June 06, 2020, 07:16:42 am


"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

I'm feeling so sad!

Started by shuler1, July 01, 2011, 08:12:11 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Its been three months since I saw my 19 year old son and only child. The past 5 years were very difficult and although I don't want our relationship to go back to the way it was when DS was iving at home and making the adjustment to life as an adult child. I miss him terribly. He was caught smoking pot years ago but convinced us he had stopped. We latter realized that he had lied all along. Trust was lost and after we told him that his 16 year old girlfriend could not go in his room, he said hateful things to me, moved away and has not spoken a word or replied to the 2 texts I sent. He has a job in construction and does not want to go to college. He speaks very briefly to my husband, his dad but wont even acknowledge me. For the past 6 years my husband worked out of town and was away during the week. I was the  "mean parent" while his dad The "fun buddy parent" came home on the weekends. They surfed and hunted together during those years while I worked on my master's degree to teach English as a second Language. I was a reading teacher and taught my son, who is dyslexic to read. I homeschooled him until he was in the 5th grade & I was sympathetic to the painful school experience he had when he went to school. I advocated to get all the services he needed to succeed in the regular edu classrooms in place only to have my son latter tell me that he resented me for making his learning needs known. He was adopted from Mexico and did not want to stand out in any way as different. We were so very close & although I am ready for him to transition into the adult world, I miss talking with him, and the relationship we had years ago. My heart is broken because he wants nothing at all to do with me.


What I try to remind everyone, once I got it myself, is that you were a whole person before you became a mother and you can be a whole person again. You gave it your best shot. That's all any of us can do. Now the ball is in his court and he needs to take it from here. Unfortunately it is very convenient to blame failures and shortcomings on a parent and deny responsibility for them...which keeps them in place instead of using them as life lessons. His decision and he may or may not change that. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Welcome Shuler1, you're not alone. I hope you can find some comfort and support here as you figure out how to move forward while your son figures out what he wants out of life. I miss talking with my DS as well; he's not cut us off, but we rarely see him due to his busy schedule and obligations to his ILs. It can be like a missing limb sometimes.

From your post it seems you were a concerned, loving, hardworking, responsible parent. Our kids can turn things around to suit their realities. One day I hope your son understands. In the meantime, what can you do to take care of yourself and your relationship with your DH? Sometimes when the pressure is off our adult children, they respond by wanting to reconnect. Best wishes.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I'm sure you've heard all the 'cheer up' ideas your friends have to offer about leaving the nest and establishing independence, and I know you are aware that probably time will heal this wound and your son will before very long return to a loving relationship with you.  But that doesn't so much help today.  Be comforted at least in the fact that you are in good company and that this is a passage for so many parents.  I was trying to comfort my young grandson yesterday (his father has new GF and left his sons this w/e to go out of state and meet her FOO) when he was feeling so sad and rejected.  I told him, 'darling, you know when you have a splinter in your foot - and it hurts so but you but a band aid on it and limp on outside, because out there is the volley ball net and the burgers are on the grill, and grandma and grandpa and aunts and uncles are there?  The foot still hurts indeed, but it is still a lot of fun to go out to the cookout!'  I meant how hard but needful it is to learn to live alongside pain and simultaneously develop a good quality of life.  Life your life now, and smile that the hard phase of parenting is over.   welcome.


Shuler,  congratulations on doing your job as a parent very well.  You told your son that certain things were unacceptable behavior: smoking pot and having girls in his room.  I admire you for standing up for these principles and for having the strength to tell your son what you expected of him.

I was a tough parent also.  I didn't try to be friends with my kids.  Instead I took my job as parent seriously.  I didn't let my 14-yr-old daughter go to a coed sleepover at her best friends house.  I didn't allow my kids to drink beer or smoke.  I had a lot of rules that my kids tried to get around with the excuse "all my friends parents allow it!".  Yes, indeed, all their friends parents did allow a lot of the things I didn't allow. 

I now see my son approx twice a year.   Calls and email communications from him are few.  But (luckily) he has turned out to be a good kid.  Your son sounds like a successful good kid also.  Don't expect him to be in constant contact with you.  You were a very good mother you should be proud of that!  The knowledge that you did your job well is your true reward. both here on earth and in heaven.  We other mothers salute you and thank you for your contribution to a sane hard-working society.


QuoteI meant how hard but needful it is to learn to live alongside pain and simultaneously develop a good quality of life.

Ruth - love this quote.  Thanks ...


Welcome Shuler1 :)

If you haven't already done so please read the Forum Agreement under the category Open Me First.  We ask all new members to do so not b/c there is anything wrong with your post.

You are a good parent and did the right things, don't let anyone tell you differently.  We all make mistakes!
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


I love gardening and people and have spent a lot of time cultivating my gardens and friendships, and they have cultivated me. I just felt so alone yesterday. And thank you for checking, Pam. I did read the agreement.

The week DS left, DH was transferred to a local project and works at home 4 days a week now. Needless to say it has been an adjustment for us to suddenly find ourselves in the same house as empty nesters. My husband sees our son's departure as a good thing and when I express sadness, rather than acknowledge my feelings tells me that now we can have our time and that I should be happy. I try not to blame my husband for not being here, (which helps me understand why that is the easiest route for our son to take to take when the road got rough.) Last week, my husband had worked on an IT problem that he couldn't resolve & could only see disappointment that he did not exceed the requirements at work even though he knew it would be impossible. I had been ignoring the sadness all week and I broke down in a mess of tears before coming here last night. He got frustrated with me and there is tension in our 25 year marriage. He says he cares but he has a hard time balancing work demands and tends to shut down. In addition to all of this, my 86 year old needy mom lives in an apartment on our home and her caregiver has been out of town the past few weeks, so her needs fell on me.

On a more positive note, many of the kids I taught to read have contacted me with love & gratitude. Last weekend I went to the graduation of a former student who has so much going for him. He gave me way more credit for his success than I deserve and I am so proud of the young man he became. There are other young people with whom I enjoy a connection,  I'm getting involved with a program as a mentor to a teen age girls who are pregnant and I am finishing the last class before student teaching in the fall and then I graduate! My heart still aches for things to be healthy and happy with my son again. Thank you again for the affirming kind words, and for reminding me that I don't walk this road alone. It helps to hear from others who have traveled this road that regardless of my son's choices,  life will get better one day.   


The session timed out so I cut & pasted my reply, but this got left out of the beginning.

Thank you all so much for your comforting kind words. It means so very much to me and helps me more than I can communicate here.


Welcome shuler, and like one of the other ladies said, you are in good company here.  Keep venting and reading and you will find that it will become easier with time to remember that you are importand and you did your best.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Don't give up hope.  If you read other people's stories, you'll see that a 3 month split is not necessarily permanent.  Not that makes it easier to deal with, especially given your other issues.  Try to remember that although your son is an adult legally, emotionally and mentally he is still maturing.  He may see the light.  Depending on what he and his 16 yo girlfriend wanted to do in his room, he could have ended up in jail.  She's underage and he isn't.  Good luck. 

Keys Girl

Welcome Shuler,

I think there is a type of grief that you go through.  I think it is grief for the expectations of how your son might treat you, and hopes for the future.  No body knows what the future will bring, one day can make a huge difference so if he doesn't want to keep in touch there isn't much you can do except respect this wishes and drive on and make the best of it for yourself.

I'm like everyone else, I worked hard, did my best and was the best parent that I could be to my son.  There's an old saying "If your kids do half the job that you did as a parent, they are doing well".
"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown