Fractured Families and How to Mend Them
Estrangement from a family member is one of the most painful life experiences. It is devastating not only to the individuals directly involved—collateral damage can extend upward, downward, and across generations, More than 65 million Americans suffer such rifts, yet little guidance exists on how to cope with and overcome them. In this book, Karl Pillemer combines the advice of people who have successfully reconciled with powerful insights from social science research. The result is a unique guide to mending fractured families.
Fault Lines shares for the first time findings from Dr. Pillemer’s ten-year, ground-breaking Cornell Reconciliation Project, based on the first national survey on estrangement; rich, in-depth interviews with hundreds of people who have experienced it; and insights from leading family researchers and therapists. He assures people who are estranged, and those who care about them, that they are not alone and that fissures can be bridged.
Through the wisdom of people who have “been there,” Fault Lines shows how healing is possible through clear steps that people can use right away in their own families. It addresses such questions as: How do rifts begin? What makes estrangement so painful? Why is it so often triggered by a single event? Are you ready to reconcile? How can you overcome past hurts to build a new future with a relative?
Tackling a subject that is achingly familiar to almost everyone, especially in an era when powerful outside forces such as technology and mobility are lessening family cohesion, Dr. Pillemer combines dramatic stories, science-based guidance, and practical repair tools to help people find the path to reconciliation.