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Estranged Relationships

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Home Forums Personal relationships Estranged Relationships

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  • #13430

    Welcome to a place to discuss the loneliness and isolation caused by estranged relationships.

    At Griefline we receive numerous calls from those dealing with the loss of close relationships between parent and child, grandparent and child, siblings, cousins, friends and others.

    It’s often a distressing and confusing situation that can go on for years, with many people moving between feelings of hurt and hope for reconciliation; anger and disappointment; frustration and acceptance.

    This forum is a space to freely share your feelings, to discuss its effects on your life and to share coping strategies that have helped you along the way.

Viewing 4 replies - 11 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #24264

    Dear Bumblebee,

    Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you’ve done so much work around creating a meaningful and special life for yourself without your parents. Your mum reaching out after so many years must have really thrown you. It also sounds like you’re very clear about your boundaries which is great but hard that you’re being pressured by your aunts. I’m sorry that you haven’t received any apology from your parents but admire your forgiving heart, acceptance of the situation and clarity about what best serves your mental health.

    I’m glad you found us here at Griefline and if ever you need to chat you can also ring the Helpline on 1300 845 745 8am to 8pm (AEDT) Mon to Fri or book a call through the website at

    Please write again soon and let us know how you’re going.


    Am new here hi everyone
    Am going through a long estrangement process with my sister. Its complex and not easy to explain. But here goes
    My sister and i were close, she started a relationship with a guy which went bad. DV and he went to prison. I dont know what happened to her. She has shut down, at least with me and my parents. Its like she has two faces. one for work and one for me. I have witnessed this!!
    The relationship ended but my sister has forever changed. We hardly talk, email or text let alone see each either face to face. My sister has become very controlling and micro-managing with me when she does communicate
    Its like I am the bad guy and I am not
    Sadly our parents passed away a few years ago, both died i suspect not knowing what happened in her relationship.
    For me my sister isnt a very nice person any longer. Not someone I really want to have anything to do with. The only commonality is our parents home which will be either sold or rented. Again my sister is the one demanding things are done, takes her time making her mind up or I just dont know to be blunt
    I would prefer to have the house sold, my sister is stuck on renting or selling.
    Right now i dont have a sister its someone who communicates with me periodically and very formally. I feel lost and hurt. once the house is sold and the proceeds divided between the two of us. i dont think I want anything to do with her any longer. I dont like her she treats me like I am a second class citizen.
    Has anyone gone thru a similar situation? As I said once the house is sold I cant see anything any reason to be concerned about my sister. yes blood is thicker than water TBH i dont like my sister and she ignores my attempts to keep the door open. So why should I bother any longer???
    I can live my life without her right now


    Hi @djta, thank you for sharing your story with us. I can hear in your words just how much this change in your relationship with your sister has impacted you. After being so close to a sibling it can be extraordinarily difficult when that relationship changes. Sometimes when communication becomes fractious the relationship may benefit from family therapy, as it may offer an opportunity for misunderstandings to be determined and communication to be facilitated by a skilled counsellor; but it is only an option if both parties are willing and wanting to participate. Perhaps this may be an option for you and your sister?
    However, often familial estrangement becomes a necessary choice – where boundaries are set and held in order to protect ourselves. Even if this is the choice you make it is important to recognise that there may still be a sense of ambiguous loss, which can be difficult to navigate and come to terms with. The following link may provide you with some insights and clarity on all that you are feeling

    Family estrangements – even when they are our choice – are difficult to come to terms with for many reasons: a sense of duty, memories of happier times, a desire for a different type of sisterly relationship, etc. I know this can’t be easy for you and hope you will continue to talk to the Griefline community and share your experiences, as you navigate this challenging period. We wish you peace and acceptance whatever decision you make.


    Hi @james84,

    I’m new to this forum so it’s been a while since your post, but it resonated as I have a friend going through something similar. His wife took their child overseas and refused to return, and later did not allow him to see their child, who continues to be a pawn so that he will provide allowance for them. It has taken a toll on their extended family as everyone feels exhausted and helpless, and yet find it difficult to talk about this to others.

    I don’t have a solution to such a difficult and complex issue, which also continues for my friend till today, but I do know that it helped his family a lot to just be able to share their situation and talk through it with trusted people who would not judge, so that they did not feel they had to go through it alone. Too often, silence and shame and society’s judgment or discomfort gets in the way of actually helping us, when we could all be stronger together.

    I love that you’re focusing on taking action and being active – that strength and wisdom inspires me and I’m so glad you’re taking care of your health and spending time in nature and with friends. We don’t know what the future brings, and I hope you get to see your son soon, whether in person or even on video or voice calls. One idea I had was perhaps writing to him even if he cannot read it now. In future if/when you reunite, he will know that you thought of him, and grew with him, and loved him throughout this period of distance.

    Sending you much love and support

Viewing 4 replies - 11 through 14 (of 14 total)
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