Adult Son Not Talking

Sarah Bowman
Sarah Bowman, studied family dynamics formally and informally all my life

I feel your pain and grief. You remember him as a baby, as a young child. You want to hold onto him as he was then. But he has grown up. Maybe you still want to tell him how to live his life, how to be safe, what moral values to observe. Maybe you ask him when he will be in the area to come visit, why he does not pick up the phone when you call, how you can get him to answer your emails, what he wants for Christmas or his birthday, who he is seeing at the moment, whether his business is doing well…

Possibly the only way he knows not to get into a fight with his mother is by not talking to her at all. I used to wish I had the strength to cut off my mother completely. After talking with her, or visiting her, I would need days and counselling to get back into my normal life. She would have been horrified if she had known but she would not have changed a thing about our interactions. She would have justified everything she said and did.

So what should a mother do if her adult son has not talked to her for several years? I say, Let him go. Send him birthday cards with the simple message, “I love you.” Nothing more, no conditions, not strings, nothing. Only his name and yours and the simple message. You have raised him as best you could. He may or may not reply, but that is what you can do.


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