How to cope when your adult child cuts you out of their life

coping when adult child is estrangedHow to cope when your adult child cuts you out of their life

by Sheri McGregor

Parents of estranged adult children often email me asking, “How can I cope?” When your adult child cuts you out of his life, the pain can feel unbearable. I know from my own experience, and from the 2000 parents of estranged adults who have contacted me in the last ten months, that it’s normal to feel anger, guilt, sadness, shame, and a host of other emotions we’re not familiar with and don’t know how to handle.

While each situation is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all cure, parents of estranged adult children can get through this, find acceptance, and even peace. As a mom who has been through this, I’ll offer some thoughts from my own experience, and from what other parents of estranged adults who have gotten past this and moved on to enjoy their lives have shared. I hope you find something here helpful.

Most fathers and mothers of estranged adults try try to repair things. They reach out by writing letters to estranged adult children. They also call, email and send texts in an attempt to find out what’s wrong and try to make things right. But what do you do beyond that, when no satisfactory reconcilation occurs? That’s the focus here. I’ve outlined some brief points for coping with an adult child’s estrangement, getting on with your life, and finding a way to live happily and successfully.

First, as is true in other areas of life, you cannot control another adults’ behavior. You can, though, make sound decisions about your own. Accept and commit to that, in order to get past the pain.

Then, take a look at these ideas, and adopt what you can. You may find that some are easier than others, or that some don’t fit at all. Or, you may come back to these later and have a new perspective. Do what you can. Discard what doesn’t feel right. Take control. You can get through this.

Ideas for coping when your adult child cuts you out of their life.

  • Allow yourself to grieve – – this is a shocking loss.
  • Don’t try to pretend all is well, but along with (or after) crying, being angry, etc., begin to take action toward making yourself (your feelings) and your life (how you spend your time) better.
  • Think of other hard things you’ve gotten through, and tell yourself you CAN and WILL get through this too.coping when an adult child is estranged
  • Accept that your future is different than you expected … and accept the uncertainty that goes with an adult child’s estrangement. Then allow yourself to believe you can have a good future, even though your path has taken a twist.
  • Get involved in new things, old things that make you happy … activities you can enjoy. See Lila’s story.
  • Catch yourself in the act of feeling bad about what you can’t change, and stop the negative thoughts. Shift your perspective.
  • If you can’t figure out what happened, make a decision to give up asking why. Or settle on an answer for the moment (i.e., he’s following his wife to save his marriage, there’s some other problem you don’t know about, there’s mental illness of some sort, an addiction, etc and so on … whatever fits). Let it go. Some things just can’t be understood.
  • Focus on the good relationships, and the good parts of your life — and multiply them.
  • Don’t worry about the judgment of other people, and forgive them for it. But also protect yourself from people who are hurtful to you.
  • Find activities that fulfill your need to give and receive (love, help, generosity, kindness, etc).

Life can be difficult when expectations are shattered, and people we love and have devoted ourselves to so deeply hurt us. It’s also difficult to move on after a devastating loss, but it is possible to reclaim happiness. Reach out and you will find support among other parents of estranged adult children.

Below, I’ve listed some related articles that parents seeking ways to cope after an adult child’s estrangement have said were helpful. You can also navigate to all of my posts by opening the menus in the site’s righthand sidebar marked “Answers to Common Questions,” and “What Parents Can Do.”

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Five Ways to Move On After an Adult Child’s Rejection

Dealing with Undertainty

Why do I feel guilt?

Why forgive?

New Year’s Resolution: Shake it free



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48 thoughts on “How to cope when your adult child cuts you out of their life

  1. Matthew

    Just an FYI there is a typo on this page: Dealing with Undertainty I spent a good few seconds trying to figure out what that was. A whole new thing to deal with I thought 🙂

    PS I am very thankful you have this site it is very helpful for my situation.

  2. rparents Post author

    Oh my. Matthew! You made me laugh!!! I have fixed my little blunder. Thanks for pointing it out! And thank you for your kind words about the website. I am glad to help.

    Sheri McGregor

  3. rparents Post author

    Hi Carol,

    I think you are trying to sign up for the support forum for parents of estranged adult children. To do that, you go to this page:

    At that page, you scroll down and fill in the information. Be sure you include your chosen “user name,” in the message area somewhere, and I will sign you up. I know you will get a lot of support from other parents of estranged adult children in the support forum.

    Thank you.
    Sheri McGregor (rparents)

  4. lotus

    I have been walking around for 4 months in agony over the estrangement of my son. I cannot stop crying over this. I literally cry all day, when I wake up and when I go to sleep. I am an emotional mess. I have been praying and pleading with God to soften his heart. I promised when this started that there would be no unkind words, no options of not forgiving. I have told him our doors and arms will always be open for him. His father is heartbroken too but he cannot stand to have me this way and is becoming very resentful of this and angry with me. He says, “let it go”…..I know he has not let it go because I can see the pain in his eyes too. The sad part of this is we have 4 beautiful grandchildren whom we a missing out on. His wife is kind enough to make arrangements for us to see them. This is not spontaneous time. We get to have the little boys maybe once every two weeks in an afternoon. My husband takes work off to be with them. The two older children who are in school have been here once in 4 months on a Saturday morning. We are devastated. He has addiction issues, is in counseling and we suspect mental illness. manic, high lows….but we do not know of a diagnosis. I see in reading your articles we need to find the joy elsewhere. We have been trying to do this but it is so impossible for me. It keeps creeping back in. We went on a trip to Florida in Jan. and had a nice time, but we still had hope. As the time goes on hope diminishes and even getting away and out of town is not easy for me because the sorrow, grief returns. Sometimes I feel like a death would be easier to accept because that is final. To have this hope leaves me so vulnerable. I know this will affect me in the long run both physically and emotionally. I went on an anti depressant and all it did was agitate me. I don’t want to rely on medication. I really do know the answer, prayer, faith in God and trust that he will restore this. I know I need to take care of myself by getting outside and getting physical activity, and eating properly. I just don’t feel very much like it. Thank you for listening to me and I will be continuing to read your articles in hopes of support and help in healing.

    1. Barbara

      I know it’s been awhile since you posted this. Has things gotten better? My heart breaks reading this. I’m having hard time myself but just started this past year..That’s why I’m on this site.

    2. Edith

      Thank you lotus, I feel a little better now, my daughter don’t talk to me, she treats me like a stranger, it haven’t been good in our house it’s like I live by myself, I’m elderly and needs some assistance sometimes but I make it.

  5. Maryjo

    It is a hard road. I have remained on this site, not for answers but perhaps to help with a little advise. Sometimes when we try too hard to go back into their lives, they become more distant. We look desperate in their eyes and I truly believe they like it. For whatever reason, EC needs to be in control. I allowed this to happen for over4 years. I had so many ups and downs elevators were jealous of me. Seriously, letting go is healthy and gives our brain some serious time out. I always felt Mother’s Day is a telling event. No card, no email? Guess it is time to let go. My opinion only. I am happy to claim two beautiful loving children. Not 3.

    1. Gerry

      Maryjo love the comment ” so many ups and downs elevators are jealous of me” you are a crack up. I feel your pain. No amount of get over it will help. One day at a time is a much better way to deal with it xx

    2. Veronica

      wow. Thanks for writing this. I’m finally where you are although it took me a couple of years. Our daughter was diagnosed with bipolar 2 about 7 months ago. Before that she was estranged from us for about 1-1/2 years. She finally came back into our lives for about 6 months. Thought all was well and then it started all over again. Doesn’t want a relationship with “mom” although before all this we were so extremely close. Doesn’t have any reason to think we have an unhealthy relationship. Anyway, I was questioning if she could possibly get a rise out of my husband and I hurting so bad and coming after her and I think you hit the nail on the head. I have two other beautiful, well-derserving of my love daughters who are just as thrown off as we are. Was feeling guilty for saying that I was going to invest my time in the ones who want me to love on them, but after reading your post, I’ve realized I have nothing to feel guilty over…I’m just moving on with my life because some things are out of my control.

      Thanks for your post.

  6. jaki

    I’m so sorry for your pain. I also wonder if, in my case my daughter is bipolar. I hope you can find ways to be kind to yourself and your husband. Thank the Lord his wife is kind, keep a good relationship with her, she maybe able to soften him. I think sometimes we just need to sit back and catch our breaths when we are dealing with someone who is troubled. I am taking some time to re-energize as the accusations and abuse I receive are exhausting.

  7. Mark

    I am a father of a 35 year old daughter and we have been extremely close up until there was an issue with having her boyfriend added to our cell phone account which months later resulted in him not cooroperating with allowing us to have access to the bill and a major argument and ensued. This was almost 1 year ago and in that time my wife and I have both taken responsibility and apologized for allowing ourselves to become upset. I set up a time and place the four of us could sit down and talk so we could move forward as we have always been a very close family. They agreed and then cancelled. I told them no problem, just let me know when we can reschedule. I continued to follow up for weeks trying to schedule a date. Then we sought counseling and were told they were not ready and we should write a simple letter stating how much we love and miss her and when she’s ready to let us know. We spent our first holidays without my daughter and she continues to give us the cold shoulder including family friends she runs into. I know she really wants to be married and my gut tells me that she’s trying to live her own life apart from us so as not to risk the possibility of her boyfriend moving on. My wife struggles already with a lot of depression due to her physical health and as a husband my deepest desire is to right this relationship for both mom and I state of mind as its a daily torment of not knowing what more we can do over such a petty argument as a cell phone account access. Comments/Suggestions??

  8. Jen

    Hi All
    My 2 daughters severed contact with me over 4 years ago when I initiated a divorce from their father.
    Having thought a lot over the years, I have come to the conclusion that
    Most children do not love their parents with the depth of emotion that the parent feels for them.
    Parents remembered each moment of the child’s life from birth, children, have dim memories of childhood, and the fresher ones are those created during adolescence, a turbulent time!
    Young adults are forging ahead, carving their careers and relationships, often even in functional families, parents are a bit of an afterthought.
    The young today are very judgemental and lack some capacity for understanding the frailty of human beings and lack the ability to forgive.
    Put all that together with childcentric rearing, and its no wonder there are so many parents thrown away.
    Maybe we should just smile, smile and smile again when they bring boyfriends home who take drugs and don’t work. Maybe we should smile again and wish them well when they decline a good university place to live with said boyfriend and work in a shop. We should hand out money like an ever flowing waterfall when they ask for it. And we should stay with a spouse in a sterile relationship because an adult daughter hates the idea of divorce. Maybe we should get a T shirt with the words “Welcome” on the back.

    1. Katherine

      Hi, your observations ring very true to me, as well. It seems many young people are accustomed to immediate results, cutting people out, moving on, not looking back, not thinking about it. Whatever is easiest. i see it in their friendships as well. Probably my generation was like that too, to some degree. However, things move so quickly these days -there does not seem to be need to be a need for anything that involves work or communication- just instant, shallow one-liners and self-entitlement. – nothing requiring any depth nor acceptance of responsibility, nothing that would require empathy for another person. If you can’t get what you want, it must be someone else’s fault..… . ‘next!’

    2. Donna

      I am sorry for your pain.. Its excruciating I know. My two eldest children have thrown me away too. I left their dad (step) and havr since found a great man. But they blame me. Regretfully thru many years of neglect, torment and abuse I worked tirelessly to keep it from the kids. Those living with us saw some of it of course but the two older ones chose to not belive me. I could show them drs reports and mental health reports but they don’t want to see it. I did make mistakes, I was very stressed and depressed. I could do better now but I just didn’t have it to give then. They won’t forgive and they actively participate with him to encourge division with the other kids (4). They have family celebrations and leave me out. Their attitude makes all of us very, very sad.
      Letting go is the only way to survive and be able to participate in all the other things going on in your life…NO it is not easy… Gut wrenching, soul distroying. However, when I looked around me I had many, many people who love and neee me… and most heart warmimg is they WANT me. I cry every day and it will never feel good but I am now working on a time limit for those painful thoughts and feelings. My goal is 20mins per day… and I am down to two hours per day. I now spend a lot of my day thinking and feeling thankful and delighted for my many blessings.
      Its true kids don’t love us as deeply a we do them … But there is no excuse for blantant cruelty. I keesp my heart and spirit open for them and my world will be absolutely “right” again if they ever return. In the mean time life is good and thats good enough. What has got me through this far is knowing what pain I will cause my four other kids …all great people by the way! … and that of all the people in my world, just three cause me grief. I am noe surviving and beginning to thrive again. I love them and miss them dearly. That will never change.

    3. Gerry

      Unfortunately our children’s generation are the most self absorbed in the history of mankind. Not just my opinion, it’s well documented. An acquaintance recently confided in me that one of their kids said don’t expect me to look after you when you like you did with grandma. Christ, even if you thought it you wouldn’t come right out and say it. My friend’s comment was it’s our fault we did too much for them. My friend is the most amazing, giving mum and grandma you could ever wish to have. What goes around comes around. You give nothing you get nothing A radio station in Australia did an expose’ on deserted mothers and needless to say the switchboard exploded, so much so that they printed an article “the deserted mothers club in a major Australian newspaper. I stopped working full time to care for my ailing mum, that won’t be the case with me xx

  9. Gerry

    Donna just read your post. I too am suffering from estrangement from my 35 year old son. I have a nearly 2 year old granddaughter that I have rarely seen and was even told by my son’s wife ” no Darren no Marlee.
    I have tried to reconcile with my son but he treats me with contempt. His father and I split when Darren was just 12 years old after and very very bad custody battle. My son Darren decided to to stay with his father my daughter who was nearly 14 chose not to make a decision. Ultimately I had to move out of the family home and because I didn’t have much money , had to work 6 days a week to survive which meant that access to my kids was limited, until my ex husband met and married someone else and totally rejected both kids, this was now my opportunity to bond again with them both and try to mend the damage my ex had done to their self esteem and emotionally. My current partner of 18 years has been really good to both of my kids. 4 years ago my daughter gave birth to a little boy and as a result my son became very jealous of him and his behavior became intolerable, choosing not to participate in family functions, opting out of mothers day, birthdays using work as an excuse, he also became very belligerent to my daughter who took his crap for a lot longer than I knew, then came the phone calls accusing me of favouring my daughter over him. I chose not to argue with him at that time because his wife was then expecting their first child and I took a lot of abuse so as not to end up in the situation I am currently in but to no avail. I have had it explained to me that even though my son is 35, has a good job is a good father and husband, emotionally he is still 12 and stuck back in those terrible years. Not much consolation for me but because I opened up my heart and did everything I could for him when his dad alientated both my kids he is riddled with guilt because he chose to be with his father and has actually accused me verbally of shutting him out. He has had limited therapy but as you would be aware psychologists are not miracle workers. It’s easier for my son to just shut me out and forget I exist. Apparently in Australia where I live this situation is happening a lot, mainly due to a lack of good old fashioned family values and also with social media, Facebook etc., it’s much easier to avoid people. I feel for you sister, I go to sleep and wake up with the grief everyday. A male psychologist said to me ” remember he’s not your little boy anymore, therefore get over it. ” REALLY Gerry xxxx

  10. Debbie

    This is all so sad and all so true.

    I tried to give my granddaughter a education fund, and my son wrote back, saying thanks but no thanks.

    Once kicked out of this family, you are gone for good. What have I ever done to get this kind of horrible mother-son relationship. Love him, care for him, pay for him up until he was 21. Pay for his college. Take him to school, take him to baseball many many times,

    I believe children have a different view of what was real.

    Why are we as the baby boomers seeming to be able to deal with the fact that our mother was a raging alcoholic, yet we love her and she is sober, and was the worst of the worst mother, did we throw her out in the garbage. NO
    What ever happened to “Respecting your elders”.

    I know I did not do anything to cause my son to not allow me or his father to be at his wedding, or to allow me or his father to never know where he lives. (within 5 miles of us), or ever be invited to any of MY entire family events. Were we terrible, no, what were we, we were loving parents, that believed that getting together with all 13 family members 4 times a months could at times be too much, so we tried our best to live as a family that was connected but not emeshed.

    The pain lives on in the mother’s belly.

    I must figure this out.

    1. Meelah

      Dear Debbie,
      I love what you wrote; it is beautiful. And it really brought home to me that I am truly not alone in this
      “pain in the belly”. Thank you <3

  11. Conniej

    This is my 6th year of estrangement from my older son (31) and the first year of estrangement from my younger child (26). It also meant the end of my time as a grandparent which was heartbreaking.
    I regularly pray for God to open their hearts to Him. It used to be because I hoped for a reconciliation but in the past year it has become a true prayer for their hearts, which I know must be hurting in ways I may never understand.
    That was an important turning point for me. And for me, I also prayed the God might use me in some way in the lives of other children. A “second chance” to do it better.
    God is so faithful, and within 6 months, I was placed into the lives of 4 young adult women who didn’t have, or who had lost their own mothers. I had 2 sons. Now I have 2 sons who I miss terribly and 4 “daughters” who love and need me tremendously and tell me regularly what a blessing I am to them.
    This gift has opened my eyes to the fact that for each of us who have “lost” a child in this way, there are many more children and young adults whose prayers would be answered by the love and compassion we have to offer. Our hearts have been made gentler and more humble from this experience, and it makes us the best people to minister to the broken hearts of others.
    I’ve also recently made the decision to become licensed as a foster home. A scary proposition at 51, but I just continue to see how many children need people to love them.
    Whether or not God chooses to reconcile me with my sons, I am making a decision to expand my circle. To move my life forward with a growing circle of “adopted” children, and eventually grandchildren from these children that God gave to me to heal my heart and theirs.
    It has helped me stop thinking about myself and my own pain, because I find that when I’m helping others, the world seems to take on reasonable proportions again.
    Holidays, Mothers Day, and birthdays are still hard and I expect they will always be. But I can create new traditions, and if or when they come back, there will always be a place for them.

  12. Becky

    What an eye-opener!! I have been cut off by my 28 year old daughter and her family, and she won’t even tell me why. I have been traumatized by this…after months of indescribable heart ache, I decided to Google the subject and see if I was the only one. I HAD NO IDEA this is soooo common. What in the world is wrong with our kids? Is there a demon spirit taking over our families? I am heart broken for sure, but I must say I am glad to know I am not alone in this.

    1. Carol

      Oh, thank you, all of you wonderful people. I also just Googled this subject. As of December 27th, after leaving my daughter and son-in-law’s home for usual Christmas visit (2 grandchildren)- I have been cut off by my daughter. My only small contact is text message with 13 year old granddaughter. I can write much more, but do not know if appropriate venue. I do not know reason, as we did not have a fight. I am heartbroken, crying all the time, and feeling everything that all of you have written about. My only child. We talked 5 times a day. I am lost. My husband (who is 2nd husband), see’s pain and hurt all the time. Saw a therapist, but nothing came of it. I, too, am ashamed and feeling worthless. Thank you for the opportunity to reach out to all of you. Carol

    2. Mirabelle

      Yes it is very common, and often happens to people I know who are really loving and caring parents.
      It’s so hard to except.

  13. Valeri

    It has been a while since I have been to this site, I always find it so comforting to know I am not the only person dealing with this issue. Although I am dealing so much better with the estrangement situation, I find it so hard at times. One of the biggest challenges is when you run into someone who knew your daughter and asks “How is she” Where does she live”. “Where does she work,” etc. I actually make up answers as I do not know this information. It brings the pain to the forefront and reminds me of how abnormal my situation is. I realize this affects all aspects of my life and will always do this. Each time I meet a new person, and they ask about my children, I have to make something up. So hard.

    1. Theodora

      Hi Valeri,
      pretty much how I feel …a long lonely bereavement…..
      I so loved my daughter. worked so hard to make it for us as a single parent .. but she doesn’t want to be with me. Should my funeral be on a day that is not convenient to her she won’t come….no I am not suicidal – love myself too much – just illustrating..
      Stay strong – Theodora

  14. ange

    My 20 year old daughter cut me off just this weekend she has two children that I watched being born and I’m going to miss them so much….my daughter is such a cold hearted person always blaming others for her faults never acknowledges what shes done wrong and puts her kids last she met up with a druggy she knew years ago and since breaking up with her kids father has started a relationship with this loser im so afraid for my grandbabies I have so much pain in my heart right now but she has hurt me over and over again I don’t want her back in my life just my grandkids:(

  15. Anna

    Have 3 daughters, oldest 7 years haven’t seen, grandsons don’t need grandma they’re young men already, youngest daughter more than a year she’s out of my life and not seen her, middle daughter I have relationship with, she loves me and I adore her with our issues, no one’s perfect, I accept loss, not day goes by that I don’t think of my daughters or ask my middle daughter if she heard of them because she communicates at times and tells me they’re fine, I don’t bother asking her anymore. My best friend is my boyfriend, it’s not me, it’s them and it’s their loss, I’d mourned and now I accept I can’t do nothing but live and let live and live my life without them, would wish to see them but it’s not happening, and now I just accept and heal and do things that I like to make my day as pleasant from this moment on.

    1. Maggie

      I hear and feel the incredible pain in all the parents’ hearts that have written to this site. I am going through much the same set of circumstances. I have a blended family of 10 children and every one of them is an absolutely beautiful, intelligent , accomplished adult person. And we were , to all intents and purposes , a whole , loving and giving family. I was married to and loved the fathers of 8 of my children and adopted the 2 others. Each of them “own my heart” as do my 22 grandchildren and great grandchildren. We were the “perfect blended family.
      So WHY am I in this heartbreaking situation you ask?
      Without going into details of past histrory, my first two husbands , both good people , hardworking and intelligent , found partners better suited and after 15 and 25 years respectively , moved on as I did and kept in touch for the sake of family and children and grandchildren as they came. My third husband , a man I had known all my life , gave up retirement to marry me and work beside me for 20 years on a small cattle ranch that I have worked for 45 years to hang on to. He was slowing down and that fit in perfectly with the downsizing of the operation . We planned to keep the ranch going at a slower place with lower cattle numbers. One day my son , an engineer in the oil patch for 20 years , came back to the farm and said he wanted to ranch with us. It was the answer to a prayer. Four months later ,during calving time in April, my husband suddenly died of a heart attack while we were checking cows .
      My life did a 180!! For 8 months I buried myself in the hard physical labour of running a ranch as my son worked hard at redoing the lower level of the big house for his new bride . At Christmas time , we were expecting a new baby. JOY! And I found a reason to “smarten up “ and rejoin the new world!! In January , an old friend who my husband and I had known for several years and had also found himself alone ,and I , began seeing each other just for companionship.
      I wish I could end the story here . But we fell in love and decided to get married as he was also a farmer and we had every interest in common. We married and our worlds with ALL our children, ALL of them adults, ( my 10 and his 6) fell apart. My Son and his wife and my beautiful granddaughter , left the farm and the children all separated into two camps. .. those who accepted , appreciated and enjoy our company and those who do not and completely resent my “moving on”. So of a total of 16 children and 30 hrands and greats (my 22 and his 8 grandchildren) we have a total of 3 children and 6 grandchildren still left in the circle. On the surface and for the most part, life is wonderful. The ranch is back on track , bills are being paid , remaining kids and grandkids are loving great times on the ranch and learning and experiencing life on it whenever possible just as their parents did in bygone days. One grandson even aspires to be a part of it eventually.
      But deep inside me is the incalcuanle pain of loss. It stays there night and day , covered up like a festering wound , so deep and so raw , .. every once in while, when I am alone and left to think , I feel the pain filled hot oozing tears that actually physically burn my eyes as they surface.
      My remaining children tell me to “Love them from afar and dont be enveigled to let them come close enough to hurt again.” My own mother, who was always my best friend until she died at 100, would probably say “Love them and let them go .”
      Some had words for me that were cruel and
      heartless but others have just shut me out and removed all contact with my grandchildren .
      I admit to being a workaholic and a bit reclusive
      But ALL my children were and are welcome on the ranch and have always come and loved its freedom and ramblng fields. Now that is gone and the devision in my family between siblings is unspeakably painful. My wonderful husband tries to ease this but his children have done the same. WHY?
      Did we not have the right to happiness together ? Do children have an expectaion for parenta to just “grow old gracefully and not upset the status quo? Is it unholy for a mother closing in on 80 years , to fall in love and enjoy all the wonders of connubial bliss? Is that somehow uncivilized .. or worse.. disgusting?? If not, then again I ask WHY the anger , the hateful response to us as a couple? Anybody have an answer?

  16. Sherry

    Divorced when sons were three and four.i did everything my sons are grown amd married….just had third granddaughter…i got call two hours after she was born from oldest son.that youngest sons wife had the baby…they were all at the hospital…i was heart broken…ive not contacted them…his wife is from very wealthy family…i have to budget every penny.but when i walk into a room and other grandparents are there.they kids come running to me.i think im punished to. Not hurt the rich people feelings.because im the favorite grand…im just very loving and fun…its a constant battle…they judge every move and word i say…im sick of all the petty behavior and getting blamed all the time…its been 10 days and i havent gone to see the baby….if they had wanted me they could have called.i thonk its what theyve wanted for long i feel its best to stay away…i love the grand daughters and they do me.but the parents and other grands will turn them agaist me …working hard at it…sad…jealousy…

    1. Gloria

      Hi Sherry..I understand your pain as a grandmother. The children these days do not seem to care as much as we do when it comes to family. It is better to focus on yourself and your well being.My daughter tells my grandson that I was mean to her and I did not like her , so I feel the same way you do , because she is turning him against me.I decided also to stay away , because I am tired of all the drama..I do hope you find some peace in your decision.

  17. Gstar

    I am so glad that I found this site, and I can relate to people that has been estranged from their adult children. I was married to an Alcoholic, and I must say this had a lot of negative impact on my children’s life. He drank almost every weekend and my kids could not have their friends over without feeling embarrassed. I separated from him in 2003, my oldest boy was 20 and my daughters were 18 and 14. My son was very angry with me because now we had to move from a four bedroom house to a much smaller one, and he blames me for his life being interrupted. I tried my best to be there for my children as a single mother, and I parent with much guilt and enabling. He was constantly fighting with his sisters to the point where I would have to leave work and come home. This situation was very stressful and I ended up suffering from depression. He seemed to have all the traits of the alcoholic, so I made a decision to sell my house in order to make him find a place of his own. In the meantime was oldest daughter got pregnant and her boyfriend then was abusive to her, so he left when my grandson was 6mth old. I have supported my daughter by getting her a cell phone , buying groceries and assisting her with her rent. Since I put my son out in 2012, I have never seen him again even though he lives about 25 minutes from my place. My daughter on the other hand blames me for her life on a regular basis and she uses my grandson as a pawn, because she knows how much I love and care for him. She would send me terrible text messages every so often and stop talking to me until she needs something. I must say if it was not for my last daughter who is the only one that has shown me that she cares, I might have ended up in a mental institution. I feel so hurt, because I gave it my all . I suffered in silence, but I have now learnt that I have to let go and move on with my life and most of all to keep an open mind

  18. Susan

    Having lived through my parents generation and my own, the generation of our children has been obviously riddled with years of Narcissism. The advertising, highly competitor sports, college entries, birth of computers and Internet, cell phones, text messages, snapchat and Twitter. The exposure to hundreds of people with blogs, comments, stories and a type of superiority maybe not bred into them but conditioned into them. Labels have been put on everything. Labels of be happy, period. Blame put on how someone is raised, whether they eat meat or, do yoga, travel, have met with success or entered into relationships themselves with Narcissist people. The years away from the home, wealthy or poor that raised them, have been more years away from that home than out in the world around any personality both good or bad. Adult children’s worlds are more colored in from the outside world than when they were being raised. This has seemed to be time of alienation from even their real identies. Whether it has been from a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, media or whatever sucks them in to strip away any real identity…to give them a new one. Marketing for an agenda is geared at stripping away all of you to control whatever they can to convince you, you need to remake yourself to be happy.
    Divorces usually alienate a parent. Usually the blame for the end of a family unit is really put on the most involved and loving parent. There is something that parent did that can used to blame them for the mixed up scrambles anyone wants to make them into as an adult now.
    I can honestly say, I was raised in a very strict home. I did not feel ptsd from being raised that way. I feel I may have ptsd from my life as an adult and the many relationships I absorbed and some were with a narcissist. It has been those years that caused me more trauma and a uncoloring … of my safe but strict world with a parent. The exposure to so many people that may not be mentally healthy themselves and now media and advertising has done more harm to me than any type of childhood I would have had.
    The fight for your adult children is not just a fight between you and them. It a fight or a let go of grown adults with more years of a vast array of other people molding who they are now, than a Mom and Dad at home with three channels on their tv.

    1. Meelah

      Dear Susan,
      I love what you wrote and I can agree. The Golden Rule is what I grew up with, and I had a strict upbringing too. And that simply made me hard-headed enough to figure out for myself what decent behavior is. To guilt a sensitive parent, who gave of her time and herself, when her children needed it the most, and to rob an older person, who only wants to give and receive love and laughter, of their grandchildren is so MEAN.
      What did we do? We know we weren’t perfect. But if we’re on this site, surely, didn’t we try to do our best? Good Grief! Everyone now seems to feel entitled…to everything. I say The Golden Rule beats PC (political correctness) 100%. Everyone needs to relearn respect for those older who have experienced life and to think of someone else first.

  19. geti

    So many true stories and oh so familiar – my 24 year old son has cut me off since meeting his new girlfriend a year ago
    It’s been a hurtful empty road with the question why ? I have now stopped texting and phoning as the silence was killing me and I have accepted my son is his own person to do with his life as he pleases
    The olive branch has been held out so many times that I’ve exhausted it and decided to stop wasting days of my life worrying endlessly
    Life is life and it will go which ways it will

  20. Mary Ellen

    My son divorced a girl I adored. I loved her like my own daughter. He remarried a sociopath with boarderline personality disorder, who has hated me since the day we met. She has done everything she can to poison the relationship between my son and I, which is non existent. My daughter also has no relationship with him. She knows it’s broken my heart. She and I were relatively close, but since she had a child she has decided I did everything wrong raising her. Her method of punishing me is estrangement… calls, no texts, no seeing my grandson. I have bent over backwards to help them financially, but am treated like a disease.

    Unfortunately, this is indeed a generation of narcissistic, entitled, self righteous children. My children were my life when they grew up, our house was the hangout house for an endless stream of kids. Yet now….after years of thinking I was a good mother, I am told otherwise. How interesting. Neither had drug or alcohol problems, no issues, both kids successful homeowners. Yep…..guess I’m living proof of all I did wrong!

    I go to counseling, read books, and pray constantly. My prayers have changed to asking God to help me ACCEPT the fact that neither of my kids want a relationship with me. I will never be okay with it, because on the life of my grandson, I did not deserve this treatment, but I am tired of feeling depressed. I’m tired of crying. I’m volunteering my time with sick kids, who parents need support. I’m enjoying what it feels like to be APPRECIATED.

    My children broke my heart, but I will be damned if I am going to give them the power to break what’s left of my spirit. My next step is to buy a therapy dog, who will also love me, and be able to help those in hospitals and nursing homes. There are so many lonely folks out there. Though I’m one of them, I decided I must do everything I can to help myself.

    1. Lynne

      Hi Mary Ellen, I just want to tell you I understand your pain. I applaud how you are reaching out to others to help them. I also have an estranged daughter. As I sit here this morning, talking with the Lord, I got very specific with my prayer. I in past prayers did always pray that she would forgive me. But after so many years have passed my prayer now is that she can learn someday to love. There is something missing in her heart that only God can make right. I will never fully understand her. But I no longer look for answers. There have been so many times in past years I have blamed myself….but never anymore. It took ten years to reach this place of acceptance. I pray for you today that you find peace. God’s blessings on you as you love and bless others. Lynne

  21. Loann

    Reading all these posts I don’t feel so alone. My son cut us out of his life 2 1/2 years ago the last time I saw my granddaughter was on her 1st birthday and I found out through a niece that I have a grandson born in June. The pain just won’t end. I was so close to my 3 beautiful children their whole lives. How can it be so easy for them to do this I’ll never know

  22. 1life2live

    I am estranged from my 2 daughters one for over a year the other have contact with once in a while. It has been a long road however, I feel like I am getting tired of their behavior and rejection. I was a good parent to both of them and went through an awful divorce. I have since re-married a wonderful man and he has no children; I thought we could all get along and try to build a family but they wont have that. My oldest seems to be narcisstic and the youngest is spoiled and selfish. I am trying to go on with life thinking of going back to school or putting my attention on people who do care. Please let me know your thoughts this is such a wonderful site to be able to express your feelings with others who understand.

    1. rparents Post author

      Dear 1life2live,

      It’s never the wrong decision to invest in caring for yourself–and I’m all for going back to school at any age!

      Congratulations on a good marriage to a wonderful man, too!

      Sheri McGregor

    2. Movingongranny

      I TOO have 2 girls that have told me after almost 30 years that they have hated my husband since day 1. He is a good man, gave them a wonderful life. Their dad was an alchoholic/addict and never took care of them. I was lucky to have found such a great person, he had 3 daughters. Well, my girls want me to leave him now that I am retired. I haven’t had contact with eldest since mid May. young one texts me off and on and one conversation I hung up on her because of her negativeness. We are lucky we have good men. I am moving on with my plans… downsizing and moving somewhere warm, its their loss. I have stepkids that treat me like a mom and stepgrandkids that love me. I am blessed to be loved by them and by God and my hubby.
      Good luck to you… and to me. I will be sad when I leave but happy that I can live a life free from being treated so badly!!!!

  23. Laurie

    My husband and I are at the beginning stages of our 21 year old youngest daughter being estranged and we are heart broken. We found out in July that she was still secretly dating a guy that emotionally abuses her, after being told they had broken up a year ago. She is a senior at a christian college and since returning in August has cut herself off from all members of our large family. She is now engaged to him. We found out on social media, which was quickly deleted, and three days later she texted us, but not her sister. She is planning a wedding that we are invited to be a guest. We had the heart wrenching job of calling all of the family members to finally fill them in on what has been happening. Everyone is shocked and broken. We have tried to visit her at college to talk but she is always too busy. The worst part is her dad is disabled and she said it is not her problem. Oh my heart…

  24. vicki

    I am going on 5 yrs estrangement with my daughter who will be 23 soon. My ex husband worked her as a friend in her high school years and everything i tried to do right with discipline and learning the right things to do he went against me. Never was in her life till then and thru jealousy of how close she and i were he used it to his advantage to let her have her way with anything she wanted. She became nasty speaking to me, hit me a few times and verbal abuse everyday. She moved out at 18 and once in awhile if i text and begged i would get a reply saying Im ok. Since April 2016 i have not seen her and cannot get a text or anything from her. She is my only child and with no other family it is hard on me. I also have a heart condition from her delivery. My time on earth is shortened I know and to be without her in my life is heartbreaking. I have found out where she lives and works thru snooping basically and being a detective. Any advice or help would be appreciated. I feel so depressed and lonely practically all the time.

    1. BiCoastalMom

      Your story spunds fairly similar to mine, Vickey.. except she only physically went after me once. And the day she left, she changed her phone number. No address. No contact.

  25. annette w.

    This is by far the best article I have ever read. Will send to my two daughters.

    Thank you, thank you for this.

    A grieving granny

  26. Animaluver

    I just want to remind everyone that the past is gone so we must put our energy into going forward. I’ve heard it said that so many people are either dwelling in the past which can’t be changed or are so worried about the future, they forget to live in the present and just be. We have no control over the future nor what happened in the past so just let it all go and breathe. I also know the only way to never be disappointed is to expect nothing! That way if anything happens, it’ll be a pleasant surprise. Yes it takes years to get here but is worth it in the end. Have a great day and God bless you!

  27. Victoria J.

    I am so grateful that I came upon this site. I had my only child, a son, at 16yo. I got pregnant by a 27yo who knew that he was just using me. I raised my son as best I could. Make mistakes, oh hell yes, but I loved him so very much. We have had a contentious relationship sense he married. I was not even told of the wedding. Later she told me that I didn’t deserve to be there, because of the terrible mother I was. They have been married now for 17 yrs and my son has not had any contact with me for four yrs. I am still just sick at heart. He I my only child.

  28. Molly d.

    My daughter aged almost 41 has pushed me out of her life she is an only child I’m grieving for the person she was and is lost to me there is no finality just life long pain and I don’t know how to survive this I grieve every day never stops

  29. Scott A.

    My ex made it her mission to turn my daughter against me, I had to stop work to become a full time carer for my wife, as soon as the child support stopped I got angry emails from the ex then very angry messages from my daughter, saying I have done nothing to help her or her mother, even though I left the relationship with all the bills amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, I even paid a lot of child support right up until I left employment. I have not seen my daughter now for nearly 2 years, I am in contact with her via Facebook, she tells me she loves me and misses me but she still does not want to see me. I think this is because she sub consciously knows her mothers actions when she has contact with me, her mother is a narcissist and has a short temper, I have many messages and emails from my ex abusing me and calling me a bad father. I could go to court again but it really isn’t worth it, my daughter loves her mother and I feel taking this further would be detrimental to her mental health, but she is about to move again just when my daughter has a new part time job and settled happily in to her new school. My ex wants to move inter state, this will mean losing my daughter forever. I know this is emotional abuse from her mother but there is really nothing I can do, feeling useless.


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