Episode 81: “We Used to Be So Close”

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You’d be surprised how many estranged adult children come from close families.

It’s a myth that parents must have been toxic and abusive for adult children to seek estrangement. Sometimes the very closeness that characterizes a family is what underlies the adult child’s need for distance.

But how can that be? Aren’t close families good for children?

Yes, close families are wonderful environments for children to grow up in. But not every family is close in the right way for children to thrive.

In this episode, Tina distinguishes between closeness and enmeshment.

While closeness is healthy and feels good for everyone involved, enmeshment pumps the brakes on individuality and autonomy, especially in children.

The closeness that parents enjoy in enmeshed families may be experienced by children as control or benign oppression.
As always, Tina offers hope for parents to turn things around.

For much more on how to repair an estranged relationship with your adult child(ren), see Tina’s book, Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child.

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Why Enmeshed Families Are Too Close