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My wife's 25 yr old son will not talk to her. How can she work to reconnect with him?

So, to make a long story short, My wife left her son in the care of his grandmother when he was about 7. A few years later when she could provide a stable home for him and tried to get him back, her mother went to court for custody of him and eventually won. Before you draw any conclusions about the validity of this you should know that my wife has never been a criminal, nor has she ever done any drugs. Her mother, who happens to be both a social worker and a psychotherapist is both cruel and controlling to her daughter. Also, she messed with the boy's head and suppressed contact between the boy and his mother, even putting him on Zoloft when he was about 12. The boy has since moved away from the grandmother and now has a life of his own in another state for about 7 years now. To this day, my wife is heartbroken and suffering over her son. She has no way of knowing anything about what he thinks or feels or what he has gone through. She does see him on FB, but that's the extent of it. Where can she get info on how to approach him and develop a relationship? She will never be a whole person as long as her only child is estranged from her.

Update:

Just to add - my wife avoids things she finds stressful, including trying to talk to her son. There's only so much rejection she can take though. Avoidance is a big part of her problem. A bigger part of her problem is having a cruel and spiteful mother. She may never be a whole person having been raised by her.

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  • 11 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Ultimately, it's up to the son whether or not he wants to reconnect with his mother and if he chooses not to, she will have to accept it....for HIS sake. Terrible that granny manipulated him etc but again, any accusations about this MUST come from the son. He may have felt abandoned by her at the age of 7 - whether that's the truth of the matter or not (and you can bet that granny reinforced it). In your wife's shoes I would write to him. A pleasant, innocuous letter. No big, dramatic statements or accusations about the grandmother. You don't know how he feels about granny so slagging her off could alienate him further. He can't avoid a letter dropping on his mat - even if he chooses to tear it up after reading or not reply - and at least your wife can tell him why she had to leave him at such a young age and how devastated she was to be unable to get him back when she had a home to share with him. She can tell him that she'll understand if he doesn't want anything to do with her but that if he ever changes his mind, he can always contact her. Be aware, though, that your wife and her son are now, basically, two strangers. It may give the son comfort to know that she always loved him despite what he's been told to the contrary. Letters can be read and re-read at leisure and she may eventually get a reply. Hope it works out.

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  • 11 months ago

    Simple- the fellow is gay and unwilling so far to come out to his mother. She could get counseling for herself to work out her own life and let the kid live his own way.

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  • 11 months ago

    What do you mean "where can she get info no how to approach him"? She's got access to him via FB. All she has to do is reach out. DUH.

    • david
      Lv 5
      11 months agoReport

      I'm looking for advice on relationship repair in this type of situation.

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  • 11 months ago

    You are a lovely caring man and your wife is very fortunate to have you in her life. She should be persistent about spending more time with him. Even though he may not want to, tell her to insist on it. She should let him know that he has every right to feel the way he does because she was not in his life most of the time, but that she wants him to forgive her. And start a mother son relationship now. Then she can start telling him what really happened. Tell her to cry so he can see that she really does care about him. Tell her to send him a card telling him how proud she is of the man he's become. Or something to that effect. Well that's just my 2 cents worth. She should not be afraid of approaching her own son. Reaching out with love will draw him to his mother.

    • david
      Lv 5
      11 months agoReport

      Very good advice! But, she is afraid of approaching him.

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  • 11 months ago

    Encourage your wife to get individual therapy. And if she knows where he is, a telephone call would be best.

    Of course she has no way to know what he thinks or feel, but she has to approach him and try to talk to him to find out.

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  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    11 months ago

    Her first step would be to be honest about why she lost custody. Judges bend over backwards to keep bio parents in the loop even when they're irredeemable. So something far worse than what you've been told happened. Maybe if she goes belly up with this son and apologizes he'll be willing to forgive. But you clearly don't know the whole story.

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    • david
      Lv 5
      11 months agoReport

      Grandma sat in on the boy's therapy btw and had him put on Zoloft while she worked on his mind.

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  • Anonymous
    11 months ago

    What part does your juvenile behavior play in this? "So, for about 2 years, we were walking dogs together and chatting along the way. I'm 49 and she's in her 50's btw. Last November, I brought her a thanksgiving decoration to replace one that a squirrel ate and her sister came to the door. I made some silly joke about my friend not coming to the door because she was naked in the house or something!"

    • david
      Lv 5
      11 months agoReport

      I don't know what part my "juvenile behavior" plays in this? Both of these questions are sincere and I'm looking for answers. I have raised my own 3 children into adulthood btw with little help from their mother, in case you want to characterize me as "juvenile".

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  • Anonymous
    11 months ago

    She can write him a letter. I'd leave out the part about what a terrible person the Grandmother WHO TOOK HIM IN WHEN HIS MOTHER COULDN'T PROVIDE FOR HIM is. It's the son's decision how to reply or not reply or interact.

    I can see the son's side of this. My mother left me with HER mother, my maternal Grandmother, when I was 4 - for pretty much the same reasons you've listed which are really no good reasons. My mother likewise had no criminal, mental health, alcohol or drug history. She "simply" wanted to establish herself and then take me back. My Grandmother, likewise, said "no." You left once. My Grandmother gave up a portion of her life to raise a 4 year old, long after she thought her child raising years were over.

    I will NEVER understand my mother. Never. I have two children. I will never surrender them to anyone.

    And your wife lost custody after a trial/hearing? Very, very odd if she's blameless.

  • 11 months ago

    If he doesn't want to connect with her then there really isn't a lot she can do. I suggest she just sends him a message here and there (like every 3-6 months) saying she hopes he is doing well, sorry about all the past but if he ever needs anything please let her know.

    Keep this up for a few years and I'll bet he contacts her sometime, as much out of curiosity as anything else. Still, if he continues to ignore her there really isn't anything she can do about it - he's an adult, its his decision.

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  • 11 months ago

    All she can really do is tell him the truth about what happened and hope that he comes around.

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