Question: Dear Luise: How to I get my son back on speaking terms with the family, My son is 32 years old and we have not seen him for 5 years. We love him and want him to be part of our lives. He will not call me back I have left messages telling him how much we love him and we want him to be part of our lives. We feel horrible and do not know how to get back on track we do not even know what we did, He has a brother that is 2 years younger and does not have a relationship with him either. How can we reach out to him and get him back. My husband says just to let it go. However, he is my son my heart aches. Thank you. C.
Answer: Dear C.: What heartbreak you must feel. Of course you want to do everything possible and leave no stone unturned to right a situation that feels so wrong.
However, the truth is that your son knows how you feel and what you want. He is 32 and has the right, as unfortunate as that may seem, to pick who he wants to interact with and whom he doesn’t want in his life. What you do now or didn’t do five years ago (real or imagined) is not the issue, really. The issue is that he made up his mind, for whatever reason, to leave the family and obviously hasn’t changed his position since.
That could change at any time, of course. Remember that. But/and it may never change. I agree with your husband. You need to honor your son’s choice and move on without him. You really don’t have any other options. You can’t force him to acknowledge his family of origin if he doesn’t want to.
I have recently created a web Forum that deals with issues with and about grown children. I think you might find support there. A critical mass of collective wisdom and compassion is forming there as women share their experiences. The URL is: www.motherinlawsunite.com Blessings, Luise