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'cutting people out' ... why do people do this?

(29 Posts)
Frostycake Wed 25-Dec-13 22:58:14

I have a former partner who has been in touch today (havent heard from him for several years) to say that he is desperately lonely and doesnt understand why people let him down. He wanted to know if I was single as he has split with his girlfriend (long suffering and devoted) and is looking for somewhere to stay. Now this man has, since I have known him, cut off his mother, his brother, his aunt and various other friends and girlfriends for a variety of perceived 'slights' over the years. The only relative he keeps in touch with is his step father who lives abroad. As far as I am aware, the only reason he doesnt speak to his family is because they didnt stop his mother divorcing his step father, thus, making him homeless. I suggested he put their differences aside and approach his brother, however, my suggestion was met with outrage. My question is, why do people do this 'cutting out' of family when there is no real reason to do so?

flippinada Mon 30-Dec-13 15:13:06

I think there are 2 types of cutting contact, as others have mentioned.

One will be done by the kind of person who is constantly fallling out with others over perceived/imaginary wrong-doings and slights (like the wedding woman above).

The other type of cutting contact is usually done for very sound reasons (emotional, physical, sexual abuse for example) and usually happens after a lot of soul searching and agonising.

Meerka Mon 30-Dec-13 14:58:17

I think you're forgetting that sometimes you need to chuck old family out to keep yourself physically safe.

Mind you, it sounds like the OP's ex has some ishoos

ProfessorDent Mon 30-Dec-13 14:48:47

I think it's possible that you chucking old friends and family you can get rid of bad feelings that you associate with them, albeit feelings possibly generated by yourself. A bit like chucking out an old outfit because it brings up old memories. Unfortunately, if you have a lot of bad memories thru having a bad/unhappy life, you'll want to get shot of your entire wardrobe/family. It does make you feel like you can have a fresh start, it can be a bit idealistic (many people hang out with friends they don't even like much just to make do) but it also suggests one is expecting emotional validation when you are not going to get it from certain sources.

FanFuckingTastic Thu 26-Dec-13 15:25:35

Family isn't always as perfect as we'd like to think. I cut my dad out of my life after having my daughter because he sexually abused me as a child and was domestically violent towards my mum and my brother. There's nothing that would make me think the blood we share has any bearing over that decision to protect myself and my children.

differentnameforthis Thu 26-Dec-13 14:56:25

And that isn't a life I don't want for them.

differentnameforthis Thu 26-Dec-13 14:53:46

Family is supposed to be an unbreakable unit, bending and stretching but not breaking, but I think it's sometimes all about control and is very short sighted and often induced by selfishness.

I love your view of family, however, it is very naive. You can't be unbreakable. If treated badly all your life, something has to give before that something if your own life. You wouldn't let a friend treat you badly, so why family.

I am not going to take over this thread by posting what my story is, you can search my name & you will find it. Yes, I cut contact to control, Control where MY life went. If that is selfish, so be it. The long & short of it is, that if I kept in contact, once she realised she couldn't hurt me anymore (because I was too numb to even care) she would start hurting me via my children. And that isn't a life I want for them.

3 of 4 of her children no longer talk to her.

differentnameforthis Thu 26-Dec-13 14:48:29

Frostycake Thank you! I won't bore you with the rest, but my story is on here. She is a nasty women & I know that if she was in my life, I wouldn't be who I am today. The upshot is, she didn't want me, she was persuaded to have me & she couldn't hide the fact that she didn't love me.

Meerka Thu 26-Dec-13 14:47:32

Family is supposed to be an unbreakable unit, bending and stretching but not breaking, but I think it's sometimes all about control and is very short sighted and often induced by selfishness.

agreed with boney, no one should have to put up with seriously emotionally or physically or sexually damaging from another person.

There's plenty parents and siblings and children who would have you put up with flying fists, screaming abuse daily with spittle in your face, knife attacks and appalling manipulation. Those who haven't got experience of it can't ever imagine how it can be. Probably a good thing, really.

Edith Weston's view above sums it up beautifully. Some people let go in order to literally survive, others let go from petulance.

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 26-Dec-13 14:40:52

Family is supposed to be an unbreakable unit, bending and stretching but not breaking

A very naive view, nobody should have to put up with emotionally or physically damaging behaviour from another person. Whether that person is family or not.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 26-Dec-13 13:21:00

What MrsPennyapple said. I see 'toxic' and 'gone no contact' written here all the time and I often think, ok, up to the individual and all that. But sometimes it has ripples beyond that individual and these can cause misery to the other family members; children included, who have that choice foisted upon them.

Family is supposed to be an unbreakable unit, bending and stretching but not breaking, but I think it's sometimes all about control and is very short sighted and often induced by selfishness.

I'm not saying that this applies to everyone but it seems de rigeur to do this at the moment.

Mellowandfruitful Thu 26-Dec-13 13:06:11

Thing is, a selfish and hurtful person is a selfish and hurtful person, regardless of whether or not you are related. There are limits to what anyone will put up with, even for close family members.

Frostycake Thu 26-Dec-13 12:51:14

* Different name for this* that's truly shocking and I'm sorry.

Frostycake Thu 26-Dec-13 12:49:58

Majestic I think you've hit the nail on the head with your comment saying that he is terribly entitled and self- involved. As far as I'm aware, there are no deep dark secrets in his family and his family get on well together and are caring types (social workers, nurses etc.). I think it would help him enormously to get a job and became independent though. He has far too much time on his hands to stew over things.

differentnameforthis Thu 26-Dec-13 08:38:12

People cut others out for reasons of self preservation

Exactly. I cut my mother off to protect myself. I didn't want her nastiness in my life, not when she used every opportunity to hurt & try to destroy me. She told my sister that she wanted to know when & where I was getting married so she could ruin my day....thank mum!

I haven't' spoken to her for almost 22yrs. I can honestly say I don't miss her.

differentnameforthis Thu 26-Dec-13 08:34:42

My question is, why do people do this 'cutting out' of family when there is no real reason to do so?

Just because you don't perceive his reason as real, it doesn't mean it isn't real. If you are a true friend, support & friendly words are all he needs. Not judgement.

Joysmum Thu 26-Dec-13 08:16:27

I have cut people out of my life when the pain the cause far outweighs how much they enrich my life. That's it.

AnuvvaMuvva Thu 26-Dec-13 00:08:32

Not died - did!

MajesticWhine Thu 26-Dec-13 00:07:59

This man sounds terribly entitled and self involved. He repeatedly finds fault with others and that is enough for him to cut contact with them. I'm sure people have many valid reasons for cutting contact, but in this case he sounds like a nightmare and it's all about him, not them.

AnuvvaMuvva Thu 26-Dec-13 00:07:25

I knew a woman like this. We were in a group of 5 close friends, and I was the first to be cut off. She already NEVER answered her own home phone in case it was her sister in law (who'd been cut off earlier for some perceived slight). Gradually she cut off 3 of the remaining 4 friends.

I got back in touch with her last remaining friend, who was very happily getting married. The nice friend said she'd love to invite me to her wedding, but was scared if she died that CutOff girl wouldn't come if I was going to be there. Yawn.

Reason I was cut off? We'd been out of touch for a few years, so when I got married I only invited her to the evening reception, not the full day. She never rsvped to the invite hmm, didn't come, and I was Cut Off.

Silly cow. Her loss! smile

MrsPennyapple Thu 26-Dec-13 00:04:59

EdithWeston has it bang on. It's flouncing.

EdithWeston Thu 26-Dec-13 00:03:02

I think there are two types of cutting people off.

One is based on acceptance of the person exactly as they are and a recognition that their limitations and flaws (something we all have) are just totally incompatible with your own view on how you want to live. This is the path that is compatible with letting go healthily, and is based on the realisation that the other person is who they are, won't change and isn't wanted in your life. It respects (weirdly) both them and you, and is a positive step towards healing the past hurts.

The other (and from your post it may be him) just has a series of bust ups with one key figure after another and is essentially flouncing. They are not reflecting on events or learning from experience, and can often lead to a sense of being a victim. it does nothing to help you to heal.

GlitteryShitandDanglyBaubles Thu 26-Dec-13 00:00:45

Crimes can be committed though, without it being common knowledge, or known to anyone else but the people involved.

My dear mother and her husband have had no contact from me for 7 years because of:
medical neglect
sexual assualt of a minor

and failure to protect me from abuse from another child. Nobody else in the family knows, no doubt they think i am terrible and cruel etc.

Your friend sounds a nightmare though! Perhaps his family cut him off, not the other way around?

MrsPennyapple Wed 25-Dec-13 23:59:37

People cut others out for reasons of self preservation, normally.

However, there are people who cut others out, one by one, until the list of people they're not talking to is longer than the list of people they WILL talk to. I used to know someone like this. She gradually worked her way through our group of friends eliminating them one by one, until just her and one other person were left. So they spent their time bitching about everyone else and constantly re-hashing ancient arguments, reassuring themselves how right they were. It became ridiculous, people would roll their eyes and say "oh look, my turn" because they became so well known for it. So to answer the question - attention seeking? To make themselves feel superior? Not sure.

FanFuckingTastic Wed 25-Dec-13 23:49:37

Sometimes no matter how much you love your family, they can be damaging to our well being. Doing it for the right reasons is protecting yourself or your children. Obviously some people do it because they are selfish arses who use it to hurt people for imagined slights and in this matter I advise avoiding your ex arse and cutting him out of your life.

Frostycake Wed 25-Dec-13 23:13:08

Thanks everyone. just to confirm, I have no intention of even seeing him, let alone letting him stay. When we were together (a decade ago) he never paid for anything, not drinks, dinner, lunches, cinema/theatre, nothing. We never lived together as I could see how the relationship would pan out. He was extremely charming and funny though. I just cant see myself ever cutting family off, unless crimes had been committed.

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