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Worried Mum

(31 Posts)
AnotherLiz Wed 15-May-19 09:01:19

I need some advice please. I am really worried about my son who’s nearly 50 years old. He’s upset with us but I’m not sure why. He didn’t said his Dad a birthday card. First time ever. Has been saying things like 'why aren’t there many photos of me when I was young'. I hasten to add there’s no particular reason. Just timing - my husband was away a lot and he was the photographer- no mobile phones in those days smile. I think he's rewriting his childhood and creating the wrong story. Do you think I should try and meet up with him and ask him if there's anything wrong. Or try and be more subtle and find ways to reassure him without actually raising the topic - but of course he may suss that out. What do you think?

Luckygirl Wed 15-May-19 09:05:02

Is he having counselling at all? Sometimes this throws up ideas by dredging up the past.

polnan Wed 15-May-19 09:43:43

oh, so sad. I hate fall outs especially with family.

if that were either of my two sons I would meet up and ask,
but then all families are different aren`t they? depends what your relationship was/is like with him..

I would meet my sons

Rosina Wed 15-May-19 09:44:18

Does he have a partner who you might discreetly talk to in a general way to see if he is upset about anything that you can deal with? Is he having a crisis at work, or is there some upset in the family, like ill health of someone else and it is making him feel that he needs to keep picking over the past?

luluaugust Wed 15-May-19 09:46:21

Has there been some specific event that kicked this off, loss of job or relationship breakdown? He may have come to a point where he is reassessing life. I think I would wait for him to bring it up again and when he does, this time, try and find out what the problem is. Compared to the vast number of photos taken today maybe it is difficult for the 40/50 age group to appreciate why there may be so few pictures of them.

jaylucy Wed 15-May-19 09:57:03

Something has obviously raised some doubt in his mind , I would guess, about his dad and in his mind has been blown out of proportion. Has he been having any medical checks recently, such as a Wellman check that many GP surgeries offer, that has involved blood tests and has been given incorrect info as a result?
Or maybe he has always had a chip on his shoulder since childhood, and wrongly believed that his father didn't care for him ?
Either way, I don't think you can be subtle about it and need to ask him straight out why he thinks this way. When he would have been little, photography and developing films was relatively expensive and I'd guess a lot of people in their 50s will be in the same position with the lack of photos

Jane10 Wed 15-May-19 10:00:20

I dont see why you cant have a wee chat about it with him. Ask what's up. I suppose a lot depends on your relationship with him. If your DH was away a lot when your son was young he may just not have had a great relationship with him which would be understandable. Maybe he just plain forgot to send a card! It happens.

Feelingmyage55 Wed 15-May-19 10:13:19

A straightforward answer regarding photographs is that it was very expensive to buy film and have it processed. There are very few photos of our family in the fifties, sixties and seventies. We didn’t have the money. Obviously you are worried about more than that but maybe (hopefully) he is just busy.

Urmstongran Wed 15-May-19 10:52:29

I agree with those who have said meet up. But will he?

If he agrees, listen more than talk.

Shalene777 Wed 15-May-19 10:59:09

I would meet up and have a chat. There are only a few photos of us growing up because a camera was a luxury and my parents thought it better to feed us. smile I'm 50 so it was the 70's and not much money around.

Annaram1 Wed 15-May-19 11:00:00

I would meet my son and have a nice meal somewhere and gradually get around to asking him if he has issues with you? Or perhaps he is worried about another aspect of his life and is taking it out on his parents (maybe I am not wording this well)?

PamGeo Wed 15-May-19 11:11:41

All good suggestions to choose from so I hope you can get back to normal with your son. It may be just an oversight and there's nothing wrong at all, my son never sends cards to anyone, his partner does all that for them both otherwise it would never happen. Just ask, you'll never know if something is troubling him if you don't talk

BazingaGranny Wed 15-May-19 12:26:53

Do you have any photos up of anyone? I noticed a while ago that all the photos on the mantle piece at my parents when I was about 40 were of my younger brother and his infant son. I did feel a bit jealous!

I mentioned it to my mother who said that my nephew, then aged 4, liked it like that! My mother then immediately put up a couple of photos of me. I immediately felt better!

Families are funny things! 🌺✅

ginny Wed 15-May-19 13:12:03

Just ask him what the problem is. You can’t put anything right unless you know what is wrong.

Jennyluck Wed 15-May-19 13:31:59

Does he have older siblings???
We have 3 children, my daughter the youngest pointed out that there were less photos of her on display. She felt hurt obviously. It wasn’t deliberate. I just never gave it much thought. So put it right, we laugh about it now.

fizzers Wed 15-May-19 13:34:53

there's something going on in the background and you won't find out what it is until you ask him.

Riggie Wed 15-May-19 13:44:28

Not many photos of him compared to what? The amount he thinks you should have (whatever that is - maybe basing it on how many a friends parents have of him) or fewer photos of him that of a sibling?

If the former then obviously the explanation about expense seems apt.
But fewer of him than of siblings? Well it happens. There are more of my older brother than me but I'm sure it doesn't mean anything!!

Tillybelle Wed 15-May-19 14:26:19

I am so sorry about this. I suspect some introspection or counselling type of activity has disturbed him.
It happened to one of my children and I am sorry to say that I think this and her husband’s views have come between us. It was such a wonderful relationship too. I wish I could come up with advice or ideas that worked but nothing has worked for me. She would not entertain a close conversation and denies any suggestion that I make that she seems to be upset with me. I feel terribly hurt. It has been nearly ten years. I have honestly given up because I cannot get anywhere. I am a widow.
I think the advice people are giving is worth trying. But do just stick by your husband and make sure your lives together are as full and happy as you can make them. I have tried to make my life my own and be busy without reference to my children. They do live a long way away and are always busy. Their father committed suicide 28 years ago and I think they are blaming me. They were children and knew nothing about his terrible cruelty etc. My only way to survive is to be able to cope on my own. There is nothing to be gained in hoping for support from my children who only hurt me. The friends in my generation are those who understand. The younger generation are very cold and harsh today.
I do hope you can find a way through and I send you much love. Incidentally, I gain much comfort from the love and affection of my dogs! Dogs or pets may not be for you but you have the company of your husband so do enjoy and cherish each other. With much love and prayers, Elle. flowers

Kisathecat Wed 15-May-19 14:29:28

He might have been having some sort of counselling where the subject of childhood is always brought up to try and make sense of the present. Don’t be offended by him, just ask him if anything is up and that you are open to any questions he might have. If he’s going through a process it’s important you support him even if you don’t like what he has to say. I had epilepsy when I was younger and questioned my mum about things I was just trying to work out what was wrong with me. My mum took my questioning very personally which I found distressing. I mean I wasn’t going to judge her if she’d dropped me on my head when I was a baby! I was just looking for answers.

Tillybelle Wed 15-May-19 14:31:05

I forgot to say, re photos, I did not have a camera when my first was little, then I had a cheap one which had of course to be developed. When my third was born eleven years after the first I had a better camera but still needed to find money for developing the photos. In other words, the younger the child the more likely there are more photos of them when young! Because I didn’t have much money and cameras weren’t the same as now! My eldest understands this I think.

chezza1 Wed 15-May-19 15:22:43

My DS had counselling and these matters were raised. My Dd stepped in and told my son in no uncertain terms that his childhood was exactly the same as hers and her other brother and that their childhood was lovely. I did feel hurt and had wondered if I had done something wrong but felt better and reassured after my DD had taken matters into her own hands and the subject was never raised again. My DS and I have a really nice relationship so I was surprised the counsellor put these ideas into his head when he was most vulnerable.

Coyoacan Wed 15-May-19 15:26:13


What good advice! We cannot undo the errors of our past, which were generally done in good faith. Of course if our adult children need us, we will be there for them and if talking about the past helps them, we will also be there for them, but sometimes nothing is good enough.

I was the youngest in my family and there are no photos of me as a baby. But I still had the happiest childhood of all of us.

VIOLETTE Wed 15-May-19 15:27:03

Sorry to hear this is always hard when 'children' raise these kind of issues my case, for no reason whatever, some years ago my daughter sent me back ALL the photos she had of me and her when she was young explanation ..after 14 years still no idea ..she stopped speaking to me then ! very odd …..but just a few weeks ago I was talking to my step daughter and she said she had no photos of her when she was young, or of her late mother a trip up to the loft uncovered years and years and many boxes of photos my husband had kept I spent many evenings trawling through them al and found loads of photos of her and her sister , mother, grandmother, dog, aunties, etc etc so I have now got a very large box and am slowly putting them al in it along with some memorabilia of her father's time in the Royal Navy and the places he visited, his medals, magazines from the ships he served on, etc etc (he is sadly now in a care home aged 86 suffering from Parkinsons, dementia and cancer...has not seen his daughter for some 9 or 10 years ..neither of them were good at keeping in touch ...sadly I cannot ask him about the photos as he doesn't even know who I am, let alone who is in the photos...obviously I have kept some since we met 1 years ago, which are relevant to me ……….so please don't take it to heart ….there may be an innocent reason for his question ..I am 71 and there are only a very few photos of me from childhood …..but I have all the memories where they matter. My brother just passed away and I found loads of photos I never knew existed in his house which bring back lot of memories. You could perhaps explain, as others have said, camera, films and developing them were very expensive when money was tight ...and hope he understands. flowers

instagran Wed 15-May-19 19:57:08

My immediate thought is, does he have children, especially a son, who may have asked his dad if he looked like him at whatever age? This could explain it, as he may be frustrated at his inability to produce "evidence".

instagran Wed 15-May-19 20:00:33

Could it be that he has a son who has asked what his dad looked like at his age, and he is frustrated at his inability to show "evidence"?