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Mom shocked when grown son blows up at dinner; 'You and dad are HORRIBLE PARENTS.' AITA? UPDATED

Mom shocked when grown son blows up at dinner; 'You and dad are HORRIBLE PARENTS.' AITA? UPDATED

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When this woman is upset with her son, she asks the internet:

"Did we mess up with our son? He blew up at us during dinner. AITA?"

My wife (42F) and I (45M) were having dinner with our only son (23M) two weeks ago. We're celebrating the fact that he got into one of the top ten Phd programs for physics. We were having dinner with each other at our house.

My son has no past issues. He's smart, social, caring, and hard working boy. He has a good set of friends and an amazing girlfriend. I am just completely shocked at what happened.

The Argument: Both of us were congratulating him on his achievement and told him how we were so proud of the fact he was the first to get a phd in the entire family. He said thanks as usual. My wife reminded him to make it a priority to maintain contact with us when moves to start his Phd.

For some he just snapped at that moment. He stopped eating for a moment and with a stern look he asked "why". I didn't know why he waske angry I just wanted to defuse a potential fight and jokingly said "cause we're your parents silly".

Then he said "well your job is done now, you don't need to be bothered me, you have more time for each other now." His mom asked what's the matter. He said he doesn't understand why does he have to force himself to maintain contact with his parents who loved each other more than him.

We were shocked and asked what makes him think like that. He went on his rant. And said we may love him but he was mostly a job for us that we needed breaks from.

He mentioned up till starting college in the three to four vacations of two to the three weeks we take in a year, we mostly went without him and "dumped him at our parents places" (it's true though most of our trips have been as couples since the beginning). This isn't his first time bringing it up.)

He mentioned for majority of the weekends we had we looked forward to our date nights more than spending time with him. He said he felt that while we did love him he was always at the backseat of our relationship.

I told him needed our own couple time too. He said that he understood that but it seemed for him that moments of fun we always preferred to spend it as a couple.

The major thing that kicked me in the balls was when he said one of the major reasons he enjoyed college is that he longer needed us for emotional support. He said he enjoyed spending time with his friends than spending time with us. He said that's wht he wanted to dorm for his four years.

Before he left, he said he was tired of being part of a family that placed him second when it came to love, especially when it wasn't his choice and he wanted to equally loved.

He left dinner that night without a goodbye and hasn't contacted us since then. Me and his mom were bawling our eyes out everyday since then. We can't sleep at night at all. The worst part is that since he doesn't need us financially anymore he can cut us out his life with no drawbacks.

Did we mess up with him as parents? In our eyes we did everything we're supposed to as parents. We loved him, fed him, sheltered him, paid for his tuition, and spend time with him (apparently not enough).

Forgive me if I didn't articulate myself properly, it's hurts righting this. What should we do? Did we go wrong? Advice is needed. Thank you all.

Before we give you OP's response, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

feature writes:

Honest to god why do some people like OP have kids to begin with. As a guy who has two kids (28M 30F) who are constantly visiting whenever they get the chance and a happy marriage to greatest woman in the world; Here is what I told my kids about having kids:

If you feel like you wouldn't enjoy having fun family time with the kids as much (preferably more) as doing the adult stuff you do in your free time, don't have kids. What is the point of taking the heavy responsibilities of being a parent if you don't enjoy being around kids enough to makes the sacrifices.

It never bothered either me and or wifey that much when we had to cancel events or dates due to the kids. If anything we founded an oppurtunity to spend it with them.

If you feel like being a parent would be too much of strenuous job to deal with and feel like you need continuous breaks like OP over here don't have the kids. You shouldn't be patted on the back for taking the responsibilities of raising a child you CHOSE to have.

That fact that people like OP and others on this subreddit see unwinding time and vacation as always being away from the kids rather having fun with them is irritating.

Being a parent isn't a JOB it's a lifestyle choice. Just like you don't take a break from being a husband or friend, you don't take a fucking break from being a parent

If you don't think you can manage you love life with raising the children then don't have the kids. Period. Everyone loses.

herraa writes:

YTA. It does sound as though you and your wife were selfish parents. That is to say, you put yourselves first, not just to take some time to revive, but consistently time and time again over the years.

This is the problem with the style of parenting where you don't put your kids first. I get attacked anytime I mention that it's hurtful and messes up the kids involved, and I probably will this time too, but it's true.

People who parent like you did obviously don't like being told that the kids will notice that they're not as important as you having fun and living life as you want it, and that it will most likely have a negative effect.

I know because I've encountered it a hundred times. I have no idea how you could ever fix something like this; my only advice is to stop being defensive about it and TRY to UNDERSTAND where he is coming from. He watched you put yourselves first for most of his life.

He's obviously a very intelligent person, and isn't just making this up to create drama or anything; you admitted that you have done this. He is entitled to his feelings. And you defending your parenting practices just reinforces the conviction he has that he isn't as important to you.

aghwera writes:

Wow, this is a tough one. Without knowing your every day interactions, you son may have been a high needs child. It starts in infancy (always wants to be held, does not want to be away from parents, needs a lot of attention.

I do not know if he was or wasn’t. What I do know is he sounds like an unattached child. Sometimes this is how they start and the parents never help the attachment form. Sometimes they are attached but certain behaviors from the parents break the attachment.

Leaving for weeks at a time would definitely assist breaking the attachment, especially young. Normally it is abuse that ends up like this, but it does not sound like you had an abusive home.

In short, we cannot really tell you if you messed up. Personally as a child some of that stuff may have made me feel neglected, it would depend on how much time and effort you put into day to day stuff.

Did you guys attend his events? Give him daily attention, especially individual attention with just one of you at a time to form a bond? Did you pick him up when he cried as a baby? Did you take long couples trips when he was a baby? Did you take family trips as he grew up?

Eta sadly you are right, if he no longer wants a relationship, you are out of luck. I cut out my father (for abuse) and sometimes I feel guilty he will never see his grandkids, but mostly I just want them to never feel the way I felt. He may feel the same.

fene writes:

YTA. This may be rough, but why do you think you messed up ? What was your goal in having a kid ? Then, why does it hurt so much ? Is it because he doesn't need you anymore ? Because you cherished the relation ? etc. ?

If your goal was to raise a successful independent human being, then you should be proud. Some kids never fly alone. He is now in the top 2% of the developed world that got in a PhD program ! Ya !

It might hurt because that you feel rejected. It might be the case. It seems from your account that he was in fact second. I fail to see how this is a problem per se. You brought a kid to a PhD level while traveling and maintaining your marriage.

This is great ! I mean, you've made choices based on your priorities (consciously or not), and you now have a result. He is evidently bitter and need air. This is normal I think.

Like someone else said, the milk is spilled. Try your best to see the positive in this. You did what you thought was the best for your couple and kid. This might not be the expected outcome, but it could be far worse.

Try to be the one who keeps the connection open, but he obviously need and demand some air. The best is to assure him that you are there for him if need be, but that you respect his need of independence.

Don't defend yourself by reinterpreting the facts and his interpretation of them. You'll only push him further away.

One of my friend have a saying : if your kid is better off than you were at his age, you've succeeded parenting.

And now, OP's update:

It just last Friday, my wife and I just came in physical contact with our son. A lot of stuff has happened between the time we last him storming out on us during dinner and meeting him last Friday.

First week we kept calling our son five times a day and leave him three voicemails daily. We never heard him pick up the phone. Within the second week his girlfriend picked up his phone one day and told us he living with her at her apartment but doesn't want to see us. She told us to give him time to cool down.

Meanwhile our lives at home was getting screwed over. The first couple of weeks, all of our energy was put into getting into contact with him and visit us. We knew where his girlfriend lived and my wife wanted to make personal visit but I warned her showing up at his doorstep uninvited is only going to make the situation worse. We called our family members to persuade him to talk to us.

It didn't matter if we had his grandparents, aunts, uncles, to call him but his response was politely telling them he is willing to talk to them about anything but us and apologized if he inconvenienced them.

We realized our method wasn't working. We decided to go for counseling and therapy for not only for trying to reconnect with him but to also process our emotions through the difficult times. We slowly stopped overwhelming him with our attempts to contact him.

Both our counselor suggested we respect his boundaries and let him make the first move. So we decided to leave a voicemail to his phone that we will bothering him but our door is always to him. These three months was painful to say the least. Our se% life decreased significantly.

There was time my wife started crying in the middle of it since it reminded her of the time we let him cry out his nightmare when he was 3 years old but still didn't let him enter our room because we were in the middle of having se% and we wanted to finish. We didn't go on any date nights or outside of the house for that fatter.

My wife and I became homebodies. A lot of guilt was was plaguing us. That guilt led to a time of introspection. We started doing research on family dynamics during our spare time. We asked questions to ourselves such as: Did we spend enough time with him? Did he feel like a burden to our relationship?

Were we wrong to put our relationship first over a relationship with him? We wanted to be aware what was going on his life so we used to follow him on social media. We checked his facebook page everyday.That was big mistake. We found out that he proposed to his girlfriend last month and she said yes.

We found out through a post on his facebook page. Yes that's right. We, the parents, found out the engagement of our only child through facebook. As if we weren't already in enough pain. We were stuck in the same cycle again for the past until he finally reached out to us.

We got a call from our son this past Monday. and it was like a positive sign from the Universe. He said he wanted talk about our relationship. He asked if he could come to our house this Thursday with his girlfriend for support.

We obviously said a resounding yes. We anxious I didn't expect it to be a tearful reunion but definitely a good step in reconciliation. My wife and I discussed with each other about how to lead the conversation.

We both agreed to apologize any anguish we caused and to listen to what he has to say first. When came this Thursday. We sat impatiently waiting for him after we came back from work. When he ranged the doorbell and he opened the, there was no sense of warmth from him but a reluctant smile.

His girlfriend almost felt sad being here. I had a feeling that night. They both refused any drinks we offered to them. My son felt extremely uncomfortable being there. My wife told him that if he wanted to speak first that he should.

This is what he said to us: He apologized to us if he caused us any emotional turmoil. He said his resentment started building up ever since he was little. There were alot about our behavior that contributed to his point of view.

He felt like having kids was more of a checklist that we wanted to complete instead of being actively interested in being a parents and having a deep bond as a parent. He said that whenever there was a disagreement with one of us that had always take each other sides over his. It felt like there was an us vs him type family dynamic.

Whenever we came back home from work we looked forward to seeing each other than him. When it came to spending time with him it felt like doing stuff with him was physically and emotionally draining with him.

Like we needed a break from him after having a break with him. One on one time felt like it was even more taxing to us according to him. He also said that there were time we wanted to spend with each other He also said that we lit up when we wanted to spend time as a couple.

He said that we made that we put more effort into having our date nights and couple time than spending time with him. He said we seemed more upset when we couldn't have couple time over having family time. The fact that we spent our vacation as a couple than as a family compounded the problem.

He found it bizarre when we claimed we missed him after he came back from our trips. When he was young he cried when we showed him pictures of our trips. We comforted by saying we love him but we need our couple time. He said that even made hime more upset.

He felt like we were using our parents (his grandparents) as our impromptu babysitters. He said that this feeling was further corroborated when visits significantly decreased when he grew older.

He said he gave up on having a relationship on us when he entered high school. He said he put more effort and time into his academics so he could use his energy in a more productive manner than on us.

He said it didn't come as a surprise we didn't notice because we never formed a close bound with him to notice such things. He said his academics and friendships satisfied him more than spending time with us.

Eventually we were just roommates to him. He became apathetic when we didn't spend time with him and turned us down many times. We always thought he was too busy for us.

He said that his bond with us weakened even more during college. He never missed us and he got annoyed when we asked to meet him and complain about him not calling us often.

He said he cried sometimes because he felt guilty of not missing us. He also said one of the reasons he did well in his academics was because he wanted to do well in other aspects in his life such as following his passion in his physics and he wanted to lead a happy life with us barely or entirely out of it.

That's when he started tearing up at that moment. It still hurts him that the reason he successful is today because he wanted to get away from us. He said he felt free when he went to college and now he is soon going to grad school this fall on the other side of the country. The past few months. he realized alot of new things.

He concluded by stating what wants for the future. He said he is very grateful for what we did for him such as paying for college. He will financially support us if we ever need it or be present when an emergency or family crisis occurs.

Aside from that, we are not a priority in his life at all. We shouldn't be demanding phone calls and or him visiting us anymore.

He said he shouldn't be forced to maintain a strong relationship with us but we never cultured it while we raised him. He states that family or not, an adult isn't obligated to have and maintain a relationship with any other adult.

He said he was stuck in a relationship with us he didn't want to have until he became independent. He no longer regrets his decision. He said in the end of the day we chose to be his parents not the other way around.

We could have found ways to bond him and find common ground and stuff to do with him so it didn't feel like a burden to be a parent to him. We never incorporated him in our lives and saw being a parent akin to a job.

We had every opportunity to form that close bond with him and we never took it. Before he left he said he wished us a happy and healthy life for us and we're invited to his wedding if we want to come.

Time froze after he left and we were flabbergasted to what happened. It was like he divorced us. My door is always open to him and I hope one day he can forgive us for the way we treated him. However, I don't how to move on with this possibly permanent estrangement.

Any suggestion? Thank for reading this. Writing this alleviated my anxiety a little bit. Jack, I still love you son. Please come back. I'm sorry.

There is so much judgement from you guys. I believe that the spouse comes first. Your kids eventually will leave you but the spouse stays with you till the end. I maybe didn't have a proper balance, but no parent is perfect. I need help to get him to understand that we love him and we're sorry.

Sources: Reddit
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