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Advice: Confronting A Rift With An Adult Child

Love, Family

Don't just hope things will get better. Do something to repair the damage today.

Dear Dr. Romance,

I read your newsletter How To Heal A Rift With An Adult Child with joy because of how you simplify things for us. I already tried by email, but the conflict got more complicated.

I received two emails; the second one had a picture with the message, "See what you are missing?" This did hurt me; it was out of context, so I downloaded a picture with several children, and wrote "one of these is your brother." Correspondence stopped for ever. Parents keep hoping things will improve one fine day, but I am not so young any longer, and when I'm on my death bed, I will not be in the mood to talk and explain. I even made arrangements for no funeral; I donated my dead body. This way life will carry on as normal. Unknown and not known after death do come. Shedding tears after is too late, we could have enjoyed a few phone calls together; that is all I expected.

Dear Reader,

Perhaps I misunderstood, but the correspondence doesn't sound very loving by either you or your grown child. Your child may not have intended to hurt you, but to ask why you weren't around. Certainly, a hurt and angry response was not a good move on your part. Why don't you try again, with an apology? Say you must have been mistaken, and ask if you can you try again. It would be a shame if you didn't repair things with your children. You can't just hope things will improve some day; you have to work to improve them. This means you need to be the forgiving and understanding one. I do hope you'll try again. I hope you'll read The Nail In The Fence. It can help you understand how to make a better effort. It Ends With You: Grow Up And Out of Dysfunction will help you understand why families don't always know how to love and how to fix it.

For low-cost counseling, find me at

This article was originally published at Dr. Romance Blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.


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