Talk

Advanced search

I'm so hurt by what my son said to me.

(67 Posts)
Megatron Sat 11-Jul-20 10:30:01

He's 16. It's been a shit few months for him with lockdown, unable to do GCSE's and see his friends until recently etc. He has an up and down relationship with DH (his dad) and can be cheeky (usual stuff for his age), DH reacts and they argue. It's not awful but I feel a bit like a referee sometimes trying to keep everyone happy. DS doesn't like to take responsibility for just about anything and sees any conversation as 'having a go a him'.

I've always felt we have a really good relationship, we get on well, we talk about stuff (though he finds that more difficult now as he gets older). I know he finds things tricky at the moment so tried to talk to him this morning about how he was feeling and if he was OK. One of his friends told me last week that he was a bit worried about him which is what prompted this.

He said he wanted to talk but then just sat there. I said something along he lines of 'if there's anything on your mind you know you can talk to me, I've always thought we have a good relationship and can talk'.

He said 'Do we, I don't think it's as good as you seem to think it is'. I asked him what he meant and he said he couldn't put it into words but we don't get on as well as I think.

I am so hurt. I feel like I've just been landed with this statement with no explanation or reason. I try really hard to be mindful of his age and I know it's a difficult one but I feel a bit blindsided by this. If anyone had asked me what my relationship with him was like I could have said really good, we have our moments but we get on really well. Now I find out that he doesn't think our relationship is that great and I feel like a totally crap mum. It probably sounds trivial but I really am hurt.

OP’s posts: |
JoysOfString Sat 11-Jul-20 13:24:44

I think it’s difficult when as a parent of a teen, you have to flip between chatty and “close” and also being not only the one who is actually in charge, but also in the position where naturally they are pulling away from you but still need you. It can hurt flowers but IMO being the bigger person and maintaining the attitude that you’ll always be there to support them, is what they need - and they also need to push you away when you say that!

My 15yo ds does talk to me when the time is right - often late at night when dc2 is finally asleep - but there are other times when he’s embarrassed or annoyed if I try to talk to him about anything at all. I tend to make light of it and just call him a grumpy teenager and acknowledge that I can be a nagging old bat, and leave him alone when he seems to want that.

Also I would say that for my DS, and I remember for myself as a teen, having a shower/bath is important time of total privacy and possibly self-inspection (!) and coming to terms with your bodily changes, looking at your zits, etc - Which can than make you extra sensitive or embarrassed. So I try not to be on his case about that and steer clear, unless it’s essential.

You’re not a crap mum, you’re trying. I think having teens is the worst for thinking you’re doing ok and then being plunged into “I’m a crap mum” moments.

Megatron Sat 11-Jul-20 13:26:49

I think having teens is the worst for thinking you’re doing ok and then being plunged into “I’m a crap mum” moments

Oh god, this is so true.

OP’s posts: |
VenusTiger Sat 11-Jul-20 13:57:10

he's the quiet one so he probably overthinks things and catastrophises things, am I right @Megatron - I think I have this to come, as my little boy overthinks things all the time and he's only 7 - some of the things he comes out with sometimes (he's his own judge and jury) are like he's been possessed by an old man!
tbh, I think your DS was riddling you a little - he was saying that you don't know the half of it mom, as I keep so much from you and dad - and that's pretty standard when you're a teenager tbh. I would shake his comment off if you can, I don't think he meant it in a demeaning way, I think he was just trying to say, he's his own person and doesn't have to or want to tell you every little thing, but right now he probably wants some advice on a matter he can't explain as it will mean going over a whole lot of other stuff he wants to keep to himself.
Remind him how ace he is and how lovely the weather is today to take the focus off him, or he'll feel stifled and keep things even closer to his chest, that kind of thing, without delving too much. Good luck OP and flowers you sound like you're on top of things.

bluebird243 Sat 11-Jul-20 14:42:35

I think at this time on their lives teenagers are trying to establish their independence and identity but do it in clumsy ways, say things which hurt but aren't meant to, do thoughtless things without thinking of the impact on others.

When my eldest son was at this stage I can't quite remember what he said but I remember saying: 'look I'm a 38year old mother of 2 with a job and a mortgage, bills etc so you don't know what life has been like for me or how it is for me now...and you are a 16 year old boy who goes to secondary school, thinking about exams, future job, fitting in with friends etc. etc. and i have never been a 16 year old boy so I don't know what that is like, how can I? And i don't pretend to. I only know that there are things you want to keep to yourself, things you need friends for, that you will be out more than you are in doing things you like. I am not your friend i am your mother. I love you and care for you and always will....and you belong here. This is your home, this your family and it may not be perfect or the one you want but it's always here. We share the same house so lets just live our lives and get along until you find a place of your own whenever you are ready'.'

He was fine with that. I let him feel seperate, acknowledged that he was maturing and the needs of his personality and that he didn't want me stunting him. No problems with him once he realised he had his autonomy. [Now a 40 something father of 2...]

I'm sure your son just didn't say what he meant in the right way, nor did he intend to hurt you. You are not a crap mum but maybe taking it all too much to heart..

Coyoacan Sat 11-Jul-20 17:04:16

You have my sympathy, OP, but my take on his comment is that to really have a close relationship, he should be able to tell you the truth, even if it is hurtful.

It is easy to have a close relationship when there is no need to say something that could hurt the other person, but when that need arises... as it will, within any family.

SummerCherry Sat 11-Jul-20 17:12:33

Honestly I’d take this as a positive - he’s communicating with you. He’s telling you that he doesn’t feel that he can talk to you - and you haven’t got as good a relationship as you think...

...this is really positive - he’s telling you and now is the time that you can reconnect. So please don’t shut him down - show him that you are strong enough as a Mum to take it on the chin. I would take him out for a walk or drive in the car - something where you are ‘alongside’ rather than just staring at each other in the face - and then tell him that you are sorry that he feels you don’t have as good a relationship. Don’t be defensive, just let it lie. Tell him that you want to have a better relationship. Tell him that you love him. Tell him that it’s okay if he doesn’t want to talk now, that you are there anytime. Tell him that you value him as a person and then say some good things about him - tell him about some positive traits you notice.

Then keep doing this - as in - keep seeing if he will open up a bit - treat him - take him out and buy a donut or a coffee together and sit in the car or have a stroll or whatever - or get him to help make his favourite dinner with you and have a chat that way.

Don’t give up on him. He obviously needs you and has been having a really rough time.

Thecurtainsofdestiny Sat 11-Jul-20 17:15:40

My son pushed me away about this age. It was just part of separating from mum and establishing his own identity. He came back later.

I think it's just part of developing as a person. It does hurt though! I found it was best to stay very steady and constant while he went through the turmoil of the teenage years.

Dozer Sat 11-Jul-20 17:25:10

Could he perhaps think that your H is U and that you prioritise DH over him?

SummerCherry Sat 11-Jul-20 17:35:15

Dozer might be right. I think you either have to completely stay out of his and his Dads arguments - or intervene not by ‘being in the middle’ but by telling BOTH of them that the way that they are communicating is not helpful. And as your DH is the adult - it’s up to him to be the grown up.

Maybe your DH is really picking on him and your DS feels rubbish and ganged up on?

diddl Sat 11-Jul-20 17:35:23

Dozer

Could he perhaps think that your H is U and that you prioritise DH over him?

I did also wonder that.

Maybe your husband needs to stop reacting & you can stop refereeing?

I could also be that he's conflicted about turning to mum about stuff at 16?

Worstemailever Sat 11-Jul-20 17:57:49

It sounds to me like he's unfairly leveled this accusation at you because you have failed to read his mind. However, it seems clear that he is unhappy and bottling up his feelings and has very little sense of how to communicate them with you. He sounds frustrated because he wants you to know what's going on, without him having to go through the effort or potential awkwardness of having to explain it. Keep calm. Perhaps try to do something that helps address his feelings/acts as a distraction. I.e. plan something that he enjoys doing to try and cheer him up before attempting a deeper conversation.

Megatron Sat 11-Jul-20 18:10:16

Could he perhaps think that your H is U and that you prioritise DH over him?

No I'm certain it's not this. If anything it's the opposite because I think DH is being unfair and too harsh sometimes. I don't interfere in that I get involved in their arguments as such but I seem to be forever trying to steady the waters and keep everything on an even keel. It's exhausting to be honest.

OP’s posts: |
LonginesPrime Sat 11-Jul-20 18:21:58

Now I find out that he doesn't think our relationship is that great and I feel like a totally crap mum.

It doesn't sound like he was having a dig at you, OP.

My interpretation of what he said would be "if our relationship's so great, why can't I bring myself to tell you what's actually bothering me and why have I been sitting here for ages unable to get the words out and/or worrying about your reaction?".

As PPs have said (and you've acknowledged), it's not about you or the quality of your relationship, so ditch the quality control angle and focus on supporting him and letting him know you're there for him no matter what and that he can talk to you whenever he's ready, on his terms.

Then stop asking him about it, give him some leeway generally as you know there's something wrong (despite not knowing what) and invite him to spend some quality time with you doing things he enjoys (he might not want to, but it's the thought that counts). He'll open up when he's ready.

PicsInRed Sat 11-Jul-20 18:41:05

Megatron

*Could he perhaps think that your H is U and that you prioritise DH over him?*

No I'm certain it's not this. If anything it's the opposite because I think DH is being unfair and too harsh sometimes. I don't interfere in that I get involved in their arguments as such but I seem to be forever trying to steady the waters and keep everything on an even keel. It's exhausting to be honest.

OP this was my first thought too.

Your husband is overly harsh on your son and you dont protect your son, staying out of it. "I don't interfere". Its not interfering. Its protecting your child.

My sense is that your son's relationship with his father is broken and yours is going the same way as you have allowed your son to be bullied in his own home by his own father.

Is your husband a bully? What would he do if you told him to back off your son and be kinder? Would he be concerned that someone had expressed concern about your mutual son's wellbeing, or would be simply be angry at being told what to do?

InFiveMins Sat 11-Jul-20 18:50:03

Ask him to go on a walk with you. it might help him to open up. do it regularly, will be good for you and encourage talking.

CrazyToast Sat 11-Jul-20 19:14:29

Hmm this sounds like a really typical teen thing to say. It fits in with 'you dont know me you dont understand me no one understands me cos me and my woes are special'.

Megatron Sat 11-Jul-20 19:19:29

My sense is that your son's relationship with his father is broken and yours is going the same way as you have allowed your son to be bullied in his own home by his own father.

Fuck right off @PicsInRed. You're so far off the mark it's embarrassing. DH can be a twat when he reacts and they have stupid arguments sometimes but he's in no way a bully. If he was his arse would be out the door. I would never allow my son to be bullied and I won't be bullied on here either by you making stuff up. So your 'sense' is bollocks.

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in