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Old 11-02-2018, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,484 posts, read 43,730,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BumbleBeeHunter View Post
With all due respect, this is highly unusual. Something has happened to sever both of your relationships with your adult children. If I were you, as their loving parent, i would learn why this occurred.
Actually it isn't at all. Siblings tend to follow along if one has become estranged. Not all, of course. But it happens more than people are willing to discuss.
And what makes you think she hasn't tried to find out? If people are not willing to communicate at all how will she ever know? She is smart to let them go and live the rest of her life as best she can.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,914,959 times
Reputation: 35196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
And I believe this right here is your answer. You waited to mention he suffers from depression until the very last sentence in what seems to be in an almost dismissive manner while it could be the very reason for the lack of communication between the two of you.

You are describing your feelings well but do you understand his? It is difficult for people suffering from depression to open up and I wonder if you are pressuring him too much to be close as you are with his sister. He might find it frustrating that he can't be so he gets defensive around you and shuts down. It may not even be a conscious thing on his part. It could also just be he has a totally different personality from your daughter and he is being as close to you as possible for him.

Anyway, I think you should just let him know you are always there for him if he should ever want to talk and let it go at that. Then maybe get some counseling for yourself to learn how to manage your feelings as well as how to deal with your son's depression.
The thing is, if someone won't tell you what the problem is, all you're left with is guessing. I honestly got so sick of people coming up with reasons why my daughter wouldn't talk to me after five years, that I thought I'd go mad.

I finally said to my counselor just this last year - heck, maybe she has been possessed by aliens or the devil. Maybe she's been turned into a vampire. I mean, if you're not given any clues, then anything is possible.

But, the bottom line is, whether or not someone has been possessed by the devil, or invaded by aliens or they have depression, or are addicted to drugs - all you really have to go by is their behavior, if they aren't talking to you.

And therefore, you have to base how you react to them based only on their behavior - not some fairy tale that prevents you from reacting to their behavior, even though they are an adult.

So, I suggest you treat people like an adult based on their behavior. If you have asked them what the problem is, let them know you are willing to discuss resolving problems in an adult manner, and they aren't responding like an adult - then, it's time to treat them like you would any other adult who is not treating you well - regardless of their DNA.
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:17 PM
 
605 posts, read 188,327 times
Reputation: 638
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
T
So, I suggest you treat people like an adult based on their behavior. If you have asked them what the problem is, let them know you are willing to discuss resolving problems in an adult manner, and they aren't responding like an adult - then, it's time to treat them like you would any other adult who is not treating you well - regardless of their DNA.
Blessings to you. How rough It hurts bad. I still hurt though my son and I are much better now. Your words ring with me, I made those mistakes too.
To even read this makes me cry. Keep reading ok?
With all due respect, if your adult child is estranged, you controlling their words is dis-allowing them to tell you what the issue is. So when you say you don't know, sorry, but I don't believe it. Been there myself. Though those words never came out of my mouth, wow was it tempting to say it. Deny it.

Because you told us you felt abused. Your child is talking to you, but you are dis-allowing his words. Shutting him/her up. Not your right. Not taking responsibility. I did the same thing, got defensive too. I have no right to judge you. There is a HUGE log still in my eye. I've felt it. Yet...If someone cared enough to tell me this before, it would have saved us both much heartache.

That it was me who was selfish. I am the one with the power no matter what. No one can take that away, I am the parent. Of course he isn't going to treat another adult this way since there is no history behind it to incite such anger and grief. Rediculous the stuff I told myself to
prevent him from speaking, to discount his words. To discount him as a person. Shame on me.

I heard my son but I wasn't listening. I let him speak but got defensive like you and wanted to deem his words inappropriate somehow.Shut them up. I let him ream me over and over for a few years. Best thing I ever did!

I decided the truth is in the Bible. And I stuck to it. Sometimes I would very gently ermind him that no matter what he said, there will be no defensive words back. Ever. Because I loved him too much. Ever, never ever. I could see a load lifted from. I had done it long enough now he believed me!! And I would tell him I appreciate him telling me. No matter how horrible his words were, they weren't horrible to me. Not any more because once it became NOT ABOUT me, but him, it changed. Slowly. Thank God we were talking. I will just listen. As that pattern developed and remained, he started trusting me.

We have a good relationship now. He comes and stays a weekend once a month. We are just happy if

he spends the night but now it's the entire weekend. And he would never treat others the way he treats me, no one else is his MOM. I used that excuse too full well knowing it was BS.

It was all about ME

There are many excuses we can tell ourselves to not take responsibility due to trauma, pain or whatever. But you end up hurting the person who should be #1 in your life. It's ok to forgive him. Even 70x7 in one day. That's 149x.

In a Counselors office, if you both went for joint counseling, you realize they would force you to listen to her right? And not say a thing. You would take turns doing this. For as long, and as often, as it took. Yes it's expensive so if you can learn to do it, it won't be needed. When the parent who has all of the power just by their very position continues to control the child, there is never reconcilliation.

Being a Christian, eventually you must have one goal. The truth. If my God can die on the cross for my sins, the least I can do is listen to my son. But he wants us to take up our cross daily, ensure your child knows you will do that for him. That he matters and his words resonate. Apologize over and over if needed, and mean it. pray pray pray for them to heal. And ensure if you're the reason they are distraught, then by default, you must be the reason they are not longer distraught.

Last edited by BumbleBeeHunter; 11-02-2018 at 11:27 PM..
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,914,959 times
Reputation: 35196
Quote:
Originally Posted by BumbleBeeHunter View Post
Blessings to you. How rough It hurts bad. I still hurt though my son and I are much better now. Your words ring with me, I made those mistakes too.
To even read this makes me cry. Keep reading ok?
With all due respect, if your adult child is estranged, you controlling their words is dis-allowing them to tell you what the issue is. So when you say you don't know, sorry, but I don't believe it. Been there myself. Though those words never came out of my mouth, wow was it tempting to say it. Deny it.

Because you told us you felt abused. Your child is talking to you, but you are dis-allowing his words. Shutting him/her up. Not your right. Not taking responsibility. I did the same thing, got defensive too. I have any right to judge you. If someone cared enough to tell me this before, it would have saved us both much heartache. That it was me who was selfish. I am the one with the power no matter what. No one can take that away, I am the parent. Of course he isn't going to treat another adult this way since there is no history behind it to incite such anger and grief. Rediculous the stuff I told myself to
prevent him from speaking, to discount his words. To discount him as a person. Shame on me.

I heard my son but I wasn't listening. I let him speak but got defensive like you and wanted to deem his words inappropriate somehow.Shut them up. I let him ream me over and over for a few years.

I decided the truth is in the Bible. And I stuck to it. Sometimes I would very gently emind him that no matter what he said, there will be no defensive words back. And I would tell him I appreciate him telling me. It was true, I meant it. Thank God we were talking. I will just listen. As that pattern developed and remained, he started trusting me.

We have a good relationship now. He comes and stays a weekend once a month. We are just happy if

he spends the night but now it's the entire weekend. And he would never treat others the way he treats me, no one else is his MOM. I used that excuse too full well knowing it was BS.

It was all about ME

There are many excuses we can tell ourselves to not take responsibility due to trauma, pain or whatever. But you end up hurting the person who should be #1 in your life. It's ok to forgive him. Even 70x7 in one day. That's 149x.

In a Counselors office, if you both went for joint counseling, you realize they would force you to listen to her right? And not say a thing. You would take turns doing this. For as long, and as often, as it took. Yes it's expensive so if you can learn to do it, it won't be needed. When the parent who has all of the power just by their very position continues to control the child, there is never reconcilliation.

Being a Christian, eventually you must have one goal. The truth. If my God can die on the cross for my sins, the least I can do is listen to my son. But he wants us to take up our cross daily, ensure your child knows you will do that for him. That he matters and his words resonate. Apologize over and over if needed, and mean it. pray pray pray for them to heal. And ensure if you're the reason they are distraught, then by default, you must be the reason they are not longer distraught.
I completely disagree. I begged my daughter to communicate with me for 5 years. Nope, this is not on me.

If you want to take on some martyr role, assuming responsibility regardless of the fact that your kids are now adults, that's your choice.

But, I don't believe God is unaware of how some kids are just spoiled brats, and he/she doesn't blame the parents or expect them to suffer or bear the blame for an adult's behavior, even if they share the same DNA. I believe in a fair, loving, smart God. If you want to flog yourself forever, thinking you deserve it, that's your choice. I'm over that.
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:39 PM
 
605 posts, read 188,327 times
Reputation: 638
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I completely disagree. I begged my daughter to communicate with me for 5 years. Nope, this is not on me.

If you want to take on some martyr role, assuming responsibility regardless of the fact that your kids are now adults, that's your choice.

But, I don't believe God is unaware of how some kids are just spoiled brats, and he/she doesn't blame the parents or expect them to suffer or bear the blame for an adult's behavior, even if they share the same DNA. I believe in a fair, loving, smart God. If you want to flog yourself forever, thinking you deserve it, that's your choice. I'm over that.
I am sorry to hear this. I will keep you both in my prayers.

When it comes to fairness and suffering the blame for another adults behavior, well it's ironic you'd say that. Because our Father had the right to play fair. Our Father had that right but relinquished it for his children, including adult children,... whom he loved. He lost his right to live, suffered unimaginable torture as a man nailed to a cross... because he loved me that much. That's the model I see. It's the model I've been given. In no way am I called to suffer like that for my own son. So I can at least, not shut him up. Encourage him to say whatever he wishes not making it about my feelings, my pain. My offense.
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:08 AM
 
1,104 posts, read 1,817,955 times
Reputation: 4678
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
1,932 posts, read 346,965 times
Reputation: 3131
Quote:
Originally Posted by reebo View Post
Totally agree, reebo
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:08 AM
 
4,343 posts, read 6,052,492 times
Reputation: 10428
Judging another's estrangement, giving advice based on our own personal experiences, might give a hint as to our issues with our own sons.

We walked on shards of glass for years with him, we took his negative barbs with smiles on our faces and pain in our hearts, but it wasn't until we said, "Enough," and spoke back to him that we've found peace.

I don't know his reasons. He didn't pull away from us until his late 30s. He's a troubled man (we are all troubled) and I find, for myself, it's easier to reach out to strangers than it is to family. I assume it's the same for him. I've let him go with love and respect, not just for him but for myself. I look in the mirror and I see a good woman.
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:40 AM
 
13,872 posts, read 7,381,208 times
Reputation: 25351
Isn’t the point to get them launched and living successful independent lives? My sister lives 3,000 miles away in another country and has a high paying VP job that sends her around the world. Her relationship with our divorced-remarried parents was far more limited than mine because of lack of opportunity. I was similarly busy but my geography was better so I was around more often. My mom has dementia and I manage her affairs. That would be pretty much impossible for my sister.
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,651,778 times
Reputation: 35449
Well just one more comment from from me. Sometimes it's not as if someone won't tell you what's wrong, it's probably that they can't. You can't fix their problem unless they want it fixed.
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