Mag­gie’s ad­vice on son’s ex­girl­friend

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - Advice - Mag­gie lis­tens

Dear Mag­gie

My older son has just dumped his girl­friend and my wife is dev­as­tated by it.

The girl has been part of our fam­ily for a num­ber of years and we’d al­ways thought they’d tie the knot and she’d be­come our daugh­ter-in-law.

My son has started go­ing out with some­one new and so the ex-girl­friend has cut all ties with us as a fam­ily. She has un­fol­lowed us on so­cial me­dia and hasn’t re­sponded to my wife’s texts.

My wife is heart­bro­ken be­cause she was close to her and she feels bad for her. How­ever, I think she wants to write to the girl to make an ef­fort to stay in touch and I’m not sure whether that’s the right thing to do.

Mag­gie says

This is a very tricky sit­u­a­tion. I can per­fectly un­der­stand how hurt your wife feels be­cause some­one she looked upon al­most as ‘fam­ily’ is now no longer part of your lives.

The truth is your son has made his de­ci­sion and as par­ents you have to re­spect that – whether you like it or not. No doubt his ex-girl­friend is deeply hurt and to pro­tect her­self emo­tion­ally, she needs to break con­tact with your fam­ily for now. This may not last for­ever. Time can heal and even­tu­ally, if there is a real bond of friend­ship be­tween her and your wife, they may be able to stay in touch – but it’s too soon.

There’s also a risk your son might feel be­trayed if his mother was meet­ing his ex-girl­friend reg­u­larly. I sug­gest that you ad­vise your wife to stay out of the sit­u­a­tion and let things take their course. Maybe at Christ­mas she can send a card with a warm, friendly mes­sage to the girl who has been part of your fam­ily for such a long time.

As par­ents we must un­der­stand that our first loy­alty lies with our sons and daugh­ters and we can­not in­ter­fere in the de­ci­sions and choices they make as adults.

Some day, your son’s new girl­friend might be­come your daugh­ter-in-law. What could be worse for her than to know his par­ents look upon her as sec­ond best?

Look­ing for prac­ti­cal ad­vice, re­la­tion­ship help or emo­tional sup­port? As a mum-of-four, grand­mother-of-eight and dear friend to many, Margaret’s years of ex­pe­ri­ence make her the ideal per­son to turn to with your wor­ries

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