Imagine you and a friend are climbing a mountain together. Your friend has just hauled himself up to the next level, and you want him to pull you up. So you say, “Give me your hand.” If your friend extends a rope for you to grab instead of his hand, will you take it? What
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Have you ever stood at the sink with a large pot in your hands, waiting for it to fill with water from the tap? Even if the water’s turned all the way on, it can take a frustratingly long time for the pot to fill. Estrangements are frustrating in the same way. “What’s taking so
Our next podcast episode will look more closely at the behavior of estranged adult children to determine whether they’re getting some sort of thrill out of pulling you this way and that. In the meantime, I’ve written an article over on PsychologyToday.com about an alternative interpretation of power-hungry-seeming behavior in general. When it comes to
I’m often asked how long estrangement between parents and their adult children typically lasts. Although there’s a wide range of answers from a few research studies, there’s nothing that can tell you how long you and your child(ren) will be separated. The one thing we’re pretty sure of, I’m pleased to tell you, is that
“I want to have a relationship with my son, but his father thinks we should present a united front.” This is a common dilemma for parents caught in the middle in partial-estrangement situations. Partial estrangement – that is, cutoff from one parent but not the other – leaves both the targeted parent and the favored
One of our members’ posts in the Community last month inspired me to write about respect. Painful and rampant might be the best way to describe the experience of feeling disrespected by your estranging adult child(ren). It’s bad enough to lose contact and connection with your child. But that feeling of denigration, the lack of
“Narcissist.” It’s a loaded word, tossed back and forth between estranged adult children and their parents. Adult children cite parental narcissism as the reason for necessary cut-off. Rejected parents wonder if narcissism is keeping their child from caring about the wounds they’re inflicting. This latter assumption is the one I addressed this week in a
Parents estranged from adult children get plenty of advice from friends and relatives. And that advice tends to come in just two colors: Black and white. It’s usually pretty harsh. “Kick him to the curb.” “Cut off her tuition money, then see how long it takes her to pick up the phone.” “You’re creating a
When you hear the phrase “stages of estrangement,” your mind probably goes to your adult child. “What will s/he do at each stage?,” you might ask. Or, “What am I in for?” I recently wrote five articles on my new theory of stages of estrangement. They outline not the stages that every estrangement goes through