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Title: Family Ties – When to Let Go Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. E-mail: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright: © 2004 by Margaret Paul URL: http://www.innerbonding.com Word Count: 702 Category: Relationships
Family Ties – When to Let Go By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
Ruth consulted with me because she was confused about what to do regarding her mother, her brother, and her son.
From time Ruth was born, she never felt like she belonged in her family. Her mother ignored Ruth, obviously preferring her brother, and consistently allowed her brother to beat Ruth up. Ruth had some connection with her father, but he was a weak man and never stood up for her or protected her.
Ruth was a loving child and tried in any way she could to please her mother and brother, to no avail. She could never understand why her family didn’t like her.
As an adult, she married an emotionally unavailable man, a man very much like her mother. As with her mother and brother, she tried in many ways to get his love and never succeeded. Her son, Dylan, was eight years old when they divorced.
Dylan always seemed to prefer his father, and finally went to live with his father when he was sixteen. Once again, Ruth was completely in dark regarding why her son didn’t like her. She had been such a devoted mother, so why was he rejecting her?
Ruth finally married again, this time to a loving man, and had another child. Her current family was totally different from her previous family and from her family of origin. However, she still hoped to have a relationship with her mother. She would send her mother birthday and Christmas cards, but rarely heard from her. The final blow that sent her to seek my help came when she found out that her son had gotten married without telling her, and that her brother had moved her mother into a nursing home and sold everything without telling her.