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My Middle Son Is Angry And Disrespectful To Me

by Anonymous

Hello. My middle son and I have never gotten along especially well. We have three sons and they are each three years apart. My oldest son has always been very organized and talkative and is a pleaser. My youngest son is very easy-going and helpful as well.

My middle son has always been defiant and doesn't speak very much. Our oldest son is 23 and graduated college has a job in the city nearby and his own apartment. He is applying to graduate school this fall. My youngest son is still in high school and is active in sports and has a part time job.

My middle son and I drifted apart more when he was in high school and especially after he left for college. He has always been rebellious and he speaks very little to me. My older son and youngest son and I get along very well. I have always struggled to get along with my middle son. He is a good student and did not struggle in high school except senior year he became very lax with the studies and focused on sports.

He had an injury which prevented him from participating in the state cross country meet that year and he was devastated as it was a fluke injury and he was the school’s top runner. I know he was so depressed after that and we watched him for any indication that he would hurt himself but he got through it.

He was accepted to a private university and just assumed he would go there because it is his parents’ alma mater. But his rude attitude and lack of effort to attempt to get any scholarships or another job to cover the costs made us frustrated. The debt he would incur would be twice as much than at a state university.

My husband and I are first generation college students and were able to attend there through much financial assistance. Although we could afford the tuition for him, we applied to a state university for him, and he was accepted. .He went to the state school and transferred to a larger state school on his own without telling us after his freshman year.

He has five semesters of engineering studies but because of the transfer, had trouble with some classes and could not get his grade point average high enough to get in to the college of engineering. He then put off registering for classes this last fall until it was too late. He never developed a group of friends at the Universities he attended and after transferring to the larger school only had a room of his own no roommates.

This past summer he was very difficult to live with him as he was dating a girl who had him eating a very healthy strict diet and he was very moody and angry and disrespectful. I was so happy when he went back to school but now he's back here this winter and shows no inclination to go back to school. We told him he had to get a job and he took a custodial job in the evening hours at our local church. He works on his own and so far is doing well at it. He is very intelligent and I am so sad that this is what his life has become.

Next month my husband and I will be telling him that he needs to pay rent and will have to get another job to support himself. We'll also be giving them a deadline that he needs to go back to school this fall and can at least take a few classes at our local technical college or university. I transferred my fitness center membership to him and he's not paying for that.

He's not paying for groceries, gas or use of our vehicle. He does not have any friends, he does not go anywhere besides his job, church on Sunday and the fitness center so I'm pretty sure he is not drinking or involved with drugs. He stays in his room most of the day.

Currently I am off work for several months after having shoulder surgery and every day is very awkward as he doesn't speak to me and seems so angry at me. I am unable to drive until I'm cleared by my surgeon so he drives me to physical therapy and to the grocery store twice per week.

Today is his 21st birthday and he was so angry at me, but he did everything I asked. But he was very unpleasant and he didn't help me carry bags in as he usually does. I have a family history of depression. I am on medication for depression and I have a brother who is bipolar. I encouraged him to see a doctor and get his thyroid tested but he does not want to get a physical. I would very much like to set up counseling for him. But I am afraid he won't go.

I'm very broken right now because I love my son but our relationship is so fractured. It's so difficult to live here with him but I know that people have it so much worse. I am not scheduled to back to work for another six weeks as my shoulder needs to heal.

I pray every day that God will help us get through this. Please help me to know what I can do to help my son.

Thank you for listening.

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Jan 30, 2018
You're On The Right Track
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. The most important thing is for you to begin focusing on your son's positive aspects, strengths and personal assets.

He needs you to believe in him. Write daily about all of the things you admire and appreciate about him. Use this exercise to slowly shift your perspective about him. It will take repetition, because you have been in this pattern of resentment toward him for quite a while.

But you can do this. In other words, you let go of trying to change him, and choose to believe in him and hold him in the highest possible regard.

Continue working with your husband to set limits and boundaries to encourage him to move on. Other than that, don't help him. This is all up to him.

I hope this helps.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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