Family Breakups and Cutoffs

One of the most painful situations in which individuals often find themselves is being cut-off from family members. There are several different reasons that this occurs, however, for the person that has been cut off, there are often many different feelings that can often lead to depression. Individuals that are cut off often feel confused, shame, and stress. Many times the person that has been cut off has no idea why they are being shunned which may only last a few years or for their entire life.

For those that are in this situation, the following reasons are often the most common, however, there can be other reasons. Being cut off from a family member or from your entire family can be devastating for many.


We often act in the manner we have seen our parents act. If one of your parents has cut off one or more family members when they become angry, upset, or disappointed in their behavior, you may react the same way as a teenager or adult. We all learn how to react and response by what we see as we are growing up and often follow the same behavior.


Everyone knows that in their family there are dominant individuals that often cut off others to show their power. This is a type of bullying whereas if a family member does not agree or will do as expected by the dominant member, then they are often cut off. Many children learn this bullying behavior at home when they watch how one individual in the family bullies others to stay in control.

Fed Up

In some cases, family members just get tired of the drama of one family member and just cannot take the negative vibes any longer. This could be due to the family member suffering from addiction and will not seek help, only come around when they need something or some other action that places family members in situations that make them feel uncomfortable. Each person has a tolerance level and when it is reached, for their own peace of mind they cut off the other person.

Keeping the Past in the Past

Many of us have things in our past that we do not want to remember as we have healed and gone forward. There are often family members that dwell on these past memories and only remind us of the bad times. By cutting off this family member, we can move forward and sort of ignore the bad memories so we can carry on with our lives in a more positive manner.

Choosing One Family Over Another

Too many times, there are conflicts that arise that make you choose your spouse over your child from a different marriage or your spouse over your parents. This can also occur when siblings are at odds and you must choose one over the other. This can be devastating, but it is very common. Not only will the one you cut off have confusing feelings as to what went wrong, but you will also have issues as you still want that person in your life.

Breakdown in Communication

There are times when communicating with others there is misunderstanding, this also occurs with family members. The problem is that if no one discusses the issue the words that were misunderstood will fester and grow until there is a breakdown. This breakdown will often lead to avoiding the family member instead of trying to work things out.


Money is one of the biggest issues in many families. Whether is loaning money to a family member or as large as a family inheritance. Trying to deal with late payments on a loan or squabbling over the inheritance will often place family members at odds which can lead to being cut off from the family.

Caring for Aging Parents

As we age, we often have to rely on our children and grandchildren to help us. The problem here often occurs when one family member is taking on the majority of the care. Some families will work out a schedule so each person can help with the care, doctor's visits and more. On the other hand, some individuals may not be able to help as they live far away or have a full-time job and family. The one that takes on the responsibility, may cut off the other siblings that are not helping, feeling as if they do not care about the parents.

Physical or Mental Abuse

When a person has been mentally or physically abused by a relative, the person that caused the abuse will be cut off. Of course, this is important for the health and well being of those that were abused.

No matter the reason you may have been cut off from your family, counseling can provide you with the necessary tools to cope with the situation. A Bentonville Arkansas therapist can help you not only cope with the issue but in many cases, help you connect with your family once again.