Alienated Family Members
Resolving Estranged Relationships © Martyn Carruthers

Relationship alienation hurts families and damages children.

Reconnecting After Cutting Off

Have you ever rejected a family member – or were you ever rejected?
We help people who feel abandoned, estranged or “cut-off”.

And we help people who have alienated family members.

For many families, harmony seems an impossible dream. Wouldn’t life be so much better if your family was more like those happy families you see on television? Then everybody could feel connected. It doesn’t look so difficult – why isn’t it normal?

Television shows do not include real family issues. Marriage difficulties, children’s problems, job challenges, home chores, school issues, in-laws, medical issues and children’s moods are all parts of real family life.

For many people, real family life also includes divorce, alcohol, mental illness, poverty or abuse. Most children want to enjoy their family relationships, yet as they grow older, many will walk away from their families and rarely look back.

Healthy or Unhealthy?

Unhealthy relationship ideas are often promoted as normal and desirable in children’s stories, television shows, marketing strategies and song lyrics. Do you cling to beliefs such as, “If I love this person enough – he or she will change in the ways I want?

Do you feel alienated by some family members? Have some relatives stopped talking to you? If you have been estranged, you may feel grief and emotional pain, you may shut down your emotions or you may strive to cut your connections to them.

Understanding why relatives avoid or ignore you rarely mends the relationships nor eases the pain. As reasons, apologies and excuses don’t seem to help, here are some ways that you can remain resourceful.

  1. Let go! Don’t try to control people who reject you. Avoid trying to influence or change your family members. Rather, focus on your own life and your own goals.
  2. Grieve! Grief is healthy if someone we care about stops communicating (e.g. death, divorce, rejection or abandonment). Feel your pain and own your sadness.
  3. Write letters you won’t send! Write what you want to say while honoring your relatives’ desire to avoid communicating with you.
  4. Talk about it! We have huge experience helping people through emotional and relationship problems.

Doing the Work

You need not feel alone. If you were rejected and abandoned by people you love – you can choose to grow and mature from these experiences. Do you symbolize something that your family does not want to heal? One of us can walk with you through this.

Being loved for who you are is one of life’s pleasures. Being loved only for what you provide may feel terrible. While you may try to hide in fantasies, illusions and projections – they tend to be short term. But even as your dreams of a happy family fade, your can choose to remain interested in their lives.

We help people manage and change all kinds of issues,
yet some people don’t want to work, they don’t want to change,
and they may seek substitute “parents” to fix their problems for them.

Emotional Maturity

What type of relationships do you want? Healthy relationships feel fulfilling while unhealthy relationships often feel dramatic. For many people, drama is so normal that healthy relationships may seem boring. Yet unhealthy relationships can damage lives.

My husband complains that he has no friends but he pushes people away
… I mean good people … and he expects me to fill all the holes in
his life where his friends should be.

Many people sacrifice their goals and dreams to please the demands of their family members. Although some relationship problems are common and the unpleasant consequences well known; many intelligent people continue toxic relationships.

  • Does a relationship make you feel physically ill?
  • Do you want to fall out of love – to STOP loving someone?
  • Are you fatigued, angry or anxious about your relationships?
  • Do you need medications, alcohol or drugs to stay in a relationship?
  • Do you worry about when it might be safe to talk to a family member?

You helped me realize that I used drugs to avoid conflicts!
After you showed me how to manage my emotions,
I had no need to medicate myself.

Addictive relationships often fulfill a goal of “I do not want to be me!”. Perhaps you want to not-feel difficult emotions. We help people manage their emotions and solve relationship problems. But the longer you leave them – the harder it gets.

Ending Relationship Addictions

How strongly are your relationship decisions influenced by:

  • Addictions: e.g. “I cannot survive without this person
  • Beliefs e.g. “I’m not good enough” or “I can save this person
  • Practicalities e.g. “Without this relationship I will be homeless
  • Transferences: e.g. “My partner acts more like a parent (or a child)
  • Philosophies e.g. “True love should be forever,” or “Being alone is bad

If you try to fight such relationship habits and addictions, you may make them stronger. You may feel that you have no choice and that you cannot set healthy limits. If you want help, we can help you:

  1. Set healthy boundaries
  2. Learn healthy relationship skills
  3. Develop your peaceful understanding
  4. Focus on your own desires, goals and challenges
  5. Change beliefs that cause you to feel unworthy of happiness
  6. End destructive games: avoid being a helper, a victimizer or a victim

We can help you dissolve obsessions and compulsions, and our couple coaching helps partners understand each other and make changes that both partners want.

Do you want to manage your emotions and solve relationship problems?

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