Why Does My Adult Son Seem Not to Love me?

Anna - posted on 01/01/2015 ( 43 moms have responded )

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My only child and only son is in his early 20's and even though he knows I will buy him Christmas Gifts he did not even get me a card. But I know he went shopping to get his girlfriend a gift. I also had bought him some groceries leading up to Christmas and got his car fixed so it would pass inspection. I just do not get what goes through his head. He has to know I would be hurt, and he has to know that if he did give me a little something it would mean so much to me. Same thing last year. It just breaks mu heart and it is so hard to deal with as he tends to be distant with me and rude often.

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Mickicaudle - posted on 10/15/2015

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I just read this and my heart breaks for you. I can imagine how you feel. I am crying so hard right now and trying to type. I can so relate to this. MY dad co signed a loan for my then 20 year old son about 10 years ago for Christmas gifts. I had no idea but my dad kept asking me what my son got me for Christmas. I told my dad it didn't matter and that I knew he didn't have money to spend on me. My dad then told me about the two thousand dollar loan for a 20year old to but Christmas gifts with. I was a single mom all of his life and he was my only child. He is so horrible to me. I recently lost my dad and he now has 2 little girls who he has custody of as of yesterday. I helped him so much during his divorce. I continue to help him although he is somewhat financially stable but at times when I talk to him actually most of the time, he acts like I am the lowest form of scum on this earth. It has me so depressed and after just losing my dad who was very special to me...........and my mom dies when I was 10, omgosh, I just don't know what to do. My sons dad is very bi polar and my son had never exhibited any bi polar behavior to anyone until recently and its just to me. And boy do I get it. It has me so depressed to the point................I cant say but its to the point that omgosh, I just cant stop crying tonight . Please if anyone has ever been through this I would so appreciate your help and advice mickicaudle@yahoo.com

Wanda - posted on 01/06/2015

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My councellor says let them make their own mistakes..it's the only way they learn life's real consequences. Hard to do as a parent. All we want is successful children..but their life is theirs..not ours. If he chooses a life of less paying jobs then so be it. And he probably prefers his gfs family because there are less expectations, making him feel more like himself. Being a parent can be painful if we keep taking on our kids life challenges, yet it's so hard to step back.. Good luck to u..it will all work out if u let it. Stay positive and take it day by day 😄

Tisha Marie - posted on 01/04/2015

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I have a daughter who is 22 and se makes me feel the same way a lot of you moms feel. I was a single mom with her since she was 10, we were always so close and then last year she got in a bad domestic violence relationship and I intervened a lot!!! The violence was bad enough its going to trial. She started dating someone a few months ago, I hardly see her and she does treat his family a lot better than me. She gets very mad at me when I ask her spend time it hurts because we were so close.

Dove - posted on 01/07/2015

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My brother is 41 and still 'living off my mom'... she makes excuses for him ALL the time of why he can't afford this or he needs that.... Yes, he works, but it's 'never enough'... My brother has ALWAYS lived beyond his means because he's never had to simply flat out fend for himself.

What you do or do not allow your son to use you for is completely up to you. If you want to change it... do so. If not... continue on as you have been.

Your son uses you for things because you let him do it.

Trisha - posted on 01/14/2015

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Don't see it as him not seeming to love you. Some people just have different ways of showing it. He is just self absorbed right now, as you mentioned. He will come around I am sure.

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Anna - posted on 01/15/2015

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Thanks Trisha, I do try to keep this in mind. I thought by the time he was in his early twenties, things would improve. Hopefully he is a late bloomer. It is almost like he thinks it is uncool to show much affection to his Mom.

Anna - posted on 01/14/2015

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Yes I have told him in the past. Last year he got presents for his dog, his girlfriend, but not me. I did not say anything this year because it is redundant at this point. I just do not know what could be going through his head. I guess he is totally self absorbed in his own little world.

Trisha - posted on 01/13/2015

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Have you considered telling him that this upset you? My 15 yr old step son does the same. I have told him that it is not nice, and that he should put effort into getting us gifts. He might not understand fully that you still need to be shown that you want to are worth loving an thinking of, simply because he is busy with his own life/gf at this moment.

Anna - posted on 01/13/2015

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Actually that is such a nice story that some of you were such great teens and your kids did fine because of your excellent parenting skills. But did you ever stop to think that regardless of good parenting, things still do not always work out? By the way we live in a rural area. He cannot walk to work, get real. Your judgement is of no help when there are plenty of good parents who had good parenting skills that still have some issues. Your advice is just as bad. Do not enable- wow never thought of that one! It is a balance and is not all black and white.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/07/2015

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and "what goes through his head" is that he knows you'll bail him out of whatever bind he's in, so he doesn't "really" have to be responsible.

Michelle - posted on 01/07/2015

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I didn't go to college and I have been living out of home since I was 18. I got a full time job at 16 and have been supporting myself since.
I own my own home and earn a decent salary. I have 3 children and was even a single Mother for 5 years with 2 of them. I have always supported them as well. I have also traveled extensively and lived in 2 other countries (other than my birth country).
I guess I was stubborn enough to make sure I succeeded instead of relying on my parents.
My parents made sure I have every opportunity growing up but made sure that I understood that when I moved out it was my responsibility to support myself. If things didn't work I could have gone home but I made sure it worked.
So I'm not talking from experience of being a Mother who's child is in the same situation, I'm talking about my own life experience.
In regards to not giving you anything for birthdays and Christmas, you need to let him know it hurts you. Most kids are so self absorbed that they don't know how their actions (or lack of) can hurt others.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/07/2015

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Stop making excuses for your adult son. If he is struggling now...guess what? We all did it!

My 21 YO moved out when he was almost 19. He's managed to (on his own) maintain a lease for over 2 years, with a discounted rate each month for paying early. He maintains his own apartment, groceries, etc. He's been able to do this because I, as his mother, gave him the tools needed to be an adult and independent.

If he can't afford a car...then he can't afford one. Public transportation, or a bicycle, or...here's a unique thought his OWN TWO FEET will work wonders!

I'm sorry if you think that Michelle telling you that your son needs to grow up and be responsible is getting on your nerves, but its the truth. Children learn what they live. If you gave him the tools to succeed, back off and let him fly or fall. Quit enabling him, quit giving in to him. Treat him as he's treating you.

Michelle - posted on 01/07/2015

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Yes I have 3 children, why did you ask that?
If you think he's a bit depressed then maybe suggest some counselling for him. Maybe also for yourself, they may be able to help you with ways to help him.

Anna - posted on 01/06/2015

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There is truth to that letting them make their own mistakes. My son has made plenty. But at the same time at least when he was a teen and a young adult he would have chosen a darker path. Many kids need to be prodded to go to school. If they were not many would never go period. College is not for everyone but there are other training people can get verses working minimum wage for the rest of their lives. Then that impacts the parents down the road too. Because they cannot support themselves or if they have kids cannot support their family and want to come home to live with you.

Anna - posted on 01/06/2015

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Also I have to admit, I did put up with a lot of crap from my son to make sure he got his education. But I knew if I kicked him out he would not continue with college. When he did stop college after the 2 year then I did get him to move out and he is working now. But if wanted to stay at home, he had to go to college. It worked, but I did endure rudeness and still do sometimes.

Anna - posted on 01/06/2015

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Yonette, I think they need to know that it is an option. Not all kids can hack being sent to college. My son did his schooling from home. I think he would have dropped out too under traditional college norms. Some need to take less classes or get a certificate where they see they can attain something sooner than later. Or a 2 year that will give him employment options. I think the important thing is to keep them going, even if it is 2 or 3 classes. They end up feeling better about themselves in college. There are different paths to a degree. It took my son a long time just to get a 2 year degree. But I know he is proud of it and I hope he might go back to school too.

Yonette - posted on 01/06/2015

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Thanks Anna Maria, you are right. I have spoken to him about taking a few classes at a near by college. I just hope he hasn't given up on his education.

Anna - posted on 01/06/2015

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Michelle, I do stand up for myself, and we have had major arguments about it. I think he does have some issues with depression and other things as well. He has pretty much always been kinda short and rude. But not always of course. By nature he has a short fuse. Do you have children?

Anna - posted on 01/06/2015

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Hi Yonette, my son struggled in college too. First yearr drop outs are not uncommon in college. Maybe taking community college courses would be better for him. I did give my son a choice, if he wanted financial support he had to at least get a 2 year degree. He did do that. I would not give up on your son academically. College does not always have to be all or nothing. I do not get either why many do not seem to want to plan for their future. But we must keep pushing them to get educated.

Anna - posted on 01/06/2015

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Hi Sharyn, I never quite understood the thought process of something can only upset you if you let it. How can a Mom not be upset when a son or daughter is disrespectful or seems not to love you? I cannot just turn off my feelings like that. I did talk to him today on the phone, and he was in better spirits and did say at the end " love ya Mom". But then he can not even be bothered to get me a Christmas card, knowing he will be getting gifts from me.

Anna - posted on 01/06/2015

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Yes it does hurt when they are nicer with their partners family. My son's girlfriend has a large family and he is an only child with few relatives. It also hurts that they do not think to invite me to functions.

Sharyn - posted on 01/04/2015

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It is sad how our children treat us at times throughout their lives but we are each individuals, and I think what we all do is expect others to be as we are, and when they are not, it upsets us. If you want to give to him simply because it makes you happy then you should do so for that reason only and not think about getting anything back. I do not agree with the way he treats you but it can only upset you if you allow it. You can't change him, only he can do that, but you can change you.

Yonette - posted on 01/04/2015

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My son fails to understand the importance of planning for his future. Why do kids these days think that things will be handed to them.

Michelle - posted on 01/04/2015

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Sorry if I sounded mean but you keep enabling him and letting him treat you that way. Let him know how he makes you feel and that you expect him to treat you the way you raised him.
People will treat you the way you let them so you need to stand up for yourself.

Yonette - posted on 01/04/2015

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I am going through the same thing. My son just flunked out of college after only one semester, and is so rude to me. I too bought him things and he wanted for nothing when Isent him away to school. when he came home, he said that I have never done anything for him. Now I'm im debt and he just doesn't seem to care. I think that we do too much for them. We need to stop, and start treating them like they treat us and maybe they will come to understand that we do hurt and we get what we put out in life. They take us for granted. In the past we have always been there for them, but they have taken our kindness for a weakness.

Anna - posted on 01/04/2015

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My son too is nicer to his girlfriends family than to his own. That must be painful to you when your Mom and your son are so nice to each other but not to you. I am glad though he comes through on your birthday and Christmas. Mine rarely does. He does on Mothers Day.

Anna - posted on 01/04/2015

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You are not being very helpful at all. Actually you are acting like an online bully. Actually we live in a rural area that does not have public transportation. My son is making progress as he has moved out and is starting to have to pay his own bills. Now if he cannot drive to work to pay his new bills, than everything will far apart. He certainly needs to become more independent, which he is at least moving in the right direction. My main complaint that I wrote about is he does not seem to show me much love. He has always been reserved in that way, but it is still hard to understand.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/03/2015

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Ok, I understand what you're going through. My 20 year old sometimes treats me bad. He is disrespectful alot of the time. He was kicked out his senior year for lack of respect. And has had to grow up. I mean he works alot and has a college degree and in army, so he's dne well for him self but he has a girlfriend and he tends to want to spend more time with her family then us. Its like they are the only ones who have ever dne anything for him. This breaks my heart. BC we've dne all we could for this child. My mom and I dnt speak cause she's got bad issues, but she treats him like a king and he treats her like that's his mama too. Birthdays and Christmas, he always does for me tho.

Michelle - posted on 01/03/2015

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When I first started working I didn't have a car, I caught a bus and train to get to and from work.
You really don't sound like you want any help, you keep making excuses why you have to keep giving him money. If you really want him to stop treating you this way then YOU need to change.

Anna - posted on 01/03/2015

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He needs a car to get to work. It is not that black and white. He is just starting out with his own place, he having to now pay rent and other bills.

Michelle - posted on 01/02/2015

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If he can't afford a car then he shouldn't have one. If he's chosen to move out then he needs to fend for himself. He can't have the best of both worlds.
Like I said, you need to be strong and stop supporting him.

Anna - posted on 01/02/2015

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He does work and and recently moved out of the house and renting a place with a friend. But he does not make enough for a big care repair. As a kid and a teen he was defiant, so the relationship has always been a bit strained. We actually get along better since he moved out, but he id still rather distant and did nothing for Christmas.

Michelle - posted on 01/02/2015

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You don't just stop giving him things "for a while", you stop completely. It's his choice to drive around in the car, not yours. If he gets pulled over then it's his problem, not yours. If he doesn't have money to support himself then he should get a job. It's not your job to support him into adulthood. If he's not studying then he's on his own.
You need to be tough and let him make his own mistakes. The more you bail him out and pay for things so he doesn't get in trouble the more he will expect you to do and won't appreciate what you do.
Also why are you putting up with him being rude to you? Do you let everyone treat you like that? Why is he different?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/02/2015

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The most you can do is quit enabling the behaviour.

Stop mothering your adult son. Let him find out what life really is like, and then he may appreciate you more.

Unfortunately, it is a pattern I see frequently. Parents tend to "over give". They want their kids to have a "better life" or whatever, but don't realize that they are failing to instill human qualities in their children. Qualities like gratitude, appreciation, and the ability to love.

Tell him that you love him, and since you've raised him to be so "self sufficient", you don't feel that you need to help him along any more. And then stop. If he's got a human bone in his body, he'll ask what he's done to piss you off, and you can tell him that you are tired of him using you for a doormat, but never seeming to appreciate you.

Anna - posted on 01/02/2015

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I did that for awhile, but he was driving around on an expired inspection sticker and did not have money to fix his car. He did not even seem to care much even for himself.

Michelle - posted on 01/02/2015

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Maybe stop doing things for him, like not buying groceries and fixing his car. Then he might appreciate you more and think of showing it.
Also let him know that you won't tolerate him being rude to you anymore and when he finds his manners then you will see him again.

Anna - posted on 01/01/2015

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He knows but does not seem to care. I just do not get how someone is so willing to receive but willing give of themselves. It is very painful.

Ev - posted on 01/01/2015

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You can not force someone to deal with something they are not willing to deal with. If you bring it up only once a year or so...its not solving the problems. Maybe go to counseling.

Anna - posted on 01/01/2015

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It is a conversation we had last year and other years when he did nothing for my birthday either. He knows that I have felt he dos not love me, or not very much. It is because I know he realizes how I feel that he still does this. Plus it is so very selfish and rude. I do at some point want to bring it up again.

Ev - posted on 01/01/2015

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You need to talk to him about this and tell him how you feel. He is an adult and should be able to handle ths from you. Why hurt in silence? Maybe he does not realize what he is doing?

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