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Exploring the Possibilities of Reconciliation After Estrangement

By Marie Morin February 18, 2024 Family

Estrangement within families is a deeply painful and complex phenomenon, often leaving both parties grappling with feelings of hurt, confusion, and loss. For those who find themselves estranged from loved ones, the question of whether reconciliation is possible looms large. Is estrangement a permanent state, or can it be resolved? In this blog post, we delve into this question, drawing insights from research and exploring the possibilities for healing and reconciliation.

Understanding the Dynamics of Estrangement

Before delving into whether estrangement can end, it’s essential to understand the dynamics at play. Estrangement can arise from a myriad of reasons, including unresolved conflicts, misunderstandings, differing values or lifestyles, and emotional trauma. Each family’s situation is unique, and the reasons behind estrangement are profoundly personal and multifaceted.

Exploring the Potential for Reconciliation

While estrangement can feel like an insurmountable barrier, research suggests that reconciliation is often possible. However, the journey towards healing and reconciliation is only sometimes straightforward and may require time, effort, and a willingness to address underlying issues.

Factors That Influence Resolution

Several factors can influence the likelihood of estrangement being resolved. Effective communication, empathy, and a commitment to understanding each other’s perspectives are essential for reconciliation. Additionally, acknowledging past mistakes, taking responsibility for one’s actions, and offering genuine apologies can pave the way for healing.

The worst of estrangement is abuse and its damaging long-term effects. For those who endured abusive and toxic behaviors at the hands of a family member, the decision to cut off is one of self-preservation. In such cases, where abuse remains, it is not advisable to attempt reentering a harmful relationship.

The Role of Boundaries and Self-Care

In some cases, estrangement may be necessary for an individual’s well-being, serving as a form of self-preservation. Establishing healthy boundaries and prioritizing self-care are crucial aspects of navigating estrangement, whether reconciliation is on the horizon.

Seeking Support

For those navigating estrangement, seeking support from friends, family members, or mental health professionals can be invaluable. Support groups and therapy provide a safe space to process emotions, gain insights, and explore options for moving forward.

Conclusion: Hope for Healing

While estrangement can feel overwhelming and painful, it’s essential to remember that there is hope for healing and reconciliation. Families can work towards resolving conflicts and rebuilding fractured relationships by fostering open communication, empathy, and understanding. While reconciliation may not be possible in every case, the journey toward healing is deeply personal, and every step taken toward understanding and empathy brings us closer to resolution.

In conclusion, while whether estrangement ever ends may not have a definitive answer, the possibilities for healing and reconciliation are vast. By approaching estrangement with compassion, openness, and a willingness to listen, families can navigate the complexities of estrangement and find paths toward resolution.

Are you experiencing Estrangement? Download my FREE eBook on the topic, Feeling Heartbroken and Alone?


Let’s Have a Conversation:

What are your thoughts on the length of estrangement? What steps have you taken to improve your well-being or prepare for a possible relationship repair?

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This article was quite timely. I’m currently estranged from a very good friend. I have apologized for my part in what lead to the estrangement and have made multiple efforts in an attempt towards reconciliation. What’s difficult now is deciding how to proceed when the other person doesn’t acknowledge their part in the estrangement and likely won’t. I’m now to the point to no longer reaching out to the friend and waiting to see what happens; not sure it’s the best path to take?


My ES (estranged son) cut me out of his life, over three years’ ago – without any explanation. No doubt, he has his reasons for removing himself from my life – but I have absolutely NO clue why it happened. So, I highly doubt that he is grappling with hurt, confusion, or loss. — It was a cold act of betrayal.


Being estranged from my mother, I can see her saying the same “No clue what I did!” I’ve told her many many many times how she was hurting me, but one has to be able to admit wrong to see. If you can’t see ANYTHING AT ALL, then there’s a problem. He needs to protect himself. If you have a shred of love for him, let him find some healing.

Cindy McLamb

Reconciliation really needs to be taken seriously when a child is involved. I feel vindictiveness is used in my situation. Who is the one who pays the bigger price- the one child in the middle. It doesn’t stop what others pretend to want to stop. It just creates more. Especially when their has always been a strong bond between me(grandmother) and 13 yr old granddaughter.


Hi Cindy, I hear you; it is so sad that children are in the middle of family conflicts and rifts. Thank you for writing.


Thank you for including this time a paragraph that if the relationship is abusive or dangerous, it is not wise to seek reconciliation and be set up for the next danger.


Hi Susan:
Yes, it is essential to have this paragraph in every article.
Thank you for writing.


Ditto – that is so vital for those of us who were emotionally and/or physically abused – as well as financial abuse. I wish I’d read that paragraph 5 decades ago…. Too late now to fix what was taken from me.


How can you reconcile with a family member whos spouse estranged him ftom his siblings, his mother and hurt our Dad
She put lies into his head and cut him off from his family members. obviously, he had to allow it to stay with her.
he won’t go against her and she’s always been nasty. Once she snagged him in marriage her children my nieces were not allowed to even come to my kids birthday parties. They didn’t want to exchange gifts at Christmas the only holiday they came was Christmas and then they didn’t want to do that anymore either.
my mother wanted to go to an assisted living and me and my other brother were the only ones that cared for her. She needed doctors appointments, shopping done etc. etc. the brother estranged never asked once can I help can I do anything even on her deathbed, he said nothing to us after not seeing us for 10 years. I don’t believe it can be reconciled as long as she is in the picture, it’s frightening to know how an individual can manipulate , calculate and control a family member. regardless of what may happen in my husbands family I would never request him not to see them or keep him from them. It’s difficult the whole thing.


Hello Mary, thank you for writing and sharing. This must have been hard on you and your family. There is a lot to unravel here.

What I have learned through my research regarding successful reconcilers was their ability to bury the hatchet. There is a lot to being able to reconcile. This book link for Fault Lines by Dr. Pillemer can be helpful.
Both parties need to desire reconciliation and not expect the other to accept their version of why they became estranged. 

Warm regards,



I call that spouse (my estranged brother has one) “the gatekeeper”. No hope in my case, we’re all old now. Hope she goes away so you have some hope.

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The Author

Marie Morin is a therapist and wellness coach at Morin Holistic Therapy. She helps women develop a daily self-care routine, so they overcome perfectionism and limiting beliefs and be their most confident selves. Marie is a grateful blogger and YouTuber. Find out more at and contact her at

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