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Anger In Denial

by Sue
(South Africa)

I have a grown son of 23 who is now married and has a baby who's just turned a year in April. He and his partner had only 'dated' for 3 months before she fell pregnant and her father coerced them into marrying.

This was in 2008. Ever since the pregnancy and living together (they had to move in with me because my son didn't have a job), their behaviour was out of control. Both would assault each other. I tried advising them, suggesting they attend counselling, etc., but they felt that they "didn't need it".

When he got employment, they moved out, which I thought would do them good. But it got worse, and once they were quarreling right until she went into labour!

This continued and continued and still does. This last week-end was extremely hectic. And all the while, my daughter (who lives with me) and I "keep the peace and try to make them see reason". But it's telling on me - I can't handle it emotionally anymore. How they've impacted me since 2008 is more or less how other trauma has impacted me for half my life.

What can I or how does one show two grown adults that they do need the help?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Sue, and thanks for telling your story here. I can tell you really love your family, and you want them to be safe and happy. It must be very painful to see your son and daughter in law fighting so much, affecting them, their child, and your entire family.

You ask how to show two grown adults that they need help. I will do my best to help.

First, you have to take care of yourself. You will need to "find the distance from which you can love them," and separate yourself from their destructive behavior. You want to show them that they need help--do that by helping yourself first. If you are too close, and being hurt by their behavior, you cannot help.

These quotes on relationships will help.

As a matter of fact Sue, I encourage you to stop trying to help them. They will either help themselves, or they won't. It is entirely up to them, and the best that you can do for them is to create peace, joy and love in your own life--because that's what you want for them.

Also, for your own sake, do the journaling processes on this page, and that will really help you. When you get to the "goodfinding" journaling, focus on the best of your son and daughter in law, and see them getting better in your mind's eye. If it fits with your spiritual views, make this into a prayer.

Use these imagery processes for emotional healing to resolve your own trauma from your past, so that it does not cloud your vision in the present situation.

Let them go, Sue. Create love and health in your life and imagine the same for them. Your imagination is the creative mechanism of your mind. Use it to create what you want, and let go of any attachment to outcomes.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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