Family feuds

Angelina and Jon have reportedly reconciled after a seven-year estrangement

I know far too many people who don’t talk to their relatives–close relatives– including a father and daughter, two sisters and a brother and sister. I’m certain there are many other relative combos who have cut each other off.

I didn’t talk to my sisters, mother or father at different points in my life. I was mad at all of them because I thought they were selfish about one thing or another when it came to me. They weren’t selfish; I was just unhappy and I needed to blame someone.

There’s no mandate that we must love our siblings, our parents, or even our own children. Maybe you really do have a daughter who is a monster or a brother so selfish you can’t bear to look at him. But when we stop communicating with our own flesh and blood, it usually means both sides are wrong.

FOF D vows she’ll never talk to her sister again because her sister accused her of not caring enough when their mom and dad were sick. The accusing sister has had tragedy in her life. She lost a young child and husband. If one of my sisters ever lost a child, I would do anything I could to comfort her for the rest of my life. Maybe the accusing sister was harsh, but so what!

My two children and my two sisters mean the world to me. Even when we disagree, we quickly move on. Blood really is thicker than water.

5 Responses to “Family feuds”

  1. Duchesse says:

    I am not saying it happens immediately or even ever.

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  2. Sandy says:

    Sorry to disagree, but my situation is different. When I decided to divorce my ex-husband two years ago, my 22 year old daughter sided with her father. While I continue to reach out to her, not only have my efforts been rebuffed, but my daughter has decided to cut ALL of my family out of her life as well, including her aunt (my sister) and her 83 year old grandfather…why? Because he is my father.

    I have come to my own peace by understanding that I cannot control her decisions or what she chooses to believe. Each time I reach out to her, I accept that the outcome is not in my control. Maybe someday she’ll change her mind, maybe not. I breathe and move onward because the divorce was exactly the right decision for me after a lifetime of putting my children’s well-being ahead of mine.

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  3. Duchesse says:

    Anyone not speaking to a family member or friend: I recommend Dr Marshall Rosenberg’s “Nonviolent Communication”, a book that rescued the difficult relationship I had with my mother. I learned- among other insights- that what the person says is not about you, it’s about their needs. Once I could hear behind my mother’s accusations and pronouncements, I no longer suffered and could even give her the understanding she craved.

    Without it, we would have been estranged. (I took extensive workshops with Dr Rosenberg, I should add.)

    When I hear that family members do not speak, I always wonder about the issue. When I hear it is something like “she does not approve of the way I raise my son”, I’m sad. You can get through that. There are actions which warrant estrangement, IMO, (such as incest or physical abuse) but 90% of the issues are people unable to hear one another, as they are so triggered by the words.

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  4. Shelley says:

    You are one of the most successful people that I know. You are in good health, intelligent, have a young appearance, an active lifestyle, two children (and David and Rigby) who love you, and an incredible website. That is what defines your success. Of course you’re not perfect (only Mommy and Rusty were and are) but your imperfections are part of what makes you so special. I admire you and am proud of who you are. I know you will always be there for me (and the rest of our family). You can also always count on me. You are my best friend and I love you.

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    • Geri says:

      I love you Shell.

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