Estrangement is a complex and emotional experience that usually involves a person who was close to us becoming distant, physically or emotionally, or sometimes, both. “Estrangement refers to a situation in which family members or close individuals, who were previously connected, have become emotionally and often physically distant from each other. It involves a deliberate and usually prolonged distancing or separation that goes beyond the typical ups and downs of relationships. Estrangement can occur between parents and children, siblings, extended family members, close friends and former partners,” wrote Therapist Lucille Shackleton.
Lucille further added, ” Estrangement can be a complex and emotional experience for those involved. It often involves a mix of emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, confusion, and sometimes relief. Some individuals may choose to initiate estrangement as a form of self-preservation, while others might find themselves on the receiving end of someone else’s decision to create distance.”
Here are a few reasons why estrangement happens:
Conflicts and disagreements: Ongoing conflicts which are not resolved in time can lead to people leaving our lives.
Miscommunication: When a certain thing is miscommunicated or misinterpreted, it can create a lot of chaos in the relationship.
Betrayal: When we end up doing something that makes the other person feel betrayed ot let down, it can lead to estrangement.
Family dynamics: the dynamics that run in the family can often lead to estrangements between the family members.
Unresolved resentment: When resentments or past traumas are not resolved in time, it can become a problem in the relationship.
Here are a few ways that can help when estrangement happens:
Range of emotions: Instead of hiding from the emotions that we may feel due to the estrangement, we should allow ourselves to feel each of the emotions and become aware of them.
Reach out to dear ones: From friends, family or partner, we should reach out and seek help.
Respect the space: No matter who initiated the estrangement, we should be able to respect the decision and focus on our own wellbeing.
Give yourself time: Let time take over and heal the wounds. We should not rush through the healing process.