Estrangement happens all the time, and for various reasons. Sometimes, all it takes is an apology, and things are right. Other times, it takes more effort to repair a relationship. Sometimes, the relationship may not be repairable, or cost too much effort to repair. In this post, we'll talk about why broken family relationships happen and what you can do to fix them.
There are many reasons why a family member may become estranged from you. Here are some of the top reasons. You are not obligated to have a relationship with a family member just because they're your family. In some situations, they are irredeemable, and it's best that you stay away. You wouldn't repair a relationship with a lover who did you wrong, so why would you repair a relationship with an abusive family member? However, there are some cases where time has healed the wounds, or your family member is a good person, but you two just had a disagreement.
Here are a few signs that you should consider repairing a relationship. These are just a few factors to consider, but ultimately, it's up to you to decide. Do not feel like you have to repair the relationship if you aren't ready, but at the same time, try to repair it if there is something there still. When you try to reach out to reconnect, don't think the situation will be sunshine and rainbows, but also don't believe it will end up as a disaster.
Instead, have moderate expectations. If they want to reconnect, great.
If not, it stings a bit, but at least you tried, and you're the better person for doing so. By a letter, we don't mean an email or a text. We are talking about a handwritten or typed letter delivered through snail mail. Why is that? First, it's more personal. Everyone gets texts and emails from people, but few get an old-fashioned letter, so the novelty of it is good alone. But second, it gives your family member some time to think about it. With an email or text, they are expected to respond as soon as possible, or you expect a reply from them immediately.
With a letter, they have some time to let the letter sit and to think of a response. It may take over a week for them to receive the letter and then send a reply. This gives a much better window to respond than a few hours or even minutes. When you're trying to reconnect, do not dive right in.
Put your foot in the pool. Say "Hello," make small talk, and try to have a friendly conversation. To avoid conflict, try to meet on neutral grounds. A place in public means you may have fewer chances of getting into an argument. No one wants to be screaming at each other in a coffee shop. A public meeting can keep the conversations as light as possible and help the two of you repair your relationship.
Some people say you should just let go of the past and start anew.
Clean slate. As if it never happened.
Is there a rift in your family that is ripping your loved ones apart? Think about what the future holds if you do not mend this relationship. Family Feud. Repairing Damaged Family Relationships. Sometimes, it starts small: your brother puts you on hold while he takes a call from his new girlfriend.
While this may work for some, for others, they may want to address that elephant in the room. With that said, if you focus on the past and bring forth the same arguments, then it's not going to go anywhere. You have to strike a balance. The past still hurts, and you should address it, but don't go about it the same way you did a long time ago. Boundaries are important, especially when repairing a new relationship with your family member. For example, if you became estranged due to differing religious beliefs, make a firm boundary not to mention religion in your conversations.
Make sure that boundary isn't crossed, even by a small remark. If your family member can't handle the new boundaries, especially if they're reasonable, there may be a chance that you shouldn't reconnect. If you are still having trouble reconnecting with your family member, you may feel like giving up again.
However, some problems can be fixed if the two of you could have cooler heads and perhaps have a neutral party help you resolve your issues. One way you can do this is by talking to a family therapist. Going to a therapist does not mean the relationship is over; quite the contrary. It means that you're willing to repair it and want a professional to repair it in the best way possible. There are some instances when you should go to a professional to repair a situation, and counseling is one of those cases.
I never intended to hurt you, and in any case I was really upset about what you said to me that one time. It was a foolish and small-minded thing to do, and I want you to know how regretful I am. Feeling heard is an important part of being able to forgive someone. Listening to the person without interrupting, defending yourself, or making excuses does a lot of the work for you. Emphasize your desire to make amends. An apology seems somewhat hollow if it focuses solely on the past wrongdoing. In order for your compunction to ring true, you should also promise never to repeat the same offense.
Build strong relationships with others. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Boxed all content and opinions expressed here are my A boy who left his mother's church should not talk about his religious beliefs, but how he reached them. An article in the Wall Street Journal pointed out that sibling rivalries are often so deep seeded that you forget who the other person is outside of their relationship with us. Phylicia Masonheimer — July 5, 2.
I think I was using these texts to friends as a way to vent about other things and frustrations in my life, so I have started writing a journal or seeing a therapist in order to deal with my problems in more productive ways. Accept that forgiveness and healing take time. In the same way, if you've also been hurt by your family members and they've apologized, you should recognize your own right to take time before accepting and forgiving.
Method 3. Seek help from a licensed professional. For serious problems, you should seek the help of a therapist to analyze and guide you through your feelings. A licensed professional can also help you brainstorm ways to deal with the past and move on in the future. Websites like PsychologyToday and goodtherapy.
Identify your goals for recovery. When reflecting on the impact a betrayal or trauma has had on your life, have your therapist help you identify your objectives for the process. For example, do you want to eventually forgive your family member and re-forge former bonds? Since seriously abusive family members rarely apologize for the past, your goals should not include receiving an apology or even recognition from the injurious person. Do things that make you feel good about yourself. You can work on building this self-esteem by investing time and energy in yourself and your interests.
Physical activities like jogging, swimming, or team sports will buoy your mood by releasing endorphins and relieve anxiety by burning off adrenaline. Build strong relationships with others. Getting over a troubled family past is much easier if you work on building trust and intimate relationships with friends. Write a letter or make a phone call. One of most important parts of the healing process is closure, and a wonderful way to achieve closure is to write a letter and express unaired feelings.
Depending on your goals, you might have decided not to address the family member directly. Even if you intend to never see or speak to the offending family member again, you might want to consider forgiving the family member for the sake of your own mental and emotional wellbeing. This is because forgiveness can help you let go of the past and feel liberated moving forward.
Know when to end the relationship. If there is an abusive family member, it may be necessary to dissolve your relationship with that person. As hard as it is to repair conflict within the family, it is equally as hard to protect yourself from an abuser within the family, especially if you experience pressure from other family members to have a relationship with the person. This can be very difficult and complicated, so enlist the help of a therapist to strategize how to do this.
You may wish to tell the other members of your family why you are ending this relationship. An unfortunate truth is sometimes other family members will not want to believe what you are saying.
Your therapist can help you prepare for this. If other family members are siding with your abuser, then you may need to remove them from your life as well. Method 4. Appreciate the uniqueness of your family. Building a better future for your family will be a lot easier if you recognize how special your family is and how these bonds are worth preserving. Focus on the present. This will just extend old problems and delay healing in the present. Making new memories can be helpful in this regard.
If old traditions seem to belabor pain from the past, try new experiences together as a family. A good, concrete way to stop belaboring the past is to avoid bringing up past resentments in current conflicts.
Focus on steps for resolving the current issue and, if the same thing happens again, make a policy never to lend money to that family member again. Demonstrate love. While conflicts are unavoidable to some extent, you can minimize their damage by spotlighting the love and deep bonds among one another. For example, give small presents such as hand-picked flowers, favorite candies or cookies, and little seasonal knick-knacks for no particular reason. You can also show that you care by being of service in simple ways. For many people, physical affection is the most significant sign of love.
It's a person by person basis, but you may consider hugs and handshakes. Find times to laugh together. For example, rent a funny film and have a movie night, play a side-splitting board game like Apples to Apples or Taboo, or go see an improv comedy show in a group outing. My daughter will not even answer the phone when I call.
I still leave a message telling her I love her. I have tried everything humanly possible to show her I love her, but she refuses to respond. She is so angry and bitter. How can this relationship be healed? As long as you already have done everything in your power to bring restoration trying to talk about the source of her hurts, asking for forgiveness for whatever ways you may have wronged her , the power of prayer is your best hope. You cannot make her accept your attempts to reach out, but you can pray for God to soften her heart, to give her a willingness to forgive.
There is power in surrendering what you can't control anyway to Someone who knows and loves perfectly and is able to touch the human heart in ways you, even as her mom, cannot. Yes No. Not Helpful 3 Helpful I did illegal things with my underage cousin, and my aunt found out and is very angry. I asked for forgiveness, but she's still upset. What do I do? Sometimes it is tough for people to forgive. Talk to your aunt openly, apologize for what you've done, and tell her that it won't happen again.
Work hard to show that you're responsible and deserve her trust again. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 3.