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Helping Adult Children

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truthsetmefree posted 9/7/2020 18:14 PM

I'm in a quandry with my youngest DS (25) and I'm just at the end of my rope with understanding and thus trying to figure out what to do.

He's looking to buy a house. My mother left him almost $100k in her will. Because he is extremely responsible when it comes to money and because I have the means I have offered to help him an additional $50k - no strings attached. I mention that last piece because it is pivotal to the issue. I had to think long and hard about my portion both because I truly don't want any responsibility (blame) in him making the right decision. I had to also truly evaluate if I could give the money no strings attached prior to making the offer. I feel like it is genuine. Obviously, I'm still going to have an opinion in what I think would be a good decision...but I'm also willing to be completely out of it rather than risk any blame.

We have shared listings back and forth. Some I've gone with him to see, some I've not. If I see things right away that I'm not on board with, I tend to back out. I won't stand in the way...I'm just not going to be an active support. However, I've repeatedly made it clear that the gift of the money is NOT contingent in any way on my liking or agreeing with the house he chooses to purchase. I honestly don't know how I could make that any clearer. I am exceptionally clear that I don't want the money to be perceived as any form of manipulation. Please also bear in mind that if I were to sway him toward any particular house I also recognize that could just as easily bite me in the ass down the line.

We found a house about a month ago that I could fully support. He seemed less sure so I didn't push in any way. I tried to answer any questions, help him consider all aspects, but I wouldn't give him clear direction - basically, tell him what to do. This caused a HUGE rift that ended up with him really blowing up on me, saying a lot of extremely hurtful things, and basically pointing out to me that I needed to take an even bigger step back from the whole process - which I did. I also needed some time to lick my wounds because he was profoundly hurtful. However, I never once threatened to pull the money - and honestly, I probably should have because anyone that would speak to me that way doesn't deserve any of my help.

We are now at a second house. He's all in on this one apparently...which I think is somewhat driven by desperation/impatience. I see lots of issues with this one. None of my issues are surprises...they are things I have been consistently saying would be something *I* wouldn't want (when looking at other houses). I don't feel good about it for even other reasons. None of those matter though because I've reiterated to him again and again that it is his choice and that my "buy-in" is not a requirement. "Whether I like the house or not, changes nothing."

The problem seems to be my opinion. It's not a matter that what matters to me doesn't matter to him...it's that I seemingly must change my opinion. We had a start of a rounder yesterday which I managed to avoid...but I got hit with a full one today. He was downright abusive - truly. He didn't just argue the points of my opinion, he brought up childhood issues, that I would pull strings with the money later on, that I was stopping him from buying a house...that he could only buy a house if it's a house that I like.

I'm bewildered. Both with how to respond to his accusations...and now how to move forward. I honestly do not know how I could make the gift aspect any clearer. Either take it - or don't. I've said that I would support him even if I don't think it's the right house. Over and over and OVER I've said this. I can't help it if he believes I will pull strings later (totally unfair BTW, imho)..but at least wait to blast me until I actually DO. Or just don't take the money. But the problem seems to be that I won't AGREE with him...and I don't know how to do that when I don't feel like this could be a good decision for him. I already have some internal conflict that I am potentially helping him $50k toward a decision that may not be good.

Now...the second piece. He was SO cruel today. I don't have words to describe it - and certainly not without then jading the story to where you all automatically tell me he's an entitled brat and needs to be dropped on his ass. Because how I feel right now is exactly that way. I haven't cried this hard since my mom died. He didn't just want to vent on me...he wanted to pulverize me. There didn't seem to be enough to blood to satisfy him. And to have been so clear on being able to truly give him money as a gift, I now am so hurt and angry that I'm really second-guessing that - especially given that I was so clear on that initially. So now I feel like I'm in a catch-22 in that the money I've offered somehow gives me control in his mind...and if I now pull it then I've just proven that to be true. I'm wishing I had just never even offered to begin with...and I don't know how to move forward. AT ALL. Right now, I'm so hurt and bewildered, as well as feeling treated so unfairly, that I don't want to see or talk to him for a VERY long time. I don't want to make anything worse...but at the same time, I don't see how it could be much worse. It's not just what he said today...he seemingly how he views me, my intentions, my character even. And if that's how you feel about me, then I just want out. Right now it seems nothing but a lose-lose for me.

WhatsRight posted 9/7/2020 20:30 PM

I absolutely do not want to downplay what horrible things he has said to you or how he is treating you.

But I will tell you that she it sounds a bit like my sons relate to me.

Through the years, I have determined that rather than not wanting me to be a part of itÖ Which is what I always thought was probably true, I think they very much want my blessing and my support. I think they care how I feel about it. And no matter how much I tell them that something is their decision, they are still angry (upset?) that Iím not all in.

It is a very strange and hard to explain. I tell them something is their decision. I tell them they donít need my approval. They reach out intently for my approval. When they realize that I donít feel necessarily positive about the situation, but Iím not going to interfere, then theyíre still mad at me.

They want it both ways. They want to be able to be independent from us, however, they want us to agree totally with them.

I think that somehow it upsets them when we do not agree with themÖ Even if we do not withhold our support because of our feelings.

I wish I could tell you why this happens, but I have no idea.

Just about the time that I think my boys absolutely hate me, they will say or do something that gives me the very strong impression that my opinion and my feelings about something are very important to them.

They want me to tell them the ďtruthĒ, as long as that truth is agreement with them.

Try not to pull all of your hair out. If what I have described is anywhere near what you were experiencing, I know how frustrating it can be.

Hang in there!

WhatsRight posted 9/7/2020 20:30 PM

Sorry...double post

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 8:32 PM, September 7th (Monday)]

WhatsRight posted 9/7/2020 20:42 PM

I hesitate to offer any advice, because when something doesnít make any senseÖ Itís a bit dangerous to offer advice because of the high possibility of making some thing backfire.

However, rather than not talking to him for a long time as you mentioned, I believe that if I were in your positionÖ Which of course I am notÖ That I would have a sit down conversation with my son.

I would tell him that I was thrilled that his grandmother was able to give him money for a Home. So thrilled in fact that I was very pleased to be in a position to add some thing to that money so that he could get an even better home.

I would explain to him that I made it very clear that the funds I gave him were not in any way contentment upon my ďapprovalĒ or even positive opinion of his choice.

I would then tell him that he has treated me very poorly during this process, while I was only trying to be of whatever help he requested.

Tell himÖ If this is how you feelÖ That you have enjoyed and appreciated getting to be a part of the process, but that if he cannot be kind to you and be adult enough to except your answers to his direct questions about your opinions, then you no longer want to be a part of the process.

I donít know what I am revealing about my parenting by saying this, but that is what I would do.

And if berating you while you are trying to be supportive of him without pushing your own agenda is important to him, then he can do it on his own.

I think it would actually be a favor to him and his education about how to treat people, if you let him know that you did not intend to be treated so poorly. And that he would have to suffer the consequences of doing so.

Good luck!

Lionne posted 9/7/2020 21:05 PM

Wow. Whatsright took the words out of my mouth but said it more eloquently and succinctly.
12 step work has taught me how to give advice to my sons without any expectations. I think that is exactly what you are trying to do. It's possible this monumental decision is weighing heavily on him and he is taking out the stressful feelings out on you. No excuse of course.

truthsetmefree posted 9/7/2020 21:09 PM

Thank you, WR...I appreciate ALL of your perspective. I think thereís a lot of truth in the explanation you offered. None of this is making sense to me so itís hard to describe it here and to have it make sense. I completely understand that that makes it hard to offer advice.

Logically, there are parts of this I can understand from his perspective. I also get that at the end of the day, he wants and values my approval. I understand that not having it would make it hard for him to confidently move forward. I also understand that itís easier to then blame me than to take responsibility for both his feelings and subsequently his decisions. All of that I get...which is why I have continued to encourage him. Itís also why I can tolerate his frustrations and how they may get directed at me. Iím unconditional love in his life so that makes me an easy target. I get it.

But the cruelty...that I donít get. The seemingly insatiable need to hurt...to see that you have hurt and then want to hurt some more. Why that? How can you come after your mom - or anyone you supposedly love, until the point that you have her completely emotionally destroyed - and then KEEP going. I just donít get that...and truthfully, even outside of my own hurt, it disturbs me. I think thatís the part that makes me not want to talk to him for a long time. I donít know how to process that he can do that. And I canít get away from it when it starts. Itís emotional battering - and I literally feel almost physically bruised by it. I feel totally beaten up...just broken. Thatís not ok. Thereís not any other situation in this world that I would tolerate that for one minute...and I absolutely would never speak again to anyone who had done what he did/does. EVER again. Itís really that level of not ok.

truthsetmefree posted 9/7/2020 21:19 PM

All that to say...itís not that I wonít ever speak to my son again. Heíll get past this and move forward. But I carry both the scars and how it then affects my behavior going forward (eggshells).

Iíve got to get a handle on this somehow. Itís really not ok. Itís a pattern that has developed over time, some of it excused because he was a teenager and likely because I was also totally unhealthy. Obviously his mistreatment wasnít the only mistreatment I was tolerating in my life. Strangely enough, it didnít bother me as much before...if it cut me on this same soul level then I must have somehow thought I deserved it...caused it.

But Iím not that same person any more. It violates me...and maybe because Iím healthier, Iím more conscious of the inappropriateness...that I truly donít deserve it. Iím also tired and weary from the years of tolerating bad behavior...and I just donít have that in my any more. I literally cannot take it anymore - which is probably why Iím feeling that I donít want to talk to him for a long time. Iíve come far enough that Iíd rather not have it in my life than to have it like that. I donít mean to suggest that thatís what Iím going to do...this isnít bravado talking. It will break my heart if it comes to that...not what I want at all. But I donít want this either. I donít have the fortitude to withstand it.

secondtime posted 9/7/2020 23:46 PM

Why not pull out of the process? My husband and I bought our first house at 27, and we did it by ourselves. My parents came to a few showings with us, but that was more for funsies because my mom was curious about the housing market, period. They never saw the place we bought..neither side did, until after we bought it and had the keys.

Have you suggested to your son to get into some therapy? It's an adjustment when someone you have a relationship with changes the dance steps. Until he gets himself healhty, you all can't have a healthy relationship.

That's not to say you shouldn't have boundaries. Because you should. Absolutely.

I don't know that I would try to discuss anything. If your son isn't emotionally healthy himself, it could just be a fruitless effort.

But, a quick phone call: Hi hon, this house hunting with you isn't working for me. If you have questions, please ask the realtor, home inspector, bank, interwebz, etc since this is what they all for a living. I'd like to have your answer about the extra gift in the next week. After that, I'm reinvesting the money. Let me know if you want to do dinner in a few weeks!"

tushnurse posted 9/8/2020 08:16 AM

Why is it ok to allow your child to treat you disrespectfully.

I would honestly encourage you to put your foot down, and tell him that you expect the same respect, and treatment that he would give a stranger. Until he can do that you can't be part of his life. Then 180. The 180 we talk about here isn't just to be used in M's. It can be very beneficial in all relationships. Especially when you are being abused and disrespected.

SoHappyNow posted 9/8/2020 15:38 PM

Our children can wound us more deeply than anyone else can.
Truth, thereís a reason why you are told to put your own oxygen mask first, before attempting to help others. You just canít allow this - ever again.

Iíve walked out on my son mid rant. It startled him and silenced him to see me moving towards the door. Gave me the chance to say ďI love you very much, but I just canít listen to this. I hope you feel better soon. Bye.Ē

We all love you - for good reason. Your son loves you too. But he doesnít sound emotionally healthy. I hope he figures that out soon. Iím so sorry to hear how much he hurt you!

Bigger posted 9/8/2020 16:05 PM

Write the check, give it to him and ask him to let you know when you can visit in his new house.
Then go have a great time doing something you enjoy.

I would definitely let him know that what he said was hurtful and disrespectful, and maybe even ask if he thought his grand mom would have left him that money if he had ever shown her that level of disrespect.
But after that I would simply allow him to go buy his house Ė alone.

Ps: I wouldnít be surprised if his anger is due to what he perceives as disdain about his house selections Ė correctly or not. My first purchase was a dump but in my eyes a palace. About 5 years later when I moved it took me ages to sell it because at that time I also saw it with the same eyes as everyone else - a dump.

Jeaniegirl posted 9/8/2020 16:16 PM

I guess I'm odd person out here but I don't believe in 'giving' adult kids things other than an occasional leg up, if needed - or an emergency. My daughter earns her own way and has worked since high school and all through college.

And I would never stand for that type of disrespect. Like I said, I may be in the minority here but just don't understand why you'd reward his horrible behavior -- with cash.

College expenses are different. If we can afford that AND the kids works hard, that's a given that we should help with college if we can.

somanyyears posted 9/8/2020 16:28 PM

..uh... how do I put this gently..

The next time your 25 y.o. son talks to you with disrespect and cruelty, slap his face... maybe twice, then leave the room!

Your son's behaviour is intolerable and far, far too immature to be 'home owner'. You still have a child on your hands and you've got some parenting lessons still to be learned.

Good Luck with that!


sewardak posted 9/8/2020 18:47 PM

I'm with the previous two posters. And if you had problems with him as an adolescent being mouthy and disrespectful giving him money as an adult will only make it worse. Give him nothing.Tell him he can fuck being in your life unless he treats you with respect. Then go live a big life.

anyone else with young children: raise your kids so that they know better than to ask for money. Tell them early they need to plan for college and (pay for half, pay it all, etc).
Parents these days make things WAY to easy for kids, to their detriment.

truthsetmefree posted 9/8/2020 19:26 PM

I've had some time to step back from the heavy emotion...to try to look at this more objectively. I'll speak to that in a moment.

In full disclosure, two things - and I do think they're relevant to the discussion though I fear they can appear to be excuse making. I'm still processing so much of this.

First, yes...he was an extremely difficult teenager. I fully expected him to be in prison, he almost was, and the act of stepping back is/was something I had to learn - at a most scary time and in a heart-breaking way. It was tough...can't downplay that. But I did it...and it probably changed his life, I absolutely know it changed mine. Honestly, he has been different the last five years. We really haven't had these issues - though he can still be hot-headed...until this whole house thing started. I think that's one reason why I've been so hurt and bewildered. I truly had felt like we had grown into an adult relationship that was actually GOOD. I've been really, really proud of how he turned his life around.

Secondly, the money issue. I truthfully cannot think of one single time my kids have asked me for money. Not even as teenagers. There were means to earn money...perhaps a little more in their favor than what the world would have entertained but nonetheless, there were no hand-outs. It's not to say that I didn't help them with things...but this now is not the by-product of being born with a silver spoon. Part of what landed him in trouble early on was, should we say, his "entrepreneurial" spirit. There may be other places I failed him, but earning/paying his own way was not one of them.

What I've realized in reflecting back over both times this has happened, it was almost like he was sabotaging himself...like he needed me to play the bad guy and be the reason why he didn't buy the house. It's the only thing that makes sense why no matter how hard I tried to not be the bad guy (communicate, communicate, communicate...keep my PB out of his chocolate), I'm still the bad guy. Why he's relentless in making me the bad guy...despite what I say or how I try to offer my support.

So why?? I'm not pushing to buy a house. I'm purposefully, consciously, carefully trying to stay completely neutral. So..why the fight? Why the need to even fight with me?

And then it's dawned on me. Girlfriend is involved. Long-term girlfriend...just recent roommate. And it's extremely clear when she likes a house. The two times that we have had the rounders (with the two houses)...she's been present. And the thing that has stood out to me (and feel kind of stupid for not connecting dots before) is that we are in the midst of a rounder...a complete destruction of relationsip...and she's desperately trying to save the house deal.

She's not a bad girl. I'm not suggesting that at all. I'm just suddenly wondering if the conflict he is feeling is in trying to please her...and it's easy to then make me the scapegoat as he looks for a way out.

It doesn't excuse the behavior. I'm not anywhere even close to that. But it may be playing an influence in why we are having problems when we haven't been for the last five years.

Amilliondreams posted 9/9/2020 00:59 AM

Oh boy.

I hope you take this constructively but I fear you won't. You spent a great deal of energy going into how much you made it clear the money was no strings and how you haven't stood in his way. I wonder if you truly belive that or if you feel just emphasizing it makes it so.
I'm not being facetious. But I do come from the other end of the spectrum. Ive seen the outcome of "well meaning" parental assistance that was veiled in good intentions but in truth had a solid backbone of control. Your post titles it well. Adult children. He is an adult. The minute you decided you wanted to give him money should have ended your involvement. Any other "well meaning" advice or suggestions is manipulation of the highest order and i imagine strongly ensconced in control. It shouldn't be an issue of maybe ever again give him the money and back off. Let him invite you to ahousewarming and leave it be. Its his life, his life choices and his decisions he has to create. Not yours. You choose to not give him the money at this point "because he is so mean to you" then it will completely confirm his strong suspicion that you are still pulling the strings and you will lose him. I know thats not your desire. But I assure you it will come to pass with this current line you are following.
I personally don't believe you should've offered so much because it had the huge potential to become a point of resentment but its your prerogative. And there will be other large points of his life where you may feel so inclined again, ie his wedding, his first child's birth etc. I would just know anything else you choose to give is just that a gift. Do not remain involved and he will keep you involved in his life. He wants you there as a nod AFTER he has made decisions. Not influencing them. Even if he says otherwise, don't fall into it.
Do not make the mistake of assuming this is the girls fault. Do not villainize then defend your son, then find a scapegoat in "the girlfriend ". This is resentment between you and him. It won't change with her in or out of his life. It will just explode later and probably more forcefully. I implore you to take this to heart, don't assume this isn't your son. Its there. Dont assume he won't remove you in an extreme case from his life. It could come. And that would kill you especially if by that point there are grandkids involved.
Why is he exploding at you? Don't play the victim, always put yourself in the other person's shoes. If hebis exploding, then you probably missed all the little slights he took and all the small things he's endured. To him he may be at the point of having taken so much that he is at the point of exploding and thats dangerous position for you to be in, for all the reasons I've gone over.
Back off without playing the victim. Without demanding respect because you are his mother. Respect once lost has to be earned back.
Perhaps you wonder, well why should I have to earn it back? He should be doing the work not me! Well, do want to be right or do you want your son? If at this point in his life, he sees your conversation or tension as more trouble than its worth then he doesn't want to earn it back. It doesn't mean that's how he'll be forever but at 25? Probably. So no he doesn't havr to work for it. Do you want him in your life? I suspect yes from the emotion in your post. So then yes, you need to do the work.
This isn't meant to be a 2x4. Its meant as a very real possibility of a rude awakening from a younger generation that is offering you insight that perhaps you aren't able to see. I would love nothjng more than to understand the other side that I don't understand so I really hope you take this the right way. And I hope it helps.

Bigger posted 9/9/2020 09:37 AM

On a completely different angle but relevant due to the info you shared.
I am not certain you can be the one to tell him this, but someone should:

He needs to be very aware of the ownership of the house. He needs to be clear if his GF moves in with him, if her income is in any way connected to payments in the house or whatever then she might get some ownership. He needs to be clear on changes if they marry or have a civil union or whatever. He needs to be clear that if they break-up he stays in the house.
[I worry that with the rage you describe this relationship might end with a DV charge and IF she has a legal residence in his house he might be on the street for as long as it takes to legally evict herÖ]

He needs to understand what marriage might do to ownership. If a pre-nup would be in order. That with the amounts involved he needs a competent attorney to deal with this BEFORE it becomes an issue.

I posted this on a thread about the validity of post-nups in General some days ago:
I have a relative who lost her single-parent mom to cancer when she was 14. I was her unofficial financial guardian and helped her relatives secure the substantial life-insurance her mom left her.
When she was 23, she married a great guy. Before the marriage I convinced them to get a pre-nup. They/she had planned on buying a home with the life-insurance and according to law here that property would become marital property. I drew up a pre-nup based on my knowledge and understanding of the law and then took it to an attorney-friend who more-or-less tore it to pieces, along with an hours lecture on how DIY-pre-nups were the perfect example of why people should seek professional advice. He compared it to a DIY appendicitis-surgery.
What the attorney came back with was basically the same principle but structured completely differently: The amount in her fund was listed and clearly stated that the amount plus any interest on that amount was her property. In detail he listed how the fund could be transformed into value in property and how that would be indexed to property-value.
If they divorced before purchasing a house, she would keep her fund plus itís investments since the marriage. The attorney was also very clear that if she added to the fund it could be considered marital property and strongly suggested she leave the inheritance ďas-isĒ.
If she had 50k in her fund and bought a 100k property she would own 50% and the marriage 50%. If they divorced, she would get 50%+25% = 75% of the market value of the property. The attorney nailed in numerous factors: Cost of purchasing and selling would be paid in accordance to ownership, cost of taxes, fees, maintenance etc. would be considered marital cost in lieu of rent and so on and so on.
He also added some other factors: Wordage that ensured both were of sane mind and understood the contract, what to do regarding inheritance and death, added witnesses to the signature, stipulations on notarizing the contract on deedsÖ All sorts of stuff I would never have thought of.
He also added one nice and IMHO fair factor: Once the marriage reached a certain age the husband started to receive a percentage of her share. Donít remember the exact numbers, but basically at the 15 year-mark she forfeited 5% of her share every anniversary so that once the marriage reached 25 years, they were equal partners. The attorney pointed out that this made what is generally a lop-sided contract fairer and would be worth itís weight in gold in front of a judge.

Main lesson learned: Pre or post nups need to be FAIR and need to be structured in a very clear and defined way. So much so that its definitely not something one does at home over the kitchen table. Do your homework, be clear on your goals and then talk to a professional.
I gave the couple the attorney fees as a marriage-present. Despite being a friend, the attorney was first and foremost an attorney and charged by the hourÖ What he doesnít realize though is that as a fishing-buddy heís the one that always brings the expensive Scotch to the lodge, so over the years I have done my very best to drink my money backÖ

WhatsRight posted 9/12/2020 15:39 PM

At the risk of having a ďcodependency ď thread started in my honor, , I respectively disagree with the comments questioning your gift.

Each parent gets to determine if they will be the type of parent that assists their children financially here and there, or if they are going to be the type of parent that does not assistÖ Or maybe only assists in emergencies. Itís not a matter of right or wrong in my opinion.

I would give ANYTHING to have the funds available to me at this time to help my sons out with a basic dwelling. They were not exactly college material, and although I would love to be made a liar, Iím not betting the farm on the fact that they will ever have lots and lots of money. I know they can earn enough to meet basic monthly expenses, Food, electricity, property tax, home insurance, etc., but I would love the chance to provide for them a home so that they never have to worry about not having shelter. For them and their family.

Sadly, in my situation, my kids will have a good bit of money from me and my H, but only after my / our death. (Two of my grandparents lived to be 96, my mother lived to be 92, and her father lived to be 104Ö So my chances of leaving this earth early - are slim and none!) I would love to get to see them get better established while Iím livingÖ But thatís just not how things are at this point. (Of course, who really ever knows when their time will be.)

So, if, as it seems, you have determined that you would like to help him out with this gift, that is totally your decision. But, he should not be allowed to disrespect you.

I assume the gift is not because he has a good behavior, necessarily, but because heís your son and you love him and want to help him. Therefore, I would not retract the gift.

But I definitely would have a conversation with him (sans girlfriend) about his attitude and treatment of you, and tell him that he is very much out of line, and then unless he can give you some indication that it will not happen again, and can make amends with you, youíre out of the process and you wish him well.

After hearing more of an explanation of the situation, I wondered if your son might be experiencing something that my sons experienced as they grow up.

Looking back, I can see times when my sons would get angry with me for no reason, or when younger, would not obey me. Down the road I would find out that they very much wanted to please me, but weíre assuming that they could not measure up.

I have no idea if that could possibly apply to your son. but when you mentioned that he had some troubles growing up, and from time to time you were concerned about him, I wonder if ďnot measuring upď in your eyes could be something that he is feelingÖeven though you donít giving him any reason to.

Just trying to brainstorm with you. I know itís always helpful to me if I can imagine the ďwhyĒ for some thing.

Good luck with the situation!

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 3:42 PM, September 12th (Saturday)]

Cooley2here posted 9/14/2020 11:56 AM

Kids hold onto resentment for years. I am guessing this has been bubbling up from a long time ago.
If you want out stay out. I am only going by what I would do. I would give him the money(unless what he said to you is unforgivable). I would asked to be invited when he has moved in.
My adult children are quick to tell me, in a nice way, when i get too involved.
Take this to a therapist to help you process it. For yourself.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 11:56 AM, September 14th (Monday)]

josiep posted 10/14/2020 22:05 PM

I'm very late to this conversation but I can totally relate to your relationship with your son. And I don't believe it has anything to do with you giving him things or not giving him things. Nor do I think you were sending him mixed signals, I believe you were perfectly clear with what you told him. My son comes up with some doozies sometimes - his memories of events have nothing in common with my memories or what my intentions were. This is a kid who had a fit when he had to write an autobiography in 8th grade, just sure his teacher gave the class the assignment so she could pry into his early life. No amount of discussion helped.

Sometimes males are just from Mars and that's all there is to it. My son can give me a lecture about something and in the next breath tell me how he was telling all his friends what a badass his Mom is because he's so impressed that I'm willing to travel to a South American country by myself. He might say something really snarky to me and then send me an email a month later about what a good Mom I was and how he appreciates everything I did for him (he's probably mildly Asperberger's plus had hearing problems), that otherwise he might've ended up in all sorts of trouble due to his inability to read the world properly. So on the one hand, maybe they treasure us but on the other hand, they want to be men and sort of resent the fondness and appreciation they have for their Moms. It's almost like they see that fondness and appreciation to be less than manly.

Which brings me to the other very applicable issue: our sons are the sons of their fathers.

My son bought a terrible place in Alabama but he was so proud of it, I was wise enough to zip my lip. But that's only because he'd already bought it before I saw it. :)

At any rate, I hope your heart is feeling better about it all and I hope he's come to his senses and apologized. But if it's not too late, my "advice" would be to give him the $50,000 now and tell him you meant what you said and if he wants to have you look at more houses with him, the ball is in his court but if not, that's OK too.

Then let some time pass and then someday when he says something that gets close to being unkind, stop him in mid-sentence and tell him "I'm going to stop you there and remind you that I am your mother and I love you with all my heart and I would give my life for you. But also to remind you that just because I'm your mother doesn't mean I have to put up with you being an asshole so just don't go there."

[This message edited by josiep at 10:17 PM, October 14th (Wednesday)]

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