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Understanding My Son

Question:

I have been this ongoing problem with my son, he is 25 and his father and I divorced when he was 16, he was all for the divorce so that isn’t the issue. He lives on his own and ever since our relationship has changed. He spends all holidays with his father’s side of the family, he forgets my birthday and very seldom calls me, I rarely see him. When I try to talk to him about how this is hurting me and my questions as to why he never spends holidays with me, he says that he has always spent holidays with my ex’s side of family. And he doesn’t understand why I am so hurt. It feels as though I am second and not important. I am alone and know some of this is due to me feeling alone. But at the same time this is not what I wanted our relationship to be. I am his mother and feel so hurt when he can’t even call or remember my birthday. Holidays are all spent with his grandparents and that side of the family. This is making me so hurt and depressed. Any advice would be appreciated, thank you.

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Answer:

I can feel your pain and I am certainly sympathetic to your plight. However, none of us can control what our adult children will do. In fact, it is a harsh fact that once our children are grown they make their own choices, whether we, as parents like it or not.

In terms of offering you advice, I would urge you to develop your social life via making friends, getting interested in activities, and being involved with people as much as you can. By developing your own life the absence of your son will feel less keen or sharp.

I would also suggest that, instead of complaining to your son, you do just the opposite. If you want to see him for dinner just invite him over, or out to dine with you. Try not to feel too proud to remind him of your birthday and invite him out to celebrate. If he refuses any of these invitations, just leave it alone. Your complaints do not work and I have no way of knowing what his issues really are.

One last thing I would suggest is that in developing your social life look for a man whom you might be interested in dating. The more you make yourself independent and separate, the less you will think about your son.

As a father of adult children I know this is difficult, believe me, but I also know how necessary it is.

Best of Luck

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