Dealing with estranged family during the holidays


Does anyone here have estranged family members? If so…how do you deal with them? Especially on holidays? Some of you on here know ‘my story,’…that my sister divorced her husband…took up with a married man…he left his wife…and she has shared many details with me. I tried not to be judgemental, but suggested that since this man left his pregnant wife for her, that this might not be a situation God would want her to be in. She would always listen…and we had some great talks about it. She broke up with him 6 months ago, but now is back with him. Bottom line–I never told her how to live her life–just ‘gently rebuked’ her, as Jesus would suggest to us.

Anyways…I have sent her pics of my kids…Thanksgiving card…left her a voicemail this morning wishing her a happy thanksgiving…and she has not called me. It’s been a few months. So…I continue to pray for her, etc…but, I’m not sure what else to do. I sent her an email a few weeks ago, asking if I did something wrong? I even went so far as apologized to her if I did. Still nothing. My husband thinks my sister is just ‘a jerk.’ He said…she doesn’t care about anyone but herself, not God…not her own kids…not you…so…why so surprised?:cool: I don’t think she is a jerk, but she is trying to relive her youth, I think…I dunno.

My sister raised me…She is 13 yrs my senior…my parents passed away when I was a child, so she raised me. So, in a way–I respect and honor her as a mother figure.

So–anyways…this is the crux of the situation…do any of you have similiar situations, and if so–what do you make of it? Any advice? I pray for her, and called her today…I don’t know if there’s much more I can do. And, to be honest…I’m not sad about it…I just feel sad for her, that she is that lost, to ignore her family on the holidays. :o


I’ve not had this particular situation, but similar ones, and so have others I know. It usually boils down to not being able to control what other people do. We can’t make people behave reverently, reasonably, or even rationally. People often react this way for their own reason that you don’t know about; maybe from the fact that they know better and you remind them of that. You did the best you knew reasonably how at the time. The ball is in her court. She may reconsider her behavior after awhile.


My guess is she knows she’s doing wrong and doesn’t want to be reminded. That’s good news. It suggests there’s still a shred of conscience left. Keep her always in your prayers, because the Holy Spirit knows people’s hearts and can touch them in a way we can’t. Continue to send Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday greetings, but don’t chase her. If you continue to show good will toward her that robs her of the self-pity “my judgmental family has abandoned me” spiral that she might use as a further excuse to do wrong. She knows your position and that it comes from love of her and desire not to see her do things that endanger her soul and wreck her family even more. She may not like it now, but if she ever turns back to truth, she’ll likely come to you. And when she does, don’t say “I told you so.” Just pick her up, brush her off, tell her you’re glad she’s back, and help her get back on track. :slight_smile:


well I always hope that if they are estranged because they are toxic or threatening to me and my family, they will stay estranged until that threat no longer exists.

My family is not exactly estranged, just distant emotionally and geographically, so it is just a matter of exchanging Christmas cards (mine are determinedly religious, in direct defiance of the inclinations of some family members), the occassional e-mail, a newsletter from one sister, birth and wedding announcements etc. On the infrequent, unavoidable occassions we are together, such as funerals, I behave as if I am blissfully unaware of irregularities in their lifestyles and that of their children. They are in no doubt of my beliefs (which we once shared, long ago) so nothing is to be gained by reiterating them.


hey–since i posted this thread…i received a card today from…my sister!!!:slight_smile: I was very happy…found out that she is living with that guy (I think?) because her return address was different, and she never mentioned that she was considering moving…

But, the good news is that I heard from her…so…guess we’re not estranged anymore! God is awesome…I prayed that we would connect during the holidays. (My card was returned because I had her prior address…so, she wasn’t ignoring me lol):o

Thank you for your advice, everyone–and i think i’ll keep my opinions to myself…well, at least for the holidays.:smiley: LOL

Have a nice holiday season, everyone!


Yaaaaay!! Congratulations!!


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