Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Mrs. Bluth,

I am in a miserable situation that is tearing our family apart. Let me explain. I am the mother of six children, all married, and a grandmother to wonderful, loving grandchildren. My heart, though, is being torn apart by a rift with one of my sons.


Growing up, he always compared himself to his siblings and sought to be sure that he was never shortchanged in any way. No matter how much he got, he had to be sure that no one else got more. He constantly caused arguments with his rivalry. I had hoped that when he got married and started his own family, this would change. However, it only got worse and it seems clear that his wife has fed into his behavior. She also seemed to always be looking at what the others got and comparing it to their lives.

It got so bad that my other children came together to figure out how to navigate this behavior – without inviting this son. When he found out, he interpreted it as a family gathering to which his family was not invited.

From that moment they cut all of us out of their lives; I have not spoken to them and their children for twelve years. Mrs. Bluth, we have tried everything to fix this, all to no avail. He is convinced that we were conspiring against him and wants nothing to do with us and his siblings.

The stress has been debilitating. My husband has had a stroke and my health has deteriorated as well. I past him on the street once, he turned his back on me. Can you imagine what that was like? On another occasion, he sent a message that if I cut off ties with my other children and grandchildren, it will be possible to have a relationship with him.

Twelve years of simchas have taken place, and the nieces and nephews who barely remember him, call to invite his family to graduations and bar mitzvahs. There is never an answer.

Of late, we have heard ugly rumors he is spreading about his siblings and it is affecting their businesses. And this is what has driven me to write to you.

Please help me find a way to protect my children and family from this craziness.


Dear Friend,

Please know that your pain comes through so clearly. I can’t imagine how difficult these years have been for you. And then to see him on the street and have him pass you by like a stranger, it’s the kind of death that defies description.

I have to dig deep within myself to find any words that will give you comfort or hope that one day there will be a reconciliation with him and his family. The only words of hope I can muster is that as long as there is life, there is hope. It may take a long time for your son to see the errors of his ways, but I have seen miracles that defy understanding and show the hand of G-d at work.

The true losers in all of this are you, your husband and your son’s children who have been poisoned against you.

What I can tell you is that not to give up five children and the many grandchildren to side with the one – and why feed into his demented ideas by validating them.

A very real thought to consider is getting legal protection by writing a will and letting your wishes be in place after 120 years. You have no idea how important this is for the family. Make clear to whom you wish to leave your personal items, like jewelry, silver, etc, and appoint someone to be the executor of your estate. Should things resolve themselves in the not too distant future, your will can be updated and revised.  At least you won’t have to worry about his causing your other children more heartache after your gone. This should afford you some small measure of comfort.

I wish you all that you wish for, that your family should come together in a whole and cohesive way, so that your years ahead can be filled with healing, peace and nachas. May your golden years be truly golden. Love your other children and grandchildren as they love you and never give up hope that a miracle with your name on it will yet come.


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