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what do I do with an unforgiving son.

my son is now 32 and is dwelling in the past, and can not put a closure to the events that has made him bitter towards me for the past fifteen yrs.
I can not bring the past forward to make it right, but to move forward. I have tried to make up for all the wrong in many ways, I have written him, and asked for his forgiveness, but that also has failed. I am so saddened by all this, and I am at a loss.

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Asked by Asunnie at 1:54 PM on Dec. 17, 2008 in Adult Children (18+)

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Answers (16)
  • There's nothing more you can do. If he's not willing to give you a chance. All i would do is continue to call him once a month to talk. Eventually he will see that you've changed. But don't push it.

    Answer by feesharose at 1:56 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • Honestly, there is nothing you can do. You have tried to make amends to no avail. The ball is in his court and it's up to him whether he forgives you or not. And, unfortunately, he might never forgive you.

    Answer by TheDiva320 at 1:59 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • it depends on what you did to him 15 years ago. i dont want to be rude but some things arent forgivable. tell him that he has only one mom and you know that you have hurt him but its time to forgive tell him your not going to be here on earth forever to hate!

    Answer by 4lyfe56 at 2:06 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • Have you tried telling him what you just told us?
    You have apologized, you can not force him to accept your apology. Let him know that you have done all you know how to in order to mend the relationship. Ask what he needs/wants, because he may not even know, but if he does then you will know if it is something you can/will do. Try to avoid asking him things which can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no", you want to establish communication. When you talk to him be mindful of your voice/tone, you do not want to plead with him, you do not want to use your "mom" remaining calm it lets him know that you are willing to work with him, but you will not accept unreasonable requests.
    If he wants space then give it to him...still call for special occasions, and once every couple of months to "say hi", sometimes what is needed to heal old hurts is just time.

    Answer by indigostone at 2:15 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • Are you really at fault for something or is he using that as some form of excuse for problems in his own life that he feels is easier to blame you for rather than take ownership and responsibility? I only ask because my MIL is in a similar situation; her son blames her for everything wrong in his life and she falls for it every stinkin' time. He's 40 years old and needs to desperately grow up and she needs to stop enabling if either of them are going to have any chance at happiness in life.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:21 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • I am in the same boat your in. But with my 30 year old daughter. She says she can't get over her childhood. But she will not call me and talk to me about it. She tells every one even perfect strangers about how bad a mother I was. But she wont talk to me about it. Everybody tells me. "she will come around". She's 30 years old how long will it take?
    I feel for you but do not have an answer for you. Sorry.

    Answer by louise2 at 3:24 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation. Have you suggested you attend a counseling session (s) together to work through whatever.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:18 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • wow, it looks like there are several of us in the same boat. We should start a group. My son is 36 and has not spoken to me in ten yrs but won't say why. I think his anger is affecting his health by holding it in and have offered to let him "tell me off" without saying a word just so he can get it out of his system. We can only offer our apologies. If it's over their childhood, it's not like we purposely did a bad job. We did our best. No one gave us instructions. I'm not totally sure what's up. I didn't hit the boy. I didn't starve the boy. If it's over me leaving his dad, the man was an abuser I had to get us out. Whatever is in these kids' craw, they have to get it out themselves. Unfortunately, we all suffer. Life is too short for this nonsense. One day they will wake up and ready to forgive and we'll be gone. Sad.

    Answer by admckenzie at 9:52 PM on Dec. 18, 2008

  • One of the hardest things I've learned about parenting is that even should you do everything perfectly, our children will still be their own people. Love your Son unconditionally and stay in touch. At this point you are hurting yourself and letting his unforgiveness hurt you too. My son and I were estranged for nearly 10 years after my divorce, I never lost touch although he rarely initiated contact. He came around, although he has never apologized for the hateful way he treated me, his siblings tell me it still weighs heavy on him. I'm now living how I need to live without regrets concerning my three grown kids. I say what I think, I help if can when they ask, and I always tell them I love them. Even when they are arrogant and know it all and have screwed up for the umpteenth time. Mom- It's time for you to take care of you and love yourself.


    Answer by MCPSinger at 11:33 PM on Dec. 18, 2008

  • I am so sorry for the position you are in. I am where you were 15 years ago. For last year, I accepted the reason he gave for hating me: I took him to an emergency psyche ward. Only recently have I realized that I was blaming myself rather than seeing the full truth. I committed him because of irrational behavior. He will have nothing to do with me. There is so much pain on both sides. Most friends tell me he will come around; they do not understand his hatred is irrational. I am mourning his death, even though he is alive.


    Answer by DanieT at 10:34 AM on Dec. 19, 2008

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