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When and How to Cut the Ties of Bad Family Relationships

Updated on March 14, 2016

What Is Family?

In just a few words... family defines us. It's a significant part of who we are to the core. An interesting thing about families is that people can tolerate more bad than good, and even a strained relationship can still be considered satisfying for both people. Families can be the ones who drive you nuts, but are also there by your side in tough spots. That's a fair trade: Take the good with the bad. Family members are the ones who've seen us at our best and worst, and the love is consistently and unconditionally there... or should be. The key ingredients are forgiveness, unconditional love, the ability to agree to disagree at times, and mutual respect without having to change or control each other.

These are ideal conditions though, and for some it's never been this way with certain family members. These relationships, when stressed or tense, are the worst to endure because our family means so much to us. Unfortunately, many people are faced with the excruciating decision of whether or not to continue a strained family relationship with a parent, sibling, grandparent, son, or daughter. If you have to cut the ties, it's usually because you feel you have endured years of discontent (or even abuse) and you have no other choice. Many who are reading this have endured too long.

Just because someone shares some DNA with you they get to take your stuff? Call you names? Demean you? Sabotage your relationships and career? No way!

— Dr. Phil McGraw

Evaluating the Relationship

Chances are you've been evaluating the strained relationship for awhile, but committing to cutting the ties brings on feelings of guilt, failure, emptiness, doubt, abandonment, and even grief. No matter how strained, intolerable, and/or abusive the relationship is, it's a difficult decision to make. Asking yourself the questions below can help.

  • What's the history? Psychologists have an old saying: "The best prediction of future behavior is past behavior." Having an extensive history is what hurts the most when breaking up with a family member, but if that history has been chronically negative, this can make it easier to make an informed and intuitive decision. It will be hard to let go of the relationship if there were good times, but easier to cut ties if it's been a long, torturous road in general. Sometimes it helps to put it all on paper— one column for positives and one for negatives—so that you can see both sides objectively. If they keep insisting that they've changed, then keep your eyes open to determine if that is true. Even if they have changed, they still need to earn your trust again.
  • Who else is affected by this relationship? Sometimes, breaking ties with one person means you could have the entire family upset with you. What a weight on your shoulders! It's important to manage other family relationships and evaluate the effects on others as well, but don't feel entirely responsible for everyone's feelings. Will breaking ties effect others? Is this person so awful that it's worth upsetting the family unit? Will other family members support your decision? Is there any chance that your decision to take care of yourself could have positive repercussions for someone close to you or for the family as a whole? Don't hesitate to cut ties if the only reason you are keeping contact is for other family members. Enabling a harmful family member is sad but common.
  • How is the stress effecting your personal life and current family? Many people get confused and think their parents or the family they were born into is more important than the family they build for themselves. This is wrong. Your wife and/or husband now take precedence over your mom and/or dad, so don't tolerate original family members if they negatively effect your current family: You are responsible for their well-being and action must be taken. Preferably you, rather than your spouse, should handle your family members.
  • What's your role? We take on a label or role from an early age in the family unit. Sometimes we get stuck in that role and transfer it into our lives beyond the family. For example, your role in the family could be "the baby," one who is enabled even into adulthood. Or you might be "the fixer," one who lends money and keeps the peace at all costs, taking care of everyone. Sometimes a family needs a scapegoat, one to blame everything on. Don't be this person. It takes immense effort to change your role in the family.
  • How do they feel about you? Ideally, family should be based on unconditional love within reason. If you're not feeling the love, then what are you feeling? Sometimes it's helpful to ask yourself how you feel around the person, because this is probably connected to how they feel about you. If you feel awful when that person is around, it's probably triggered by their true feelings about you. Picking up on subtle cues may help you realize the truth of that relationship. In other words, the feeling may be mutual, they just may show it in passive aggressive ways. Keeping that in mind, remember that it's not your fault they feel this way.
  • Are there any boundaries? One thing many families have in common is a lack of boundaries: People say what they want, do what they want, and respect is nowhere in sight. Often their figurative shoe print is stamped on your back cause they've used you like an old doormat. Somehow, people equate a lack of boundaries with unconditional love. Specialists agree that for children, having boundaries gives a sense of being loved, and childhood is where some of the mayhem started between family members. If you're still undecided about cutting off the relationship, setting boundaries now can be a helpful.
  • How close are you? (Literally and figuratively.) If the person you have problems with lives far away or you don't see them often, you can endure it and then get back to your normal life. A quick visit with the negativity and drama — maybe two holidays a year— might be manageable. But if the strained relationship is with a close family member, then they usually mean more to us and therefore, the hurt takes a bigger toll. In this case, keeping in touch may not be worth the hurt and pain. It is more difficult, of course, to break close family ties, but those can be the ones that damage us the most: This is a double-edged sword and requires evaluating risks versus benefits.
  • Is resolution possible? If the answer is no, then it may be time to move on. Don't bother hashing out major issues between the person and yourself— you've probably tried this in the past and walked away with a big heaping serving of that person's denial or self-preservation. As children, we are powerless against family members because we're too young to have a say or coherently express our feelings. Sometimes that pattern follows us to adulthood. Remember, any decision can be temporary. If the ties are cut right now, they may be mended later. Cutting ties isn't always an open and close, final case.

One more thing: Sometimes, instead of having an issue with one person, the problem lies with more than one or even an entire branch of the family. In that case, it's best to evaluate the issues as a whole. It could be that letting go of an entire chunk of your family would be more stressful than maintaining distance, and it's entirely up to you to make that decision.

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.

— Brene Brown

It's Okay to Say Goodbye When...

  • The relationship is physically or mentally abusive. Don't downplay the effects of these kinds of abuse, especially long-term. It may take counseling to realize you've been abused.
  • It causes enough stress that it effects important aspects/areas of your life, like work or home life.
  • You find yourself spending a lot of time thinking about the sour relationship and losing sleep over it. Don't underestimate how lack of sleep and stress effect your health.
  • The relationship is one-sided when there is no valid reason why there isn't some effort made by the other person.
  • The relationship is only about borrowing money.
  • The family member is taking you down with them or constantly demanding favors or asking you to bail them out of trouble. Don't get involved in risky business and legal trouble, even if they are family.
  • The person is using gossip to manipulate and control you and/or other family members against you.
  • All contact with them is negative. They only call to bring you down and put you down, too.
  • There are negative consequences every time this family member doesn't get what they want from you.
  • They play childish games— the silent treatment, blame games— and there is no talking to them. It's their way or no way.

Most people know intuitively when it's time to cut ties. Listen to yourself.

Cutting people out of your life doesn't mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself. Not everyone is meant to stay.

When You Decide to Sever Ties with a Family Member...

  1. Try it out... less contact through calls, visits, and emails. This is especially important when the relationship stress is emotional. Breaking the pattern of mental abuse helps to shed light on how the person effects you so you can make a clear-minded decision.
  2. Set a few boundaries. Sometimes it's not necessary to cut ties, just adjust them. Even giving a few ultimatums is okay.
  3. Keep a neutral position. If certain subjects always end in argument, avoid them and keep the conversation neutral.
  4. Limit contact to times when something major happens. Send an email to let the family member know you are pregnant, someone died, you got a great new job, or you're moving to another state. You might consider including them on family group emails, but avoiding one-to-one exchanges.
  5. Know that it's difficult. Death is final, but cutting ties is like death without the closure. You will probably feel the worst when the first birthday or holiday rolls around, but you can prepare yourself by just expecting difficulty. Remember that these new feelings are less harmful than if you kept the relationship intact.
  6. Concentrate on who you have. Having a good support system of friends or other family members makes cutting ties easier.
  7. Don't pretend everything is okay. When applicable, talk to other family members about your situation. Let them know you will be avoiding contact with this person. Briefly explain why, and don't back down.

Please join the discussion and read the excellent comments below.

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    • izettl profile image

      Lizett 41 hours ago from The Great Northwest

      You don't have to tell your sister, "what happened". If you are done being manipulated by her and have set new boundaries, use those boundaries to realize YOU don't owe her anything. Why would you owe her an explanation. If she's pestering you, keep your distance. Tell her you have changed. She doesn't need anything more and won't have to think the change is somehow about her...again...

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      SadSister 42 hours ago

      I have been accepting some terrible qualities from my sister for over 20 years now. I think the refusal to call her on it over the years has now developed into a severe depression and desire to remove it as I have become older and the betrayals and insults have worsened. At this time she knows something has changed/is wrong with our relationship because I have set a boundary with her that is noticeable from my usual acceptance of her walking all over me and it always being about her. It happened when my father confided in my husband that my sister had been saying horrible things about me to our father. My husband felt a duty to me to ultimately tell me of this betrayal because he loves me and couldn't stand watching me be taken advantage of by my sister, knowing all the while she was backstabbing me to our father. I am now literally being stalked by my sister to "tell her" what happened, why our relationship has changed. I am held hostage by my fear of damaging my husbands and my fathers relationship by releasing my knowledge of what they spoke of confidentially - to justify to my sister why there has been a change. The end or destruction of my husband and my father's relationship would hurt me as bad as the things my sister has done to me- what do I do?

    • izettl profile image

      Lizett 2 days ago from The Great Northwest

      Well as you can see on the comment thread, you're not alone. Most people go through off and on contact, which is like riding an emotional roller coaster. This feels like ripping a Band-Aid off slowly. Yes, there comes a time when enough is enough. I'm glad you can see where the line is drawn and chose you.

    • izettl profile image

      Lizett 2 days ago from The Great Northwest

      It was not only a heavy load, but a burden. And sometimes the burden is not yours to carry. She has made her choices and you have made yours. It seems like a very one right now. I love that saying: "Let go and let God".

    • izettl profile image

      Lizett 2 days ago from The Great Northwest

      Krystal, Sorry for this type of relationship controlled by money and greed. It's like you wrote about my dad's family- I didn't know why he cut ties with them when I was younger. It was after my grandparents died and his siblings got very greedy. At least they did not spread lies. How awful for you to go through that. Character matters more than money. Be thankful you got out of that vicious cycle. Best of luck...

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      Paid my dues 2 days ago

      I've paid my dues with my family. With two narcissistic parents, there was always adversity, anxiety, you name it. Being the youngest of four, I was alone with them for six years. By the time I left, I was almost completely destroyed--obesity, fear, no self-esteem, cast off with $10 a week to live on until I got a paycheck. I've decided to stay away from the two sisters I have left--both exhibit all the signs of narcissism and always have. They really can't stand each other. Done with both of them--not that I won't talk to them, but they're not in my life. Thanks for reading. There comes a time when you have to make a decision--you or them!

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      Load To Heavy 3 days ago

      Raised in the 60's n raised by 2 narcisist parents! I was the 2 child .My first memory as a child was runnibg with my brother and mom due to daddy was beating us and we were getting away! Fast forward to now .I have cut ties to my mom she is toxic and iv tried for years to ask her to change .Ill always love my mom in my heart but i wont let her keep breaking my hurt with her behavior She had a choice to change or at least be nice for our 20 min visits .So i have made my choice too.I pray and understand her hurt but the load was too heavy for me to carry so iv let go n let God! And one day when the lord takes me i hope to see the 1st born since iv missed him so much due to at age 10 he went heaven .

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      Krystal 8 days ago

      I am the youngest of 12 family members. I was the main caregiver for both my parents for several years. My brothers and sisters were in a court battle over a home that my mom and dad left. They were arguing about who gets to sell the house and keep the money. Two of my older siblings wanted me to choose a side but I chose not to get involved and because of this they have come against me. They began to spread horrible lies about my children and I. They even tried to contact one of my employers and my church family to turn them against me. The only thing I said was I do not want to be involved in their schemes and lies because I found out they were trying to steal from my moms estate and that set them off like an atomic bomb. They threatened me by emails and phone calls. I am absolutely astonished at what the love of money can do to a person. I finally decided to cut all ties with them. I moved and I have not heard from them. I have never felt such peace as I do now. I don't see myself ever talking with them again and I am fine with that.

    • profile image

      Deb jahncke 10 days ago

      This is my life right now my family has abandoned me because the don't want to understand pain. I have had 5 surgeries at Mayo in Rochester since last August, alone except one.

    • profile image

      What the 2 weeks ago

      Are you qualified to write an article about such things?

    • profile image

      Queen 4 weeks ago

      My mom and sister for years going around lying on me to people now getting people to attack me. my mom covered up her bother molested me melvin PURDIE.... 2912 spellman rd 1976-1977 since then people care at first guess my mom didnt want to get the police on him or her so she started telling people i was boy crazy....... then my sister started going around saying things that not true and now she got everybody against me. to attack me i don't know whats said. this lady my mom friends i'm not around at all put her hands on me. and i'm not going to sit here do nothing i don't know this lady phone number address my mom covering up for her because its my mom to i don't understand whats going on now i'm getting feeling their trying kill me i have to get away its not going change that person done to much i dont want to hurt no body now i have to find better living with no friends or family

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      Anonymous 4 weeks ago

      It is hard to live up with seperated parents who despise each other and doesn't have stable job. I am the eldest and has one brother who is 3 yrs younger than me. My childhood was not easy and happy for I grew up with a father who controls everything and how strict he was that made us fear each time he comes home. I witnessed how they fight almost everyday that traumatized us. I was 16 when they finally seperated that mom took us from my dad. Mom worked abroad for years and dad doesn't have income of his own that brother and I supports him from the day I started to earn my own money at the age of 21.Now that I am 31, mom and brother lives with me in an apartment where brother and I shared all family expenses and still supports dad living in a different place. It's tiring when you feel you are doing everything you could and still not enough. Listening to both of their sentiments, their fears that they are aging, and you don't have choice but to be strong and absorb everyhing . We live below our means and doesn't have anything. Brother and I live paycheck to paycheck to survive.Being the eldest its frustrating how you want to explore and enjoy life without thinking about your toxic parents. My descendants are not bad people, but brother and I were victim of the situation.Wishing that one day I'll have my own family and be with someone you'll grow old with without ending up hating each other and putting the all the responsibilities and monetary obligations to my kids because its there job when I get old. My parents was busy fighting and dealing their disasterous marriage instead of securing the future of our offsprings. It is not easy to be the eldest in the family. It's a blessing that you become tough and independent but it's a curse that you always need to consider your family before your own happiness.

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      Sessy 5 weeks ago

      I have two kids with different Fathers and I was having too much stress because of those Fathers and the family, my behavior was out of control, now they want to give those fathers my kids, is it fair?

    • profile image

      bella 5 weeks ago

      in my case family is a stress, i came from a large family, parents without work and our life was dependent from family living in the USA, life was tough, i was the 4th child from 12 siblings. it was a hell living with immature parents, father was a drunkard and mother was very violent and loud, thanks god there's grandmother who took us and showered us with love and care, but since her house was just across the parent's house, father and mother can still reach us easily. i couldn't wait to finish college to move out from the hell life i had, when i started working i send amount of my earnings to my parents despite of the sad experience from them, i heard a lot of news since i left the house, a lot of my siblings got married but i still support the parents even i worked abroad, keep supporting some siblings in school, until one brother murdered a fellow drug addict, that was the worst part, the family was asking monet from me because i am still single and i got tired because they don't have savings in the bank. i am extremely fed up of this kind of connection from a pathetic family who never gave me support but rather dragging me down, asking for money only without any concern of my life here abroad.

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      cathy anderson 6 weeks ago

      It is best to end ties when family you loved and raised will continue to friend ex family member that has does nothing but caused pain , hurt, the lies, the thievery and you never asked but gave to any family member that needed a place to stay , borrow money and just one time in your life you need them and their emotional support and they just want to bother

    • profile image

      L14n4 8 weeks ago


      I have been living with my mother and stepfather for 5 years now. I am 17 years old and I have several family problems. It's like I feel in a cage everyday everywhere... If I'm with my father in Spain, I feel like everyone expects something from me yet doesn't understand or doesn't care enough. But I feel the same when I'm here in France. I have average grades at school but some of them are quite high (2o/2o). I also speak 5 languages fluently, yet I don't get much credit or praises... never.

      If I get an A+, I don't even get a "good job" or "I'm proud of you".

      I feel like I do much less of what I could do or achieve just because the people around me feel like I am some kind of burden or don't love/care enough for me.

      No one in my family understands me, and I am not saying that "just because I am a teenager", no, definitely not.

      I am supposed to have 158 Q.I, which is not even that accurate because I have concentration problems but am above "average/normal" in language, communication, grammar, vocabulary, etc.

      I've always felt like I didn't belong inside of my family... It was already a complicated one before I was even born. I feel like there are so many things that are actually my fault...

      My father is the only one besides my "brother" (father side) that gets me in the slightest... It makes me feel like I would love to be like everyone else in so many levels... I don't even have many friends ... And the ones I have (10?) are more "people I get along with" than anything else... I don't get to see half of them for at least a year, when I go to Spain.

      Right now we're having severe problems with money, in Spain and France, but mostly the last one. My mother can't work for many reasons and my stepfather only gets paid 3000€/month which, knowing we are working on "his" new house, isn't even that much. Besides, I live at the school dorms when the school year starts, so only 300€ for that, at least 100€ for food, nearly 100€ each month for my new braces, 60€ for therapy, etc.

      My father only pays 200€ per month... and my stepfather just pays food for me. Period. He treats my mother like she's the most dumb person on Earth, like she complains too much, and then he complains about us two.

      I just wish I could just go away... Because it hurts to hear my stepfather say "what kind of problems/concerns could you possibly have?"... If only he knew what he makes us go through. It's not only that, just because I'm young it doesn't mean that I'm dumb, un-experienced, or anything of the sort.

      I have been bullyied a lot since I remember, just because I was different from other children my age. But did anyone do anything? No. I have been sexually abused, 3 times, two by the new husband of my father's first wife, with whom he has my two brothers and sister. I never told my father, because he would be in prison by now if I told him that man abused me when I was sleeping at their house, because he was working late at his restaurant when I was only 9 years old and my mother was in France with my stepfather. When I was 3 my parents couldn't stop fighting, and that was only when my mother wasn't in a deep depression and couldn't pay attention to me and my father wasn't working...

      I was you could say it's complicated.

      Anyways, I just wanted to know If I could something about all of this? Specially the mother and stepfather situation.

      Thank you very much for your collaboration.

    • profile image

      Deb 8 weeks ago

      My 16 1/2-year-old niece wants to move in with me because she is angry with her mother and her grandparents and uncle and baby sister that she currently lives with .

      She is in a toxic environment and extremely angry and is trying to break free. She wants to come live with me and I am concerned about the added stress and financial responsibility at my age . I have relocated in the last year to live next to my elderly mother to help care for her and I am concerned about her needs above having my niece live with me. My mom is a full-time job and I work a full-time job . I'm freaking out a little bit and thinking this is maybe not a good idea. Any comments would be appreciated

    • profile image

      cher 8 weeks ago

      My husband has stolen my parents estate money by hacking all my accounts.

      he stole and gave my belongings to his prostitutes, sell my stuff on line.

      Declared me dead, has hacked our wifi, has a family with someone else, and continually lies about all of it.

      please send suggestions

    • profile image

      Jeany244 8 weeks ago

      Sometimes you need to get the time and find space away from your family. Coming from a large family I have found it difficult to

      focus on what I need to do for myself. Excessive conscientiousness had me focusing on what everyone else was feeling. "Everybody hurts... and No one listens..." describes my family's interactional style. For me, the avoidance of conflict and trying to hold ties across all family members has been exhausting. I have been working at this my whole life. It is difficult to hold your ground when others do not respect your boundaries. Sometimes you need to focus all your energy on your own health and relationships outside of your family.

    • profile image

      cameralady 2 months ago

      I am on the other side of the coin here..I feel like I am a toxic connection to be avoided..

      I feel like I am being held at arm's length by two of the most beloved people in my life, my sister and my older son...

      The story of my life is rather long, I won't even try to share here......

      Suffice it to say, I spent a lifetime helping others as a nurse..Volunteer community service..Both very rewarding..

      My life has been a combination of good and bad..

      With that said, I have never put my problems on other's shoulders or asked for money..I don't drink at all, I am not addicted to drugs..I am not disabled, I can pull my weight to take care of myself and others..

      While I wouldn't be perceived as the life of the party, I am reasonably fun/normal to be around and know how to make people laugh, once I warm up to them..When I am with friends or family, we find plenty of fun things to do..

      To my knowledge, family and I don't drive each other severely crazy during a crisis...

      I have never gotten the feeling or been told that I irritate my sister and son..My sis and son don't live close by or interact with each other on a regular basis..My sister lives across the country from me, my son lives across the state from me..

      I don't think I leave other people feeling drained..I don't need constant interaction from either my sister or my son..

      But it would have made me feel special to get a Happy Birthday text on my birthday from my son..

      I would have loved being invited to meet up for a coffee or an afternoon with my sister, those times she traveled here to see her new granddaughter..I've yet to be invited to meet my grand niece, who is 4 months old now....I feel dismayed and disturbed by recent events, because my sister and I used to meet up every time she was in town, I thought we were close friends in addition to being sisters..

      I am unpleasantly mystified with this distance I am feeling from both of them..I realize that how my sister and son are acting may have nothing to do with me and isn't something mutually decided between them.....More like a sad coincidence and an emotional WTF ...

      I recently went thru a tragedy..Death of a close (immediate) family member..I got token support from my sister, condolences/how are you texts for about two weeks.. Nothing from my son..

      Part of the despair I am feeling now is realizing that I don't know who I can count on for emotional support when times are tough..I learned that support may not always come from key people in my life..For all I know, my most meaningful support may come from my beautician or my grocer...

    • profile image

      Mason 2 months ago

      My estranged mother has her friends contact my teenage kids at their workplace and ask them questions that they relay back to my mother.tough to tell someone that their friend is lying or not telling them the truth about a situation and get them involved in the narcissistic situation

    • LiliMarlene profile image

      Elisabeth Meier 2 months ago

      Wow, thank you for this article. I decided for the cut because this family made me literally sick and when it gets that serious you finally have to put yourself first. This article made me feel a little better because it is always helpful to know you're not the only one with such a problem.

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      linda dejan 2 months ago

      Great information to deal with such a difficult and complex subject.

      Thanks for sharing and caring!

    • roboy64 profile image

      roboy64 2 months ago

      Thank you, this article came to me at a time when I am at a crossroads trying of finally deciding to let go of a relationship that has been mostly emotionally one sided all my adult life. I am 53 years old and have decided that a family member who blames everyone for her problems, how her kids are turning out, etc is toxic and has trouble showing love to me. The most difficult part is having to look like the "bad guy" for breaking things off at a time when this family member is going through her spouse's suicide. During this bad time and a few years before this, she has been very resentful and angry at me by telling me things like she wished she was as kind as me or her daughters would be netter off with someone like me. This is very draining to me as I feel it leaves us with a very strained and unhealthyvrelationship. She is very anxious and neurotic personality and manipulative personality. When she finds out her daughters confide in me, she keeps her them from having a full relationship with me. Anyway, it's time to set boundries and focus on my immediate family husband and children. Thanks again

    • profile image

      Cecilia Duenas. 3 months ago

      I didn't get any answer to my problem!!!!

    • profile image

      Anne 3 months ago

      What about the siblings that are caught in the middle? It's unfair that the sibling that has cut ties has done so because of the parents, and yet the entire family have been cut out. Causing immense pain and loss for the siblings that had nothing to do with the feuds. This is what has happened to my sister and I. Unfortunately, my sister and I have over time started to resent my parents and somewhat blame them for this awful situation. We feel we've lost a brother and 3 nephews because of their (both parties) inability to get along and work through their problems. I truly think that things were left unspoken about and a lot of feeling suppressed. One day I was looking after his kids and the next no contact, no explaination. Just cut off. It's extremely difficult to not place blame on my parents, the pain is incredible. And even though I resent my brother of cutting us off too I resent my parents more, because even though no explaination was given by my brother for his cut off, I know the reasons deep down. We do after all share the same parents and same up bringing. But despite this, I just feel things could have been sorted out. Feels very unnecessary. It's been difficult for my sister and I to just "move on" and carry on like it doesn't affect us. I cry nearly every day from the pain I feel inside from both parties. I thought over time it would get better, but it's only getting worse.

    • profile image

      CMJ 3 months ago

      My brother used to be my best friend until he married a girl out of the country who lived very poorly. He made over 100k in a year. Things were going fine until we went to visit. She accused my mom, myself, and my daughter of stealing her things! Which when she got in the US she bought expensive things that no female in my family cares about. She found them and did not apologize. I've tried to stay in touch with my brother for several years and mostly he's ignored my phone calls and I can never understand why. When I did get to talk his wife wasn't around and he was nice. I called him the other day and all hell broke loose. Before I could say anything he was angrily saying why was I calling him and to never call him again! My heart was broken and I had lost a piece of myself that day! It was so shocking I don't remember what I said back but I know I hung up. I thought we would always be close and I have never done anything to him. It literally hurts my soul. I don't know how this happened but he never talks to our parents either and our father paid for his wife to come over here. Maybe I am making too much out of this but I've always thought we had each other. Now I have no one!

    • profile image

      Dena Chamberlain 3 months ago

      I have an identical twin sister who put me, her best friend & her children in a very dangerous situation because she's choosing to stay with this intimidating dangerous man. I still feel cry when I think about it & find myself wondering what I did wrong that she wouldn't even listen to my concerns.

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      SHIRLEE 4 months ago

      I need some advice here. I am the middle child between older sister and younger brother. My relationship with my sister has always been strained. two and half years ago my one and only child was killed in a car accident. I had just moved to a new town not knowing a sole, retired from teaching, started a new business, and my 24 yr. old son moved with me and my partner (not his father). 3 months in new place he got killed. My sister was helpful for the 1st few weeks and then was totally dedicated to taking care of our father of 90 yrs old who did not show up to my sons funeral because he couldn't face it. My sister has nothing to do with my brother now because she can be cruel to the point where she says things that are unconscionable. She completely controls my mom and her decisions. She has told me on a number of occasions that I am a fu8ck up and crazy. Recently she has experienced some health issues- not suprising- she is severly overweight and always anxious- always stressed. She doesnt work really and has 2 great kids, a husband and enough money for a lifetime. She sent me a text letting me know that she does not want to talk about her issues now so I suggested that we just talk about how I am dealing with my grief and then about her kids and what is happening. She sent me back a message "I am sorry I am not able to meet your needs at this time. I am extremely nervous about all my medical conditions right now and until I see the DR and figure out what is going on, I have little energy for anything else." I have an 88 yr old mother and a brother who I talk to if I call him. I have nothing else- even my partner and I are no longer good together. I am all alone.

      Is there something wrong with wanting family support since I am all by myself and will never have a wedding, grandchildren etc. to enjoy

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      Dinka 5 months ago

      Thank you for this article, it helps to reinforce me in my decision to cut ties with my Mom's partner as much as possible. You see, my Dad died when I was little. My Mom remarried and we suffered many years of domestic violence with my stepfather. After we left him things seemed to settle down. I grew very close to my Mom and my sister during this time. But I also grew up and started a life of my own. I discovered who I am, I learned to love myself. I know my family were not always impressed with my choices, but there was never any lasting animosity. They accepted me as the adventurous and free spirit that I am. Then came Mom's new partner, an uneducated simpleton with backward views about women and relationships. Mom likes him because he is from the same country of birth and he treats her well. Of course, that's not counting the times he gossiped about her to others and did things behind her back. Mom is good at forgiving such things, she had much practice in her abusive second marriage.

      The problem with Mom's new partner is - we don't get along. From the beginning my attitude was one of acceptance. It is Mom's choice and if he makes her happy, that's all that matters. If at times the man's stupidity and inappropriate comments (e.g. about the shape of my ass) or actions (slapping my bottom) irritated the hell out of me, I managed to get over it for my Mom's sake. My life was and remains my own. This included a short period of time when I lived with Mom and her partner, while studying a postgraduate degree. Well. I was single at the time, but I had a friend with benefits and foolishly, I confided in my Mom that he was a lot younger than I. Mom told her idiot partner. Whenever I went to see my friend, I would return home to armageddon, as Mom and her partner fought about my choice. At the time it seemed Mom was on my side, so it did not impact our relationship very much. Soon enough I secured a full time job and I moved to a different city and into my own home. I broke off my casual friendship with the young lover and for a while peace was restored to the family. Mom's partner would visit with her and make plans to help me renovate the house I had bought.

      The real trouble started when I met my current partner. I lived with him for a year as just flatmates and friends, before deciding that he was worthy of a lot more. He has the same cultural background as my family, so I thought it would be fine. It wasn't. Mom's partner acted all jealous and drove me insane from day one. His reason was, my current partner is once more a lot younger than I. This is not exactly my fault, I don't deliberately choose younger men. Nor did I choose my partner on the basis of looks. I chose him because he is a wonderful person who treats me like a princess. After years of misery and many years of being single, it feels wonderful to be in a stable relationship. But Mom's partner was dead against it. When I introduced Mom and partner to my new partner, Mom's partner pulled him aside and told him: "She is just a slut, not worth marrying. You should just fuck her and move on." Needless to say, my partner was furious. He has avoided my family ever since, although he is happy enough to entertain them if they come to visit us. I guess he just doesn't want to be alone with my Mom's partner again. I can't say I blame him, but of course Mom has been very critical of his absences and what she calls his "failure to assimilate" into the family.

      The last straw came this week, when I received an anonymous letter of threat in the mail. It said to leave my partner alone, or my horse will eat more Gillette blades. At first I took it very seriously, because I did find an old rusty blade in my horse's feed bin, just two weeks prior. But then, while talking to the police, I realised the letter was not sent from anywhere in my city. It was sent from the city where my Mom lives with her partner, in fact from her very area. It was very poorly written, in broken English. It referred to Gillette blades, which was inaccurate. I realised Mom's partner uses Gillette blades. I remembered him telling me on several occasions to "leave my partner alone". I knew that he knew about the incident with the razor blade, because I told Mom when it happened - and he over heard the conversation. Mom had me on speaker, so her partner heard every word. I even heard him making dumb remarks in the background, words to the effect "it was me, I did it". Of course he didn't do it, he didn't have the opportunity. But he had ample motive and ability to put the letter together and try to scare me.

      Unfortunately, when I asked Mom to confront him, I was met with firm resistance. Mom would not listen to any evidence I had, and kept coming up with wild theories that made no sense. My partner's family are all local, none of them would travel to Mom's city in order to post the letter. They also don't know where I keep my horse. It is highly unlikely they had anything to do with it. But the worst thing is, when Mom got angry she told me a whole lot of ugly things about my partner. How she suspected he was trying to poison me at one stage. How her partner is afraid of him, etc. I realised then that Mom actually doesn't approve of my relationship either. This has hit me very hard, because of how close I have always been with Mom. But I also realised that I am entitled to live my life. No matter what Mom has done for me, she has no right to dictate who my partner is, or to affect my relationship in such a negative way. I therefore decided to pull away, a decision that filled me with guilt and is still causing me to feel sad and to cry each day. There is no alternative, not if I want to distance myself from Mom's partner. And I must distance myself from him, because I am almost certain he sent the letter, and because of all the other things he has done to try and sabotage my relationship - for instance, a few weeks ago he gave my private mobile number to a complete stranger, telling him to ask me on a date. I was shocked and angry, but Mom just shrugged it off. In fact, she said her partner was probably just trying to find me a better man than the one I had.

      Have I been so stupid as to be too close to Mom? Is it my fault because I let her meddle in my affairs too much? Possibly. Although Mom is the type of person who thinks she is entitled to meddle, so even if she says she won't do it, she ends up doing it down the track anyway. My sister says she is "like a tank" in that regard. And it seems her current partner is only making things worse. I am so sad to be in this position. I wanted so much to share my happiness with my family. Now it seems I must choose. And I cannot choose what Mom wants. This is my life, after all.

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      Vicstefs 5 months ago

      Hello, I'm new to the site and have found it very helpful as I read all the comments. So nice to know that I am not the only one with a mother and sister that I had to eliminate from my life. To try and make my long story as short as possible here we go: when I was young I found I was adopted along with my bio brother. In high school we found our bio mom was who we knew as our aunt and our bio sister was who we knew as our cousin. At that point my brother moved out and moved in with our bio mom. I began a relationship with her & my sister years later after my divorce (my bio mom wanted a relationship with me). All went well for a couple of years until my sister had her first child (she now has 6) my one and only son was about 4 at the time. Like most of the people here she made it clear that I am not the same as my sister and I never would be so I tried to look past this knowing she didn't raise me and out relationship would be different. As time went on it became worse and worse. The more my sister pissed her off the more she would come down on me. Anyways this went on for years and my sister and I did everything to ensure she didn't tear us apart because she and her 6 kids were everything to me. When my sister decided to leave her 2nd husband and father to 3 of her children everything changed with us. my sister would do anything to land a guy/keep a guy (why she has 6 kids) and our relationship hurt because of it. Anyways 5 years ago our brother passed away and my moms treatment of me was so awful I ended our relationship. Almost 2 years ago we found out my sister sexually abused her youngest daughter because some man online asked her too. We as a family of course were devistated, the kids were shipped off to their dads and I feeling awful for my mother decided to let all the past shit go so I could be there for her (she lost 2 of her 3 children in 3 years). As we all know nothing changed she still treated me awful and once again I had to cut off all contact with her. The one big change is I also had to end things with my sister because of what she has done And she's now in prison because of what she did to my niece. The one thing not really discussed is what happens to the kids. I found that if I had any contact with the kids it pulled me back into all of my moms crazy. The guilt I've felt for breaking contact with them still breaks my heart almost a year later. Did I do the right thing? I couldn't have contact with the older kids without my mom thinking I'm plotting against her and I can't get with the younger ones because it would put them in the middle as well. Has anyone else had to deal with the kids end of things? I've basically lost all the people on that side of my family now including my sisters children. It's hard because they are the innocent ones. Any words of wisdom would help today. I know I've made the right decision regarding my mom, I've never felt more free and strong. And my sister, well I miss her and it's like she died the day she confirmed to me what she had done. Just feeling lonely today I guess. Thank you for listening!

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      Misty 7 months ago

      Things went sideways in my family around 12 years ago, and I have been the one blamed, but I am still unclear what the precipitating incident was. The initial incident started with my brother-in-law, then included my sister and now the whole family is involved.

      I have been excluded, ignored, bad mouthed, put down, and been incredibly rude to by everyone in my family other than my father. Sadly he passed away in Sept so I am now on my own dealing with this.

      This all happened at a time when my life was falling apart anyway. I became critically ill, needed an organ transplant and nearly died. I have been unable to return to work because of health issues.

      As I had been very close to my family in the past, I was stunned, depressed, and absolutely obssessed with what had happened. I can't stop thinking about it. It has kept me awake at night. I honestly have wondered what is wrong with me.

      We had major drama in Feb of this year while my husband and I were away on vacation, with me being blamed for a problem that did not happen the way the story has been told. I have absolute proof of this with a series of emails. Because of being blamed for supposedly not being willing to change plans to accommodate my mother, my mother yelled at me in a restaurant telling me that she thought I was selfish, and that she did not believe what I was saying. The whole thing, including the story that had been told was so unbelievable, that I was totally gobsmacked. It pushed me to the "RED ZONE" where I can just not tolerate any more of this. Previously I did everything I could to try and sort things out, and appease everyone.

      I have told my family members that I very much want to be part of the family, but I will not participate in family events in the future without some family counselling. Not surprisingly, I have not heard from any of them.

      Setting a boundary has been a huge relief for me. I have turned myself inside out trying to understand what is happening, and trying to sort things out, but no one else has been willing to do so. I have even seen a therapist.

      I feel so much better within myself. I still hope that my family will re-consider so that ties are not permanently cut, but I am emotionally prepared for whatever happens.

      Even with all of this, I have felt very alone in this area. (I have a great husband and great friends, who are incredibly supportive of me overall) But I don't know anyone whose family has deteriorated to such low levels.

      And tonight I stumbled on this site. It is so true that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. There are so many of you in a similar position to me. I am also most impressed that this article was written 8 years ago, and yet there are still posts being added. It clearly is very topical.

      Good job, all of you, and especially to you Laura Irwin for writing such a poignant article. Wishing you all the best of luck in reclaiming your lives and your happiness.

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      diana 7 months ago

      "Divorcing" some of my family members have been the most difficult yet the most liberating thing I could have done in my life. Difficult because I decided to separate, cut ties with some of my family members at a moment I was the most vulnerable; depressed, homeless, without a job, separating my family at the lowest moment of my life. Knowing in my heart I have been there for them. I had put together countless of family reunions with me including almost everything so the family could come together. I have listened, given them massages, gifts, cooked for them, hugged them, applaud them, cried, laugh with them but they could not be there. Divorcing them, separating myself from them, even cutting ties with some of them was the most liberating thing I could have done after a while, I realized my family was making my life more miserable, more difficult by judging me, attacking me, not accepting me, expecting me to be there for them, to respond to theirs needs, to be a cheerleader when I needed them to be there for me the most. Nowadays when I communicate with some of them with those whom have shown interest, desire to keep a relationship with me. I respond to them. I let them know I appreciate them wanting to know about me. However things have changed. I have learned the hard way. I learned they can't be there for me as I have been there for them so when they are expecting something out of me which they always do. I make sure I put myself first.

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      Joy Gill 7 months ago

      Wow this reminds me of my family and I was always the one coming to aid of everybody that needed me. I guess I made myself to available. It has not been easy by no means and I did cry alot at first never understood how my family could cause me so much pain. Instead of having an issue with one person, the problem lies with more than one or even an entire branch of the family. In that case, I decided it's best to evaluate the issues as a whole. For me letting go of an entire chunk of my family would be more stressful than maintaining distance, and I did not come to that decision lightly. My mother is the one that controls everybody else in the family. It was to the point where it had got way out of control. My mother called my ex husband got him to call the police to do a welfare check on my daughter at school that embarassed her and eventually pulled her out of school and started homeschooling her got police knocking on my door one morning. I told the police had all my documentations showed them also said had my homeschooling attorneys on speed dial would they like to talk to them boy they couldn't get out door fast enough. I had done everything by the "Law" nothing illlegal. My mother was calling all of my other sides of the family involving them. I changed all numbers and email addresses because of this behavior and she sent me nasty, treatening letters in the mail. All of my life my mom was verbally abusive and she also intimadated me for years and was always controling and kept me from being able to grow into a normal healthy adult. I felt powerless as I did even as a child they treated me like I could not or have a right to make my own decsions. There were never any boundries in our familys life growing up or even into adult life. It was my mothers way or the highway. Both of my brothers older than me still live in the control and I was able to get out and it has caused all kind of problems. I have forgiven them for all of the things they have done, but just because you forgive the ones you love does give them the right to continue to treat you badly or abusive in life. I have realized that they are the ones that is losing out. You can't lose something that you NEVER had. My family dynamic is probably not all that different from many others. I am the youngest out of two older brothers. I have an manipulative mother. Every family member is prescribed roles. I had to pick up the pieces when something falls down the one who always took care of everybody. It took me years to find my enter strength and find the peace that I have today. All I ever wanted was for them to share in my life and be apart of it.I had to learn to set boundaries which is what I did. Most people cut ties because they ARE the ones willing to work on the relationsip, but the other family member is not. The toxic family member usually makes the person put up with their abuse and agree with them or get out of their life. They are the ones who need help and should have the most regrets about not even trying. Most people have already spent many years trying to mend a relationship.I can deal with boundaries as most people who decide to cut ties, but it is the other family member who disregards boundaries- they usually want control, using revenge, vindictiveness, gossip,etc. Who needs that? you go ahead and hang onto your bad relationships, but no one really knows what's best for another- only that person knows. I wanted the topic to be out there so people don't feel alone. I decided to walk away because nothing was ever going to change. It saddens me that I had to do this. It was not an easy decision but I realized that if I did not it would destroy all that I have worked for in my own life. I do believe that ever situation is not the same and you have to decide when enough is enough. I feel peace in my heart because I know I tried ever option that I could to provide that love and peace with healthy boundries. They did not want boundries they wanted control and control meant giving up my identity.

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      Kristi Dame 8 months ago

      This page is great. It really does make you think. I like how it asks questions. Lovely format. Made me think more about my own situation and how to address how my in laws ask for money and then tell you to butt out of their business. Uhh you took money and need to pay it back and find away to get a hold of your finances. If it isn't anyone else's business than don't ask for money. I have a brother in law that has put me down a lot and the excuses the family makes for him hasn't helped him grow up and be a man and he is in his fifties. I started to fight back by putting my foot down but this article makes me realize that if there are no boundaries than these people that have no respect for other people's marriages will always walk all over you and may never understand boundaries. The family is catholic and quotes that "blood is thicker than water" when actually when you get married you are "one flesh". It is 1 God 2 Spouse 3 Children 4 Parents 5 Brothers and Sisters of Christ and 6 Everyone else who is suppose to prioritize in your life. They don't have the boundaries to understand this. Love this hub!

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      Edith C 8 months ago

      I am a person who values family unity. These past 7 years has been tough like none other in my past years. It all started when one of my siblings who has always lived away from the family had come to live where the rest of us reside. Things all went bad from there. My father past away within the second year of the 7 and it just got worse. It placed a lot of stress on my health trying to keep the peace as I was the oldest of the siblings. I had two nervous break downs and was under a doctor's care. All the problems were blamed on me which prior to those 7 years there was no chaos. My husband and children got concerned and wanted me to move to where they live, so my husband and I did thinking things would be better. My daughter divorced her cheating husband who also had abused her physically and mentally. During this time, you would think your family would be supportive emotionally to those in need. This same sibling, during the month of my daughter's divorce, had approached her ex-husband and asked if he would take his boat out on the lake with her son and friends. Before she did this, she mentioned it to the rest of the family who had asked if she had mentioned this to my daughter. She told them no and she didn't need to or have to and she didn't want them all letting my daughter know or I. She even told my ex-son-in-law not to mention it. Well, he did in a bragging way. To this day, she is still friends with him which he uses it against my daughter. So, therefor, I have cut off ties with this sibling as w ell as my children has. She has caused nothing but grievance and stress. I still go to family gatherings for the sake of my mother who wants to see us back together, but I don't see that happening. I am much happier with lots less stress and grievances.

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      DeeVee5 8 months ago

      All the words...guess its "good" for some to get it out.. I did that a year ago +...i just cant happy. To be hated by everyone.. "Whats new?" grateful for everything that has been given. . ive said it and said it and said it....but.. It seems my "spoiled brat" personna is all anyone will ever see... Big so over people at this point... I am so happy and glad to stay in my house..yes. They bought it for me.. .. And live on the money they gave to me.. *(which i said not to do.. And.. As usual.. Like everything elce in my entire life...i have had crammed down my throat non stop and been belittled, and made out to be so horriable to everyone in my community, my family, & all elce too... Thst i just cant let it hurt any more... Hate me.. Its fine ny me.. I live them.. But in the last 3-5 yeats.. Ive simply. Not been able to sink into tears and beg for their forgiveness and hide my pain from the public.. Ive taken. All the blame they have asked. Of me all my life... Im horriable.. Im just the most evil there is.. Happy now ? Ill be there if they need me for any crisis.. Yes.. I will. But. Why call me in a crisis when they have the perfect family members all around them.. Their family is perfect without me.. So ,..i will be a very silent and missing problem in all their lives...

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      Carlie 9 months ago

      Thank you for this… I struggled with this and even attempted cutting off my mother at times. She suffers from mental illness and within the past couple of years has decided that she can no longer take care of her self and has completely stopped trying. In the process I have found that I've had to help her financially just to keep the lights on. I am 33 years old, and nursing school and engaged to a wonderful man. I cannot afford to pay these bills. The last time I tried to not pay them… She ended up sitting in the dark of a house that had no running water or electricity for a month until I finally caved, along with my aunt, to get them turned back on. This was last month and we felt guilty and turn them on at Christmas. I have told her that she has to find the will to do something to help her self because I cannot afford to do this. I don't want to lose my path as a nurse by failing out of school over stress or not having money. I don't want to lose my fiancé over choosing her and putting us in debt on her behalf. The most unfortunate part about cutting ties for me is that I am almost positive that if I do so and actually stick to it, she will be homeless. I want to forget about this so badly but the thought of her being on the street kills me. I honestly tell myself all the time "how dare she put me in this position". I realize that she suffers from bipolar disorder but she hasn't gotten any chance of getting on disability because of being so stubborn. She is sick, and I know that! But what is too much? When do I draw the line and choose me over her? I've done everything in my life to avoid becoming like her. It's such a touchy situation but I honestly don't know where to turn. I'm very sad all the time and extremely stressed out. But like I said, I can't afford it and I don't want to lose the only positive things I have in my life that don't involve her. So unfortunately… Unless something crazy changes or a miracle happens, I think I'm going to have to cut ties. All I want is for her to try to take care of her self. Unfortunately, she has manipulated her self into thinking that she is unable to do even the simplest of tasks. I know that this goes hand-in-hand with her disorder, but there has to be some kind of fire in there somewhere. I have tried to light it 1 million times and I'm tired

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      carolyn 11 months ago

      my daughter do you really know why your lover left you do ask your self did any be-able to tell you why he left you did any Dr ever ask you these questions you no that every things happened for no reason your lover has be spell on but i we help you to bring him back that if i have the items to work for you your love we come back to you ok, but i want you to bear in your mind you are not paying me but what am asking for is the items to work for you and i want you to understand that those items are the engine room of the spell to work and grant your heart desire just as you wish fro your ex to come back to you.


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      Melinda Harold 14 months ago

      I am from China, i and my husband has been separated for 8 months now, he was the love of my life and the father of my two kids. He went out with another lady. I tried love potions and voodoo magic and the Ancient Kama Sutra just to have him back him back home to love me and settle down with his family again, it doesn't work. I was so frustrated seeing all effort becoming waste, i was so lucky i heard about Dr Priest Okojie from the shango temple. I'm so happy he was the final solution to the problem i have been fighting for almost 6 months now. I will as well like all those who are having problems such as relationship issues, fertility problems and financial difficulties or simply you need a promotion in your carrier just contact email:shangosolutiontemple @ yahoo . com Dr Okojie from the shango family temple and he will solve your problem with ease withing just 4 days.

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      HOW I GOT BACK MY EX CALL +2348079367204 16 months ago

      Our sexual life was... ummm, dead? yeah, no passion, no contact at all! (and we are still so young!). The love was there, but no spark as we used to have. You fixed that so fast! thank you, thank you, thank you! I have to beg to sleep now"Email to contact him is the

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      annie 16 months ago

      I am the second child of four. 60 years old and retiered. I am a mother of two children and two grandchildren and married to my second husband. Our upbringing was dysfonctional which involved physical and emtional abuse. My parents are imigrants. My father was very controlling and terrorised us. My mother, submissive. We were brought up in fear, not love. Because of this, sadly, we all four suffer from one form or another of addiction, alcohalism, anxiety, co-dependency. Even in our adult life, my father would still try to control or manipulate. My mother of course would not contradict him. I developed immense anger towards him to the point that I had nightmares. I even dreamt that I killed him! I went to therapy most of my life.

      Eight years ago he passed. Being single at the time, I would care for my mother who of course was confused and helpless. But it turned out that I was her whipping post. I never saw her cry, only when he died. She was an angry, frustrated old woman. It ruined my mental health so I had no choice but to cut ties with her. We reconnected three years later. My older brother, which I was very close too, younger left the house when he was seventeen because of a physical altercation with my father. Early twenties he moved away because of his job. His wife did not want anything to do with us which was a friend of mine, so we (the whole family, parents included) would see him every 5 years even though he lived 90 minutes away and believe me we tried! He was the godfather of my other brother's son but did not attend the baptismal. He also did not attend his wedding. We had no relationship with him for 35 years. Well, his wife died and he was back. So we all forgave him. Last summer we went on vacation with him, my mother and my husband. He ruined our vacation by acting out on his alcohalism. He even disrespected my mother. She would come to us crying. So that was the last straw for me. I didn't want anything to do with him at that point. My mother being happy that he is back in her life, enables him and finds excuses. She says that what happened on vacation is all forgotten for her. She will not leave me alone and respect the fact that I cut ties with him. She kept on blackmailing me that she would not attend my family gatherings or outings if he was not there. There is no reasoning with her. She tells me that I am the one looking for problems and that there bigger problems in the world. She does not have the ability to have a mature discussion. There's no point! So I am once again the black sheep of the family, always was to her. Because I voice my opinion she compares me and says that the others don't say anything. You know how it is to have a toxic manipulative mother. She is never wrong and never admits to her wrongdoings.My brother buys her gifts and pays her things like grocery shopping etc.. So he is good to have around for her sake. That I really don't care you know. He is a yes man with her. Does not have to deal with her because he comes in town for a few days about once a month. Here I am at the same point with her as it was when I father died. She complained that my children did not call their uncle on his birthday. I mean, he was never around when they were growing up. Yes they have seen him since he's been back. But she can't expect that. She wants everything her way, to pretend that we are a big happy family. She criticizes everyone and is negative. At my grandson's second birthday she told my sister that it's always the same thing at childrens birthday parties. Not nice! For now, I am avoiding her once again! I know that as long as I don't have a relationship with my older brother, she will not stop. As long as my brother drinks and acts out, I do not want a relationship with him. I have a good relationship with my younger siblings. They respect me and my decision. This is very hard because of course I can't say that I feel good about all this. I'm hurt once again. It's like being there for her and having her at my house regularly does not seem to matter. It's my older brother that seems to matter more.

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      GEANA 17 months ago

      Ever since I split from my husband, I was in terrible spirits. Slowly I realized that I loved him deeply, but he wouldn't pick up my phone when I called him to apologize to him. On the advice of a friend I got in touch with Dr Lawrence he cast a spell and I waited. Three days out of nowhere there was a call. It was my husband. We are now back together and happier than ever. Thank you so much Dr Lawrence. i wish you best of lucks email or

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      SUSAN 17 months ago

      After being in relationship with my husband for nine years,he broke up with me, I did ev erything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email is (LAVENDERLOVESPELL@YAHOO.COM } tel.+2347053977842) you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything.

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      Jane 18 months ago

      Hey are you crying that your lover has left you and the kids for another woman, you don't have to cry anymore because i was in the same position till i heard about Great Mutaba how he has help so many people in their relationship today i can boldly recommend Great Mutaba to anyone who need help. He did not fail me i also believe he can not fail you too. you are indeed a miracle worker.I have tried so many spell casters and psychic after my husband left me. Great Mutaba was the only spell caster who could help me..For sure this is really an prosperity temple where you can get back your ex lover. Great Mutaba cast a love spell and my husband changed for good, he made him a better man and distanced all his secret lovers. I am happy to have a united family, it couldn’t be possible without the effort of Great Mutaba. My husband is back with full of love and sincerity. Make contact with Great Mutaba for relationship help Email him at:

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      Nutcracker 18 months ago

      To WMK

      Thank you for your good wishes - the hardest part is the silence after walking away - but it is preferable to being put down all the time. For me now friends are more important. Good luck to yourself.

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      WMK 19 months ago

      Thank you Laura Irwin AKA izetti. I read through your original post and many of the comments that followed and forgive me if I didn't read them all. I appreciate what you have written as well as the people who have commented.

      First I'm a 60 year old man and I'm a few inches less than perfect. My past is my past and I realize that I've done much wrong throughout my life. I finally grew up and am quite independent. At any rate I'm a decent person with a conscience. I hate hurting anybody and have done everything possible not to.

      With that said I did much harm to my younger brother and parents when I was a boy and into adulthood. I still screw up plenty but I keep the consequences to myself. I am not vindictive nor do I ever seek vengeance. I get along well with the vast majority of people as long as I limit my contact with any particular individual. In other words I am a bit of a loner and not even remotely a social creature. Regardless of what anybody has posted I have no doubt that all of them have been transgressors at one time or another just as I have. I am saying all of this as to not paint myself as an innocent victim and I’m sure that most people if they are honest will admit the same. Now on to my point…..

      ……..I mistreated my younger brother (there was only the two of us) decades ago. He grew up bigger, stronger and more successful than I did. If there ever was a sibling rivalry I dropped out long ago. Good for him and I deserved my lumps. The issue is that he is a stone cold Sociopath. He has zero empathy, sympathy and is totally devoid of a conscience and I mean none whatsoever. His disdain and contempt for me are limitless and will go on forever. Brother treats me like garbage and for a while I accepted it as just desserts. Everything is a one way street. He wants no part of my life except when he has a primal need for me to be in a photo album. Enough already. It’s jailbreak time.

      My elderly father is a hard wired Narcissist as was his mother, my grandmother. Father is a hyper-critical, whining, demeaning, manipulative, domineering, control freak who can remember every one of my transgressions ever but forgets every one of his but then again he’s perfect, so never mind. Also did I mention he’s a boldfaced liar? Can you say dysfunctional family?

      Brother and Father live around the corner from one another. I live 175 miles away. It is still way too close. They are co-dependent. One big happy family, sans me. I’m getting old, tired and I’m done, DONE! I’ve done everything over the years to make amends. It’s never going to happen. I will always be an embarrassment. I will always be all things wrong. Like I said, I’m done.

      At any rate I am about to jettison brother and when father lays a guilt trip on me I might very well send him off as well. I have no doubt it will be lonely but it’s been lonely anyway. I am not invited to anything since my mother died. If I am going to be lonely I’d rather be by myself. I went through life thinking everything was my fault when it wasn’t. I know what it is like to have no self-confidence. I know what it is like to hate oneself. In my old age I have some degree of confidence. I have come to like who I am.

      I am not really asking for advice. I apologize for the length of my post. I’m just venting a little before I pull the trigger. Two last thoughts for everybody to consider. The first is from Albert Einstein whose greatest observation isn’t his quantum-physics/theory of relativity. No, his most perceptive observation of them all is his theory of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The other is from the late columnist Ann Landers who would always suggest that one needs to ask themselves would they be better off with or without the party they were having problems with. Only the individual involved can make that determination, not some opinion coming from an internet stranger or even someone we know.

      One cannot sum up one’s life in a forum like this when in reality it took a lifetime to get to this point. Good luck to all.

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      Mike Bowen 19 months ago

      I did not read the entire article, but I have bookmarked it and will. I am one of 3 siblings, and our mother died recently. Now the estate is in the process of of closure, and my sister is the executor - and - you guessed it - I don't get along with her. Short version is I ended up hanging up on her a few days ago, and she gave me the option of dealing with the lawyer handling the estate, as opposed to going through my sister.

      Q1: If I give confidential information to the lawyer, is there any possible way for my information to end up in my sister's hands? That I foresee as a problem.

      Q2: As far as posessions I would like, I told my sister copies of pictures, but only if they were already in electronic format. Now I'm thinking that I do want an electronic format, whether or not they are currently in electronic format. I'm thinking of doing that through the estate lawyer. Suggestions?

      Q3: After the estate is settled I am very seriously considering severing all legal ties with my sister and my brother. Is this something the estate lawyer could/would handle? Can I write something and send it to them via certified mail, and when they sign it - it becomes a legal binding document? Or do I have to go through a court and have a court ruling?

      Thanks for the input.

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      Swanlake 21 months ago

      I have a difficult neighbour who has upset a lot of people - do I patch up or let her go - can anyone advise - much appreciated - thanks.

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      Tinah 21 months ago

      I just wanted to say that I admire the courage of all of the people on here, talking about it is part of the healing process. I come from a strict african household were parnets just had children because it was expected of them and children are treated like objects not human beings, Mum mum went through a very difficult time and she took it out on my siblings by emotionally and physically abusing us. I think she needed counselling but wre she come from for some reason having counselling is a taboo, she is a miserable, self obsessed, inescure control freak who is stuck in her ways. She tries to control my dad her behaviour is so bad that me and younger sister have moved out of her house, one she has a problem with one of us she takes it out on all three of us and then she has the cheek to play the victim and say that we should all stay away from her when she is clearly the one with the problem I have had enough of her and I am not going to run after someone who doesnt who ill- treats me, family or not. Today is the beginning of the rest of my life I have decided to stay away from her and make the most of my life I will also be having counselling to deal with past hurt and have a better future. Thanks so my izettl for creating a platform that allows people to express their feelings in a constructive way. May God Bless you abundantly.

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      Bianca Rodriguez 22 months ago

      I have only just had the time to write and let you all know about how Dr. Lee helped me, my name is Bianca and in short Dr. Lee of the or visit his website on is fabulous!! I did have to wait ages, and ages, for my partner to finally realise it was me he wanted, not the other woman but I did have faith in all the spell work Dr. Lee did for me and when he kept saying 'hang on in there' I did find it hard, but I did know in my heart that he would be back. I would just like to say that Dr. Lee really does do miracles, my soulmate came to quicker than I thought he would. I would recommend his work to any-one who needs help with his following info: or visit his website on and I will use Dr. Lee again for further work in the future.

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      Nutcracker 22 months ago

      Hi - I have now given up most of my family - and I too am sad but it had to be done.

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      relationship advice florida 22 months ago

      I trust the Time Sync is bringing on the trust relationship issue. Subsequent to rebooting servers, it doesn't synchronize to the opportune time and date. In summon brief, wrote in w23tm/resync then gives us a blunder message. Need assistance!

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      stella vadakin 23 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi, You have a good hub with many comments. I like the advice you give on this subject. I gave up most of my family, sometimes I am sad it could not be different, but most of the time I know it was the right decision. Great hub, Stella Shared

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      Michelle Zunter 2 years ago from California

      Great hub! :)

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      Debbie 2 years ago

      AMEN! Run, run like hell if family member is causing pain why give them the power. I cut strings on my one and only's GREAT!!! DNA does not make family real LOVE does! Adopt a TRUE family who knows LOVE and get rid of the trash people, you need it like a hole in your head.

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      Lizett 2 years ago from The Great Northwest


      Wow I'm impressed with your maturity and insight on this topic. In one paragraph you were able to convey all major issues within your family and with an objective viewpoint. Wow, again! Well I'm happy to see how you can pinpoint this right now before you begin your own family if you choose to. If you have tried to rectify these issues to no avail I would definitely consider major distance for sure and of course if the damage continues you need to cut ties for a while at least. But through this all you seem to have great self esteem and have decided it will no longer affect your personal self.


      Thank you, all I 've done here is open up a conversation which happens to be on a topic that so many of us deal with. Yes and when beyond repair sometimes it's necessary to cut ties at least for a while. I've seen too many people lose themselves in the family and get a victim mentality ruining their own lives because they have settled for being treated horribly within their family.

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      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I am amazed to see the number of comments on this hub!! I have not seen any hub on HP with so many comments!

      That itself explains the importance of this hub. Great hub and it is heartening to see that people are visiting this page to vent out their frustration or depression.

      I agree with your views n this hub, when things are beyond repair, its better to say good bye .

      Thanks for sharing!

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      TiredOfDrama 2 years ago

      I'm glad someone is posting about this issue because a lot of people face it and seek help. I am one of them. I have been the scapegoat for my immediate family and threatened to keep the emotional, mental, and sometimes physical abuse quiet--or else. I'm an adult now and I'm still being targeted for anything that goes wrong. When I try to stand up for myself that just makes it worse. Bottom line, I refuse to stoop down to their level, so they belittle me even more. I've been called every name in the book, sometimes on a daily basis, and been treated like a prisoner in my own home. I've let guilt, loneliness, financial limitations, and false hope convince me to give these people countless second chances but nothing ever really got better. I'm tired of the drama, the double standards, the manipulation, abuse, and threats. I already cut ties with my chauvinistic father and once I graduate college I will do the same with my bullying sister and self righteous mother. I will be sad, but it will be because I miss the people I wish they were, not the horrible people they chose to be instead.

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      Helen 2 years ago

      I have now completely broken free of all of my relations - a friend of mine advised me that they are no good to me and another friend of mine advised that with the distance of time I would probably not be recognised by them as my character has changed greatly since being in the company of my relations.

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      Helen 2 years ago

      To movingonnow

      Thanks for your advice, which I will take - could be dangerous as well as being a scam - haven't been in touch since my email to this person was returned as failed.

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      movingonnow 2 years ago

      Re last message... I would say if it looks too good then its not true. Also the person may live in Uk but is not English. Her message is full of American language. I would be very careful, scams usually home in on the vulnerable.

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      Helen 2 years ago

      To Cynthia Morgan

      I sent an email to the email address you mentioned asking how things work and if there was a fee but my email was returned as failed.

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      Helen 2 years ago

      To Cynthia Morgan - I am so glad things have turned around for you. I have made a note of this man's email address - as you can see from previous problems I have had with my relations I was wondering whether to email him - but is there a fee and is there any danger? Best wishes.

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      Cynthia Morgan 2 years ago

      Hello every body my name is Cynthia Morgan, am from United Kingdom England, I just want to share my experience with the world on how Dr iayaryi, help me, I got my love back and saved my marriage… I was married for 3 years with 1kid and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and argued almost every time… it got worse at a point that he filed for divorce… I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me because I love him so much and don’t want to lose him but everything just didn't work out… he moved out of the house because it was a rented apartment and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster who eventually helped me out… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try reluctantly because I was desperate and left with no choice… He did special prayers and used his power… Within 4 days my husband called me and he said he was sorry for all the emotional pains he had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily and our kid is happy too and we are expecting our second child… I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news… Just thought I should share my experience because I strongly believe someone out there need’s it… You can email him through his email.(

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      shopgirl 2 years ago

      Yes, thank you for your insight. There is a life code I live by and, naturally, I surround myself with friends and family with similar qualities. About 6 years have passed since I've cut the tie with a niece (calling her A). At the time, it was A. who chose to leave her home (my brother), and one of my last conversations with her was telling her not to, and that things will never be the same once she does. She went ahead and left with her boyfriend. She did it with a vengeance...leaving sticky notes with profanity stuck to mirrors throughout the house, putting acetone in her stepmother's face cream, marring pictures of the family. She went on to blackmail her father, manipulate her stepmother, lie to her grandmother. I was close to her from junior high through high school. Constant text messages and phone calls interrupted by days, almost everyday, and I would drop everything to support her. That came to a screeching halt when I realized how ruthless she became with her own family. Her last email to her father was about how she was more intelligent, more beautiful and would make more money. She called the shots, and her father let her. In fact, I think he feared her. She stated her loyalties were no longer with her family...I was part of that. At that point, I let go. She continued with her destructive behavior and the final straw was when she told her dad it was me who made her not get along with her stepmother, and it was me who had nothing better to do but "be a housewife drama queen". She seemed to forget that this aunt was raising 2 boys and it was she who called me with all her drama. That hurt!Years past and she was telling grandma that she was in nursing school and blogged she was working full time, in RN program, and taking state boards in May. That was 2 years ago. She's been living with her 43 year old boyfriend for 3 years now and still she has not earned her AA degree. A. has threatened her younger sister who wants nothing to do with her because college life was her focus, and she recognized the toxicity. More threats came her way, along with blame, with a lack of compassion thrown in when she came down with Lupus. A. commented on her mussed up hair and how she smelled at the hospital during the kidney biopsy. Later, A. accused her of "making it up". There's so much more...I can write a book. A. blogs about her boss and his wife, the head of HR, calling him and wife profane names. Who writes this stuff in their blogs these days? I say if you don't like your boss that much, find another job!

      Why am I writing this? My brother (A.'s father) seems to think it is my job to get the family back together. He, himself, has an on and off relationship with A. depending on her behavior. I feel if he's hurt, it's off, and if it's going well, it's on. Too much dysfunction. So...I feel what I feel based on history as you've pointed out. I don't like the qualities I see in her, and I don't like her disrespect toward people. Clearly, she sees herself as better; not realizing that is not the point. I don't want to be around her because I don't trust her nor do I like her. I try to explain to my brother as compassionately as I can while standing firm to my beliefs and values. But deep down in the darkest corner of my brain, I feel guilty. My mother has made me feel this too. I am strong and I know I am doing the right thing. I will lose my other niece whom I love dearly and it will change the dynamics of the family if A. was allowed back in my life. I'm not willing to lose what I've worked so hard for to possibly return to texts and phone calls about drama. The 2 times A. has text me was asking me to help her figure out what she should do with her life (been there, done that...NO!) and the other time was asking me how to help her girlfriend who just had a baby and was depressed with suicidal thoughts. I didn't answer the first text, but answered the second one advising the family and/or doctor be notified. See how random and weird those texts are? And when we haven't had any contact for years? My friend said A. was trying to suck me into a conversation with her.

      Important background info. My brother has 3 kids and lost his wife/mother to cancer when they were 4 (A.) and set of twins (boy & girl) 3 months. Rough. Stepmom came into lives when A. was 8 and twins were 5. Brother is now 4 years divorced and there is no relationship with her at all. A. is now 26 and twins 23. They had aunts, grandmothers who showered them with love and attention, and a devoted father (who made some mistakes, but loves them). Life was about birthday celebrations, BBQs, holidays, and they grew up in a beautiful home and area. I feel A. made her choices, so she must live with them. The twins are wonderful kids. We all make choices, and there are may who started life without a parent. I know a few. I shouldn't let one bad apple ruin the rest of the bunch, right?

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      4real 2 years ago

      When your mom shoots your disabled sister and paralyzes herself all because her husband doesn't want to help her and her other daughter is hustling for her disabled sisters social security check then you know something is wrong. Don't feel bad for cutting ties. I know I didn't want any part of my family con games

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      Shulamit 2 years ago

      Wow, powerful article! So helpful!

      My issues aren't "typically" hard. In a nutshell, I was my older sister's means-to-an-end (marriage & children) and not an end in itself, and I'm feeling very, very bad about it all. Can't stop crying.


      Further explanation (if you have the time):

      I am in my mid 30s, not married, and the pressure of reproduction tortures me every waking moment. My sister is older than me only a few years ago struggled with this same torture. I thought she was my best ally on this stuff and I relied heavily on her to help me figure it all out. But the other day she told me she's pregnant with her 2nd kid and I realized (for various reasons I now see) that she's not the one who I can rely on. In fact it felt like the last nail in the proverbial coffin she made for our relationship the day she said yes to her husband and I'm in a bit of a state of shock.

      This article validated my feelings and put them into words. I will take them into my counseling sessions and try to patch together my life without her as my ally. I hope I can keep my hopes up about finding someone like my sister but who keeps their promises to me and our friendship in spite of all odds. I hope to do this quickly because I also have to get a move on finding a partner/having kids (if that actually ends up being what I want...I don't know, I'm so confused). I also hope to eventually forgive my sister for (what feels like) using me as a stepping stone to get what she really wanted in life.

      Moreover I hope to have integrity in my life so that if I do meet someone who is kind enough to help me get what I want, I will always keep in mind that they are part of what I want, and not just a means to an end.

      Blessings to all!

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      Helen 2 years ago

      A follow up of above.

      Am feeling so much better without the attitude of the relations, some of whom who have been so ungrateful to what they had from me regarding the past.

      I have just had my hair styled into a classic bob, and am now going to try and slim from 13 stone to 8 stone. I am joining in with social gatherings more so am now going out to enjoy life.

      I wish everybody well and a happy Mothering Sunday.

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      Lizett 2 years ago from The Great Northwest

      That['s so good to hear Helen. It is truly so hard to let go, even a little and especially a lot. I find that even when I've set boundaries that it can be a stressful to uphold those boundaries on my end than it is just to let go completely.

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      Helen 2 years ago

      Thanks Izzetl - I decided to hand over old photos etc etc etc to my relations - their attitude is beyond belief - but am sleeping and feeling much better without the memories of the past - have one or two items but the deed is done and it is only my things now.

      I feel I can now let go and be happy amongst my local surroundings.

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      Lizett 2 years ago from The Great Northwest


      So glad you have good friends- connections are important, and sadly not necessarily family.

      Yes hope it's a better year Helen. I've still had to limit ties with much of my family as well. So many broken patterns of behavior and enabling of worse behavior.

      Kim Rellim,

      So hard when you've done so much. I can relate. I've also written on the topic of parents with mental illness. It's very difficult. Most of my husband's family do not talk to us because his ex wife had bi polar and they had a child together. She lived with us for a couple years but when she demonstrated some mental issues and by that time we had two young children together. I had to put the little ones first (they couldn't defend themselves after all). But I certainly can see your level commitment to your family only for it to blow up in your face. I am sorry for sister. I'm glad you are seeking to relieve yourself of that past. Very best of luck to you.

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      Helen 2 years ago

      Follow up of above comment - being my brother's anniversary today of his death I spoke to my cousin Michael to offer him the chance of my stopping further contact with him and his wife - he agreed that it would be sensible as it only ends in trouble - the rest of the relations are okay - but contact with them ended amicably without fuss.

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      Helen 2 years ago

      Let us hope that we all have a better Year.

      My being the only one in my immediate family left I have given much to my relations that my parents possessed - nothing valuable - but I am now free of the past - though memories will always remain with me. I now feel so much happier without the bad past. What I have done suits me but may not work for others - I now feel free of all the hurt that I had undergone.

      Happy New Year to All

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      Marilyn 2 years ago

      I, too, am most grateful to have a place to share my experiences.

      I didn't cut ties until I was 77 years old! I didn't realize that I had a problem with my sister until her words and actions hit me smack in the face and were so hurtful that I made the decision to cut all ties.

      It hurts terribly. I knew I would be the bad guy and that family members would stay away from me. But, that's OK too. I now know who my friends are and they are not family!

      I am blessed with wonderful caring friends and hobbies that keep me busy.

      It is difficult at Holiday time and I go back to feeling bad. I know I'm better off, but the sadness is there. It seems like I'm in a dream. To help myself, I turn to Deepak Chopra and his meditations. It has changed me for the better, and I have regained my health and lowered my BP.

      Another thing: Most of my readings on this subject were quite the opposite: do everything to make up, forgive, (I've done this, but I won't forget). How can one even want to go back?

      I have been labeled 'hateful' and 'holding grudges'. More forms of manipulation. I am sure my silence is deafening.

      To all of you who are suffering, I send my heartfelt prayers and blessings and know you are doing the right things.

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      watergeek 2 years ago from Pasadena CA

      Used to. Actually, our family sort of ignores Christmas. Everyone does something for themselves, but not together. Over the years we've come to love Thanksgiving. All but one of us are gathering at my brother's house in Redwood City this year. It's so good to be together that we've started using that time to heal any rifts that have developed during the year. I can't wait.

      Note: It took a long time to get to this place and it wasn't a family "plan" per se. I may have started it with engaging everyone in the family via email to make family decisions when our mother had a serious accident in the early 2000s. We've always SEEN ourselves as bonded, but haven't actually been in reality.

      If you keep the vision strong and everyone does their bit to become a healthy individual and then create healthy relationships, bit by bit you'll get there. Some take longer than others, so acceptance is key. In fact, letting go of expectations, recognizing that everyone has the right to be whoever they want to be, is at the root of it. Then you start feeling curious, rather than anxious, when you meet family.

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      movingonnow 2 years ago

      Well its that time of year again.. The TV adds full of happy family gatherings smiling, laughing, one big happy family. Yet in reality I doubt if there are that many happy family gatherings. But inside of us we would love to feel that be that have that..... I have 3 sisters ( one a half sister ) and don't see or hear from any of them... but every Christmas Im tempted to send them cards or letters ... but I know if I did I would never know if they received them... and that would be painful and stupid ... does anyone else have this same to deal wth ?

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      Lizett 2 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Thanks everyone for the comments. I check them every so often and enjoy reading them. This hub came from both experience and applying some methods I learned in psychology courses...but mostly experience :-)

      This is an ongoing subject matter even in my own life. I am back to the drawing board with one family member who consistently pushes those boundaries. I have to be just as consistent but many of us know that is exhausting.

      What I've learned about this is the sooner you set those boundaries the more they become habit within the strained relationship and the more effective they are as well. I waited so long to establish boundaries in some of my family relationships that it is that much more work for me now to keep it up. The earlier the better!!!

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      Bonnie539 2 years ago

      This is a great article. And much needed. I wish it was here for me a decade ago. In any case, their are many truths here. And yes, I did have to cut ties with some abusive and boundary invading family members. It was quite painful. But necessary. Abuse , especially over an extended period of time is a deal breaker. I suffered much, and suffered when I had to cut ties. But in retrospect after over a decade of estrangement, it was the right thing to do for me and my immediate family. Husband and kids... and especially me. Be brave, bite the bullet if you have to. It's not fun, but it is necessary with abusive and or boundary disrespecting family members. I have to say, my life is better for having made that decision. I now can say , yes, it was painful but worth it. I would much rather have had good relations. But it is just not meant to be with people who disrespect you, disrespect your boundaries, and or are abusive, and refuse to change no matter what. I hope this experience can help even one person out there who has suffered under the hand of an abusive family member. If they don't respect your wishes, they don't deserve to be in your life. Period. ! They chose the actions, You can choose the reaction. Believe me, you will be better for it in the long run. !

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      Joyette Fabien 3 years ago from Dominica

      Wonderful, interesting, useful and for me, particularly relevant! Voted up!

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      Sarah LaFleur 3 years ago from Chicago-land

      Thank you for your hub about this topic... I currently have a strained relationship with several family members. For the past 9 months, I've been going through the process of separating from my husband (something none of my family saw coming) and the reaction from them has been nothing short of devastating for me. What I've discovered is old habits tend to stick, and breaking away from them can be nearly impossible. That said, I'm trying to maintain a semblance of our former ties for the sake of my two children. My saving grace is the physical separation between parties.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 3 years ago from Pasadena CA

      What helped me is letting go of them in my mind, then looking to see who I would rather have as family. Once I cultivated others, the charge around family members lessened. I didn't need them to approve of me anymore. And once that happened, the way we related to each other changed too.

      Suprizingly, the one I had the most trouble with started making an effort. I reciprocated and our relationship is a lot better now. With a couple of others I realized they cared, but didn't want to make any effort, so I stopped too, and it's ok. With yet others I realized they liked and approved of me more than I'd realized, so our relationships are more harmonious also.

      Thanks for writing this Izetti. Your article has helped me appreciate the healing process more.

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      Michelle Scoggins 3 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Hi Izzetl great article. Family can be very destructive and overwhelming. I like how you distinguished the need to stricken boundaries without necessarily cutting ties. I have done that with my own family and is working well. There is nothing like being drained from the toxicity of family and their mess. Voted up.

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      NiaLee 3 years ago from BIG APPLE

      great success and interest for your hub. Yes, it is a delicate subject and important one too. I do tell my family and friends that it is not because we share DNA that everything is allowed. I have love and peace for everybody and wish the best to all, but after going through hell for most of my life, I made the choice to lock some doors with a smile and kindness. It is hard because we have assumed that they loved us like we loved them and that they will treat us the way we treat them but it is different. face reality, a person is a person, wherever they come from, if they hurt you, gossip about you, ruin your relationships, are jealous, whoever it is, you need to take the poison out of your life, graciously, peacefully but you need to do it. There is no obligation to accept being hurt, harassed and destroyed in the name of family.

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      tsanihakim 3 years ago

      In fact, It is not so easy to build good realtionship even with closed family. good hub !

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      tsanihakim 3 years ago

      In fact, It is not so easy to build good realtionship even with closed family. good hub !

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      SavioC 3 years ago

      This has been a touchy issue for me till about some years back but I have learnt from bitter experiences that its better to let go of certain people from your life and once i did that it made me more free and relaxed. Very well put out article.

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      Lisa Vollrath 3 years ago from Euless, Texas

      One of the best things I ever did was cut ties with my parents. After decades of trying to be their idea of a perfect daughter, I sat them down, and told them what I needed from them to feel I had supportive parents. I gave them a year to see if they were willing to make any changes, and when nothing did change, I walked away, and didn't look back. It was a huge relief!

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      Neetu M 3 years ago from USA

      Very good hub. Relationships are a very complex thing, evolve over years and decades and even the best ones go through turbulence. It is those that wear us down, demolish us in some way that need the sharpest scissors and finding the courage to use them can be extremely daunting.

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      Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      The fact that this hub has been around for five years and is still being read and commented on is a testimony to how well you have addressed a profound need. I didn't remember that I commented myself more than a year ago. Congratulations on your good work on a difficult subject.

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      Bestdecisionyet 3 years ago

      Wascutting out my siblings

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      FirstStepsFitness 3 years ago

      Great Hub

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      B Lucy 3 years ago from Podunk, Virginia

      I believe it is incredibly healthy to admit there are just some people we cannot have in our lives rather than run ourselves into the ground in the name of maintaining a relationship. Great hub!

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      Marcelle Bell 3 years ago

      Very good article on when to cut family ties. I do have issues of my own with family and have gone through much of what you talk about here but I won't expand on that here. You have so many great comments. I think you have helped a lot of people with this article and by spurring all this great conversation. Well done!

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      Sharon 3 years ago

      Everyone's circumstances are different and no one can compare one's story or pain to another. The most important thing to know is we have choices and we have rights. We can make our own choice about where we place our boundaries for instance - seeing mom every day or once a week or once a year, every five years, never. Whatever works for us - gives each of us the peace, sanity, wholeness, healthiness we need to go on to high functional lives. If we can heal with our family relationships in tact, fine. If not, that's okay. That sense of family loyalty can be a killer and can be a lie that keeps us sick. We each can do what we need to do for ourselves and not care if others judge. If they do, that's their stuff...The other thing is we each might to seriously consider professional help to assist in our healing process. Even if we decide to remove ourselves from families that are toxic or wherever we decide to place our boundaries, that still doesn't mean we don't need a lot of help detoxing in order to recover. Sharon

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      Sami 3 years ago from Kansas

      This article could be a lot of use for many people. I must say, I am lucky to have the immediate family that I do. We have been through many struggles from alcoholism to dealing with three bipolar dis0rder diagnoses, but those struggles brought us closer together. My sister and I have a great relationship, as well as both of our parents.

      It's hard to realize that there are MANY MANY people that do not have that, and never will. However, my cousins and I do not always get along. Specifically, my female cousins that are close to my age. Being girls... they fight dirty, but luckily now that we all are in our 20s, we know spending too much time together makes us argue. However, when you grow up so closely together, you tend to fight.

      Great article, though. It is well-thought, laid out in an organized fashion, and provides helpful tips for those that consistently put up with people that make them unhappy.

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      Helen 3 years ago

      Nearly all my relations now do not want to know me any more - so that I have had to put them in the past - their loss.

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      Horia Pop 3 years ago from Romania

      I found your article very useful. So many people can relate to this subject, and of course, all of us are lookig for a way to break the vicious circle of familial abuse.

      It's so sad that, sometimes, your own flesh and blood is capable of causing your more pain than a perfect stranger could. And the hardest thing to do is let go, because you feel connected to them, even though they hurt you.

      I myself have never had a good relationship with my family, or the relatives on my father's side. My dad was an abusive alcoholic, who would constantly demean me, doing everything in his power to drive a wedge between me and my brother. And he succeeded in poisoning his mind.

      Even though he passed away early this year, my brother is his exact replica. A narcissistic, care free, disrespectful and perverse young man, leeching off his family, instead of helping.

      I don't really blame my mother, she endured a lot of abuse, and took care of us. So I can understand why she's fed up with everything.

      I honestly can't stand living in the same house with my brother.

      Ever since she became very ill, I took it upon myself to run the entire household. I'm doing the work of what should be 3 people, I can't find a steady job in my country, I can't abandon my mother, to go looking for work abroad because my brother would tur our place into a whore house, or loot it and leave her to die.

      I've been pleading with her to break all ties with him, but she says she can't abandon her children, and honestly, I don't know how much more I can take before I finally go berserk. I can't even afford counseling, so I've had to be my own therapist for a very long time. But nobody can go on forever without any support.

      The relatives on my father's side are just as worse. Opportunistic, money hungry, fake, evil. I remember how my aunt would used to call us over to her place when we were children, for Sunday lunch and how she would start hinting that she was doing this because my mother was an unfit parent, who couldn't be bothered to feed us, which was untrue.

      I despise that woman with all my heart, and I'm truly sorry I accepted to see her again, at my father's funeral. Should have saved myself the trouble, but you never want to disappoint, you don't want to give them an opportunity to derive satisfaction out of criticising your upbringing.

      I have a friend in England who managed to cut the cord. Like me, she was responsable for cleaning after everyone else's mess. But she decided she couldn't raise her children in that abuse environment, and I say good for her. I only hope I will be albe to reclaim my life. Even if it sounds selfish, I have a right to be happy as well. We all do.

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      ShellaSixSpence 3 years ago

      Thank you all for sharing.