When and How to Cut the Ties of Bad Family Relationships

Updated on February 21, 2018

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 in a healthy relationship are acceptance, 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— mostly from everyone else in the family.

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 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. Watch our for patterns that show the relationship is getting progressively worse. Also, if they keep insisting they've changed, then keep your eyes open to determine if that is indeed true. Even if they have changed, they still need to earn your trust again and be patient with you.
  • 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? Don't hesitate to cut ties if the only reason you are keeping contact is for other family members’ comfort. Group enabling 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. Often, moving away symbolizes a new life away from our family. Later this can cause issues between Family or instead it can ease tension by being located towns or states away! Your role in the family could be "the baby”, the “troubled one”, “shy one”. Or you might be "the fixer“ and “mediator” - one keeps the peace at all costs, taking care of everyone. Sometimes a family needs a scapegoat, one to blame everything on. Thise willing to speak up, or the squeaky wheel, are usually the people who are ostracized. Don’t let the family problems fall on your back if you choose to change your position within the family.
  • How do they feel about you? Ideally, family should be based on unconditional love. If you're not feeling the love, then what are you feeling? Sometimes it's helpful to ask yourself when was the last time you felt lived by that person. It’s also readinable 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 ugly 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. In addition, some people test out the relationships to see if they are mutual; when we feel we give more than we receive from others in the family. If the balance is unequal too long, it can damage the relationship.
  • 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. That can work for some People. 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. Although, it is more difficult to set boundaries in life. As a child, you quickly realize adults set not only the rules, but the boundaries as well. When the child becomes an adult, they are able to set their own boundaries. Often, not well-received by others on the family.
  • 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 easier and carry on with life as usual. 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 (even through emails) 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.
  • 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, bostity, 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.

Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People
Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People

It takes only one person to change a relationship- this concept was first introduced to me in the following book during a time when I felt powerless and helpless in a very difficult family relationship. Complete with "tests" and solutions. Ultimately the decision to cut ties, or choose how you navigate a difficult family relationship falls on your shoulders. Find out exactly where you stand and where you go from there by examining your perspective, role, and responsibility in the relationship. .


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 affects 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.

Questions & Answers

    Please join the discussion and read the excellent comments below.

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        ToxicSurvivor 3 days ago

        Cutting contact was my decision and I don't regret it. Unfortunately the person I cut contact with continues to lash out at me in many ways, usually through others, so the toxicity never truly stops. I hope when this person passes on (she is 92 now) that the toxic drama and and pot stirring and ongoing issues pass with her.

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        Paige 4 days ago

        This is a good article but I have to say that the grammar and spelling are really terrible. It was hard to read this without pausing a bunch of times to re-read. The information is helpful though, but it should be smoother when reading.

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        Gmoon 6 days ago


        I'm 32, female, and am nearly the same situation as you, I would love to email with you to ask you some questions, tell you about my experience because I've severed the ties with entire family, and it's been a year now...particularly interested in talking about the fears and realities or pains of cutting off a family WITHOUT a personal support network of ANY kind to talk to, confide in, be unconditionally loved and understood by...I can identify exactly with that! not sure if we can private text here but if you want shoot me an email at thedollsboutique@gmail.com. Also, anyone else who identifies and wants to talk, you can email me too! Thanks for this post, it truly resonates with my experience of the decision process involving weighing pros and cons, deliberating, checking all avenues of possibilities,...what I settled with was...the open possibility of mending it down the line sometime...when and if it is right, that possibility is what provided some solace and a sense of self compassion and love that has often helped me through incredibly tough periods of this process.

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        Kat 7 days ago

        My mother was emotionally and physically abusive to me until I was 32. I am 34 now. My first sister is also abusive to me. My second sister is very kind to me but always takes the side of my mom and first sister. She can never even acknowledge the abuse. She downplays it and tells me that they love me and it's not their intention to hurt me. My brother is only 17 and has been abused by my mom his while life and doesn't even realize that he's being abused. He is fiercely loyal to our mother.

        At this point...I have spent over a decade tolerating the abuse for the sake of my siblings and my kids. sparing them the pain of dealing with a broken family. However....I can't do this anymore. I need to be happy. I need to learn how to be the self I should have been had I not had this ongoing trauma.

        My eldest daughters birthday is in two weeks.there is a family BBQ. After that date I am ghosting all of them. I have I formed my father (we live in the same house) that I don't want to see them and when I get my own house he will be able to have them over and family gatherings and stuff. But until I have my own house holidays will be small and just me my kids my dad and my step family (his fiance and her two grown children are amazing people).

        And I won't be attending anymore family functions or holidays at extended family either. I can see people one on one if they care to make an effort. Most won't. Not a big deal. I'm not close with any extended family so it's not really an issue for me.

        What's hard part is....I don't have anyone I am close to. I don't have a best friend. I don't have a lover. I won't have many family members left.

        I have my kids but they are my children. I will never be able to be totally open and intimate with them as they need me to be strong and together and their rocks. it is not a child's place to be the rock for their parent.

        So...life is going to get very calm...but very very lonely.

        Still....I do believe lonliness is better than being abused.

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        Priya 2 weeks ago

        What if my mom beats me and abuses me and i want to separate

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        Joy 4 weeks ago

        My sister took $65,000 from my parents retirement account, making their retirement years mean and lean. Yes, they gave it to her but she played mental games with them.

        After both parents passed away my brother, sister and I agreed to meet at their house on a specific day and go through things. My brother arrived a few days early. When I arrived on the expected day, my brother had already taken everything he did not want to the dump, loaded his truck with everything he wanted. My sister-in-law "allowed" me to choose items from the "Good Will " table. To make things worse my brother is very wealthy (2 million dollar homes).

        My brother and his wife were not very nice to my mom during the last months she was alive, fighting cancer. My mom said my brother made her feel like excess baggage. She also said she hopped his wife ran off with a rich politician.

        I still have to stay in contact with them until we sell my parent's house but it was good to vent. Thank you for letting me feel like someone is listening.

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        Reneygade 4 weeks ago

        I had a stroke, no biggie I'm fine but it's been weeks now, my 23yo kid is STILL FURIOUS with me. I had no control over this medical situation I had, I really wish I could change it but I can't. And no no she's not mad bc she's upset and scared lmao no she's mad bc her birthday lunch was ruined. Right, she postponed her birthday lunch for 4 friggin weeks and then didn't even bother telling me about it the morning she decided to come to town. Like I ruined her special day although 4 wks after the actual special day.. on purpose?! She got over $1,000 in gifts, knick knacks, money, iPhone X, some jewelry MUST BE NICE, I've never got that much at once FOR ANYTHING! BUT I ruined it for her, even though I knew nothing about the special 4 week multi cancelled birthday lunch. Does this make sense to anyone? Like see, my birthday is in less than 2 weeks, so I technically I guess I could say SHE'S RUINED MY BIRTHDAY but I don't dare. Is this normal? I don't think it is and frankly, I'm livid. She's so unpredictable I don't want my 12yo daughter exposed to the 23 yo disrespectful trouble making older sister, life's hard enough, I have no trust nor faith in my oldest daughter anymore. I'm completely perplexed and can't understand how I ruined her birthday lunch, whatever it wasn't even her birthday blah blah blah BLAH. Can someone please explain to me how I can control a medical emergency situation whatever?

        I swear this kid might be the death of me. I've never said it to her but that's how I feel, she's such a jackass to me, she would treat a rat better than she treats me. If I ever treated her the way she treats me, we'd never speak ever again. I'm sure of that. Bc she'd be mad of course. God help me-

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        Donna Templeton 4 weeks ago

        My mother and brother are thick as thieves plotting against me, together they have done numerous things that were detrimental to my life they treat me as the outsider and the one thats ok, little do they know that I feel suicidal many times due to me having this toxic family,it is the deepest physiological wound of my being ,I feel I may explode, lash out do something extremely destructive, they make me feel so low,I have tried to cut off but my mother always gets back in touch with me, I cant take it anymore, I am 47 and its still going on, so stagnant ,especially my hateful ,lying, resentful, bitter brother, who hates me for trying to be normal,poisoning her mind about me,her saying the critical things to him in a never ending cycle of hatred towards me!!! her daughter and his sister, they are so sick, cutting me out , doing things behind my back and slagging me off,right now I feel so horrible and have no one to talk too, one example of what they have done to me, is exile me abroad for 20 yrs, everytime I tried to come back they trew a spanner in the wheels in some way or another to drive me back, now I am back in the uk, they still want me gone.

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        Mark Gorman 5 weeks ago

        My younger Sister once said about me that I was so ugly that she was ashamed of the fact that I was Her Brother. It is just the way things are. This kind of criticism is aimed at me in the larger society so, to some extent, you develop a hard skin to deal with it. But when your own family finds you distasteful to the extent that not even they can stand the sight of you or to be seen with you, it raises a lot of difficult questions that need to be addressed. I have been sold down the river by people I thought I could trust. I don't have a grudge against my Sister or my family. I am glad that things are working out well for them and my nieces and nephews. My Sisters have married well. But, for my own sake, I need to walk away from them for good.

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        nope99 5 weeks ago

        My sister spent many, many years getting high, being unemployed, lying about everything and "borrowing" money from mom. Mom passes away, I blocked the sister on the mobile and NEVER see her nonsense on group family texts. Works for me. The few times a year I see her, I put up with her nonsense, go home and forget about all of it. If you don't give folks power to mess with you, they can't.

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        Susan 5 weeks ago

        Your words helped immensely. I feel better about my feelings regarding these relationships, but unfortunately, I cannot continue one with either my sister and now it appears my mother as well. (But I did send a Mother's Day card with Love.) So anyway, thank you for the insights and I feel MUCH better knowing that I'm not alone. Again, Bless you and the work you do.

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        Zunilda 2 months ago

        I was not bathed fed or loved I was ignored like I didn't exist. It feels awful to know that everyone had love for each other but very toxic. I'm Abel to see this awful life I had know is time to let go and let God. I'm Abel to take care of myself with peace and loving my dog is just right.

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        Rani 2 months ago

        Hi there

        My dad passed on and left inheritance for four of his children

        The thing is one family member who is the always asking for the house and he wants me and my family gone from the house

        My two brothers stay somewhere else with their families but we have a mutual understanding that I take of the house as the troubled brother staying with us does not work some days and comes home drunk weekends he Is emotional abusive towards me and my husband.

        I tried calling the police but no help from them

        What do I do as my husband and I contribute to most of the household expenses.

        He does not want to sell his share of the house

        And wants me to move out as he drives me insane and fights with me as I am and shareholder also.

        Please help

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        Aab 2 months ago

        I have a codependent narcissistic toxic mother. She is needy, and has a victimhood and entitlement mentality. Stresses me out completely with guilt trips, begging, poor decisions and all around bs. I have an autistic brother that lives with her. We have a great relationship and are extremely attached to each other. I would love to cut my mother off but I can’t due to him. I can’t wait for the day that he can come live with me. Until then I have to tolerate her bs.

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        Lilly 2 months ago

        Wanda and Anonymous, I am stuck on the other side as my husband touched my daughter. He was convicted and went through counseling. He realized what he had done, and has changed his life, not only in regards for that issue and speaking out about child abuse, but also in advancing his education. If I had not witness this change I would have left him, but he is actively seeking to constantly make changes and enhance his life.

        I am not sure as to your full situation as I can only imagine that they were a lot worse in nature. And I agree with you that it is something that should not be swept under the carpet - it must be dealt with.

        Can you answer me this, if your abuser truly changed, would you estrange the non abuser because they were still together? (even if the boundary was to leave the abuser out of any conversions?) Would you consider speaking terms with the abuser if they truly have repented and changed?

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        Reader 2 months ago

        Your article is woefully ignorant. To say that families are the ones who are there for us in difficult times is to exclude all dysfunctional families that do not operate that way, and the people within those families that are not that way, and wish for something different, but don't have it.

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        Jane1963 2 months ago

        I just did this with 2 older brothers. The only family I have. All have passed. They treat me awful and just put me down all the time. I'm 55 years old now. I feel bad for my 10 year old daughter. Her father is estranged. I try to make the holidays fun and festive for us but she says ....I wish I had a family. She has no Grandparents...Aunts...Uncles. I do worry if something should happen to me..she has noone.

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        Luna Ray Davis 2 months ago

        Wonderful article. I've finally reached a point where I'm not compromising my well being any longer. Thank you for this affirmation.

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        Debbie 2 months ago

        I’m the youngest of 5 and my oldest sister and I no longer speak, although we live in the same street. I’ve tried to let her back in my life yet it always results in being verbally attacked and disrespected hurting my children and my heart. I’m in a healthy relationship and have raise two remarkable and successful (almost 21 year old twins) children after divorcing their father. My sister has had a string of failed relationships, two divorces, millions of dollars blown away, 4 grown children who struggle with her and their own lives. It’s very sad. The rest of our family tolerates and enables her bad behavior. She now had no drivers license and no job and a court date relating to evading the police and driving under the influence. She’s out of money. She will occasionally text me at early morning hours with cryptic and threatening messages. It still hurts but I know I need to be strong and maintain boundaries. Very sad and difficult but she needs to address her own issues and find peace in her life, own her mistakes and understand how she hurts others. Until then I will remain distant. We have tons of relatives and common people in the area who will say “oh I saw your sister” and I simply respond “oh we don’t really talk” or “we aren’t really in touch”. Embarassingvat times- but I can’t lie.

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        Cindy 2 months ago

        FemaleAdventurer, read your whole posting. What a journey you have traveled reaching a level of maturity to objectively step back and access your paths to follow. You must be a very intelligent person to look inward and decide what you needed and what you were willing to give and then act on it accordingly. It has taken me longer to come to the decision to love myself enough to take similar steps. It is hard, and it is sad, but it is better than being abused and letting the abuse continue. Let your friends become your family, developing a give (kindness and listening and appreciation of your friends) and take (accept help and appreciate it for what it is, kindness and love) relationship. People will let you down occasionally, but as long as they realize they let you down and make amends, you have a good friend and love in your life. When they don't care to say "I m sorry, forgive me?" they are not a loving friend and you are in a abusive situation, again. This took me a lifetime to apply to family, too.

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        Anonymous 3 months ago

        Wanda. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am dealing with exactly the same thing. How could those who raised and supposedly love you & charged with protecting your innocence align with a pedophile, criminal! Stand your ground. Stand on the side of the light & truth. We need to start our movement as child molestation survivors to protect innocence! No matter what it takes! #UsToo You are not alone. I am with you.

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        Wanda 3 months ago

        Was molested from the age of 5-15 by my 1st Aunt husband and it literally turned me into a horrible person later on in life because I carried it and still to this day are carrying it but the big bang of it all is when I sat down and wrote letters to my family member about the molestation and their responses were why didn't I say something back then or don't worry about it just that simple but I do worry about it because i'm still that little girl that will not trust anyone and will not allow anyone to claim they love me but my resolution is to just separate myself from them all because I feel like they all turned their backs on me and rather than deal with the issue they chose to sweep it under the rug and still until this day they have close ties to my abuser and I just don't understand how they can choose him over me.

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        Gratitiude 3 months ago

        This article helped immensely. Thank you for the tools!

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        FemaleAdventurer 3 months ago

        @tbucket, your story could be my story... I cut ties with my two surviving family members when I was in my early 30s after parent #2 died from an illness during which I was her primary caregiver.

        Won't go into the gory details, just saying that they both cost me lots of $$$ and life security, I should have known they were bad eggs 15 years before that when neither invited me into their wedding parties because as a homely girl I'd, you know, "wreck the look" they wanted. (Yes, I was the excluded sibling not once but twice. I've heard of it happening once, but never twice?!)

        I cut them off cold turkey. I didn't taper off to only important contacts or anything like that. Just as clearly as I could, indicated that, "My life is hard enough on my own. I don't have room for people who actively contribute huge negatives to it without ever bringing anything positive to it." And that was that.

        I've had lots of strife in my life since then. Homelessness a few times for a total of 6-8 months, out of money almost as much as I've got enough of it, etc. Such is the life of one without family and without the looks to create one on her own (I've barely ever gotten dates let alone a proposal), because you have no backup other than your own bank account, and once it's gone, it's gone until you figure out how to create more $$$ by convincing someone to employ you. It's a story sadly common to older women on their own without independent wealth, as well... I just started my journey on that path 25 years earlier than most singleton women do.

        But I've never looked back, except for once. That one time was at the 10 year anniversary of the tie-cutting. When I made the decision to step back from those relationships, it was with the promise to myself that I'd give them 10 years to grow up and then re-evaluate things. At the 10 year point, I considered it and, remember, without knowing anything about them other than what could be doxxed on the net because I had no means of indirect contact due to no common acquaintances, I had to conclude that they likely hadn't changed much -- as if they had, they would have reached out to me with major, major apologies since my email address had not changed. I left it permanent at that point.

        So today I bill myself as having no living relatives. Sometimes I mention "my former sibling" in one story or another, and leave it up to the hearer to conclude that they must have died off or that something dramatic happened between us.

        Someone who's seen the strife I've been in and who knows that there are useless but still living "technical relatives" has suggested I contact them. ROTFL, and still have the strife PLUS "oh well, can't help" condescension that is the type they'd dole out PLUS give them the satisfaction of knowing they'd bested me career-wise when they were SO jealous of a very small amount of early success I'd had? Yeah, like that'll ever happen -- not. I've got no time for further emotional abuse in my life, even if it comes with assistance of any sort, which it nearly certainly would not based on past behavior that I will not rehash here lest I completely identify myself by the extremity of it.

        Living in another country that prioritizes family inheritance, I've had to specifically write my will to intentionally exclude by name those individuals for cited reasons, so that they or courts later cannot contend I'd just "forgotten" them. (Anyone who's cut relatives out of their life may wish to consider doing likewise.)

        Such a shame. I wanted a different life that this. I don't think anyone usually wishes to spend all their years after age 32 without living relatives, either of the sort they create (by marrying, which isn't something open to me because of my looks) or by being born into a family. Ah, well, you take the cards the universe hands out, and play them as best you can. I've currently got some amazing hobbies, and travel a bit every few years when I've got the funds to do so, and one of the things my friends say they like about me is that I'm so caring and appreciative of the people in my life.

        I suppose people who've experienced abuse (mine having been emotional and financial) can go one way or the other. Either we perpetuate the cycle, or we go WAY the other way and live our lives trying to be very kind and understanding toward those who cross our paths. Me, I'm determined never to do to anyone else, what was done toward me, and determined to be a positive presence in others' lives.

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        Alan 3 months ago

        Am the youngest of three brothers . My brothers have both had good military careers when they were younger and went on to have excellent jobs after military service . They have a lot of luck with everything going their way . I work and try hard but never came close to how well they do . When they left home they said look after mom and I felt obligated to do she deserved to be helped any way she needed . She was widowed when I was a baby so no one to help her in older years . I felt like it was my role to stay in her town and do what I could . She was a good person . Many times I took her to the cancer clinics far out of town and gave her my emotional family support. A couple of years before she died she put her house in my name and gave it to me. She lived there ( I had my own house ) for the remainder of her life . When the cancer was in the final stages and the local health service released her from the palliative care room ,and said only a bed in the hallway of the Alzheimer’s ward was available I talked it over with her and she chose to die at home .I made arrangements with a home care nursing service to be with her around the clock . She required some help I am not qualified to do with meds and her private functions. She had some insurance and not a lot of money so I arranged after she dies I sell the house and pay the nurse service . While the house was for sale my brothers called the nursing service and said they think the bill is to much and stated not all of it will be paid. They had no business doing this it was my arrangements and the house was mine even before mom got terminal she had fought cancer for nineteen years. The nurse service sued me which made my excellent credit and reputation damaged . I was in divorce and wanted to buy out the house I lived in . Imagine how low a person looks for being sued by home care nurse company ! My brothers nearly never called me the most calls I ever got was when I did a complete paint ,and rust repair ,window replacement,all weatherstrips etc, from my oldest brother to pressure quick completion . He gave me a big two hundred dollar payday pluse material cost for all this work. The house did sell and I paid the nurses the funeral the people who hauled out the contents of her house etc from the money the house sale earned which was only twenty five thousand. My brothers got all demanding as though I had a nefarious agenda . They think I stole from them I gave the one brother who showed up for the funeral all moms jewellery and he went through the house to get anything he wanted . I did nothing dishonest . They have often harshly judged me and are terrible brothers for never calling and very seldom having time for their youngist brother. One of them even said don’t ask us for anything , Not that I would, I just don’t get it , to them I am nothing I guess in truth they wrote me off years ago and I am to stupid to know this until recently . So after nearly fifteen years of not being in touch and their history of manipulating everything in their justification to somehow get approval from their families for how they choose to treat me I have to write them off.

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        kristen 3 months ago

        For a lot of years I have tolerated my sister's little potshots at my character.She has always been quick to judge and criticize me.

        I think she always took our relationship for granted.One time she texted me asking about the weather just an hour after berating me.

        She lost her cool with me recently after a dispute over $30.I tried to make amends but her response was,"Whatever" and "grow up"

        I knew then I had to end the relationship for my own emotional well being

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        TheLonelyOne 4 months ago

        My aunt is really pissing me off. I admit, I did something very wrong in the past, and not only once. I stole money, I childishly slapped my aunt's butt, slapped her husband's back, disturbed their pets. But who doesn't make mistakes, right? I am truthfully wrong back then, now that I am more mature when I think of all those stuff I triggered.

        And right now, the karma goes back to me. The thing is, every year as of now, I helped out my to take care of my father's shop as a sale assistant, and my aunt too always helped out. But she keep looking back inside to me (I help out inside the shop while she's working outside the shop) because in the past I too stolen some money from the shop.

        So, even now that I am totally kicked the bad habits and just merely trying to help out my father's shop, both my aunt and her husband showed no sign of trust towards me. They keep looking inside to me from time to time, even if I wanted to 100% work normally which is giving me a great amount of pressure.

        No matter how hard I am trying to work hard, in their thought I am just a kid who is still trying to steal again.

        Even worse, because my shop is an open area, so whenever I have nothing to do, I will look outside at the crowds. Do you know what she said to my mom? She said that I KEEP LOOKING AT HER EVERY YEAR WHICH GIVES HER PRESSURE, AND ASKED MY MOM WHETHER SHOULD I TAKE PLACE TO WORK IN THE SHOP ENTIRELY, IN A VERY RUDE WAY.

        I really hate her. Even though I am turning over a new leaf now, she doesn't seems to see me that way. Although sometimes my aunt talks to us normally, I see that she is mostly just pretending to be good to us.

        Another case is, she even talked about my bad deeds to one of my relative, and now she is also seems speechless in front of me, sometimes even avoiding eyes contact towards me.

        Really shake my head. Who doesn't do wrong right? Even though I would apologies to her but it seems that it's pointless to do it now, since she and her husband never will trust me. Keep looking back into the shop to me whenever I stand, I work or when I am exchanging money to other customer EVERY YEAR. This is a sign of no-trust towards me.

        Read till here, some of you might think that it's my own bad deeds which leads to this kind of unpleasant experience, but who doesn't did wrong in the past?

        The most precious thing is that I learnt my mistakes and be a better person right now. I am also regret what I did in the past.

        The bad thing is, because of all those mistakes I have made, I became a shy and lonely person. I don't frequently make new friends and don't like staying in the crowd. Whenever I saw my aunt the bad memories mostly triggered in my mind. This keeps haunting me like forever. It's an agony.

        Even though few times I did trying to end my life because of all the sins I have done, but NO. I wouldn't let my own mistakes become the reason for me to end it this miserable way. I still have a long way for me to go. I want to live till the end. I still want to go around the world.

        Just sharing with my own personal bad memories here. Some of you might think that it's a small case, but for me, it's pretty much an eternal pressure and agony already. A person which greatly triggered back all the bad things you did, even though you are now turned over a new leaf.

        If you read till the end here, I am gratefully appreciate your time spent. Now I feels a bit relieved to share my long buried bad memories here.

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        Shellypat 4 months ago

        My mother & brother wanted me to cancel my heart surgery to take our mother to the hospital because she was having a problem. When I said no, they kept calling me so that I had a heart attack.

        Mom attacked me with a razor blade to cut off my breasts to "teach" me a lesson, that didn't end well for her

        I had defib inserted. The day of surgery mom kept calling my room even though I told her I wouldn't be in room for 5 hrs...nurse answered phone & mom went on a rampage cursing, yelling cuz I didn't answer phone. Nurse hung up on her

        My defib went off cuz of mom & brother hounding me about getting flowers for the cemeteries. It was working fine until 3 weeks before my birthday. At my party mom kept talking about how wonderful her daughter was...yeah THAT daughter died a few years before, nothing about THIS daughter.

        Mom LIES about each if us to each other. I don't call her anymore, my uncle cornered me in a store & I showed him my cell phone call log...um I guess 5+ times a day isn't enough?

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        College mon 4 months ago

        My daughter comes home from college and states I have emotionally abused her throughout her life and states she will not be staying with me when she comes home on break but will stay at her fiancé home..however she still wants us to pay her tuition, apt rent, phone bill, car payment, etc.. if I ask any questions she states I’m being abusive and I donot listen? Any advice? Very concerned mom that loves her child

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        James R1970 4 months ago

        What about the impact on those other than yourself?

        I don't like my family and their actions but I don't want other family member's children to suffer because of my choices.

        The family cabin would be burnt to the ground if it was 'all about me' but it isn't been.

        My 'selfish sibling' will take everything for their 'wants'. They are the executor of my parents will.

        Classic 'good child, 'bad' child, despite home ownership, investment property, university degree with distinction, etc etc etc...

        This person put not a cent into the family property that I put a major investment into. Not only for myself, but for my parents, and their children. I enjoy seeing them having joy with something I built.

        But to sibling X, it is just a $$$ figure and sibling X will just sell it and sell it I want it left to sibling x's kids.

        I get that this won't change but I don't get why the next generation should be pulled into a 'dumpster' they didn't choose.

        How to keep out the 'haters' without hurting those who are innocent?

        I wanted to leave a 'dream' for those behind me.


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        A Green Handtruck 4 months ago

        My family not parents or grandparents use to abuse me a lot. There were times they felt had the right to sedate me I was never prescribed sedatives but they would do it anyways. They would kick me down stairs. Hammer wooden blocks to the bottom of my feet drive me to an area with snow and make me walk home. They would stab me in the butt with pointy objects to where they wouldn't leave scars but indentations. They would take sandpaper to my thumbs and with enough friction it would give me calluses in places they should not be. They did way more than I could possibly type a lot of sexual abuse included. My father helped them and their kids more than he helped me. He treated their kids as their own. Those people sexually abused me pretended it didn't happen were later caught Aquited and then pretended it never happened. Corrupt Oregon and California cops helped. I'll never get the justice I want. They've taken every idea I have had every dream and threatened every person I have loved.

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        catherinetodd 4 months ago

        Alana, your sister sounds just like my own sisters, and one of them is married to a Methodist minister and she teaches Bible study to children! I was not welcome at my own mother's deathbed or funeral and this sister, Julia Graves, married to Pastor David Graves, made sure I was not welcome. And this, from a "pastor and his wife, in charge of a flock!"

        They, along with other sisters, spread lies about me to everyone they knew, and people that I have never met. Lies, all lies! Started from a Narcissistic mother who went after me when I disclosed my father's sexual abuse of me when I was a child in order to protect my young niece who was going to stay with our parents and I did not want him to do anything to this innocent young girl, the way he did to me. I could never have lived with myself if he did.

        I don't know how these evil, vicious and vile people can live with themselves, the way they behave to others, but live they do. They seem to need someone to torment and blame in order to justify their own evil ways, and to never have to look in the mirror or look inside at the oil slick grimy tar pit they have become.

        Let them go their own way. You can go to the cemetery later on to make a private visit if you want, but there was absolutely NO REASON for you to go to the funeral and allow them to take potshots and find something else to blame you for if you had gone.

        No reason to put yourself in the line of fire with disgusting people like this. They would have joined Hitler's firing squad with glee, and if their hatred doesn't do themselves in during this life, they will have to answer to their cruel and vicious behavior in the next.

        And that's when they are going to have "a lot of explaining to do." HAHAHHAAHAA! They won't get away with their behavior for long. They will have to pay a price, sooner rather than later we hope!

        Let them go their own way and you make the best life you can for yourself. And as someone else pointed out, you don't ave to waste one more minute of your own precious time "forgiving them" for anything. Forgiveness is God's job. Ours is to learn to treat our selves with the same kindness and encouragement we extend to others. It's time for us to be kind to our selves!

        God bless and I hope you have a very good life now that you don't ever have to be around anyone like that ever again. I cut ties after my mother died and I couldn't be happier since. Hope the same thing happens for you! :) smile :)

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        Caroline 4 months ago

        During the holidays, my godmother (my mom's sister) passed away from cancer after a long fight. The thing is, her partner, my godfather, tried everything to prevent my mother to go see her. My mom and her sister always had a good relationship as far as I know and even in the last month before my aunt was hospitalized, my mom drive her to her appointments with her doctor and went shopping with her and visited her. But one day my mother went to visit my godmother at the hospital and my uncle was there with friends and told my mom that my aunt was tired and that it wasn't my mom's turn to visit her even though she advised in advance she was going that day and my uncle said it was okay. It turns out that two of my mom's other sisters took a day off from their work on short notice and didn't tell anyone else. For that reason somehow he singled out my mom and told her she couldn't see my godmother because she was tired. But it was okay somehow for my other aunts to see her... Then my mother asked him politely why she couldn't see her because it is her sister as well and the one she was closest to. He said she disrespected him by asking that and threw her out of the room. My mom was crushed. And then it just got worst from there. He passed through my mom's other sisters to make a visit schedule (that my mom respected even though my other aunts didn't) and one evening my mom was with my aunt and my dad went to visit my uncle. My dad and uncle always had a cordial relation, my dad did a lot of things for them and drove my uncle around several times since my uncle lost his sight. Then my uncle said to my dad that he liked him but started badmouthing my mom and my dad got really upset. From then the relation started getting worse and my uncle turned my aunts against my mom. The thing is it made the end of my godmother's life quite difficult and I would really like to cut the ties with that family. It's not the first time something like this happened to my mom. Her siblings hurt her time and time again and my mom's always been a compassionate person and excused how they acted toward her even if she didn't do anything. She started doubting herself and even think she's a bad person. I've never seen her so sad and lonely... What can I do, I feel so angry and wish I could protect her, but I don't want to make the situation worse...

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        Angelique 4 months ago

        How can i stop family for bad mouthing me and my family by everyone the meet for no reason. I think it is all about jealousy cause there is no reason for that or like me i just leave people alone don't talk about them even. then they also start with threats towards my work and my kids school it is getting pretty serious. what is the right procedure against them and how does it work please i can't take it anymore. I have tried staying out of contact with them that doesn't even work they keep on making trouble what can i do

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        Laura Izett 5 months ago from The Great Northwest

        Alana- stop beating yourself up, enough people have done that already. Pay your respects to him at his burial site and get on with your life. Of course, now that they are out of the picture, you have no reason to feel bad anymore. You eliminated a thorn in your side. Take time for self-CARE, not self-PITY. If they are physically gone from your life, don’t waste mental energy and thoughts on them. Don’t torture yourself anymore than they have. Forget forgiving them, work on forgiving yourself for putting up with that and for not attending the funeral, which you had good reason.

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        Alana 5 months ago

        My dad died last week and my older sister was his legal guardian. He was 91 and had dementia. For nigh on 50 years my older sister would physically attack me when she was drunk, make abusive calls and text messages, sabotage family relationships for me, tell unspeakable lies and turn people against me and mock my faith which is very dear to me. When dad died last week she and her friend went to the funeral home (completely left me out of the arrangements and even his death notice, although my name was mentioned) while I packed away all his things at the aged care facility he lived in for a while. The final blow came just days after his death, when she told me I had upset him in his sleep the day before he died because my son was having issues in his marriage and I was trying to comfort him over the phone. I told her that I didn't kill dad and what a vile thing it was to say something like that and blame me for his death (he had kidney failure, dementia, COPD AND and a myriad of other illnesses). She went on to reiterate that I had distressed him in his sleep and that it somehow contributed to his death. She got her adult son, who is supposed to be a psychologist to harass me with horrid texts. My daughter had to tell him to back off and leave me alone. I was harassed so much that I was so upset and fearful of being preyed upon by her, her son and friends that I didn't go to my dad's funeral today, and I feel so horrid and guilty. I loved my dad dearly but couldn't face what was sure to happen if I went. I feel she and her son robbed me of paying my last respects to my dad. I made the decision, I have to live with it. I wish now I had gone and just ignored the nastiness. Anyway, I have cut ties with her and her arrogant, uncaring and nasty son, for my own sanity. Harsh as it sounds, I can't call them family anymore.

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        Angry man 5 months ago

        I have 5 siblings but there is a sister and a brother that I would really want to cut the cord I don't need to know what's going on in their lives and I am not their friend I am 50 years old and I don't want to have nothing to do with them I could literally walk away with no regret they are useless to me not angry about a certain situation I don't care about childhood incidents or accidents or what have you I have nothing in common with these people and I don't need them in my life they are poison to me

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        hlengiwe 5 months ago

        i went to hell because of mother and my brother from the time i was young till now thank i am not alone

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        nomsas 5 months ago

        thank you i am not alone

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        Cindy 5 months ago

        Update: They called and called and called until they decided to bug my children and husband. So, to stop the calls, I took one call. I chatted a bit, and gave nothing of myself but distant vague answers and that seemed to satisfy my main abuser. The calls have stopped and I am at peace/happy with my choice to distance myself. I am done with them. They finally exhausted my last drop of love and concern for them. My husband agrees with me, as do my children and they support my decision to distance myself from my sisters and mother. My husband of 35 yrs sees and understands the abuse I have taken from all of them. He advised me to not totally cut them off, but do refrain from calling and interacting with them as much as I did in the past. Caller ID helps....ALOT!

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        WifeofNorman 5 months ago

        This was a very good article. Family can be strange. I just got called a hoe today by my own aunt. I am 14. My family and I clearly get along.

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        Melanie 5 months ago

        This article is great - contains a lot of relevant information and advice. One small (but important) thing:

        Effect is a noun, as in: What _effect_ will breaking up have?

        Affect is a verb, as in: lack of sleep and stress _affect_ your health.

        This article uses the word "effect" almost interchangeably as a noun and a verb. While effect can be used a verb, it is inappropriate as such within the article's context.

        I am gently recommending some quality editing here.

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        Cindy 5 months ago

        Distance is helpful. And cell phone ID is heaven sent. Both are helping me. So far....I have avoided all of my abusers for the last three weeks, since I had an a small melt down, and awakening. I decided, I can control the abuse. I don't have to take it anymore....and 60 plus years was long enough. Enough is enough. I have great friends...good friends...loving and giving friends. And I should be kind to myself and only let others into my life, who will be kind and loving back. This was my present to myself this year, because I can say, I finally love myself enough to have this in my life. Funny, but a cheap crap gift, given to me by my mean sister, pushed me over the reality line. So I took the crap gift out to my garage, and stomped all over it with tears streaming down my face...until I started to laugh when the squashed dollar store 'rum cake' flew out of the box, all over the floor. : ). Then I called my best friend and told her what I did and how I felts and she said...."I always wanted to stomp on a cake!" We laughed and laughed, and she listened to all of the abuse I had suffered at my birth families hands. I finally spoke out about it instead of keeping it in. I am better, and I plan on keeping my distance from my birth family, to protect my soft heart....the heart that my good friends love. Be kind to yourself. You do have to love yourself first.

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        Edith 5 months ago

        I have been in between jobs for months and have to live in my parents' house, but have been interviewing. Instead of getting support, my mum has been opposing everything I do, think, say, like, dislike, and decide on, depleting my positive energy. Accordingly, many people have wondered how I have so much resilience. Of course, there is history of emotional abuse and physical abuse. Although the physical abuse has stopped since turning 21, the emotional abuse carries on. Since last week, I started having signs of stress and anxiety so I just let myself rest since then. This told me something. I have stop talking unnecessarily to my mum in order to get back on deck as a person. I decided to tell her about my condition and the stress is from them (drowning me in their negativity and opposing me every two days on better days). She replied that I am not the only one and I live with them. I told her to not talk about herself when I tell her something serious is going on with me and to listen. She was about to oppose me by saying something but I stopped her by saying not to oppose me and just listen when I tell her something serious. She dismissed me by looking away and this is always happening. This was just two days ago. Today, she tried to insult me using my neighbor's kid again (I pursued my university degree from another country) when I have repeatedly avoided her whenever she brings the topic up. On other occasions, she mentioned about the kid's mental ability just because he has ADHD so has to be sent to another country to pursue a bachelor degree (just a guess he is not in the country) because the country where I live is too difficult for him to gain entry to university and I just ignored it to keep the peace. However, today, I could not and had to tell her that it is really horrible of her to talk about someone else's kid in this manner, although she did not say those horrible things directly, but indicated that some people will just send their kids to another country just to get a university degree. When I told her it was horrible of her to say those things, she said I put words in her mouth and not to talk again. I told her that her silence would be very much appreciated since she gives me stress when she talks. Following that, she did something passive aggressive (do something that I absolutely hate) just to get my attention. I have always been an emotionally resilient person, but have been "broken down" by my mum. My dad has signs of stress and anxiety too. I really have no idea how to cope with this unless a dream career opens up for me and allows me to become financially independent. Therefore, I do the ignore and avoid as much as possible method for now. Any solutions?

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        Rella H. 5 months ago

        This is almost the exact life I lived growing up - I lived next door to my sister who was bullies everyone in the neighborhood as she did me growing up. I moved to another part of town almost a year ago, and have been healing ever since. She is my only sibling, but I have cut ALL contact with her and have never felt better - thank you for your story :)

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        Liz R. 5 months ago

        I have to make a decision about a passive aggressive treacherous sister. Growing up my parents would tell my sibling, "Why can't you be more like Liz." They fostered a lot of jealousy between their girls with critical comments like that. My parents prevented us girls from bonding by keeping me working 8 hours a day and 4 hours of night school and housecleaning on days off. I have 7 other siblings. I was forced to give half my income to my parents (room & board) and forced to put all but $10 aside to pay for my lunches, the rest went into the bank. I was not allowed to use money I earned to take my sisters to: mini-golf, the pool, or window-shopping together at the mall to buy a hot cocoa for all of us and I did not have hardly "free-time". Fraternizing with my sisters was not allowed. My parents wanted me dating ASAP and looking for a husband because "college education was wasted on a girl." Eight kids was too many mouths to fee. I became a workaholic, it felt weird not working all the time. Everything was about money, not relationships. When my sisters and I became adults, my parents forbid us to speak to one another on the threat of physical violence and being disowned by "the family", if the other sister was thrown out; we were not allowed to associate with her. Sometimes we sneaked around it but once we were caught, the mud hit the fan. In my family of origin: Every holiday was loud fighting and drinking and our tea was heavily spiked and we had fear for our safety. My parents said things to force competition and get my sisters jealous of one another. It was "Hell on Earth, Ill-Will toward Men" during Christmas. When my daughter was sexually abused I put my foot down. My father put his foot right on top of mine, and refused to make the perpetrator accountable. They threatened to "throw me out of the family". We were all permanently thrown out of the family, grandchildren and all. I called, "Child Abuse" phone number, told them what happened and they said there was nothing they could do because it was a grandparent & an uncle. The first year was heartbreaking and the hardest. The second year got better, then we began to enjoy Christmas because we didn't have to listen to the fighting. Christmas became fun and something to look forward to. There was "Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men". It became a fun and loving holiday. I don't miss my relatives - they were too high maintenance. My sister is trying to get back into my life. I don't care for it. She's a covert battle axe, starts the fights and covertly drags me and others into the middle, and then leaves, right in the middle of a holiday meal. She wants me to feel guilty that I am happy. I feel she is very jealous of me and I know she doesn't have a habit of treating me with mutual respect.

        We are oppositely gifted and my parents would tell her, "why can't you be more like Liz" then my life with her would become hell. She used to steal things from Mom and hide them in my drawer to create problems between Mom and I. She always seemed jealous even when she was getting the upper hand. It wasn't fair for our parents to compare us in the first place. I am gifted but on the opposite side of the brain. I never knew when she was going to sell me out, she's full of intrigue, sabotage and treachery. Her hard feelings would come "out of the blue". It affected my physical health and mental health and peace of mind. Our relationship was similar to Saul and David in the Bible. My family and I prospered in health and wealth beyond our dreams, after I was thrown out of that family. She's not the type of person who can stand seeing me successful or happy for long. My parent didn't help comparing us - as a form of reprimand. It's been 50 yrs. I don't think things are going to change. I think I've been entertaining false hope that my sister will ever get any professional help to learn how to cope with her feeling about me, she's very prideful or learn the 5 steps of How to Resolve her Own Conflicts and Disputes. Sometimes I wonder if she didn't start these fights and try to drag us in because she's jealous of me & is using it to attract attention to herself & feels if the family welcomes me back, then they have to throw another daughter out because they used to do that. I don't have a place (or niche) in that family and I don't need one anymore - it's not worth it. The things they fight about are never settled they are a family feud. The problem is: My younger sister is 60 and still doesn't know how to settle her own disputes. There is no active listening, no confronting people in private (She uses showdowns, enlisting an army of relative, etc.) She doesn't ask questions to check for understanding to see if she heard them right, she assumes - they have values just like her, She doesn't brainstorm solutions together and try to solve "the problem". Instead she acts jealous, attacks, throws blame, guilt trips, & she doesn't want restitution. She wants you to feel guilty and to hold it over your head for decades without end. I notice that her family has division in it. They are jealous as hell that my children, grandchildren and we go on camping trips and work things out together. My mother and sister have discredited me as "insane" because I had a nervous breakdown in my 20's during the Vietnam war. They are too proud: neither will listen to me about How to Resolve their own Conflicts. But an improvement my Mom has sought professional help and changed for the better but my sister hasn't. Mom and I have mended our fences and let bygones be bygones. This really upsets my sister but it's none of her business. Being around her and her stirring up strife is hell. I like peace. She swiped my address off of some unwary relative and when she writes I just have to leave it. It's not sincere, full of admiration before my face, but behind my back - she's social sabotage. I can't trust her. The relationship gives me stomach problems and affects my health. To stay healthy - I have to stay away from her. There is a lot of Skinner's Operant Conditioning and sibling abuse from her. I might be the oldest but I am the smallest & petite.

        When you move on in a family relationship: the hurt at Holidays dies off, a few years later as you build new traditions, then things become more fun and worth looking forward to. I would say: plan your fun, make reservations, and make your own fun for Christmas - find a cheap motel online and take your kids to Disney (Last time we went they had a singing Manger Scene). Florida has so many fun Springs to explore & swim in & it only takes a tent, army cots, sleeping bags, etc. to have fun, learn how to cook outdoors. Have fun with your children while they are young. Build a legacy of good memories to replace the painful ones. We can't change people, only God can. I found this out the hard way.

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        Laurie Kloski 5 months ago

        Thank you for the helpful tips. I am coming out of a very stressful period with my 10 younger siblings. Very helpful tome.

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        Ima 5 months ago

        Dear Debil,

        good for you! My husband and I have been through plenty, in the name of giving to family. Over the years we have eventually had to stop. It has been painful not to see our grandchildren, children, and certain siblings, but worse to be seen as the "bad" guys after giving so much without ever being on the receiving end of any kindness or reciprocation as we have shown and thought taught, bc we finally put our foot down. Now we stick to friends who appreciate us and keep our gifts and money to our own needs. Sure we go through painful memories, especially at the holidays, and still have to make sense of it even after years and years, but we are no longer saddled with others stresses or financial problems any more and are free in so many other ways. WE have learned that people don't change and you can't enable them into having your morals. Also, people who take will find others to take from so don't worry about them. Good luck sticking to your decisions. Sorry about your pain of loss right now. Best of luck to you and strength to you with taking care of your husband. Hugs.

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        Tiffinie 5 months ago

        I’m so happy to know that I’m not alone in my decision.

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        Edith 6 months ago

        I really appreciate all your sharing. It is an encouragement to know that I am not alone.

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        Debil 6 months ago

        The beginning is hard to find and the decision was very difficult. My 48 year old daughter lost her oldest son to suicide a little over two years ago. I have walked with her every step of this tragedy, done everything humanly possible, spent thousands of dollars, made countless inquiries, kept mountains of papers, hired investigators to do what police didn't do that she could continue to be mother to her three younger boys and finish college in which she had so much time and borrowed money invested. I have literally made myself sick twice while not only doing all of the above, but also taking care of my chronically ill husband.

        But something clicked in my brain which had just turned 75 yesterday and I knew I had had enough! No more stomping through MY house, no more screaming at me and running out the door and no more money !!!!!! What did I raise? What happened to the sweet, beautiful and thoughtful child I had raised? Well for one thing she married an idiot and she has lived in hell for 24 years!! Either she likes it or doesn't recognize it..., not sure which. I knew it would be like this but what do you do with adults? What started out as doing and giving what I wanted to enhance their life and over the years the lives of their children, has turned into an expectation which has made me an emotional hostage and a senior being robbed of my life savings. I have truly lost track of the thousands of dolllars given of " loaned" to her over the years. I really never wanted them to be loans because I knew it would never be paid back. Just since Feb 20,2017 I have given over $12,000 and some of it I don't even know why and neither does she. That is just a drop in the proverbial bucket when you add in the other 23 years.

        But it is not the money as much as it is the very things it cannot buy. It is the DISRESPECT., the NO TIME except to pick up more money, the TAKING and no GIVING, the remarks that you cannot even hear yourself saying, the INABILITY to see your own behavior. ALL that angers me, frustrates me, hurts me and disgusts me!

        So I drew a line on my 75th birthday as I lay on the couch with a bad case of shingles! Not only did I make a choice., but for the first time I spoke up! I told her NO MORE of this. I will NOT be disrespected in MY home ever again. I will NOT be treated in this manner ever again. What did I get ? Oh mother, I am so sorry, forgive me. NOPE. I got none of that. I just got how horrible I am, how disrespectful I was to her and lied about in things I supposedly said and did as two innocent, precious grandsons looked at me not knowing what is going on. Now it's today..., more than 24 hours later and I'm ok. I had to draw that line to put a STOP to this behavior! The only thing that bothers me are those beautiful boys who I treasure looking at me with such confusion.

        I need some input, similar stories or advice and direction........ please

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        Show me your friends, I'll show you your future.... 6 months ago

        Cut out a manipulative and abusive cousin about a year ago and have never looked back. Several of the reasons listed in this article applied to my situation. Cutting ties with family isn't easy and there will always be collateral damage with other family members. However, you have to ultimately do what is best for yourself. Some people thrive off of resentment for others and do everything they can to bring those around them down to their level. Life is too short to waste time on negative people and negative relationships even if they are your family.

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        I appreicate your comments and how can being offered up for the price of a brand new ever be forgiven 6 months ago

        I dont like my family and I dont trust any of my family so you encouraged me to move on.

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        Roohi 6 months ago

        I really appreciated this article. I’m in a mess over a crucial family relationship. This will be a great help

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        unicorn 6 months ago

        fourteen years ago my mil and sil pushed me and my children out of Christmas Eve celebrations because they wanted people outside the family included,but had told me for years my mother couldn't go because she "wasn't part of their immediate family" they schemed some idea to make my husband and me mad at them my children have never had a relationship with those terrible peopple

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        Laura Izett 6 months ago from The Great Northwest

        My mom is 71 and her sister 69. THey still have a hard time getting along. You limit your time. You agree to disagree about things in the past. You both admit you have a hard time getting along and if you care about the kids more, you let them know your niece, If you sister ever brings up old business around your kids then you break ties for a while. That is like setting a boundary. Tell her that's not OK to get the kids involved in the sister mess going on. I hate to see younger generations get involved in old business of the family. At some point you want to break the trend.

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        Laura Izett 6 months ago from The Great Northwest

        If she lives with you, you have the control. You can offer her a choice that equals her moving out. I don't know the details, but I do know that if it's your house, your rules, your rights.

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        City dweller 6 months ago

        My life has been described in this article perfectly. I have done the above recommendation because at 55, with no abatement from abuse, and save for ONE sibling, I had to sever the other siblings relating to me. Sadly, gossip about me to alot of relatives...who also sadly BELIEVE the crap, means I am dealing with the loss, but the relief from mental cruelty for over 40 years is dramatic and wonderful. There have been many attempts; breaks; letters...because the sibs don't know how to deal with letter writing, as it doesn't give them the 'pow' of loose lips like in a phone call or face to face sit-downs. One lives 3,000 miles away for 30 years now. We spoke maybe 2x a year by phone (my birthday and Christmas). I had no issues with her, as with no contact, why would I? But...she soaked up the mean slander of the other sisters about me and in recent years, thought it appropriate to yell at me for 'flaws' (she'd have had no idea about unless for the gossip from the other siblings) she suddenly was 'hurting' from in me!!!

        By the grace of God I knew since my teen years the family was not only dysfunctional, (myself included), but that not only did my parents NOT defend me when I went to them privately, I always knew I was ACTUALLY OK. I was peaceful and kind and did not get sucked into the dynamic.

        So...I am healing.

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        A sister and a mother 7 months ago

        My situation consist of my five year old daughter that I now have my rights suspended until further notice. Allegations have been made by her father saying that the man I am with put his hands on my daughter. My sister has agged that onby saying it in front of my children stating that my boyfriend is beating me. I had stopped my kids from going around with those allegations being made in front if them. Especially while I'm in court dealing with a custody battle. It got back to my five year olds father and he used it in court. Now the judge wants me to do supervised visits before she places my child back in the home with me. Then her father called the police stating her 8 year old brother was touching his sister inappropriately. Floyd county DCS got involved. I have complied with everything they have asked of me along with the random drug screening. When this is behind me how do I Keep it from happening again? Truthfully I want to move far away and never look back. But this stems from jealousy of having a another man in general in her father's eyes and my sister is not happy with me for leaving her home. She claims I abandoned her...

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        A Nobody 7 months ago

        My situation is two of my family members, more actually, like to say humans make mistakes and when they are "over" their hurt and want back in your life, sweep it under the rug and move on.

        Okay, I have a problem with that in this particular event. I was told that because I didn't go to my sister's 2nd wedding, religious beliefs, plus my kids were sick, that all this was my fault, and I did this to myself, I was a joke. More hurtful things were said. Okay my sister told me this. However failed to see what she did. I apologized for taking up for myself and was really rude. This is the response I got from her," I let that go the day it happened. Why are you bringing it up now? Your just dragging it out." Okay so my apology was not 100% accepted. This was back in early Feb this year. Let me add, she was expecting her first child. Never told me. I pretty much was cutting her out of my life for good bc one day she said our relationship would never be better. Okay, that was right before she gave birth. In the mean time, my dearest mother would bring her up to me. Just yesterday, I find out that 4 months ago my sister wants her child to know me and my kids. My sister never called to tell me. Why you wonder? I was told bc my sister thought it would bring up an argument. Well, I guess I would be afraid too. Bc she knew what she said. To add to the mix, did my mother know the things my sister said to me? Well, You guessed it!! No. She didn't... My mom just admitted yesterday there was a lot she didn't know. Okay, I have always been the one to back down, admit my wrongs and act as if it never happened. This time I didn't. I told my mom if my sister wanted me in her life I would have to hear it from her myself, bc I dont believe my mom. Around the same time as all this came down, my dad's side of the family shut me out. Long story shortened: My 16yo cousin decided to get preg. I had baby furniture, nice stuff, that I wasnt using. I allowed her to use it. Then she wanted me to help her become a mother and refused that her mother teach her. I will tell you, i didnt know she got preg intentionally at that point. Now, when I started to teach her and show her where to better herself, it fell through. I was the problem in her relationship, her baby daddy was agreeing with me 100%, so instead of admitting it, she pushed me out. That right there isnt all of it bc it goes deeper into her parents not being parents. Not telling her how they feel about her and her taking them seriously. Instead it was me who they openly expressed their feelings about her to. I allowed to be sucker punched bc I am too caring. Great lesson learned over here... Just one thing, What do I do? I want to know my only and probably always be my only niece. There again, is it worth it? No, my sister and I dont have a sister to sister bond like you would think. That is clear. I know where it hurt her about the wedding. But to hold a child over my head. I dont get that... The child is 3 months going on 4 months and I have never seen her in person. I guess I am not worth it which she did make that clear at one point this year. The more I type the more I lean on keeping it this way. Some of you just dont know how hurt I was. How many times I thought about never speaking to any one outside my home again, or how I feel now that she wants me in her childs life but hasnt told me herself. Over a wedding:( The first wedding I went to willingly, but they were trying to forced me or remind me you better go. Okay at the time that was so weird. I couldn't understand why they were rude to me. I now know why, and all but I still have to remember, this is the norm. What family I must have. It has taken me this long, ill be 30 next month, to get that what they have done, was so wrong. My sisters words cut me so deep that I dont feel this can be easily swept under the rug. Its like now? NOW you want me in your life????? I get it. I think I should just keep to myself. The ppl who call you family....

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        Rosalyn 7 months ago

        I have to say about a family whose very close friend to the family is their a reason why this family friend is hunt one person in a household, because they have something from the that they to be done whatever they had from long time and now try to come and do something to destroy and want the Revenge back and each person in a household is going to get because of from the past can't get over and human being and forgive them cause we are perfect... What kind a person don't bothering us and what their intension to this behavior? Are this human or Spirit who lost from time now their looking for right one!!!!

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        Kimberly calmes 7 months ago

        I keep hearing screaming from my father beat on me in my child in everyone and then watching thru there mind with dracus being the father with people coming trying steal her home off her and tv women voices everywhere beat there kids to why this person keep talking in my life looking down the wrong walls giving people what i do cause they gotta job they denie people.

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        Anonymous 7 months ago

        My Sister-in-law ignores me at every family function and pretends that I do not exist. She talks to everyone other family member in the room. It makes me feel bad, every time I get together with my family, and I always leave feeling awful. My sister-in-law seems like a very nice person, but it’s clear that she must not like me, or she would not be ignorging me completely. It makes me feel so strange. No one in the family seems to notice this... but I can longer continue to put myself in this situation. It’s sad, because I always enjoyed family events with my own family, parents, brother, and their children. I do not know the reason, and my sister-in-law does not speak to me. My views on this are that, it hurts deep down inside, and I have an “Oh Well” kind of feeling... no one seems to care about this, really what can I do. I have dropped out of family get togethers for now, which at this point, have not been many. Some of my children are older... so I am guessing that in the future they will still attend family events, drive themselves, without me included. It feels like a huge loss to me, but it feels so awkard when it is presently happening, and I cannot continue to feel this way during every holiday, barbeque, and birthday. Seems unreal... but it feels like I lost my whole family over nothing, all the years, memories, just gone. Sounds dramatic... but... “Oh Well” There was once a time when my sister-in-law did talk to me. Nothing ever happened that I know of that would prevent her from talking to me now, except that I stopped 3 years ago going to our annual week long family summer beach vacations due to my work, when I previously went 5 years in a row? That would be the only thing that was different. I can not bring myself to talk to my sister-in-law about this, although I mentioned it to my family once. That was it, no one said anything about it. I guess I just need to let this one go, and move on. That is the only thing I can think of. I only see my parents when they invite us over for family get togethers, there is never a time I would just see them on my own, that is how it is with them. It feels so odd to have someone else have such an effect on my life, and they probably do not even realize what this has created. Or worse, they do realize it. It might seem like I am being very immature or dramatic, but the emotions I feel when the ignoring part is happening are so strong. My sister-in-law really acts like I do not exist when I am in the room, does not even acknowledge that I am there, even when I speak directly to her.

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        tbucket 7 months ago

        In the wake of losing both my parents within two years, I made the decision to cut ties with my siblings. Years prior, I had predicted there would be a possibility that when I lost my mother, that would be the time I would have to start thinking about parting ways. It is said that family's bond is tested when the death of a family member is involved. Mine, unfortunately, wasn't strong enough to hold. Last night, I texted my brother and told him I wanted nothing to do with this family and that they would be better off without me in the picture. After hearing family secrets, my father in particular, I felt disillusioned,

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        KJ3 7 months ago

        I have had to disown my entire family because many of them believe I am a liar and refuse to protect me. I was abused by 3 of my siblings and when I finally told my mom she ended up saying I was insane. I kept trying to be part of the family though and endured many of them ignoring me or being spiteful because she had told them what I said. Then my son was born and he had problems but they always blamed it on me saying he would be fine if I wasn't a bad parent. They criticized every move I made in my personal life, j job choices etc. Whenever I tried to stand up for myself I was always told I was too sensitive, making things up, or not mentally stable. When I was 16 my mom looked the other way while a 21 yr old man pursued me I was young and vulnerable he emotionally and verbally abused me playing games with my head and I didn't know how to stop him. He wanted my virginity and wore me down until I stopped resisting. He assaulted me 4 times and forced me to perform act on him one other time. It finally stopped when I told him I was pregnant and then he just moved on to another young girl who was 15. My mom did have him arrested all while making it clear it was my fault she even hauled me to the priest to make a confession of my sin. The final straw for me with my family came when 25 years later my sister starts dating the man who assaulted me and nobody in my family will stand up for me. I tried to talking to them and learned they either don't believe me or they think I should be over it by now or they think she has the right to date whomever she wants. So they invited us both to family events and I said I would not go if she was there, they expect me to go and be quiet I said no way. After a few days of angry phone calls and facebook messages I realized they were not going to change their minds they were going to be on her side. My dad actually said to me when I asked if he believed I was assaulted he said, "I don't know the man so I cannot judge it". My stepmom said she was to busy dealing with her own issues to weigh in on mine. My mom reminded that I was a bad kid who went with him even though I wasn't allowed to date she blamed me for all of it. One sister said over and over to me "what do you feel unloved is that it you feel unloved cuz we won't ban her from events" She goaded me for several messages provoking my anger and making fun of me as I tried to make my point. and ask her for help. So I a done with all of them and their offspring and anyone connected to them. In my mind my entire family is dead except for my husband my children and my in-laws.

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        MLS 7 months ago

        I am 32 years old. I have 2 children from a previous marriage and my current husband has 1 child from his previous marriage. Our relationship moved fast, but we knew it was right. We got married at the end of March 2017. My family does not like him. They have accused him of being abusive (completely unwarranted) they say he is controlling to me etc. They have nothing nice to say about him. He husband pays 100% of my oldest daughter's schooling at a private school (my ex doesn't pay for any of it). Hubby works hard so I can stay home and manage the house, volunteer at school and care for my youngest daughter during the day. I am happy, all of our girls are happy. My family I feel thinks that they aren't "needed" in my life. I would love them in our life, but they need to be respectful of my husband and they cannot seem to do that. My mother call him names in front of his family and our girls, as well as little remarks in conversation. My husband is a bigger guy, but no excuse to call his disgusting or fat. I have wanted to cut them out for awhile, but they always give me a sob story and I feel bad and let them back in. Recently, I just decided that I am much happier not hearing form them. I do not keep my children from them, I just don't have my parents over constantly or act like life is peachy. I do feel like I am doing something wrong, but I certainly feel like I can for once in my life, be myself!

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        7 months ago

        I am a 20 year old, I am forced to live at a relative because my mother is a single mother and she cant afford to pay for a flat. I been staying with this relative for quite some sometime. I explained the situation at home but there is nothing they can do, she often tells me to persevere. I have experienced all kinds of Insults, but still I stay there because I want to obtain my degree. I chose to comment because I cant really cope now and at times i feel like taking my life so that I could be heard that I was not not lying about the situation I live under. They use me for the rent money I pay and once that money finishes, she starts ill-treating me. I am right in the middle of my examinations. This person is my aunt. Even as kids in the house we are treated differently And it all obvious that I am the one who is not needed in there. When I am away for school holidays she is the first one to call my mother asking when I am coming back. In these situation help. I have had enough.

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        Laura Izett 7 months ago from The Great Northwest


        Your story is classic. So many tidbits of being raised in dysfunction emanate throughout your comment. 'Being how they want you to be'. 'Not trying to be mean'. 'Never being taught to stand up for yourself'.

        But what stands out to me is exactly why you must cut ties for a while- your family now and your health. Don't feel bad for taking care of yourself and your family now. You will hopefully learn some more valuable tools in therapy too.

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        7 months ago

        I really appreciated this article.

        I am currently not speaking to my mom, dad and younger sister who lives with them (she's an adult but moved home to 'save $' after she got let go). I have been seeing a therapist and it's helped me realize that I come from a codependent family with a lot of dysfunction and triangulation.

        I would love to have something work out but I am realizing that the only way I will likely have a relationship with them is if I adhere to their version of what they want me to be. They like to create stories where there isn't one and have painted my husband to be controlling and make him the reason I am not speaking to them. They have even gone so far as to tell these lies to other family members who are now not speaking to me ... obviously, I know this is not a reflection on me but it doesn't hurt any less.

        I hope that one day - maybe - I can have a conversation with them and explain why I cut them off cold turkey. I didn't do it to be mean or unkind but because I have spent years trying to set boundaries that were always broken and I wasn't going to do it anymore. I could no longer live not knowing which arbitrary line I will cross that will end up in me being yelled at an ostracized. My relationship with them was causing issues in my family and with my health and I refuse to continue this cycle with my own husband and kids.

        Standing up for yourself is hard when you were never taught how... but I can attest that if you have felt the way that I did - pretty much all of the "ok to say goodbye when..." reasons - the guilt seems to fade away and you find that you can live a happier life.

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        Laura Izett 7 months ago from The Great Northwest

        Yikes. Very unhealthy. I'm not one of those people who forgive and forget, because we both know you've been doing that for a while and the cycle only continues. YOu can be cordial and civil, but you do not need your cousin in your life to the point of her rattling off health risks or you feeling sick when she contacts you. YOu need time to get healthy. I got a chronic illness years ago and it forced me to block out the people who were not healthy.

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        Laura Izett 7 months ago from The Great Northwest

        Sue, What a terrible dynamic! Take your mom to a nice dinner or invite her over without him. IF she can not understand, it will be a wake-up call that she can't ignore. SHe will have to face his abusiveness. If she continues to ignore then she has some thinking to do. YOu can't put up with abuse for her. When confronting an abusive individual, you can say, "That was mean". or "DO you realize that was mean?" It puts the spotlight on them.

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        Laura Izett 7 months ago from The Great Northwest

        Yve,For the longest time (through my 20's) my parents helped periodically, but then tried to control me more. I saw the connection. It took me a while to get financially independent after college (without their money), but I noticed how they "squirmed" when I didn't need their money at all. Money sadly is one of those things especially narcissistic parents try to control you with. THe abuse can't end until you are independent, and the worse it is should be motivation to become independent. Being financially better off than my parents now, my mom started using more emotional manipulation like not come to see her grandkids ,etc. Watch for ways in which the manipulation changes...from money to other ways, because control is their goal. And it's not the typical worried parent, it's the psychological abuse kind. As long as they have some control, they can abuse. And they will grasp onto any kind of control they can find. THe only way is to become completely independent, and trust me, the relationship changes a lot when they have no more control. Its worth the goal of becoming financially independent. HOw do you do it? Like anyone else who goes out on their own. It happens...over time. Took me until about 32.

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        Sue 7 months ago

        My issue is an emotionally abusive stepfather and my mother who tries to convince me what he does is not abuse. After visiting for 4 days, with him trying to make me angry or cry every night by saying horrible things to me, I had had it. I asked him to stop and he refused. I left, he told me never come back. My mother has written me to forgive and forget his “rudeness.” She wants a promise to come back for the holidays. I started counseling after this incident and in a word, no. I feel guilty because outside of my issues with him, my mother and I get along well. However, I want a break from the decades of terrible holidays. For that I do not feel guilty.

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        JFGFNY 7 months ago

        I grew up in a physically and mentally abuse household. Without going into all the gory details - which mirror many of the comments already posted - I severed ties with my parent 20 years ago. As a family, we were never close to my father's sister - my aunt and her family. In fact she couldn't stand my mother and the feeling was mutual. Both women are/were NPD parents. My aunt's kids - my cousins were teenagers while my brothers and I were kids, so not much in common.

        Years later my father and aunt became estranged largely due to his borrowing money and not paying it back as well as helping himself to their mother's money. Around that time, I was still living at home and supporting my financially irresponsible parents. Via my female cousin I became the go between.

        After my father attempted to scam more money from his sister via a fake heart attack and demanded I take out a loan to pay their outstanding mortgage, I reached my enough and left.

        I continued to maintain contact with my aunt and cousin for the "sake of the family", but every call and visit was a whine fest of my parents transgressions along with the expectation that I'd foot the bill for whatever activity - baseball game, movies, dinner - I guess to payback my father's debt.

        Jump ahead a few years and I'm engaged. Take my fiancé to meet aunt and cousin and you'd have thought he was some low life as they pointedly ignored him - but allowed him to pick up the tab for dinner. Didn't even say, "Thank You". Had to explain this to him as this is their typical attitude - to their own husbands!

        My cousin, her husband and two kids were not only coming to the wedding(which was out of state), but her husband was going to do the photos/video and the kids were both flower girls. We'd planned everything out, I'd ordered(& paid for) the kids dresses and had them shipped to my cousin, ordered special meals for her and the children. Imagine my surprise when two weeks before the wedding she calls to say they're not coming as her then 4 and 6 year old would too "traumatize" by missing school.

        As a result I had to suck up the embarrassment explaining to my fiancé's family and our minister the change in plans. We also had no time to find a photographer, so we got what we got from the disposable cameras we rushed to buy for each table.

        I still maintained polite relations until a couple of years later when my cousin was attending a business conference in Orlando and wanted me to come watch the kids(i.e., take them to the theme parks) - the kids who were being pulled out of school for a week but apparently weren't going to be traumatize in this event. Good old doormat here says let me check with my husband to see if he can schedule some vacation time. She advised that she'd rather it just be me as she didn't want some strange man around her children! My husband - the beloved uncle to 10 plus nieces and nephews. That did it. The next time I heard from her was when a family member died. Since then I just haven't bothered as any contact with my "family" results in nightmares, rumination on the past, migraines...you get the picture. For my own sanity I consider my family the one I married into.

        I just got a message from the cousin via my LinkedIn profile - she wants us to get back in touch. Immediately I felt sick to my stomach. My husband - despite being treated like crap by said cousin suggested I forgive and forget - but my gut is telling me not to bring this toxic person back into my life.

        As a sidebar, I went through some serious health issues while my cousin was still in my life. Every phone call beyond her self absorbed whining included some horror story related to my condition which would result in my combing the web researching latest dire warning from this ray of sunshine. I know I'm not the only one whose had to deal with the prima Donna - when she decided to nag her kids on Facebook for shunning her religion their posted response(get over it, Mom!) - told me I'm not imagining her impact on others. Am I being unfair or am I being self-protective?

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        Laura Izett 7 months ago from The Great Northwest

        Great point Marie~ "You can still have a good life with the people you choose to be in your life." Unrelated by choice is hard to take that leap, but I find that many who do, do not regret it.

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        Laura Izett 7 months ago from The Great Northwest


        You are not alone! I've been writing on this topic for years and it never ceases to amaze me how much abuse is tolerated, or viewed as normal, in families.

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        Yve 7 months ago

        Ok I have no issue cutting ties with my narcissistic mom and two jealous, hateful sisters. What I WANT TO KNOW, Is how do I SURVIVE without both my parents? Dad was never a part of my life and he lives in another country. He has nothing to offer me and neither do my two sisters. However my mom is helping with my bills right now. I live on my own, going to school and two jobs and it still isn't enough. I'm 25 and my mom and sisters have literally wasted my youth. I feel like I'm dying and aging so fast it hurts. I cannot continue this stress anymore, for over 10 years of bullying. How do I SURVIVE?...FINANCIALLY...without my parents?

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        7 months ago

        Thank you this write up, the truth is that I was born and brought up in a family lineage of polygamy, no love, no peace, fight has become the order of the day, but my real problem is my blood brothers, am the only girl from my mother's side and the last child, i have six brothers but they hav never in their life value me for once, they beat me like thief, oh am just tired of been part of their life, i want to separate from them. But thank God for this article. It will help me.

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        Marie 7 months ago

        I've cut all ties with my elder sister and my two nieces. The main reason is that there is so much jealously and hate on there part. I started to feel calmer and happier not seeing them at all. With my sister she hated me for apparently stealing her clothes when I was about 14,yrs I have just turned 60,yrs last week. She would always say that she had forgiven me. Yet she through it up at every possible moment. I do feel sorry for her and the drink problems she has. Her children jumps to her defence like little puppy dogs. I feel DNA or whatever, some people are so much better apart. You can still have a good life with the people you choose to be in your life and not always the people you choose not too. I wish them well. But I am happy to be unrelated by choice.

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        Denise 7 months ago

        Thank you for the article. I severed ties with my mother about three years ago. I am an adult and my mother is now in her 70's. We are both only children. I tried to do counseling with her and it just made things worse. She has established that everything in my fault and that I'm a horrible daughter (yet for some reason, she still wants to have a relationship with me). She is very narcissistic and a substance abuser. She spends a lot of time and effort making me feel guilty for cutting ties. I get very nasty emails from her typically after Mother's day and her birthday. With everything that has been said, I can't go back into a mother/daughter relationship with her. I do not feel guilty at this point and my life is better without her abuse. I do however feel sad that things worked out this way. I wish her peace an feel bad for her that we can't share her senior years together.

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        Margaret 7 months ago

        I’m seriously considering cutting ties with my sister. I was the black sheep of the family. However, I stayed out of drugs & drinking as a teenager & even now. Our parents are both deceased; however, for all the years they were alive they constantly favored her. It was so blatant that others even noticed it. There was a lot of verbal & emotional abuse towards me while she was left unscathed. Lots of me being called names, degraded in front of friends, being called a whore, stupid, withholding affection, etc. However, my sister was favored and left totally unscathed. Now I’m lucky to get an email or text responded to from her. But whenever she calls or texts, it’s expected of me to drop everything. It’s like she thinks it’s perfectly normal to treat me like this. The abuse I suffered as a child left me with horrible anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Last year I had a very large back surgery. I live alone & had to take care of myself afterwards. I honestly think cutting my sister loose would feel better than the emotional torture of having her in my life. The last time I saw her was ten years ago. I honestly can’t take it anymore. Her contact with me depends on how her mood is that day. One day she will text me back, and the next time I try to contact her, it’s like she fell off the Earth. I’m honestly sick of the “I’ll try better.” I’ve heard that for over 15 years. And we each are the only family we have left. I think being done with her would feel better than the emotional torture of being treated good one day and unimportant the next. She just doesn’t get it. I wish at times my parents wouldn’t have adopted me. It’s like I didn’t even exist.

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        Hastur 7 months ago

        I have decided to stop any kind of contact with my father, and I feel guilty about it....but it is just too much. During my childhood he would critice me in a negative way...so much that it affected the way I saw myself and drove me to depression and to try to kill myself. Things got a little better after that but as time passed he became even more hurtful but I tried to not let it affect me, and it worked well until now, but he doesn't want to change and it just a constant fight with him.

        I never thought I would go to this extreme...but recently he has become even more hurtful and mean than before.

        I...hate him....and that is not good...that is way I choose this, it is the best way to stop suffering even though it makes me feel bad for doing it. No one should stay close with someone so negative and toxic....even if its your own father.

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        7 months ago

        I am young and already have so much stress my mom hates me everyday and makes me feel exclude from my family she has threatened to kill i can't really explain all of the things and emotional and verbal abuse that cause me so much pain and suffering. But it is hard to live and go to school i use to be homeschooled for two years or 3 years spending time with someone who treated me like garbage and the devil who made me feel like everything i do is wrong and now go to school have t act like everything is finea and acting perfect i hate it i self correct myself for feeling breathing thinking. I have so much anxiety and feel so alone in this world i have nowhere to go they control everything i do I get the same excuse from 3 year ago of why they can't trust me which I probably made in the first place because i was so alone. I am a burden and have no feeling to them my dad can't cut me any slack or show any love and has been brain washed by my mom my sister can't love me just today I asked what are you doing and they didn't answer and didn't answer then my sister said leave me alone to our dog and my mom yelled at with a nasty horrible face saying get leave go because i said so. anytime i try to include my self she kicks me about almost like she has a clique she says i will never last in school and i feel like she's right everyone rights and i can't i have tried everything but i can't do it school breathing living eating friend family being pure the abuse the shoving me into a wall threatening me wanting to kill me because she took it to far in front of people then lying to people that she didn't physical abuse me.

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        Deborsha 8 months ago

        Just severed ties with my biological father and this article was tremendously helpful. I did think I was going to feel fab and ended up more depressed than before. Still working through it but honestly believe that my life is much fuller and richer with him completely severed from it.

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        Laura Izett 8 months ago from The Great Northwest

        Wow J. that's when enough is enough. It's too bad that had to happen, but you and your spouse should not have to get in trouble for caring. She obviously knows how to manipulate and you may never beat her at that game so it's best to keep a distance.

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        J. 8 months ago

        Recently my father became ill and my spouse and I tried to take care of him when his girlfriend that he cheated on my mother with showed up with the police claiming we were holding him against his will instead of reprimanding this girlfriend who was only there to collect her rent money, about calling the police and nearly having me and my spouse arrested, he was trying to soothe the woman and was perfectly ok with the what was happening..I have totally decided to sever my relationship with him.. his loyally for this woman over the people taking care is enough

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        Laura Izett 8 months 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 8 months 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?

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        Laura Izett 8 months 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.

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        Laura Izett 8 months 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

        Laura Izett 8 months 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 8 months 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 8 months 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 months 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.

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        Deb jahncke 8 months 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.

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        What the 8 months ago

        Are you qualified to write an article about such things?

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        Queen 9 months 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 9 months 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 9 months 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?

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        bella 9 months 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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