I'm a single mother of two grown sons, ages 34 and 23. We've moved all over the country for 24 years as I tried so hard to raise them alone on $22,000 a year.
My eldest son attended university and developed the most wonderful character. Recently, he travelled to Italy and phoned one night to say he'd met someone.
However, she's 48 and lives not far from him back home. That distance isn't stopping her from booking expensive hotels (he's unemployed) and meeting up with him. She's never had kids. I think she's living out her maternal/cougar life by "possessing" him.... Skyping three times a day, checking up on him, etc.
She "forced" him to meet her family even though he felt awkward. She has NO problem with the fact that I don't approve of her and refuse to meet her. She's displayed some "red flags," yet my son's falling hook, line, and sinker for her.
He dated very little before and is allowing her to "control" him. She's causing a terrible wedge between my son and me; he's disrespecting me daily.
I've suffered abuse all my life and I'm not putting up with this any longer. I'm currently not speaking to him and feel betrayed that he doesn't care about my feelings.
Please don't tell me to "butt out" of his business. I love my two sons dearly and only want to see them happy.
Continue on this way and you can write off your mother-son relationship.... so forget thinking this is about you and what you approve or don't.
Your son was raised by you - a determined, strong, single woman, obviously much older than him. It's actually a compliment to you that he sees a strong-minded older woman as a logical companion. His inexperience, plus the trust you instilled in him, has him missing the red flags that you see.
But your resistance to his choice, and refusal to meet her, is now a slap in his face, which he doesn't understand and can't accept without appearing a weak Mama's boy.
So, butt out, but with intelligence. Meet her. Stop criticizing or bad-mouthing. Drop the tension between you, and maybe he'll see what you see. Instead of dishing out negatives, ask him the right questions (gently!) e.g. does he feel certain he'll never want children?
Not speaking to your son is your big mistake, pushing him right into this woman's arms.
We have two teenagers from different birth families, whom we adopted from Russia when they were infants. They've always known that we chose them; we've always been open that they were adopted.
Occasionally, our daughter has wondered about why her birth mother gave her up. Our son has never mentioned it. However, neither knows that they have natural siblings. We're wondering as to the best time and method to broach the subject.
Both children have a right to this information; it's only the timing and approach that you need to consider.
Much depends on each child's ability to handle this information, and when. Teenage years are a vulnerable time, as you know. You don't want to arouse fears of the unknown, or feelings of prior abandonment.
Let each child lead the way. If one asks a lot of questions, suggest she/he talk to a counselor about how to handle the information they seek. You can discuss with the therapist whether to accompany the teenager or not for one or more of the sessions.
FEEDBACK Regarding co-signing a mortgage for a friend (Sept. 17):
Reader - "Co-signing leaves one at risk for the entire amount. Instead, one can, if affordable, commit to a second mortgage on the house.
"This gives some security on the "loan" in so far as the value of the home can sustain it. Should the friendship fail, the helping friend still has a documented claim against this asset.
"As a second mortgage, it'd work in the bank's interest, as they'd have the main mortgage documented as first charge against the home.
"The "lender" should also charge a higher interest rate than the bank, to encourage this debt being repaid as quickly as possible. There can be interest relief periods for the friend if needed and during a temporary low point."
Thanks. This is exactly the kind of solid financial advice people should seek from their bank and/or accountant when faced with such decisions.
Tip of the day:
Opposing an adult child's choice of partner is often a losing strategy.