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Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience:  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
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what if the abuser is your 30-year old son?

Customer Question

what if the abuser is your 30-year old son?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for using JustAnswer.

Does your son live with you?

Are you emotionally or financially dependent on your son?

How does he abuse you?

Thanks for the additional information it will help me formulate the best answer I can for you.

Sincerely,
Mark Manley
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My son recently married, so he does not live with me, and I am not financially dependent upon him. My husband abused me and my two sons; I divorced my husband when my sons were 7 and 11. Both have been strongly influenced by their father's behavior as he played the 'victim' role after he was forced out of our home. My sons felt sorry for him, and he has continued to play that role over these 23 years. The youngest son is the one that I'm having problems with. He lived with his father from age 15 to 24, even though I reported to the court during a custody hearing that my former husband had recently been issued a TRO after beating up his current live-in girlfriend. I told my 15-year old son about that before he moved in with his father, but he wouldn't listen to me. He 'learned' behavior that is dishonest and manipulative.

 

I have tried to remain alongside both of my sons over all these years (since 1988), and it finally seems to be working with my older son, but there is a stubborn streak in my youngest. He recently tried to manipulate me into doing something that went against my principles. I called him on it, and demanded an apology. I may have been wrong to DEMAND an apology because if it is given, but not from the heart, it doesn't mean much.

 

Both sons have cut me out of their lives at various times over the past many years. That's where I stand now with my youngest; it's hard at Christmas time, but I believe I have to stand firm and stand true to the truth and for what is honest and not manipulative. Unfortunately, my son's new wife is caught in the middle of this, and I'm not sure she understands what is going on. I am concerned for her, but don't know what to do about that either.

Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
All I can offer you is complements and encouragement. You have stayed firm in truth and dignity in spite of so many heart wrenching situations over these many years. You have to keep doing what you have been. You have exercised huge mental and emotional discipline to balance a mother's compassion with standing firm in the truth. I would guess you have a good connection with your higher power to be able to have accomplished what you have so far and this will be your continued source of strength to carry on. Keep speaking and living the truth in love. As for your daughter in law you will pretty much need to let her find her own way through, even though your heart goes out to her.

Of course when grandchildren come you will be out of the frying pan and into the fire, unless your son improves by then. Try not to worry about this and give it to your higher power.

If you are not a believer in a higher power, please forgive my assumptions.

Sincerely,
Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
Mark Manley and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I definitely could not have walked the walk I've been given if it hadn't been for my faith in Jesus Christ, the love and strength He has given me, and the promise that He will never leave me nor forsake me.

 

It is so hard to see the abuse cycle being passed into the next generation; I've prayed so hard that God would break the cycle. I stood up for what is right and tried to live my life in a way that is God honoring, believing that what I taught my sons at an early age will win out in the end. I have to hold on to that. I believe they have goodness in them (and I told my youngest that this past week), but there's that root of watching how their father treated me that I have to deal with. It is really hard because it breaks my heart.

 

I knew when I wrote the last line of my first note to you that I had answered my own question. But, I appreciate your affirmation.

 

God Bless YOU -- and Merry CHRIST_MAS!!

Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
And God continue to bless you!

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Mark Manley

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