My son is 20 years old. He is about to be father soon. He lives with his girlfriend and is doing very well for himself. He is in college, works fulltime and is a great partner. Now here comes the hard part, I have not spoken to my son in almost 2 years. He hates his father and I and does not want anything to do with us.

His father and I have been through alot, and about 1 1/2 ago we split up. I am the one who left the relationship and for that reason, my son has had major anger/hatred issues with me. During one of our arguments (my son and I) there were many harsh words said between us two. I admit, I said some things that were very unnecessary and I should have had more control over the situation but I didnt.

After that day my son went to live with his father and I started a relationship with another person. During the course of that next year, my son and I drifted apart and even though I was much apart of his father's life still (thank god) my son would ignore me when he seen me. Moving to today, my husband and I rekindled our relationship and have been going strong for over a year now.

Together we have 3 sons total ages 20, 16 and 12. Since we got back together, our son doesnt not want anything to do with us nor does he want us apart of his childs life. His girlfriend does not like me and that makes things worse.

When we go to my in laws home, sometimes we run into my son when he visits and he totally dismisses his father and I. It's so hard for me to even walk into the room knowing my son is sitting right there and I cant hug or kiss him.

My sister in law is very close to him and since the pregnancy, my son has made her and my mother n law apart of every step. This breaks my heart into a million pieces. I want to be so mad at them both because I feel like they totally dismiss my pain and never include me.

My sons girlfriend sent me a nasty message on social media basically telling me to stay away from them and that my son hates me and that I will never be apart of their life. Since then, I have stayed away and gave up trying. I cry everyday and I have prayed over and over for things to be better but I am at a loss.

Somedays I am angry at my son for treating me with such disrespect and hurting me so much and somedays I pray that this day will be the day my baby calls me and my heart can breath. I wish I was strong enough to have courage to reach out to him but I'm so afraid to be shut down again and I know if that happens, I wont want to keep living.

I walk around in a daze most days and try to get through parenting my other boys but it's so hard. I rely strongly on the " out of sight, out of mind" way everyday. If I do think about my baby, I wont cry that day. Dont get me wrong, I think about him daily but I mean I dont think of the situation and missing him or things like what is he doing or what has he eaten? I want to know how to move past this and learn to except what is. How do I live without having my baby boy in my life?

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    I'm sorry to hear about this situation. I only wanted to mention that some elements of your situation might be handled well at Interpersonal Skills (interpersonal.stackexchange.com). I'm not saying that this question is posted in the wrong place, only suggesting that another stack might have other valuable insights that would be valuable to you.
    – Upper_Case
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 21:09

2 Answers 2


Your son is now an adult, and old enough to make his own decisions. This makes the parenting aspect of this a rather different question to if he were younger.

The first thing I will say, is because of this, if your son truly does not want you in his life, there is nothing you can do to force him. On the up-side it sounds like he has made a stable and at least somewhat happy life for himself, and you can be pleased that he is ok and has his own life.

From the tone of your post you seem extremely desperate. This tone, should it show in your attempts to communicate with your son are likely not going to help.

I think it is honestly pretty unlikely you will change his mind in the foreseeable future. He seems to have made a conscious and thought through decision to not allow you to be part of his life. However if you wish to try, my advice is to be humble, and do not imply you have any right to see him as you do not. Do not be overbearing or contact him too often, perhaps even leave him and his family alone for a substantial time, to show him that you are able to respect his wishes. He is not "your baby" any more, but is a grown man and you have to respect he now has his own rights and ideas about life. Honestly it seems like seeing him when he does want you to, and when he ignores you will likely drive him further away by your lack of respect for his not wanting to see you, his ignoring is his way of showing that.

Once you have shown him you can respect what he wants, perhaps after some months or even years, make a single, easy to refuse request to see him, perhaps sens a text, message or email asking to see him. Do not be angry at him for not seeing you as this will only make the gap larger between you. Do not try and insist if he does not want to. At the moment it sounds like you are trying to force your way into his life which will not work well.

At that point it sounds like your relationship has broken down to the point that you are basically starting from scratch, so if you are able to have his permission to meet, treat him like someone you are trying to become friends with for the first time, not like someone you have an existing relationship with.

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    As hopeless as this may sound to the OP, I believe you are 100% correct and that this is advice very well worth listening to, especially wit regards to respecting her son's decisions. Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 13:46

Reading through your question, I noticed that you hadn't really provided details on the argument (which is fine), but what I thought was less fine is that you didn't acknowledge if some of your son's complaints were valid.

Right now, I have a very strained relationship with my father. For years, we didn't talk and only recently have we started seeing each other again and if I'm being honest, I don't know how long this is going to keep going.

One of the biggest reasons why I cut things off with him was because of certain behaviors on his part which have hurt me and my wife repeatedly and I was not going to let him do that to my children. In discussing these things with my mom and several other prominent people in my life, I learned I wasn't really a unique victim on these issues and after some very long e-mails and angry conversations, I cut things off with him.

In retrospect, I've come to realize my biggest issue with him is not the poor behavior, but it was his persistent failure to acknowledge the behavior, apologize for it, and change. Far too often when I raised complaints, my father would steer the conversation to focus on all of my failings, and while his complaints might be valid, the only purpose of him raising those issues was to distract from my original complaint. This became especially galling when he'd raise complaints about things I did as a 12-year old as rebuttals to complaints I have about behavior from last month.

I think Vality's recommendations are fine for a starting point (i.e. let it breathe a bit). However, before you attempt to reach out again, I would strongly consider that you spend some time writing down whatever complaints your son has expressed and really thinking about if they are valid (for the record, it is a ton of emotional labor for a child to decide to call out their parent on something, please treat it as such). Do not fall into the allure of finding ways to blame him if your own poor behaviors may also be an issue.

And when you do manage to connect, you might want to start with an, "I'm sorry for [insert poor behavior here]." Ideally, you've already started trying to undo whatever damage your poor behavior caused.

Earlier, I'd stated that my father and I recently started seeing each other again. These meetings are very much arms-length in nature and truly only resumed because he'd asked to see a therapist with me. He spent most of his time in those sessions dredging up issues from childhood, and when called on this by the therapist he stopped doing the sessions, hence why I'm skeptical on how long things will continue between us.

Reconciliation is not something that happens instantly, a big part of it is being willing to change something about yourself that the other person considers a problem. I'm doubtful things between me and my father will work out because he does not seem interested in putting the work. Hopefully you will be willing to do the work and will be able to enjoy a more positive relationship as a result.

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