Brothers, Sisters, Strangers Blog


Welcome to my new blog! Here, you can freely discuss your challenges with sibling relationships. If you would like, I will not use your name to protect your privacy.

My interest in this topic is rooted in my personal story; my older brother and I didn’t talk to each other for most of my adult life. Over time, we did reconcile, and I captured that journey in my book, Brothers, Sisters, Strangers: Sibling Estrangement and the Road to Reconciliation.

For years, I’ve wondered about the nature of sibling relationships and, in particular, when and how they break down, cut off, or enter the territory of estrangement. How do sibling estrangement and reconciliation define an individual?

Here, I hope to give others the opportunity to explore this underacknowledged topic, which many experts call “epidemic.” Like me, you may find it helpful to think through these issues; writing a post for this blog may provide a useful structure to begin to do so. Writing is therapeutic and capturing stories in words benefits both the writer and the reader.

For those who are seeking personal life coaching, I offer private sessions to discuss estrangement, reconciliation, and family relations. Please email me at to discuss details. Thanks for participating and posting.

How estrangement defines other relationships and friendships

New post: A family estrangement is traumatic, and it changes how an individual interacts.

A Reader Asks, “How to Move On?”

  READERS: Do you have any suggestions for Eleanor? She needs help coping with her losses. I don’t even know where to start. My brother cut ties with my mom and I in 2016, with no fight or one singular issue being the reason, except a less than ideal relationship that formed between our family and my brothers girlfriend at the time (now wife). I have no idea what happened ...

A Reader Benefits from Filling Out the Survey!

Your survey was actually very therapeutic as it helped me to think more deeply about the nature of our sibling estrangement instead of just feeling bad and anxious about it. The survey was challenging to complete. It took me several days. (Here's the link: I really enjoyed your book. The use of personal anecdotes to illustrate the information you were presenting brought the information to life. Its incredible to know ...

Three Ways Siblings Undermine Themselves in Poisonous Relationships

Rosy memories and unrealistic hopes can keep a sibling in a toxic relationship. Destructive thought patterns, such as euphoric recall, future-faking, and self-gaslighting, help us avoid facing the injuries a toxic sibling inflicts.   .

A Reader Says Thanks!

I am 73 pages {also my age!) from finishing your book - "Brothers, Sisters: Strangers" and had to stop and say "thank you".... I'm spending a month in Maine, my home state, in the fall and am planning on reaching out to my oldest niece. She left me a message last spring and I just wasn't ready to respond. Your book is giving me the insight I need to be ...

Five ways Estrangement Does Lifelong Damage

Some relationships are too toxic to sustain, but cutoffs may hurt well-being. The estranged often suffer a loss of self-esteem and trust, which may play out in other relationships and ultimately compromise well-being.

The Stigma of Sibling Estrangement

  The estranged feel judged by a culture that expects family cohesion. Many view a cutoff as a personal failing.

Driven by Books: Adventures on the Bookmobile – So this happened last night!

Last night, I had the great thrill of checking out one of my own books to a bookmobile patron!

How the Pandemic has altered the definition of the “family”

The pandemic has loosened family ties and changed who attends holiday events.

How Estrangement can Echo through Generations

In cases of abuse and violence, cutoffs can be necessary and protective. However, in other families long-standing estrangements may become an acceptable model of coping with stress, replicated generation after generation. In these families, when conflict arises, siblings may easily cut each other off, having seen their parents do just that with their own brothers or sisters. Latest post:

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