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Episode #110: Fear of Losing Our Relationship with an Adult Child

fear of losing relationship
Do you fear your adult children may cut you off from having any contact with their family and your grandchildren if you disappoint them? Feeling this way does not help in building a good relationship with them. And feeling fearful is one of the worst feelings to feel. In this episode I give reasons why we have this fear, how this feeling is causing you to live in scarcity and six suggestions on how to stop having this fear.

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Episode 110. Fear of Losing Our Relationship with an Adult Child This is Bonnie Lyman, and you are listening to the podcast, loving On Purpose, episode 110, fear of Losing Your Relationship with an Adult Child. Welcome to the podcast, loving On Purpose. I'm your host, Bonnie Lyman. If you're having trouble navigating through your relationships with your adult children. If you are struggling to connect with them or having specific challenges, you're in the right place. Hello, my friends. Aloha. I am here for another couple weeks and I'll have to say it's pretty nice to keep me from feeling guilty about this. Is, I just say I'm, I am grateful that I have this opportunity and I just wish everybody had the opportunity to come and be in this beautiful part of the world for. A vacation. So the sunshine is doing me miracles. So welcome back and thank you for listening and I gotta remind you that this will be a little easier to listen to if you play it on a faster speed, but I have had some people say. They like it at the slower speed because they can process what I'm saying. So last week we talked about when we disappoint our children, and I use an example of two clients I had that both of their, children, family members were disappointed when they had decided to move, and one of their concerns was the lack of support that they felt was missing. From their adult children. And so there was some resentment, there was some anger. They kind of felt, Hey, after all we've done for these kids, I. And this is what we wanna do after we, we retired. Can't you be a little more supportive? Well, you know, we can't control other people, and it's not their children's actions that are causing them. To feel resentment or unsupportive, but it is their thoughts about it. So their other concern though was that if they didn't comply to their children's wishes, their disappointment that I. They were going to cut off all relationships with their parents, and especially they didn't wanna lose that relationship with their grandkids. So this is about why it's harmful to have that fear. To begin with and you know, what we can do with that fear and how we can not have it, and things that we can do that if it does come up. When we are making decisions involving our adult children and we base our decision on fear of losing. The relationship. If we don't go along with the way they want it to happen, we will possibly end up being very resentful the result we thought we would be getting of not losing. The relationship isn't always the result as we thought it would be. It may be even some contention or not the most loving, respectful relationship. Our brain doesn't like problems that haven't happened yet, and that's what we create when we have fear. Fear feels horrible because your brain can't help you solve a problem that hasn't happened yet. And so instead of having fear that. If I don't concede and go along with what my children want, have the thought. This is what I think is the best decision for us right now, and if it does come up that they're so angry. And Revengeful that they decide to cut off all contact with us, then we'll deal with that when it happens. Your unsupervised lower brain. Wants you to feel fear, though it thinks it's protecting you from worse things that could happen, or at least kind of buffer this horrible thing of not being able to see your kids or your grandkids, but it thinks it's, it's protecting you from. Your children if they do a strange from you. When our children are upset at us, say for instance, that we have decided to move to a location different than where we're living right now. They can make us feel that we are intentionally disconnecting from them. Anytime our children criticize us for a decision we have made that they don't agree with, it feels like something has gone wrong. And so to understand that. Comment better. You should go back and listen to episode 1 0 9 where I talk about not feeling respected and supportive for, you know, our decision and just respected and supportive that. We get to choose how to live our life the way we want to, but their feelings about our decision means nothing about our value. I. This is why it's so important that you decide and work on becoming the kind of person you want to be or how you want to be in the world or around everyone, including your children. And I bet most of you want to be loving. Kind, respectful, confident, and humble. So fear of losing your relationship comes from being a people pleaser, from needing more validation from others to. Recognize and respect you as a valuable person. When we make a compromise to a decision we wanna make or do something to please another, ask yourself these questions. Why am I compromising? Is it out of love or is it out of habit? Because I know I'm a people pleaser, or is it out of fear of conflict of disappointing people or being disliked? How much does my relationship with this person mean to me? And are we both making compromises? Or am I the only one? If you answered yes and you change your decision out of fear, you will stop being the kind of person you want to be and you will lose control of you being the creator of the type of life you want to live. You essentially are giving all your power. Over to somebody else, in this case, your adult children, and you'll fall short of living a peaceful, fulfilling life. Their actions or reactions, and I say this a lot, but I can't emphasize it enough, their actions. Or reactions tell more about how they are feeling about themselves than how they're feeling about you. Your actions based on fear of how your adult children will respond, tells more how you are feeling about yourself. Then about them. You are not seeing yourself as being someone of great value, of being confident, of, of being, all those things you wanna be. Your fear of their dis, of their possibility of wanting to disconnect from you if you don't comply with their wishes, doesn't come from what they are saying or how they're acting, but your fear. Comes from everything you are thinking about their behavior, and that is where all discomfort comes from. Fear comes not from focusing on what's best for you and your relationship with your child. Fear comes. From being in a state of emotional childhood and not emotional adulthood when they are not okay with your decision, that is their model. You get to decide what your model looks like. So let's talk about a couple models here. And again, if you don't know what I'm talking about when I talk about the model, go back to, oh, it is maybe my third or fourth podcast. On the model is the secret sauce, but the model. It's the greatest tool we'll ever use to figure out, in this case how to get out of fear. So the, their model is, the circumstance is their parents are wanting to move against their desires. And their thoughts are if they move, they are putting distance in our relationship even though it's no further from me than where they live now. They, they, meaning their parents aren't considering my feelings about this move. They're being selfish. They didn't talk to me ahead of time about this move, and possibly they may have the thought if they move, I might not let them ever see my family again. So those are their thoughts and that causes 'em to have the feelings of disrespected. Ignored in revenge and their action is that they think and they contemplate about their threat of not letting their family have contact with their parents again. The result is, I am meaning the adult child. I am distancing myself from my parents. Now, the parents' model may go something like this. It's the same circumstance parents are moving against, we'll say daughters. Wishes or desires and the thoughts may be something along the lines of, I've studied it out and I think it's a great move for us, and the benefits of the opportunities of a swimming pool for my grandchildren is a great thing to offer them. It is not any further away from where we live right now, and I will make trips to go see my daughter if that's what she prefers, rather than coming to see me. If I choose to think she might decide to get revenge and cut off all contact with us, I'll deal with that problem when it arises. I'm going to give equal air time that she is not going to make that kind of ultimatum. That would cause the parent to feel confident and we know our feelings cause our actions. So the action would be to proceed forward in preparing for the move and the result would be. Faith that once it happens, my daughter will see the benefits to our move. So accepting our children's beliefs. Accepting that they have a right to have any opinion that they want true acceptance of our kids is allowing them to believe or feel whatever they want. Right now, the child is wanting or maybe even needing to feel mad. I. What if you just allowed them to be mad at you? If you want to be mad, you can be. If it makes you feel better to be mad, I am allowing you to feel mad. Without me being mad at you. I'm not going to deprive you. Of being mad about our move or I'm not gonna try to talk you out of it in their judgment of you. As awful as it feels and may seem, there is a little bit of wisdom. For you, even if it's coming to the understanding to allow them to feel any way they want to, and that is unconditional love. You are not responsible for their emotions. You are only responsible for how you want to respond to their feelings. Do you want to respond with unconditional love and curiosity and compassion? Children that tell you they don't want any contact with you are not happy people. They are not feeling good about themselves. They are probably frustrated beyond measure. That you made this decision without talking it over with them and getting their support before you made it. And they're so frustrated. They're like a pressure cooker ready to pop. And so feeling like a victim to their circumstances, they chose you as the villain. And for a moment when they get mad at you and you know, express this madness to you, they get a little dopamine hit for about five seconds, but it doesn't last. So they hold their ground. Until their circumstances change and you change your decision. Loving our children, as painful as it is, may mean loving them enough that you are willing to give them the space they are requesting from you. But we give them that space. Out of respect and love and not out of anger and despair. When we have fear that we're going to lose the relationship, we fall into what is called having a scarcity mindset. A scarcity mindset in relationships refers to a belief system. And that's how we believe things and what we believe, where individuals perceive a limited supply of love, attention, or resources, and this makes us feel anxious and insecure. A scarcity mindset can negatively affect relationship. Because it often leads to feelings of fear of loss, loss of having contact with your daughter, family, and those grandchildren. It can create a sense of lack and also get in the way of having trust. An open communication and respect between you and your children. A scarcity mindset can significantly impact relationships leading to various challenges and negative outcomes. When individuals adopt the scarcity mindset in their relationships, and that is, it's not, it's that fear of something horrible happening, of being cut off from my family. When we are in that scarcity mindset, we approach those that we love from a place of lack and fear and insecurity. And this mindset often manifests itself as being possessive or jealous, but especially a constant need. For validation and it almost creates a suffocating environment. So what can we do when we have this fear that if we make a decision, they may cut us out of their lives? Here are six suggestions. To get yourself out of fear and to have a more abundant mindset. Focus on the relationships that you do have and practice gratitude. Practice gratitude for anything that we have in our life. But especially on the relationships, the good relationships that we do have can shift your focus from scarcity or shift your focus from fear to abundance. And abundance could be a mindset of. This probably isn't going to happen, or if it does, it's only going to be temporary. Cultivating an abundant mindset improves appreciating what one has and recognizes the possibility for growth and fulfillment. Number two. Is, don't turn your emotional life or any of your life over to your kids. You are responsible for fulfilling your own needs. Don't give them the power to. Be the ones that take away that fear by caving into your, to their wish and changing your decision, but you recognize what you needs are and you fulfill those perhaps even without their endorsement. Believe that if they do cut you off, you'll figure out ways to connect with your children and your grandkids. There are so many ways out there. The other thing is, and this is where most of us fail, spend 50%. Of the air time in your brain that this will work out. Spend 50% of the air time, that they aren't going to make this demand of you that you can't see them or their grandkids. Number five is instead of fear. Have thoughts that cause you to feel confident? This is similar to number four, to feel confident they won't impose this demand on you. Write a whole story. It doesn't even have to be true of why they wouldn't want to do that. And number six, believing they won't estrange from you, causes you to show up as a self-confident person. And when you show up as a self-confident person, more people are attracted to you. And that means the likelihood of them wanting to cut themselves off from you is not going to happen. The definition of acceptance, accepting whatever they are going to do because we don't have a lot of control over that. The definition of acceptance is making our expectations match reality. We are responsible for taking care of ourselves emotionally with curiosity, compassion, and kindness. We can expect people to be amazing and expect them also to be a little messy. I hope this was helpful to, I can't wait to talk to you next week, and I hope you have a great week. If you like this, be this episode and you felt it was of benefit to you, I ask you to share it with somebody that perhaps it could also benefit. But if you're still feeling kind of stuck in that you don't know how to apply what was talked about. Or where to start on, on changing your thoughts, on changing your perspective, on bettering your relationship. Get on a call with me and we can have a discussion and I can tell you how to apply it and where we start. And then you get to decide what you want to do about this relationship that maybe you're struggling with with your adult children. There is no reason to go on the rest of our lives struggling with our relationships with our adult children. Let's assume the best. Let's assume that we all love each other. And we're just trying to figure out how to maintain our own boundaries and respect another ones, but I can help you with everything. So just go to and book a call. I can't wait to hear from you. .

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