Why Some Moms Cut Ties With Their Kids

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
Relationships between mothers and their children are expected to be lifelong: an everlasting bond that isn’t without snags, but nevertheless endures.

Yet sometimes, these relationships end. It could happen abruptly, or it could happen gradually, with contact ebbing – until there’s little or none at all.

It’s an aspect of intergenerational relationships that is often ignored: intergenerational estrangement, a phenomenon that’s actually quite common, but poorly understood.

You might assume that a mom would sever ties with her child because he or she started committing crimes or became addicted to drugs.

But two colleagues, Jill Suitor and Karl Pillemer, and I decided to identify the specific conditions in which a mother would become estranged from her offspring. And after interviewing more than 550 mothers over the age of 65, what we discovered might come as a surprise.

Before interpreting the data, we needed to come up with a definition for what constituted “estrangement.” We decided that children would be considered estranged if they hadn’t had contact with their mother in the past year. If they had very little contact, we also considered this estrangement if the mother also reported that they didn’t have a close relationship.

We began by examining how common estrangement was among these families, and found that approximately one in 10 of the mothers in our study reported that they were estranged from at least one of their adult children.

This finding suggests that intergenerational estrangement is a more common phenomenon than most people might realize.

You also might think that mothers who were estranged from one child would be very likely to be estranged from several – perhaps all – of their children. But this wasn’t the case. In fact, less than 2% of the mothers were estranged from more than one of their kids.

Because we found that it was rather uncommon to have multiple estranged children within the same family, we were able to take a look at each family and investigate why some adult children become estranged from their mothers, while their siblings don’t.

One important finding was that the mother’s age, religion, race and family size played almost no role in which mothers had estranged children.

However, mothers who were married – compared to divorced and widowed mothers – were less likely to become estranged from adult children. We theorized that married mothers were less likely to become estranged because the father might encourage the continuation of a relationship between the mother and the child.

More often than not, though, it was the behavior of the adult children that was the strongest predictor of which relationships ended up fizzling out.

It seems that if an adult child breached broader societal norms, it wasn’t any more likely to harm the relationship. So contrary to what we expected, engaging in deviant behaviors, such as substance abuse or crime, was substantially less likely to lead to estrangement.

However, if the child, through his or her behaviors, violated the mother’s own deeply held values and beliefs, estrangement was far more likely to take place.

According to the mothers we interviewed, a disconnect in values – from partner choices to religion – created some very real tension between them and their adult children. When this tension became unbearable, mothers and adult children gradually withdrew from one another.

For example, one mother, a devout Catholic, became estranged from her son because she was upset that he got divorced and remarried. Another mother expressed disappointment because her daughter didn’t share her work ethic. And one mother was simply upset by her son’s patterns of dishonesty.

Whereas previous research on this topic has focused on the relationships between fathers and children following divorce, the findings from this study shed new light on the patterns and predictors of estrangement between mothers and their adult children.

It’s important to note that this research is from the perspective of the mothers; future research should certainly take into consideration the experience of estrangement from the perspectives of the adult children. (After all, there’s often two sides to every story.)

Future work should also consider how this phenomenon affects other family dynamics: how the mother relates to her other children, how the estranged child gets along with his or her siblings and the quality of the parents' marriage, if it’s still intact.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting that breaking the law doesn’t seem to have any effect. It’s only when a child violates some core aspect of the mother’s identity – her sense of self, and how she views the world – that things can fall apart.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-some-moms-cut-ties-with-their-kids_56216032e4b0bce34700b9b5?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
 

caz

Active Member
Interesting not sure understand it but as someone who been estranged from mother big family problems none the less bit helpful
 

caz

Active Member
you either get on with them or don't spending time anaslying it is wast of time
 

Bugsmama

New Member
I found this article to be very informative, and we'll written. As someone who was estranged from her mother for the last 5 years, until my mother passed away in January. I agree that there are two sides. The factor in my estrangement between my mother and I was her mental health problems caused by her cancer. She became extraordinarily violent, which caused her to lose contact with a lot of friends and family. I felt so bad because I had endured everything I could. I even moved halfway across the country from Arkansas to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to help her as much as I could. But every child had a limit as to how much they are able to help a parent that refuses to help themselves also.
But I will say this I will always regret that the estrangement between us happened. She did not know she had a granddaughter, because I could not trust if she would try and hurt my daughter. There had been so much left unsaid on my end, but then again it is so hard to tell someone who is paranoid and wants to play the martyr. If I even wished her Happy Mother's Day I would get how all I did was ruin her life since the day I was born. But none of what she said kept me from loving my mother. It just showed me how much she regretted having a child at 21 when she felt she wasn't done living her life yet. I can understand why she would feel that way, although when my daughter was born she was a blessing for myself and my fiance I had her when I was 24.
 

caz

Active Member
It sad it do happen.i just don't like my mother as a person and I like hoichi life short not going to analys it. As far I concerned I have moral high ground.She took my childhood away from me.whats happened has happened bitch then and bitch now..She will be leaving my sister a millionaire with 2 homes.and me nothing She treated my daughter as less than human and hoped she would die little baby Down's .When time comes and her funeral I will not be going.She got photos of all sister children but refuses have my daughter photo bc Down's..my sister and her have tax fiddle going on something tells me taxman is going find out once she gone I don't know see how I feel..husband says stop thinking about it and he right she not worth it.Time short what's the point try enjoy life instead
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
It sad it do happen.i just don't like my mother as a person and I like hoichi life short not going to analys it. As far I concerned I have moral high ground.She took my childhood away from me.whats happened has happened bitch then and bitch now..She will be leaving my sister a millionaire with 2 homes.and me nothing She treated my daughter as less than human and hoped she would die little baby Down's .When time comes and her funeral I will not be going.She got photos of all sister children but refuses have my daughter photo bc Down's..my sister and her have tax fiddle going on something tells me taxman is going find out once she gone I don't know see how I feel..husband says stop thinking about it and he right she not worth it.Time short what's the point try enjoy life instead
I would try to contest the will if this was me.
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
I also dwelled on what did I do wrong...and if I had not of done that...or if I had done that....over and over....years of torture mentally.

Got to the point of believing that not everyone is "fixable"....Life is too short to dwell on the negatives...so I Let Go!

And glad I did...distanced myself from it all and am much better for it. No contact, no phone calls...nothing at all!...However. thoughts and depression does take ahold at times....but knowing and believing I did the best I could...keeps me going.
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
Hh I don't know if it was estrangement between my daughter and I for the 5 years she was living in AZ after my ex hubby took her at 13 years old to move to AZ. She just recently moved back to MD after graduating from high school in July and now our relationship is now back to the strong bond we had before the whole ugly mess happened with the custody fight. For 5 years, our relationship was very strained and we couldn't connect at all. Now, we can tease each other and she is starting to come up to me to vent and stuff. I thought I really had lost the bond with her. It sucked big time.
 
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