DEAR DEIDRE: I HAD a fling ten years ago with my son’s best mate when they were both 19.
My son has never forgiven me and my heart is breaking every day.
Before he went off to university abroad I threw him a party with his mates and family.
It was a gorgeous day but beneath the surface I felt down because I knew I’d miss my son terribly.
We were very close, as I left his dad when he was six years old.
One of his good friends was chatting with me, telling me I looked too young to be his mate’s mum and that I was stunning. I was 43 then and really flattered.
A couple of days later this pal popped round to bring over some books for my son but he was out.
We had a coffee, again got chatting and he made me laugh.
He then came up and kissed me. I melted — and we ended up in bed.
The sex was amazing but I felt terrible afterwards and he left almost straight away.
It happened once more when he called round out of the blue.
But after that I told him it was absolutely not going to happen again. Then came the morning I will never forget.
My son stormed into the house, calling me names.
Another of his mates had told him all about the fling — the guy I slept with had confided in him.
My son started crying, saying he was humiliated beyond words. I told him to grow up. He left for uni the next weekend.
We’ve had occasional contact since then but it’s never been the same.
He now has a partner and a little boy who I’ve never seen.
I have a kind and loving new partner. I told him all about the incident recently.
He was understanding but said I had crossed a line and made a big mistake.
He said he would have reacted the same if his mum had done what I did.
I’ve tried to apologise but how can I rebuild our relationship?
DEIDRE SAYS: Nobody likes to be embarrassed in front of their mates, especially not teenagers.
It probably felt extra painful because you had been so close.
He didn’t really react as an adult but as a child whose mum had betrayed him.
I realise you felt defensive back then but it wasn’t a question of him needing to grow up so much as you respecting boundaries.
So try apologising all over again. Run what you plan to say past your partner.
Sometimes we find it so hard to admit we totally screwed up we pad our apology with excuses that only irritate even more.
After telling your son how sorry you are and that you realise there was no excuse for your behaviour, say you long to meet your grandson and be a loving grandma to him.
If you do need support, contact Family Lives, (familylives.org.uk, 0808 800 2222).
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