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How to convince someone you love them

(29 Posts)
LadyBella Wed 15-Jul-20 21:20:32

My DS is the eldest of my 2 AC. Now in his 40s he is single, independent and reasonably well off. He lives 150 miles from me. I live near my DD and my DGS with whom I spend a lot of time. My DS was always jealous of his sister as a child. He resented her coming along and taking up my time - at the time I had no help from anyone and she was a demanding infant whereas he was quiet. But he and I have always had a good relationship and chat regularly on the phone, sometimes for up to an hour. But I rarely see him. He is always busy with work or friends or off somewhere on holiday. Part of the reason he doesn't visit much I think is that he still resents his sister but what can I do about that? I live near her so it's obvious I'm going to play more of a part in her life than in his on a day-to-day basis. Basically I don't think he has ever accepted how much I love him. I do fear that he is somewhat cold like his father from whom I'm divorced and that it's just his nature. But I miss him and before I pop my clogs I'd love him to know how much I loved him as a little boy and how I love him and am proud of him as a man although I have actually said this to him more than once. He had a wonderful fiancee for many years but ended the relationship and, since she has been off the scene, he has become more distant. I think about him constantly but it seems he's quite happy doing his own thing and seeing me is a duty rather than a pleasure. I get quite sad about it all. I'd love him to really realise how much I love and care but, if I wrote it in a letter, I think he'd be scornful. Perhaps it's his nature. He rarely wanted to be cuddled when he was young. And yet, on the rare occasions when we do spend time together, we never stop talking and have a lot of fun. Maybe one day if he ever has a child of his own he might understand. What do Gransnetters think?

welbeck Wed 15-Jul-20 22:04:12

you could write a series of letters, addressed to my favourite son, and leave them where they will be found after yr demise.
that would be a way of you expressing in writing how you feel, without the risk of imposing on him, embarrassing him, when he phones you.
your relationship with him does not sound too bad; many mothers would count themselves lucky to have that much contact and conversation.
maybe he does not want to share the details of his life with you because it is private and/ or he thinks you might disapprove/ not understand.
you cannot change his character. try not to think of the past too much, it's all a construction anyway, and may not be the way he feels or sees things. good luck.

FarNorth Wed 15-Jul-20 22:08:42

That all sounds quite normal to me.
I think you should stop worrying.

V3ra Thu 16-Jul-20 00:05:21

Rather than him visit you, could you visit him? You could stay in a Premier Inn or similar if you felt it would be a bit too much to stay at his home.
You could have some time together without his sister being nearby, so he might feel more relaxed.
From what you say you have a good relationship when you do talk, but the contact is infrequent. One of my sons is the same and he only lives a mile away!

Hithere Thu 16-Jul-20 01:05:04

Has he told you you don't love him?

Why do you say you need to convince him you love him?

Sussexborn Thu 16-Jul-20 01:28:15

I am wondering if we have all had too much time to think recently?

50ShadesofGreyMatter Thu 16-Jul-20 08:54:05

I would write that letter now, telling him how you feel, how much you love him. Take your time with it. Say that you don't need a reply unless he wants to and that you won't refer to the letter, again unless he wants to discuss it

Karalou51 Thu 16-Jul-20 09:01:39

Yes, I'm with Sussexborn on this! I'm incredibly lucky to have my family mostly nearby. Some go out of their way to entertain me, some are there at the drop of a hat if I need them. But I'd be devastated if I thought any of them felt I didn't love them! Take the bull by the horns and just ask him how he feels. I'm sure he'll give you an honest answer if you ask....

Phloembundle Thu 16-Jul-20 09:02:34

My son was a very outgoing youngster when younger, but at the same time quite insecure. He has grown into a very self contained man with few friends except those on the online games he plays. He had a relationship with someone in his early twenties and they bought a house together. They split up and he moved back home where he remains. I know he loves me although cuddles are occasional. I have accepted him for the way he is, but once told him he was the best thing that had ever happened to me. Maybe you could find another way of letting him know how much he means to you.

polnan Thu 16-Jul-20 09:04:09

I don`t think anyone can Convince another person that they love them

I have two grown sons and 4 gks... we are not , what I would say a fussy family,

but we email, sort of regularly,
and I always say Love you ....

on the rather infrequent phone calls, (I am not comfortable with the phone) I finish of by saying Love you and God Bless, and to my two dils

Coconut Thu 16-Jul-20 09:09:30

If you go on Pinterest, they have some beautiful “mother and son” quotes. Im lucky enough to live in my daughters granny annexe but I’ve so missed not seeing my 2 sons and their families during lockdown. I’ve been emailing them quotes, some are quite funny. I always do this on their birthdays too, plus Mother’s Day, along with old photos of them with me as children, it’s given them many laughs and of course it’s very nostalgic.

ElaineRI55 Thu 16-Jul-20 09:31:08

Since you say that you never stop talking and have a lot of fun when you are together, he certainly doesn't view it as just a duty unless he is an amazing actor. It sounds as though you fundamentally have a very good relationship. You may just be looking for reassurance that you weren't a bad parent when he was young. Don't be hard on yourself - I don't think any of us consider we were perfect parents. Try not to dwell on the past or over analyse how things were, including worrying about whether your son might have some of your ex's character flaws. It sounds as though he is genuinely busy and if you talk regularly for up to an hour that's much more contact than many mums have with their sons. He doesn't sound cold either ,so enjoy the contact you have. You could maybe send short texts between phone calls ( without overdoing it) and say you hope work is good or that he had a good time on a particular trip. Maybe end your texts and phone calls with " love you" or " proud of you" etc without it having to be too heavy. Sounds like you are genuinely proud of him and no small part of what's made him the way he is will be the love, care and support you have given him.

Chewbacca Thu 16-Jul-20 09:41:18

LadyBella your post made me stop and think for a second. I have a DS, DIL and GC and when I thought about it, I couldn't remember when I last told them that I loved them. I know I do, very much indeed, but I couldn't recall if or when I had told them. And so last night, I sent them a text message asking them if I'd told them lately that I loved them and, if I hadn't, I was telling them now. A few minutes passed before a text came back. And they reassured me that they knew they were loved and they loved me very much too. So maybe you could try that? You wouldnt be asking for a text back; you'd simply be making a statement of how you feel. Anything you get back is a bonus!

PipandFinn Thu 16-Jul-20 09:48:16

Absolutely agree with ElaineR155 word for word....

Juicylucy Thu 16-Jul-20 09:49:48

Lots of good advise but if it was me I’d be making an effort to visit him obviously at a time that’s suitable for him. Put yourself physically it might mean more to him than you think.

timetogo2016 Thu 16-Jul-20 09:54:05

Spot on ElaineR155.

Nannan2 Thu 16-Jul-20 10:05:50

Ive lived over 70 miles away from most of my kids for the last 11 years, they are all busy with their own lives& families and we keep in touch by phone when we can, but two are keyworkers and have had very little free time so the phone calls have been infrequent, but still when we eventually do can chat over an hour (both son and daughter) and when we are ever together (not since before lockdownsad) we enjoy each others company immensely, and i dont doubt they love me and know that i love them in return.Same for my other kids.And grandkids. I think we are all overthinking things during this enforced separation weve had- it gives us more time to ponder- but i doubt your son is sat doing the same.He sounds very busy and outgoing indeed, i also wonder if your daughter has a good relationship with him now hes older? I think maybe hes outgrown his resentments but as you dont live near him, youve not seen that? If not then you should maybe spend time helping him to forge a better relationship with his sister as they will need each other later, when you are no longer here.You can also write a letter for each of them for when that time comes. And your gc. But in meantime, if you can ,go see him, when you can, and tell both your children you love them, whenever you feel you want

Toadinthehole Thu 16-Jul-20 10:07:53

I actually don’t think it’s about you. I would guess he loves you very much, and however he acted in the past was just him growing up and now he’s done that. What happened with his fiancée? Even if he ended’s surely going to have left a big hole in his life which he basically hasn’t filled yet. He may seem fiercely independent, going on holidays etc. but these might just be distractions. Seeming happy isn’t necessarily being happy. I don’t think he resents his sister, or thinks along those lines at all. All you can do, I think, is to keep having those long chats on the phone, and be there as and when he needs you. You sound very loving and caring, and he’s lucky to have you in the background.

Applegran Thu 16-Jul-20 10:09:14

Yes I agree with ElaineR155 - we are building up quite a fan club here! I would visit if I could and perhaps send him a chatty letter which included honest and true words about your love for him.

Flakesdayout Thu 16-Jul-20 10:20:05

This thread has got me thinking too. When my boys were younger they had all the love in the world showered on them but as they grew older and became more independent things seems to have changed. I did have a conversation with one son, especially after being diagnosed with my illness last year. He reassured me that they both know that I love them even though the words are not spoken. My other son can be quite standoffish at times but I put that down to his nature. Some days he will hardly speak other times he gets verbal diarrhoea. LadyBella I would not worry too much about your son, but as others have suggested I would either write letters or send a text. I have done the letter, I prepared this last year when I thought things were not good, but after reading this I am going to review them and send each son one separately rather than the joint one. Elaine R155 sums it up perfectly.

Buffy Thu 16-Jul-20 10:40:24

Send him what you’ve written to us.

LadyBella Thu 16-Jul-20 10:52:09

Oh, you have all sent such wonderful suggestions. I feel so much better now. Thank you so much. As you've all said, we have had so much time to think whereas my son hasn't as he's busy working and I don't suppose anything has changed. It's just that, with lockdown and other problems with my elderly mother, my head goes round and round. Thank you again and bless you all.

4allweknow Thu 16-Jul-20 10:58:12

You say he is probably like his Dad. Did you manage to change his approach to people and life. Your DS is an adult, making his way in life, all seems normal to me. If he was the one living near you with GC do you think he would accept you being closely involved in his life, doubt it. It's his character. For when you are gone, leave a letter telling him your thoughts.

sarahanew Thu 16-Jul-20 10:59:39

I see a lot more of my daughter than either of my sons. I think that is how it generally is. My son's see more of their partners mothers than of me. It is my daughter who gets jealous of the time I spend with them, even though I see her most weeks, with her living more locally. When my sons visit I want to spend quality time with them, but she has to come over and spend time with her brothers if they are here. The dinamics of family life are never easy. You can't convince someone you love them all you can do is show them love, tell them how much you enjoy their company and enjoy times spent together. You just have to love them, it's about actions not words.

B9exchange Thu 16-Jul-20 15:59:02

A letter would be well received I am sure, you seem to have a good relationship with him. I would love to have that sort of contact with a DS! I have one DS who doesn't seem to see any need for contact with his mother at all. We haven't fallen out, and if he is in desperate straits will actually make contact for help, but other than that never hear from him, doesn't reply to texts, won't answer the phone, and won't let me see the GC online because he is worried about hacking. So we have had no contact for well over a year. He will read texts, just sees no need to reply, though I do always tell him I love him and am proud of him.

I genuinely think DS sees no need of a mother's love. I can't claim to have been a brilliant daughter, I would only see my parents every two months or so, but after a while I did feel some need to make contact with them!