Relationship with grown sons

I was a good mother and yet my grown sons, (married with children)really don't have much to say to me. One regards his aunt with great affection and I sense contempt. These were not abused children, they were cherished children. But no one is perfect, and we have talked and talked about problems that existed as they grew. My life at 61 is not what I wanted and I can't get past that. My self esteem is very low and I am constantly sad because of this.

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Apr 04, 2023
Thanks for sharing your troubled relationship with your son.
by: Anonymous

Thanks to all who posted about their estranged relationship with their son. I feel better about my situation now. Im sorry to say that all of those boys including mine are a bunch of knuckleheads!

and yes, we bid adieu to all of them. I will keep the door opened if they come after all.

Jun 26, 2022
Being a mom of sons sucks when they get married
by: Anonymous

A son is a son until he gets a wife. Then it is all about the girl and her family. This last Father’s Day my husband didn’t even hear from one of our son’s. I think it is the new thing to cut off the guys parents. I am done trying and moving on. I plan to stay happy and enjoy my life.

Jun 13, 2022
No one told me about this part 🥺
by: Anonymous

This all has me in tears !! My grown son has his first real gf and things are already changing. We hung out a lot and laughed a lot. He is legit my favorite person. But now she is putting "rules" on him about our relationship. I honestly do not know how I am going to handle losing my son…my best friend.

Mar 06, 2022
let go mom
by: Anonymous

mom with 2 grown sons in relationship w/good man. she no longer works,moved in his house. now wants man to let 31 & 37 yr. old sons move in. one son works has 2 kids, no wife, other son won"t work does drugs, whole family are user, any advice for good hearted man. constant break ups always over grown sons.

Dec 27, 2021
A dedicated mom
by: Anonymous

I was a great mom . Unfortunately things turned when my son was 12 . My husband was knee deep in drugs travel and hookups . He began abuse telling my son I worked all day for Pennie’s a looser you know. Then my son lost his grandpa and his grandma had a new dude and disappeared I was single handily maneuvering son and husband gone and work pressures. I had I’ll mom and I kept laughter love going I took or picked up my son we hung out went to excursions we laughter we traveled but he was very exhausting the sacrifices were great but I was a mom I loved it and although my son because my son was never easy but my pride and joy .. even as a young 5 year old he was always pushing envelope dropped his sister into the deepend of the pool was I think now autistic I worked on all his behaviors and he is a functioning adult I dedicated my focus to him , at 16 he clingedto grandmas checking account and never gave his parents a second look I never was told the truth from that moment on no phone calls cards or gifts no time in the last three months I decided for my own sanity I will stop reaching out .. the kid I sacrificed all my sleep and gave so much love from zero to 12 And the from 12 to 16 getting him into programs sports etc is just a reminder of the pain he is 31. His grandma died in 2018 left him money who knows where he lives etc he seems to have traded his parents in for new ones I really feel it’s better for me to go on get a new life and stop begging for nothing I never met his dates I never am invited anywhere it’s really shameful my son is not a good son

Nov 30, 2021
Mothers Please Stop Crying
by: Mona Smiles

Mothers your sons love you. They love the essence of their wives more. Human nature teaches us what is important in our lives at various points. Question: How many of you insisted your husband honor, respect, and call his mother regularly throughout the years? Your answer mirrors what is happening to you now.

Nov 29, 2021
I would never have believed it
by: MissingMySon

Hello -
I am a mother of a grown son who has changed so completely that I do not even recognize the behavior that is extended toward me. My son is my first child; I also have a daughter, both are married, both have children. I was always very close to my son. He was a beautiful baby boy. The years raising him where the most cherished of my life. As we grew, we always shared a deep and special bond and not only loved one another but enjoyed spending time with one another and we laughed together, a lot! Both he and I have a great sense of humor and used to crack one another up to the point of tears we'd be laughing so hard.
He met and married a woman several years ago now. I sensed it was not going to be good but he wouldn't listen to me. They got married, he got more distant. I'd run into him in the community, she would dictate what he could and could not do. He would comply. It's a very unhealthy situation and yet he allows it. He's not the son I remember and it hurts deeply. It hurts that he and his sister are very distant as well. He lives for his wife, their daughter (which I get) and her family which he lives with. It's like I am a casual stranger to him and sadly, he's okay with it.
I miss him desperately. It's difficult to understand how these things happen and how the son I gave birth to, that I gladly sacrificed for, that I did my utmost best to raise has turned into a grown man who has marginalized me and is okay with that. We need to protect ourselves and find the strength to not tolerate hurtful behavior. We must find the strength to let them go.

Jul 26, 2021
My husband gets angry about it
by: Anonymous

My son calls to tell me the great news that he and his family will be moving even farther away than their first move took them -- 1200 miles vs. 400 miles. How great his in-laws helped them scope out new houses and will help them with the move, be there to help them set up their new home. We were never even asked; the means are not an issue.

We can only see them if we take time from work and drive to see our granddaughter - they are very busy you know (even though I find he has the entire week off after we leave). They will be moving without a parting visit to his grandfather - I do not even have the expectation he will see family again before his grandfather departs this world. He and is wife are not even likely to take time from their pursuits for a funeral. I cannot say I want them there; if not in life, they are not needed in death. A grandfather who loves him more than words deserves better.

I feel like a raised a very selfish young man and yet I love him so. I feel like I failed.I cannot get through a video call update with them without feeling so depressed and angry. How great the golden in laws are... My husband doesn't want me to take his calls any more. I have no expectations any longer, but I stupidly keep hoping the once close relationship we had - we understood where each was coming from without explanation - will return. It won't, I know this. I have a major void in my life, longing like no other where grief lives for the lost relationship. All I want from him is time and love; I want to feel valued by him and I do not. I sacrificed so much of my own happiness for his; a true idiot I am as I can never get any of this back. My husband has no patience for it; he is angry at me that I care and want something that my son is clearly not able to give. The world is all about him at this point. He has no interest in or connection to those who encouraged and supported him to be able to become the success he is. When he speaks of "one big happy family," it is about his wife's family. We just do not rate any more and it is hurtful. I gave everything I had when I raised this boy; all I wanted was a loving, caring son.

It is painful and I don't seem to be able to let it go. I will be good for several months and then another call about how great his new family is (oh, yes ...he changed his last name to his wife's too) and my heart breaks again. Life on the curb is never where I envisioned our relationship when I watched my beautiful little boy grow up. If I had it to do over again, I don't know if I would have children. As every day passes, I believe I would not.

Jun 05, 2021
understand, yet don't understand!
by: Anonymous

I love my sons, they are my world and always have been. I respect the fact that they are grown men now and have wives and children and mortgages and lives of their own. I don't think that they realize how much it hurts to be shut out of their lives. I miss them terribly, I love my daughters'in'law, and especially my grandchildren, but I miss just talking with my children.
I was feeling so sad, lonely and depressed, until I came upon this sight and realized that there are others feeling the same pain as me. We are not bad parents, we have just been retired from parenting, I suppose. As painful as this is, It is nice to know that I am not alone. I pray for all of you, much Love, joy, and especially peace. God Bless.

Feb 20, 2021
my grown son
by: Anonymous

My grown son (41) is so much closer to his dad than to me. I a very happy that they are super close but I miss the relationship with him. I love his wife very much and they both know it. They are great parents to their 3 yr old daughter and i tell them. Our relationship is great. I just feel there is nothing for him and I to ever talk about. He stops by and its like total silence. I don't expect to be BFF with him but he is my only child and we always had a close relationship.

Jan 21, 2021
Not close to either adult child
by: Anonymous

I have a son and a daughter in their early 40's. Many years ago when I divorced their father, he worked relentlessly to turn them both against me. He always positioned himself as the "fun" parent, while I was the one holding down the fort, making sure homework got done, taking them to their t-ball, volleyball games, orthodontist appts, etc. I insisted to meet other parents when they wanted a sleepover somewhere else. They always resented any boundaries and would tell me all the time "MY Dad doesn't make me do that." And they were right. He didn't care whether homework was done, where they went unsupervised, etc.

Fast forward to their 40's. They are (very thankfully) good, successful people and I am very grateful for that. But they don't have much of any bond with me at all, despite years, no decades, of me trying to foster a healthy relationship. When they need emotional support, they always reach out to me. But they never ask about my life or how I am doing. And now, to further add to the chasm, they both are getting sucked into conspiracy theories about Q-anon, and they are anti-vaccers and anti-maskers. They think all U.S. government is corrupt and just scornfully laugh at my beliefs in science, and hope for America.

I am trying to emotionally let go. I will always be here for them if they are truly in need, but I need to face the facts that we will never have a normal parent-child relationship.

Jan 19, 2021
distant adult children
by: Anonymous

Both my son and daughter both in their 40s spend so much more time with their step father than me even now my ex has died. I am grieving for a life that has eluded me and looks like always will. I think children pick up on a parents attitude and opinions and become a younger version of the ex. If I now start expressing myself and my feelings of neglect I won't know if more attention is genuine or fake just to keep me happy. On the other hand the thought is maybe I need to express my feelings. Over whelmingly the thought is you ve lost any chance of a healthy genuine relationship and just let it go. Bear in mind this includes grandkids and that hurts even more.

Jan 12, 2021
by: Anonymous

Think about how it was when you were a new wife and mother. You wanted to bond with your husband and children as a family. With the demands of work and just trying to survive, there is very little extra time and that new family need to form their own special traditions and bonds. You have done your job well. Now is the time to focus on YOU. Any time you are invited into your children's lives is a gift to be cherished.

Nov 28, 2020
Pining Away But Just A Vessel
by: Annbot

I am sorry most of you are going through the relinquishing of your sons. I completely understand and agree that once they get married it is like you as their mother do not exist. I had a friend who is a mother of four sons and she once said to me that when your son gets married it is all about the girl. She left out that little part that it is all about the girl and her family. I totally understand the feelings of being left out and kicked to the curb. And I personally don’t think it will ever get any better. I feel like a vessel. I remember a long time ago a woman in the grocery store came up to me when my sons were small and told me that I should feel lucky because you have two sons. She then said now you need to try for a daughter because if you don’t have a daughter you will be all alone in the world. I didn’t understand what this lady was talking about at the time. I do now. I did not know then how true her words would be now.

Oct 14, 2020
Grown in pain
by: DC

We want our sons happy and satisfied. I hurt for the young wife who won’t see the effect of her self centered manipulation till they grow older, if ever. A single Mom hurts more with out the son seeming to care, but we let them go cause we love them! I know my son didn’t have great men examples, but I now realize I couldn’t compensate and I can’t fix that part of him. I just wish they would get counseling and try to empathize and see that M9m isn’t wanting to do anything except help them overcome and learn, and have a better future. It’s hard because the other set of in-laws is very manipulative and controlling which is where she learned it of course. The contrast is great, but I have accepted my position of distance and will just be here if any of them need me. It still hurts though of course. My son and I were close at one point.

Jul 11, 2020
Hurting But Learning
by: Jenny

It helps to see that my experiences with both of my adult sons seems to be universal. At one point, I felt that the way of loving my adult son the best was to love his wife and his children. I believe I have scored with this solution and experience solid and loving relationships. They truly know me and I know them. I now am experiencing this again with my youngest son and his first child. It's wonderful but bittersweet all at the same time. Both of my sons seem to have a fun-loving relationship with their respective mothers in law, and so that whole family dynamic works out because their wives are comfortable and happy. I truly love that for them, but I constantly feel that I have to work at being included and considered. It's lopsided, for sure, but God has me every step of the way. He is growing me in ways that will pay dividends in the future, but right now it's extremely painful. Without God and a loving husband this reality of life would be much harder. My husband doesn't really understand because he is male and has a different perspective. And even though he can't relate, he is still compassionate.
So a lot of my feelings are kept inside. There seems no real resolution except a constant handing of my pain over to God. This is good overall because we need to focus on God and what He has done for us in Christ to have a chance to be lifted above our hurt.
Mothers of sons are special. We are strong. We are there without any other agenda but to help and love. We constantly live above ourselves and learn to give unconditional love. So.."weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

Dec 20, 2019
Maybe you were smothering moms
by: Anonymous

Maybe you guys smothered your sons? My adult son and I ave always had a tight relationship...but I sowed him by example...he had a close relationship withhis grandparents & great-grandparents...taught him as a child to love and respect his grandparents...with teaching him that I taught him one day I expect to be treated one day like that...I have aso taught my son to one day marry someone who has the same family values...don' get me wrong I don't want to be at my sons house all the time either...I have a life and husband...I made our marriage a priority wich showed my son what a healthy marriage is it's a partnership one person doesn't make the home both grandparents were treated equal...I made time for my husband alone...time with just my son...and family time...question for you moms on here were your parents a part of your sons lives...this what happens wen kids are made center of your world...

Sep 04, 2019
So proud of my3 sons.
by: Anonymous

The best time of my life was raising my 3 sons. We had fun,routine and structure. They all grew up confident,hard working and amazing dads. I am so proud of them. No one told me that the in-laws would benefit from my labour of love more then I get the chance to. I had to get off social media because my heart broke to see them on video more then I get to see them in front of me. Do the Mother’s of our dil not get how they would feel if their daughters spent more time with us. When did the world change. It’s pretty bad that when you want to see your grandchildren you have to schedule an appointment because they are so busy. I would love to be a part of that business. Just another heartbreaking lesson that the world dishes out to Mother’s of sons.😔

Jul 30, 2019
Life's Journey
by: Anonymous

Mother's don't despair -- our children are given to us as blessings from God. Never allow anyone to dictate your relationship with your daughter or son. After all, you were the vessel in which they entered the world. No one can nor will ever take that away from any of you. Let them go knowing you will always remain in their hearts until they are no longer.

Jul 28, 2019
Move on
by: Anonymous

Nobody... only god knows how much you love your boy. Forget it... you've done your job, bathed the scratches, healed the hurt in them, cried for them and nourished, cherished every minute :). Let go please, let them move onto your past scenario. Well done to all mothers out there! Enjoy some rest, you deserve it :)

May 22, 2019
A Mothers' Love is Forever!!
by: Ava

Attention mothers do not despair not only do our sons still love us -- they will always need us just in different ways. It will not hurt for a mother -in-law to call her son or daughter -in-law without reason. A simple I was thinking about you or I love you is a nice gesture. I refuse to accept the saying "a son is a son until he takes a wife" -- if they separate or divorce (God forbid) adult children need support too. Mother -in-laws it is time to change the structure of the relationship with your daughter-in-law. Why society put a sons' wife and mother in conflict should not be tolerated any longer - this is the twenty first century. Time For Change!!

May 13, 2019
3 grown sons with no respect towards me there mother
by: Anonymous

I have 3 grown sons. Not one of them past me a card or gift for mothers day. It was a hurtful feeling. My birthday is in 3 days after mothers day. I can guarantee they will not get me anything. I've spoke to their father. He said the boys buy him gifts n cards becuz they don't see him but they see me every once in awhile so why should they get you a gift or card. That does not make any sense. I can't make any sense out of it. Depressed mother/grandmother

Mar 25, 2019
Grown sons
by: A grandma

I realize that sons are meant to grow up and leave their family of origin to form families of their own. As a mother of 2 sons I find it so very hard to watch my son and his family spend a disproportionately amount of time with my DILs family. I’m getting off Facebook, it’s too hurtful to constantly see how much time they get with my son when I don’t. He seems so happy with this situation yet I’m grieving the loss.
I feel unneeded and uninvited, I am !
What are " mothers of the groom" to do besides "smile and keep your mouth shut" ?
I love my son as much as the other grandmother loves her daughter yet we’re cast aside. I get a text of occasions that I’m invited to, I don’t get to go on casual excursions, time with grands or daily interactions. We live a few miles from my son, his wife teaches nearby. She drives by EVERY day yet never stops. Only when her son grows up will they ever recognize the estranged feeling.

Jan 07, 2015
Grown up son who is married
by: Anonymous

As mums, I think we have to realise that when we have them, we love them like nothing else. When they grow up, we lose something in them that is like any bereavement; the loss is like a sort of death and to realise that is the start of moving on. The love we have for them is insinctively powerful (or the human race wouldn't survive!)and natural, but growing up for them, as it was for us, is also instinctive and powerful (or they would be insecure from needing us all the time).

Feel the loss, get help for this first, then move on to deal with the practicalities. It's painful but if someone is manipulative, then deal with this.

In my own life, if my son and daughter-in-law were not family, I'd have nothing more to do with them. Theis is because of how 'measured' they are with me but not her family. I've just learnt that I might feel hurt (normal) but I can only control how I am. I've learnt not to be grateful for the snippets I get now and then. I also have learnt to have my own priorities that may mean I cannot bow to them. It's choice at the end of the day.

Jul 31, 2014
Sons are sons until they take a wife.
by: Anonymous

Write or call your son every once and a while. Then ask him how HE has been feeling. Tell him you miss him. Now that you are both getting older and because life goes by very quickly it would be nice if he could call you when he has the time and you can maybe sit down at a nice restaurant and just catch up to how things are going with him....
Just a nice conversation that's all.

Dec 04, 2012
Sons are sons till they take a wife
by: Anonymous

I have three sons who are all married with kids,problem is that my daughter in laws don't care for one another and my sons seem to be caught up in the drama. I so dread the holidays now, we used to all get together now we don't. Any suggestions?

Thank for any ideas especially during the holidays.

Oct 24, 2012
Grown sons
by: Anonymous

I am having the same problems with both of my grown son's. They have changed when they married as if somewhere in those vows I missed the part about sending your Mom off into the sun set. My youngest who is married with 5 children spends most of his time telling me how he doesn't "Need" me anymore that I wonder why he feels he NEEDS to continue saying it.

Nov 18, 2011
Son has false memories
by: Anonymous

My grown and married son has memories of his childhood that just never happened. He defends his memories by using my senior status of being forgettful. In fact he now uses my forgetfulness to explain things that happened 12 years ago.
I am 69, not 80! He refuses to 'go there' when I try to discuss the past.
He has two wonderful children whom I love dearly. His wife is an angel but he gives me rules to follow that she is unaware of and he has told her and her family down right lies about me. I just want the relationship we had until his wife concieved his first child. That is when all this started.
He also won't talk to me because I cry and he thinks I am using it on purpose. I am a cryer but it not something I can control. This situation saddens me so that I cry when I talk about it.

Jan 18, 2011
trouble to let go my grown up son
by: Anonymous

I am a mom with only one son, with whom I shared
all my love and affection and now Iam finding it very hard to let go , when he dont need my constant atention, Iam still fearful of the decisions he make for his life, his safety , his health, I JUST CANT LET GOOOO, HELP please...

Dec 15, 2010
by: Anonymous


May 22, 2009
12 year old son
by: Catherine


It's good that you know what you want to be different with your son than you had with your relationship with your own mother. Just don't let the hurt you still feel from your mother affect your current relationship too much. It's about having a good relationship with your son, not eliminating the pain of your relationship with your mother.

Also, concentrate on the relationship you have now. Enjoy the time you have now with your son. Your relationship will change many times over the years. There's no sense in worrying about what it will be like in the future. Just work on making it strong now. Make it so he knows he can trust you and that you'll be there for him if he needs to talk to someone.

I think it's natural for a 12 year old boy to pull away from his parents a little bit. He's at that age when he's trying to figure out what it means to be independent. You need to be there when he needs support and when he needs guidance but you still have to let him figure out the whole independence thing (within boundaries of course).

Ask yourself if you're really focusing on what you don't want. eg. you don't want a distant relationship with your son like you had with your own mom. Focus on what you do want. You want a good relationship with your son. There's definitely a difference. Figure out what you can do to strengthen your relationship with your son.

Something else to remember is that as you develop your son into that good man, he needs you to be his mother. Not his best friend. You can be best friends when he's totally grown up. But for now, you have to be his mother which means he's going to be annoyed, angry, and distant with you sometimes. It's part of being a parent.

Be gentle with yourself. It's not an easy job being a parent. Just do the best you can.

May 22, 2009
grown sons
by: Catherine


Here's a couple of quick suggestions for you.

1. Forgive yourself - this is probably the most important one for you to start with. Realize that you made what you thought were the best decisions at the time (when your sons were growing up). Doesn't mean that in hindsight, you realize there were better ways of dealing with it. But, at the time and with the information you had, that's what you thought was best. You learned from it and that's what makes you a better mother. So, forgive yourself. You did your best.

You say you've also discussed it with your sons. So, let it go now. You can't change the past. You can only learn from it. You've made your amends. It's time to move on.

If you think part of the problem may be with not knowing how to let go of feelings of guilt from the past, then take a look at this article for some ideas:

How To Deal With Feeling Guilty

2. What do you want to do? - what is it that you'd like to do with your life now that your sons are grown? Are there things you wanted to do when you were younger? Why don't you do them now.

Working on your own self esteem and starting to do the things you want to do, will actually make your sons respect you more. They'll see that you have changed and that you've let the guilt and the grief of past mistakes go. You have to move on from it first before they can. As long as you hold on to it, they're reminded of it. So, focus on yourself for a bit. You'll love yourself more, you'll be more interesting to your sons, and you'll have no regrets.

May 21, 2009
Thats Sad I wish I could Help
by: Anonymous

I can understand what you mean because I dread that now me being a 30yr old single mom trying to do the best I can developing a 12yr old into a Good Man. I always think about how our relationship will be when we are older. He is my only child, I love him very much and I really want us to have a better relationship than me and my mom did. He distant towards me now and It bothers me. What am I to do?

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