My two adult children fell out over money – now they refuse to talk

My two older children have not spoken to each other for two years. They are in their mid-30s, with spouses and young children. They fell out over money, but I think the real reason was sibling rivalry. I fear this fracture will be permanent and that I will never have all my children at my table for dinner again. It saddens me that the cousins won’t know each other, or their aunt and uncle.

I am close to my siblings and am afraid my children are making a huge mistake by alienating each other. I have let them know my feelings and urged reconciliation, but to no avail. Family unity is so important to me; I cannot believe they have so little regard for it. How can I help them forgive each other and move on? Neither will consider counselling, and both have partners who support their views.

• When leaving a message on this page, please be sensitive to the fact that you are responding to a real person in the grip of a real-life dilemma, who wrote to Private Lives asking for help and may well view your comments here. Please consider especially how your words or the tone of your message could be perceived by someone in this situation, and be aware that comments that appear to be disruptive or disrespectful to the individual concerned will be removed.

• If you would like fellow readers to respond to a dilemma of yours, send us an outline of the situation of about 150 words. For advice from Pamela Stephenson Connolly on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns.

• All correspondence should reach us by Wednesday morning. Email (please don’t send attachments). Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see