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RoseRed135

Does the pain ever stop?

6 posts in this topic

If you've ever have been CO (cut off) by an AC (adult child) or other loved one, no doubt it hurts. But does it ever get easier to take? Does anything totally fill the void? Does the pain ever end or decrease? Or if you're estranged now, do you think anything ever will? I realize it may hurt just to talk about it but it may also help someone else.

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Background -  I am the DIL, my DH decided to cut all ties with MIL. 

I don't think anything goes away, almost every Holiday I really do wish things were different and our situation was not so permanent - and wish that at least DH might have a nice holiday dinner with MIL.  Unfortunately that will never happen.  I can say the situational anger goes away quickly, and the pain fades.  DH and I, are not mad at MIL, and we don't feel the pain nor guilt that we once did. I have even let it go, as I tended to blame myself whether it was my fault or not, and the stories on this forum helped alot with that healing - just knowing I was not alone.

I would call the state we are in now as "comfortably numb"... we have realized that MIL will never accept our boundaries, nor will she ever change..  and we totally accept that about her, it is who she is... At the same time it is our perogative to chose who we do and do not associate with, and what is healthy for our family... So, now, we are in a state of quiet acceptance and we are pretty indifferent when thinking of MIL... there is no longer a need to justify or explain ourselves, or constantly explain our reasoning and that has brought some peace. 

Being on the flip side, a few years after we quit associating with MIL... I can tell you it was the right move for us, that despite the pain - Our family, is happier, healthier, and much less on edge now that she is no longer in the picture, all the drama, the guilt tripping, the manipulation, ended with the relationship.  My story is by no means a justification or example, there are many times I watch holiday movies with the Big Thanksgiving Dinner tables, loaded with family, right down to the cousins that I wish it were my story too - I just am very Thankful that what happened did not break me, or my Marriage, as this was almost the case... so close that I prefer to forget that time altogether.. 

 

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Conversations that take place in other places on the interweb seem to indicate that a complete and total cutoff behaves kind of like arthritis when bad weather is on the way- You get on with your life but have days, like when it rains, that you're reminded- They also drink more across the pond .. take more vacations, go shopping, get out and be social and don't sit around and be sad about it- Maybe in the US people are "trained" to think it's unthinkable to enjoy your (general) life without kids in it?

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I think estrangement is a loss, and grief goes with loss. It can wax and wane, even when *you're* the person that made the decision. If nothing else, grieving what isn't, wasn't, and never will be is a very real thing.

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For me, estrangement offered some relief from a very stressful relationship.  Everything calmed down once I walked away, however I agree with Impishmom that the grieving what isn't, wasn't and will never be is a real thing and for me has probably been the hardest part.  It's letting go of all the expectations and good times you thought you would have only for reality to set in.  That disappointment has lessened over the years and although things are better it will never be what I hoped for.  Every now and again that still stings but much less than earlier on, I think in some ways I learn't acceptance over time.  I can only imagine that the more important the relationship the more intense the grieving.

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For me the longer the CO has gone on (about 10 years now), the clearer the dysfunction became and I breathe a sigh of relief that I no longer interact with these people at all.  I don't even think about it unless I see a thread like this and I don't have those twinges of nostalgia that I had at the very beginning.  I have taken on the philosophy to live in the moment and be present in the moment.

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