Is it common to be estranged from family? Research results

In my research for my book The Ghost of My Father, I was surprised at how little data there was about estrangement. I wanted stories and research from people in situations like mine, but I didn’t find much. One U.S. study I found reported that 7% are estranged (or detached) from their mother and 27% from their father.

To fill the gap I did an informal survey last week of 91 adults, primarily through twitter, to get some baseline data. Here are the results.

Disclaimer: since I recently published a memoir about my family and survey participants self-selected, it’s almost certainly biased towards higher reports of estrangement than average. This research is intended only to be a first step towards collecting more balanced data.

1. How old are you?  Gender?

Nothing interesting here. Twitter and my following on it are unsurprisingly male and around middle age. 66% identified as men, 33% as women and 1% as other. 73% of respondents were from North America (U.S. & Canada) with 16 countries with at least one respondent.

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2. Are you currently estranged from an immediate family member?

Nearly 50% of respondents are currently not speaking or relating to someone formerly close to them.

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3. What is your relationship to them? And how did the estrangement start?

I wanted to know if particular kinds of familial estrangement happened more often. Fathers were most common, at 26. Mothers next at 18 and siblings third at 17.  The second part of this question was unintentionally biased, as one of the respondents pointed out, in that there is no option for mutual initiation. Slightly more respondents initiated the estrangement (37) than did not (35).

Of course every family is complex and each relationship can influence the others. I did not ask for example if respondents were estranged from their entire family, parts of it, or just one person (they could choose more than one). Adoptions, divorces and other specific situations were not identified.

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4. How long have you been estranged?

The majority of estrangements (45%) have lasted more than 5 years, 1 to 5 years were 34% and less than one year was 20%. This is likely indexed to age, as older people have been alive longer and the possibility for longer estrangements increases.

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5. Have you tried to reconcile?

73% of respondents who are or were estranged from a family member have tried to reconcile. Less than half of them were successful.

Reconciliation can mean many different things and I left it to respondents to define the term. Specific situations liked adoption were not isolated from more common situations.

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6. Comments

These situations are unsurprisingly tough and complex and many respondents left a comment with more of their story or details they though were relevant. Here are a few edited comments:

“It’s weird – I don’t know why it happened. There was no event. We both gave up on the relationship without communicating anything.”

“never estranged. Physically and financially family has always been together. But emotionally, in terms of open conversation, not so much.”

“I had enough of an unhealthy relationship with my mother after many years of trying, so I ended it. There have been life moments (sickness and deaths), with some contact, but that’s it. She hasn’t known my children for the past decade.”

“My father remarried and we haven’t talked much, if at all, since.”

“My family sucks”

“I’m sure my brother thinks it was me!”

7. What’s Next?

I’m trying to find psychologists doing research in this area who might be interested in doing more. If you know of anyone studying these questions professionally please send them my way or point them to this summary.

Update 12/23/17: NYTimes article Debunking Myths about Family Estrangement

48 Responses to “Is it common to be estranged from family? Research results”

  1. Abby

    Dr Craig Childress speaks in depth about ‘parental alienation’. Though his discussion focuses on a specific category of familial estrangement, he provides a theoretical framework and a language that are helpful for anyone wanting to explore the topic. He also covers personality disorders, which commonly are a significant aspect of any estrangement situation.
    http://youtu.be/brNuwQNN3q4

    Reply
      1. Rainstorm RedSmith

        I am interested in adopted-child estrangements from adoptive family,
        in my minimal research I have seen almost a common trend in adopted adolescents estranged or “kicked-Out” of the adoptive family when they become cognitively aware of how adoption impacts their life, adopted child abuse and adolescent adoptee estrangements.

        Reply
        1. liane

          I have 2 adopted children who have become estranged. Happy to discuss.

          Reply
        2. BK

          Parents of an adopted son (2 days old when we got him). He is now 41. Fantastically close and happy life the first 20 years.(His words) Last 20 years full of conflicts, helping him financially, walking on eggshells and now complete estrangement with he and second wife. Please contact me for more information.

          Reply
    1. cathy

      After the death of our daughter and only child….her husband made sure we became estranged from our grandchildren

      Reply
    2. Harriet

      I’m estranged from all of my family except my father. I was close to my mother and grandmother but they passed away. I have no aunts, uncles nor cousins. My siblings detest me and so do my nephew’s and nieces. They said they felt let down by me and couldn’t understand me, that I was false. My son from my ex I haven’t seen since he was 5. We initially had an arrangement but then my ex got married to someone else. She stopped the contact. We went to Court. My son was given the choice to see me. He opted out. They told him awful things about me. Look up book called ‘Divorce Poison,’ also, concept of parental Alienation Syndrome. I have more chance of winning a billion pound than any reconciliation. I have tried but as far as they are concerned I am a monster and always will be. How has this affected me? Several suicide attempts, PTSD, severe depression, social phobia, BDD – I wasn’t born like that – these all came on cumulatively over 6 yrs. I kind of had several ongoing nervous breakdowns. I have periodic reprieves but ultimately feel what is the point of life anymore? The hatred focused on me I ended up internalising and now I self harm. Enough said. Hope it helps with your research.

      Reply
  2. Luz

    Scott, thanks for creating an “Oh you too??!?” moment. I’m estranged from my dad and it’s easy to tuck that away without remembering that others have experienced that too. Hope this was as encouraging to others as it was me.

    Reply
  3. Mike Nitabach

    I am not estranged from anyone in my birth family, by my parents and sister (and her kids) are estranged from each other. And yeah, it involved personality disorders.

    Reply
  4. Mike Nitabach

    Oh, and BTW, I loved the book. So many parallels with my own experiences, and just beautifully written.

    Reply
  5. Alex Rains

    Interesting post, and thanks for the new book Scott. Everthing happens for a reason but timing can be freaky. A few weeks ago my dad passed away after being estranged for over 25 years. Your book is touching me deeply, your analogy about the chain of family pulling you even though you thought you had separated from it was uncanny. Thanks for having the courage to say what so many of us are thinking and feeling. It’s been very healing and helpful.

    Reply
    1. Scott

      Thanks Alex. I hope you find the rest of the book meaningful.

      Reply
  6. Daniel H. (Germany)

    Hi Scott,
    here in Germany there’s a journalist, Tina Soliman, who has been researching estrangement for about three years and has written 2 books plus directed two documentaries on the topic.
    The book titles roughly translate as
    silence – when people abort contacts
    and
    the storm before the silence – why people abort contacts.

    I heard a radio interview with her a few months ago. If you’re interested, I can look it up again and maybe post a short summary of her key findings. Most interestingly, she managed to talk to both sides of an estrangement in several cases and even convinced people to participate in the documentaries.

    Cheers, Daniel

    Reply
    1. Daniel H. (Germany)

      Hi Scott,

      I just finished the book this evening and while it is a tough topic, I really wanted to write you how much it means to me. So as a small thank-you, I’ve decided to look up the writing of Tina Soliman and translate a part of it into english.

      Below you find a (poor) translation of an editorial she wrote on her website, http://www.tina-soliman.de/ . I’ve tried my best to translate Soliman’s writing into english. […] marks places where I omitted sentences and // marks palces where I chose different words than she did to convey the same meaning. I believe that her findings may be relevant to your story (especially the part related to your sister).
      If you want to contant Tina Soliman directly, you can try contacting her by mail (see her website for contact information).

      “Since I published my book “Funkstille (Silence / Estrangement)” in february 2011, I recieved letters from people affected by estrangement on an almost daily basis, especially from the normally so silent initiators of estrangement. They tell of long suffering, of trying to be comprehendible, of feeling not heard and of coinage in their family that hinders them to engage in close relationships or search constructive solutions to conflicts, of being blocked, of grief and relief.

      The initiators of enstragement reveal that their estrangement does not, as often percieved by the abandoned, happen out of the blue. […] Often we are surprisingly bad at realizing the consequences of (small) moments, and not everyone is able to place words /in a soft and non-hurting way/. Some words – and non-verbal behaviors – wound so much that they raise a storm that can not be restrained.

      On the other side, there are complaints by the abandoned. The more unexpected and unexplicable an event hits us, the more /the emotional turmoil/. […] They are refused the chance to defend themselves and to clarify what happened. What they demand is plausibility, the meaning of the from their perspective inexplicable behavior. We cannot live without meaning, so this is why the estrangement tortures the abandoned so much. […]

      When you have the possibility to talk to both sides, you realise, that the same situation is interpreted completely different for the initiator of the estrangement and the abandoned, even as the feelings involved are very similar.

      Doctored (fake) memories are almost indistinguishable from real ones. Many people only realize when questioned that real events were completely different. Truth does not equal truth and we all only see fragments of our own perception. Life is not what we live but our idea of it. /So differences in our perceptions and our relationships are inevitable/.

      Another dilemma is added: the abandoning person does not always understand his own behavior. Often it takes years to realize for him to understand why he abandoned someone. He didn’t realize that the estrangement was part of an untreated wound. How impossible is it for the one abandoned to see this problem, that is not even related to him? He feels personally attacked, revoked and of course this is how it has to feel. But the one who abandoned him cannot explain himself at this time because he doesn’t understand either.

      My new book “The Storm before the Silence” explores the enormous turmoil that preceded the extrangement. Nothing is constant in this time before the estrangement. Everything is in motion, thoughts hurt, wounds won’t heal. The storm is expected to function as a thunderstorm that cleans the air or as an act of liberation. But losing someone does not mean that we stop missing him – something that is true for both sides.

      […]

      On the other hand, reading more than 1000 highly emotional letters revealed the immense psychodynamic power of silence. The more baffling and random an event is, the more does it challenge curiosity and phantasy. And this stimulation makes you happy – or unhappy. Estrangement is fed from all the things unsaid. The spoken facts – currently unsaid – would kill the illusion. And our immagination lives on all the things /unfinished/, unknown and thus possible. Imagination lives on the possibility – which is what gives us hope. The secret of estrangement is mainly based on the permission and denial of hope.”

      Reply
  7. Marygrace

    I was estranged by sisters enmasse after our father died.
    After a few revelations at how truly dysfunctional my family is and has been I broke off all contact, including with my mother. I am walking through the grief which is hard because they are all still living but it is emotionally real to me as if I had lost my entire family of origin in a plane crash. They’re just gone. No one really gets the depths of grief I med to go, so I have had to walk through this alone–with God. It’s been a blessing and freedom has come in so many ways…but I am alone, not something I had planned at this age. Thank you for your research. This is a big deal.

    Reply
    1. Human

      Thank you for sharing, Marygrace. I am sure that putting your experiences into words was no easy task. Know that you are not alone. We are many who can relate.

      Reply
    2. daisy Webb

      Marygrace,

      I too became estranged from my mother and family after my father died. It’s not something I wanted and fought for many many years to avoid. For me though theré’s no going back. I grieve everyday but I’m confident that this is more healing than to live in fear and hatred.

      Reply
    3. Mia

      Broken family- broken heart… id love to talk to you as so few understand…

      Reply
  8. Abby

    I am estranged from my brother, so along with that comes estrangement from his family. I am very sad about this, particularly because it is exceedingly awkward: I live states away from my elderly mother while he lives 10 minutes from her. This is our second period of estrangement, the first lasted 2 years. This second is about 2 years.
    I am tempted to impose my pseudo-intellectual psychobabble on you, but it is a plain fact that he is nuts – and the worst sort of nuts to boot. He is the Jekyll and Hyde who is generous, “self-sacrificing” and charming on the one hand and violent, delusionary and abusive on the other. On top of this, he controls my parents’ considerable estate.
    After our last interaction where he chased me across town and then the nursing home parking lot accusing me of obviously nonsensical actions and opinions, I came to the realization that we would never be functional. My particular personality combined with his brings out the very worst in us both.
    Consequently, I have resigned myself to this estrangement, and accepted that I will not receive the half of my parents’ inheritance that they had intended me to have. I am comfortable with this because I am happy in my life. I have a marvelous successful and happy family and ENOUGH.
    Life is hard. And short. And not “fair.” Fine, I can handle that!
    I am anxious to get this book. These statistics do make me feel immensely better after too much suffering over my “failure.”
    Thank you, as well, for this forum for expression.

    Reply
    1. Lassie B

      Abby, I went to high school with a girl who viciously turned against me in our senior year, accusing me of being mean, mocking her, calling her ‘fat’ – none of which was true. (she was a BIG girl, almost 6 feet tall, big boned – BIG) but we had been friends since grade school and I loved her as a friend. She turned against me and never spoke to me again….Now, I had dated her brother after this, for a couple of years. I don’t know if she knew, we never saw each other again (she went to college somewhere) but that is neither here nor there. (and also irrelevant, their father came on to me! clearly, he propositioned me.) Anyway, I am in my 60’s now and saw this ex-friend’s brother just within the year, and we talked briefly. I asked how his sister was doing and he said after their parents died she took their house, emptied it of everything, and rented it out and later sold it. Without any input from him. Not only that, but she hadn’t spoken to him in 25 years after she took all that she could from the parents’ estate. He said it would have cost him way, way too much to sue her and he said, ‘she’s crazy. she hasn’t talked to me since 1991, and I don’t care any more, let her have it. Let her have it all, it’s a crappy little house in a crappy little town. ‘She can have it.”

      Reply
      1. Abby Smas

        Thanks for your comments, LassieB. It’s hard to accept that some people are just… nuts. You cannot deal with them and you are better off on all levels without them in your life. Sad but true.
        I have an interesting update.
        It is 3 years since my mother died and the estate is finally settled – meaning that the judge has decided on the distrubution of property, not that I have received my inheritnace. We have spend over $100K in legal fees. Was it worth it? Yes.
        For one thing, the judge awarded me my half of the estate as it was when my mother died, plus half of my brother’s share. This is plenty of money to ensure a comfortable old age for us and money to leave to our children and grandchildren.
        Not only was my brother left with no income producing property, the judge informed him (and the court) that he had said so many conflicting things, the judge couldn’t believe anything my brother said. That was gratifying because of the gaslighting I had received over decades. I never knew the truth where he was concerned.
        After he threatened the court appointed attorney in the lobby of the courthouse, everything I had alleged about my brother was believed. Not only that, all involved (4 attorneys, 4 bankers) all agreed that he was basically a bad actor and a thief.
        The only reason he finally capitulated was because the court appointed banker threatened to go after $500K in checks he wrote to himself and his son that were only discovered through subpoena recently (I TOLD them there was another checking account that he hadn’t turned over but they never believed me! Until the subpoena) . At that point, let him have whatever he has. Like I said. I have enough.
        I never want to see or hear from him again, which is very sad as all this was so unnecessary from the beginning. It was his unrecoverable mental illness -undiagnosed but obvious to everyone but him- that was at the heart of this.
        The only advice I would have for anyone wondering about their estrangement is that a strong faith and prayer help immensely in keeping your soul intact and avoiding hatred and bitterness. God bless us every one.

        Reply
  9. Marina

    I am estranged from my brother. We were brought up in a nice family of four. When my dad died in an accident we were in our early twenties. His selfish behaviour has become worse and worse over the years. Now, in our forties, he has wasted a lot of his life, can’t get a job and at one point even became homeless. Despite my mum and I offering for him to live with either of us he refused and is now angry and resentful. Recently I couldn’t bear it anymore and I told him to leave me and my family alone. The last contact I had with him was when he emailed me and told me he would leave my children to rot in the gutter just as I had left him to rot in the gutter. It’s been years since we spoke and I am dreading the next wedding or funeral as I just don’t even want to be in the same room as him. He is truly vile. I feel guilty every day that the children don’t have their uncle around and that I am no longer in contact with the lovely little boy I grew up with but he has turned into a very toxic person who I just can’t bear to be around anymore.

    Reply
    1. Human

      No need to feel guilty about excluding a toxic person from your life and the lives of your kids.

      Reply
  10. Brian

    After three years of complete cut-off initiated by my adult daughter (middle child) soon after she married, I have finally come to a place I can bear to stand. I have tried absolutely everything: calls, notes, apologies, gifts, visits, you name it. All refused, blocked or ignored. I can’t tell you how painful this has been and harmful to my marriage as well (we are fine now) as this girl communicated that she would be okay to relate to her mom if her mom would leave me. I feel like I have been hanging by the neck from a public gibbet for 3 years, twisting in the wind as I desperately tried to do anything to make amends or fix things. Last week I travel to her city, half-way across the country, and tried to meet her. The best I could manage was finding her husband at work and he completely blocked me, citing “support for his wife”. She then told a sibling she knew I was there but wants us out of her life. So painful.
    However, it turned out to be good. I had a breakthrough revelation that there is nothing for me to do about this. I can release her to what she claims to want – orphan-hood. I need not kept agonizing over that which I have zero control. I went to a friend for counsel and he said that I was right to let go and added that I should not inform her (or her siblings) – it is a decision for me and she is not owed notice (besides she would interpret it as a slap). As soon as I reached this decision, everything inside changed. I was content. I even was able to tell my wife, with no reservations, that any conversations she had with any of our children on the topic of this daughter or about me did not need to be shared with me. When I was desperate to fix things I was frantic for intelligence. Why was this happening? When I realized that fixing it was not on my plate, but my daughter’s to choose if she ever wanted to, I suddenly lost all interest in the latest salvo of accusation. This not only immediately helped in our marriage, now my wife is praying and looking for a similar place of acceptance for herself.

    There is something so incredibly freeing and peace-inducing in making the decision to let go of your own image in the eyes of others. To realize that you ultimately have zero control of what other people choose to think about you – to admit that your efforts to fix or repair or change those thoughts and opinions gained you nothing but heartache and frustration – and to let estranged loved ones have it their way – to just turn your focus onto the One who knows you best, knows every secret and every fault, and who always loves, accepts, champions, and longs to be with you every moment. What a load falls off! What freedom! It truly matters not at all what is said about me, thought about me, believed about me. There is no record to defend, amend, set straight. There is just my eternal DAD and the cross and His total acceptance. I am His and He is mine and NOTHING ELSE really matters. He has everyone in hand anyway and I trust Him with it all.
    What puzzles me is how can I know something so well and yet struggle so long for the penny to drop — into my heart?

    Reply
    1. Human

      Thank you for sharing. Sometimes, stepping aside or letting go is the healthiest choice when efforts to reconcile prove fruitless. The decision about taking that direction belongs to the person who is grappling with the trauma—it is not for anyone else to say. You have found comfort from your faith in this most difficult experience. However, faith in a supreme being is not required to make wise choices, and comfort can be found in knowing you did all you could to resolve the problem, recognizing that it takes two to have a relationship, and the resolution to pursue happiness alongside suffering the inevitable losses.

      Reply
      1. Brian

        Thanks for your insights. My mentioning God”s role was not intended to portray faith as the only way through the pain. No intent to proselytize or make anyone feel I thought I had the inside track. Myi own faith s just integral to my story and couldn’t be honestly deleted.
        Prayer for our kids is probably the main way that my disconnect is made not complete or permanent. When you can’t do anything else you can still pray for your child. It also gives the married couple a place of agreement and connection even when they may be in very different places with their grief over the lost child.
        Regardless of one’s belief or lack thereof I highly recommend reading Jesus’ story of the lost son. Super comforting. Happy ending. Solid advice: don’t chase your prodigal child. Wait for them to realize where they are and turn around toward home. Then open your arms and run to embrace them.

        Reply
      2. Brian

        Thanks for your insights. My mentioning God”s role was not intended to portray faith as the only way through the pain. No intent to proselytize or make anyone feel I thought I had the inside track. Myi own faith s just integral to my story and couldn’t be honestly deleted.
        Prayer for our kids is probably the main way that my disconnect is made not complete or permanent. When you can’t do anything else you can still pray for your child. It also gives the married couple a place of agreement and connection even when they may be in very different places with their grief over the lost child.
        Regardless of one’s belief or lack thereof I highly recommend reading Jesus’ story of the lost son. Super comforting. Happy ending. Solid advice: don’t chase your prodigal child. Wait for them to realize where they are and turn around toward home. Then open your arms and run to embrace them.
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Prodigal_Son

        Reply
        1. Tracy

          I realize that the parable of the prodigal child gives parents comfort. It would do. It places blame for the estrangement and the responsibility for resolving it squarely on the child. This is a myth that fuels stigma heaped on adult children. If you truly want to let go, it requires letting go of that myth too. If you have indeed apologized and “done everything” then you have to accept that during the time the child was dependent on you, you failed to nurture a safe, trusting, intimate relationship with your child to build an adult relationship into. To put it bluntly, the foundation of the relationship is busted. That is not something you can blame on someone whose brain was still developing during that time. As the parent, you were the adult. You can try very hard and still fail. One of the biggest reasons adult children break contact is that parents refuse to give up the asymmetrical power relationship. The myth of the prodigal son only reinforces that delusion. I’m sorry but if the foundation of the relationship is broken, if they don’t trust you and don’t feel connected to you, they are not going to suddenly “wake up” in a few years. They aren’t coming back. Some might out of loneliness or financial hardship but that’s not the same and it has saddened me to see some parents actually wishing that on their children as so that they can “win” somehow. I am I’m a large support group for adult children estranged from their parents and I can tell you, nothing pushes us away like the egocentric quoting of that one story over and over.

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    2. Elaine Tyler

      Beautifully written. You are so right in all your thoughts, and I share them in my estrangement from my brother who threw me and the whole family away because we would not lie and cover up the lies his wife had told.

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    3. James Blain

      Wow! Your comment has helped me immensely because, in the end, one has to let go because if you aren’t important to them, why should they be important to you? It isn’t with immediate family in my case, however, so not nearly as painful as it was for you so BRAVO for coming through!

      Reply
  11. Zahidah

    I want to know more about this! i am surprised by the lack of data as well – we need to press the academics world to wrote more research and journal on this matter! thank you

    Reply
  12. Natissa

    I am estranged from my whole family. It is a very complex pain and very complex situation. I am native american and so there is a cultural difference that had worked against our situation getting better. Its “understood” you put up with how you mom treats you etc. But i got to the point i couldnt do it. She wasnt abusive in our adult relationship, just selfish and very self centered. She would call me for hours and go on and on about her job , life etc . And when i would bring up anything about me, she would barely respond..if she responded at all. She never made a solid relationship with me as a child, nor did my father. I harbored a lot of alone and sad feelings that i can feel to this day.
    I just couldnt keep going on with this half put together , fake relationship. I did tell her how i felt and she just said ‘im like this im not changing.’ It hurt to know she didnt want to try to make things better between us and i realized she wasnt going to.
    I then cut off the relationship.
    It has been really hard because i have created distance between my whole family and myself. I have always been the black sheep , non favorite. Since i was a child i remember my grandmother choosing my cousins as her favorites… to be taken on shopping trips and to be taken to the rez to stay all summer. My gtandmother took me once, my cousins went almost every summer.
    Once i stopped trying to be in these peoples lives, i realized NONE of them care. I have bent over backwards to be kind and helpful to most of my family . What do i get ? Never a phone call. Never a text . Never a visit
    Why does it matter to me ?
    Family is such a huge thing in my culture. I look to other families and wish i had an aunt, an uncle , a mother , a father , a grandparent, a brother who loved me and cared about the person i am. I have those people in my family, but they do not care for one second what im doing unless its some gossip.

    My husband’s family is really crazy so we just have our little family for now. I am younger, so i will one day be the mom surrounded by her adult kids. I know in my heart i will cherish them and want to listen as much as they are willing to tell me. Mostly I feel for my young daughter and future children. I can not offer them a big family full of many people who care about them.

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  13. Cody

    I can`t do this anymore. I can`t take the acusatoins, threats and unhealthy behavior you show me. I do believe you have a mental illness. I do believe it is BPD. I can`to fix it for you. I have supported you through 7 rehabs and many, many, bad times. It is time for you to fix yourself. I CAN`T FIX YOU. You are almost 29 years old. I`m not your caregiver anymore…you are an aldult who has to make choices for himself. Your family will welcome you back, only if we see you do what you need to do. Bullying, getting angry and blaming will not get your family to feel closer to you. Positive action with a mental help professional and sticking with it no matter how long it takes is how you will earn respect
    I will not answer your calls or emails until you can show me you are helping yourself and mean it. Not for a week.Until you can show results from treatment.
    If you choose to try and come here before you have had treatment, i will not allow you here.
    I will always love you and i hope you choose the right path to make things better.

    This is what my mother wrote to me in email I’m 28 my father died when I was 13 and was kicked out of my moms house at 15 we had a good relationship but it got worse when I called her to ask for financial help what do I do?

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    1. Most Hated

      I just want to say the tone in that letter it sounds a lot like my lovely mother who won’t stop harassing me with letters and started them up when I was just a squirt putting myself on the bus and still going well into adulthood.
      It makes you want to vomit in your mouth and your getting a steady stream of pointy fingers shot at you without a breathe of hesitation.

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    2. Brenda

      You must trust in your talents and abilities and go out there and have fun doing what you like to do and making a good life for yourself. Stop worrying about everything and begin going in the direction of loving yourself and through that journey, also taking care of yourself and respecting yourself. Treat yourself well. In that journey down the road, much of your family stuff will get better…

      Reply
  14. Human

    Narcissists are allergic to healthy boundaries and fairness. If you question the insensitive things they do or put any limits whatsoever on their bad behavior, you will be targeted for social, professional, or personal obliteration. The person who is angry at you for setting boundaries is the one with the disorder.

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  15. Amina

    Wow. Its just more inspirational for me to complete my project more enthusiastically. Currently i am exploring the prevalence, gender differences and forgiveness relation with estrangement in collectivist cultural background. Looking for valuable members suggestions and guidance.
    Regards

    Reply
  16. Traci

    My daughter is estranged from our family for three years after an argument. She won’t allow us to see our granddaughter who lived with us for 10 years. It’s horrible pain

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  17. Mark W

    Sometimes family becomes estranged simply because they really had nothing in common anyway and once everybody grows up, it’s off to their own universe. I have no resentments towards my siblings, yet if it wasn’t for my widowed mother, I would have ended contact years ago. I’ve been invited to large family gatherings, but as I’ve gotten older, I realize that they make me uncomfortable, and spending more than a couple of hours with these people just isn’t my idea of a fun time. Popping in for a few hours for a wedding wouldn’t bother me so much, but I don’t feel the need to explain my reasons for only coming for the event, not staying for additional festivities. Then, the inevitable family reunion with siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews I really only know about through what I’ve been told, and the wish that I was anywhere else but there. Passive/aggressive guilt towards me won’t change my mind, just increases the desire for estrangement.

    Reply
  18. Chris

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    Have you asked those that are old if they waa estrangled with someone before they died?

    Because at 50-70 there is a good chance that one or both parents are dead.

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