I Need a Opinion About My Adult Son's That Live in Another State.

Updated on December 17, 2017
T.B. asks from Youngstown, OH
7 answers

I moved to another state AFTER my son's were raised well by me as a single mother and now have live's of there own. My oldest son (28) is a head chef and was married when I moved 4 1/2 years ago and now divorced. My youngest son (25) is a construction worker and was with his girlfriend and they had a son after I moved and had their own place. Every year my husband and I travel 500 miles to see my son's and grand babies. I never really had any major problems with them except that I will now be a grandmother who lives out of state and won't be around to babysit for them or be right there for them or the kids. It was a tough choice but I needed a life. I'm 49 years old and they never really wanted to be around me (the mom) for there own reasons when I did live their because they were always so busy. My youngest son and I get along fine It was up until last Christmas when we could not make the trip that my oldest cut me off from the kids and him just like that! I called on Christmas day last year and I have been trying to talk to him ever since. I received a Happy Easter text and a Happy birthday text and that's it for a year. He has been silent and wont let me talk to the kids and wont answer to me at all. He moved and will not give me his address so I can keep in touch with the kids. Family members have said " Oh it's because you did not come to visit and to him that's not being a grandmother". Even when my family has the grand kids they don't let me know so I can talk to them. Well I decided this year to not send my adult son a Christmas present this year ..only the grand kids. So my question is .... Did I make the right decision? Should this be a new year for me and quit trying to reach him like hes a teenager? I am heart broken and me and my son were Always so close. Please give me some opinions here.Thank you.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for helping me out here. I'm new to this site so I hope Im doing this right..lol and was not sure how long I could be on my question. I know that my son's always depended on me for everything. There father was never around. I left the state in 2013 on great terms. My sons were happy I had met someone that makes me happy and that's what they wanted was to see mom happy. I worked my butt off with my own cleaning company and went to college while taking care of them. We had foot ball practice, orchestra practice, I was coach mom for 5 years..ect..and I did everything I could for them. I went to work and then went to the gym and then home. That was my life after my son's got grown and moved out. Now I felt it was time for mom to have a life. They only really visited for food or money but not just to stop by..My oldest son got a divorce in July 2015. His wife cheated on him with his best friend. when I was told this info.I was going to make sure I was right their for him in anyway I could be there. From there on he called me twice. To tell me what happen and why he was divorcing and to ask for money last December and that's the last time we actually spoke.I sent Christmas to him and the little ones and I called Christmas day
and no answer , not a Thank you not a Merry Christmas, No card nothing. I continued all this time for a whole year to reach out and nothing. Its like calling and writing and you never get a response. Then I heard about a month ago he has a new woman in his life. Come to find out its his father's new wife's best friend..WOW! Mind blower there but its his choice. Like I said earlier my youngest son is great with me. He calls, we talk ,we text..No problems.

More Answers


answers from Boston on

I think there's something more to the story because things don't go from fine to cut off by missing 1 trip at Christmas. If you truly don't know what the problem is in this then you should reach out to your son in a nicely worded email letting him know that you love him and his family. You miss hearing from them and miss hearing about your grandchildren's lives. You are sorry if you did something that hurt him so deeply that he has cut contact with you and wish he would contact you so you can get to the bottom of things and put them behind you both in this relationship.

After you've done that then you step back and see what happens. You stop texting him and leave it alone. It sounds like his SO might have planted a bug in his ear about how a grandmother should act or maybe he's hurt because the other grandparents are involved in the kids day to day life and you aren't. Either way I really think you need to state how you feel one last time and then put the ball in his court.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I would sit down and write him an email. Don't sound judgy or mean or rude, just be honest and polite. Tell him how you feel, that you don't understand why he cut you off, and let him know that you will always love him and your grandkids and miss them so much, ask him to contact you so you two can talk about what you did wrong so you can try to make amends. The ball really is in his court so if you want to see your grandchildren you may need to eat a little crow even if you feel you really did nothing wrong.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

It's hard to figure the family dynamic - there's a cast of characters and I'm not sure about the ties and time line.
You had 2 boys in your 20s, but raised them on your own.
You have a husband now and not sure when he entered the picture.
Your elder son was married for awhile and has kids.
Your younger son has a child and never married.
You moved away 4 1/2 yrs ago and it wasn't a problem until you couldn't visit last Christmas and your eldest had a cow over it.

Your eldest son cut ties, moved won't let you contact him or kids - that's a lot of anger for one missed visit.
If you can't be the type of grandmother he wants you to be on his terms then he won't let you be a grandmother at all?
It's sort of a cut off your nose to spite your face situation for him and doesn't make sense to me.
If that's all there is then there's something irrational going on over there.
Are you sure there isn't another issue going on?

I'm not sure how you'd send gifts to any of them.
Are you saying you pass gifts to other family members who do know where they are and they pass the gifts on?
And now after begging for a year to talk to your eldest you are not going get him a gift - and this is what you are agonizing about?

I'd send him a gift anyway - every year like clockwork.
You gain nothing by trying to play any sort of spite game with him.
You may not know where he is but he knows where you are.
He'll come to you when he's ready but I wouldn't hold your breath for anytime soon.
Give him space but no more begging and just let him you are there when ever he's ready.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

It's too hard to give you advice without really knowing you, how you were as a parent and how you act around them now. There are just so many things that could be playing out here. Write them both a letter saying you love them and you wish to have a better relationship with them...and you are sorry for mistakes you made raising them and in the past. Don't put in any "buts". Send the letters and just give it time. I strongly recommend therapy for yourself to work on yourself and your own flaws.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

ETA after your So What Happened:

If what you say is the whole story, then it sounds like you gave TOO much of yourself to him as he was growing up. Let him depend on you too much. Let him think that you owed him being there for him. Let him think that he owed nothing back.

That doesn't mean that you did something wrong or were a bad parent. It means that he didn't learn the lesson of loving back. And now he has dropped what he doesn't need, instead of loving you for who and what you are.

This is a damaged individual and it's not just YOU that he feels this way about.

You didn't say if he has custody of the kids. If the ex has custody, does she dislike you so much that she won't let you see the kids?

I stand by what I said below. Your family members have no right to dump all this on you.

Your family members are jerks for having said this to you. "Being a grandmother" is NOT making 500 mile trips. And your family members are jerks for enabling this behavior for their own selfish purposes.

Continue sending gifts to your grandkids, but don't make them expensive ones. For all you know, your son isn't actually giving the gifts to the kids. He could be giving them to Goodwill. Don't send him gifts anymore - he doesn't deserve them and you should not be rewarding his behavior with trying to "buy" his love. Don't try so hard with him.

I honestly think you should not be close to these family members who treat you like this is your fault because of not traveling.

There's not enough information in your post to make a guess as to why your son is acting like this. You haven't mentioned your relationship with his ex-wife. Who has custody of these children? You haven't talked about what precipitated you "needing a life" with the circumstances of your move. I'm not going to say that you have been a model mother because I don't know. But if you cannot fix this with your older son, you need to do some soul-searching as to what it was that bothered him about you so that you don't repeat it with your younger son. And not making 500 mile trips is NOT a reason for an adult kid to throw away a parent...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Without knowing the details, and not being a family therapist, I'd say the best thing to do at this point would be to respect your son's wishes and just give him space. Respect his boundaries.

If things are going to resolve at some point, you have to start there. They will not resolve otherwise. You will just prolong this.

That means, you don't send gifts to his children. His children are an extension of him. If he did not want you to have his address, I'm not sure how you sent gifts to his kids.

Edited after seeing your SWH:
Sounds like you need to set some boundaries for yourself. If your son is treating you badly - then instead of "He's not returning my calls, he's not doing this, that or the other" - focus on your life, your husband, etc. As you said, you've moved and this is the time for you.

You should be the priority here. I think a counsellor could help you sort through how you're feeling and how to approach dealing with your son going forward. I get you want to be involved in your grandchildren's lives - but that means you have to have a healthy relationship with their dad first. A lot of grandparents/parents feel they skip over that part. Nope.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

no apostraphe in 'sons' when it's plural.

if you are okay with not having a relationship with your older son again, then yes, you made the right decision.

if you are actually heartbroken and want to repair this relationship, then no, being petty about presents is a poor choice.

i doubt he's waiting at the mailbox to see what you got him for christmas, but sending a gift for the baby and not him sends a clear message, and it's one of pique and pettiness.

maybe he'll never walk back into your life. that's his choice.

yours is whether or not to leave the door open for him.

1 mom found this helpful
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