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17 years old son is unhappy over broken family.

My marriaged failed 4 years back.  My son is living with me alone.  I am doing my best to retain the same life style and daily routines before my failed marriage.  The only difference is that now I cannot speak to him like before.  Whatever I said to him irritates him and he often used words like 'get lost', 'go away', 'shut up' to me and he also openly commented that I am stupid that he does not like to waste his time talking to people like this.  Since young, I brought up my son teaching him the classic 24 filial stories of the chinese ancient time and we used to be very closed.  Though he is rude towards me now but he would say 'thanks ma' when I served him or when I drove him.  

We have had a few big quarrels these 4 years and today I finally told him that I am giving up on him and that I will not take care of him anymore.  I do mean it because I think he is big enough to take care of himself and since he does not respect me, there is no reason why I should continue to give him the benefits and luxuries.

In the night, he came and talked to me, asking how I was feeling and that was about all.  He did not want to discuss about the fight and our problems.  I took the opportunity to set a few rules to him which I have no control over all these years.  He flatly agreed and again used his cold tone and said: 'whatever' to me.  I told him he was not sincere to make up with me and asked him for the reason.  Like the quarrels before, his reason being the way he was is because he is unhappy that he does not have a complete family.  I tried again to tell him we have at least each other and we should value it as a family.  Also, I try to give him a few examples of the people we know who came from broken families and eventually have their own happy family but he is not accepting that.

I can see the pain in his eyes that he wanted so badly to have both his parents together but this is impossible now.   I really have tried my best to talk to him convincing him to go on with life with a more positive spirit but he is still feeling very miserable and said he has been wishing to put an end to his life.  I am scared and feeling very painful to hear this.

While I am spending this great effort on him, he is not aware that I am also a sufferer and needed his support.

Most of the nights until now, I still cried in my sleep.  Can anyone help by giving me some guidance how to handle my son?   Thank you.

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134578 tn?1642048000
In regard to easing your suffering over your marriage, your son is not required to take care of you and make you feel better as though he was your parent.  That is asking him to reverse roles with you at a time when he is in the pain of a child over his disrupted life.  When there is a disaster, the duty of the parent is always to do as much as he or she can to protect and care for the child, even when the parent is also in need.  

I am sorry your marriage ended.  I would have almost given my life to get my parents back together after they divorced, and it was many years before I stopped secretly wishing they would remarry.  Your son is doubtless going through this.  You can see the hurt, and have to do what you can to ease the hurt, and one thing that might ease it to some extent is if you were to explain to him the nature of the reasons for the divorce.  Not to ask him to referee or take sides or take care of you, but because it does help a child to break away from the illusion that the parents' marriage is retrievable if he or she hears why it is not.

Is there anyone who can counsel you and your son, possibly a therapist from exactly the same cultural heritage?  Can his father be of any help in this situation?
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134578 tn?1642048000
I wanted to clarify that I do agree that you have the right to ask a son to be dutiful and behave himself.  My comments above were in reaction to you saying "he is not aware that I am also a sufferer and needed his support."  It is fair for you to explain to him "you need to appreciate that I do not like this situation much and was not in favor of it," it is not fair of a parent to say to a child "what about me and *my* feelings?"  The first is an explanation that might help him get through his own pain and start to behave a little better.  The second is role-reversal of parent and child, and no child should be asked this by his parent.

Good luck.
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13167 tn?1327194124
You go,  Anniebrooke!!   Perfect.

Brokenheart,  mothers give unconditional love to their children.  There was an awful story from Auschwitz,  a mother and 6 year old boy were in there together,  and the mother continuously told her son she "wasn't hungry" and gave her food to him.  It was because he was eating two meager portions of food a day,  instead of one,  that he was one of the few survivors.  His story was one of overwhelming sadness,  that he took her food willingly,  but in fact she was the one who wanted to give him that gift.  She gave him her life.

That's what mothers do.

They love and give unconditionally.

(There is a caveat to that - if he were coming at you with a knife,  for example,  you'd have to protect yourself and remove him from the home.  All he is doing is not being grateful and appreciative,  and fulfilling your personal needs.

Mothers don't stop giving in that situation.  Mothers keep giving and giving,  until he's an adult.  You have no right to say since you're unpleasant I'm through with you.
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13167 tn?1327194124
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