As people grow older, it dawns on them that some of the reasons they drifted from family weren’t worth it. Whether it was for unchecked animosity, sibling rivalry, disagreements in beliefs, or fights over family estates, they are all issues that can be resolved with deliberate efforts from the parties involved. The first step toward resolving the dispute will be to identify the issue and its root cause. Then, allow yourself to be open to unconventional solutions.
For example, if the dispute in your family was due to financial problems, you can look for other ways to obtain funds, such as through reverse mortgages. With a reverse mortgage calculator, you can determine how much money you can access based on your home’s equity. It is also important to note here that it is not mandatory to maintain a relationship with a family member simply because they are family. This is especially so in cases where the family member is abusive and has no consideration of changing their ways. However, the relationship can be fixed if you judge that your family member is a good person, and it was merely a disagreement you both had.
In other instances, time could have healed the wounds from the estrangement, and you are willing to genuinely forgive the family member for the wrong they did. Good memories of the times spent together can help strengthen your decision to reach out or accept a chance at reconciliation. Here are a few ways to avert and reconnect broken family bonds.
1. Reach Out with Love
If you have decided to reach out to an estranged family member, you must do so with love. It must be genuine and non-judgmental. You could consider writing a heartfelt letter instead of emailing or texting them. A letter may be more effective in communicating your honest efforts at trying to rebuild the broken ties, especially because people can appreciate the time you committed to putting down your feelings on paper. Furthermore, it takes away the pressure of an urgent response that is common with texting or emailing. So, your family member can have enough time to think through your request and adequately plan their response.
2. Be Reasonable and Open Minded
When trying to reconnect with a family member, you should never make assumptions about how the meeting will go. It is best to be open-minded and apply reason. There is a limit to the things that you can control. So, be ready to accept those beyond your control. When you do this, you increase your chances of getting a better understanding of your contrasting views and reconciling your differences.
3. Begin With Easier Conversations
A good approach to rebuilding broken ties will be to keep the difficult discussions for a later time. Start with easier conversations like greetings and chats about events you have missed in each other’s lives. There are better chances that you will both begin to see that building a relationship is possible and that you can genuinely give it a shot.
4. Identify and Agree on Boundaries
When you both have an honest conversation, it is easy to identify boundaries. Agree not to come close to or cross those boundaries. Every relationship flourishes when boundaries are set. If there are topics that you consider highly sensitive to your feelings and that can easily cause you to develop resentment towards someone else, you should clearly state them. Also, be committed to carefully staying off issues that your family member feels uncomfortable discussing, so you don’t open healed wounds.
5. Connect in the Open
Taking baby steps in reconnecting with your estranged family member also involves choosing the right meeting place. You should not be fixing your first meeting in a place that gives either of you an undue advantage. Consider meeting in a neutral and public space. An open place can allow you to initiate lighter discussions so that the two of you can gradually bond on various things and not narrow down your conversations to topics that will deepen the divide.
6. Have a Plan
Before embarking on your mission to reconnect with an estranged family member, you should do a soul search. Think with clarity of how you feel concerning past occurrences. You can decide to get closure on such issues by discussing them. Or you may throw them far into the past and start on a fresh slate. Making these considerations before reconnecting will go a long way in shaping how you can make your relationship with your family member work.
7. Consider Getting Professional Help
When all your personal efforts to reconnect with your family member prove abortive, you may consider getting a neutral person as a mediator or guide. Getting a seasoned therapist may just give you a greater chance at rebuilding the broken ties. Therapists provide you with a calm and unbiased environment to discuss ways to resolve a conflict while guiding your discussions in a professional manner.