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.
Next: Is it possible to feel anger without blame?
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Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
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