Question: Dear Luise: I have been divorced or almost 25 years. Recently I met a man and wanted to introduce him to my son and his family. The 1st time I brought it up I asked to bring him to my son’s son ‘s 1st birthday party. My son told me not to and that it would be an inappropriate time to meet him. I then was to babysit and asked to bring my boyfriend with to which my son said the same thing – inappprpriate. Well the grandons birthday party came and I walked in by myself and my daughter in law asks me where is my boyfriend, I say my son said not to bring him. She says no she knows he is expecting him. Now my son comes out asks me to go in a different room with him and then tells me in a very angry way that he never said not to bring him. When I say the opposite is the truth he accuses me of calling him a liar. To make a long story short he makes a big deal out of this it becomes an issue and now he has gravitated to telling me to stay away from him at the party, after I leave the party he calls me to clear things up but resorts to the same thing and then says I shouldn’t have left without saying goodbye and in the same breadth tells e he doesn;t owe me anything. He works for my ex – his dad- who was an abusive tyrant who was at the party. what do I do about this? A.
Answer: Dear A.: It sounds to me like your son is in conflict over you finding someone new and has no idea how to deal with those feelings. He wants to take a stand with you and he wants to look good to his wife. Obviously it’s not working, so what better solution than to make it all your fault? Blame is an easy game.
All I know of that you can do is have compassion for him. He’s pretending to be an adult but he has a long way to go and doesn’t know it. If you get a chance, talk with him one-on-one and let him know you don’t want to complicate his life in any way. Then step back. He may not be ready to have your new friend in his life; that’s his problem, not yours and yes, you probably had other expectations. In that area, he isn’t required to fulfill your expectations, no matter how reasonable they are. Blessings, Luise