Avoiding conflict avoiding relationship feeling sad

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lavacake

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Avoiding conflict avoiding relationship feeling sad
« on: May 11, 2019, 11:21:00 AM »
My adult child (23) is upset with me but hasnít told me why despite several invitations.

Itís so frustrating. This is a pattern. He takes offence , gets emotional and withdraws.

When I can get him to talk about it, itís all emotional reasoning and blaming. I make him feel...

After an extended period of time, it can be a week or more, he will apologize for... Iím not even sure I can recall his words, in my recollection he apologizes for being unfair or difficult.

I encourage him to be honest and to use I statements. He accuses me of being defensive and uncaring. Which I think are unfounded but thatís how he feels (emotional reasoning/ blaming). I ask him to give me specific advice about what I can do to be more supportive, which is usually when he ends the conversation.

We keep repeating this pattern.

Right now he is questioning whether we should have relationship at all, which is also part of the pattern.

It sounds like he believes conflict means the relationship is better off discarded.

I keep repeating that conflict is a normal inevitable part of all relationships and everyone needs to learn how to process conflict effectively but that doesnít seem to help. Or he doesnít see the truth in that.

Heís been to counselling, weíve been to counselling as a family but he stopped coming and didnít participate in the sessions he did attend other than to complain that his father and I did all the talking. I get individual counselling as needed but right now I am waiting for my extended benefits to come into effect after changing jobs.

I think I need to let go of my stress.  I feel awful, guilty, inadequate, so sad that he is suffering. But I have done everything I can. I think...

I spend a lot of energy second guessing and wondering what I could do differently, better...

I have been reaching out to him daily. He lives nearby and I am reassured that he has at least responded minimally. That is some progress. It hasnít been complete cut off this time.

I have been telling myself to follow my heart and do what I think might be helpful. He will be mad and blame me for being wrong regardless.

This morning I debated with myself whether saying that I love him would make things worse in response to his statement that he is questioning whether we should try to have a relationship. I decided to say it. And to repeat that processing conflict is a necessary skill. No response from him yet. Maybe tomorrow. 

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Penny Lane

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Re: Avoiding conflict avoiding relationship feeling sad
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 09:12:42 PM »
lavacake, I see a lot of wisdom in your post. Especially these things:

I think I need to let go of my stress.  I feel awful, guilty, inadequate, so sad that he is suffering. But I have done everything I can. I think...

I have been telling myself to follow my heart and do what I think might be helpful. He will be mad and blame me for being wrong regardless.

I think that you know what you need to do to set good boundaries and take care of yourself. I also think that taking care of yourself will mean that you set a good example for your son and give yourself the best possible chance of having a good relationship with him. But it is so hard.

 :bighug:

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momnthefog

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Re: Avoiding conflict avoiding relationship feeling sad
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2019, 09:00:25 AM »
lavacake,

Welcome to the forum!

Does your son have a dx of a personality disorder, or does he exhibit behavior that leads you to believe there's a PD?

I ask b/c as a 23 yo man this could be his way (the behavior you mentioned) of trying to cut the apron strings....so to speak.  I have a 24 yo nearby (non-PD) and I have to remind myself sometimes to let him come to me and give him space. 

Boundaries are important regardless of anyone's dx or personality style.....as well as letting go of the mom guilt that plagues us.

Again, welcome....hope you'll feel comfortable in sharing more of your story.

momnthfog

momnthfog
"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible.  She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings."