One of the worst things about being estranged from your adult child(ren), besides the terrifying uncertainty of the outcome, is feeling like you have no control over the situation. You text your child, but she doesn’t text back. You issue invitations, and there’s no response. All contact seems to be on your child’s terms, not
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Spouses aren’t always on the same page about what to do when their adult children become estranged. Should you take responsibility for your child’s decision? Or threaten to cut him out of your will? Should you apologize for past mistakes that may have contributed to the estrangement? Or stop all communication until she comes around?
When your adult child or children won’t talk to you, enjoying yourself is the last thing on your mind. Even if you could enjoy yourself, it hardly seems like the right time. But then come the holidays. Or your anniversary. Or another milestone that you’d ordinarily celebrate with joy. And you’re faced with either 1)
“Is it okay to send gifts to the grandchildren for Christmas?” “Can I at least attend your graduation?” “Would you mind if I sent a card for your birthday?” Who ever thought you’d find yourself asking questions like these, of your own adult child? How did the two of you end up here? Estrangement is
It’s not uncommon for rejected parents to feel just terrible during an estrangement from their adult child or children. They might experience a sense of abandonment, rejection, despair or even resentment. There are so many questions. So many fears. There’s a range of unpleasant emotions that the parent may feel. It’s like a broken roller
A good apology can go a long way toward repairing a troubled relationship. But if you’ve apologized to your estranged adult child more than once without any apparent effect, something is obviously not working. Don’t give up. There are several reasons why even a heartfelt apology will fail to move the needle. If you can
The question of whether and when to give up on a relationship with an estranged adult child is a painful one. It’s also difficult to answer. As much as it hurts to be estranged from your child, continually hoping for reconnection invites another kind of suffering. There can be a fine line between hope and
If your adult child has distanced himself from you and/or other family members, it’s tempting to think of this as a problem that belongs to him. After all, he’s the one who created the estrangement by refusing contact. So doesn’t he, in some sense, “own” what’s happening? That thinking is understandable, and it makes sense
Many parents of estranged adult children feel powerless. They can’t make the child call them. They can’t force her to respond to texts. He won’t tell them where he lives, let alone let them see the grandchildren… It’s no wonder parents feel powerless. But that’s a painful way to live. All adults need to have