Shouldn’t the Young Adult Express Love Unconditionally to the Parent as Much as the Parent Should Express this to the Young Adult?
Ideally, the young adult should reciprocate the love that the parent expresses to them. But the reality is that the young adult may not choose to do so. The young adult may want to hold onto anger and resentment toward the parent because they believe they have been harmed emotionally or otherwise. In such cases, they remain negatively fused to the parent. Their anger keeps them connected in a negative and reactive way as much as the dependent young adult is connected in an unhealthy submissive way.
There is Hope
Because relationships are inherently reciprocal, we get back what we put out. The hope is that over time your persistence in loving your young adult unconditionally will melt away the coldness, anger, and defensiveness. This is one of the toughest tests of a parent’s love: to persist in the face of rejection, anger, and blame. Can you do it as a parent? Yes! Is it painfully difficult? Yes!