by Jeffrey

I have a good son, 33 years old now with some good traits as a person, like very hard working, no vices, family oriented, intelligent, tall, handsome, fast learner, ambitious especially to be wealthy in business. However, for now, he has no relationship with any girl and it seemed to have no relationship at all with the opposite sex from childhood. But he is definitely a man, not a gay.

This leads me to say that he is a good son but hard to deal with. While has has good traits, he has a number of bad traits that's not easy to improve on because he does not believe that these bad traits are his problems. He is very defensive when it comes to talking about his personality. It will only lead to quarrel, blaming, fighting, and self isolation.

His mother is his closest person on earth, but they too quarrel over petty matters in the family and the usual cycle of fighting, friends again, fighting, friend again, and so on and on. This has been the attitude since teens. He was close to his two sisters when they were teens, but now they are quite distant, and most of the time quarrel because of his attitude. The same is true with our relationship as a father and son, it's not quite good, but he is still living with us, and even depended on food and consumption of electricity and water.

He is a college graduate in Business Administration and very intelligent in the area of computers. He is even a good technician fixing computer problems. I'm an entrepreneur and has been in marketing and sales for over 30 years and I tried very hard to teach my son to be successful in sales, that's why I spent additional money to make him a licensed broker. But in our working relationships, he generally does not consult me and insists of doing things his own way and demands for my support for what he thinks is best. This leads to quarrel and due to disrespect.

He entered PNP and became a police. There, he was disciplined, and yes, there were good kind of discipline, but the attitude is even more abrasive. It's far from business but he is passionate to still be wealthy in business. He believes that being a police and in business is a good decision because you have a salary and at the same time, you can let other people run the business.

That's why, out of his salary, he bought a 4-wheel vehicle, and a lot property from his 3 years salary, but he as able to buy those because while receiving a salary, he sill eats in our house for free and does not contribute to electricity costs and water. Making him contribute would lead again to disputes, and his mother is supporting him being her son, although
the mother does not have any income, only a housewife. His 4-wheel vehicle does not give any income at all, it's money always out for repairs. He just uses it to bring some computers, etc, although he has his own motorcycle that he uses most of the time.

In short, out of his strong desire to be wealthy, he used his money in a losing business, especially he bought the vehicle on credit with very high interest rate. He always has no money, and even borrows money from me by a few thousand, and most of the time, does not pay me back. He does ask advice and when i give advice, it will be a beginning of endless debate and he even approach me sometimes to give his own piece of advice to my business.

My son has a high IQ, but I think he has a very low EQ. Emotional quotient is a big problem. But what's worse is HE DEFENDS IT. NOT OPEN TO ANY ADVICE FOR IMPROVEMENT. Although we can still say pieces of advice being a parent, but it will not be acted upon, it's useless. The word thank you is very scarce on him. He does not even greet his parents when he comes home, just talks directly about what happened to him or his problems he encountered. He never gave his parents any gift during birthdays or christmas, although his two sisters give gifts to parents every birthday, christmas, valentines day, and expresses love.

My dilemma is, if I will try to very close to him and express love to him in a way that's very supportive although he's already more than old enough, he welcomes all the support I give especially financial. On the other hand, I can also sense that all the more he becomes very dependent and self centered, and have the tendency to let me carry him including his problems, his bad decision makings, etc.

But if I keep distant from him, he's still at our home but we don't talk most of the time, and I choose not to talk or mingle too much because when he feels I'm good at him, it will be easy for him to ask a favor, which again, will be most of the time financial, and again down the drain for lack of good decision making.

Next year, 2018 starting January, I announced ahead of time that all children who have salaries or income should contribute to the food and consumption of electricity and water. Whether he can contribute, that remains to be seen and again will lead to rejection and trouble.

In the meantime, what's the best way to deal with this good son? To be close to him despite of his attitude and expect to become dependent for life, or be distant from him and hopefully he can understand life all by himself.

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Eugene Kayser, MA, MFT's profile on the Gottman Referral Network