‘If someone offends me and my wife we cut them off’. This is something I heard from an uncle when I was about 11 years old. That family member eventually cut off my parents, which obviously would filter down to us as children. What a shame, is my opinion now as a 45 year old. It saddens me that my cousins, who I was so close to, couldn’t be a part of my wedding, hen night, baby shower, and all other auspicious occasions. My children don’t know their children, yet I have such fond memories with my cousins from my childhood. Years and memories have gone by that can never be reversed. Children suffer with adult ego when members of the same family don’t talk to each other. (Anon Saaschat reader).
Family Harmony with everybody getting on is a dream we all share whether it’s nuclear family or extended family. In reality, it’s inevitable that families/couples will argue. In fact it can be quite healthy, especially if they resolve conflict effectively, make up, and move on. This article is about extended families, and siblings that cut off from one another for a long period of time. We mean completely cut off. Some families have conflicts but they at least still keep it minimum, for example going to one another’s functions and communicating when necessary, despite not completely liking one another. This sort of relationship has less impact on children where they can still keep some sort of link with their cousins.
We would like your views. Do you think its right that people should feel entitled to cut someone out of their lives? Maybe you think it is healthier to do so especially if the people you are cutting out are toxic? Or do you think life is just too short, and you should try your best to work things out and communicate a good few times first? At the end of the day these people that might be cut off are still family. Should you feel loyal because they are blood?
Short periods of distance, and recovery from difficult conflict with family can be quite common and perhaps healthy. Taking a break, eventually looking at things from the outside, then talking and making up might be seen as the mature thing to do. However, what about families that have stopped talking for over 20 years? Unless somebody has done something really, really, terrible, is there any justification for it? We are not going to live forever, life is simply too short and what has anybody achieved from not talking for years? After all, religions teach us to be forgiving and humble, look out for one another and be there for each other. Life continues and inevitably ends. The conflict will come to an end with or without you anyway.
Some parents stop talking to their children. In Asian society children thought to bring shame to their families is a common reason why parents might stop talking to them or even go as far as disowning them is they married out of caste or religion for example. It could be the opposite too where children that have stopped talking to their parents for various reasons. As a result, grandparents don’t get to know their grandchildren and vica versa which is both sad and shameful.
Siblings can fall out over inheritance. Consider the dynamics of a family dividing inheritance or what often happens if families go into business together. Difference in perceptions, sometimes misunderstandings between relatives can happen. If these differences are not discussed and resolved, then issues can build up and eventually break down relationships.
Clash of personalities can also have a bearing. Consider this dynamic. Two brothers are close growing up. They both get married. The two wives don’t get on at all. The men are forced to choose between their wife and brother. This is more common than you think.
Some families have a history of cutting off members when they are disappointed or angry. If children witness their parents doing this while they are growing up, then they learn that cutting off relatives is an option. We all learn from what we see at home.
What advice would you give to somebody that hasn’t spoken to a family member for a long period of time? Have you ever been in a situation related to this? We would love to hear your stories. Remember this site is about giving each other advice and opinions and often the articles are topics that are not usually discussed amongst the Asian culture. Together we can empower each other, and sometimes it is just nice just to hear that you are not alone with what you’re going through. Writing can be hugely therapeutic too. Remember you have the option to remain anonymous by direct messaging us with your stories or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.