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What to do with alienated adult son?

Started by jes136e, Jan 13, 2006, 07:47:49 AM

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I have a 33 year old son, whom I believe has been alienated from me by his father.  I see my son as also participating in this.  He seems to have adopted all the negative views his father holds about me.  Then he sets up situations that will inevitably result in a "to do" which I am sure confirms for him all of his negative beliefs about me.  This has been going on since I was separated, when my son was four years old.  His father broke all the visitation rules, repeatedly sued me for sole custody (which he did not get) and kept my son away from me by,for example, taking vacations with him during the only times I had vacation.  His father remarried and has become extremely successful and has all the toys, etc.  There are two (lovely) step sons from my ex's new wife. I had hoped that by now my son would have some insight into what happened.  Instead, things are getting worse all the time.  We hardly have any contact and when we do, it has to be on my son's terms.  Making plans to get together is a huge struggle that usually results in an emotional fight over the telephone.  Recently, he refused to tell me his arrival time, coming to visit me.  After trying several times to get this information, I suggested that he not come visit me unless it was what he wanted to do and it seemed like he did not want to come.  That was a first.  Very difficult.  I have always been available to my son.  He does not value what I have to offer as a mother.  It breaks my heart.


At 33, you can officially call him a jerk when he does these things. You don't need to coddle or protect him anymore.

Tell him that you have always loved him and have an honest conversation with him about why he is acting this way toward you. Let him do the talking. Make sure you appologize for anything you did and express your sadness over his negative feelings that are unfounded.

Try to tell stories that conflict with the wrong ideas that he might have without directly addressing the idea itself. Try to let him remember the conflicting event and come to the conclusion himself.


I think the best thing my dad did (I was PASes against him) was to stand back and let me come to him. He called occationally, but ended the conversations after 15 minutes or so. He sent me care packages with a couple little things in them, but nothing expensive every now & then. I saw him for Xmas at his home and he came to mine about once a year. I figured things out pretty quickly then. I learned that I needed a relationship with my father and I had to be the one to work at it. When I called him, he always returned my calls and his door is always open to me. Now I just need to work on the relationship with my mother just as hard.

Good Luck


hi Ref,

My step daughter whom we have enjoyed 50/50 shared parenting for 9 years, and prior to that my husband was her sole caregivier. When we married mom came around to gain legal custody, and being the mom, although previoulsy uninvolved she was able to gain 50/50.

During those years she has been working hard on destroying the relationships with my SD and her entire fathers side. Grandparents, cousins, neighbors, half-siblings.

We have been in court numerous times with mom trying to gain sole (at least 5 battles) This last battle the courts flat out told her they will never change give her sole.

But the PAS has gone to the extreme, SD has not told daddy she no longer wants to see us. She had a long list of bogus reasons. her mom always fills her mind with dreadful things about us. WE are a normal family of 6, and she is not an only child in our home, and it is different then at moms, where she is the princess.

Anyways now it being HER stating how miserable and hating us, my hubby is considering letting go.

It has been so much work  fighting to have her in our life and to keep her happy. We all walk on egg-shells to make sure she is happy in our home, and nothing seems to work. THe PAS is too impactful.

I know it seems whimpy to let go, but for our sanity, and from what it seems we are "torturing her" by  making her see us.

I noticed you said you were a product of PAS. At what point do you think she might be aware she is PAS'd?  Or are her feelings real towards us. (Even though we can tell her mom put words in her mouth)

In a way we feel ready to give in and let go, but are afraid it will get twisted into we cut her out, instead of what it is. But we have given it our all.  In fact the ball (legally) is in our court right now. The GAL and the appointed counselor state that she should be with teh dad cause mom was mentally abuse. But it would still be a long and hard haul to get sole, and if she doesn't want to be with us, why should we??

I'm only asking you cause I would be very intersted in knowing what someone who has been through it personally, would feel.

What we would like to know is does our SD really want us to let go? She said she is tired of the fighting....


i'm from the the SWB (second wives board) and just thought i'd check this forum -- i've been posting for about 10 years

also -- my own 3 step daughters have successfully overcome PAS -- so i know what i'm talking about

DO NOT GIVE UP -- REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE KID WANTS -- you are the parents, not she -- you decide what is best for her

the best medicine for PAS is NEVER GIVING UP -- always standing by their side, being the smarter parent, the more loving (not spoiling) parent -- believe it or not, kids crave discipline and boundaries, it's what makes them feel loved and safe

even with your bio kids -- a parent needs to be prepared to ignore kid's hate threats -- moreso with step-kids

hang in there -- your stepkid will get over his/her emotional tantrums about your parenting a whole lot sooner than the mental trauma they are being subjected to with PAS


Don't give up. I not only was a kid involved with PAS, but my SD is PASed against me and my husband. I understand how horrible it is to keep in touch when your own kid says such awful things. My DH suffers with it and doesn't call SD very often anymore because it is too hurtful for him to hear her accusations.

It took me a long time to realize what was going on. Growing up I always though my mom knew everything. Naturally, as a teenager I thought she knew nothing. In the back of my head, all of the brainwashing still convinced me that my dad was crap and didn't care about me at all. I founght with my mom all the time because I was realizing how much of what she said was a lie. I was sent away to school for 2 years because we fought so much. I dropped out and moved out on my own. After being on my own for 2 years or so, and having some pretty honest conversations with my dad, I realized how wrong I was about everything.

The fact of the matter is, my dad got blasted by my mom for giving up on us and Dh gets blasted by PBFH for trying to be too involved. You and your DH are screwed either way. I think it would be better for your Skid to look back and see that he tried and was loved andwil always be loved.

best wishes