November 30, 2023, 09:32:50 AM


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First Child leaves home... after a huge fight

Started by Sammelluv, October 31, 2017, 08:05:36 PM

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In June after a pretty heated fight.. I told my 19 year old son to get out.
He did. Moved in with a friend and his family. He has only came around a couple of times and flat out ignores me. I've reached out several times and ask that we talk.. generally with no response. I am heartbroken. How do I repair this, or at least keep my sanity?? We have always had a pretty close relationship, I truly cannot believe that our relationship would end like this. I am very lost and have no idea what to do. Please help.


If you are a new member, welcome.

First of all, I siuspect your relationship has not ended.  It has; however, taken a different road.  All of us here are on "different roads" from what we planned or expected.  One statement you will hear is "what you focus on, expands", so right now (and I know how hard it is) your focus needs to be on yourself - do whatever makes you happy - reading, baking, crafts, writing etc. and especially exercising.  If your son son is living with another family (assuming they are good people), then he is fed, nurtured and safe.  Keep the door open - if he is coming around, that is really good news.  I suspect he just needs "growing" room - and he needs to see that you can survive without him.   I am so sorry -


Hi, Sammelluv
I don't know the specifics of your situation, so I will share my experience in dealing with the relationship difficulties in raising my son, who is now grown and has his own family.   

The teenage years were stormy and many times I felt my son was hormonal because after a highly charged argument that he initiated he looked surprised at his own volatile reactions after the fact.  After arguments, sometimes I had to ask forgiveness for wrongdoing and at other times so did my son.  At one point during his teenage years he was so consistently disagreeable (putting it mildly) that I had him go live with his father.  Ultimately, this resulted in our going to counselling and that helped a lot. 

For his 18th birthday, I joyously exclaimed that I was no longer legally responsible for him.  I said this tongue in cheek, but my son understood the underlying message.  I noticed he became much more pleasant and willing to work out difficulties between us. 

Even with all the teenage turmoil, my son and I were close.  Because of this, I felt it could be difficult for him to emotionally separate from me as an adult, and I did not know if he would leave my house by either provoking an argument or amicably.  It was amicable, but it was by my request as I saw he was too comfortable and stalling out in moving forward with school and a career.  When he moved out in his early 20s, there were no bad feelings and we liked each other.  Whew!   

The late teenage and early adult years are a time of great growth and transition, so both parent and adult child have to make many emotional adjustments and it doesn't always go smoothly.  I'm sorry for the rough patch you are going through, but it may be "just" a temporary one that you and your son will need to work through if and when you are both willing.  It may take time.  As jdtm said, it's best you focus on other, more enjoyable things in your life at this time.  (((hugs))) to you!     


Welcome, S. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We're a monitored Website. Thanks in advance!

My experience is similar to the others that have responded to you. To become a healthy, responsible adult...separation has to occur. I left home at 18 and so did both of my sons. It isn't as hard when it is to go to college or into the service, which is what we did...but it was permanent and it was a long time before any of us, myself included, reached even a minimal level of maturity.

A blowup is no fun for anyone but it can achieve the same purpose. You both initiated it and you son's attempts at blaming you are probably about saving face. Who knows? We can't change others...just ourselves so I agree that focusing on your own life is where you will find peace. There is life after parenting. There are many here to attest to that! Hugs...

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thank you all. I believe he is trying to " save face the few times we have spoken I've  gotten a run down on how great his life is..
I think he wants me to be proud of him.
I come from a broken home myself and have always battled to have a good relationship with my kids. I still have 5 kids at home plus two grandchildren, so me time is nonexistent! I struggle when people say..
Do what makes you happy.. truth is I've never done ME  stuff, I have no idea what that is! As the kids get older and need less of me, I find myself asking.. is this all there is? Did I give my ALL, for this?? Who am I?? I think of all my hopes and dreams I put on hold to make their dreams come true, only to have my " golden child act like I don't exist... I truly had romantic thoughts of when my children grew up. I've spent so many years raising them, now I need to raise myself. Where do I begin? And with my son.. do I continue to reach out or wait for him to come around??


Welcome, Sammelluv!  I have to tell you that my daughter left home very abruptly, too, while still in high school.  It was after an argument with my husband, but she had already made the threat to move out a few times before so it wasn't totally unexpected.  My first reaction was relief because there had been so much tension.  Of course, my husband and I went through the gamut of emotions and it was a year of vertigo.  She, too, initially said how great life was away from home, and told me with pride how she was cleaning the boyfriend's mom's house regularly.  All I could do was cry because she never did that at home unprompted.  Maybe she also thought I'd be proud of her - not understanding that it was just plain hurtful.

That was four years ago.  In retrospect she has indicated that she should have stayed at home because it was much easier.  She's had regrets about giving up the life of a dependent child and becoming an adult too soon.  I think once all the financial demands became more stifling she realized what she had gotten herself into. Now, however, she is functioning very well at 22 and hasn't had our financial support for three years (except for health insurance), and she is way ahead of the financial and independence curve compared to most others her age.   Despite the awkwardness and the abruptness of her exit, the end result is good.  You may not be able to step back and understand the outcome of this abrupt departure and transition till much later either. 

With regard to your last question, I'd vote for giving him some space.  When you back off, it frees him up to come to you without pressure.  He may read any contacts you make as putting pressure or guilt on him, even though that is not your intention.  When regular family gatherings are planned, you can reach out, but otherwise I'd give him what he seems to want now.  I feel that I chased my daughter too much after she left.  If I could do it differently, I'd have given her more space early on and let her come to me. 

I'm sorry that I can't relate to having such a large household and no free time.  My husband and I only have 2 AC and are finally empty nesters, at least for now.  Eventually I suppose we all have to find some outside activities to give our lives meaning, but for now in your family there are others who you can choose to focus on and create special memories.

All the best!


As moms, we are used to self-sacrifice and going the extra mile for our kids as we raise them.  You may have that mindset now, and it may be disorienting for you to consider letting go of the situation with your son for the time being.  Maybe you feel there is "one more thing" you can do to fix the situation.  I have caught myself doing that at times, when the next move is really on the other person.  I don't know what your son will do next, but I expect he knows you love and care about him and your relationship. 

In terms of finding an enjoyable outlet for yourself, perhaps you can think about the fun activities you already do with your children/grandchildren that are especially enjoyable for you and you could build on that.  Maybe it's time you experiment and try something new.  I find gardening is wonderful for what ails me.  As you read older threads on WWU, you may get more good ideas for self-care. 

Hang in there!  :)