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Relationships: An Invaluable Guide To Reconciling

Reconciliations can be the much-needed conclusion to any fight or falling out that has gripped either two people or an entire group for any amount of time. However beneficial they may prove though, reconciliations are not without their own stresses and hardships one has to pull through for the whole venture to be worthwhile. This article attempts to go through some of the most honest and invaluable pointers surrounding the world of reconciliations, even throwing in two of the best settings to hold that conversation at the bottom of the piece.

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#1 Understanding Different Meanings For Different People

A successful reconciliation may not mean the same to all parties. We may envision lots of togetherness, involvement in day-to-day life, and one big happy family. Someone else may see reconciling as a couple of holiday visits per year and a birthday card or bouquet. Forethought and honesty about what reconciliation means are important caveats for success.

Contributor: Sheri McGregor, M.A. at Done With The Crying and rejected parents

43 points
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  1. I think I need a script or something. I’m used to being loved–by everyone not within the third degree akin to me. My parents and my sister, I understood. My child, I can’t fathom.

  2. As a single mother I had a wonderful relationship with my son until his girlfriend came along and brought toxicity into our world. She is estranged from her own parents when she was 16 years and has now caused my son to estranged from me .
    I believe from her behaviour she is a convert narcissist!

    • Oh my..this site brought me here for exactly the same reason…my son lived with me in peace, for 27 years, while I paid for his schooling for 7 years. I too a single mother , worked myself two jobs to ensure he had a wonderful education and a home.

    • Same thing happened to me. My daughter and I had a close relationship for 20 years, until she married an insecure man who hated his mother. His own problems caused him to take his own life ten years ago. But there is too much water under the bridge.

      • Sometimes I wish my daughter’s husband’s recklessness and anger issues would take him out of the picture, but maybe his kids love him. His dad is a drunk, literally on Skid Row (He’s the only decent person in the family.) His mom is clinically psycho

        • but she gets to babysit when her husband isn’t too drunk and violent … they came to our house and never spoke, walked right past my father’s outstretched hand, picked at and complained to each other about the food my daughter fixed …I’m at a loss

  3. I do not have a relationship with my two daughters, one daughter has my three grand-children. I am unable to change how my daughters think although the one with the grand-children also has bi-polar it got to the point everything I said was wrong.

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#2 Things To Combat

Unfortunately, the majority of the reconciled speak of much stress, a lack of trust, and fear that it won't last anyway. That's because there is often a lot of stressful history and hurt. Relationships need re-negotiation, too. People change in the interim.

Contributor: Sheri McGregor, M.A. at Done With The Crying and rejected parents

17 points
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  1. I want to invite my daughter to a private 3 day mother daughter retreat focusing on reconciliation. I don’t think she will go, but if she does, we live 14 hours apart, I am fearful there won’t be enough opportunity to continue to heal.

  2. I just wish my son (my only child) would be open to talk to me. We had a wonderful bond and relationship. He met a nice girl and I thought this would be the daughter I never had. How wrong I was!

  3. I had a gathering with my 3 kids to be ambush which I knew it was. Going to happen. My oldedt daughter. Married to a senators son. She has always. Thought she was. Better do to her mothetn law. Plus she teaches k. Whereas her. Morals.

      • I read it as: I had a gathering with my 3 kids. It was an ambush, I knew that was going to happen. My oldest daughter is married to a senators son. She has always thought she was better than her mother-in-law. Plus she teaches kindergarten. Where are
        her morals?

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#3 Outside Forces

Sometimes it's an outside force that brings reconciling about. Some parents said that the spouse of an adult child was instrumental in bringing them back together. Sometimes a sibling helps facilitate a sister's or brother's return to the fold. Most often, my survey revealed that reconciliation is initiated in the face of big events. A baby is born or on the way, a family member dies, a wedding occurs, or the adult son or daughter who estranged themselves is going through a divorce or facing a life threatening illness.

Contributor: Sheri McGregor, M.A. at Done With The Crying and rejected parents

12 points
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  1. I don’t see a happy ending for my situation. I truly hope I am wrong but it doesn’t look like there are any rainbows on the horizon – only storms.

  2. Beware siblings with reconciliation agendas. When I was 10 years my dad shouted while abusing me “.he had to restrain himself from KILLING me.”Today I want NO relationship with my parents & my sister doesn’t want elderly parent burdens. Tough for sis

  3. When a family member dies they are off celebrating. When a baby is born that is one more grandchild you won’t see. Weddings are parties that exclude you. Your child’s divorce is a time when they are dating again. I don’t believe this survey.

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#4 Continued Stresses

Among those who have reconciled for more than a short period or between episodic estrangements, there was either agreements to let bygones be bygones or continued family counseling. Among these, parties still viewed the reconciliations as stressful, but they felt good about trying and were motivated to work it out. Sometimes, the motivation derives from related relationships the parties valued, such as grandchildren or extended family.

Contributor: Sheri McGregor, M.A. at Done With The Crying and rejected parents

12 points
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    • Narcissistic people do not agree to counseling. Neither do people with borderline personality disorder. These two groups are most likely to be the children you are estranged from. What does this person have her M.A. degree in????

#5 Cafes/Malls

Find a fairly quiet and accessible coffee shop. Offer to buy the person a coffee. Make sure to bring a book or laptop so that you can work on something if the person ends up not showing up.

The mall is a great place if you want to reconcile and then run errands afterwards. Food courts are especially spacious and quiet enough for reconciliation.

Contributor: Alex Tran from we love eat travel

  1. dont know if my son will come around however my daughter came to my work with my granddaughters i was out to lunch

#6 Visiting Their House

I suggest this if you're in the wrong. Ask to come over to their house to reconcile. Bring a gift (coffee, lunch, flowers). Make the effort to reconcile if you're in the position to apologize.

Contributor: Alex Tran from we love eat travel

  1. I wouldn’t know what to bring! She goes through these phases and gets all mad if I don’t psychically know what the trigger or whatever of the hour is.

    • fortunately, I’m a good detective. She moved and didn’t say a word to me. That was the start. After I moved where she was at her request.

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Written by James Metcalfe


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  1. I was sad, now I am angry, my husband and I are good people who were kicked out of our sons’ lives for no reason; f*ck em

    • That response is a response of anger. I am there and been many times, but then something happens or a text or something and the anger leaves a bit and I have a little hope. My issue is it isn’t complete estrangement. That maybe easier to deal with. I am so sorry.

    • I know exactly how you feel. Been there many times. Now, I’m in a place of acceptance knowing that there is absolutely nothing I can do. He is an adult, made choices that I need to accept. Knowing I’m not alone on this journey is comforting, but, knowing that I raised him well and this is not my doing but his I need to let it go. I wish you the best on moving forward in peace…

      • Louise, you sound like me. My son made this decision which is soon be 3 years I have tryed everything to get him to respond but nothing except ” please respect our privacy ” after I emailed him and said his father and I were coming to visit him. We were good parents, he and his brother was our life. But I have got to accept he wants nothing to do with us. Which is very upsetting for me.

        • Elizabeth & Louise,
          I understand how you feel, as my adult son has estranged himself from me. He gives strange reasons eg I don’t like “my family” (his in-laws). Obviously this was written by his wife. I never said anything like that and was always polite, welcoming them to our family functions. It is impossible to reason with him, and so like you, I just accept the situation, and focus on enjoying life and helping others. Best wishes

  2. Some days, it is all I can do to put one foot in front of the other. Some days are great, and I breathe a sigh of relief that maybe, just maybe, I’ve turned a corner, accepted that my beloved granddaughter (whom I raised) now wants absolutely nothing to do with me, and moving on. And then there are other days, days like today, when the ache permeates to my very core, and it is very difficult to think about getting through the day, much less tomorrow, or the day thereafter, or a week, month, or year from now. It feels all consuming, and excruciating.

  3. I have saved 30 years of memories such as childhood toys, artwork, ribbons, trophies,etc. in hopes to create a fun playroom for my grandchildren to come, but with a divorce after 26 years of marriage, that is all lost as my daughter thought she had to choose sides and we have been divided for 5 years now. I am losing hope. I have done all I can, but the reason I accept her treatment of me is I don’t want my unborn grandchildren to not know me. I feel hostage to her abuse for this reason. I would never accept this treatment otherwise. When can I give up hope?

    • Do not accept any disrespect from anybody especially your daughter. I’m in a similar situation with 2 of my grandsons. I will not allow the parents to use them as pawns. I am standing my ground. He, my son, is realizing this now. I hope that you can reconcile your situation with your daughter before the baby is born. Stay strong, you as a mom should be treated with respect, always. Peace be with you, always

  4. Carolyn,
    My daughter (57 years old) walked out on me 18 months ago saying “you don’t trust me”. At the time my husband (her father) of 64 years was in a memory care facility and I was living alone and he was being cared for by strangers. I was lonely and sad and I know I was not fun to be with. After several days, when she refused to respond to my phone calls, or respond to my emails, I offered to set up mediation. I wrote that I loved her and I was sorry if I hurt her, even though I didn’t know what I had done. Finally, after 6 months, she wrote a 3 page email outlining all the things she and her husband had done for me like going out to dinner and making extra food for our meals. She ended with “you are cranky, forgetful, angry and paranoid and I never want to see you again”. Three months ago my husband died and now I am an elder orphan. I have a son who lives 3000 miles away and he is not angry with me, but he can’t be there for me if at 85 years old I need help. Before my husband died I went to see him for 2 hours at dinner
    time. I got to know the other residents and caretakers and staff, so I felt like they were family.
    Now, although I have long time friends and I go out to dinner with them sometimes, that isn’t
    the same as family. All but a few of my friends have moved away to be near their children and many of them have died or moved into nursing homes. I’m too old to do much, so my life is

    • Dear Carolyn,

      I’m writing this three years after your post, having just read this article. My heart is so moved for you and I’m so sorry you have gone through this. I can relate so much to what you wrote about friends not being like family, and your concerns about not having family nearby to help you. In some cultures, this behavior wouldn’t be okay, but something is very wrong in the places in the world where people are advised so readily to “go no contact” with their parents for even basic things such as, “if the relationship isn’t serving you anymore”, whatever that selfishness means. Who abandons their mom when their father is dying? I just can’t wrap my brain around what is happening.

      I am a mom to whom it has also happened and the agony has derailed my whole life. My only child, raised by me as a single mom, I gave everything but also set boundaries and had rules and then I was thrown away. Recent studies have shown the impact of being shunned like this as well as living in isolation. The impact is very real and even causes physical pain, lighting up that part of the brain. These children have been knit in our hearts, minds, and bodies since they came into our lives and I don’t think they realize what they are doing to their parents when they break off contact like this.

      I hope you are connecting with people in your community in a way that brings the comfort you felt the dinners you mentioned. I hope you are taking good care of YOU and finding joy in things you like. As long as we are still here, we still have purpose and our lives are meaningful. I hope your son is connecting with you and I’m just sending you many good wishes.

  5. The person that wrote this does not state at sorry 20 years old how he is qualified to advise.
    Whilst Sheri McGregor is experienced very well in this area, personally as well as being a qualified counsellor.
    I know whom I trust.

  6. There are so many parents hurting and I would just say I am so sorry for your pain because I know what that feels like as I am going through the same with my 42 year old son, that has twin boys from his last marriage. I am shocked by some of the stories even though I am going through the same thing. I am confused, it makes no sense that our children could be so hateful and angry and unwilling to work through whatever they are upset about. Carolyn, I hope your life has improved, it just breaks my heart and I encourage you to seek counseling of some kind. Remember that we love you and support you and understand what you ae going through. Don’t give up, please. God Bless You and hope you find some peace.

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