How to Make Up with an Estranged Family Member
From marriage dilemmas to family issues, Caroline's got the answers!Photo by Michael T. Greco
Caroline Manzo puts the real in The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and her fans relate to the reality star's no-nonsense attitude, focus on family and, above all, abundant common sense. In this column, Caroline helps solve your most pressing dilemmas.
The Dilemma: How do you deal with having a family member who no longer will speak to you? Or, conversely, someone who wronged you in the past to the point where you no longer want to have a relationship with them? How can you navigate an estrangement to make things less awkward for other family members, and moving forward, is there a way to rebuild the relationship?
Caroline's Ruling: There's an old saying: You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family. Ain't that the truth! A family is a group of people bound by blood, but sometimes that just isn't enough. I hear it all the time from friends and I've felt this way myself at times: I love him/her to death but I just don't like them.
Sound familiar? Family feuds are horrible, they're toxic and they affect every single member of the family, from the oldest to the youngest. So how do you navigate your way around these feelings? Keep in mind that the issues you're having with this person are your issues and no one else's. In other words, don't spread the infection. It's safe to say that there will ultimately be a line drawn, where family members will begin to take sides. That's unfair to everyone—no one deserves this, and doing so will only make the disconnect wider and uglier.
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