Posts tagged ‘mother’

July 28, 2015

Mothering Ends

by Rod Smith

“My son (23) seldom talks to me anymore. We used to be very close in his young years. He’s cut me out and it is very painful for me. He talks a little to my husband but it doesn’t seem to bother my husband too much. How do I get him to trust me again?”

Mothering ends.

Yes, you will be his mother forever but the acts of mothering him have ended – he’s apparently made that decision.

When the mother (or the father) needs to provide mothering (or fathering) more than the adult son or daughter wants or needs, there is a problem (for the parent).

Your adult son and everything about his future is in his hands.

It will be a good thing for him (and you) if he included you in his circle but he has clearly decided he needs more space than you were ready for.

This is one of the essential reasons I have encouraged parents to have a full life OUTSIDE of their babies and children from DAY ONE.

This said, I believe your son will return and include you in his life – once he’s shown himself that he is capable of designing his life on his own.

April 1, 2008

You were heavy-handed…..

by Rod Smith

“You write, to a woman asking for help with her son that if she gets her attitude right she might see a shift in her son’s attitude. Just because she has a ‘right attitude’ it doesn’t mean her son will. It seems to me you were a little heavy handed with someone asking for your advice. I am a single mother and two of my three children are boys. My boys are very respectful of women because they have been taught by me to be that way from a very early age. My feelings for their father have nothing to do with it. At the age of 11 it will be difficult to change the attitude of a son but can still be done. Let him know that his attitude and behavior toward women is uncalled for and will not be tolerated. It can be difficult for a woman to raise a son alone especially when the father is not much help but it can be done.” (Edited for clarity)

As I said, attitudes are contagious. It seems your no-nonsense approach has paid off for you and for your children. Congratulations on your success. I am sure your children have thrived, at least partly, as a result of your forthrightness.

January 29, 2008

You get what you want…..

by Rod Smith

Did you hear about the mother who complained her children were always in her hair? Now that her son and daughter are adults she can’t get them to return her phone calls. They are out of much more than her hair.

What about the dad who buried himself in his work just to find some peace and quiet? Now that he’s retired and his adult children are living such busy lives he never sees them. The peace he craved is driving him crazy. He had no idea quietness could be so loud and unsettling.

Then there’s the one about the mother who complained the children slowed her down in the mornings making her late for everything. Now, with nowhere to go, she’s never late for anything. Her daughter texts her saying, “Can’t talk. Will phone next week.” Her son ignores her voicemails altogether.

And while these scenarios are birthed in my mind, the situations are very real. Go to any retirement home and you’ll hear tales of abandonment and woe. But here’s the really scary part: in so many ways we get what we want, and then discover we didn’t want it that much in the first place.

January 14, 2008

A woman writes, after ending her affair…..

by Rod Smith

“Wow! I happened to fall upon this site and I am so amazed at all the responses on this matter. I am not proud of what I am about to say but I fell in love with a married man. It started out as a professional relationship, but he flirted and pursued me and eventually I relented.

I believed him when he said, “nothing would change between us professionally.”

I believed him when he said “I have never done this before”….but little clues led me to believe different.

The fact that when his wife called him on his cell and he answered (while I was present) he would look me straight in the eye and not act nervously at all. Another time (I tested this) by hugging him while he was conversing with her, and he did not wince, or push me away at all!

So, either, he really hated her, or he is very used to this situation.

I wised up and left this relationship. She caught on, and I could tell that she had dealt with this before. She wasn’t even angry, it was more like: “Here we go again.”

I feel sorry for her. He is (so-called) “high profile.”

He makes a good living and they have several young kids. It hurt to leave, because I did love him. I probably still do,…but bottom line is it was so wrong!

One doesn’t intentionally try to get into these situations….at least I didn’t….it just happened, and like a fool I fell for his charm.

Don’t be stupid like I was…..realize…that if he really loved you. He would leave her for you….but then…..”buyer beware”….you just might get what you wished for! Hmmmm………? No Thanks. I don’t want to spend MY marriage looking over my shoulder and babysitting my husband…..just like it has been stated previously….if he did it to her? What is to stop him from doing it to you? What makes you better? You are NOT the mother of his children, you do NOT own property together, you do NOT have a history together….so why wouldn’t he cheat on you too?? Just an FYI….take it from someone who knows….

Here’s an update: AFTER I broke it off with him I ran into a girl at a nightclub and she told he that he had sex with one of her co-workers! Now who would have thought?”

This comment was left on the article found here:

January 2, 2008

What would be a “radical” shift?

by Rod Smith

“Regarding abusive behavior you write: ‘Resist using reason with the perpetrator of such behavior – you will not, using reason, convince a perpetrator to stop abusive behavior. The only way to stop it is to radically shift your response to it. While you cooperate with what you do not want the behavior will not cease.’ So how is one supposed to ‘radically shift’ their response to an abuser? The abuser in my household is my youngest son (21). He often treats both my husband and me very badly, he shouts and snaps at us, or does not speak to us. I don’t know how to deal with it. I’m going through menopause right now and often I’m very emotional. His behavior can put me in tears. It’s all weighing heavily on me.”

Now that he is an adult, perhaps it is time for him to move out. He can then continue his unpleasant behavior with whomever he chooses to live. I wonder how long other people will tolerate his behavior? You, having completed his parenting, are not compelled to accommodate someone who treats you poorly. Many 21-year-olds live independently of their parents’ home and do so with great success. This, dear reader, would constitute a “radical shift” on your part.

December 30, 2007

I have a problem sibling….

by Rod Smith

“I have a problem sibling. My sister and I spent four long years not talking, much to my mom’s distress, and many other years bickering. We made up, mostly for my mother. It didn’t seem fair to me that I had to humble myself and beg her to let things go (even though the whole thing was almost entirely her fault) but I did it for the sake of family harmony. My children wanted to see their cousin (her son). We are now on speaking terms, but because of distance we only see each other once a year. She drives me crazy, but for that one short visit I just suck it up and smile.”

Congratulations. You are no doubt stronger and wiser for your humility and your enduring acts of reconciliation. As a result of your efforts your mother is potentially less anxious and your children get to see and know their cousin: everyone, including you, appears to gain.

It is not who caused the issue or the division that is as important as who is strong enough to facilitate the healing.

Besides, let’s remain aware: it takes at least two to tangle! (No, I did not mean to say “tango.”)

December 9, 2007

Woman seeks guidance from other women….

by Rod Smith

Here’s a letter from a woman seeking help from other women. Please Email me with your suggestions:

“Until yesterday I was having an affair with a married man with children. I never pursed him. He pursued me like a wild man. He called me over 20 times a day. I caved in. Throughout our affair he told me how his wife didn’t like to make love. He said the fire was out. He liked to make love a lot every day. A few weeks ago his black book fell out of his pocket and I found it after he was gone. I thumbed through it and discovered his wife is pregnant. When he came back and asked me if I had looked at it. I lied. He has clearly said he and his wife were done having children. He is selfish and was expecting me to continue the affair even after all this. Has he lost his mind! I am so sorry to have ever gotten involved. Should I contact his wife and come clean or should I keep my silence? What would a wife want to know? Please if there are any wives in this situation: tell me what you would want me to do.

December 6, 2007

You advise women to stand up to jealous husbands, but The Bible says submit….

by Rod Smith

You advise women to stand up to their jealous or controlling husbands. Don’t you know the Bible says wives must submit to husbands?

Please write, I'm reading...

Please write, I'm reading...

I do. Paul says, “wives submit to your husbands,” and one can safely assume Paul is addressing all of his writings to both men and women. A husband who loves according to Paul’s descriptions of love is both safe and worthy of submission! Such a man will indeed not be going out of his way to secure the obedience of others. Beware of any man whose knowledge of Scripture begins, and ends, with “wives submit to your husbands.” Loving men (leaders, bosses, teachers) have no desire (or craving) for the submission (obedience) of others. “Love seeks no power, and therefore has it,” says Alan Paton.

Submitting (“giving in”) to jealousy or controlling or abusive behavior is certainly not very helpful to the marriage, the husband or wife. The Bible doesn’t require anyone to submit (accept, obey) anyone’s pathological behavior, whether it is from a spouse, pastor, or any leader. To resist (stand up to) pathological behavior, however (wherever, whenever) it rears its ugly head, is to do the perpetrator (spouse, pastor, leader) a loving service.

Submitting to damaging behavior can hardly result in helpful long-term outcomes.

Sadly, I have seen many a woman hang onto the hope that the husband will eventually change (stop drinking, beating, swearing, and go to church!) if she could just learn to really “submit.” I know women who believe their husband’s abuse is deserved – a “reward” for the failure to really submit. If abusive men (yes jealousy and control are forms of abuse) were as interested in Paul’s injunction to men: “love your wife as Christ loved the Church,” we’d be pleasantly engaged in a completely different discussion.

No. The monster (jealousy) will not go away if continually fed. It only gets more controlling, more demanding, and more viscous when it is not appeased.

November 20, 2007

Our brother (almost 60) has ADHD….

by Rod Smith

“Our brother (almost 60) is the youngest of four siblings has ADHD. He treats his family like dirt but his friends with respect. Even our mother (in her eighties) does not get his respect or attention. He confesses undying love for her then ignores her. He will lend money to all his friends but not his family. Hides behind the ADHD label and blames it all on this. He wants us to do right by him but never ever does the correct thing with us. If mother or a sister is in the hospital he does not visit. Family is always pushed aside to make way for wonderful friends. He will not see psychiatrist or get help. What can we do? We still love him but he is always right and we are wrong no matter what. His wife supports everything he does. How should we respond? We know he can never change. Please help us. My mom is devastated.” (Letter edited)

This is probably a character issue, and not a matter of your brother’s diagnosis. I hereby give you permission to relinquish your role as your brother’s change agent, and the family’s scum-half, or quaterback (depending on where you are reading this!). Give it up. Let your mother and siblings deal directly with him. Get out of the way! Playing “piggy in the middle” is never much fun for piggy.

November 17, 2007

Portrait of a successful or enriched woman…

by Rod Smith

The successful, or enriched woman …..

1. Knows she never has to participate in sexual activity that she does not want; and knows that her body is her own and private temple which she shares, even in marriage, only when it is by her own sacred, deliberate choice.
2. Does not lose herself in her marriage, or to motherhood, or in taking care of her family, but who is able to develop a strong, vibrant sense of self even while being a loving wife, mother, friend and professional in her career of choice.
3. Does not allow herself to be taken for granted, to be sworn at, to be victimized by anyone, not husband, children, in-laws, siblings, parents or co-workers.
4. Lives above manipulation, domination and intimidation, and has relationships that are therefore pure and open, mutual and respectful.
5. Is able to articulate her deepest dreams, desires, and fears to those whom she loves, without fearing a response of indifference or rejection.
6. Is a woman, who, in the midst of the pressures of work, motherhood and marriage, maintains her unique and powerful voice.
7. Is able to delay gratification for the greater good of her family and community.
8. Has a playful, open, adult relationship with her mother and/or woman in her mother’s age group, and is therefore free of feelings of jealousy and envy with her peers.