People Are Sharing The Thing That Tore Their Family Apart And Why Their Family Members Don't Speak To Each Other

    It's amazing how a situation between family members can go from bad to irreparable in an instance.

    Content Warning: This article contains mentions of sexual assault and violence.

    Family drama is incredibly complicated, but with a lot of love and effort, it can be repaired — at least until things cross a line.

    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community about the situations that left members of their family no longer speaking, and while a few are silly and petty, there's a lot of real heartbreak here as well.

    1. "When I was 16, my mother received a government tax refund from my father for child-support back-pay. It was less than $1,000 USD. Instead of waiting for her to finish work and having a calm, adult conversation, he decided the best course of action was to drive an hour to her job and scream at her in front of her coworkers to demand the money back. She left work early that day, crying."

    Document with the name child support agreement

    When I found out, I had had enough of his bullshit and packed up my stuff and moved out immediately. He was an irredeemable bastard who's done a lot worse, and I'm glad he's out of my life."


    2. "I come from a family of codependents and enablers. Addiction runs in my family, and my grandfather is at the core of it all. They all protect each other no matter how wrong they are, and I grew exhausted trying to live a clean and sober life in recovery carrying all that dead weight. So, I cut them off. So much less drama and anxiety without them in my life. Not looking back."

    cigarettes pills and a glass of wine

    3. "My dad was just a jerk all around growing up, but I always felt like I had to keep up a relationship because, well, he was my dad. When my daughter was born, I was always the one making the 4-hour roundtrip drive to see him with a newborn. I had to threaten to go NC just to get him here for her first birthday party while he made every excuse in the book not to come. The last straw should have been when my daughter spent a week at his house when she was 6, and my stepmom threw a literal tantrum because she didn't feel like my daughter liked her and that she liked my dad more. I had to get my brother to pick her up and drive her back to my house."

    Displeased little girl with birthday hat and donuts in front of her

    "Things got worse when my grandma died and that whole side of the family was fighting. I hung on for a couple of years, and finally, I couldn't do it anymore and went full no contact. My daughter is a teen now, and I've talked to her about my reasons, and she knows she can have a relationship with him if she wants. It's been nine years, and I have no regrets."


    4. "I’ve had to go NC with one whole side of my family including my parents. There is a ton of generational trauma that has led to cycles of abuse. It was predominantly mental and emotional by the time it trickled down to me, but the family that is that way is so codependent on each other that they can’t even see the damage they're doing to each other. The thing that makes it hard for me, is that I was raised by gay men so I have to constantly say that while I still support gay families and LGBTQ parents, I just don’t support my own parents. At this point, I wish my parents would just divorce because it would actually mean that I could maybe have a relationship with at least one of my parents."

    gavel and pride flag with rings

    5. "My aunt made a big fuss about me not including her in my wedding planning. ... She lives in a different country, and I hadn't even started planning yet. She decided then to block me and never came to my wedding. My parents saw her a few months later (they're more forgiving than I am), and instead of apologizing, she told them how disrespectful it was that I haven't moved on from 'all that.'"

    wedding table set up

    6. "So, from what I know, my MIL cut out her mom because her mom crossed boundaries with MIL’s children (reaching out to the kids behind my MIL’s back about family drama, snide comments, unsolicited opinions, etc.). Now, my SIL cut out my MIL for basically doing the same thing to my SIL’s children…and my MIL can’t understand why she got cut off. Kind of interesting to watch from the outside because there’s obviously a pattern here, but no one realizes it."

    generations of women

    7. "My eldest brother sexually assaulted me from ages 6–9. I kept the secret for years because he told me if I ever said anything, terrible things would happen to the rest of the family. When I finally broke down and told my parents at 14, they told me I was brave and the burden was no longer mine to bear. They asked my brother what happened, and he said he 'didn't remember.' The next day, they told me it didn't happen and to never bring it up again."

    little girl hugging knees crying on bed sad

    "I left on my own five years later. My other siblings refuse to talk to me, and I cut contact with my parents after several years of bitter back and forth. The rest of my family also refuses to speak with me. I'll never tell my son what really happened. All he knows is that we just grew apart and live thousands of miles away from each other. I have a found family now, and I go to therapy to work through the trauma of having lost my entire family to the actions of my own brother and the rest of the family's disbelief. I'm doing better, but a part of me will always hurt."


    8. "My dad has one sister and one brother. His brother vanished one day but could never be found. His sister, who lives in Hawaii, was visiting us when we took a visit to a rental house in the Sequoia National Forest. The first night there, I was helping with dishes and putting them in the dishwasher. My aunt scolded me for loading the dishwasher wrong. Like, refused to speak to me because I loaded the dishwasher 'wrong.' That was 15 years ago. I have not talked to her since, but it is definitely mutual."


    9. "The woman who birthed me is a vindictive narcissist. She moved my sibling and me out of state and changed our names to keep us from my dad when we were kids, tried to destroy my marriage, lies constantly, and is a professional victim — everything is someone else's fault. That's just scratching the surface. I finally had enough and went NC, but I will not truly have peace while she's on the earth."


    10. "My entire life my aunt (mom's sister) has been irrational, a pathological liar, and a martyr. Everyone just kind of understood if she told you something, just smile and nod, then go to the source for the facts. All of that was well and good until my grandpa (her dad) died, and she started staying with my grandma. My grandma was perfectly functional — she had no cognitive or physical deficits. She got up every morning, made her bed, cooked for herself, and even drove still occasionally. My aunt stayed every night with her for nine years all the while telling people outside of the family she was 'taking care' of my grandma. Recently, my grandma's health did decline to the point where she needs a little more hands-on care (bathroom accidents, help preparing meals, using a walker), and my aunt abandoned her in a nursing home and has washed her hands of her now that actually NEEDS help."

    senior care from helper

    "My own mom quit her job and offered to split time with my aunt to care for my grandma, but she REFUSES. We also have suspicions she’s been skimming money from my grandma for years, plus she makes any situation related to her care as difficult and chaotic as possible to try to make my mom and their brother look incompetent and just to generally make things 100x [worse] than they need to be. She worries about the most ridiculous tasks. She makes sure she has the yogurt she likes at the nursing home but talks to my grandma like a dog and does not take into consideration my grandma's feelings at all. She doesn’t talk to her like a person whatsoever. And that’s how she makes herself feel better, like she’s still doing something to take care of her when she’s not really supporting my grandma as an autonomous individual that deserves love, respect, and understanding."


    11. "My sister-in-law cut all contact with my husband's family after their dad passed. It wasn’t immediately — it was after she got her inheritance, which in my opinion is just sad. It’s been over a decade. I don’t see them mending anytime soon."

    woman holding copy of last will and testament

    12. "My children loved their late grandfather and love their living grandmother. They can't figure out why I want nothing to do with her and am glad that he is dead. My father was molesting my sister and me for many years (until I left the house)! After he died, my aunt (her sister) and I were trying to find out with her where her life was going with a social worker on the phone. It was COVID time; as usual, Mom was being annoying Mom! Finally, I hung up with the worker since it was a full out-and-out argument. I proceed to tell her about our father and what he did to me, and she said, 'I know about that!' So, all those years, she could have done something; she did not. I have never told my grown children about this, and I keep it to myself and let them think she is the best grandma around!"


    13. "I don’t associate with most members of my extended family, and it came in two different waves. The first one was six years ago when they refused to welcome my children into the family because they were adopted (forgetting entirely that our grandfather was adopted and the only reason we are all here today), and the second wave came a few years ago when everyone started attacking my mom when my dad kicked her out of the house. Only one aunt has ever apologized to my mom, and that was because I went up one side of her and down the other for acting that way. (A behavior no one does to her, and certainly not a behavior I normally do to ANYONE.) I’m so glad I don’t have to care about their approval anymore, and it’s been so freeing to get out from under the toxic dynamic."

    mom kissing son on head

    14. "My mother was dying, and her family descended and caused complete chaos. They tried to turn my sibling and me against each other, and when that didn’t work, they tried to turn our stepfather on us, and then, we witnessed the most gentle, docile man lay down the law and make it super clear that we were a family, and their antics were not welcome. All this over items my mother's family perceived as 'worth something.' They weren’t worth anything. Unfortunately, one of her siblings was the executor of the estate, and when she found out we moved everything, she threatened legal action and was informed by our lawyer that if all heirs to the 'estate' knew where all the property was, then she had no legal need to know. Haven’t spoken to them since. There’s so much more I could say, but why? I don’t miss them. They don’t miss us. Everyone is happier this way."


    15. "My sister, brother, and I don't talk to our mother, who is an emotionally abusive narcissist. My sister and I stopped talking to her when she threw a tantrum over us going to see our Dad on a weekend my sister was down. We'd planned on spending the Saturday with our mother and the Sunday with Dad. We went to see our mother on Saturday, but she threw a tantrum because we were going to see Dad the next day and because my sister snapped at her for immediately asking about her love life, which my sister has asked her repeatedly not to do. So, we ended up spending most of the day with our grandmother and leaving earlier than planned. After multiple arguments with our mother, in which she refused to admit to throwing the tantrum and insisted it was all on us, we both stopped talking to her."

    "My brother stopped talking to her because of her behavior at his wedding. There was a welcome lunch the day before, and she threw a tantrum, thankfully after everyone else had left, because we spoke to my Dad and stepmother. My parents have been divorced for 18 years, and my Dad got remarried 15 years ago. At the wedding itself, at the end of the ceremony, my parents were supposed to welcome the bride to our family. There wasn't assigned seating (in fact, there wasn't any seating at all), so everyone had just stood wherever as they entered. By pure quirk of this system, my dad and stepmother had ended up at the front, while my mother was farther back. So, dad welcomed the bride into our family first, and the bride wanted my stepmother to take part, too. My mother refused to do her part and stormed off. She spent the rest of the wedding reception in a huff, refusing to do anything except drink. I don't think she even spoke to my brother and sister-in-law."

    Candle light on a beautiful wedding table

    "My eldest brother still speaks to her because he lives with her, and every time he gets close to moving out, she manipulates him into staying. Usually by playing up her depression and by bringing up how he'd have to take her dog (she doesn't look after the dog, my brother does, so the dog is very attached to him and wouldn't be looked after if my brother moved out and left him behind), and that would just break her heart. Sometimes, she adds in a comment or two about how if he moves out, she wouldn't get to see his daughter, her granddaughter, so much. It's bullshit, and he knows it but still falls for it every time."


    16. "When my mom died, her sisters (my aunts) were offended that we weren’t introducing them to people at the shiva, and they stormed out shortly after it started. I called them that afternoon to figure out why they were upset, and I was told, 'We knew her longer.' I refused to speak with them for a year, and I went to countless therapy sessions to try to resolve my feelings about it. I realized that I needed an apology from them. When I reached out for an apology, they said everything but ‘I’m sorry,’ and I haven’t talked with them since. It’s been six years since my mom passed."

    jewish funeral

    17. "Heavens, I could write a book. Maybe a series. Long story short, it’s almost always about money. Generational trauma comes into play, too. The most recent incident came last Wednesday between my dad and his sister. After a long period of no contact, he reached out to help her, yet she spent the phone call attacking him. Not surprisingly, he’s going no contact again."

    person holding phone during incoming call

    18. "I quit talking to my mom at the age of 15. My best friend's family thankfully took me in at this point in my life, because she became a narcissistic alcoholic and was so terribly mentally and physically abusive that it made me suffer from daily migraines. I finally got fed up and completely cut her out of my life for years! I could write a book on the things she did to me, and people wouldn't believe that it was real life. I am now 30 years old, and we just recently started to work on our relationship. It's going in the right direction, but it's going to take years to be fully repaired, if that will even be possible."

    person holding alcoholic drink

    19. "My uncle. My mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and he moved abroad shortly after, meaning she had to continue caring for their aging mother. Then, when mum was literally dying, he wouldn't tell my granny until it was too late for her to come say goodbye. When she died, he didn't reach out to any of us, then decided it would be best to fly in on the morning of her funeral in the middle of a global pandemic. The night before, he went out for drinks in a major city and then got refused on his flight as he had a temperature. Two years later, and my granny had a major fall, we thought she was nearing end of life, but he waited two weeks to fly over. We don't have much blood family left, but I don't need people who can't show up when it's important."

    phone at hospital

    20. "My grandfather was having a lot of health problems, and we all knew he wouldn't be here much longer. My uncle came to visit, and one day in his father's hospital room, he started a fight with us. It was all in front of the family, including his dying father. He left the nursing home that day angry at everyone. That Friday night, they received a phone call that my grandfather had passed away. After that, he told his mother, straight to her face, that he had no reason to come back to (hometown) anymore. Even though his mother, sister, niece, and nephew lived there. He left and was MIA for the whole weekend after, and no one knew where he was. He showed back up at the funeral home Monday as if nothing happened. After the funeral and burial, we were all done with him and refused to talk to him. Haven't seen or talked to him since November, and I'm perfectly OK with it. I still talk to his kids/my cousins. They're great and thankfully nothing like my uncle."

    suitcase in parking lot

    21. "My dad's side of the family. I used to be very close to them when I was younger, but when our grandma died, something just snapped. I was very close with my grandma and was considered her favorite so I know that definitely annoyed them. Then as we got older, it escalated from being someone's favorite to trying to change how someone thinks. It could be anything from a friendship to a political party. I have to go see them at some point this year in Chicago because my mom is trying to reconnect us. It won't work because I'm done with them."

    person looking off into distance

    22. "My great-uncle was super close to my father. He walked him to his first day of kindergarten, etc. In 2003, his son, my second cousin, murdered his sister, my great-aunt. Then, said great-uncle liquidates her estate to fund his son's run from the law. He was featured on America's Most Wanted and extradited from Costa Rica and is now in prison where he belongs. The last time any of us saw or spoke to my great-uncle was at my grandmother's funeral (his sister) in 2005, one month after his son had been extradited. There is no further contact, and he is the only remaining sibling of the five."

    John Walsh America's Most Wanted

    23. "My sisters and I don’t talk to my grandma, my dad’s mom, or anyone on that side for that matter; my grandma is very old fashioned. She believes wives serve their husbands. I have a cousin that is a stay-at-home mom, and my grandma adores her; all my sisters and I have gone to college and are working hard, and she hates us for that. Also, one time she told me I had no friends because I was a neat freak. She also asked my one sister when my other sister's birthday was on my one sister's birthday."

    person praying over bible

    24. "I'm the one my family doesn't speak to. My parents and three siblings all do not speak to me. It's better this way, honestly. My mother started a fight with me when I was getting married about how I wasn't including her enough and loved my soon-to-be mother-in-law more than her. My MIL was so excited for us to get married, and my mom said, 'Let me know what I can bring.' So...I let her know what she could bring. It escalated. She uninvited herself and my father from my wedding, and my three siblings followed suit. At least one of them told me, but the other two did not. It's been seven years, and I minimally speak to my father about my grandfather's health. That's it."

    couple wedding day

    "They talk poorly about me every chance they get, and I could not possibly care less. I am happier and healthier than I have ever been in my whole life! Sure, it would be nice to have a relationship with my dad, brother and sisters and nieces and nephews but not at the expense of my own mental health. Sadly, my mom died two years ago, and we never reconciled. She had cancer, got COVID, and used her last dying wish to ensure I wasn't allowed to come say goodbye to her or go to the funeral. So...that should tell you the kind of person she was — manipulative, vindictive, and petty up until her last dying breath."


    25. "My aunt and uncle (siblings of my mom) haven't talked in 15 years because of their mom's (my grandma) will. All I know is that it was about a huge amount of money (what else, right?), but no one talks about it, so I don't know what exactly went down. The only good thing that came of it was an agreement with my brother that we are never gonna fight about material things our parents will eventually leave to us."

    last will and testament

    26. "My brother. I passed on his engagement party because I was really sick. He took it as an f-you. Then, the rest of my extended family refused to talk to me after as well. Flash forward to his wedding, my husband and I weren’t invited, but I got a text from one of my friends the weekend before the wedding; they ended things. No wedding, and my family still won’t speak to me. Because of an engagement party for a wedding that didn’t even happen!"

    tablescape for engagement party