How to Cope When Estranged from Your Family

Families can fallout for many reasons. You might not like your child’s choice of partner, and they might view your helpfulness as criticism, or a relative might display a lack of respect that’s causing division, to name a few possible reasons.  

Whatever your reasons for losing touch with your kids, grandkids, or another relative, you must look for ways to manage your emotions or potentially solve various problems in a mature manner. Read the following advice on how to cope when estranged from your family.

Identify the Root Cause of Their Behavior

A calm conversation could help you get to the root cause of a relative’s behavior, but it might not. In some cases, your loved one might not know why they are passive-aggressive toward you, lack empathy, or display a lack of respect. The chances are the toxicity they are expressing stems from a feeling of discontent or unhappiness, and you may or may not be to blame. By identifying that painful emotions cause their hurtful actions, their behavior might feel less personal, and you might even feel more empathetic toward them.

Remember, It Takes Two People to Fix the Relationship

Despite your best intentions, it might not be possible to fix a fractured relationship with one or more family members right now or ever. It takes two people to repair the relationship. All you can do is try your best and hope they will do the same. 

If a person cares enough about you, they’ll find a way to resolve an argument to move forward. Open the door to communication but don’t expect them to walk through it. It will stop you from blaming yourself and looking back on the relationship with guilt.

Don’t Allow Division to Affect Other Relationships

An argument with a relative shouldn’t cause you to cut off other people from your life. For example, if you have fallen out with your kids and can’t see a healthy way to recover the relationship, you could still play a role in your grandparents’ lives. 

Don’t allow the division to impact other loving, healthy relationships; try to reach an agreement that allows you to remain in their lives. If one or both parents stop you from seeing your grandchildren, learn more about grandparents rights to ensure you never lose contact. For example, you could embark on mediation or apply for a court order, to name a few potential options.

Maintain a Positive Mindset

Becoming estranged from one or more family members can take an emotional toll. As hard as it might be to accept they are no longer in your life, you must not dwell on the pain. If you are happy to do so, you can leave the door open for a relative, but you must find ways to move forward with your life. Focus on the many positives in your life to protect your emotional well-being and mental health, such as more loving relationships, your career, or hobbies.