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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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I am overly concerned with my 21 year old sons love life in

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I am overly concerned with my 21 year old son's love life in that when he is involved with someone, I want so much for him to be happy...I worry about him not responding correctly and perhaps losing a great relationship that could have been preventable. I find myself listening in when he is on skype. I know he will do what's best for him, but I can't stop re-hashing what I know, worrying about what I don't, and thinking through how to give him coaching without being perceived as pushy. I've read about obsessive behavior online, and assume this falls into this area. But I'm having trouble not thinking abut this constantly.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 6 years ago.
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Lori Gephart :

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Lori Gephart :


Thank you for contacting JustAnswer.


I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing. It sounds as if you are aware that this behavior of trying to control your son's interactions is inappropriate. I understand that you have good intentions in wanting the best for your son. However, now is the time to begin to see your son as an adult. The more you try to control his behavior and interactions, and the more you listen in on his conversations, the more risk you run of his needing to push you away and damaging or destroying your relationship with him.


Now is the time to begin to trust in the work you have done to raise your son into the man that he is. It is now his turn to make his own decisions, and his own mistakes, and to learn from mistakes that he may make. This will make him a stronger, smarter person in the end. He needs your trust and respect to recognize that he cannot need you for the rest of his life to tell him what to say, what to do, etc.


I wonder what may be missing in your life that you are focusing so much of your thoughts and energy on your son at this point in his life. Sometimes focusing on certain thoughts like this can be a way to avoid facing other things or uncomfortable feelings. Once you explore whether there are any issues that need to be addressed in your own life, you may want to try thought stopping. When one of these thoughts enters your mind, you can tell yourself "STOP", then replace the thought with a more reasonable thought that is rational and reasonable such as "My son is able to live his own life". Then get up and do something to "change the channel" in your brain; such as exercising, getting involved in a project, talking to someone . . . . The more you work on the thought stopping, the more it will become normal for you to think more reasonably. If this is not helpful, it may be beneficial for you to consider some individual therapy to work through what may be contributing to the problem. I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if I can be of further help.

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