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Old 09-08-2015, 01:28 PM
 
11,431 posts, read 5,057,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayela View Post
I understand how your son feels. Touching people - even my mom, (who I love) physically makes my skin crawl. And honestly I don't recall exactly when that started because I don't remember it being that strong as a child. It was always there to a certain extent, but I have become much more averse as I've gotten older. For some odd reason, my husband is the only person who doesn't trigger that reaction - which incidentally had a great impact on my decision to marry him.

However I know my mom doesn't 'get' that, and would be confused and unhappy were I to not hug her periodically, so I brace 'n hug. I could happily go without (it would be a relief actually), and it wouldn't mean I loved her one ounce less. A bit of warning definitely helps.
Excluding personal preferences and the difference between immediate family members vs. strangers, a lot of it might stem from your ethnic background.
A study was conducted years ago assessing who different countries people reacted to their personal space being invaded. The Germans were the people who on average required the largest amount of personal space to feel comfortable, vs. the Brazilians who needed the least amount of personal space.
I can tell you from personal experience, people from Brazil are very touchy feely people who think nothing of hugging and kissing strangers as a form on introduction.
Actually, Hispanics in general seem to be that way much more so than those from European descent.

Lastly, remember there is a natural/hardwired instinct for immediate family members not to be physically involved with each other. Now the OP talking about her son, or a father with his daughter can have close contact, including kissing without fear of sexual feelings. Still there could be a instinctual feeling of discomfort/unease with close physical contact of a parent/sibling. So it may not be within the OP's sons control how he feels.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c0KvnIBbaU

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Old 09-08-2015, 05:04 PM
 
482 posts, read 725,267 times
Reputation: 437
It also depends on what kind of hugging we're talking about. I'm not a "hugger" but I do hug a lot of people, like relatives I haven't seen in a while, because they expect it. But the hugging is with arms extended, leaning forward and the only bodily contact is with the arms, hands and shoulders. It's not a "full embrace" kind of hug, with bodies pressed against each other. That would be extremely awkward with anyone other than a spouse or girlfriend.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:14 PM
 
327 posts, read 327,143 times
Reputation: 356
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.
You are probably not telling us the entire story of how you raised him. Odd post as well. Based on what you have indicated here, I think he is probably in the right here.

good luck!
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:30 PM
Status: "I'm not voting for the old white guy." (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: City Data Land
16,348 posts, read 9,745,198 times
Reputation: 31759
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.
There's a thread for that. I started it recently, and it may give you some helpful insights:

//www.city-data.com/forum/non-r...ou-hugger.html
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:04 PM
 
12,420 posts, read 9,539,322 times
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Okay, without reading all the replies (so sorry if I repeat someone else's thoughts) here's what I'd do:

"Mike. Son. I gave you life. You're my flesh and blood. I am going to insist on hugging you. Figure out the best way to take it and get ready because I will hug you if I have to wait until you're asleep, which will actually feel creepy. BUT I'LL DO IT! Don't make me hug you in your sleep, son."

I'm telling you, I'd have to break through that little whatever attitude and make him smile and make him TOLERATE hugs from his mom. I'm a mom with sons. The oldest stands like a stick when I hug him but he likes it inside. Trust me.

Even hugging a stick is good for you if that stick is your son.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:58 PM
Status: "I'm not voting for the old white guy." (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: City Data Land
16,348 posts, read 9,745,198 times
Reputation: 31759
Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
Okay, without reading all the replies (so sorry if I repeat someone else's thoughts) here's what I'd do:

"Mike. Son. I gave you life. You're my flesh and blood. I am going to insist on hugging you. Figure out the best way to take it and get ready because I will hug you if I have to wait until you're asleep, which will actually feel creepy. BUT I'LL DO IT! Don't make me hug you in your sleep, son."

I'm telling you, I'd have to break through that little whatever attitude and make him smile and make him TOLERATE hugs from his mom. I'm a mom with sons. The oldest stands like a stick when I hug him but he likes it inside. Trust me.

Even hugging a stick is good for you if that stick is your son.
I completely disagree. Being hugged when you aren't comfortable with it makes a person feel violated. I know this, because I am not a natural hugger and have to be very close to a person before I'm OK with hugging them. It's akin to an assault. No one should force physical contact on anyone. It doesn't matter what the relationship of the two people are.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 11,552,171 times
Reputation: 20596
He's not a child anymore. He may have given you the hugs when he was 9 because he had to. He's an adult and doesn't wish to be hugged. He wants his personal space. Nothing wrong with that.

I'm not a touchy feely person at all. I don't do hugs. I don't tell my parents I love them either. My mother bugs me about that all the time. I don't love my mother. She's done so much to hurt me - physically, emotionally, and mentally - in my lifetime and I really don't want her around. Things are great with my dad though....completely different person who didn't do those things to me.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Texas
627 posts, read 558,430 times
Reputation: 1958
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.
OP, I think the reason Mike(?) is behaving this way is a mixture of things. First, I think you have to remember that at 22, he is a young man figuring out who he is and what his place is in this world (like most his age). Along with that, at his age, instead of being out there in the world he is living with Mommy. It must be hard for him to reconcile this. It's hard to be a "man" and still live with Mom. Second, he is an only child. My husband is an only child and my 2 closest girlfriends are only children. All three of them have communicated to me that because of this, they feel a heavier burden of meeting the needs of their parents (emotional, time, future financial, etc.) Even if you aren't, I bet he feels smothered by you. He sees you everyday AND he is your only child. The fact that you stated that he KNOWS he breaks your heart when he doesn't hug you isn't a good thing for him or your relationship. Imo, generally, parents shouldn't make their children feel guilty like this.

Right now is his time to make mark on this world but he probably feels you "holding him back" by making him responsible for your heart. If anything, the more you pull him towards you, the more he will push away. I think this is normal for his age. At his age, he shouldn't feel any burden. He is 22. It is OK be to a little selfish. He shouldn't have a care in the world. That is what is so great about the early 20s. Pretty soon when wife and kids come along, he won't have this luxury. He'll come around. But in order for him to do this, you have to let him go and free him of any burden that he might feel to "make you happy".
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:15 PM
 
13,492 posts, read 21,932,310 times
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I have three 20 something sons. The two that now live on their own offer hugs and kisses to both me and my husband when we see them. But the one who still lives with us doesn't. He did when he came home on school breaks though.

Wait until your son moves out. I'm pretty sure the hugs will happen again when he isn't seeing you daily.
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:30 AM
 
16,719 posts, read 15,840,215 times
Reputation: 41268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayerdu View Post
I bet he feels smothered by you. He sees you everyday AND he is your only child. The fact that you stated that he KNOWS he breaks your heart when he doesn't hug you isn't a good thing for him or your relationship. Imo, generally, parents shouldn't make their children feel guilty like this.

Bingo!
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