Ask Deepak: How to Repair Your Relationship with Your Adult Son
By Deepak Chopra
May 19, 2010
Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: My adult son and my husband had an argument over Christmas. Even though my husband apologized and asked for a second chance, my son and his fiancée have refused to have anything to do with either of us. My son is angry and bitter and believes he has us to blame for everything bad in his life. We are devastated, but our son is controlling the situation. What can we do? Anything we try seems to make it worse. We had a good family until this, and not being able to see him is really awful. It would be great to have some advice that would get some healing to happen.
— Becky R., Purcellville, Virginia
Most readers would wonder if a good family can really be torn apart by a single argument, however bitter. There is hidden resentment here. Your son's feelings are totally justified as he views them and totally unjustified as you and your husband view them. You have arrived at an impasse. When that happens, the best thing to do is back away.
I assume your son is a full-fledged adult. He may not be acting like one. The chances are that he is being emotionally immature—his petulance sounds adolescent as you describe it. Yet, as you say, he controls the situation. He is faced with that age-old question: Can you ever go home again?
The answer is yes, but there's a catch. You can go home again after you are at peace with your past. I wish I had better news for you, but your son isn't at peace. He isn't reaching out to you for advice or healing. I wish he would. But for now, let him have his distance. Put no pressure on him of any kind. Be polite and kind on the phone if he calls. Eventually, he will remember the good things about you and his father. When that happens, it will be up to him to reach out.