An Act of Tough Love


Someplace in the Bible it reads that a ‘father should not vex his son.’ Unfortunately I believe I’ve done jus’ that.

For the last couple of years I’ve done my level best to get Kyle out from under his mother’s control. When I say ‘control’ I in fact mean her insistence he go to church and surrender his paychecks because she says too.

While attending church is not a bad thing, it is wrong to force an adult to go when they don’t want to go. As for handing over his paychecks for her use — the money goes towards the household and I don’t think I need to expound on how this is unfair.

During one of my conversations about his being under his mother’s thumb, I told him how I acted out of ‘tough love’ and ‘disappeared’ from my families lives for over a year. I explained he could do the same.

The following day I knew he was to return to his mothers’ home and because I miss him when he’s gone and I was feeling selfish, asked if he could stay another night. The request went sideways on me.

“Call your mom and tell her you’re not coming home,” I stated, “instead tell her you’re going to spend another night with me.”

An obviously exasperated Kyle responded, “I’m sick of you trying to change my mind all the time!”

There was a long pause between us — before I finally broke the silence, “Well, I’m sick of you being a mama’s boy, with no say and no life of your own!”

I wish I had chosen my words a bit more wisely, but sometimes love mixed with frustration causes me to say things in the most hurtful way.

The ironic bit of this tale is that Kyle is practicing, ‘tough love,’ jus’ as I explained it to him. I didn’t expect him to use it on me.

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