How to Fix an Estranged Relationship

Written by lanh ma
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How to Fix an Estranged Relationship
Estrangement can lead to rifts that last for years. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Estrangement is an issue that can happen to any relationship, no matter how close. Estrangement refers to a rift that develops between two people, whether it is spouses who become estranged from each other, parents from their children, or old friend's who have not talked to each other in a while.

This is not an issue that fixes itself, and over time, estrangement can make reconnecting even harder. If you are dealing with an estranged relationship, the sooner you mend the rifts, the better.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Examine the causes of the rift. While there may have been one large fight that led to the final estrangement, there were likely issues that led up to them. Think about what is at the heart of the estrangement.

  2. 2

    Decide what you are willing to compromise on. If you are trying to repair an estrangement, it takes sacrifice and work. Consider what you are willing to give and concede, and what you are not willing to concede.

  3. 3

    Write a letter or an e-mail. Talking over the phone, or face to face, can be very charged, especially if the last meeting ended poorly. A letter or an e-mail allows you to say what you want to say without interruption.

  4. 4

    Acknowledge fault. If you acted hastily or spoke poorly, acknowledge that in your letter and apologise for it. Do not apologise for things that are not your fault or things that you do not regret.

  5. 5

    Set ground rules. Before engaging with the estranged party again, set some parameters for behaviour. You may ask that certain topics are not to be discussed or that certain behaviours or places are avoided. This helps you get comfortable with the estranged party again.

  6. 6

    Tell them why you want them in your life. The person in question is important to you, and during the estrangement period, it is easy to lose sight of that fact.

Tips and warnings

  • Proceed with caution, but keep contact regular. Over time, you can soothe out the bumps and rifts caused by estrangement.

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