Sometimes you have to let them go. You can't change someone no matter how hard you try. At the end of the day know that you tried and you are not the one to blame. Don't let their issues become your issues. You need to set boundaries. No matter how painful it is you need to let them go. For your own sanity, mental health, and for future generations to come. You must stop the cycle! Keep going forward and leave that negativity behind you. No need to be sucked in with all the hate that they carry around and project onto you. Even though they may turn it around and try to make you feel like you did something wrong and they play the victim card, let it go. You are good enough and continue to move forward by surrounding yourself with people who lift you up and not let you down or put you down. Cutting ties is an act of self care. Loving someone doesn’t always mean having a relationship with them, just like forgiveness doesn’t always mean reconciliation. Healing comes with accepting that there are relationships that are so toxic you need to let them go.
I want to deeply thank Sharon Martin original published author of the article written below. Thank you Sharon for writing this and I pray it helps others as it truly has touched me. I needed to hear your words of encouragement, reassurance, and clarity. This is definitely a must share and had to share it with this loving community here on Presented Love. I know many others struggle with these same issues all over the world so thank you for sharing.
All Credits to the inspiring author Sharon Martin:
Its never easy to cut someone out of your life. And when it comes to family, its especially hard to accept that a family member is creating so much stress, anxiety, and pain that you can't continue to have a relationship with them.
This post is for all of you who are struggling to decide whether to continue a relationship with a difficult or toxic family member. You're repeatedly hurt by this person, have tried tirelessly to repair the relationship, feel frustrated that nothing seems to change (at least for very long), you don't want to give up, but you don't know how to move forward in a way that respects and nurtures yourself.
When is it appropriate to cut ties with a family member?This is a tough question and I don't have a one-size-fits-all answer. Consider the list of toxic behaviors below and how often you experience these issues with the family member in question.Toxic people disrupt your life and other relationships with behaviors such as these:
Invalidating or ignoring your feelings
Undermining your relationship with your spouse, kids, or other relatives
Creating drama or crises
Passive-aggressive behavior (such as the silent treatment, deliberate procrastination, or criticism disguised as a compliment)
Gaslighting (a powerful form of manipulation that makes you doubt your perception of what's going on)
Refusing to compromise
Yelling, cursing, or calling you names
Belittling your values, beliefs, choices
Gossiping or speaking ill of you behind your back
Making unreasonable demands
Expecting you to help them, but they aren't available to help you
Threatening suicide or self-harm in order to get their way
Ruining holidays and special occasions
Playing the victim
Not taking responsibility for their own behavior
Refusing to apologize and if they do, its shallow, coerced, or fake
Lacking genuine concern or interest in you and your life
Volatile or unpredictable moods and behaviors
Creating so much stress, anxiety, and pain that your health, ability to work, or general wellbeing are negatively impacted
Interacting with them makes you feel worse
They are always right (and you are always wrong)
People can change, but toxic people rarely do. They lack self-awareness and don't take responsibility for their actions. And since they don't see how their behavior hurts you, they refuse to change. Instead, they blame you and expect you to cater to their demands.
5 Reasons we struggle to cut ties with a toxic family memberI think we can all agree that no one deserves to be abused. So, why do we give our family members a free pass? Why do we think we should tolerate such hurtful behavior from them?
We don't see their behavior as abusive. Certainly, we know its painful, but we minimize it and make excuses. We hesitate to call it emotional abuse even though it clearly meets the criteria.
Guilt. Family relationships are full of expectations were supposed to take care of our aging parents, get along with our siblings, spend the holidays together, respect our elders, keep the peace, sacrifice ourselves to make others happy, and so forth. So, if you break from any of these expectations (cutting off contact with your family being the biggest wrongdoing in their book), you're likely to feel guilty or like you're doing something wrong. Its essential that you realize that these expectations only make sense if you have a healthy family. They're unfair, unrealistic, and harmful if you have toxic family members. It is not wrong, mean, or selfish to protect your wellbeing and sometimes the only way to do this is by distancing yourself from toxic people.
Family loyalty. You were probably primed to feel guilty by being taught that family loyalty is a virtue that you should be unequivocally committed to your family no matter what. Healthy closeness includes mutual respect and care; it respects individuality and your right to think and feel differently than your family. But loyalty is often used to try to control family members who are exerting their independence and speaking out against abuse.
Fear. Its understandable that fear keeps many of us in dysfunctional relationships. Ending a relationship is a big change and no one knows exactly how it will play out. Its always easier to keep doing what you've always done, even if its not good for you. But that doesn't mean you cant overcome your fears and solve any challenges that crop up. Give yourself time, compassion, and build a support system
Love. Perhaps the biggest obstacle of all is that you genuinely love your family, despite all the pain and problems they've caused. Perhaps you want to help or take care of them or perhaps you shared good times and happy memories in the past. But, as we all know, love isn't enough to make a relationship work whether its a romantic relationship, friendship or parent-child relationship. Cutting ties may feel unloving to your family, but it doesn't mean you have stopped loving them. Sometimes we love people, but cant have a relationship with them.
Deciding to cut tiesIt sucks to have to choose between yourself and your family members. It really does. But this is the reality. Remaining in a relationship with a toxic person is potentially harmful to your emotional and physical health and relationships (and may negatively affect your spouse and children, too).The bottom line is that for many people, the only way to heal is to remove yourself from the abusive relationship. How can you heal if you continue to be abused?
Tips for cutting ties with a toxic family member
Acknowledge that its abusive. You need to stop minimizing and denying the harm that your family member has caused.
Give up the fantasy that they will change.
Grieve the loss of having the kind of relationship you wanted with this person. Grieve the loss of having the parent/sibling/grandparent that you needed and deserved.
Get support from a therapist, support group or 12-step group, or friend whos experienced similar issues with their family. (Unfortunately, many friends mean well, but don't get it and inadvertently add to our shame and guilt with judgmental comments or unrealistic expectations.)
If you're not ready to cut tiesIts okay to not be ready. You shouldn't be pressured into making a decision. Most people who cut ties, do so as the last resort. They come to this decision gradually over years of fits and starts. They cut off ties and then reconnect. They set boundaries and make themselves less available. Things calm down and they feel better, only to have problems escalate again. This is common!
There is no right way to deal with a toxic family member. Only you can decide how much contact is right for you. And you will know if and when you need to walk away in order to save yourself. Just know that its okay to end a toxic relationship even with a family member.