Estrangement, it has become too common and there seems to always be a reason for it. Sometimes, it is just someone not making that first phone call, sometimes it is something that happened years ago and people just do not forgive and let it go.
People move so much because of employment and other opportunities and the habit of familial communication has gone to the wayside. People just do not keep in touch with their family because their lives are so busy. People get forgotten. Or people say, I should call Aunt “Ruthie, or I should call my brother, a thought is postponed and more years go by. It seems neighbors and workmates have become the new family in some situations.
New technology makes people think they are keeping in touch with posts, but that is not true personal communication. Even texting is not the same as speaking into a phone and hearing the voice of a loved one. Conversation is becoming a lost art.
There is the fact that people get offended and hurt, and grievances are not addressed and relationships are dropped as if they never mattered. Fight for the relationship. Admit, apologize, and do not do it again. If you feel someone offended you, ignoring them for years does not settle a problem. Address the issue. A loved one is being missed out on. Sometimes people do not realize that what they did was so harmful and they may not even be aware of the harm done. Your ignoring them is a hint they will never get. If you can just forgive and let go than that may reestablish a good relationship.
There was a time I felt trampled on in every way, it was recommended that I read a book on the subject of Boundaries. It helped me then in so many areas. I try to practice this in my life all these years later. Respect other peoples likes and dislikes, do not push it, and let your likes and dislikes be known. How can people respect you if they do not know how you feel about certain things. If I do not like early morning phone calls and my friend keeps calling me at 6 am, then I am going to tell her to call me in the afternoon. If she says, this is my favorite time to call, I have to say it is my worst time to get a call, and Please do not call me in the mornings. If they continue with the bad behavior then just tell them do not call me, I will call you, then call when convenient for you. Boundary established. If there is someone whom continually challenges your principles, and disrespects you than that is not a healthy relationship. It is ok to let relationships go that are harmful to your emotional or physical peace. Just speak up, and mean it.
When someone has violated you unlawfully than estrangement is a necessary protection. Safety and self respect always come first. When you have been defrauded than they have established the estrangement.
If there is someone in your life that you have not contacted in years, you may be missing out on the good things you remember about them and the family. Years go by, people change, and situations change. Maybe you have changed too. It may be beneficial to all involved to attain peace.
There are other family members being hurt because of the dispute. If two brothers are not talking than the parents are torn. It hurts all the family for disputes that go on. I thought what I experienced with my own family was uncommon, but I hear about it so often, it is sad.
What if someone in the family changed their religion or were wild years ago and you have not communicated in years. Is there a chance they may want to hear from you. The wild one may not be so wild anymore, and the religious one may live their life differently than you but they still care for you.
My siblings told me if I did not leave my abusive husband that they would disown me and never talk to me again. To me it was just another abuse, another form of domination, another ultimatum, another threat. Now, being divorced almost twenty years, and not having my siblings in my life, it is painful and sad. I wonder when they will get real, grow up, get a heart. That was the wrong way to help a person that is in an abusive situation, it is another abuse. They missed out on so much good, and my wonderful children growing up without aunts and uncles. I miss them still. I have reached out, they are not interested and I must have hurt them irreparably. I am fortunate to have many good friends that have been aunts and uncles to my sons, and brothers and sisters to me. I am blessed.
Sometimes you can feel powerless to change an situation of estrangement. Fear of another rejection, or fear of hateful words, fear of being blamed, fear of being accused and hearing unkind words. These can be valid reasons for fear, yet, emotions can make us think the worst case scenario. I have a friend whose daughter got wild in her teens and she ran away. All these years later, the mother knows her daughter had a child and raised it. The mother would love to communicate with her daughter and it is a painful unresolved situation. Just talk about the good and reset the relationship.
Hashing over the mistakes, words, and actions does not always improve a situation. What does a person want, to just get it off their chest and not have a relationship. A doctor told me to send each of my siblings a letter and confront them. I did that and regret it, did they need to be reminded of their mistakes. It accomplished nothing and ruined a chance for reconciliation. If you want a relationship, it is not always necessary to rehash. Sometimes confronting issues can create more hurt and a relationship sought is not available. It may not be necessary to address things if those days are gone by. Just send a card with a few words of kindness, do not write pages, do not blame and find fault. Just keep it condensed and simple and write something little about yourself that is positive. Put your phone number and email address in and send. It may be a sweet surprise to them. And the response may be more affectionate than you expected. Risk it, you might not get a response, but than again you might.
Imagine yourself not just juggling four oranges, but plates are being tossed in for you to juggle too, and you gottta be so careful, you do not want it all to go to pieces with one plate dropped.
Don’t we put ourselves under that kind of pressure. We want to be a great parent. We expect so much of ourselves and our children that we miss out on living our life too. The responsibilities and obligations that comes with parenting are enough. Society puts pressure on the kids and the parents that kids need to be involved in all these clubs, sports, music, and maintaining a high gpa. What will these kids be like when they are grown, will they know how to enjoy a quiet evening at home? Will they know how to relax? I am not talking about playing videogames or watching endless hours on the television in their room.
Can they do a good job without it having to be the number one spot? Parents do not have time or energy to be married couples, and children do not have the time to relax and enjoy being a youth. Fishing, skateboarding, building things, or making model cars, or rebuilding their bicycle or working on their car.
When raising our three sons, I had them taking piano in the winter and golf in the spring and summer with swimming. Just one activity all were participating in. I just did not feel capable of running them around all the time while carrying out my other obligations of work, domestics and ill health. Saturday mornings every couple weeks we would do the Home Depot children’s shop where they made a different project each time. As grown men, they know how to do many things and earn money doing these things. My middle son lives in a tree house he designed and built, and he installed an elevator, and recently he used decks he was paid to remove from someone’s home, he used these decks very creativily to get up to his elevator and tree house. It is so cool and we are proud of him for that. They all know how to make or build anything they want or need. (The Home depot has other classes to learn how to make and build things, even a woman’s class, check it out online and see, it is a fun activity)
In this age of joblessness, and the challenge of getting a respectable wage, and school loans that need to be repaid. We really need to rethink the types of extracurricular activities we are keeping our children busy with. Instead of worrying about whether they will be good enough to be picked for this or that. Let us teach them to be good enough in daily living. If we teach them to clean up after themselves, teach them to wash, dry and put away their clothes, teach them how to clean a bathroom, and how to wash floors, and how to manage money it could help them the rest of their life. If they are slobs with these expectations that the parents and hired help are going to do everything, what kind of roommates will they be in a dorm, or if they want to share an apartment. They will get kicked out and lose their deposit money. What kind of marriage mates will they be if they cannot do these things. Modern day woman do not want to carry the domestic load alone. The day of a man coming home from work, grabbing a beer and sitting in front of a television for the next six or more hours are gone by. Marriages like this are not surviving anymore. It takes both mates to keep a house up. My husband and sons all do their own laundry, and each has two nights a week of dishes and kitchen duties. Tonight, one of them finished painting a bathroom for me, it took about twenty minutes for him to do it.
Success is not just career and home, it is family, and living our lives with those we love. Whom says we have to overload our schedules with all these obligations. Whom says we have to put all that stress on our children for them to be happy. Do our children really have to play on some famous team for us to tell them well done. Can’t we simplify our expectations and ease up the stress on ourselves and our children. No one will be the lazier for it, but they might be the happier, more peace in the house since everyone isn’t running somewhere all the time.
There has to be a new balance considered. It will benefit the marriages, and it will ease up some of this constant pressure on our youth. Happy families are successful families.