Reader Question: Family Relationships, Stay or Walk Away?

Reader Question:
Since her marriage,her husband’s parents have basically disowned their son and have little or nothing to do with him or his children. Though her husband has come to terms with how the relationship is, she is struggling to accept it. She has made several tries to mend fences and all attempts have been rejected. She wants to know if she should let it go or continue to try to fix this broken
relationship. ~Female reader in NJ
My Thoughts…
This is a great question and one I’ve been asked a lot over the past year in various ways, but in-laws or family seem to be a common source of pain and turmoil in many people’s lives.
I’m in a similar situation with my own family. They don’t understand the changes I’ve made in my life the past few years, and don’t understand who I’ve become or have any interest in getting to know who I am now. They have chosen to slowly drift out of mine and the kids’ life, to the point where they are no longer present.
It’s hurtful and so hard to deal with at times because we want our families to love and accept us unconditionally for who we are and to be there for us when we need them. But sadly that’s not always how it works.
I’ve finally come to the realization that we CAN choose our family.
I looked around my life and realized that my close girlfriends were already “aunts” to my kids, even if my sister has chosen to not be active in their lives. So my kids do have aunties. That my nanny is not just that but she’s like a back-up parent/sister/and aunt all rolled into one. That all the athletes I’ve met and
become close friends with over the past few years have stepped-up for my son at every opportunity to be a role model and friend to him the way I wish my brother would. That I have many mentors who are older than me, who I look up to and learn from and who’ve stepped into a maternal role, something my mother isn’t really capable of.
…So though it’s hard to let go of the dream of everyone getting a long, and one big happy family, I found that for me at least, it made the most sense. It allowed me to stop stressing and worrying about it, and to be happy and content in my life the way it is. I feel like my heart will always be open to them should they decide to come back into our lives and love us for who we are. My love for them is constant, and the whole in my heart from missing their presence in my life is as well, but I am going on with my life. I have to. For my own peace and sanity it’s a better option for me to not allow that negativity into my life.
So maybe that’s all we can do. Reach out, and if it’s rejected repeatedly then maybe it is time to just move on and make more room in our lives for the people who love us. After all, what good are people in our
lives if they don’t truly love and appreciate us for who we are? They might be physically there but not in spirit and when you think about it, wouldn’t you rather be with people who are actually there with and for you because they want to be, and not because they have to be?  And though the most hurtful part is them not being there for your children I believe it’s more harmful for them if they watch you make attempts that keep being rejected.
Maybe sometimes it is the right decision, at least for now to let everyone move forward in their separate lives.

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

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  • December 29, 2011 - 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps this may help:
    We want you to enjoy the contrasting experience, just like you enjoy the contrasting buffet. And we want you to reach the place (and practicing Virtual Reality will help you to gain this confidence) that whenever you’re in front of a buffet that has so much that you do like to eat, as well as some that you don’t like to eat, you don’t feel frustrated that there are things there you don’t want to eat. You don’t feel compelled to put them on your plate and eat them; you just pick the things that you like. And the Universe of thought is the same way. You can choose from it the things that you like.

    — Abraham
    Life will always have contrast. It is what your spirit agreed to when it became part of your physical being. Learn from it and know it’s part of the journey.

  • Anonymous
    December 29, 2011 - 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Sarah, what a good post. You’ve managed to take a very sensitive question and explain it with softness and compassion – while emphasizing that we are all responsible for our attitudes and drawing healthy boundaries. Few people have said it so succinctly and with such emphasis on gratitude for what we do have in our lives that “works”. All I can say is “wow!”.

  • July 10, 2012 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    Great post, I was almost crying! I’m not getting well with my folks and it upsets me sometimes because we are supposed to be the colsest people to each other but we’re not.As sad as it may sound, relatives are not always good people or close friends. As simple as that.

    • July 11, 2012 - 3:21 am | Permalink

      it’s so true… sometimes we need to let them go, if all they bring is pain and negativity to our lives… but it always hurts. And the pain never goes away…

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