Life Advice

/

Health & Spirit

Staying in unhealthy marriage set bad example for daughter

Carolyn Hax on

Dear Carolyn:

I recently traveled over 2,000 miles to visit my 45-year-old son. He was promoted to a very responsible managerial position six months ago and is doing well.

About eight years ago, the love of his life unexpectedly broke their engagement and his heart. Although he has subsequently dated, he has not pursued a serious relationship.

When I enquired about female companionship, he informed me in a very angry tone that his job requires so much interpersonal interaction that he only wants to be alone on weekends. He also said he felt "pressured" to visit relatives on vacations, which he resents. It's not only me but his dad that's the problem, according to him.

His anger hurt my feelings because I asked if the recent weekend visit interfered with any other plans and was told "no." I only visit him once/twice a year. I am usually the one who initiates contact, so I am thinking of giving him the space he wants and waiting for him to contact me in the future.

Is this the best idea or should I encourage him to seek counseling, which I doubt he will do?

-- L.

You don't have to give him "space" in the amount of contact if you give him enough in the content.

Translation: Apologize for butting in, then stop butting in.

I wish he'd just asked for that instead of getting defensive, but, still, his anger was clear enough.

He has been an adult now for most of his life. You'll never stop being his mother, but you can do wonders for your relationship if you stop treating him like a kid.

========

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
 

Social Connections

Comics

Mike Du Jour For Better or For Worse Dinette Set Ginger Meggs Intelligent Life Barney & Clyde