No matter how strained, intolerable, and/or abusive the relationship is, it's a difficult decision to make. One more thing: Sometimes, instead of having an issue with one person, the problem lies with more than one or even an entire branch of the family.
In that case, it's best to evaluate the issues as a whole.
I cannot turn my back on my family members—or sever ties—and I have a huge family, which I extend to cousins, nieces, nephews and beyond. It is usually me who calls, who helps, who is betrayed, who forgives and keeps on loving. I think it is my calling to comfort all those people I can, beginning with my relatives. I wouldn't judge anybody else for choosing differently. Sometimes it isn't so much a matter of cutting ties completely as it is about setting firm boundaries for the first time.
Often, within families that are suffering for any of a number of reasons (addiction, mental illness, abusive persons), the relationships that grow naturally are not functional and make all the bad things worse.
But am I there for daily dramas and BS that hurts me and doesn't help them? I think of myself as a person with a big and understanding heart too, but even I am capable of cutting ties.
These are ideal conditions though, and for some it's never been this way with certain family members.
Families can be the ones who drive you nuts, but are also there by your side in tough spots. Family members are the ones who've seen us at our best and worst, and the love is consistently and unconditionally there... The key ingredients are forgiveness, unconditional love, the ability to agree to disagree at times, and mutual respect without having to change or control each other.
Sometimes it's a matter of redefining the relationship--more distance, firmer boundaries and limits--while making it clear you will be there when crisis hits or when it truly matters.
It could be that letting go of an entire chunk of your family would be more stressful than maintaining distance, and it's entirely up to you to make that decision.I see that you are not afraid to tackle the tough issues! It's not an easy decision, even when outsiders might look at it and say, "Cut! " I also like that you mention that it doesn't have to be all or nothing--things can change.Unfortunately, many people are faced with the excruciating decision of whether or not to continue a strained family relationship with a parent, sibling, grandparent, son, or daughter.If you have to cut the ties, it's usually because you feel you have endured years of discontent (or even abuse) and you have no other choice. Chances are you've been evaluating the strained relationship for awhile, but committing to cutting the ties brings on feelings of guilt, failure, emptiness, doubt, abandonment, and even grief. An interesting thing about families is that people can tolerate more bad than good, and even a strained relationship can still be considered satisfying for both people.