Adult Son Is Verbally Abusive
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,
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