You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family. This fact of life means that many of us put up with people we might not otherwise get along with.
Yesterday's New York Times examined what happens when certain family members, namely parents, cross the line from imperfect to completely intolerable. Critical, demanding, non-accepting, or verbally abusive parents sometimes prove too toxic to tolerate, leading adults to "divorce" the people who brought them into the world.
While many mental health professionals typically emphasize salvaging relationships, Dr. Richard A. Friedman wrote in the Times column that in certain circumstances, it might be healthier to end the relationship altogether. Dr. Friedman compares cutting off contact with a parent to cutting off a limb in order to save the adult child's life. Painful, but sometimes necessary.
What is the best way to handle toxic parents? Would you avoid them, cut them out completely, or try your best to deal with them?