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Have you reconnected with an estranged parent?

(58 Posts)
MaryTheBookeeper Mon 02-Nov-20 19:35:31

And if so, what happened? I have done this & although I had an apology, (which I didn't ask for) it was for stuff that didn't matter & wasn't the cause of the estrangement. It was also slightly petulant. I now find they've taken a back seat and it appears, are waiting for me to come forward again. We're now in some kind of Mexican standoff. I find the lack of them coming forward odd. You might expect they'd be thrilled to be back in contact again & using the opportunity?

Have you reconnected & what happened?

rosecarmel Mon 02-Nov-20 20:15:24

It sounds like you reconnected without being exactly clear about why you did- And if you didn't know why you did, you didn't communicate why you did, so it would only stand to reason why they only apologized and held themselves accountable for what "they thought" they did wrong- In other words, they guessed- And are maybe giving you your space to digest what got said and don't want to push and run the risk of losing you again-

I've got one that doesn't talk much so don't push and only discuss what's obvious with them until they spill their guts or beans- After they do, the air clears and there's greater understanding- It isn't lack of interest on my part or theirs- Its simply how they are and how I am-

In some situations, taking an interest can be interpreted as "pushy"- Depending on the personalities of those involved-

Bibbity Mon 02-Nov-20 21:45:35

You made the decision to cut this person out of your life.
Actions have consequences.

That action potentially caused pain, confusion and some trauma.

The consequence is that person may not want to jump back into a relationship with you. Why would they when you could just cut them off again?

I am the person who has cut off another one.
But more people who make this decision need to start thinking long term.

It may now be that if you want this relationship to work. You need to the one putting the effort in.

Sparkling Mon 02-Nov-20 21:57:24

I can’t see how a it could work. The emotional cost of estrangement is devastating, how can you move on from that.

OceanMama Mon 02-Nov-20 21:57:25

Did you cut them off? For how long? If so, why would they be thrilled and wanting to use the opportunity? Maybe they don't want to make the effort in case you do it again? Maybe cutting them off has changed their view of you and they want to keep you at a distance? Maybe you have missed so much of their life that there is just too much water under the bridge for you to ever reconnect in a meaningful way now? Especially if you have missed key events in their life, you just aren't part of their life at this point. Those who were there are.

Unfortunately this is a consequence of a cut off. If you want to advance a relationship, maybe you could arrange to meet with them and talk about it. Be aware though that they might have moved on and not be ready or willing to reopen their lives to you.

I'm not sure why you think your wanting to open that door means they should be delighted and welcoming? Did you think you could take them in and out of your life at your will and nothing would change on their end?

MissAdventure Mon 02-Nov-20 22:00:38

Surely cutting off a parent or child is a last resort, not something to chop and change?

Chewbacca Mon 02-Nov-20 22:24:35


Surely cutting off a parent or child is a last resort, not something to chop and change?

Exactly this. No one should consider estranging family member/s unless they're 100% certain that the relationship is irrevocably broken down and they want nothing further to do with them. It's akin to a divorce and isn't entered into without a great deal of consideration and heart searching. Once that decision is taken, there is very rarely any going back. You made your decision; put it behind you and move on.

OceanMama Mon 02-Nov-20 22:39:15

Reading some parts of the internet, I get the impression that cut off is sometimes entered into very lightly. Unfortunately it does damage and if there are regrets, the person cutting off ends up living with their own pain.

Personally, I refuse to be in a relationship with someone who thinks they can pick me up and put me down at their whim.

Astral Mon 02-Nov-20 22:44:33

I agree that if you estrange you have to be certain that you aren't going back because building trust again is difficult for both parties. The time to try and mend the relationship is usually while you are in it. Things just aren't always that simple though.

Now that you are back in contact, you have a chance to try again. That's a two way street now because estranging causes some pain, discomfort or even just mortifying, what will the neighbours think, embarrassment to even the most awful people. There has to be some apology on both sides.

If you haven't had an apology for the reasons you estranged, then you need to have that conversation about why you walked away and if you start that conversation with a genuine apology for doing it, you might find it's reciprocated a bit more easily. If you have to be the one to initiate, then dealing with their pain might help them see past it so they can hear yours.. Of course there is the chance they will just take your apology and put all the blame squarely on you with a smug grin but I doubt it matters, it's an answer to whether you should be in contact with them.

At least you can then walk away again knowing you tried your best. Sorry that doesn't sound very hopeful does it?

Hithere Mon 02-Nov-20 23:44:51

You didnt reconnect, you rugswept

Without more details, it is hard to address the rest of the post- re: mexican standoff

welbeck Mon 02-Nov-20 23:57:30

to be blunt OP, you sound rather full of yourself.
why should they be thrilled to be back in touch, and what next move are you waiting for. why wait.
obviously we know nothing about why you cut them off in the first place, but if you now want to reconnect there has to be give and take on both sides.
you write as if they owe you something, and they should be ever so grateful that you have deigned to contact them. doesn't sound very appealing.
why don't you just say hello, how's things, all the best.

Sparkling Tue 03-Nov-20 06:31:34

I very much hope that those suffering a broken heart waiting for their adult child to reconnect, read this original post. It has put a completely different perspective on no contact. Is this what you wait for? I have never been able to understand how you can just cut off from a parent, apart from abuse, the answer seems to be there was no love or respect in that persons heart, that can't be put right. It's no good sticking a plaster over that.

mumofmadboys Tue 03-Nov-20 07:11:32

My sister has estranged me and I am heartbroken. This happened two years ago. I have tried several times to make contact but without success. I think parents and siblings are 'for ever' and everyone should try their utmost to make the relationship work. I do accept in the case of abuse that may not be possible. I hope Mary your relationship with your parent improves. It may not be possible to discuss and sort out what has happened previously. Just try to love them knowing we all have our faults and no relationship is perfect. Good luck

Smileless2012 Tue 03-Nov-20 09:19:02

You need to give them time MaryTheBookeeper. With so little information it's difficult to respond.

How long was the estrangement for? Did you give them the opportunity to sort things out before you estranged or did you cut them off with no explanation? Do you have children so estranging them from their GC? Have you had children during the estrangement; GC they didn't know they had or at the very least have never met?

I agree with what has already been posted here especially as mumofmadboys has said that "everyone should try their utmost to make the relationship work", but estrangement isn't the way to do that is it. Walking away solves nothing.

To answer your question Sparkling, "Is this what you wait for?" my answer is 'no'. It was in the beginning, it's what every EP waits for and for some that waiting lasts a life time, but after just 2 months short of 8 years it's been too long for me.

Being estranged by your AC is the last thing you think will ever happen. You can't believe it; nearly 8 years on we still can't believe it and the legacy is, if they could do it then they can do it again.

Not everyone wants to put themselves in that vulnerable position again. Not everyone would have the strength to get through it second time around, so may only be able to 'take a back seat' and that may be all you can hope for and expect from your parents.

DiscoDancer1975 Tue 03-Nov-20 10:09:47

I remember, before we estranged, writing to my mum with two specific things she had said to me, and wanting her to explain them. She explained other things, but didn’t touch on the specifics. I’ve never been bothered about apologies per se. To me it’s no good asking someone to say sorry. They’ve got to do it unprompted. However, I do like them to explain themselves, then if it’s just a difference of opinion, then so be it. My mother did neither. She could be dead now, I suppose I’ll never know.

rosecarmel Tue 03-Nov-20 10:28:26

Most of you once again maintain the position that people stop talking to their parents for no reason and that short of abuse have no right to- That very attitude alone is very heavy handed so I can imagine why any child would drift from such a relationship- Your collective bitterness and lack of accountability is palpable-

rosecarmel Tue 03-Nov-20 10:39:31

DiscoDancer, I understand - My mother couldn't offer an explanation either- She did make an effort to but was unable to- And I cannot explain everything either- So I get it- Not everything has a ready answer but exhibiting a genuine effort to come to some conclusion shows continued interest- If that were the case- Otherwise it would seem like disinterest and lead to feelings that would make one not want to bother-

OceanMama Tue 03-Nov-20 11:40:33


Most of you once again maintain the position that people stop talking to their parents for no reason and that short of abuse have no right to- That very attitude alone is very heavy handed so I can imagine why any child would drift from such a relationship- Your collective bitterness and lack of accountability is palpable-

I certainly don't and I am not estranged from any of my children who I get on with well, so no bitterness here. I don't think it matters what the reason is or who instigated a cut off (parent or adult child), so I stand by everything in my first post. Regardless of why you cut off, even if with every best reason where you are completely faultless, sometimes the other side might not be open to letting that person into their life again, or very skeptical of doing so. Would I want to rip off that scab and go there? I'm not so sure.

Smileless2012 Tue 03-Nov-20 11:45:12

I don't see a post here from anyone who has said an AC stops talking to their parent for no reason rosecarmel nor do I see any bitterness being exhibited.

What I do see is a sense of entitlement from the OP. Having estranged her parents she now wants them back in her life, and appears to expect them to welcome her with open arms despite the pain and trauma she's put them through.

Why is it heavy handed for non abusive parents who have been estranged, to feel that there was no reason for their estrangement? Why isn't the very act of estrangement heavy handed? Are you suggesting that it's heavy handed if the parents of an EAC decide they don't want a relationship with that AC, and if they don't it's because of their bitterness?

Once again you are invalidating EP's experiences and the pain that being estranged causes.

The OP's parents' willingness to engage with her demonstrates that they are not disinterested. If there is a genuine reason for the estrangement, why change your mind and decide at some point that you want the estrangement to end?

As Chewbacca has posted "you made your decision; put it behind you and move on".

As OceanMama has posted "Unfortunately it does damage and if there are regrets, the person cutting off ends up living with their own pain".

Estrangement isn't something that should be taken lightly and should be seen for it is; having nothing more to do with the person you've estranged.

It never ceases to amaze me how some EAC appear to be unable to be content with the decision they took to estrange. At least it was their decision and not a situation forced upon them, the way their estrangement is forced upon their parents.

OceanMama Tue 03-Nov-20 11:46:57

For transparency, I admit I am coming from the point of view of someone whose MIL has cut off my family. If she decides to change her mind, I can't see there ever being anything but the most token and distant relationship, if any at all. It would take a huge change of perspective and admitting that, on her part, and I just can't see that happening. Even if it did, there's a wound her decision has caused that can never be truly healed.

Smileless2012 Tue 03-Nov-20 11:50:19

there's a wound her decision has caused that can never be truly healed I completely understand OceanMamasad.

Astral Tue 03-Nov-20 14:31:04

I agree that there doesn't have to be abuse to estrange someone, simply being unhappy in a relationship is enough.

Mary hasn't stated the reasons for estrangement, only that they have been ignored.

From what I have read, ignoring the reasons is often why estrangement happens in the first place. So judging isn't really healthy based on such little information.

Mary, you don't have to stay in a relationship that causes you unhappiness. If they aren't reaching out to you you can just let it go.

There really is no point unless both parties are willing to genuinely apologise for past hurts and move forward together.

Thistlelass Tue 03-Nov-20 22:14:28

I believe my estranged son will reconnect one day. At the moment he is dancing to the tune of his partner and her family. He is also protecting his daughter's position. I know what he was experiencing before he went into his current relationship. Various things were happening in his life. We were estranged when my mother died. He sat behind me at the Crematorium. When I was nearly collapsing with grief it was him who helped me and comforted me. Not all stories and outcomes are the same. There will come a time when we will be back in contact and I live for that day. Thank you for reading.

OceanMama Tue 03-Nov-20 23:53:40

Thistlelass, don't blame his partner and her family. Your son makes his own decisions about what to do or not to do. One of the things my husband hates about my MIL blaming me for his choices is that it's the same as his mother saying he is weak and spineless. Hold your son responsible for his choices.

rosecarmel Wed 04-Nov-20 04:44:00

Blaming is rarely the answer, if ever- And controlling individuals choose those they can control- If one has to hold their child accountable for their decision to be controlled they can also hold those they chose accountable for being controlling-