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Tough love with adult child part 2

He is out of the house almost 3 weeks, he still choses to make a point and live in his car, he told us several times when we said we were going to downsize that he would. He works for me and two days ago he came into the office, did not speak with me but left his finished work on my desk and I was with a client and said thank you, no reaponse. he came into the office yesterday but I had just walked out and my secretary spoke with him briefly. To give you more background, he is insecure because he looks 17 and he is 26, something to be thankful for later I would tell him, he believes her can hear what you are thinking, a month ago he was trying to force me to fire an employee that he felt didnt "like" him, I refused and told him that u have to learn to work with all pppl in the workforce. He is not talking with anyone in the family but my brother. I have texteed him twice with the offer to pay for therapy andhe texts back immature comments, my last text iwrote that I will not engage in immature sparring and he will not hear from me again that i am only trying to help and I love you,
My question is: How do I open the lines of communication without letting him think that he can move back in my home, (i am done with that). Should I wait until he tries? His drug problem needs to be solved (marijuana) but he does not think its a problem and his hate (or jealousy) for all of us needs to be resolved. Do I invite him to dinner, outside of the house? Or again let him come to me when he's ready to deal with all I have told him? Rem. it's tough love, I can be really tough just need to know what is best for all of us. He has gone to counseling before and would tell them what they wanted to hear and it did not help. I know he has to want this bad in order to change his life he is very stubborn and right 150% of the time. We kicked him out 2.5 yrs ago and he was back iin 6 wks, wrong thing to do, as we have 20 20 hindsight. I also don't know if I am ready to talk with him, I am very hurt by his words and actions. He has been verbally abusive to all of us.


thank you to all that commented it has been 5.5 weeks since he left, in the mean time we had an interventionist come and my son agreed to get help they left for CA and on the drive after 11 hours in flight, decided not to go, he is back here, now I hear that he is looking for a place, he quit his job ( with me) and I feel that a weight has been lifted from me everywhere, I believe when he is ready, maybe never, to give up pot then his life will be full of joy, but until that time he has no family.  That was his choice, I love him but do not like the person he is at this time.  ONLY YOU CAN CHANGE YOU

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Asked by lovelife1127 at 7:24 AM on Feb. 3, 2011 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 5 (73 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • You already did let him know that the lines are open with your last text and the way you've been handling him. The thank you when he gave you his finished work etc. Good luck. It's now all in his corner.

    Answer by oldermomof5 at 7:31 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • thanksfor your support


    Comment by lovelife1127 (original poster) at 8:01 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • My mom tried the tough love thing on me in my 20s and all it did was ruin our relationship. I have a relationship with her now & Im sure she thinks everything is great, but its not. You need to be careful when choosing tough love as an option to do it the right way. When doing tough love it was originally written you give them some where else to stay outside of your home until they can follow house rules. If they then choose not to go there, then they are on their own but you gave them somewhere to stay.
    Maybe you should find a support group? Or try contacting NA and seeing if there isnt a support group for parents. You would get alot of help there from people who have already gone through this.

    Answer by gemgem at 8:03 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • I wish I could tell you what to do. I'm having problems with my 24 year old son. He thinks I should stay out of his life. I just don't communicate wit him when he has mood swings. In my case I find that just ignoring what their doing or saying. My son hates the silence and h always comes back first. He does not live with me he has his own place a good job and still I am his mother and telling me his life is none of my concern doesn't wok for me. I am and always have been a single Mom, And I am so use to him sharing with me we talk about anything and everything. I think this may be a way of cutting the apron strings. Try your best to ignore your son's situation sometimes the more they know we don't likewhat they are doing the more they will do it. Buy him a new pillow o something for his car. Tough love is hard but I believe reverse physiology is the best way. Somtimes we have to just let go.

    Answer by Cathy52 at 8:05 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • It sounds like you are doing the best you can in this situation but I agree with qemqem you have to be careful with tough love because he may resent you for it.


    Answer by bhoward87 at 8:14 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • You are already doing what you can. As for the drug problem, until HE feels it is a problem there is nothing that can be done for that. He doesn't like looking so young, he can grow a beard, wear older looking clothes etc. (I have a son that grows a beard because if he doesn't - at 21, he looks 12).

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 11:27 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • if he wants to act like an employee and not a son, let him. He is an adult and is going to have to learn to cope with life on his own, and if he doesn't want your help you're just going to be wearing yourself out emotionally until he's ready. Let him figure his life out and he'll come back around - he might just need space/time to be his own person for a while, even if that means living in a car and smoking pot.

    Answer by hippomom1919 at 12:24 PM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • Yep it's up to him now to decide if he wants to talk with you or not. You can't force him. Just keep doing whatever it is you're doing and sooner or later he'll come to you. Good luck and I'm sorry that you have to deal with this! I hope he grows up soon!

    Answer by Bird16_J at 1:24 PM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • I completely understand. I have been there. However, my step daughter chose to live in a tent rather than a car. If you're showing tough love, then you are doing right. I would still act like a parent would, but I wouldn't be a door mat. You're right, no sparring. Let him come to you.

    Answer by CnMe31 at 11:39 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • you are still supporting him by letting him work for you.Too much of a conflict for tough love,Tough love is just that tough.Send him packing stop supporting him.Time to stand up and be an adult ,and if living in his car is his choice so be it.I know its hard to live it.but if you do not make a clean break ,and show him you will no longer tollerate these things ,its going to be the same over and over.Sounds like you are being played.Don't play anymore.He needs to find his own way.On his own.Let him go before it costs you more again and again and again.You would never let a regular employee treat you so dis respectful,why are you letting him??He is an adult,time to act like it.And if he still chooses to live in his car call the law on him.It is not legal to live in your car if it is parked on a city street.You keep falling for all he dishes out Just Stop.No contact,get tough or he will be 40 and still doing the same.

    Answer by grismelda at 5:46 PM on Feb. 8, 2011

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