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Can I edit relationships by manually modifying the foreign key value?
When adding and removing relationships, you should either use the commands in the relationship context menu in the attributes inspector, or use the methods on IRelationshipClass for creating and deleting relationships.
You can do this by modifying the foreign key directly, however, if you do this the various dialogs in ArcMap will not update themselves to indicate the creation or deletion of the relationship. For example, if you have the attributes inspector open for a particular object, then modify its related object’s foreign key field using the table dialog to break the relationship, that change will not be visible in the attributes inspector until it is refreshed.