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Son has changed

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Son has changed

(Sorry this ended up as a book)

Hi I am a single mother of two boys. My issues are with my older son who is 18. He has always been very caring about others but has suddenly changed in recent months after getting into a relationship.

My son turned 18 in March. He started a relationship in April. He has known this young lady since December.

In June, his girlfriend found a cat she wanted but was preparing to go to college. I told them the cat is welcome to stay at my place as long as they take responsibility for the cat financially and physically such as cleaning litter box and any kitten accidents. (It seems odd but is relevant to future events).

In June, I was told it was possible my apartment complex was going to be sold and rent would be going up $250 so I starting looking for a new place. My son asked what was going on so I let him know if the apartments sold I wouldn't be able to afford the increase in rent and was looking for a new place just in case. I have never asked my son to help with the bills here. He told me "mom don't worry, I will cover the increase". It was a great relief. This was on a Tuesday the end of June.

A couple days later, after a few weeks of having the kitten and me having to clean the litter box, hand scrub the floor because of the cat using the restroom on the floor, we ended up in an argument. My son and his girlfriend came from walmart with a container of kitty litter. They set it on the floor by the stairs and proceeded upstairs to my sons' room (the room shared with his younger brother). They bought the litter because the cat box hadn't been completely changed in a couple weeks and I informed them it needed to be changed once a week at least. So, I proceeded to change the litter, sweep up the mess their kitten had made, mop the floor, ect. When I tried to open the kitty litter, I couldn't get the plastic strip off so called my son down to open it. His response was " WHAT MOM!! We are spending time together." After 3 weeks of taking care of their cat, and trying to do what should have been their responsibility once again then being so rudely talked to because I needed his help to do what should of been their responsibility, I yelled back about what he should be doing since it is their cat. And pointed out everything I had done to take care of their cat compared to what they had done. They said they agreed and were in the wrong. So this occurred on Thursday of the same week.

The next day, his girlfriend was over again and sat us all down because my 18 year old and 12 year old were bickering. During the conversation, the girlfriend made a comment that greatly concerned me. She said "I am daddy's precious little princess. You are still going to take care of me while I am in college right?" to my 18 year old son she had been dating for just over two months. When my son said yes, she responded "Good, because it is not your job to help your mom that is your 12 year old brother's job" in reference to helping with the possible rent increase. She is right that it is not my older son's job to help with my rent but it is certainly not my 12 year old son's job either. This conversation took place on Friday.

Sunday my son told me he was moving out suddenly out of the blue. We had not had any conversation about it previously, only 5 days prior he was offering to help me with rent if it went up. I was completely caught off guard and greatly hurt due to the lack of conversation. But he moved out that Monday.

I told him I would pack his stuff to help him out and asked him about his baby book I had made for him. He told me he didn't want it. That really upset me. I told him to just tell me what he did want and I would figure out the baby book (it is still at my home where it will be staying).

Over the course of the next few weeks, my sons and I had discussed plans to have a game and movie night. We arranged for a night that my son wouldn't be able to be with his girlfriend due to plans she had. My son contacted me the morning of and said plans had changed for her and they could get together after all so we postponed for the next week. The second day comes and again her plans changed so he canceled and arranged a new day the following week. The third time comes and he does come over when she wouldn't be able to hang out, but unexpectedly she pulls in and comes into my house. I asked "what are your plans" expecting that they would be going out or something. My son asked "what do you mean?". I responded, "are you guys going to dinner? Will you be coming back over tonight? What are your plans?" He said "we were going to stay here and have game and movie night". My 12 year old stated "but it is supposed to be a family night". My son's girlfriend got hurt because she felt she wasn't wanted there (and frankly as the plans had already changed twice before and I wasn't expecting her there that evening, I was upset that she just showed up without consulting me first). She left and then called my son crying that we hurt her feelings. My son had her come back and he left to go with her. He then told me that she didn't deserve to be treated that way, she feels like we don't want her around, ect. He also stated that if I ever hurt he feelings again he would cut me out of his life.

After this, he moved again from our cousin's house to my dad's house. He will be on his phone texting everytime we go over to visit. I asked him if he would do that when visiting with his girlfriend to which he responded no. I asked him why not. He stated because he wants to spend time with her. I told him of course, now why can't we have that same courtesy? I would like to visit with you when I am there which is only once or twice a week and that is the only time I talk with him. He talks to his girlfriend daily and to please have some respect for me. He agreed but still doesn't do it.

He also likes to video chat with her while doing his school work which I am against and has video chat on with her over night which seems very odd to me.

A couple weeks later, I found out that his girlfriend did one of his classes for school. My son has not yet completed high school due to goofing off rather that working toward that goal. She did every lesson in one of his classes. Which caused me to get upset because it is dishonest and he should know better. I told him that he needs to have better integrity and that he is under a binding contract to do that work himself, ect. This really made me question her intent in the relationship because there is no justification for her doing his work.

Every time I saw him after that, he would leave to go somewhere with his girlfriend and never say bye, love you, or anything. I figured he no longer wants to say that to me and to avoid upsetting him or making him feel like I am being over bearing, I stopped as well. He then got upset, made a comment to his grandpa one day while we were leaving to go home "I shouldn't have to ask my mom for a hug and kiss." I stopped, turned around, and walked back to my seat realizing we needed to discuss what was going on. I explained how I viewed his actions and that they caused me to stop because I didn't want to upset him ect. This took place in August. Since then everything has been fine until Sunday.

His girlfriend has come back for a visit (she is 4 hrs away in college). On Sunday my younger son and I were over to have dinner with my dad, older son, and my grandparents. His girlfriend pulled up and he left without saying bye or anything. And then again today, my younger son and I went over for dinner, and his girlfriend came over and he left without any warning. Considering how he said he felt about me leaving without saying bye and giving him a hug and kiss, I don't understand him doing it to me again. When I asked him about it and explained my feelings he said I just need to be more understanding of him and that his girlfriend had limited time both days. I can't grasp that she had such limited time that he could spare a minute (two at the most) for a hug and I love you.

This situation is driving me insane. Am I in the wrong? How can I address this without loosing my son?
Prolific scribe

Re: Son has changed

hey @Ressamm20

Thank you so much for sharing your story with, us, it sounds like you're dealing with a really difficult situation and I can understand why you're feeling so anxious about things right now. From the sounds of it, your son is just working through all of the different stages of a first "real" relationship. It's important to remember that while sometimes it can seem a bit extreme and overwhelming from the outside, it's an experience we all have to go through. I think what might be  most helpful is if you keep showing your son how much you love him, keep being consistent, and keep showing him and his girlfriend respect (even when they don't necessarily show it back!). By doing this you are showing that you trust your son and his decisions, and if he feels trusted he's a lot more likely to come to you for support and advice in the future.