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1 hour ago, J-rap said:

Are you supporting someone in the wedding?  Then even if it's a wedding you don't support, even if you think they're entering an abusive relationship, I'd be at the wedding, because I'd want the person I support to know that I love them and am there for them.  (And then hopefully they'll trust me as someone they could come to when things start to fall apart.)  It is a tough decision though.   Same holds true if it's a wedding formula you don't agree with -- for example, a marriage of people of the same-sex.   The best example I've seen personally is that of my aunt, who is a very conservative Christian and 85 years old (so from a very different generation).  It was very confusing and heartbreaking for her when her dear granddaughter married another woman.  But my aunt kept her act together and invited my mother to go with her to attend the wedding.  She decided that above all else, she had to show her granddaughter that she loved her and was there for her, no matter what, even if she didn't agree with her choices.

OTOH, if there's no one in the wedding you support -- for example, if it's a wedding for your ex-brother-in-law who is an abusive jerk and had affairs while being married to your sister and then divorced your sister, and the woman he was having an affair with, then I wouldn't go.  

 

I LOVE your aunt. 

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1 minute ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

But this goes full circle for me to my original reply (where I mentioned the birthday example).  Attending the ceremony/ ritual etc. is not the only way to show love to someone.  After all, people miss ceremonies for all sorts of reasons - illness, cost, schedule conflicts etc.    Yes, if someone made a big stink about why they aren't going to be there then it will most likely cause a rift to the relationship.  But if they quietly RSVP that they are sorry but they cannot go and still show love and caring for the people in other ways, then it shouldn't - unless the other person is the one who is being rigid about insisting that they be there or else.  It comes back to meeting emotional needs in relationships.  Being a caring loving family member for 364 days of the year trumps not being there for one day.  (Having said that, I personally would be there for the wedding of my child no matter the circumstance, because to me, it isn't about putting my stamp of approval on the wedding but on being there for what is a significant day for my child.) 

 

Sure, but I think Scarlett's son in this case is upset about the thing itself, whatever it is.  She's pretty clearly conciliatory and loving to him in all other ways (for heaven's sake, she insisted that he continue to get to have ice cream in the house while his stepbrother was dealing with being dangerously obese!).  And because of what you say here, I think the trauma will pass for Scarlett's son - because they have years and years of goodwill between them.

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28 minutes ago, moonflower said:

I don't think the wedding question is about not being willing to attend the wedding of a different faith (although some religious people cannot, as I understand it, do so) but rather participating in what someone may view as a religious or sacred consecration of a union.  If the union is something you feel is for whatever reason deeply wrong - say you're opposed to older men marrying adolescents and the wedding is one of a 45 year old marrying a 15 year old - then it makes sense to me that you might say, look, I support you personally and hope things work out well, but I can't be part of the religious rite that consecrates this union because I think it is deeply immoral.

Or think of some other union you might see as deeply immoral (this will of course depend on your own moral beliefs).  Some people might see homosexuality as deeply immoral, or interracial marriages as deeply immoral, and you might say wait, those things are either not that bad or not moral questions at all, it's wrong to refuse to attend a wedding on those premeses!  But if you replace those views with your own moral positions, and say what if the wedding were a child bride sold by her parents into the marriage at 12, or what if it were the marriage of someone to his own daughter (presuming this were in some way legal somewhere, I dunno - many things that are legal now were until pretty recently illegal, so things change) - you might be able to see how it could be difficult for people who hold different religious beliefs than you.

While I understand the point you are trying to make, in the first example and the last two, the people entering into the marriage are not equals entering marriage freely and of their own choosing. But the interracial and homosexual examples are equal and freely chosen. 

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Just now, Frances said:

While I understand the point you are trying to make, in the first example and the last two, the people entering into the marriage are not equals entering marriage freely and of their own choosing. But the interracial and homosexual examples are equal and freely chosen. 

 

Yes, and if you think the basis of morality is whether people are freely choosing something, that makes sense as a way of categorizing the different types of marriage.  But if the basis of your morality is something else (that is, consent is not the basis of right and wrong, or the only basis), then you would maybe have just as serious objections to some consensual marriages as to some unconsensual ones.

That's kind of what I'm saying, is that the basis for your moral beliefs are not the basis for everyone's moral beliefs, so it's possible to imagine how they might feel about something you think is fine or at least not worthy of boycotting by substituting a situation that does violate the basis of your moral belief, if that makes sense.

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13 minutes ago, moonflower said:

Yep, but I trust Scarlett to not being risking alienation from her obviously beloved son on a technicality.  

 

I agree. This must be a lot more than a technicality.

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38 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

 

Sorry to quote you twice, but your post got me thinking...

We haven’t mentioned civil ceremonies. Obviously, I think they are fine, but what about if a mom was very religious and didn’t believe that a civil wedding would count in terms of being married in the eyes of God? So if her child got married by a justice of the peace instead of in church, in the mom’s eyes, her child would be living in sin because he and his wife wouldn’t “really” be married. 

Should the mom attend the child’s wedding at the courthouse if she truly believed that the only true wedding was at church? (I’m assuming the child was a member of the same church.) 

I would go, but church weddings aren’t that important to me so this isn’t a moral or faith issue for me. But I can see how it could be a very big dilemma to someone who does see it as a moral or faith-based issue, because they would worry about their child living in sin. 

Or maybe they wouldn’t worry at all. I don’t really know! But I started wondering about it now that we are talking about weddings. 🙂

 

My parents are of the "it needs to be in a church or it doesn't count" contingency.   They aren't anti-beach or park wedding, as long as it is done by a pastor, but they are against a justice of the peace.    I do not agree with them, but had a church wedding out of respect.  

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My dad initially didn't want to come to my wedding because we were not being married at the time by a justice of the peace (we married ourselves quaker-style, then went to the JoP a few weeks later).  We'd counted ourselves as permanently together since I was 15, so to us formal marriage (when I was 22) was not as serious a deal as it was to my parents, especially my dad who was more traditional.  He just couldn't handle the idea that we were calling ourselves married without being legally married until a few weeks later, he thought the whole thing was a sham.  My mom talked him out of it 🙂

What's weird is that we behaved more traditionally than my sister who had a normal, legal wedding but had other serious relationships before she got married, or my Dad who was divorced and then remarried (my mom was his second wife) and from what I've been told slept around in between (although I know no details).  But the technicality of it was important to him, not for some reason the reality of our relationship, which was faithful and committed and permanent.

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3 hours ago, Scarlett said:

 

What one person sees as punishing behavior another sees as a personal boundary.  I have not been unkind or unloving.  He has been. To me and Dh.  He actually called Dh an asshole while standing in our kitchen.  Dh was shaking from being so upset. Ds has been very cruel to me. Yet neither of us have responded in anger or done anything to him except not give him his way on a very specific topic that violates our personal boundary.  I absolutely am not trying to control him.  He is currently very angry.  Xh has talked to him about how he is treating me and he says he is going to talk to him again.  And xh feels ds is just immature and angry and it will pass.  

Fromm what you're saying here, it sounds as though your DS is having an adolescent temper tantrum because he can't get his way on something he probably knew better than to ask. It stinks to be on the receiving end of that. It's incredibly painful. I'm glad the people in the know about the situation (including your XH) are supporting you. You have an otherwise good relationship with your DS. It may take time, but eventually he'll realize that he's acting like an idiot. Hang on until then.

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Did I miss something that this has all turned into moral stances on gay weddings or pre-martial living arrangements? Or are those posts waxing philisophic on a tangential topics related to moral acceptance and not the OP. Just trying to keep up, LOL. I didn't think it was something like her ds getting married so I'm now really confused and wonder if I missed a post. 

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2 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Did I miss something that this has all turned into moral stances on gay weddings or pre-martial living arrangements? Or are those posts waxing philisophic on a tangential topics related to moral acceptance and not the OP. Just trying to keep up, LOL. I didn't think it was something like her ds getting married so I'm now really confused and wonder if I missed a post. 

 

You didn’t miss anything! Scarlett hasn’t posted any new details, so we are all just speculating and going off on rabbit trails. 😃

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1 minute ago, Catwoman said:

 

You didn’t miss anything! Scarlett hasn’t posted any new details, so we are all just speculating and going off on rabbit trails. 😃

Okay, good to know. I thought I had missed something. This went off in the direction of weddings, and my thoughts of general probabilities with a young guy his age go far more toward issues with strippers, porn, drug use or getting someone pregnant than wanting to have a same sex wedding. But obviously the hive mind went a whole other place than I did, LOL. 

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I think it veered into weddings because Scarlett did post about a wedding among some young people she knew that she didn't feel she could attend but her son wanted to.  Or something like that.

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33 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Okay, good to know. I thought I had missed something. This went off in the direction of weddings, and my thoughts of general probabilities with a young guy his age go far more toward issues with strippers, porn, drug use or getting someone pregnant than wanting to have a same sex wedding. But obviously the hive mind went a whole other place than I did, LOL. 


Yeah, people are just bringing up scenarios.  I brought up drugs, so if you want to discuss that.......😄

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37 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Okay, good to know. I thought I had missed something. This went off in the direction of weddings, and my thoughts of general probabilities with a young guy his age go far more toward issues with strippers, porn, drug use or getting someone pregnant than wanting to have a same sex wedding. But obviously the hive mind went a whole other place than I did, LOL. 

Well and I think maybe she said it was about attending something. And you generally don't ask someone to attend you watching porn, or getting someone pregnant, lol. Attendance implies birthday parties (which I believe would be against her beliefs), weddings, funerals, graduation, recital, award ceremony, etc. Out of those weddings often cause controversy so easy target. 

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15 hours ago, StellaM said:

If it's more a case of a young adult expecting that he can do something in your shared home that goes against your consistent, well-known religious views, and he's angry because you've said 'No, son, even for you, I don't make an exception on this issue', I actually think his inability to accept your moral boundary is a sign of immaturity, and a weak sense of personal values.

Both of which I'd not be surprised to find in young adults.

In the end, it's OK for you to have a moral sense of what is OK and what isn't for your home, and it's OK for him to have a differing moral sense of what is OK and what isn't for his home. 

Moms, in particular, can say 'no' to children, and still be a caring, loving mom. 

But you can't manage or control the reactions of someone who hears a 'no' and has it rattle their own sense of self. I have a feeling that a more independent, mature and grounded young adult (as they tend to become with experience) could simply say 'Well Mom, I disagree - when I'm living independently, I'll do things my way.' and leave it there. 

It's difficult because we don't know the exact issue - I can think of issues I'd be inflexible about re young adult behaviour in the home, and issues I'd negotiate, as well as subjects that are non-issues for me. Only you know yourself, your moral stance, its importance, your son, how intensely to feel and respond to his reaction...so only you can judge to what extent you or he are justified in your respective stances. 

It's very difficult when you 'fall from grace' in the eyes of a child who has historically been close, and compliant. That it's difficult doesn't mean you're wrong. It doesn't mean you're right either. Same goes for him. 

All I'd be wary of is trying to justify your views. If you are content you are choosing the best, most moral thing, there's no need to 'win'. You don't need to have any long arguments about it, and neither of you need to have people taking sides about it. 

 

 

It has surprised me at how my young adult has expected that she became in charge in my home at her 18th birthday. As in she doesn't have to follow rules or be considerate. And it's shocking because the idea that suddenly nothing applies like it did before the 18th birthday is rather entitled. Ummm....Pay  your own bills, have your own home, and then you can choose the rules. 

But no. You can't come here, dictate the rules to the homeowner and behave abusively when the homeowner calmly states that no, you can't do that.

5 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I like what Mercy says here. The more I think about this thread, the more I think of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The man didn’t chase down, or participate in the “riotous living,” with his son. Or condone it. He just gave him what was due and let him go. He didn’t go save him from him self. But he was ready with open arms when the penitent son came back. The story is about forgiveness from the Father AND repentance on the part of the son. It’s not a one way story of acceptance no matter what.  Luke 15:10-32. 

Hugs Scarlett. I’m so sorry for your pain. I will pray for you and your whole family. 

This yes! Excellent analogy.

4 hours ago, Scarlett said:

 

What one person sees as punishing behavior another sees as a personal boundary.  I have not been unkind or unloving.  He has been. To me and Dh.  He actually called Dh an asshole while standing in our kitchen.  Dh was shaking from being so upset. Ds has been very cruel to me. Yet neither of us have responded in anger or done anything to him except not give him his way on a very specific topic that violates our personal boundary.  I absolutely am not trying to control him.  He is currently very angry.  Xh has talked to him about how he is treating me and he says he is going to talk to him again.  And xh feels ds is just immature and angry and it will pass.  

I'm sorry. Been there done that. It's horrifically painful. 

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Love the sinner. Hate the sin.

I would not want to draw a line in the sand with my child that put us on divided sides, over a single event in time. Humans grow and explore all aspect of humanity in thier own time and pace.  I do not expect my children to follow my same path or even end up at the same destination. I may offer my opinion and reasons why I believe certain things, but I also know that my beliefs were formed because of my experiences not just because someone told me to believe a certain way. My children will also have thier own lifetime of experiences that will guide thier beliefs.  I hope that if my kids fall away from what they were taught to believe, that they find solice that they will still be loved and cherrished in my home. I may not want that proverbial sin thrust in my face, but I can see past it and focus on all that is good in them instead. 

Edited by Tap
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42 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

I think it veered into weddings because Scarlett did post about a wedding among some young people she knew that she didn't feel she could attend but her son wanted to.  Or something like that.

Exactly the opposite.  I attended a wedding he thought I should not have.  And he was very angry about it.  He was also angry at his girlfriend for going even  though the groom was her cousin.  She told me they almost broke up over it.  

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3 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Exactly the opposite.  I attended a wedding he thought I should not have.  And he was very angry about it.  He was also angry at his girlfriend for going even  though the groom was her cousin.  She told me they almost broke up over it.  

I thought I remembered it that way.

If that is the case, this isn't a matter of participating or not in an even in the child/relatives life, but of the child sticking their nose in where it doesn't belong. He is a third party, and it is not his place to judge. 

Edited by Ktgrok
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33 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Well and I think maybe she said it was about attending something. And you generally don't ask someone to attend you watching porn, or getting someone pregnant, lol. Attendance implies birthday parties (which I believe would be against her beliefs), weddings, funerals, graduation, recital, award ceremony, etc. Out of those weddings often cause controversy so easy target. 

Yes, when people were trying to come up with possible equivalent scenarios in the beginning, she did suggest one where the focus was on someone attending something they morally objected to and seeing that as participating. It’s just difficult because we don’t really know if this is the case. We also don’t know if it’s something he wants to do in her home or outside the home. Or if he expects her to change her moral stance and agree with him or even allow it or agree to disagree, but still be present because he doesn’t view that as participating or condoning. There are just too many unknowns.

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24 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I thought I remembered it that way.

If that is the case, this isn't a matter of participating or not in an even in the child/relatives life, but of the child sticking their nose in where it doesn't belong. He is a third party, and it is not his place to judge. 

Well to be clear that is not the situation he is currently angry at me about.  

He has been angry for almost 3 years.  

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Just now, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

How's your dss doing in all of this? He still lives at home too doesn't he? 

It has been stressful on him too.  Btw, I am not the only loved one who has made this decision,.,,but I get the full force if his anger. 

 

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22 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

It has been stressful on him too.  Btw, I am not the only loved one who has made this decision,.,,but I get the full force if his anger. 

 

 

Don't moms always get the worst of it?

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Moms totally get the worst of it.  I think part of that is that it's usually your mom who has indulged you for years on end, since childhood - even if Scarlett is strict about some things it's pretty clear she's always doted on her son, and I think that's the case with a lot of moms. So then when your kid starts to grow up and have opinions or desires completely separate of you, I think it can be a shock to them when even MOM doesn't approve or bend or give in.  Like, who is this lady with a will and ideas separate of mine?  So then there's a lot more blowback on Mom than everyone else.

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I think kids in general also talk to their Moms more than their Dads and can tend to run off at the mouth a bit more with Mom under the guise of expressing themselves, which sometimes turns into honestly a diarrhea of the thought chain, when they should have maybe shut up 10 thoughts ago, and then pointless emotion builds...... A generalization of course. But I know when I made my post last weekend, my dd was spouting off to me about things that she would never in a million years say to her Dad. Not that she was being disrespectful with words or tone...... but she is simply not going to say the thoughts to him aloud. She kept going on and on, and one thing built to another and suddenly what had been a nice chat turned into "100 ways you have ruined my life and I take no responsibility for." 

I haven't had a ds Scarlett's son's age yet. I just know from being that age myself and seeing guys that age in general, testosterone can make for some really stupid decisions and comments. Coupled with a teenage brain. It's just bad sometimes. And sometimes they need another male to stand up and take them down a peg, because that is almost impossible for a Mother to do with a guy in that all knowing mindset. I know some will view that statement of being taken down a peg, as violent, or OMG sexist, but I think it's a lot better for them to run into that with a responsible adult male who is going to tell them to knock that crap off than it is to just let them get away with it and continue to have that ego escalation. Guys that age without strong male role models willing to step in when necessary tend not to have the greatest outcome for society.  So if that's the case he's taking this out chiefly on Scarlett, it was at least good to hear the ex-h is stepping up and not giving him an easy out and making excuses for the ds to view his Mom as wrong. 

I'm really sorry, again, Scarlett, that you are picking up the brunt of his anger. But I am at least glad you have your dh there and even your x-h backing you up. It would be so much harder to go through just you and ds. 

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52 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Well to be clear that is not the situation he is currently angry at me about.  

He has been angry for almost 3 years.  

I remember the wedding thing, he was completely out of line passing judgment on you over your decision to attend.

It sounds like he is not understanding appropriate interpersonal boundaries and appropriate ways to disagree. Anger is easy and feels so justified when you're the one embracing it.

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4 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I think kids in general also talk to their Moms more than their Dads and can tend to run off at the mouth a bit more with Mom under the guise of expressing themselves, which sometimes turns into honestly a diarrhea of the thought chain, when they should have maybe shut up 10 thoughts ago, and then pointless emotion builds...... A generalization of course. But I know when I made my post last weekend, my dd was spouting off to me about things that she would never in a million years say to her Dad. Not that she was being disrespectful with words or tone...... but she is simply not going to say the thoughts to him aloud. She kept going on and on, and one thing built to another and suddenly what had been a nice chat turned into "100 ways you have ruined my life and I take no responsibility for." 

I haven't had a ds Scarlett's son's age yet. I just know from being that age myself and seeing guys that age in general, testosterone can make for some really stupid decisions and comments. Coupled with a teenage brain. It's just bad sometimes. And sometimes they need another male to stand up and take them down a peg, because that is almost impossible for a Mother to do with a guy in that all knowing mindset. I know some will view that statement of being taken down a peg, as violent, or OMG sexist, but I think it's a lot better for them to run into that with a responsible adult male who is going to tell them to knock that crap off than it is to just let them get away with it and continue to have that ego escalation. Guys that age without strong male role models willing to step in when necessary tend not to have the greatest outcome for society.  So if that's the case he's taking this out chiefly on Scarlett, it was at least good to hear the ex-h is stepping up and not giving him an easy out and making excuses for the ds to view his Mom as wrong. 

I'm really sorry, again, Scarlett, that you are picking up the brunt of his anger. But I am at least glad you have your dh there and even your x-h backing you up. It would be so much harder to go through just you and ds. 

 

The bolded!  So true!  DD was making a fuss to me about something in the car the other day (while I was driving her to school so she could get an extra hour of sleep and so I could stop at the gas station and buy pretzels, cookies, and chocolate milk for her lunch -oooh I am a terrible mother) and I turned to her at one point and said, can you imagine saying any of this to Dad?  Ever?  Like, ever?  It's good that she feels free to express herself with me but it does often morph into unthoughtful, accusatory unkindness (from my POV) and she would never dare to talk to her father that way.  It's hard to walk that line between wanting your teenager to talk to you and wanting them not to guilt trip you every day, though.

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29 minutes ago, moonflower said:

Moms totally get the worst of it.  I think part of that is that it's usually your mom who has indulged you for years on end, since childhood - even if Scarlett is strict about some things it's pretty clear she's always doted on her son, and I think that's the case with a lot of moms. So then when your kid starts to grow up and have opinions or desires completely separate of you, I think it can be a shock to them when even MOM doesn't approve or bend or give in.  Like, who is this lady with a will and ideas separate of mine?  So then there's a lot more blowback on Mom than everyone else.

Aha! You just nailed exactly what I've been dealing with for the last year. 

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4 hours ago, EmseB said:

 

It is possible that the loving thing to do in a situation is to  hold fast to a personal ethical boundary. Again, it's very manipulative behaviour to insist that if someone loves you they'd cross any boundary of personal ethics or behaviour.

We can disagree as individuals on what those exact lines should be, but that doesn't make someone else's line unloving in and of itself.

 

This is so clear!

QFT.

~

It is OK for moms to have personal ethical boundaries, and to disallow even a beloved child to trample over them.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say that negotiating this kind of difference with a parent as a young adult is developmentally appropriate. Young adults need to understand that mom is also a person, with values and ethics, deeply considered. As another adult, they need to reach a perspective that sees mom as a person, and not just as a function of approval and facilitation. 

It's not that the young adult needs to agree, neccessarily, or respond to that ethical boundary in any prescribed way. Although certainly, responding with prolonged anger and name-calling at the very existence of an ethical boundary in one's parent, is not a particular signifier of maturity. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Exactly the opposite.  I attended a wedding he thought I should not have.  And he was very angry about it.  He was also angry at his girlfriend for going even  though the groom was her cousin.  She told me they almost broke up over it.  

I have a very justice oriented kid who sometimes takes really hard lines over things he feels strongly about. What I've learned is that sometimes he needs me to acknowledge the underlying goodness in his POV before he will give an inch and let something go. For example, we disagreed about what an appropriate punishment would be for someone who harms another person (in a specific way, but I'm not going to get that specific). He was taking a VERY hard line and would not give an inch. But then I realized that what he needed was for me to acknowledge that there was an underlying goodness and rightness in how he felt. That at its core, I appreciated his moral standards and loved that about him. The minute I said that, he completely relaxed and we were able to end the conversation on more common ground.

Maybe your son is looking for validation? IDK, this may not be helpful, but it's just a thought.

 

ETA: This thread reminded me- Julie Bogart, of Bravewriter, did a series of videos a few years ago and they were so perfectly timed for me. Her kids all ranged from early to late 20's at the time and she talked a bit about this stage of parenting a young adult. The shock when something that they are deeply convicted about doesn't result in the same action they choose- even with the same information! I think her example was of her daughter becoming a vegan and how she kind of threw a fit that everyone else wasn't joining her. Those videos were a real comfort.

Edited by sassenach
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4 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

This is so clear!

QFT.

~

It is OK for moms to have personal ethical boundaries, and to disallow even a beloved child to trample over them.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say that negotiating this kind of difference with a parent as a young adult is developmentally appropriate. Young adults need to understand that mom is also a person, with values and ethics, deeply considered. As another adult, they need to reach a perspective that sees mom as a person, and not just as a function of approval and facilitation. 

It's not that the young adult needs to agree, neccessarily, or respond to that ethical boundary in any prescribed way. Although certainly, responding with prolonged anger and name-calling at the very existence of an ethical boundary in one's parent, is not a particular signifier of maturity. 

 

 

 

Yes, that makes sense, it's a natural developmental process.  Just a painful one!

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20 minutes ago, sassenach said:

I have a very justice oriented kid who sometimes takes really hard lines over things he feels strongly about. What I've learned is that sometimes he needs me to acknowledge the underlying goodness in his POV before he will give an inch and let something go. For example, we disagreed about what an appropriate punishment would be for someone who harms another person (in a specific way, but I'm not going to get that specific). He was taking a VERY hard line and would not give an inch. But then I realized that what he needed was for me to acknowledge that there was an underlying goodness and rightness in how he felt. That at it's core, I appreciated his moral standards and loved that about him. The minute I said that, he completely relaxed and we were able to end the conversation on more common ground.

Maybe your son is looking for validation? IDK, this may not be helpful, but it's just a thought.

 

ETA: This thread reminded me- Julie Bogart of Bravewriter, did a series of videos a few years ago and they were so perfectly timed for me. Her kids all ranged from early to late 20's at the time and she talked a bit about this stage of parenting a young adult. The shock when something that they are deeply convicted about doesn't result in the same action they choose- even with the same information! I think her example was of her daughter becoming a vegan and how she kind of threw a fit that everyone else wasn't joining her. Those videos were a real comfort.

He is extremely justice conscious,  He has been shaken to the core over some things that have transpired in our congregation. Me acknowledging there are some serious issues isn’t enough for him.  He wants heads to roll.  So I see it as a good quality that can turn toxic if one can’t exercise some measure of grace and maturity.  

It has really changed who has is.  I really don’t even recognize him right now.  

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14 minutes ago, sassenach said:

I have a very justice oriented kid who sometimes takes really hard lines over things he feels strongly about. What I've learned is that sometimes he needs me to acknowledge the underlying goodness in his POV before he will give an inch and let something go. For example, we disagreed about what an appropriate punishment would be for someone who harms another person (in a specific way, but I'm not going to get that specific). He was taking a VERY hard line and would not give an inch. But then I realized that what he needed was for me to acknowledge that there was an underlying goodness and rightness in how he felt. That at it's core, I appreciated his moral standards and loved that about him. The minute I said that, he completely relaxed and we were able to end the conversation on more common ground.

Maybe your son is looking for validation? IDK, this may not be helpful, but it's just a thought.

 

ETA: This thread reminded me- Julie Bogart of Bravewriter, did a series of videos a few years ago and they were so perfectly timed for me. Her kids all ranged from early to late 20's at the time and she talked a bit about this stage of parenting a young adult. The shock when something that they are deeply convicted about doesn't result in the same action they choose- even with the same information! I think her example was of her daughter becoming a vegan and how she kind of threw a fit that everyone else wasn't joining her. Those videos were a real comfort.

I suppose many young people feel that they have thought their positions through thoroughly. And their solution/behavior is SOOO obvious in their own heads. Shouldn't everyone arrive at the same conclusion that they have? Because they. Are. Right. (they believe so anyhow) And they take it very personally that even people who they are very close to do not agree. And they can often behave as spoiled toddlers when parents are unafraid to speak a truth that they so desperately need to hear. In my observation, the young people assume that others who have listened politely without saying anything, actually agree.  Often the parents are the ones who will tell them the truth that they need to hear over the things that they WANT to hear. And they just can't fathom that their position is not something that parents agree with. 

I've struggled with this stage. I don't remember going through this. I was married and had a baby by 18 though, so I was more consumed with paying bills and doing real grownup things than being ugly to my parents for being who they are. I had many people tell me that I was an "old soul" so maybe it really wasn't something that I dealt with. But it has been very shocking and I want to smack some people.  (not really, but I despise it when young people treat those who love them and have helped them achieve their dreams badly.)

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2 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Well to be clear that is not the situation he is currently angry at me about.  

He has been angry for almost 3 years.  

It's the age. 

1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

It has been stressful on him too.  Btw, I am not the only loved one who has made this decision,.,,but I get the full force if his anger. 

 

Because he knows deep down you won't turn your back on him..you are safe to be angry with. Which is a good thing. 

1 hour ago, maize said:

I remember the wedding thing, he was completely out of line passing judgment on you over your decision to attend.

It sounds like he is not understanding appropriate interpersonal boundaries and appropriate ways to disagree. Anger is easy and feels so justified when you're the one embracing it.

Especially at that age. And yes, anger is easier than being open minded. But kids that are are NOT open minded, although they all think they are, lol. 

2 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

He is extremely justice conscious,  He has been shaken to the core over some things that have transpired in our congregation. Me acknowledging there are some serious issues isn’t enough for him.  He wants heads to roll.  So I see it as a good quality that can turn toxic if one can’t exercise some measure of grace and maturity.  

It has really changed who has is.  I really don’t even recognize him right now.  

Saying it again, it is the age. EVERYTHING is black and white at that age. WE all know everything at that age. We know best, and things are very clear, and there is no room for reality or practical matters or seeing the other side. Most grow out of it. I did. I was TERRIBLE and yet, as you grow, you realize how many mistakes you made yourself, and become a lot more cognizant that just as you are basically good, with good intentions, but mess up, and do the wrong thing, so do other people. And maybe people doing the wrong thing are good at heart, and mistaken. 

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32 minutes ago, sassenach said:

I have a very justice oriented kid who sometimes takes really hard lines over things he feels strongly about. What I've learned is that sometimes he needs me to acknowledge the underlying goodness in his POV before he will give an inch and let something go. For example, we disagreed about what an appropriate punishment would be for someone who harms another person (in a specific way, but I'm not going to get that specific). He was taking a VERY hard line and would not give an inch. But then I realized that what he needed was for me to acknowledge that there was an underlying goodness and rightness in how he felt. That at it's core, I appreciated his moral standards and loved that about him. The minute I said that, he completely relaxed and we were able to end the conversation on more common ground.

Maybe your son is looking for validation? IDK, this may not be helpful, but it's just a thought.

 

ETA: This thread reminded me- Julie Bogart of Bravewriter, did a series of videos a few years ago and they were so perfectly timed for me. Her kids all ranged from early to late 20's at the time and she talked a bit about this stage of parenting a young adult. The shock when something that they are deeply convicted about doesn't result in the same action they choose- even with the same information! I think her example was of her daughter becoming a vegan and how she kind of threw a fit that everyone else wasn't joining her. Those videos were a real comfort.

 

The worst argument I ever had with dd2 was about eggs.

I probably should have validated her underlying care for chickens, but she riled me up with some really bad sources, and honestly, nothing gets under my skin more than a dodgy source. 

I did learn from that argument to simply validate. Now I am more likely to simply say 'I am proud of the way you live out your ethical values.' She's still disappointed that we're only (mostly) vegetarian, but that's OK. I think you are right, and what she really wants is acknowledgement that she is committed to something deeply ethical to her, despite it often being difficult.

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19 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

He is extremely justice conscious,  He has been shaken to the core over some things that have transpired in our congregation. Me acknowledging there are some serious issues isn’t enough for him.  He wants heads to roll.  So I see it as a good quality that can turn toxic if one can’t exercise some measure of grace and maturity.  

It has really changed who has is.  I really don’t even recognize him right now.  

I’m a bit confused now. So this is the issue that started the thread?

I think this type of behavior is very common in young adults, especially those who feel things deeply and passionately. My spouse was more like this when we married, but has greatly mellowed over time. I also see it in my son at times, and have definitely had to talk him down at times. I think I may have felt just as deeply about some things at that age, but have always been so reserved that I rarely, if ever, expressed it. To some extent, I think it’s actually healthy that he can share those feelings with you. Of course he needs to learn to do it in a respectful way. And he needs to learn to figure out ways to bring about positive, constructive change. But I think I’d be more concerned if a young adult male did not have an outlet to express his thoughts and emotions concerning things about which he has strong feelings.

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15 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

He is extremely justice conscious,  He has been shaken to the core over some things that have transpired in our congregation. Me acknowledging there are some serious issues isn’t enough for him.  He wants heads to roll.  So I see it as a good quality that can turn toxic if one can’t exercise some measure of grace and maturity.  

It has really changed who has is.  I really don’t even recognize him right now.  

 

If he wants heads to roll, he needs to be using his energy on making that happen, not on telling dad he is an asshole. 

Living out our values is hard, and most of us do it imperfectly. Wanting you guys to be proxies for his needs ? Not OK. 

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4 minutes ago, Frances said:

I’m a bit confused now. So this is the issue that started the thread?

I think this type of behavior is very common in young adults, especially those who feel things deeply and passionately. My spouse was more like this when we married, but has greatly mellowed over time. I also see it in my son at times. I think I may have felt just as deeply about some things at that age, but have always been so reserved that I rarely, if ever, expressed it. To some extent, I think it’s actually healthy that he can share those feelings with you. Of course he needs to learn to do it in a respectful way. But I think I’d be more concerned if a young adult male did not have an outlet to express his thoughts and emotions about things over which he has strong feelings.

No it isn’t 

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Mom being 'the safe person' isn't actually an excuse for an adult son to take out his anger on her, or even to express valid anger towards her in an inappropriate way. 

Being a 'safe person' isn't code for 'will take it all so therefore should take it all'. 

It is OK for Scarlett's adult son to be mad at her. It's his responsibility to express it appropriately.

 

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4 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Okay, good to know. I thought I had missed something. This went off in the direction of weddings, and my thoughts of general probabilities with a young guy his age go far more toward issues with strippers, porn, drug use or getting someone pregnant than wanting to have a same sex wedding. But obviously the hive mind went a whole other place than I did, LOL. 

 

And I am thinking it’s even milder than that, like he wants to watch R rated Netflix movies now that he’s an adult. 

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I also got in a huge fight (okay, not actually huge, but for my FOO where you almost never criticized anyone for anything or suggested in any way that things weren't hunky-dory, it was huge) with my mom about food when I first stopped eating factory farmed food.  I was 25 or so and I really thought I'd discovered this amazing thing that she just didn't know, so I thought by telling her all about it (how animals are abused in factory farms) I was helping her out, like you tell your mom when there's a great sale on peanut butter at the grocery store.  I was shocked, shocked, that she didn't want to hear it.  It took me a while to realize she really was not going to change her behavior because of this new information I'd provided her and it took her a while to realize I was quite serious about it and wouldn't cave on it for this or that issue of convenience.  It was not a great time.

fwiw, validating my care for animals would not have helped, lol.  not calling me a fanatic would have helped, but we got through it anyway.

It just seemed so obvious to me, and still does of course, and I found it very hard to reconcile myself to the idea that my family would take a different position on it.  They also found it hard, I think, to reconcile themselves to the idea that I wasn't going to change my mind about it; none of us are religious but I think it was almost like if I'd been raised a fervent Christian and discovered one day that I didn't believe and that the church was a lie (that is, somehow I'd found direct evidence of the leaders having made up the texts or something) - maybe think of me as having been a YEC and having gone to university and realized that was not accurate.  I thought revealing this newfound truth to them was an enormous benefit I was offering, and I bet I'd do the same if I were raised Christian and discovered one day that it was false, and it was recieved in much the same way that kind of revelation would be.

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9 minutes ago, StellaM said:

Mom being 'the safe person' isn't actually an excuse for an adult son to take out his anger on her, or even to express valid anger towards her in an inappropriate way. 

Being a 'safe person' isn't code for 'will take it all so therefore should take it all'. 

It is OK for Scarlett's adult son to be mad at her. It's his responsibility to express it appropriately.

 

 

I agree, but I don't think the fact that he isn't being reasonable about it doesn't mean he won't eventually be reasonable or that he doesn't still love her.  

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1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I think kids in general also talk to their Moms more than their Dads and can tend to run off at the mouth a bit more with Mom under the guise of expressing themselves, which sometimes turns into honestly a diarrhea of the thought chain, when they should have maybe shut up 10 thoughts ago, and then pointless emotion builds...... A generalization of course. But I know when I made my post last weekend, my dd was spouting off to me about things that she would never in a million years say to her Dad. Not that she was being disrespectful with words or tone...... but she is simply not going to say the thoughts to him aloud. She kept going on and on, and one thing built to another and suddenly what had been a nice chat turned into "100 ways you have ruined my life and I take no responsibility for." 

I haven't had a ds Scarlett's son's age yet. I just know from being that age myself and seeing guys that age in general, testosterone can make for some really stupid decisions and comments. Coupled with a teenage brain. It's just bad sometimes. And sometimes they need another male to stand up and take them down a peg, because that is almost impossible for a Mother to do with a guy in that all knowing mindset. I know some will view that statement of being taken down a peg, as violent, or OMG sexist, but I think it's a lot better for them to run into that with a responsible adult male who is going to tell them to knock that crap off than it is to just let them get away with it and continue to have that ego escalation. Guys that age without strong male role models willing to step in when necessary tend not to have the greatest outcome for society.  So if that's the case he's taking this out chiefly on Scarlett, it was at least good to hear the ex-h is stepping up and not giving him an easy out and making excuses for the ds to view his Mom as wrong. 

I'm really sorry, again, Scarlett, that you are picking up the brunt of his anger. But I am at least glad you have your dh there and even your x-h backing you up. It would be so much harder to go through just you and ds. 

 

My son doesn't have a male to do this, as his dad has pretty much checked out of parenting, and I have found that - infrequently, but it does happen - ego escalation is a real thing, and there's a dismissiveness of female authority in the form of mum  - I have to front that ego escalation HARD and use a more stereotypically male form of communication.  "STOP. You may NOT speak to me like that. " instead of my usual "Hey, what's going on ? That sounded really dismissive to me, and I feel like you're not really prepared to listen to me at the moment.  Do you wanna come back to this later ?"

So yeah, it's a thing. 

 

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1 minute ago, moonflower said:

 

I agree, but I don't think the fact that he isn't being reasonable about it doesn't mean he won't eventually be reasonable or that he doesn't still love her.  

 

Oh, of course. 

Life experience tends to work magic on how we view our (non-abusive, and even then...) parents.

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4 minutes ago, moonflower said:

I also got in a huge fight (okay, not actually huge, but for my FOO where you almost never criticized anyone for anything or suggested in any way that things weren't hunky-dory, it was huge) with my mom about food when I first stopped eating factory farmed food.  I was 25 or so and I really thought I'd discovered this amazing thing that she just didn't know, so I thought by telling her all about it (how animals are abused in factory farms) I was helping her out, like you tell your mom when there's a great sale on peanut butter at the grocery store.  I was shocked, shocked, that she didn't want to hear it.  It took me a while to realize she really was not going to change her behavior because of this new information I'd provided her and it took her a while to realize I was quite serious about it and wouldn't cave on it for this or that issue of convenience.  It was not a great time.

fwiw, validating my care for animals would not have helped, lol.  not calling me a fanatic would have helped, but we got through it anyway.

It just seemed so obvious to me, and still does of course, and I found it very hard to reconcile myself to the idea that my family would take a different position on it.  They also found it hard, I think, to reconcile themselves to the idea that I wasn't going to change my mind about it; none of us are religious but I think it was almost like if I'd been raised a fervent Christian and discovered one day that I didn't believe and that the church was a lie (that is, somehow I'd found direct evidence of the leaders having made up the texts or something) - maybe think of me as having been a YEC and having gone to university and realized that was not accurate.  I thought revealing this newfound truth to them was an enormous benefit I was offering, and I bet I'd do the same if I were raised Christian and discovered one day that it was false, and it was recieved in much the same way that kind of revelation would be.

 

Oh yeah, this describes dd2.

She was evangelical, and it came from a good place, of wanting to share harms she was scared we'd expose ourselves to (the eggs) and goods we could embrace if only we knew we could.

We've actually removed many animal products from our diet since, and her example is probably part of that, but it did confuse and upset her that we are not moving at the pace she did. 

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9 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

And I am thinking it’s even milder than that, like he wants to watch R rated Netflix movies now that he’s an adult. 

 

This would be one of those issues I would have to negotiate with an adult child who lived at home.

In his room with headphones ? Can't stop you.

In my loungeroom on the TV ? No. Hard no. I choose not to watch 99% of R rated movies, and his desire to watch doesn't have priority over my desire not to be exposed to R rated material in general.

Any adult son of mine who wanted to throw a temper tantrum over that is welcome to move out and have his own, personal loungeroom and TV  tuned 24/7 to R rated movies.

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22 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

My son doesn't have a male to do this, as his dad has pretty much checked out of parenting, and I have found that - infrequently, but it does happen - ego escalation is a real thing, and there's a dismissiveness of female authority in the form of mum  - I have to front that ego escalation HARD and use a more stereotypically male form of communication.  "STOP. You may NOT speak to me like that. " instead of my usual "Hey, what's going on ? That sounded really dismissive to me, and I feel like you're not really prepared to listen to me at the moment.  Do you wanna come back to this later ?"

So yeah, it's a thing. 

 

My mom raised four sons, she said that with each of them around age 14 (so, probably about when they started getting taller than her, and when testosterone is really ramping up) they stopped responding to her as an authority figure. She had to get my dad involved if she wanted them to actually pay attention.

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4 minutes ago, maize said:

My mom raised four sons, she said that with each of them around age 14 (so, probably about when they started getting taller than her, and when testosterone is really ramping up) they stopped responding to her as an authority figure. She had to get my dad involved if she wanted them to actually pay attention.

 

That's interesting. I don't have that choice, so I just channel my inner authoritarian, lol. 

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15 minutes ago, maize said:

My mom raised four sons, she said that with each of them around age 14 (so, probably about when they started getting taller than her, and when testosterone is really ramping up) they stopped responding to her as an authority figure. She had to get my dad involved if she wanted them to actually pay attention.

 

That's also the age when in many societies young men are no longer under the direct authority of their mothers but become part of men's society, sort of.  We have an extended childhood in a way in the West, which is great in a lot of ways but does create challenges when combined with biology.

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55 minutes ago, StellaM said:

Mom being 'the safe person' isn't actually an excuse for an adult son to take out his anger on her, or even to express valid anger towards her in an inappropriate way. 

Being a 'safe person' isn't code for 'will take it all so therefore should take it all'. 

It is OK for Scarlett's adult son to be mad at her. It's his responsibility to express it appropriately.

 

THIS!

If he wants to be so grown up that he knows best how this complicated situation should go, then he can also be grown up enough to control his anger and arrogance and realise that mom isn't his emotional punching bag.

I'm sorry Scarlett. I'm so glad to hear that your husband and exh are sticking up for you. You can't fix the world for him. 

 

My daughter was angry at me because she is imperfect and I couldn't give her any easy fixes. I'm like, dear daughter, if I had that magic wand, don't you think I would've used it on myself a long time ago?! She's angry with me but she's really scared at herself/the world - and me because I can't fix it, like I could fix dinner or broken toys...

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