Whether you are the person who chose to break ties with a loved one or you are the one who feels cast aside, managing profound loss can pose day-by-day challenges that are difficult to work through because love does not end when your relationship does and those feelings can lead to confusion, regret, and grief.
Why Estrangement Happens
Individuals live in a state of repeating patterns and hurt unless they consciously make a different choice. As an adult child, you may feel torn between the attachment you feel to your loved one and your survival instinct to flee. Breaking ties is rarely a painless process.
Estrangement happens for numerous reasons:
- Emotional abandonment
- Family roles and expectations
- Marriage choice
- Personality differences
- Sexual identity
- Traumatic family event
Family estrangement does not mean that you have no contact with a particular family member. Contact may be minimal or superficial, almost like conversing with a stranger.
You may find this research study beneficial when making sense of how estrangement happens.
Common Estrangement Dilemmas
Estrangement from a key family member is a big decision. You have probably had some persistent questions surrounding your unique situation.
“Does estrangement mean forever?”
Not always. Many families are able to get the help they need to move through past emotional trauma and develop an “acceptable” form of communication that involves clear boundaries and rules of engagement.
“Is there hope for a functional relationship in the future?”
If the answer is yes, work toward that goal now! If it is not possible at the moment, consider creating some healthy distance while leaving the door of communication open. Estrangement is rarely ideal.
“How will it feel once I walk away?”
You may feel a sense of peace and freedom, especially when breaking away from emotionally abusive relationships.
Then the reality of the loss will set in.
It will hurt. You might feel confused, regretful, or doubtful in your decision, even though you know it was the right choice.
Contact Me to Discuss Adult Estrangement Coaching
I understand what you are experiencing. Let’s discover ways to flourish in your new reality and gain peace in your daily life.