Adult Son Is Verbally Abusive

by Marilyn
(Canada)



I have a 31 year old son who is married with a 3 month old baby. He was always a difficult child who had many temper tantrums as a child with anger issues as a teenager. He would punch holes in walls and go into extreme rages.

We have been to family counseling when he was a teenager, and I as his mother have had my own counseling and he as a young adult had some counseling as well as anger management classes. Things settled down for a while but since he has had the baby his anger has resurfaced. He actually threw something when he had the baby in his arms.



He got into an argument with me and the language and name calling was horrible. He has crossed a line that I think a child should never do with a parent. I don't deserve this. I asked him to leave the house and told him he needed to go back into counseling. He told me he wasn't going to and if I thought by not talking to him would accomplish that it wouldn't work.

I take responsibility for my part in all of this but I do not want him around anymore. I would like to have a relationship with my grandson but he has used that against me as well, telling me I won't be a part of life, so I'm afraid to get attached to the baby for fear that he will do that someday.

Am I doing the right thing by not talking to him and telling him he is not welcome in my home anymore? What should I do if he won't go for help?





Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Marilyn, and thanks for telling your story here. I think you're definitely doing the right thing. You can add, when you talk to him, that he is allowed into your home after (you set the period of time), when he has gotten some help and decided that he can treat you with respect.

Your message, spoken and unspoken, needs to be that he will either treat you with respect or he will not see you. While that may seem harsh, it is actually the most loving thing you can do. To allow him to be abusive to you is not love, and it hurts him as well as you.

Unfortunately, this will probably mean loss of contact with your grandson, for a short or long while. This is still better than allowing him to be abusive. You can't control his behavior. Just set boundaries around his relationship with you. That is the best you can do.

Meanwhile, every time you think of your son, picture him in your mind's eye healing and waking up to the good person he is inside. If you are oriented to prayer, pray for him. Believe in the goodness within him to rise to the surface, and let go. Find the distance from which you can love him, and let the rest go.

This page will help: letting go of a relationship.

Focus on creating a healthy, loving, joyful life for yourself.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

P.S. If you found this to be helpful, please consider making a donation to this site to support our mission.

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Dec 06, 2013
Abusive son
by: Anonymous

I also have a grown son with problems. He is blaming everyone else including me for his problems. He blows up and most recently physically hurt me and threatened to kill me. He called me names I would never repeat and he did it all to hurt me because he is unhappy with himself. I finally told him not to come back. To get help. I don't want to see him and don't want him to be around me or my grandchildren. I am afraid. I need to change the locks on my doors. I am going to find out how much it costs. Thanks for your website. God Bless all of us.

Jul 08, 2013
only God is there to help
by: Anonymous

I'm mother of a 17 year old son. Recently we moved to Canada and he is an only child. He had a very calm and peaceful childhood. After 15, he started behaving very aggressive and violent. He doesn't listen to us. If you say something he starts making funny faces and uses abusive language. Most of the time he threatens to break walls and things. What to do with this boy. All day and night he is on Facebook and messaging on the phone. If I say something he won't listen.

Jun 12, 2013
pain
by: linda

I have had abuse from my son for years he is now 28 with 2 young children,his temper is explosive at the smallest things, he swears and screams at me at the top of his voice in front of my friends family neighbours and strangers, and has me believing im the one at fault, I find myself questioning myself and thinking yes it is me, he thinks the world owes him, terrified of him. today I made the diction to totally put him out of my life and that alone is heart breaking to add to that I am told I cant see the grand children, but told him I wont allow him to use them to control me. to remove my pain I have inflicted even more pain upon myself. just wish I was stronger and not hurting so bad, my husband has passed away so hard doing this alone but my 2 other sons have also backed me up by taking him out of there life too [is this too much for him] guess this is a cry for help than a comment.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Linda

It sounds like you have definitely done the right thing. Your sons that are backing you up would not be doing that if you were not on track. Your son that you can cut yourself off from needs to feel the natural consequences of his actions, and he needs to get the clear message from you that he either treats you with respect or he does not get to be with you or communicate with you. The pain you're going through is understandable. It is grief, and it's deep, because of what has happened. But it will pass over time, and the pain of continuing to allow him to abuse and manipulate you with his children would be ongoing, and it would get worse. Hang in there. You're on track, and it will get better.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Apr 08, 2013
Abusive Adult Children
by: Anonymous

When I was a child, the abuse I went through was most definitely at the high end of the spectrum.

Now I am in a situation where my bf's adult son is calling the shots. I am not allowed in the house, or in the same room as him. He has threatened me, and I have threatened to call the police. I am actively looking for work; he smokes everything and plays online games all day.

You have heard it all before.

His father and I have talked it over and he is at his wit's end. He doesn't know what to do.

But I do. The key is to get out - at any cost, irrespective of the ties I might break. I don't care if the son "wins" or loses. I care about my own peace of mind. When you are doing your "business" in a bucket because you can't go in the house to use the toilet, you will know what I mean. Anything is an improvement.

I feel badly that I have let myself down after all these years, but at least I can do something about it now.

Feb 16, 2013
Abusive Son
by: Anonymous

My problem is similar to many of the others I have read. I have a 30yo son who verbally abuses me. He is married with 4 kids. I have helped with the care of the 2 oldest for 11yrs. I used to have them every weekend. They were horribly abused by his ex and he has custody. I have put a distance b/w us before for a few months and he changed for a year. He has started the abuse again and I have cut off from him again. He is now more angry that ever and says he will see me at my funeral. I have ignored all his threats and to tell you the truth I'm really not caring to much if I see him at all. I do however feel sad about my 2 Grandies who have been abandoned by their mother and her family. I have told his wife she and kids r always welcome but I know he wont allow this. He is angry that I wont do weekend respite anymore. He always brings up the past and tells me I was a bad mum. This is his excuse to abuse me. What do u all think?

Apr 21, 2012
Family Heartache
by: Anonymous

I have a abusive relationship with a grow granddaughter. My daughter never says a word when she is doing it. And when I do speak up, then her father and I are not included in get togethers. I stand my ground until my husband tries to make me the bad guy because he says he will not lose his girls (my 2 daughters). My son agrees on how I feel it is abuse. Lost. Help

Jul 02, 2011
Abusive Son
by: Anonymous

This is a similar situation to mine. Trying to be kind and compassionate with the new baby only made the verbal and emotion abuse worse. I have set boundaries and am moving on with my life. My son wants nothing more to do with me or my husband, that's his choice. It's a wonder how peaceful life has become. The heartbreak is still there, but heals more with time. Good advice, if you don't speak up the abuse will most likely just accelerate.

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