How do I react to my son age 28 who has a manipulative girlfriend ...

Sheela - posted on 08/08/2016 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I am 56 and live in India, my son 28 lives in Cupertino and works at Apple. All was well till his indian girlfriend moved in. In 2014 we went for 14 days to live with them.
Here I saw through to the girls manipulative ways which upset me deeply... I tried warning him too, though it fell on deaf ears.. She completely distorted and poisoned his mind... We have had arguements hence then when ever her topic came he became sensitive and overprotective ...In the last 2 years his calls have become far and less... I in retrospect have tried accommodating her for the benefit of entire family...
In June as we were planning to visit in October ...our daughter in Los Angeles and see our granddaughter I invited him and his girlfriend to stay with the family in Las Vegas to celebrate Diwali..
He snapped out of the blue. He humiliated and insulted me ... I was crying thru out the conversation but that did not budge him... He went on with his tirade.
I am completely heartbroken and devasted. Now I do not want to talk to him. I just want to do nothing with him… I wld cry every second day...
(Distancing, at its extreme, turns to cutting off. It can occur after long periods of conflict or as a sudden reaction to a difficult encounter.
Whatever the issue, the person doing the cutting off has difficulty addressing and resolving the problem directly and maturely.
Instead, they stop communicating. Continuing the relationship seems unmanageable to them.
Remember that shutting a person out is a response to anxiety and fusion. Your actions or lack of action didn’t cause this. Cutting off is a way people manage anxiety when they don’t know a better way. The love and caring is there; the ability to solve differences is not. You did not cause your child to turn away)

My confusion to tackle this situation is causing a great deal of anxiety... Pl suggest ...

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Melanie - posted on 08/12/2016

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Hi Sheela,

i am so sorry you are feeling this way.
I am 24 years old I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter and I have been with my fiance for 5 years now.

My mother would almost think how you are thinking. That i would be rude or i was being controlled.

As a young adult i think he gets annoyed of what you have to say. I tell you this because i went through the same thing with my mother.
every thing, every word she would say to me irritated me on a snap of a finger. I would never insult her or humiliate her I always respected my mother but when i would be annoyed of her i would talk to her less or shut her out when she would just try to be in my life and that is what moms do !

I understand it hurts you but it will hurt him more if he sees that you are not calling him at all or asking for him.

if you tell him that his girlfriend is manipulative or anything about his girlfriend he will automatically go against you. He himself is a grown man he knows what he is doing. & just like how he knows what he is doing there is going to be a day where he will realize and open his eyes about his relationship.

He will either put his foot down and end what he thinks is a good relationship, or maybe he might even change her manipulated acts.

But for him to learn that you as the mother have to be strong and try to ignore the situation sometimes. Let him learn for himself.

My mom would give me so much advice on what to do who not to date but i never listened to her because i am my own person. there are times she was right and times she was wrong until i'd hit rock bottom and have to deal with my issues on my own.

I will admit my fiance and I have been through really tough times in the past we were young with jealousy issues and it was a controlling relationship until i said that is it i cannot do it anymore. So i walked away..

a year later we found ourselves hanging out again but in a different aspect with a different mind set. our relationship went from being very unhealthy to being able to build a relationship that we thought we would never have.

Today we have a daughter and are getting married next year. My mom learned to love him as her son in law. she adores him.. she sees the change in our relationship and i thank God everyday for that change.

My point is no matter what you say or do he will treat you maybe the worst way and it will hurt but do not let him hear you cry or don't let him know you are hurting because he will do it more. just let him be and trust me he will be fine HE WILL REALIZE.

I know i did. Now i speak to my mother every single day i cannot picture myself shutting her out like i use to... for what? she carried me in her womb for 9 months and she was always and amazing mother still is and she is only trying to protect me i get that. But trust me let him learn on his own.

Leslie - posted on 08/09/2016

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I LOVE that you said your love would be nine months more than any others -- so true for us Moms!!! :-) It has to be so very hard for you when you were so close to your son before this I would suggest that maybe you write him a letter -- let him know that you do still love him and you miss the way things used to be with the talks and laughs between you. Don't bring up that you find his girlfriend manipulative at all - be loving and supportive. Just let him know and if you do it in writing vs. over the phone than he can't interrupt, you get all your feelings out and then it is up to him what he does with it - and it is something he can go back and reread as often as he likes.

We definitely need to see 'endings' as new beginnings - but I don't think that this is really an ending to your relationship with your son, it is just a bump in the road - yes, it may be a large bump but with love you will both get over the bump.

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Sheela - posted on 08/15/2016

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Hey Melanie
Thank you for this wonderful perspective from a young adult... Firstly apologies for responding so late… here in India it's a long Independence Day wkend.
what you say makes a lot of sense...and highlights what wld be going on in his mind… your mom is surely lucky to have you...I too have a daughter who is her own person... She has married a Taiwanese American boy… we dote on him .
delving a bit in the past may throw a better light… both my kids were diligent,talented students,for there Masters degree they went to the best Univ in US … both me and my husb are very open minded Indians and let our kids pursue their own calling… ( it's not a very normal thing here in India esp if it is a girl child) our friends and family have always applauded the balanced upbringing … also me and my husband are highly qualified indivi.
With my experiences have realised that a girl and a boys way of thinking is completely diverse…maybe Melanie if u were a boy ur reaction wld be diff… something surely to ponder on…
Many times I feel I have been left in the dark and wonder what's gone wrong… when you are in the dark, the easiest target to hit is yourself—to believe that you “failed” as a parent.
"Cutting of even for short time—is a gut-wrenching experience, provoking deep feelings of guilt, bewilderment, and hurt, all of which easily turn to anger… Cutting off is a way people manage anxiety when they don’t know a better way. The love and caring is there; the ability to solve differences is not.
I know my pain is real. I shld be mindful and compassionate of it, not to allow it to define or overwhelm me. What I need to do is to Put the focus on what I have control of: 'my own life'.
They say time is the best healer…
As of now I am formal and precise when he calls... My heart and mind is too wary and guarded
Looking fwd to your thoughts and views...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/10/2016

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Fixed. You are no longer welcome to post here.

~WtCoM MoD LiTtLe MiSs~

Erika - posted on 08/10/2016

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Do u think im too big for my moms friend to use a belt on me instead of her beating the fuck out of me

Leslie - posted on 08/10/2016

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Erika I think you need to grow up and not disrespect people. It's fine to not like someone but you don't need to goad them. Remember, you reap what you sow.

Erika - posted on 08/09/2016

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Im 25 and i disrespect my moms friend and she says shell beat the fuck out of me. Do you think she should use a belt on me instead to make me listen an respect

Sheela - posted on 08/09/2016

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Hey Leslie simply appreciate your insightful response... Yes I am sure it is just a bump on the road of life…
I think I will take your suggestion of writing him a letter...let me co-inside it on his birthday next month..
Life is dynamic ... Things change... Let me give it a chance, maybe I am giving time to heal the pain.

Sheela - posted on 08/08/2016

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Hey Leslie … wow thank you for the empathic reply… yes rightly said could be cross cultural too...
My love is unconditional and wld be nine months more then any others😀…
the problem for sharing this bizarre situation on this forum was to overcome the pain of estrangement … and learn to deal with it too .
He does call once in a while but I can't make myself to chat with him… there was a time where we spoke to each other for hours or so; from politics to sports to health……it kind of felt complete…as I have been very close to both my son and daughter………
…now it is deep pauses between the formalities of 2 to 3 liner conversation and I just pass the phone to his dad… cause I feel so not sure what Cld evoke a further response which I cannot tackle…
Let me also share with u some readings on my spiritual quest which have acted as a balm …
'We tend to get uncomfortable with endings , because every ending is a little death . That's why in many languages the word for 'goodbye' means 'see you again' . Whenever an experience comes to an end - a party , a vacation , your children leaving home , you die a little . A form that appeared in your conscious mind as that experience , dissolves . Often this leaves behind a feeling of Emptiness . Learn to accept endings in your life , you may feel empty initially ,but it turns into a sense of inner spaciousness which is deeply peaceful . By learning to die daily ,you open yourself to 'life".

Appreciate!!!

Leslie - posted on 08/08/2016

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I'm so sorry that this is going on Sheela...as a Mom it hurts I know :-( Some of what is going on could be cultural issues between American living/dating vs. Indian living/dating. I know that doesn't make it any easier but it may help to understand why your son has pulled away perhaps. As "Little Miss..." said, he is an adult, he has been living on his own with a very good job for awhile now so you really have no say on what he does - you did your best to try to warn him 2 years ago and he didn't heed what you said. Now your reaction needs to be to love him unconditionally and keep in touch with the couple every so often - send a card or an email, let them know you are thinking of them and wishing them well. Hopefully one day they will respond and stop distancing themselves from you.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/08/2016

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Then don't get involved in his relationship. You can certainly repair damage, and make-up without alienating his girlfriend. Just be nice!

Sheela - posted on 08/08/2016

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Thank you for ur response... I completely agree... I am not interfering a wee bit as the distances are too far and we all are too busy in our lives

The problem is now I want to cutoff /distance myself from him …Yes I was/am willing to accept his relationship but now I feel I don't want to get involved ……

I am shying away from the pain… but deep within I miss the caring and love we shared..

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/08/2016

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I understand you wanting to protect your son, but please understand he is a grown man in a relationship of his own. His mother (you) should not be interfering at all. He needs to live his life regardless of your approval of his partner. You are his mother, and should be there for him at all costs....not out of convinience for you. Chances are, you will never like/love who he dates and marries. Things may look different from the outside, and that is not for you to judge. They may have a wonderful relationship that you are not privy to, and you are judging only what you see.

You may be a big problem in their relationship, and that is why he snapped at you. Crying should be an emotion, not a way to control someone. Please don't be THAT mother in law that cannot get along with the women because she is taking away her son. I hate that, and have lived through it. Back off of their relationship, and work on repairing your own relationship with your son without giving unsolicited advice and opinions. He clearly doesn't want it, and has caused damage to your relationship. He has chosen this women, let him live his life.

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