How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask empathy-reborn Your Own Question
empathy-reborn, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 11
Experience:  L3 in CCLD. Acted as a SENCo. Voluntary Exp with Young People of all ages
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
empathy-reborn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a huge problem between my son and his father..due to

This answer was rated:

I have a huge problem between my son and his father..due to the tense between them through the passed years..this changed my son and made him a big liar in very sensitive things regarding his life. Now we're facing a big problem in family between them and my son said that he hates his father! My son is nearly 20 years old. My husband is very cruel now with him and he doesn't want to listen to anything he said because he doesn't trust him saying that he is always a liar! Now my husband is away for work and he will return back home after 10 days. I'm so confused and afraid because both of them does't want to accept the other! I'm also afraid of the punishment that my husband will do with my son. I don't know what to do?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this overwhelming situation. It is very serious since each of them are reacting in very dysfunctional and abusive ways.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Both are adults but if your son continues to live at home depending materially and financially of you, then he would need to come to terms with the fact that he cannot continue fighting with his father and perpetuating this crisis. He is not a child, thus he needs to hold full accountability for his words, choices and actions.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Whenever there are abusive words, or any form of violence, whether it is verbal, mental, emotional or physical, everybody involved must take responsibility for the role they play in such destructive situation and work on changes. If unable to make things work, professional support should be considered. Again, your son is already an adult, and must take responsibility for his choices and actions, and if he is unwilling to cope with this situation as an adult, then he would have to afford the consequences. Your husband is equally responsible for any abusive behavior he has presented, and you could do your best to promote his insight and assertiveness to end this vicious and violent circle, but you cannot control what he chooses to do. Thus your role is to promote their awareness of reality and responsibility, and each of them would decide what they do and want to afford.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is very concerning and frustrating, but it is reality and you need to come to terms with the fact that you cannot do more than to be as assertive and proactive as possible, setting healthy limits and boundaries, hoping for each of them to do the same, and to consider professional counseling support to work on the individual and family dysfunctions.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does it make sense?

Customer: Hello again,
Customer: thank you for your answer..I totally agree with you that my son isn't a child but an adult and that he should be responsible of his actions but this isn't the only issue husband also has a big problem trying to understand him because as I told you before that he doesn't trust him anymore...I feel now like I' m acting in a war field between two enemies! It's not easy at all as you said...I have always to be like a dove of peace..ok I believe I should because this is the role of a mother if at home there are critical problems between father and son! But this is really frustrating also because my husband blames me a lot of spoiling my son and that he has become like that because I encouraged him.. On the other hand my son sees his father like a monster and keep saying to me that if I wasn't there for him, his life would have been unsupportable ! I know I should visit a pshycatric soon because the situation is very critical..but please tell me how can I convince my husband to be much more understanding with my son? In past and till now I've always talked to him to persuade him not to be such a closed minded and that he should understand him more..should have much patience ..but after every mistake made by my son..things are turning worse and worse...specially because now he isn't a child anymore! My problem is so big and critical !

Thankyou for your question. I have to say I very much agree with Rafael. However I would like to provide you with some strategies that you could impliment to promote a behavioural change.

1) Sit down and give every one TWO pieces of paper (including yourself) on each page you should write their name one being the father one being the son and they write the other two people with them accordingly. Then write one thing that you would like them to change. By including yourself in this activity your making them believe that you are doing something also.

Then each person is given the pages with their name on and they write a target that's SMART ( Smart Measurable Achievable Reasonable Target) of how they are going to change, then they pass it around and you each write an arrangement of how you will support them to meet it. I suggest reviewing this once a week.
I am very sorry to know your situation has got this serious,and that this is not an isolated issue but has been present for several years. I have to agree that spoiling a child could easily lead to promoting the development of a distorted personality. When healthy and assertive discipline and affection are not present in the parenting style, literally teaching children how to be responsible, respectful, mature and more towards themselves, their parents and other people, then children would not spontaneously develop nor learn these skills.

If this has been his case, then it'd be very sad and frustrating since as you confirmed, he is already an adult, and now it became obvious that being irresponsible, disrespectful, dishonest, manipulative and not respecting nor complying with your family rules is just unacceptable.

If you expect your husband to be more understanding, patient and supportive towards him, then you need to focus on working on supporting your son to understand his serious issues, to take responsibility for them, and to work on changing his behaviors, once as long as he keeps being dishonest, manipulating and avoiding responsibilities and basic respect towards your husband and you, it would be hopeless.

You getting psychiatric medication would not significantly help you and this situation. What you and your family need is of psychological support, counseling, of family psychotherapy. Please understand that your son,a s an adult must take responsibility for all his feelings, choices and behaviors. Individual psychotherapy seems necessary here, otherwise family therapy would not work.

Your individual psychotherapy should focus on working on rehabilitating from codependency, which is distorted way of sharing, parenting and developing relationships. You need to understand that there is no justification for an adult child to continue to be dishonest, manipulative and abusive, that such behaviors need to be confronted, not enabled, and that you need to set clear boundaries and limits for your son to understand that it is not fine for him to continue being this way, that unless he ends these behaviors, he would not be able to receive your support any longer.

I am confident that if you work on developing an assertive, mature approach, eradicating any codependency in it, your husband would respect, understand and support you too, and be willing to support your son, but again, this would all depend on how well your son chooses to be respectful, accountable and consistent towards you as a real adult.

Please look for professional psychotherapy, for each of you to receive individual counseling, and then to have family therapy, which would only work if each of you as adults, take full responsibilities for your feelings, choices and actions. If your son is unwilling to do so, then there is nothing you could do about it, since it does not depend on you now, once he is already an adult. Your role now is to model and promote healthy and responsible behaviors, not allowing nor enabling any form of disrespect or abuse, whether it is verbal or emotional.

I hope this brings more light into your situation. I will be looking for ward to receiving your reply. Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello again,
Thank you for your answer..well,I now find that there's only one way out which is professional psychotherapy..I've already taken an appointment with a professional one. My son and I are going but my husband doesn't even agree for the idea..he says that this isn't needed at all and that the problem is only connected to my son and not to him at all.
He refuses also to face any of his mistakes with our son..he sees that he was an ideal father ( well I have to say that he was so regarding the financial support and not the emotional ) ..since my son has turned 13 or 14 his father has been treating him so cruel in some situations believing that on that way he will become much more become a man in future..but till now my son remembers those situations in details saying that any beloved father wouldn't have ever done this to his son.
I will go to the expert and see what will happen..
I totally support your decision for getting professional psychotherapeutic support as soon as possible. It's very good to know your son is willing to participate, and hopefully would work on himself in order to create concrete changes and improvements in himself leading to positive changes in his relationship with father, and for him to mature and become a more assertive adult.

On the other hand it is frustrating to know about your husband's unwillingness to get psychotherapy and to acknowledge the role he played in all this situation. This is why you working on yourself while your son do the same would allow you to set better boundaries, limits and to promote your husband's accountability and change too, once there would not be a codependent relationship where you get into constant arguments and attacks but rather into taking responsibility for your own behaviors, without worsening a problematic situation.

Please feel free to contact me back since I am willing to follow up and support you as possible. Thank you for your trust.

Once again should require any further support or understanding what the therapist has told you please feel free to post another question.

Best wishes,

Thomas Constable.
empathy-reborn, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 11
Experience: L3 in CCLD. Acted as a SENCo. Voluntary Exp with Young People of all ages
empathy-reborn and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you