My mother undermines me with my son…….

by Rod Smith

“My son (21) is oppositional-defiant. When he sees me is instantly disrespectful. I have told him I loved him, sent cards, given gifts, and he is still disrespectful. He refuses to talk. Part of the problem is that he lives with my mother. She undermines me. She is always undermining and disrespecting me. My son is angry because, due to my depression, I lost custody and he grew up in a foster home. I fought unsuccessfully for years to get him back. I do not know how to make amends.” (Edited)

1. Recognize your son is an adult therefore free to be independent of his mother.
2. Give up attempts to make amends for a sad, difficult past.
3. No matter how difficult the past, it is he (not you) who is fully responsible for his future.
4. Cease the cards, gifts, and pleas. Chasing him will only intensify his resistance and potentially leave you feeling helpless, humiliated, and frustrated.
5. If you want to shift family matters, focus on your relationship with your mother. Your conflict has NOTHING whatsoever to do with your son. I trust the obvious parallels are clear.
6. If your son treats you poorly he will do the same to your mother. Have a third party assess her safety.

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