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SO frustrated...honestly shocked to realize how fractured my relationship with my kids is now that they are adults...and wondering how I can fix it or IF I can fix it...feeling hurt and defeated. My relationship with MY mother sucked, and I thought I did better, but it was apparently not good enough...now what?

By slydr688
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18 comments

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2

I am also experiencing ostracism by my son and his wife. I have read a lot about this, talked to a therapist, drunk dialed a close friend and cried myself into exhaustion. There's really only one solution: I let my son know that the porch light will always be on, and the key is under the welcome mat. Patience. And living one hell of an awesome life. As Zelda Fitzgerald said, "Living well is the best revenge."

skye724 Level 7 Aug 3, 2018
2

I loved my children so much, I thought they MUST have realized that they were my world. I felt I had to make up for their father's self-centeredness and indifference. So I was surprised when they expressed anger during their early adult days. For the most part though, my children and I have been supportive of each other through tough times. When the recession hit in 2009, I took a buyout from my company (a good move, the industry never recovered from that hit) and went back to school. But my age and the still faltering economy made it difficult to find work.At that point I also moved in with my adult children, oldest one for a year, next oldest for 9 months. And that did not work out. I did my best to be helpful and unobtrusive, but it just didn't work. Now that I am back in a place of my own, everything is fine, I help babysit for my grandchildren all the time and we are all close again. I hope things will work out well for you too. Life is just hard sometimes. But I'm sure you are a good mom and grandma. Love to you.

ohnoudun Level 5 July 28, 2018
2

How old are the kids? I'm sorry your kids don't appreciate what a treasure you are.

Aww...that's kind of you to say! But, I do accept my share of the blame. I made mistakes, and because they are my children, those mistakes affected them negatively. I own that. As hard as it has been, I have forgiven myself.

I have reconciled with my own mother this year, as dragging baggage around was killing my back...

My oldest is 25, and I live with her and my 3yo grandson. And I have a 19yo daughter as well, but she lives with her dad. I love them more than anything! And that's basically my whole family on this Earth...

My younger daughter and I can talk, a little...enough that she knows my position, and has admitted to me that she is angry with me for things, but that she is also interested in talking about it.

My older daughter is another story...I see all this anger in her, and I see it taking its toll on her, in different ways. I don't want her to spend her life holding onto bad feelings...no good comes of it. I know from experience...

WOW, I guess I needed to get all THAT out...FFS! LOL

@slydr68 my girls are 33, 30, and 26. They have all told me at one time or another that they're glad I am no longer with their dad, and as adults they've come to find out he really is hard to live with. However, the years right after the divorce were hard on the relationship. My first suggestion for you is to give it time. Be open to talking when they are. I feel your pain, it is a hard transition to make.

@HippieChick58 indeed it is...thank you!!!

3

The secret to surviving this is to have a life and interests of your own. This is easier when they are not living with you, of course. But all you can do is your best--right now. You can't go back in time and change anything. However, you can seize any opportunities that come your way to talk about past mistakes with compassion and non-judgment. Most of all, listen. Listen without defending. Listen without thinking of how you'll respond. Listen with love and an honest desire to understand how they feel and what they think. And after you have listened, share your understanding of what they said to make sure you get it. Let them know your love is unwavering and true. Tell them in detail why you love them and how proud you are of who they've become. Then give them time. And be very, very kind to yourself.

2

Let it be, the harder you try the father you will push them away, remember life comes in circles they will return just give them their space for the moment. Never stop loving, and try to be there when they fall, you will find more peace in this approach. Just as you had to spread your wings as an adult so must they!

bandit321 Level 6 July 26, 2018
3

Thanks everyone for responding...I guess the gist of it all is that I need to give them time, but also make sure they know I'm here for them, and I love them always...patience may be a virtue, but it's also a bitch...LOL

slydr68 Level 8 July 26, 2018
1

Communication and let them know that you're always be there for them.❤❤❤

Sheannutt Level 9 July 26, 2018
1

I don't know how old the child who lives with you is, but maybe it is an age related adjustment situation.
I also have a toxic relationship with my mother and I base my inter-actions with my daughter on that. ie I try not to act towards my daughter like my mother does towards me, which mean't that I had to let her go. I am not saying that you do this but in my case, once I stopped imposing my judgements on my daughter, our relationship blossomed and I found out that I not only loved her but I also liked her.

I live with my adult daughter, she doesn't live with me...and I don't judge her in any way...I think she is a great person, but she seems to have little love for me...

Sometimes I feel like no matter what we do, our kids are gonna be upset. Like there really is no right way...I don't beat myself up, because I know I always did the best I could do...some days my best was pretty awesome, and some days it just meant that we all lived thru the day...that's life, I guess.

@slydr68 The not feeling loved by your daughter is a tough one. Must be hard to deal with while living with her. Have you considered talking to her about it? I totally agree and can relate to the later half of your reply.

@patchoullijulie When I attempt a conversation, I get blown off...and I obviously don't want to piss her off...so...

@slydr68 That's too bad. I hope that it changes for the better for you at some point.

@patchoullijulie Thanks...I will just be patient...there is no other course...

@slydr68 Always a good course to take I think. smile002.gif

2

I don't know the circumstances of your estrangement, so it's not possible for me to give you any useful recommendations.

My daughter has refused to speak to me twice once for almost two years. I waited, never pushed, and went through hell. Eventually, she realized that I was the one person who had always been there to support her. Eventually she contacted me, and now we are close.

The only suggestion I can give is that when you get a chance to reconnect, start fresh and forget your past disagreements.

JimG Level 8 July 26, 2018
1

I empathize. I have one child out if four who is shunning me.

We will never get along and I don't actually like him, but I still love him and would appreciate a little bit of communication.

Oh, well.

The weird part to me is the one that I live with is the one who cannot seem to look me in the eye...and she has the younger once convinced that she has always been a victim of my poor decisions. Yes, I know there is some truth to that, as it's how things work. But she acts as tho she was a prisoner of war or something...her stepfather WAS an ass, and the way he treated the kids is why I left him. I cannot change the past, but she cannot get over it...

@slydr68 I understand. I wish I could give you advice, but I am in a similar conundrum.

1

I think after age 18 we should stop lecturing and passing out advice and just let our children live their own lives, and only participate when invited to do so.

If we act needy and clingy with them it only makes them more desperate to move far away. It's best we stay happy and busy with our own lives, work, friends, etc. They'll let us know if they miss us.

birdingnut Level 8 July 26, 2018

I don't lecture of give my children unsolicited advice. I live with one of them, so it would be really nice if we could have a conversation...

1

I wish I had some advice. I don't have children. Maybe though I don't need to have children to understand adult friendships.

I have noticed that my relationships with friends do better when I work at connecting with them. If I reach out via text to invite them to dinner just to catch up or to talk, the friendship (relationship) gets better. I know it might be hard at first, they may not want to spend quality time with you and will resist reconnecting, but persistence and a sincere desire to learn about them as adults and support them in whatever they are trying to accomplish might work. I haven't spoken to my mother since 1997 and if she reached out and showed a sincere interest in my life without judging and I felt like she was trying to be supportive even though she may not agree with my lifestyle choices, then I would love her for that.

Nukdookum Level 8 July 26, 2018
3

Without knowing any specifics all I can say is to have patience and just live your life best you can, be happy with yourself, be open to any and all communication with your adult kids. They are likely living their own lives, discovering how to adult without your help, and at some point they will invite you back into their lives. At least that's been my experience.

Sometimes kids just need to be on their own without any parental input until things settle into a time where they want your involvement. You've done the best you could with what you knew at the time. It's up to them now to complete their process growing into adults. We all do the best we can, and hope someday your efforts will be appreciated.

For me, it was when my daughter had her babies that she invited me back into her life wholeheartedly, rather than just the expected duty calls and visits while she was busy discovering her own life.

My son still keeps a bit of distance from me, but is closer with his dad. If he ever creates a family life of his own, I'm sure I'll be invited back into his life in a more wholehearted way. But for now, he's living his life, and I'm living mine. He does call me for recipes and other advice, but otherwise is pretty self sufficient.

It's sometimes a badge of a job well done that your kids don't need you any more? Hopefully a happy mutual relationship will eventually find a way to bring you closer together.

Julie808 Level 7 July 26, 2018
2

Give your kids time....they will come back around. It's not easy, but necessary.

Seeker55 Level 8 July 26, 2018
1

Given that you had a troubled relationship with your mom, seeing a therapist or counselor might help you get a better sense of the way the dynamic was passed from your mom to you. Remember you don't have to beat up yourself or anyone else for this. Also time and effort make forgiveness easier. Good luck to you.

SonofMax Level 7 July 25, 2018

I think that is part of my frustration. I HAVE done the work...gone thru counseling...and came out better for it! Recently repaired my relationship ship with my own mother, who is old, sick and alone. I'm ready, but they aren't...maybe they will be before I'm on MY deathbed...sigh

@slydr68 I'm so sorry. It sounds as though all you can do a this point is to give it time and be there for them, but live your life as best you can in the meantime.

2

Just because you are related doesn't mean you can/have to like them.....

AnneWimsey Level 8 July 25, 2018
0

What do your kids say?

They don't share anything with me...very private...I feel excluded in their lives at a time when I thought our relationships would evolve to ones between adults...maybe my expectations are the problem...

@Gwendolyn2018 Excellent question !!!! @slydr68 I see.. my follow comment now is that as long as they are healthy and doing well on their own, trust me that is not a bad deal at all

@slydr68 Mine tend to share what they know I’ll appreciate. I’ll only hear the downside when they can no longer hide it, and need advice. I’ve encouraged them to share the ‘not so good stuff,’ too, I think they try to spare me their pain...

@slydr68 Honestly, if they are sharing the good with you--and the bad when they need advice--it does not sound as if your relationship is fractured. It sounds as if they are trying to be considerate of your feelings and not worry or "bother" you when they are having issues. My youngest son, and his wife, let me know the good and the bad; I find it interesting, though, that if they are having marital problems (which is rare but does occur), my son will NOT share it with me but my daughter-in-law will.

On the other hand, my oldest son is homeless in California (I am in Missouri) and I have not heard from him in over two years. This is the hardest thing I have dealt with in my life, but he is an adult and is responsible for his actions. I wish the only issue were that he only shared the good things with me.

How our children turn out as adults is not only influenced by environment, but by other factors. Mental illness is rampant on my maternal side, and my oldest son has depression and other issues, made worse by drugs. The only thing I can do is wait and see if he contacts me some day.

If your offspring are not hostile, and it does not sound as if they are, let them know that you care and lines of communication are open, but do not try to force it. Let them come to you.

3

Gee where do I start here..... Suffice to say, having kids is a full time job and a life sentence at the same time. There will be ups and downs, that's the nature of the job

IamNobody Level 8 July 25, 2018

...don’t know why I’m giving that a thumbs up ..sounds like a death sentence smile005.gif

@Varn if things take an unexpected turn with your own kids, for whatever reason, then it does feel like it

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