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User Topic: boys. I'm at a loss
Member # 12802
Default  Posted: 11:14 AM, July 25th (Thursday)

boys. they're a mystery to me. always have been. having never been around boys growing up (no brothers, cousins etc...) I don't understand how they operate. it's been learn as I go as the unfoundling boys have grown up .

the young years were fun. I could get into the dirt, rough tumble, pew pew pew, pre testosterone years. honestly, it made me wish I would have had a brother growing up.

but now... now the teen years (almost 16 and 17) .

what used to be my fun loving, mommy kisses cure anything, sweet boys have been showing bouts of moodiness and general butthole-iness.

with dd, we got lucky. she didn't turn into a teenager until she was over 20 and out of the house. during her actual teen years there was of course typical teen drama and attitudes, but she would cry, vent, talk about it then be over it. an easy formula to follow.

boys are different. yes?

out of nowhere they get moody, stoic and/or pissy. I have NO idea why. they don't talk. I've tried. they used to, but now it seems I'm no longer a confidant, but a big ole interloping momma that knows nothing. I assure them that I'm here for them and get eye rolls in return when they're in that mode... what gives???

they're not misbehaving or breaking rules of the house/family, they're just .... ugh. I'd be more concerned if it was just one of them, but both??

they're, for the most part, still my silly sweet boys.. but when they're not, I'm not sure how to deal with them, or if I need to at all because this is "normal".

maybe it's my own perimenopausal hormone hide and seek? not quite sure what I'm asking other than is this par for the course for teen boys?

Hey you, would you help me to carry the stone ...

Posts: 14747 | Registered: Nov 2006 | From: mercury's underboob
Sad in AZ
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 11:36 AM, July 25th (Thursday)

In my experience, it's really, really normal. I only had one, and he was a dream child, but around 15-16 it got a bit dicey. Yes, he was moody and uncommunicative. However, he did have outlets in that he was friendly with other adults (whom we knew very well); he would confide in them, knowing that they would tell us if it was something important. This worked well.

I wouldn't sweat it too much; boys recover a lot better than girls (just judging from my teenage years--I was also a dream but my sister--oy!) Unless it's something life threatening or criminal, I would just benignly ignore them-sort of a modified 180. I find that boys need validation from their moms, even if they are adamant that they don't want it.

I promise to surround myself with amazing souls and love them fiercely.

Posts: 19139 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 11:40 AM, July 25th (Thursday)


It's the boy's cycle. AJ was the same exact way.

I often would ask myself what happened to the kid who didn't care who was near me when he kissed me? Oh, and the old "I KNOW, MOM!" statements. Totally exasperating, for sure.

About all I can offer you is that they come back around, and you'll be getting "Mommy?" out of them before you know it.

Boys + Moms = Agape Love.


Fidelity isn't a's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!

Posts: 21005 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 11:40 AM, July 25th (Thursday)

<---- Mother of a 16 yo boy

I feel your me....I really, really do.

Posts: 13352 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 11:46 AM, July 25th (Thursday)

Yup... I have brothers and its very very normal. Oh and my husband. To this day I have to just leave it until he's ready to talk. I used to pull and prod and plead and cajole ..nada. But then I learned sometimes even HE doesn't know what it is so it's pointless to push. I'll get the answer.. in a few days . That lesson took me a decade. And's so foreign to me because I will talk out anything at all. I need to. I just do. So I don't get it.

And when a teenage boy says "I need to talk about something" you freeze because it's like spotting the dodo bird and you don't want to scare it off. Teenage girls.. feral cats. They'll swipe at you before they run. But teenage boys might actually disappear if you don't handle the conversation **.

I have zero answers for you. My work here is done.

“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 42726 | Registered: Sep 2006
Must Survive
Member # 34533
Default  Posted: 11:51 AM, July 25th (Thursday)

My 16 DS is also less communicative. I have tried to lesson the actual "talking time" to just needed to check in with him. I also get the bit of a raised voice when he is annoyed with me. While I don't enjoy it, there are other moments where I see the young man he will grow into. Based on IC, this is the age that they need to disengage from us, and it can be hard for them too. They just don't know that they are doing it.

WS: Just a squished bug on the window of my life!
Divorcing, STBXH is engaged/living with OW#3

They have a choice: they can live in my new world, or they can die in their old one." — Daenerys Targaryen

Posts: 588 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: Must Survive
Member # 24849
Default  Posted: 11:52 AM, July 25th (Thursday)

mother of an 18 yo boy - I too feel your pain

FWW - 40
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent...

Posts: 5503 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 12:03 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

And when a teenage boy says "I need to talk about something" you freeze because it's like spotting the dodo bird and you don't want to scare it off.

Amen to that

If my son says this, I stop anything and everything I'm doing (even dying my hair) to listen to him because I know it's a very rare occurrence.

Posts: 13352 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
Member # 28555
Default  Posted: 12:10 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

Right there with ya.

DS29 as a teenager was horrible. Rude mouth and the attitude to go with it.

DS15 pissy, moody, stoic. But, I do still get occasional hugs, kisses and ILY's. He's not a goner yet.

I see him around his high school football friends and he's all puffed up macho man and I'm a mere peasant.

It'll get better, really.

"If your ideal image of yourself is in the future, it's going to stay there".

Posts: 1187 | Registered: May 2010 | From: Texas
Member # 24210
Default  Posted: 12:10 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

I have learned they only seem to ever talk on 'their' terms.

If I try to ask how school/work/whatever was, I get a grunt that may or may not contain any vowels....or even worse - totally ignorance.

However, once in a blue moon - he will be chatty. All of a sudden it is like "AHA - there is my son"....then poof....gone....back to the grunting boy.


When someone shows you their true colors, don't try to repaint them.

Posts: 1863 | Registered: May 2009 | From: Pa
Member # 34086
Default  Posted: 12:26 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

As a former teenage boy, and dad to a 15yo, I'll let you in on an inside's perfectly normal. Watch them around other boys of the same age - that's where your little boy went, it's just now he is most comfortable with others that are going through the same hormonal changes he is. It's a confusing time for a boy, becoming a man. Starting to grow facial hair, changes in the body, odder dreams, starting to think about becoming an adult, school is getting real. It's just a phase for most - it's the ones who don't come out of it by 25 or so you have to worry about. Those are the ones the neighbors on the 6 o'clock news describe as "he was always such a quiet boy...".

Married: 16 years (14 @JFO)
D-Day: 11/09/11
"Ohhhhh...shut up Tred!" - NOT the official SI motto (DS)

Posts: 3278 | Registered: Dec 2011
Member # 12802
Default  Posted: 12:28 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

thanks all. nice to know it's normal.

I can see that oh shit look on their faces when I get them corralled in a meaningful conversation. they've mapped out all the closest exits and can maneuver out of it like a lab rat conditioned to push the cocaine button at the end of a maze.

guess I can put out of mind the idea of secretly putting my hormone cream on them while they sleep... that's all I need, moody boys that don't know why they have a need to watch secrets of the ya ya sisterhood.

Hey you, would you help me to carry the stone ...

Posts: 14747 | Registered: Nov 2006 | From: mercury's underboob
Member # 26071
Default  Posted: 12:48 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

Try doing something together while you talk. So that you are washing the car, or driving, or playing a game or something. That way they don't have to JUST talk or look at you while they are doing it.

D-Day: 6/5/09, drunken ONS on business trip, confessed immediately, transparent, remorseful but emotionally clueless
M 11 years, 3 kids
4/12 Tried to R for 3 years, have decided to D
12/31/12 D final

Posts: 525 | Registered: Nov 2009 | From: PacNW
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 1:01 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

What in heaven's name does a 15-18 year old boy have to say to his mom? And what could she possibly say to him that would help? Just askin'....

(signed) sisoon, who may have some more growing up to do

FBH (me) - 65+, FWW (her) - 65+, Married 45+, together almost 49 (as of January, 2014)
DDay - 12/2010
Almost Recovered
I share my own experience not because I'm a good model but because it's the only experience I know.

Posts: 8872 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
Member # 12802
Default  Posted: 1:23 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

What in heaven's name does a 15-18 year old boy have to say to his mom?

that's just it sisoon... I don't know what it is that throws them into that moody state. I worry.

And what could she possibly say to him that would help?

don't know. but at least I'd be relieved that it wasn't anything earth shattering (where a parent needed to intervene) and that I could assure them that what they're going through was normal.

like I said, I don't know about teen boys and how they work on the inside. maybe they don't need my shoulder or ear, but if that's normal, then I'm good with that.

Hey you, would you help me to carry the stone ...

Posts: 14747 | Registered: Nov 2006 | From: mercury's underboob
Member # 30803
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

<------- mother of DS14 and DS16.

I totally understand.

Hang in there...this has to end eventually.

(doesn't it?)

Me ($39.95 plus S & H)
DS1(17), DS2(15)

Enjoying this chapter in my life.
Learning that being alone does not mean being lonely.
Discovering that where I've been is not as important as where I'm going.

Posts: 353 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Right Here, Canada
Member # 23437
Default  Posted: 1:43 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

Try doing something together while you talk. So that you are washing the car, or driving, or playing a game or something. That way they don't have to JUST talk or look at you while they are doing it.

Haha - I, too, was going to recommend exactly this! In my experience, it really helps if the focus is ostensibly on something other than all that frightening airy-fairy emotional/feelings stuff.

Oh and I would also recommend the 'Zits' comic strip. :-)

[This message edited by Cally60 at 1:49 PM, July 25th (Thursday)]

Posts: 2019 | Registered: Mar 2009
Member # 24210
Default  Posted: 1:58 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

And what could she possibly say to him that would help?

WHAT???? You mean he was not faking being flabbergasted when I said it was important to know how to put on a condom correctly and I could buy some bananas and condoms if he wanted me to show him????

If I want to say something that NEEDS to be heard, I always make sure he is a captive audience. As in, we are in the car and I am driving. They may APPEAR not to be listening but they are.

When someone shows you their true colors, don't try to repaint them.

Posts: 1863 | Registered: May 2009 | From: Pa
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 6:19 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

If I want to say something that NEEDS to be heard, I always make sure he is a captive audience. As in, we are in the car and I am driving. They may APPEAR not to be listening but they are.

I can relate to this, but I adore boys, God was right not to give me girls, I would have had NO idea what to do with their hair...

Mine were polar opposites in all ways. DS#1 was moody and non-communicative. "Fine" was his go to word. He would occasionally seek me out at odd hours and I would make sure I was available. DS#2 argued with me about absolutely EVERYTHING. I am still unsure how I/we survived his upbringing. We bonded over the adoption of 2 stray cats.

And yes, I did the whole condom/banana/RESPECT FOR WOMEN speech at the kitchen table to a captive audience. They were mortified.

Early days, I brought home anatomically correct dolls, because DS#2 wanted to know why ladies have to sit down when they pee. He was convinced that ladies must have their penis in the back. I used that opportunity to inform both of them. He also used to ask me questions in wonderfully embarrassing places, like, the mall, as we were walking past the ladies lingerie. "Mom, why does my penis get really hard when we are walking past this part of the store, and what should I do about it?" DS#1 was mortified...I told him he was perfectly normal and he should ask his father...


Despite some rocky days, both are amazing men, loving and smart. I am supremely grateful for both of them.

[This message edited by scaredyKat at 6:21 PM, July 25th (Thursday)]

Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 2895 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Member # 76
Happy  Posted: 6:38 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

Hang in there. They all go through this.

My 22 year old called last night and talked for 48 minutes. I was trying to meet a deadline and really didn't have time to talk. I just had to remind myself of the teen years when he had nothing to say

“There are only two types of women - goddesses and doormats”
*Pablo Picasso*

"I am a goddess"

Posts: 1637 | Registered: Jun 2002
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 6:43 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

It's normal but there is an end to it. My Darling Boy is 16.5 he actually is coming back. He didn't say more than 2 words to me at any given time for the 2 years prior to this. He actually talks to me tells me jokes and shares his hopes dreams and fears. I couldn't be prouder.
He is a dick to his 14 yo sister about 98% of the time still. I know he will have really grown up when he can be kind to her. Lol

Him: FWS
Kids: 14 & 16
Married for 21 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 6526 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
Member # 27035
Default  Posted: 9:39 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

They may APPEAR not to be listening but they are.

Absolutely this!! Boy, the birds and the bees one-sided conversations (are they really conversations? - maybe lectures would be better) are a perfect example of that. My DS would just turn red and bury his face in his arms and grunt if I asked if he had any questions or concerns. Since I could never get any confirmation that he actually got what I was desperately trying to tell him, I bought him a book. Illustrated with lifelike drawings of boys and girls and men and women and body parts and condoms and all that stuff. It was really very well done. That book was never seen in public again, but I know for a fact that he and all his buddies read it cover to cover. They and their parents all owe me for making sure none of them had babies in their teens. I'm hoping no STDs either, but I'm not asking that question!

Now that DS is over 30 (holy crap), it's hilarious to hear him say things that I know I said to him a million times over when he was a teen. Proof positive that he was listening!

"On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% - and that's pretty good."

Posts: 4631 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: Midwest
Member # 25341
Default  Posted: 12:18 AM, July 26th (Friday)

Mine are 19, 18, and 15. The 19 and 18 yo are mostly out of that (the next phase is how they know EVERYTHING and you are SO STUPID and DON'T UNDERSTAND, 18 yo still coming out of this one), and the 15 yo is easing his way into it now. It's unnerving, but there isn't anything wrong with YOU in this.

Hang in there!!


Me (BS), Him (WH): early 50's
3 DS: teens!!! :)
M: 24 (19 1/2 at Dday), Together 29
Dday: Dec 2008
re-separated (in-house), for good (??) <-- should really remove these, shouldn't I...

Posts: 2498 | Registered: Aug 2009 | From: EU
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 12:13 PM, July 26th (Friday)

Yes, perfectly, albeit horrible, normal stage. Two brothers and two sons.

Just a couple of weeks ago I told DS17 that he needed to move out and be on his own because he so obviously knows everything. There isn't a thing we, as parents, can teach him anymore and he doesn't need our guidance or stupid rules. He has the world by its tail and never ever in anyone's life are you so effen' sure you know everything that needs to be known than when you are 17 years old!

BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson

Posts: 8926 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 12:45 PM, July 26th (Friday)

Tapping into my 'if I could do it over' box -

Remember that Bill Cosby joke about what a man wants when he gets home from work?

When you get the eyeroll; "MO-om! Do we have to talk now?"
In large part, dealing with all the changes they're facing (the 'work' of being a teen), they need decompression.
As in: no pressure.

Think of how the 180 works.
Modify it. Go away from 'having to talk' to just spending simple time together.
The more innocuous the better.
What can you think of doing together - where you're not having to do anything? (& definitely not having to, you know, talk :::shudder:::)

Time. Just being together.
Let them come out of themselves at their own rate.
Even though you may want to jump on every little thing that peeks out, analyze it, fix it, etc...
Try to resist that.

Be patient. Silent hugs work wonders.

Posts: 5980 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 1:09 PM, July 26th (Friday)

I grew up in a male-dominated household, so I had the opposite problem. But two teenage daughters have been a learning experience.

You know how girls act around 12-13 years old? That's how boys act around 15-17 years old, in terms of attitude, moodiness, etc. I guess we mature slower than girls.

It's just a phase, and it will pass before you know it.

ETA: Great advice from jjct!

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 1:11 PM, July 26th (Friday)]

DDay 2/17/13, 10 month PA/EA
M for almost 18 years
4 kids


Posts: 1024 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
Member # 2766
Default  Posted: 1:45 PM, July 26th (Friday)

I discussed this on another thread recently.

They say the male brain matures at 25. Believe me I am counting the days as my DS21 and DS23 approach that milestone. DD27 had teen drama and ugliness for HS and University years...but not the kind of stuff that had me wonder if she would ever be able to be self-sufficient. The boys, I don't know how they'll ever be able to be self-sufficient (and the older one is engaged...hopefully won't set a wedding date until he matures).

Parenting is the most difficult job in the world. I've seen WONDERFUL parents still have kids who treat them like crap.

The good news is that generally they do grow up and hopefully daughter has apologized for her teen angst that she took out on me.

Seems from the amount of are not alone.

Posts: 2475 | Registered: Nov 2003 | From: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
Member # 36711
Default  Posted: 3:50 PM, July 26th (Friday)

They can be brooding, dark people for awhile. How long? It varies. And it seems like certain girls bring it out even more. I've even wondered if they think it's "cool" to act like Edward the vampire. And I'm not even talking about my son that got involved in drugs and alcohol.

Hormones are a factor in boys more than I had thought. And they do listen while appearing unconscious. Side-by-side non eye contact conversations work well too. Like while driving in the car. They feel less threatened.

We kept them busy. Busy=tired=much happiness in the house.

ETA:we have a sarcastic wall poster which advises them to move out at age 15 while they still know absolutely everything about everything.

[This message edited by SoVerySadNow at 3:54 PM, July 26th (Friday)]

D-day(s),after years of TT and Gaslighting was Labor Day Weekend 2012, continuing for a week after. *Dammit! More TT 3/9/13
Really trending toward D- planning about it is my "happy place" now.

Posts: 1256 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Sunny Florida
Topic Posts: 28