine or just anger talking?

4. There are a few EPs who seem genuinely empathetic towards EACs and vice versa but relationships here appear to break down over very small things and become irreparable. Why is that?

5. I feel a little sense of competition, like one scenario might be more painful than the other. Which do you think is more painful and why?

6. I've also noticed an underlying thread of "just get over it". Why is that?

No obligation to answer. Very sorry if I am being very nosy. I'd like to stay but I feel worried I will fall into some sort of trap if I don't understand the dynamic. Thank you.

notanan2 Mon 23-Dec-19 21:07:02

Why does any relationship that was once close break down? hmm

People are people. Whether they're family, romantically involved and now separated/divorced or friends/ex friends.

Have you never ever fallen out with someone or decided to distancw yourself from anyone?

Yennifer Mon 23-Dec-19 21:24:56

Only with my mother notanan2 but it lost me the rest of my family. I sometimes wonder if now that my mother has emigrated and at a distance it would be worth trying to repair things but I feel that would mean taking a lot on my shoulders for it to not go well in the long run. I wonder if it would be the same as what I read and see here.

Norah Mon 23-Dec-19 22:26:43

My SIL are estranged to their family. 1. nature to the conflict. 2. a why bother attitude 3. anger 4. visible only is the straw to break the camel back 5. EAC, long life ahead 6. good solution to conflict.

Starlady Tue 24-Dec-19 01:47:52

Interesting post, Yennifer! Since I'm not currently estranged from anyone, I don't feel I can answer most of these questions. But I have some thoughts about this:

"...relationships here appear to break down over very small things and become irreparable. Why is that?"

I agree w/ Norah that often, all we see is that last straw. So it may be a "very small thing" but if tensions have been building up for a long time, it may be the final trigger.

Also, what seems small to one person may seem big to another, etc.

Newquay Tue 24-Dec-19 06:26:29

Mm DH’s family have little to do with each since parents’ deaths. They were a dysfunctional lot.
Always close to my family, however, a massive issue has resurfaced with my dear sister and, as OP said, this could be the final straw. I SO hope not and will do all I can for family not to separate but it’s blooming hard going!

Davidhs Tue 24-Dec-19 07:16:02

Yennifer, there is no logical explanation to a great many, maybe most, estrangements because unpredictable emotions are involved. A son or daughter may go non contact due to mental illness, depression, drugs, alcohol missuse or because a partner is manipulating them.

Commonly, it is cause by what they perceive as an insult, an interfering MIL, an assertive DIL, or criticizing a partner. The way to mend these “fall outs” is to recognize the problem and apologise quickly, in practice “backing down” and admitting you were wrong is not easy.

As for Gransnet, there are a range of opinions, mostly we don’t know each other so there are no consequences to saying what we think. Even so there is a fair degree of unjustified “bitching” but that’s life.

Face to face just be nice and go with the flow.

Madgran77 Tue 24-Dec-19 07:16:42

. There seems to be a lot of distrust between EPs and EACs and animosity at times. Why is that?

Do you mean in the stories you read on here or between EPs/GPs and EACs discussing on here?

Sara65 Tue 24-Dec-19 07:28:53


My relationship with my mother finally came to an end over what others may consider to be a fairly minor thing, but it came at a time when she knew we had a lot going on, and she pushed me, till in the end I just shut her off, for good.

That was eighteen years ago this Christmas, I haven’t spoken to her since, and I never intend to.

Yennifer Tue 24-Dec-19 09:34:01

My questions were purely based on how things are here as this is a new dynamic to me. I'd like to stay but it seems quite easy to upset the applecart and I'd want to avoid that. I don't know if I will have time to look over the next few days with children to entertain.

Merry Christmas to you all x

Davidhs Tue 24-Dec-19 10:04:07

Christmas is always the worst time for family breakups, were all thrown together, too much alcohol, it’s easy to say the wrong thing. Even second hand, it gets back and causes a row, it happens in most families including mine.

One Xmas my wife criticized her sisters husband, immediately defensive and they didn’t ever speak again, neither would back down

bettydl Tue 24-Dec-19 10:07:04

Yennifer -

I'm not sure if I can answer your questions one by one, but I'll give my general perceptions.

I was simply reading Gransnet for a LONG time before I posted. I was a bit nervous about posting here as I know DILs and SIL shave been the reason behind many estrangements. Here, I was given very kind and thoughtful advice. I believe almost everyone here is in a similar boat to me - none of us are perfect, but no-one has gone looking for trouble and pain. I certainly wish it never came to this.

The 'get over it' advice I find extremely helpful. The estrangement itself was very, very stressful for both myself and DH. I felt sad that DH didn't have people who were proud of his success, but instead it made them angry. When DH left his last job recently the MD gave a speech about how proud they were of him in his successes but mostly who he was as a person. I cried as DH really deserved it and will never hear it from his own parents. Moving on is the only option. Imagining a relationship where we would be packing up the car today to visit them for a jolly time only hurts myself. Sorry for rambling on a bit here!

Merry Christmas!

ineedamum Tue 24-Dec-19 10:20:00

Online, text messages etc it can be easier to misinterpret things. I'm sure if some comments were made face to face, the message wouldn't seem as severe as the written word.

It's like bullying in work- advice is to leave the toxic situation as it affects your mental health. People don't always see what the real bully is like - the bully themselves may have issues and may not even want to admit it.

Somehow there is a stigma for adult children to leave toxic families but there is no stigma for leaving a bullying work environment.

I can see both sides. Whilst I'm estranged due to a dysfunctional and abusive family, they are damaged too so they blame me for it all, as it is easier than to look inside at themsleves.

Starblaze Tue 24-Dec-19 15:18:09

You can't talk from your own personal experience here without some estranged parents getting mad you haven't included them or mentioned them in your narrative or somehow made it clear that you aren't talking about them personally even though common sense dictates you are talking about your own parent. You can't be unsupportive to estranged parents but they can be to estranged children. You can't have threads for estranged children only because they throw tantrums. You can't point out what they might be doing wrong in a relationship or they go for the throat. If you say that you feel uncomfortable or harassed you may as well hold a sign saying DO IT MORE. if you accuse anyone specifically of bullying you the narrative will be twisted to make out you are the bully.

This is the reality that is the estrangement threads and if someone takes a personal dislike to you, prepare to be followed all over gransnet.

This isn't true of all estranged parents but there is a very cliquey few who are all over policing threads here.

Wait till you say the first thing they don't like for whatever illogical reason.


Madgran77 Tue 24-Dec-19 15:24:19

Yennifer I think you should make up your own mind what you can and cannot say on this forum. Others will have different views and perspectives. I know that you personally have had your own pain and worries acknowledged on a different thread by an estranged parent I hope that you found that helpful flowers

Smileless2012 Tue 24-Dec-19 16:03:10

I think Madgran is right Yennifer that it's down to you and all of us for that matter, to decide what is appropriate to post and what is best left unsaid.

Sadly there are examples from some who seem to go out of their way to cause upset to others and put some off posting here, especially EAC which is such a shame as there is support here from EP's/GP for those who took the painful and difficult decision to estrange themselves from abusive parents.

Such a shame that you thought it appropriate to post something so negative and potentially off putting to a new poster to GN who also happens to be an EAC Starblazetchsad. Especially on Christmas Eve which can be such a difficult day for all living with estrangement, and the majority of posters are being as understanding and supportive of one another, as they can be.

Starblaze Tue 24-Dec-19 16:10:03

Oh well Smileless, I am sure you are in a good position to prove me wrong.

It is however how I feel and I am entitled to feel it. I've never been nasty or cruel to anyone here and tried to be supportive and not tried to offend anyone. Went well for me eh?

I'm sure Yennifer wouldn't have asked if they hadn't sensed it for themselves.

Starblaze Tue 24-Dec-19 16:17:09

For my part, I have nothing against EPs in general at all. There are some very kind people here, I would only suggest caution when building relationships as some can turn very suddenly.

Of course not all EACs here are friendly either. This disclaimer was brought to you by advocaat and lemonade and my determination to not read the label on my heart medication in case it says I am not allowed it.

Smileless2012 Tue 24-Dec-19 16:19:57

Perhaps if you had "never been nasty or cruel to anyone here and tried to be supportive and not tried to offend anyone" things may have gone better for you Starblaze, but that isn't what happened is it.

My personal experience of the way you behaved toward me, puts me in an unenviable position of being able to prove you wrong. You were not alone that's true, but no less responsible for what happened here just a couple of months ago.

Of course you can continue to deny it and no doubt you will but even though Yennifer and others perhaps weren't on GN at the time to see it, there were plenty who were.

It's Christmas Eve for goodness sake, try and keep you anger and bitterness that seems to be all too often aimed at EP's under wraps, at least until Boxing day.

Starblaze Tue 24-Dec-19 16:22:53

Case in point. Same old same old. Just like my lovely mother.

Hetty58 Tue 24-Dec-19 16:24:02

I'm not personally estranged (or estranging?) but I know somebody who was estranged by her DIL. She admits that she never felt the DIL was 'good enough' for her son so perhaps she let it show. Of course, the son supports his wife.

It's just a terrible shame that the son and family are cut off from in-laws, cousins, family get togethers etc. for no good reason that I can comprehend. All due to just two people who are far too proud to say 'I'm sorry, can we start again?'

I think the feelings of love and hate are very close. They can switch over so easily. If you are indifferent, it's simple to be polite and friendly to others. I've been described as a 'cold fish' so I've never fallen out with anyone!

Smileless2012 Tue 24-Dec-19 16:33:19

That's one of the saddest things about estrangement Hetty, it affect so many people and it's even sadder when it appears to be "for no good reason".

My mum has lost her only 2 GGC, our ES and his family live just a few doors down the road from her and in the summer, she can hear her GGC playing in her neighbours gardensad.

Some people will fall out with others because they regard them as a cold fish Hetty so that cannot be the reason you've never fallen out with anyonetchsmile.

'Merry Christmas'

Yennifer Tue 24-Dec-19 17:45:06

Starblaze! The conversation you started was how I found this place. I do see what you mean, I've read it twice and some things I mentioned above came from there. I wouldn't ever go to a conversation that is specifically for hurting grandparents like the messages on a tree one and say anything negative or tell them to get over it. Such a shame.

Yennifer Tue 24-Dec-19 17:47:18

I've been sent to have a lovely bubble bath before the pre bedtime madness. You should too and rest if you have a heart condition. Hope everyone has a lovely day tomorrow x

Yennifer Tue 24-Dec-19 18:12:13

This place seems a tiny bit addictive. That's not good!