Having children of your own is an incomparable feeling – nurturing them, passing down your family values, and watching them grow gives you a sense of achievement. But what some parents fail to understand is that once they’re adults, they have their own lives separate from their childhood home.
For these parents, letting go of adult children is a real challenge. It could be that they’re suffering from empty nest syndrome or maybe they’re just unable to recognize that their child is now an adult, but they’re not willing to come to terms with letting go of a grown child even when they are married and have their own families.
Overly Attached To Parents Not Letting Go Their Daughter
Daughters are loving, caring, and the apple of every parent’s eye. Loving them comes so naturally that it makes things difficult when they have to move out and start a life of their own. At what age should parents let go? While they’re still in college or when they find someone to marry? Do you let go when they have their own kids or when they don’t need your advice with professional decisions anymore?
The answer is when they’re ready. When you can see they are fit to be independent and live alone, letting go of adult children is absolutely necessary. You don’t want adults overly attached to parents because that is going to stop them from living their best life to their maximum potential.
They could even develop attachment issues that harm relationships. This overt attachment could get in the way of your kid’s well-being. Parents who can’t let go can get seriously annoying and may actually force kids to cut ties with them for good. Learn how to stay out of your daughter’s relationships if you want to be in their lives and watch them grow.
She had overly controlling parents
I grew up watching my aunt long for a complete life. My aunt Lara, a well-educated and independent woman, was trapped by her parents’ interference, which made her lose her self-confidence.
Her parents wanted to control her life even after she was married. Sounds strange, but it is true. We generally hear about parents-in-law’s interference ruining domestic peace, but here it was the constant nagging from her parents that was destroying her happy marriage.
They wanted full control over her life and her bank balance, as they had brought her up and paid for her education. Her husband and in-laws were gradually dragged into the bickering by her parents, creating friction in her marriage.
They wanted to end her marriage
In the early months of my aunt’s marriage, her parents would call her on flimsy pretexts and make all efforts to stop her from building a life with her husband. There were times when she was called to help her brother with his studies or her mother with some party arrangements, making her stay away from her husband for long periods of time.
It slowly dawned on Aunt Lara that these were just lame excuses to cause a rift between her and her husband. The comment from her father one day broke her down completely, “Why do you need to share your salary with your husband?”
They were constantly finding signs of an unhappy marriage that didn’t exist in reality. Her parents not letting go despite having a great husband and a happy marriage was seriously getting on her last nerve. She didn’t understand why they couldn’t just be happy for her.
She tried to defend herself
“I am married to him, we are not two individuals but a family. We both share our salaries with each other,” she whispered through her choked throat. She was shocked at her father’s statement.
“We didn’t get you married for him to take away your earnings,” her father continued.
Aunt Lara couldn’t comprehend the comment. Her father seemed a complete stranger to her that day.
“Why is it so hard letting go of your daughter? He is my husband and he is not taking away my earnings. I spend when I need to. It is our home and we need to run it together,” she was frustrated at her father’s outrage.
Her mother was a silent spectator to this argument, enhancing Aunt Lara’s disgust.
When her father couldn’t influence her, he wrote a letter to her father-in-law, accusing him of making Lara work at home, ‘in spite of her being a highly educated working woman’.
This letter came as a shock to the family. Lara found it difficult to explain to her husband and in-laws that she had never complained to her parents and that she had no issues doing the household chores.
Related Reading: 15 Signs You Had Toxic Parents And You Never Knew It
Things were getting toxic
She requested her father-in-law to ignore the letter, as responding to the accusation would only encourage her father. When her father did not receive any response to his letter, he sent some more letters with baseless accusations to provoke her father-in-law.
He then called Aunt Lara home. Little did Aunt Lara know what was in store for her at her father’s home that day.
“I think you should get a divorce,” her father’s words pierced through her heart.
“But why? I am very happy with him,” Aunt Lara replied curtly.
Her father found her response rude and began to shout at her, but Aunt Lara had made a decision. It wasn’t easy, but she knew it was required to put an end to the mental turmoil she was going through because it was affecting her marriage. She knew she was facing relationship problems because of toxic parents.
Her parents’ interference had grown to such an extent that she had to completely cut off her relationship with them. She had tried to explain to them that letting go of adult children is something all parents have to go through, and she would always be there for them no matter what, but they didn’t budge. So she made up her mind.
This meant being estranged from her brothers. This added to her misery, as she longed for the love and support of her parents and siblings. Her brothers were being manipulated by her father, who kept them influenced and brainwashed, cutting every link that she had with her family.
She cut ties with her parents
Aunt Lara was fortunate to have uncles, both maternal and paternal, who supported her through her difficult times and gradually assumed the role of her parents. Her cousins stepped forward to fill the void that had been created by the lack of love from her siblings. But a corner of her heart carried a vacuum until she came to terms with the reality of her life.
Parents offer so much love, care, support and comfort to their children, but in Aunt Lara’s case, it was impossible for her parents to provide any solace to their daughter. They didn’t want to learn how to stay out of their daughter’s relationships. Their possessiveness had taken an evil form which made them drift away from her.
There is a time when parents need to let go and accept that their children have a life of their own. Parents who can’t let go need to understand that they owe them their independence and space, which is important for their growth and happiness.
Raising a child takes a lot of your time and effort. So when they grow up and leave one day, it is hard for the parents to let go and value their privacy and space.
Your kids are not your hobby. Find ways to keep yourself busy and focus on yourself.