Moving when you have estranged adult children

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Ask Sheri McGregor: What about giving my new address?

Q: Hello Sheri,
I look forward to receiving your emails. Thank you for helping parents like me who have an estranged adult child. I have a question for you.
My 33-year-old daughter will have nothing to do with me. I tried to get her to talk and tell me what was wrong, but she wouldn’t engage. After much heartache, she set some firm boundaries.  I respected them, hoping that would bring her back around. It’s been five years since I have seen or talked with her.
Three years ago, I went though a tough divorce from a 22-year marriage.  I am now remarried and will be moving out of state in about a week.
She is my only child and it breaks my heart that we don’t have a relationship. I would like to give her my new address, but she probably wouldn’t reply to a text. And besides, she made it clear I wasn’t to contact her. I don’t know what to do!
Any suggestions?
Thank you,
Angie B.

Answer from Sheri McGregor:

Dear Angie B.,

A couple of questions for you:

1) Is it necessary to let her know right now? I ask because a move is stressful and reaching out right now could add more. Consider whether it might be better (for you) to do one thing at a time. You have already decided to move. Everything is in place. Your energetic stores might best be managed focusing on the move. You can always contact her later once you’re settled (because no matter how she responds, you’re moving anyway, right?).

2) When you do contact her, consider your true purpose. You said you wanted her to have your new address . . .  so keep that as the purpose and be sure you’re letting go of other possible wishes. Some parents have confided that they figured their move, their remarriage, their illness … whatever … would spur the child to come to their senses and want a closer relationship. Be sure that you are honest with yourself. If those other motives exist, then you can weigh contacting her with your new address in a way that allows you to better prepare.

In Beyond Done With The Crying More Answers and Advice for Parents of Estranged Adult Children, there is information about taking care of your emotions around contact with estranged adult children as well as other relatives. You may want to lean on those before and after any such contact. (My books are available in paperback, as e-books, and in audio formats).

Hope this is helpful to you. Congratulations on your new marriage and your move. It all sounds like an exciting new era for you!


Sheri McGregor

Angie B.’s reply:

Good morning Sheri,
Thank you for your quick response!  You are totally right!   I am so overwhelmed at this point. I will concentrate on the move for now, and worry about this at a later date.
Thank you so much for your assistance for helping  parents going through this season of life.
Angie B.
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83 thoughts on “Moving when you have estranged adult children

  1. Faye

    Reading these responses about how we need to move on with our lives, and do what makes us happy, etc. made me realize what was making me stall in moving forward…. I had made them my life, doing for and with them were what made me happy, and I had not looked at my life without them, despite the fact it’s been years. Life has moved on, despite their opinion of me. Time to leave the past behind, and quit looking back. I’m not going that way, anyhow. I am blessed with a good life, a good husband, and I’m going to enjoy them!

  2. Kenny

    This empathetic and insightful post offers a lifeline to parents navigating the challenging journey of estrangement. The wisdom shared here provides a beacon of hope, encouraging understanding, healing, and the possibility of reconciliation. A must-read for anyone seeking solace and guidance in the complex realm of family relationships.

  3. Jessica C.

    I am planning on moving halfway across the country. My daughter has not spoken to me for 6 1/2 years. I don’t feel it is necessary to tell her I am moving, but I have a couple of boxes packed up of the gifts and trinkets she had given me before the estrangement. I thought about dropping them off on her doorstep the day I leave, but I am sure that will only make her more angry with me. Her last act of defiance was to return an unopened birthday card I sent. Even though they are the last things I cling to in this dead relationship, I need to get rid of them as they are painful reminders of what is no longer. I suppose my best bet is to try and sell them at a garage sale

    1. Nancy N.

      Hi Jessica,
      I believe if you return items to your daughter that she gave you, you will just create more angst. My advice is to give them to a charity or to those who might enjoy them. I definitely would not return them to your daughter.

  4. Anita S.

    I moved from WI to TN at the end of June 2023. My ED and ES were not told that I was moving unless someone else told them. I changed my phone number and blocked them from getting access to it online anywhere. I’M DONE! I’ve shed so many tears in the last 5 years that my tear ducts are just about dry. I’ve been accused of everything from A to Z by my adult kids, all things that I have no recollection of. So, I’ve made my peace with all of it and moved on. I’ve finally forgiven them for their disrespect and abandonment, and I pray for them, and my granddaughter, every day. Life is too short to spend it being resentful and angry.

    I encourage every rejected parent to seek therapy and work thru it all. Without that and my faith in Jesus I wouldn’t be here.

  5. Susan

    I have moved and posted things to my Daughter that I thought she may want. I set a boundary of only having a Post Office address. My Street address shows nowhere ie electoral rolls or Gvt websites. Instead I have a Post Office which she knows. I know there’s no way she will contact something’s cannot be unsaid or undone.

  6. Maria

    Massive Hugs to everyone going through this! I moved in July 2022 it was my fresh start, after 6+ years of estrangement from my adult children. I even changed my mobile number. I am done now. I waited far too long! If I could say one thing it is this…Please don’t wait to Live your Life as long as I did. I cried rivers for years, held back living, for absolutely Nothing. Give yourselves the Biggest Hug and Live! Please don’t wait. Life is too Precious.

    1. Ann

      Maria, smiled to read your thread….so strong and positive. I am still muddling through the “what if” and “how about”…hoping something will right the ship, in the land of denial.
      Congratulations! I will try to take a page from your book. 🙂

    2. Julia I.

      Oh maria, I’m looking to move soon and start my new !Iife at 75 and over ten years of estrangement from my son. We spoke on the telephone a few weeks ago, or should I say he talked at me, and the anger and hatred n his voice tore my heart and finally I know I’ve lost him I think we all live in hope that our children will remember the good parts of their childhood but I for one am taking off those rose coloured spectacles and “rest of my life? Here I come”

      1. Janie

        Julia, yes we do live in that hope…that our AC will remember the good parts of their childhood.
        We both have held out hope for 10yrs+, The pain of living like this for those many years has come to the realization of not allowing any more abuse. We do deserve to live in peace & joy.
        Yes, those rose coloured spectacles are off …cheers to us with the rest of out lives.

        I wish you much peace & happiness as you start your new life.
        Big hugs to you & everyone out there.

    3. Tracy S.

      I am about to make a similar journey and can appreciate what you have said and been through.
      I’m done waiting and hoping and prying and have decided that the journey of sadness is ending. I now feel differently towards my estranged daughter, I’ve completely lost respect in her as a person because of her behavior. Feeling this emotion makes me feel free of anything about her because I choose to live my life surrounded by kindness and good things. This is a great feeling, I hope all that have gone through a similar journey can reach this point of peace and enjoy their lives.

    4. Barbara

      I am reading your email and smiling from ear to ear.
      You are indeed a blessing to me and possibly many estranged parents. I wish I could do the same. I am still in the doldrums after 8 years of verbal and emotional abuse. I still cry and my greatest challenge is fear..fear of moving on.
      Maria, you are a beacon of light for me and thank you for sharing. I wish you the very best as you embark on your new life. May God bless you.

      1. Maxine

        Hi Barbara,
        I am coming to realize how much fear, I myself am living in. And how that fear affects everything in my life, aside from the relationship I lost with my daughter. Any of us, especially old enough to have adult children, need to find our way and leave fear behind ❤️

    5. Lynne

      Like your comment very much Maria. So much applies to where I am in the long road of estrangement. I see that I waited for 7 long years in hopes my 2 grown children would reconcile. But now I must move on. My husband and I have made plans to rv and travel. Yes. I have held back living for years. Now I feel alive and excited for the future. Like you said Maria, Live and don’t wait like we did. Life is so short and short. Prayers today for all who are living with the pain of estrangement.

    6. JANIE

      Thank you Maria….you are so right. Life is too short. I have arrived at the same truth & reality. It has been over 10 years of estrangement from my adult children. Too many tears & expectations.
      Big hugs back to you Maria on your new fresh start. You’re right….Life is too Precious!

      For everyone going through this, fill your hearts with what makes you happy & live your best years.
      Healing hugs & strength to everyone struggling to make sense of what’s happened!!

  7. Carol B.

    Is there a hidden bad seed in the family causing others to disown us. A seed that tells lies and brainwashes the others and has to be in control building fear as they go?

    1. Anita S.

      For me, it was my son telling lies and half truths, and his sister listening to him. He’s a talented actor and he used his talent to turn my daughter against me and also my family that lives on the west coast. I don’t speak to any of them anymore and make no attempts any longer.

      1. Peony

        I can relate! My son started it and got my daughter on board and they both teamed with my toxic parents. I am done and planning to relocate without any of them being the wiser.

  8. Kristy

    Hi everyone,
    My youngest son has always been difficult growing up and over the years has been volatile towards me. My husband…his stepfather and I have been there for him and his family so much. Babysitting, lending money and my kind husband was always round there fixing things for them.
    The last few years he has been very angry and we had been walking round on eggshells when he was around.

    The atmosphere was very strained most times. There was a blow up 3 years ago and we were afraid to tell him what we thought but this latest blow up 18 months ago was the worst one.
    He posted so many appalling things on Facebook which werent true. We were banished from their lives and told we would never see our 3 grandkids again
    A friend took him to task and was attacked verbally and cut off. Our lovely friends from church also tried to talk to him but he is very ruthless. He has cut his father out of his life at times…it all depends who he has a set against at the time.
    My lovely husband and I did contemplate moving away and finding peace but luckily my son moved to another state

    We try to move on and know each morning is a new start for us but the trauma of the things we have been through is still painful. Elder abuse from our children is so evident from the many stories here.
    I know how you all feel and lets hope we get through this and find happiness.

    Thank you Sheri for everything you write…it gives us so much hope and healing.

  9. Elaine T.

    I aggree with you Gale, I have often thought that being rejected is worth than losing ones child in death. With death you have happy memories of life and times together, and you are not dealing with rejection. Hang in there. We arecall in this together. Elaine

    1. Cheryl

      It will soon be a year since my 40 year old daughter unexpectedly sent me a lengthy email which began by telling me to sit alone when I read it. I did, and was shocked to read “I will no longer communicate with you”. Up until a few weeks prior to my receiving that email we had been communicating at least 2-3 times a week and always were very close; until her father (we’ve been divorced since my daughter was two years old) retired and moved to where my daughter lives (out of state from me). Her father was physically and verbally abusive to me and still is. He contributed very little emotionally or financially to my daughter until she married and had 3 children. Now he’s making up for lost time and has become very involved in her life.
      I was present for the birth of her three children (one was a home birth) but have not had any communication with them either. So I’ve lost my daughter and 3 grandchildren. Estrangement for me is truly the worst possible grief I have ever experienced.

    2. Jess

      Not necessarily it depends how they die & at what age. They are both horrible but losing a child to death is forever for absolute sure. Amends can possibly be made with an estranged child.

    3. Babs S.

      I think death would be a way to have to accept the reality. My son will never forgive me for my past choices and I have spent at least a decade of praying, crying alone, screaming for God to help me, punishing myself. He is hurt and severely callous. My stomach is tightening up as I type this to you. I have serious illnesses and am very isolated. I pray for peace daily. This is a physical and emotional ordeal. I am grateful to see this many others are finally getting on with their lives and I can only hope that day will come for me. It helps to know I am not completely alone. God bless you all.

  10. Gilly E.

    Oh my goodness…families can be so cruel. Mine isn’t a birth child, but a stepdaughter I brought up from being very young. I gave her everything most young girls could dream of. She had dance/drama/music lessons. My social life was nearly all hers with her activities & shows. She went to College & University. Got married & had 3 children. Not long after the 3rd child was born I noticed a change. She started snapping at me. On visits to my home I noticed her hardly being in the same room as me & the snapping got so bad I dreaded them coming. Then when covid it…it got worse. My other half (her Dad) was ill & couldn’t have any investigations because hospitals were full of covid patients. I was openly accused of stopping her seeing her Dad. Then we were blocked from contact except via Dad’s messenger. The accusations that followed were so untrue. My Husband knew they were untrue. Then she asked if her Dad would consider having a relationship with them without me & he refused. We’d been together for 42 years & she was nearly 45. The final accusation was too bad to type about & it made us feel that was it. Since then she must’ve realised she’d gone too far because we got an invite at Christmas. We’re still estranged….there isn’t a family like feel to the relationship. We have to be invited, given a time slot. It’s not how she was brought up. Our house was open to anyone to drop in. I never gave her Grandparents a time slot. I feel for everyone who has commented. I’ve found it very hard. I’ve even had counselling & have been on antidepressants ever since. Love to all…hope you find peace.

    1. Lisa G.

      The worst part is not knowing why your child cuts you off. My daughter and I were once so close, we spoke every day, we got matching tattoos and day dreamed of living next door to each other. She was told every day of her life that she was loved, I was affectionate and giving. Frankly I was everything my mother wasn’t. Any misunderstanding was delt with communication. This all changed when I was having anxiety and depressive moments for a week (my meds stopped working) and didn’t tell her so as not to worry her (left over baggage from experiences with my mother’s mental illness) but my husband (her stepdad) asked her to check in on me while he was traveling for work. She called me to ask what was going on with me, but I noticed her tone wasn’t kind or caring for that matter. After that everything changed. It’s been three years now, and though I do see her and I see my granddaughters regularly it’s as if she’s an acquaintance. I do consider myself very very fortunate compared to others, but nonetheless it hurts. In an attempt to understand why it is the way it is between us I asked her why, and she said she didn’t trust me. I was stunned… it didn’t make sense to me, I sat there thinking to myself…so, my 30 years of being there for her, loving her, caring for her meant nothing? In my attempt to shield her from a chronic health condition and just plain old having a bad week is enough to throw away our relationship?? She started to get emotional and angry so I just let it go, afraid of losing what ground I’d gained over the years. It is what it is. I want my daughter to be happy and if that means a life without me in it is what it takes then so be it. I read Sheri’s book and it helped me be at peace with my new reality, but will never understand my daughter’s choice.

      I wish all parents in this situation to find peace, to learn to let go and just love your children from a distance.

      May God bless and keep you*

  11. Mary

    It’s been 30 yrs for me…
    2 of my 3 sons and their children have warned me over the years not to contact them
    They don’t want me to be in their children’s lives.

    It’s been killing me for 30 yrs.

    I have no support system I seem to be a loner.

    I had a therapist in 2005 tell me to stop sending cards stop dropping off Christmas presents at the end of their driveways on Christmas eve.

    She said just focus on your life happiness.

    Of course you try but all that you do as a mother taking care of your children you cannot forget.

    I ended up marrying a narcissist who after I gave him everything he dumped me penniless homeless.

    Now at 71 I’m losing my apartment in 2 weeks.
    Thank God I found a senior apt..yuck 90 minutes away..but I can’t afford a mover.

    I’ve been thinking as I get boxes try to pack wow people used to tell me have 3 sons they will always take care of you.

    I’ve been thinking how nice it would be to be a normal family and I envision my grown sons wanting to help me.
    My 3rd son speaks to me when he needs me.
    I adore him but I have to admit he has used me but I love him.
    He high functioning asbergers and has his own severe problems in life.

    I’m so thankful to know I’m not alone.
    For 30byrs I thought that I was tje only one!
    But I’m sorry that anyone has to endure this pain. Thank you for sharing! I send you peace & love.

  12. Denise

    Thank you to all the lovely people who have written in. My story is the same and I’m heartbroken but learning to carry on. My ex daughter in law let’s me see my 2 gorgeous granddaughters when I’m in their town which is a blessing. My other baby grandson will be 1 soon (I’ve only seen him once) and, after reading the comments posted, I have decided to make him a memory box with all his birthday cards etc in it. My daughter won’t have anything to do with me and returned her birthday card and present I sent her. So, I’m going to put money into an account for him should he ever contact me. My 3 children have pushed me to the edge of suicide and depression but I’ve won through. My own mum and sisters have been my rock and i can’t thank them enough for their support. And of course, my lovely husband who is brilliant (he’s not my children’s father). I wish you all peace and love xxx

    1. Renee

      This is helpful Tracy. I’m also losing respect… And hope. Every day is a miracle that I haven’t taken the big leap.

  13. Cheryl

    Hi everyone

    I’m going to say this as gently as I can, but we all really need to listen to this advice. Stop trying to contact them. Stop sending forwarding addresses, stop sending cards, stop texting, stop calling. They have all made it very clear they want nothing to do with us and we should take the hint. I say this out of the deepest kindness and with no malice whatsoever. We all need to stop hurting ourselves and we need to get on with our lives. Move to that new location where you’ve always wanted to live. Take that vacation that you never had the time or money to take before now. Live the life you have always wanted to live and stop dwelling on people who don’t care about us Five years ago my adult son made the decision to start taking drugs. We told him that this decision was not one we could live with and that we would no longer have a relationship with him unless he got help or stopped. We offered him help him to stop and he refused that help. He started spreading lies about my husband and I, and we no longer have contact with hm whatsoever. My husband and I realized at that time that from now on it would just be the 2 of us, as he was our only son and our only child. That song ‘Should have had dogs’ is spot on. At this point, when we meet new people, when asked about kids, we simply say we don’t have any. Please stop wasting what precious time you have left in this world and start living your life as you want to. They don’t care about us and we really need to understand that. We need to live our lives as we want to for the rest of our lives. There is so much good that we could be doing in this world but instead we are dwelling on people who don’t care about us.
    We really need to focus on the positive from here on out. Thanks for listening.

    1. Sheryl

      I absolutely agree with everything you say. I have been estranged from my son now for 17 years. I supported his father for our five-year marriage and was treated like garbage. His dad was irate that he lost his meal ticket and turned our son against me. However, through his own personality and his dad’s influence he became not such a nice person himself, and I’m truly grateful I didn’t have to put up with disrespect and even more spend potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars on an ungrateful child who is now 34. I don’t know where he is, but what I do know is that when all is said and done that he is the one that has lost the most in his life for his treatment of me after all the things I had done for him. I would much rather have peace in my life than the twisted back and forth many of these writers share in their stories. You don’t beg someone to love or respect you. Everyone makes their own choices and have to live with those choices, and you live your lives. I do the same thing most of the time when asked about children and say I have none. Since my son never gifted me anything for any holiday when he was in my life, there are no expectations and no disappointments I have to deal with and have moved on. Let’s just say that my son lost a lot in the estrangement and any children he may have now or in the future both emotionally and definitely financially. You never allow someone to continually hurt you. You move on and live your best life with what you’ve got and with those who do care.

    2. Kate

      You are absolutely right about EVERYTHING you said!!! I tried for years to make my daughter, my only child, care enough to have a relationship with me. Many years ago, she had made it perfectly clear that she wanted nothing to do with me & I foolishly kept on trying until about 3 years ago when I found this forum (thank you Sheri). I’ve given up & will never contact her again. I FINALLY woke up to reality. Thank you all so much!!!

  14. Becky A.

    I’m in the same position as many of you. My older sister is the one that haass been defaming my character for over twenty years now and my only child my son believes her & has not spoken to me for 3 years now. I’m 62 now but when I was only 40 I was rear-ended by a drunk driver. Broke my cervical and thoracic back in 10 different places. I fought hard to walk. But now I’m in a wheelchair due to a second and horrifically painful new disability called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. It feels like my left leg & foot are being electrocuted & set on fire 24/7. It’s killing me, literally. But my son refuses to talk to me still. My life is so horribly painful and lonely going through all of this alone.
    My older sister started yelling at me in a very public place that she doesn’t believe that I’ve ever been disabled. Why in the world would a person choose to live like me? How in the world could I get doctors in not one but two states to do surgeries on me if I was faking? I’ve literally almost died so many times in the past 3 years. CRPS is killing me and all I want is to spend some quality time with my grandkids. I used to babysit my grandkids and it always went very well. I would never do anything to hurt those lovely children. Just like I raised my son who was a Wonder child to raise. He married at twenty one and that’s when he started changing. Now my DIL told me last year that she would love to have me back in their family but my son says no, per DIL. I’m so depressed, this very rare autoimmune disease is nicknamed the Suicide Disease! I’m not suicidal but I understand why one would commit it after trying to live with this. It’s NOT living. It’s down to the very basic survival mode. What do I do? Thank you for reading this. Extremely Sad in Texas

    1. Linda

      My heart goes out to you with all that you’ve suffered and continue to endure. The physical pain sounds like torture enough, but to have an estrangement on top of it is dreadful! So sorry you’re going through all of this! I hope something really positive will change for you!

    2. Veronica S.

      Becky, Please seek out a new pain option that has recently become available for people who have extreme chronic pain. Ask your pain doctor or neurologist about a new option to connect a SCS System to your spine to block out the pain. It is FDA approved and I believe it is covered by Medicare. I am sorry to hear about your sister and your daughter. No mater if the truth ever comes out to your daughter she will reject it out of shame. Time to make a new family outside of blood. That is what the smart thing is to do. Remember Friends are the family we choose. Good luck on your recovery. As a chronic pain patient myself, I believe we must be our own advocate and never stop searching for answers and our own truths.

    3. Barbara H

      Wow Becky. I can identify because I have back pain 24/7 and it never goes away. My 4 adult children all in their 30’s all went away 8 years ago. A pack. I have done all the things we mothers do. Sent texts pleading. Presents returned. Learned through others about engagements and marriages that I never attended. Last chat with my only son was I owed him 2,500.00 because I was short compared to what his father gave him for his wedding .
      I never even met my grandchildren but one once. The oldest of four will be 5. Nothing nothing.
      And no one wants to live in pain. I just hit the book and after 80 pages I was in an anxiety attack feeling helpless and I may die before I ever see them again. I tried my best as a single mother giving them everything while I worked crazy. They are hone. My heart aches for you with your pain. I am heading in for a third back operation Praying it will work. Grieving live people is the hardest thing I have ever experienced. Holidays alone every year. It is a struggle and st least we have learned we are not alone. I have made every amend possible. There is zero forgiveness or even conversation.
      I think this is the new life we live in. I am old fashioned at 60 years old. I am trying but the pain in my heart never goes away

  15. Jane d

    Not diagnosed, but my son in law is a narcissistic sociopath, he has told me there is no room for me in their family. I called out his father to my daughter in a txt, for bullying her daughter. SIL told me this in a txt that this is what my daughter wants. Do I believe him,,,I have not seen them for 2 years now. Prior to this I babysat twice a month since their children were born, (3 children) mind you they lived with me for a year after he got out of the military, ive done everything I can for them, from the very beginning, his parents have no problem telling me about the way I dress, and constantly say things that upset me terribly to the point of crying, but I’m the ousted one. Go figure. I was a single mom and did everything for my daughters within reason and income. My oldest daughter did the same thing cut me off, (for 14years) to the point that I dropped holiday gifts on their front porch, and left, now I have no contact with her daughter my granddaughter. But In the last 2 years she has come around and I do have contact with my daughter. Praise the lord. Her husband just didn’t like me lol. Neither SIL, are what I wanted for my daughters. And it hurts like hell that they are/were in a situation where they were/are being,,,,handled. I reared them better than that.

    1. Tamara F.

      HOW did our daughters become victims of these relationships? Never in a million years would I have thought this would happen. Trauma bonds?

    2. Carol B.

      Sounds a lot like my situation. One rotten apple in the barrel and the negative effects on you destroy
      relationships all around. Outsiders don’t get it. I fear for my daughter.I am afraid to even think of what could happen if I tried to make contract. The gaslighting still goes on.
      Recent example, Icalled a relative I hadn’t spoken to for several years, the call ended and she immediately called her ID number thinking it was me , instead she got my daughter’s home . I found out later the family member they reached worked for a phone company at one time. Things like this scare people off. I live in isolation Ihave no family left. I am planning on assisted living soon as far away as I can go with the same company I living under now. 6 years of no contact is enough.
      I last saw my youngest grandson when he was 4 months old. Now, I have trouble remembering his name and his brother’s name 4years older. A lot of the pictures of the last two years together have disappeared.I hosted a lot of holidays at my house then. I am blessed with wonderful memories from then. I still love them and always will. All I can do is pray. Thank God for memories of the past , a time when love was shared and alive. What examples we leave our grandchildren for them to accept and follow? Sad world certainly not what God intended.

  16. Joyce

    I’ve been going through this for 5 years with my 31-year-old son and for about 3 years with my 33-year-old daughter. Do you all plan to disinherit them?

    1. Joice G.

      Most definitely. My 34-year-old daughter has cut me off so many times because of her boyfriend. This last time that was it for me and I changed everything in my will and it will not be going to her. She doesn’t deserve anything why would I leave her anything at all she could care less about me so you just have to find someone who is more caring and would appreciate you leaving them in your will.

    2. Lauren

      I’m sure some do. Those who view inheretence as a reward for staying in line. Or who just want to show their children that indeed there is no affection, connection, or worth anymore (if there ever was at all).

      Others don’t really go around looking for be ways to “get someone back” after they’re dead. Still many others likely have more debts than insurance so all their l children even could inherit is said debt. Still others may have multiple children and base inheretence off of needs and known attachments in ways where estranged ones may just end up with scraps if anything. Maybe one kid just got married so they can get the house. Or another has always been interested in a figurine collection or perhaps one of the kids needs a car etc.

    3. Margaret S.

      I’m in the same leaking boat. Yes I think I will. Enjoy the fruits yourself of your life’s labour. There’s. No respect at all extended to how we devoted our life’s work to them. Cheers from Scotland.
      Loving Mother

    4. em

      i have been going through this for 8 years with my 33 year old daughter and 6 years with my other two daughters. i have reached out periodically to let them know im here when they are ready. I have however left them out of my will. I sued for grandparents rights and won. My estate is being left to my granddaughters.

    5. Has To Stop

      Hi Joyce and All,
      To start, our only child had a court ordered assessment and was diagnosed with Anti Social Personality Disorder. More commonly referred to as a Sociopath. Although she had behavior issues her entire life, and counseling 3 times, this disorder is not given to adolescents.
      Without rehashing a horrendous 12 year ordeal and eventually estrangement I can NOW say there was always going to be an ending from her side. Once she had gotten everything she could we were useless to her. Her disorder renders her incapable of morality, genuine positive emotions etc. She is charming, Intelligent and an extremely attractive woman. All attributes she uses to gain the trust she needs from her potential targets. We ( her Dad and Mom ) did nothing to deserve this. And had we not supported her financially by backing her in a business she would have walked away much earlier. Do I still love her? Absolutely! But I don’t like her or trust her. My mantra these days is if she ever contacts us it’s because she is desperate and that makes her dangerous. I have had no contact in 8 years. Her Dad encountered her and walked away from her. None of this has been an easy journey. It will never be easy. But it does help to talk to a therapist if possible. In my case it was a blessing to understand that her disorder has no treatment. We will never be a family again.
      As for inheritances and moving…
      She was explicitly removed from our Wills. She took all she’s entitled to. And more !
      We sold our home and moved. We did not notify her. Nor is she listed as a contact.
      Had she cared one iota about us she never would have hurt us so much. Or walked out of our lives. I have accepted what I did not break and can not fix. I don’t say that without sadness and loss. Those are constant feelings that I try to keep in check. They have a presence in my life but do not control my life.

      We all have our stories. Most of us are hurt, sad and confused. Some of us are angry and bitter. I wish you all a peaceful place in each and every day.


  17. Janet H.

    Hi there. Estrangement and the roller coaster of emotions is so painful. My son has been so judgemental over many years but always happy to use our time babysitting and money at times.
    His father was abusive to all of us and so my son thinks behaving that way is okay.
    We get reeled in when things are peaceful then another outburst comes our way.
    It’s very hard to show grace to him and his family especially knowing our grandkids have been influenced by him.
    Praying every day for peace and the ability to move on but it’s so very hard.
    Sending hugs to all the lovely people here and hoping we all keep strong and enjoy every day we are given. Xxx

  18. Kathy A.

    My response is always hard to give because we are all in pain, but we are in different categories…
    I want to read in case some ideas are helpful, but it hurts all the more because there is no ‘we’ facing this.
    My ex has told my girls things her about me that weren’t true and that stained my reputation and so they don’t talk threw I
    I have to go through this horror alone…
    Have you got any articles about that, which help your solo grieving… It because, going through things while on my own.

    1. rparents Post author

      Kathy, there are many parents on here who are going through this without a partner. Parental alienation is so awful, and I am so very sorry you’ve been the targeted one. I think it is becoming more known, but the responsible parent who would never think of abusing their children by turning them against their other parent suffers … and so do the children. It is abuse.

      I’m so sorry, Kathy.
      HUGS to you,
      Sheri McGregor

    2. Marilyn

      I understand the bewilderment when the children’s father says negative things against you that have a lasting effect. My estranged children’s father told my son I was crazy and to get out when he could and never look back, he then abandoned the family. Sadly, my son reiterated this to my daughter and so I feel as though they have been brain washed. He has since passed away without any contact and this has made them double-down on how they feel towards me. It’s hard to understand, I was there for them, raised them, and their father emotionally abused me and they have chosen his path. I am not sure this is a situation within my control, it hurts everyday but I have physically moved, started a new role in my company and try to stay busy. Sometimes I think they will come to their senses but the more I read other’s posts the more reality sets in. I hope time heals your broken heart.

    3. Carrie

      There is no answer but look up an article by PhD researcher “Kruk” as well as Divorce Poison by Warshak, for some validation.
      Read about narcissism…. it takes a cocktail of mental dysfunction for a parent to alienate their kids from the other parent. Pray. And take care of yourself.

  19. Raven D

    My 25 yr old daughter my only child has not spoken to me in close to 2 yrs. I’m heartbroken and don’t know what today. Most days I isolate myself from the world because it saddens me when I see mothers and their daughters at the grocery, mall etc. Me and my daughter were always so close. She moved out going on 2 yrs ago and that’s when everything changed. I call and text her daily with no response. She doesn’t communicate with anyone any our family. It’s like she’s disowned us all and no one can figure out why. I don’t know where she lives or works. Some days I feel like I’m living a nightmare. I don’t know what to do.

    1. Cynthia S

      Hi Raven. I can totally empathize. My 27 year old daughter has acted the same toward me. and our whole family. Her gramma died and everyone tried to contact her with NO response. This isnt the way I raised her and we were always close and loving. Now I don’t even know who this person is that could be so cold to her family and her mom.
      I am almost afraid she is going to contact me again and I am not going to know how to respond to her, and if I am only going to get rejected further. I am an introvert anyway being an artist and a writer. Because of this I don’t want to ever have a relationship again. I don’t feel like I can trust anyone after my daughter has treated me this way.
      I am happy at home doing my art and writing and spending time with my pets. I plan to do some traveling and put me first for a change.

    2. Yvonne

      I read an online sermon about whether time heals all wounds. It said, no, it doesn’t. The best we can hope for is with time and intention, a new sense of peace and contentment can grow. I also grapple with how I would react if my estranged adult child would reach out. I am afraid of getting hurt again. I also had a bad dream last night where my ES was being hostile and mean to me. I tell myself, why would I ever want that in my life. No, the son I once had and loved is gone. Acceptance is the first step in healing. He doesn’t want anything to do with me and life goes on, I still have a good life.

    3. Ruth h

      There is something wrong with my dil. She never goes out.She is a stranger to my daughter. Hasn’t seen her in years. I don’t know what she does all day. Never had any children. Doesn’t work. She seems to have a mental problem. My son has been married to her for 20years. I haven’t been to there house for years. Heard she’s a bit of a hoarder.

  20. Kate L.

    So much sadness we all share here.

    Angie B,
    So very sad for you but I hope this move brings you some joy.
    Even after 8 years, it’s hard to accept life without my son and grandchildren.

    All you can do is enjoy this new chapter

  21. Debs

    We did this nearly six years ago.
    Retirement was looming and we had often spoken of moving to the coastal town where we had enjoyed holidays with and without family.
    Having been isolated from all children and grandchildren bar the eldest son who had suffered a breakdown and was living with us, we had been ignored and disrespected for some time and although they were aware our house was for sale, no communication ensued and we sold up and went without telling them.
    I can’t begin to explain the joy and relief We felt as we headed away to our new life.
    I forwarded by message, our new address and phone number but never attempted to initiate contact.
    After three years our daughter became abusive and threatening on line which made my decision an easy one, to cut her out of our lives for good.
    Our other son and grandchildren re entered our lives a year later, he, separated from his wife, had begun to understand that the problem was his wife who had done her utmost to play us against each other and almost won.
    Moving away did not totally restore our family but it did clarify who and what the problems were.
    We’ve been very happy here and apart from seeing our sons and some grandchildren now, have made new friends and moved on with our lives.
    I hope your move works as well for you.
    Best wishes x

  22. Karen

    In the next 4-6 months, I’m planning to move nearly 400 miles away, and the way I feel at present, I will not be providing my new address to my ED and ES.

    What’s the point? Their silence, absence, rejection, betrayal and abandonment is loud and clear.

    I was a great mom – loving, nurturing, supportive, encouraging, protective – and they’ve thrown it all back in my face by listening to ‘influential adversaries’.

    I do not deserve this treatment, and my heart hurts every day – however, if I’m not wanted then I’ll move into my new home, new location and new life without them knowing where I’ve gone.

    1. Trish

      Good for you! I also am no longer willing to beg someone to be kind to me. I grieved pretty hard for 2 years but the 3rd and 4th years find me at peace and moving on. I respected her no contact request with the exception of one letter at the 6 month point. Part of grieving for me has meant eventually placing my hope in a box on a shelf. I don’t think it’s dignified or healthy to violate their no contact boundaries with frequently initiating contact. And frankly, I won’t do that to myself. It’s been a life-giving lesson for me as I used to pursue resolution (grovel) with toxic relationships when I just should have held the door for them!

    2. Jeff

      Our 49 year old daughter, our only child, out of the blue, sent me a raging anger, hate filled 8 page email and ignored several attempts by me to communicate with her and try and understand what was wrong. She shut us out of her life. And that included our grown grandchildren. My wife, a loving mother and grandmother who is wheelchair bound with MS has just been ignored. No communication of any kind. In our mid 70’s we made the decision to move back to our home town. A place we had left 20 years ago. We don’t know if our daughter is aware of our move or not. It was the best thing we could do. We have other family here, old friends, and a sense of being home. We don’t hope for or want a reconciliation. The cruelty we have been treated with has gone on too long and too far. Our friends and family were shocked to hear what had happened and have been supportive of us as we move forward. And we are moving forward. Our view is that we did our job. We raised a poised young woman. We gave her a good education and when she left us to go out into the world she was confident and kind. She’s been married over 25 years and we suspect that her husband who we treated like a son has had some influence in her decision to push us out of her life. But, she made the choice. We can’t change that but we can now concentrate on ourselves and have as happy and fulfilling a life together as we can create. That’s what we are doing. We will never forget but we will no longer allow her cruelty to impact us.

  23. Sue S.

    Thank you for writing this. I, too, am moving. My son hasn’t talked to me in almost eleven years and still won’t tell me why. I send him a birthday card every year and every year, it’s never returned so I figure it’s getting to him? I searched for his address this year and found more than what I was searching for. Not only did I find the address; I found the house. I’m happy for him and told him so in the card. I told him I was proud of him and what he’s made of himself…but it doesn’t diminish the fact that I miss him terribly and have never got to meet his two children. And yes, he’s my only child. Anyway, I put my new address as the return address, even though I haven’t moved in yet. oops! I guess I’ll find out eventually if it was returned.
    Thank you for keeping me in the loop. It’s so sad that we have this in common.

  24. Gail

    I’m so sad My thoughts are “What’s worse, losing a loved one by death, or losing a loved one by rejection without an explanation.” My heart breaks everyday and it breaks for any Mother going through this experience.
    Stay safe, take care of yourselves!

    1. Susan

      I think it’s far worse to lose them by rejection than by death. The cruelty of rejection holds no bounds – it inflicts pain every day for the rest of our lives. My 50 yr old daughter’s estrangement has gone on for 2+ yrs. I’ve tried everything. Last Easter I took her a bouquet of tulips. I was met with the coldest eyes. Her birthday was recent. The card I sent her wasn’t even acknowledged so now I have given up. I won’t take any more abuse. She’s lost her control of me now. Without her knowledge, I moved away a few months ago. I have found new friends & a new outlook which I desperately needed. I am picking up now and eating better & I finally have peace in my 76th year. My heart goes out to everyone who is going through this. Sheri’s books & newsletters keep me moving forward. Try & be happy everyone. Each day is precious ……

    2. Kathy

      I totally believe this torture is worse because it never ends. I have felt suicidal for 7 years. It isn’t better…
      But when my beloved brother died, I grieved deeply for five years until time healed my sadness.

    3. Corinne

      This was exactly my thoughts. I’m in so much emotional pain! And so emotionally drained w her! She’s almost 27. I was a single mom to her since 15 years old.
      (I’ll write again)

  25. Victoria

    I have thought about this too. I moved one state away five years ago due to economics and retirement but I chose to not stray further than a several hours long drive away from my children, but they want nothing to do with me and have not spoken to me in nearly two years because of who I voted for President and my refusal to participate in science experiments on my body (the Covid vaccines). The only reason I am in the state I am in now was so that I could visit my children often, but if that part of my life is gone from me, why should I stay in a town that I don’t really like. I have been considering a big move, one that might take me either across the country to an ever warmer and more conservative climate, or one just further east and north, but wondered if I should even tell them. I wish I could say I am done crying, but it still hits me like a shotgun blast to the gut.

    1. Stacey

      I totally understand. Our oldest daughter didn’t speak to me for 9 months without communicating with me either over trivial stuff. I cry everyday and it hurts. Our youngest daughter is so different. We talk every day. Our oldest is back to not speaking again and has blocked us all from her life. We aren’t allowed to see or communicate with three of her children.

    2. Zenhuman

      Politics were involved in my estrangement too. Pre-Covid. I’m sure if the science experiments were going on at that time, it would’ve added even more fuel to the fire. It’s still painful, but I try not to dwell in it. His choice, his loss of someone who truly loved him. I wish you the best ♥️

    3. Anita

      My kids don’t agree with my political stance or my faith in God, therefore they have pushed me away and believe the lies my son has told. I feel your pain!!

    4. Sue D

      It’s sad that we are no longer allowed to have different opinions to other family members anymore. One of their reasonings for estrangement (from 2 of my 3 sons) are my “conspiracy theories. I never discussed or forced my views on anyone but they knew mine were different to theirs. I blame, somewhat, this “woke” society where the destruction of the traditional family is pushed in the media (eg transgenderism, open borders, single parent families without a male role model etc) and everyone gets easily offended by everything. No one has a sense of humour anymore so a funny remark can be easily taken out context. I could go on and on but according to my eldest son, everything wrong in his life is my fault! He’s 39 so go figure!

  26. Teri

    What a dilemma! I see all sides and totally agree with Sheri’s insight. I know it’s not totally an apples to apples comparison, but I often think about my relationships with other adults (friends, co-workers, etc.). If I sensed that they:
    A. Didn’t like me
    B. Did not see value in a connection with me
    C. Did not respect me
    …I would not send them a change of address card. Luckily our phone numbers don’t change (usually), so there is always that avenue should she have a change of heart. Another thing I grapple with is this: What if there’s no response or an angry response? Will this set you back? If so, there’s your answer. I’m so sorry for this agonizing situation we find ourselves in. Love to you and your new life! You deserve every happiness.

    1. Margie M.

      I feel your heartache. My daughter said she didn’t want a relationship with me anymore. This was 13 years ago. We were both going to be at my youngest daughter’s wedding. I Was very kind and watched my step around my oldest daughter. We got along perfectly fine. She even came up to me and hugged me on several occasions. We laughed a lot, and everything seemed normal but I did not let my guard down. She helped prepare gift bags for all the out-of-town guests as they traveled a long way to get there. When putting the gift bags in all the guest’s rooms I also put one in my daughter’s room as she and her husband had traveled far as well. Several months late I received a call from the Sheriff’s Department saying they had papers to serve me. They were from my oldest daughter saying she had told me she wanted nothing to do with me and that I had opened her room door and left something inside. It of course was the gift bag that she helped me prepare. My husband and I had to travel ten hours for the court hearing too which she never showed for. The judge said not to contact her at all as she could have me arrested. It was just crazy. Where I am going with this is if your daughter said not to contact her, don’t. You could have papers served and be arrested. Breaks my heart. As hard as it is you have to move on. Enjoy your new husband and your new life. Although I will NEVER stop having a broken heart, I try to not think about it. As much as I loved and wanted her when she was born, I never dreamed she wouldn’t want me.

  27. Monique

    I’m going to move. I will send my child a letter with my new address (I’m going across country) and my new phone number. That’s it. The ball is then in his court. I’ve been crying my eyes out daily, perplexed and grieving this estrangement. I miss my grandbabies, who I barely know. I continue to drop off gifts and stuff for birthdays, Christmas and other celebrations, but now, I will open up an account for each of them and deposit money in it for each of them instead. I will mail them cards, which will hopefully be saved for them, explaining that their gifts are in a secure bank account, in their name, and that they will have access to it whenever they want! Those are my grandbabies and I will welcome them with open arms if they ever come searching for me!

    Life shouldn’t be this complicated and hurtful and I’m now working on healing myself and my grief. I’ve always put my children’s needs ahead of my own and never once imagined a day where they would betray me this much. The whole world is a crazy place right now and you know what they say? After the storm comes the rainbow. So I’m going to ride out this storm in a fresh place, far from everyone, close to the ocean with few neighbors, and I’m going to try to forgive them, forgive myself and put myself first. I’m so done with the crying!

    1. Susan K.

      Hi Monique,
      Your note touched my heart as I am questioning if I should mail gifts to my granddaughters still. I don’t want to stop but it really is frustrating because the way I have been treated is very troubling. I have cried all the time and I always hope for change but that most likely won’t happen. Hard for my husband and myself since we helped raise our twin granddaughters since early on when our Son was in jail. He is raising them now but isn’t in touch and the girls are the ones suffering since we had such a close bond.
      I hope to find peace and spend time with my other two Sons who love me. It is hard to move forward when you love so deeply and that love is just trampled on.
      Yes, life shouldn’t be this complicated and so sad! I pray for peace each day and to be able to forgive.

    2. Margie M.

      Best wishes to you on your next journey in life. I pray you find peace and happiness you deserve it.

    3. Libby

      You are living my dream of a peaceful beach life! It’s been 10 very long and lonely years since being discarded by my only child (son) when he married at 23. Has anyone else noticed how many 33 yr. olds abandon their families? My son abandoned the entire family on both sides. I dream of running away daily…and darker thoughts as well. It is permanent heartache, my best days are when I refuse to think about the happy memories of the past. My candle is dimmed & as hard as I try to fight it, life will never be the same.

  28. Linda B.

    I would love to move. It’s difficult living in my home where I raised my child who wants nothing to do with me. My husband doesn’t like change but, hopefully he will get there.


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