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Is there ever a time that you should cut a family member out of your life?

This question is sparked by another one that was asked yesterday about relationship issue with a CM's mother.

At what level of toxicity or abuse would you cut a family member out of your life? What would be the conditions in which you would let them back in your life?

I've seen some responses of cut her out until she gets her act together and some of it's your mother, you HAVE to try to work things out.

I'm on the fence about letting my mother back into my life ( for more info on my back story, my Journal post "Emotional Nesting" describes it all).

The issues I have stem from childhood, but I have had very sporadic
contact with her as an adult. And when I have had contact and pursued having a relationship and working things out, I've always gotten the response of "this is your problem and your issues, I'm not sorry for what I did, you need to get over it".

What's your advice?


Asked by nwdeserangel at 11:41 AM on Jun. 1, 2009 in Relationships

Level 6 (111 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • To the others that answered, is there any conditions in which you would allow the person that you've cut out of your life, back in? Or, because of their level of toxicity or lack of remorse, unwillingness to change, are they out, forever?
    At what level do you cut someone out forever?

    My mother had been out of my life for two or three years about 12 years ago when I gave her another chance, and honestly I really wish I hadn't.  We rode the crazy coaster for almost 9 years before I cut her out, this time for good.  It hit me that this wasn't someone I could ever have a healthy relationship with, and that I didn't want my children to EVER think that a mother could act that way to her children.  There is no way I would let her back in our lives, under any conditions or circumstances.  We're done.


    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 11:44 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • it does not matter who the family member is, if they are toxic to you then they dont need to be in your life.
    i have cut out almost one entire side of my family, and i will NEVER let them back into my life

    Answer by 2barnettkids at 11:51 AM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • I had to release my father from my life 8 years ago. I just couldn't deal with his behavior anymore, and realized one day that I don't have to take it. Just because they are your parents does not make them perfect. At the same time, it also doesn't mean that you have to put up with their issues. I am not bitter or holding a grudge. When he is ready to make amends, he knows where I am. Until then, life goes on and I just don't dwell upon it. If that day never comes, then I will be ok with that too. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses so that you can move on in life. The only thing you HAVE to do is look after yourself and your kids (if you have them).

    Answer by dawpea at 12:01 PM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • Biology and genetics does not obligate you to tolerate abuse from anyone! My very best, closest friend of 20yrs comes from a toxic family. I mean, the whole group is whacked. It was hard for her to do but she basically removed herself from her entire family and 'adopted' mine...LOL! She said that she just feels like she was put in the wrong place and since her family was defective she felt it was necessary to get herself one that wasn't. I mean, if your family was a car that left you stranded on the side of the road everyday, you would get rid of it and get a better one, right?

    Answer by mizkaye at 12:12 PM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • Oh, I think you are talking about my question. I don't know how those people expect me to respect some one that tries to emotionally hurt me on purpose and was disrespectful towards me my whole life, just because she gave birth to me. Since I have researched the grandparents rights laws, I have decided to cut ties with her, since I have more than enough evidence to protect myself and family if she ever came after me for visitations. As unlikely as it seems, she wouldn't be above trying something like that to try and hurt me more.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:27 PM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • And Good luck on your journey of trying to break the cycle!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:28 PM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • I have a sister who, if she were ever honest with herself and her therapists/social workers, would easily be diagnosed with some type of sociopath behavior, or whatever they are calling it now anti social personality disorder. She is evil, manipulative, dishonest, etc. She is an emotional vampire. While my mom will never give up on her, and my father will always love her I had to decide to let it go two years ago. It hasn't been easy because she tries to act like she has never done anything wrong and she will try to talk to me and try to interact with my daughter. I am basically only civil to her if I have to be because we get stuck in the same room together. I have even accepted that I have to give up on a relationship with her youngest with whom I was close to at some point because she uses her daughter to get sympathy and manipulate the family. She sucks and once my parents pass she will have no one to help her in our famil

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:56 PM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • I went back and forth with my own mother for years, trying to have some sort of relationship with her. It just wasn't worth it. I cut her out of my life about three years ago and it was like a weight had lifted off of me, not having to deal with her insanity anymore.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 1:43 PM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • I don't think disowning a family member is something to do. Distancing, yes, but disowning no. For whatever a reason a family member chooses to hurt you and not take responsibility for it that is, in my opinion, a problem that they have, and they don't see it. For whatever reason, maybe the way they were raised or taught to respond to things(i.e. lack of emotion or controlling nature) made them the way they are. As we are all individuals we can change behaviors if they are things we don't like about ourselves that reflect our upbringing. You dont have to love them just because they are related, you can love a friend more than a family member, but to disown them is doing a major act that can lead to possible guilt or mixed feelings if something(death, illness) should ever happen to that person you chose to disown, unless you are just as cold as they are and don't care.


    Answer by CinderAmethyst at 1:58 PM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • Cinder, do you believe that disowning and cutting someone out is cold-hearted and uncaring in instances like extreme abuse ( both physical and emotional), molestation, neglect and endangering you and/or your children? Or is that reserved for annoying and controlling behavior or not being a nurturing parent?

    Would you apply it to someone that refuses to uphold boundaries you've set for yourself and your family ( family being your DH and children)?

    I guess I'm kind of wondering what your personal experiences are and what has brought you to the conclusion you have made.


    Answer by nwdeserangel at 4:15 PM on Jun. 1, 2009