Adult Son Is Verbally Abusive And Hurtful
I have an adult son who is always abusing me. I raised my three children by myself with no financial assistance from their father. We separated when the youngest was 7.
My oldest son has always been in and out of trouble. If there was a rule he would break it. His father is an alcoholic and he has followed in his footsteps with the drugs and alcohol. I worked very hard to give these children the very best. I was lucky to have a lot of help from my parents.
My son can never seem to keep a relationship long as he lies and has fallen into some of his old habits. He lived with a girl who became pregnant right away in the relationship. She already had a two year old son. She left my son to go back to the father of the first child. She called me and said she was putting the baby up for adoption.
This was my first grandchild and I would not hear of it. I along with my son got joint custody of the child. He then through some tumultuous years managed to get his certification for a good trade career. This was because my parents and myself basically raised this beautiful boy.
My son and I have battled constantly through the years over his lack of responsibility and abuse of substances. He lost his licence over a DUI, and then kept driving only to repeat this offence twice over again. It just never quits. He has a good paying career and now works out of town.
I have taken looking after my grandson full time as he has just started school. When he comes into town I feel that he should spend time with his son, and my grandson asks constantly where his dad is. The mother is not an active person in his life. My son frustrates me as it is more important to go out with buddies and spend the day getting tattoos than seeing his son’s soccer game or seeing him at all.
We constantly argue when he is here. He yells at me on the phone, so I tell him I won't talk to him when he is yelling. Then he texts me and usually his messages are swearing at me etc. I am so hurt for my grandson as this is exactly what their father used to do to them.
My son should respect me for all I do for him, but he only abuses me verbally and mentally. I feel he uses my grandson as a pawn as he knows I will do anything to make sure he is looked after.
Any suggestions? I have asked him to get counselling and he won't. He “doesn't have a problem.” I am so hurt and for my grandson also. He doesn't have a license right now so when he is home it is like we are all supposed to jump for him.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. It is very clear that you’re in a tough situation. When you decided to accept joint custody of your grandson with your son, you locked yourself into your current situation.
There are no easy answers here. I will recommend some tools and techniques for you to better manage your emotions and your relationships. First, I suggest that you begin the journaling processes described on this page. This will help you to stay focused on your own emotions and your own internal motivations for your choices. Regardless of what you decide to do regarding your situation, these journaling processes will help you.
I want you to consider that you may have yourself as a low priority in your life. I think you’ve put your grandson’s needs above your own, and while that might seem the only choice you had, it is causing you a lot of harm. I think you will benefit from reading about assertive skills so that you can set clear boundaries in your relationship with your son going forward.
In the third part of the journaling process, you will guided to focus on the positive aspects of your life. I encourage you to begin visioning and imagining a positive outcome to your situation, using these Goodfinding journaling tools. If you expect the worst, that’ what you’ll get. If you begin to expect, hope for, pray for and work toward a positive resolution for everyone involved, then you’ll be more likely to achieve that.
Believe in yourself and your ability to find a healthy solution for yourself, your son and your grandson.
My very best to you,
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