Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Feel estranged from my adult son(64 Posts)
My eldest son is almost 30. He got married about a year ago to a woman he's been with more than 10 years. He doesn't respond to text messages and never initiates contact. If I phone, or call around to his home (they only live a couple of miles away) he seems to be pleased to see me and is very chatty. This appears to have started when he got married, although they have been living together for a few years. It's really starting to get to me. I've tried talking to him about it, but haven't managed to get any real insight. We barely saw them last christmas - I had a bit of a family do and they were invited, but phoned a couple of hours before to say he couldn't come.
I wonder if he thinks we didn't help enough with the wedding? His wife's family were heavily involved and I think contributed financially. They sat at the top table at the wedding, whereas I and my exH (DS's dad) were at separate tables with our own families. This was my fault, as I said I didn't care where I sat, so long as I didn't have to sit with exH, and I'm not upset about it, it just seems to illustrate how we've been distanced since the wedding, and I wonder if me saying that about the seating upst them? We were not able to contribute financially (I have a lot of debt that I'm trying to clear), but did help in other ways. I miss the relationship we had. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to speak to him every day, but every week, or couple of weeks for a catch up would be nice. I have asked him if it's something I've done. He said, 'What could you have done, mum?' At the time I thought he meant I hadn't done anything, but now I am wracking my brains for something I did, thinking that he might have been being sarcastic (he often is!).... How do I get him to talk to me?
Well you were a bit awkward on the wedding (could you not just have swallowed your pride for one day) but I doubt that’s the main issue - probably hes just busy being married and has got used to you making all the effort.
Maybe phone less? But arrAnge to meet up more - have a regular slot to catch up like Sunday/Monday tea?
What was his reason for not making the Xmas do?
I don't phone that often anyway tbh. Regular catch ups would be wonderful. The Christmas do was back pain. Have seen him maybe 5 times this year
On the wedding awkwardness - I wish I hadn't said it. Silly cow (with myself). I don't think it's just me though. His brother tells me exH is also frustrated with his lack of communication. He did tell me about two years ago that he'd always been scared of his dad. He was very strict and shouty. I wonder if he feels he was emotionally abused and that I allowed it. We split up when he was 10, but he spent approximately 50% of the time with each of us.
It sounds like you have a normal relationship with an adult son. If he doesnt live nearby then a visit every couple of months sounds totally normal.
Do you think Nottheford? Maybe you're right. He does only live about 10 min drive away. I've been thinking maybe I should back right off and see what happens. I miss him though
Sounds exactly like a son im afraid.
A son's a son until he takes a wife
A daughters a daughter for the rest of her life
I think in general men are quite often like this and really just don't think or realise its upsetting, I don't think you've done anything wrong. My older brother is exactly like this and he stays a 2 minute drive away! He's always happy to see us if we pop by but it just doesn't occur to him to do the same!
This thread scares the life out of me. I have two sons. Ages 7 and 4. I am following this with interest and will be making notes of any advice given. I already feel like I'm losing my 7 year old!! Christ. The future looks horrendously heartbreaking!! So sorry OP. Could you friend up the daughter in law? Take her out. Go through her to get to your son?
Dh loves his mum. He never phones her for a chat. My db adores our mum and pops round about once a fortnight but never calls for a chat.
Both have long running 3 line email conversations though. Maybe try dropping an email just saying hi with an item of news.
I would love to make friends with his wife, but I'm rubbish at making friends (another thread possibly?) and I don't think she's that great at it either. Neither of us have particularly busy social lives. Can't see why emails would be better than text messages - which he ignores - not sure of his current email address anyway
Both DH & DB choose email over text. Doesn't matter if you don't see why if it's what works.
I think people are as good at staying in touch as they've been taught to be.
My DH is terrible, but his entire family are crap at phoning/emailing etc. His mum would go months without any contact at all, and has done significant things like moving house etc (to a whole new area, new phone, address, work) without telling us. Now she's on her own and wants more contact but he's just as useless as she used to be. How much were you in touch with your parents when he grew up?
Also - if he had a bad relationship with his Dad, he may well feel that being married is a chance to start again and put his emotional energy into being a husband rather than a son.
Mm. I kept in regular contact, phone calls once a week, visits every month even when living over 100 miles away. The DBs were about the same unless out of the country. After the upheavals of our teens it was fairly easy, and of course the children were much in demand. Also they both needed a weather eye as they got older. Both gone now.
Why don't you try to make an effort with your DIL? Ask her if she would like to go out to lunch. If she agrees, use the opportunity to get to know her through casual conversation. Getting closer to her might help foster the relationship with your son.
There’s some shocking sexism going on here and excusing crap behaviour just because they are men!
A son's a son until he takes a wife
A daughters a daughter for the rest of her life
I do wish people would stop quoting this absolute rubbish . Some sons are close to their mums , some daughters are not . OP I’d try and have a chat to both him and his wife and perhaps make a bit more of an effort , invite them to lunch / tea , just phone with some news about family or just for a chat .
I think it’s likely to be connected to his childhood, spending half of his time with a man he was scared of must have been grim. I think you need to address this.
*A son's a son until he takes a wife
A daughters a daughter for the rest of her life*
I really hate that rhyme. As the mum of adult sons, I find it inaccurate, sexist and upsetting. All parents and children, and their relationships, are different. Horrible thing to say.
OP, I'm sorry you're upset. How would you feel about meeting up with your son and daughter-in-law for a coffee or something, as you're only 10 minutes away? Would you be up for suggesting that? It could break the ice a bit without feeling too pressured and could maybe become a regular thing.
A son's a son....sexist bollocks
But yes, some people are like this OP, just keep trying (with decent intervals)
i agree, suggest a meet up, for coffee,
that rhyme was quoted at me when dd was a few days old. and ds was about 5 - its an unnecessary rhyme.
however i think you need to make an effort - make a suggestion.
He did tell me about two years ago that he'd always been scared of his dad. He was very strict and shouty. I wonder if he feels he was emotionally abused and that I allowed it.
Probably this. Maybe you're not wanting to sit with ExH made him think about how he had to spend 50% of his time as a child with a man he was scared of but you wouldn't even do a day.
And given you felt that way they couldn't put either of you on the top table. Did you expect them to move her parents too?
My mum thinks if we don't see each other for a fortnight we're drifting apart and need to have a chat. It's quite difficult.
I think it’s just a fact of life of being married really. You need to have a relationship with his wife as well as just him. His wife comes first to him now so you need to build up contact with her.
Maybe your lack of closeness with your DIL is the issue?
I've been with my DH 10 years and I can count the number of times I've met his mum on both hands. She's visited twice since the kids were born (hard for us to take twins on long distance journeys, it's only a couple of hours drive but it's a struggle for us and there's nowhere for us to stay up there.
We don't have a lot in common. I've never ever prevented my DH from seeing / contacting her, they're just both a bit useless at regular contact.
I had a bad relationship with my mum until a couple of years before she died. In the gentlest way possible, I wonder if there is something he feels resentful or angry about since that's what the issue was here.
Can you text and ask directly if you can pop in or meet for a coffee? Tell him you miss him. Hopefully he is just caught up in life (as often happens) and things will calm down if you keep up the contact.
Agree that you need to make a relationship with his wife. My boys are only one and I've already thought about how I will include their future partners in the family. Do they see a lot of her parents?
I am female. I love my mum a great deal but I struggle to remember to call her regularly, my sister does not. I would say I had a better relationship with my mum growing up.
I generally just hate making phone calls to anyone really. I am ok if people call me and will chat etc but just don't make calls myself. I am really just not good at keeping in contact as it always seems like I have something else I need to do first, then the day runs away with me and I have forgotten to call and it is too late.
. It isn't just a male thing
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.