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Old 09-07-2015, 11:07 PM
 
1,824 posts, read 1,490,587 times
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Maybe he's trying to become his own person, independent. Maybe he figures that love between you has been proven long enough, so showing it that way is no longer necessary? Maybe he's talked about it with friends that don't hug their parents anymore & he doesn't want to feel abnormal. Does he ever talk to you? Does he have friends? Girlfriend? Does he like his job? Has he or is he planning to go to college? Does he ever tell you his problems? Or does he seem like a very private person? Is it possible he has a poor self image (even if he shouldn't) & think he doesn't deserve a hug?

Might he have thoughts, possibly serious problems he doesn't know if he should share with you, as in not wanting to be a burden? Might he be feeling indecisive about something general, like what to do with his life? Could he be obsessing on a particular concern? Maybe best not to ask him everything. Just let him know he can talk to you whenever, if he feels comfortable doing it, that you don't want to be a "smother mother". Do you want to know more about what's going on in his life & he doesn't want to share everything? Is it an empty nest feeling?

Has he shared with you anything about his hopes or plans? Could he be depressed or stressed? Is he welcome to live there indefinitely, & does he want to? You emphasized from affectionate to unaffectionate, from very happy to solemn. So, it seems like a major personality change? Just maybe he wants to move out, but maybe he feels you'd be hurt or he's otherwise unsure if he wants to do it.

There's so many possibilities & sense you want the old him back, or at least to get to know the new him quickly. Maybe you wonder if the feeling of suffering is mutual. But I'm no expert. Best wishes.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesmom View Post
My 22 year old son lives with us and I love him dearly. He is our only child and a good kid that pays his own bills, has a full time job, pays rent to us and is a very good person. But my heart is broken because he went from a very happy and affectionate kid to a solemn, unaffectionate adult. I know he loves me and has no problem telling me in texts, but when I am moved to give him a hug or any gesture of love, he backs away which kills me inside. I have been trained not to show him any affection and I hate it. He knows it breaks my heart. What mother's heart wouldn't be? He tells me he has a problem with "personal space". There are just those times when your kid looks a certain way or you are so happy for them for whatever reason and the natural thing to do is to show your love with a hug or kiss.
Anyone else have this issue with an adult child? I was hoping as he matured, he would warm up, but it only seems to get worse.
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:11 PM
 
35,107 posts, read 42,896,165 times
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I am not big on public displays of affection even if it is just a hug.
Respect the boundries he has as an adult and be grateful he is responsible and tells you he loves you.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Striving for Avalon
1,431 posts, read 2,181,634 times
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When I saw the thread title, I thought "Oh yeah, I went through that phase when I was 7 and feeling too old and manly* for such emotional foolishness."

Then I read the OP. It's a bit weird to do an about face on this. I could understand a kid getting heckled for being a mamma's boy or something similar. But to remain so distant at 22? I know there's the personal space matter (I am very sympathetic to that), but your someone's freakin' mother.

*In the way that a 7 year old feels such things.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:43 AM
 
5,210 posts, read 3,251,145 times
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mikesmom,

From a male standpoint: My mother used to insist i give her a kiss whenever I parted, for short outing or for months on end. I hated it when I was in my 20s, too.

There comes a time between the sexes that things like that become um. ah. awkward!
Just like a man {father} may stop hugging his daughter when she reaches around age 14-16; a young man wants to stop hugging/kissing his mother too {as well as his father}.

It Happens. Get over it. You know he loves you, so leave it be.

Be glad it's not that he doesn't like hugging for the same reason I don't like being hugged anymore, even after over 50 years, I still haven't had my body at least, forget.

I used to be beaten black and blue with blisters on blisters for just about anything or any reason growing up. I, or at least my body, remembers the stern abuse.

When MOH and I got together 15 yrs ago, MOH used to hug me, touch me, was very touchy-feeling, etc, and I'd jump clean out of my skin and up through the roof just on contact with any area of my back from my neck to my knees, the sites of the beatings. It took MOH about 5 years of "retraining" for me to ALLOW the touch without automatically reacting!

So, take it that he loves you for love he shows electronically with a text, and be glad he does.

To me, love almost always means/meant or equates to physical pain.

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Old 09-08-2015, 03:59 AM
 
482 posts, read 725,120 times
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Has he ever been teased or called a mommy's boy derogatorily by any of his friend or relatives? At his age, he is probably trying hard to prove himself as an independent adult and he may have gotten the idea that showing affection for mom, while great as a kid, is less appropriate as an adult since it "cramps his style" a bit. It sounds like he loves you very much, and this could just be a phase, which will go away once he's more secure in his adulthood.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,395 posts, read 10,297,934 times
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My mother is from Korea, a non touchy environment. She always says the Americans are so touchy touchy. There are kids in her country that wish their parents were more affectionate. I guess it just depends on the person and the culture. In Korea you don't usually see public displays of affection, but in America you can see people practically mating on the streets. lol

Unless you think he is depressed or has a spectrum disorder like Autism then I'd just respect his preferred method of affection. A hug is a physical display but doesn't equal how he feels about you. I'm not huggy, and my kids still know I love them. We only hug when it's serious, like at a funeral, or a break up or a deep convo. Never a daily how ya doing hug. You can express how you feel in a lot of ways, words being one, and it sounds like he already does that. What you want is him to show his affection to you in the same way you do. You might want to ask yourself why your self esteem needs this. Are you not confident he loves you?
By what you've said he seems to show plenty of respect toward you, I'd be thrilled with that and let it go.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:47 AM
 
3,637 posts, read 2,867,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesmom View Post
What mother's heart wouldn't be?
Many. Because many people realise that displays of affection are not something one side "lets" the other do - but something that is shared by both. If you want to display affection for another human being you need to do so in a manner that is meaningful and acceptable to _both_ of you. Not just one.

Tactility works for many - it certainly does for me - but it can be the opposite for others. You would do well to invest less time and emotion into considering what displays of affection are not acceptable to him - and more into exploring what forms ARE.

Sure it sometimes hurts - when our emotions for another person boil over and we would love to express it in a way meaningful to us - but part of that love is to temper our impulses and express ourselves in a way that feeds our connection with that person - not just feeding our own desire to express it.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:48 AM
 
16,719 posts, read 15,832,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesmom View Post
He knows it breaks my heart. What mother's heart wouldn't be?
Not any normal mother of an adult kid that I know of. At 22yo they are adults and don't want their mother all over them, texting "I love you" and wanting hugs constantly.

You are so into your adult kid that your alias name even reflects that.

Your son is telling you to back off.

You are way too involved with him, IMHO.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:37 AM
 
133 posts, read 190,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark85 View Post
Has he ever been teased or called a mommy's boy derogatorily by any of his friend or relatives? At his age, he is probably trying hard to prove himself as an independent adult and he may have gotten the idea that showing affection for mom, while great as a kid, is less appropriate as an adult since it "cramps his style" a bit. It sounds like he loves you very much, and this could just be a phase, which will go away once he's more secure in his adulthood.
Thank you Mark. No, never called a "mama's boy" or made fun of. Have never demanded he hug or give me a kiss. I'm not touchy feely myself or super affectionate. Just once in awhile wish I could give him a hug or kiss without him recoiling. I get it now. Just need to keep doing what I've been doing and hope someday that a hug from Mom will be ok. I think losing my Mom a few years ago increases my missing when it was ok to show my son I love him. He doesn't like being this way by the way. It is what it is.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:51 AM
 
133 posts, read 190,086 times
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I do ask first, "can I give you a hug"? This is not a daily, weekly or even a monthly issue at all. Once in a blue moon, in the privacy of our home, not in front of others, I want to touch my child with a quick hug. Period.
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