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Adult son will not speak to me
Our adult son has ADD he has a partner and 2 children aged 5 and 3.
His partner works full time we gift him money so he can be a stay at home Dad. We also bought him a car so he can take his children to and from kindergarten and school.
We have 2 daughters who don’t have the issues their brother has. So we allow them to stay at a beach holiday house we have ( I inherited it from my father) They are good girls work hard with their husbands and extremely grateful that they have the use of my fathers house during the school holidays.
Recently our son and his partner found out that our daughters are using the house. They already live at the beach about 40minutes from my Dads house. Our son asked if he could use the house also and we said no because he already has money and a car from us plus already lives at the beach.
He has dismissed this argument and has texted me a very nasty message saying that I have completely broken his and mine relationship. That I am manipulative narcissist.
I have asked our daughters if they view me like this? As I started thinking it’s really the first time I his life that I have said no.
So my question is should I respond to this text message or say nothing. So far I haven’t responded. My husband did ring him and ask him to come for lunch so we can sort this situation out.
My husband says he needs us more than we need him but that’s not a solution either. His partner I think is also pushing for a breakaway from our family because our daughters and husbands are quite successful with work education etc.
So maybe jealousy is there as well. I am so saddened by this situation as our son blames me constantly about his own issues. He was diagnosed with ADD in 1991 put on medication and he managed to get into Uni. He never finished a bit like jobs he would get a job but always got the sack eventually because he didn’t feel like going. He was and still is a gamer buys and sells bit coin..
The sadness is not seeing his children who we adore. So please help us as we are so lost with which way to jump.
As your daughters are mainly staying in the house during school holidays I cant see why your son and his family cant stay there on the odd weekend when the house is vacant? You might have a reason?
In your eyes you are treating him fairly and balanced based on your purchasing a car for him and so on. To him your are discriminating against him for reasons he only knows. It could be that he sees it that the car was a necessity.
Bare in mind that this situation isn't unusual. I purchased my oldest daughter a new car when she was at uni for $3000. My younger daughter had $15,000 of dental work done at age 16yo of which I paid for. Then at 22yo my younger daughter (that I hadn't seen for 6 years her choice) visited and demanded $3000 from me as I'd purchased a car for her sister.
I explained to her- a/ the money I'd paid for her dental surgery was astronomical and I cant finance everything B/ my older daughter was travelling 3 hours by train at midnight to get to uni so it was a safety issue. C/ she had not seen me for 6 years, ignored my attempts to see her etc so I asked "are you my daughter or not"?
But I'll always be seen as favouring my eldest. The younger one I no longer have contact with, indeed I've told her "I cannot be a grandfather to your future children unless you are a daughter to me and treat me with such respect".
ADD is a complex illness as you know. You know your son better than most and your judgement should be on your own knowledge. If you do not want him at the holiday house that is your choice and your son is unreasonable to break ties over it, but it could be due to other topics that have built up over time.
One thing is certain, if he can break off ties over this topic and effectively take away his children from you, it can happen anytime in the future....
Take care both of you
Welcome to the forum.
Ton has given you many helpful observations and suggestions.
One thing I am sure you already know that with children and adult children no matter how much effort you take to make sure you treat them all fairly, there is a big chance one will see they have not been treated as well as the others.
I think with children sometimes reason can go out the window. As parents we try our hardest to be fair to all our children.
It is so difficult for you when your grandchildren are being involved.
Thank you for your response. There have been lots of issues with our son and trust is the biggest one. About 2 years ago my husband and I went on a retirement holiday to Canada for 4 weeks. Our son asked us if he could stay in the family house for a weekend as they had a wedding o go to. We said yes no problem. However he rented his own home out BnB stayed in ours without telling us or any members of the family. The house was left in a disgraceful state..My husband called him to discuss we ended up banning him from using our home only when we are there. Trust is a huge issue, in the past he has hacked into our emails printed off sensitive things about our wills then shared this information with his partner and her entire family, when my mother was dying and she adored him he couldn’t find a parking space and didn’t go back to the hospital she died 10 days later, I found lots of gifts for his children wrapped by my mother when I was clearing out her things. He made excuses why he could never see her. He never or rarely speaks to my father. So yes I am angry in the way he has no sense of family loyalty. Our daughters are the complete opposite.. Yet when he was single he never did anything like this.. So we are so perplexed. How do you say to anyone I don’t trust you particularly someone with ADD who has been knocked down so many times and just can’t get up anymore. This is the first ti e we have said no and meant it. I suppose in a way that a new light has been shed if we stop the money and stop it all. He will never see us again..
I'd like to join Tony and Quirky in welcoming you here.
It is one of hte heart-breaking things in life to discover a child has turned out in a way that displays selfishness, arrogance and a overwhelming sense of entitlement. And I'm afraid that is how your son (and maybe his spouse) sounds.
Your will is nobody's business but yours, your house should be treated with respect, and oyur gifts appreciated - with some form of tangible appreciation shown -plus affection.
Its not working is it?
I wholeheartedly agree that being cut off from your grandchildren is horrible for you - and in all probability bad for them, however the arrangement you have at the moment sounds more financial than anything else.
Your husband's idea of inviting him over sounds sensible. Perhaps when away from his wife his views may be less extreme though I think you have to be prepared for it it not ending well.
So no, if it was me I would not answer the text but see what develops at that lunch.
I also think Tony has made a good point, if a possible break up can happen over the use of a house, then it could happen anytime in the future. A change of attitude on his part needs to take place. Your simply giving in may well just make the next time harder.
Can you enlist your other children in speaking to him?
You are right as much as it pains me giving into him is the easy way out to stop the pain so we can see our grandchildren. I think a lunch just with him and my husband but then we thought his partner might think we are undermining her so should we invite her? If we invite her then their children come so no conversation takes place. We just never know what he is thinking and how he placed all blame on myself for his life. Then I thought I wonder if just he and I met maybe with a councillor or someone completely unbiased Maybe let him choose the person As you can see I am perplexed on what to do.. any thoughts would be appreciated
I might be over thinking the whole situation to it might blow over but then something else is bound to happen next month next year tomorrow
It is perplexing, frankly I think your husband's first choice, a lunch with just the three of you might at least allow you all to talk without attractions. If you suspect he might think 2 to 1 is 'ganging up' on him then choose just whichever one of you has the most chance of his relating to, plus him. It does not have to be a lunch, a sporting event or anything where you can converse. That way there is an 'excuse' for the meeting, it is not just a getting together to talk, plus you can shout as a gesture of good will.
If worry your DIL might think of it as a wedge, I'd imagine there might be a chance she may feel that way now anyway.
Suggesting a 3rd part such as a councilor would tend to make the dispute 'formal', maybe not an area to get into as yet?
These are all, I frankly admit, pure guesses. Dealing with people who have a sense of entitlement is an ongoing and difficult task.
Thank you for replying we My husband and I went to see a psychologist to see what we can do in this situation. She had much more insight than we do.
1.our son needs us more because we give him money to live off 2. We are simply to do nothing to his nasty texts or emails We do not respond. As this feeds his need to feel empowered against us. If we say nothing he has to look at himself. 3. We are not to discuss with our daughters as they will contact him most likely and say you’re being mean to Mum and Dad this feeds his nasty streak 4. She said the next gathering we have with the family Someone’s birthday Father’s Day Christmas etc one of our daughters can invite him The psychologist said he and his wife will come as though nothing has happened. However, we must be very careful what we put in emails if he calls keep it short and if he talks to us make sure that we are both in the room. She said he is damaged because he has ADD and it could be much worse. She said he has a partner who is sticking by him is sane well appears to be she will always be on his side as it should be with partners. I must say after just one very long session I feel weightless as the solution was staring at us. So we wait shut up 🤐 and see. The worst scenario is that they never contact us again. But I think she’s right they need us fiscally .. Awful really that playing these types of games with your own flesh and blood..
Thanks for letting us know how your visit to the psychologist went.
I can see it has helped you have someone else give an insight and a plan to help you and your husband.
Do you have another appointment with your psychologist in the future to let her know how the plan is working?
Thanks agin for letting us know how the visit went.
I'm delighted at the insight your psychologist displayed, it sounds a very realistic and practical view of the situation. While it may be sad there is a financial motive involved things can improve
Thank you for going into so much detail, it is helpful to us too