Estrangement isn't a new concept, but it's highly taboo because of societal norms
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While estrangement is a pretty new concept that is still being explored, there are several studies and reports that other people and organizations have done to shed light on how often this occurs.
Many people do not truly know how prevalent and common estrangement can be. Since several people think of estrangement as a one-time event that permanently ends a relationship, many never realize that they or someone they know has gone through estrangement.
According to a study conducted by Stand Alone UK and Cambridge University, almost one-third of people in the UK have either experienced estrangement or know someone who has. According to the same study, the age bracket with the highest number of people facing estrangement includes people aged 35-54 years old. Since estrangement is something that adversely affects a large number of adults, Together Estranged has the goal of providing support to those who are now in adulthood but feel the loss of connection with family members.
Stigma Surrounding Estrangement
Despite this being such a common experience, 68% of estranged people said that they felt stigma surrounding their estrangement, according to another study conducted by Stand Alone UK. Many participants mentioned feeling judged and that there was a societal misunderstanding about estrangement.
Several felt judged due to people perpetuating myths about estrangement. Many respondents expressed that they experienced the following from others:
Judgment and placing of blame/fault
A contradiction of expectations about what a family “should” be
Lack of understanding
Silence about the issue, lack of exposure
Contradicting expectations during holidays and events
Imposed religious/cultural expectations
Fear of embarrassment/family no longer seeming “perfect”
Read our Latest Blog Post on Isolation & Estrangement
Destigmatization of Estrangement & Finding Support
However, many of the study participants also mentioned how helpful it was to speak with a loved one about their experience. In fact, 73% of the people surveyed found it extremely helpful to speak with their spouses about their experiences. They found support in an array of different places, though, including counselors, therapists, health care providers, support groups, and more. Some of the most helpful responses they received included the following:
Having someone validate their experiences and feelings
Being believed about their trauma
Not being pushed to forgive or reconcile with people they were estranged from
Together Estranged has found that talking about estrangement and connecting with those who have faced it is one of the best ways to de-stigmatize the experience. We have also conducted research on the prevalence and effects of estrangement to better understand those who go through it and shine a light on the topic.
Estrangement can be an especially isolating experience, and the stigma surrounding it can make those facing it feel extremely alone. The experience of losing intimacy or connection in our familial relationships can also take a great toll on our mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. That is why Together Estranged is here to provide you with a supportive, understanding community.
During our research, we found that 60% of estranged respondents felt isolated and struggled with their mental health. We hope that, by amplifying their stories and providing a place to learn and talk about estrangement, we can lessen those feelings of isolation that so often come with it.
On our website, you will find sections where you can tell your story, read the stories of others who have faced many kinds of estrangement, read about mental health, and find helpful articles about a range of topics regarding estrangement.