Q: I guess you could say I burned my bridges with my family over 20 years ago. They weren’t perfect, but I have to admit I was the main problem. Now that I’m older (and hopefully wiser), I’d like to get back in contact, but they aren’t interested. Should I just forget it? — J.H.
A: If you really would like to restore relationships with your family, you may need to demonstrate to them that you have changed (if indeed you have) and that they could benefit from the relationship. To be most effective, your family should see (by your actions) that you are a nicer person than the one they new 20 years ago. You may be have to be patient. Your family will likely need time to be sure that you have really changed and are not pretending to be someone you are not. However, you should be prepared for the eventuality that your family will never accept a relationship with you. If you are a caring, altruistic person, it should not be too difficult for you to establish deep and healthy relationships with other people in your community.
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