Dear Coleen

My son found out his girlfriend of three years was sleeping with another man. He was devastated because she meant the world to him and he’d planned to ask her to marry him.

He’s moved out of their shared flat, but they still see each other at least once a week which I don’t understand.

I never liked this girl – she never seemed committed to the relationship and I’d heard rumours about her cheating on her previous boyfriend.

I feel so sad for my son because his future is shattered and he’s still clinging on in the vain hope that she’ll want him back. She won’t.

When I try to talk to him about it, he just asks me to back off and says she’s his best friend and that he can’t just cut her off.

I don’t know what to do – should I just hold my tongue and hope he sees sense? I hate to see him like this.

I just don’t think he’ll be able to move on and find happiness when she’s still in his life.

What’s your advice?

Coleen says

This is really frustrating for you and for others close to your son, but when you love someone it can be very hard to see the truth, even when it’s staring you in the face.

You can’t force him to see things your way or to delete his ex from his life, but you can give your honest opinion and remind him you’re there for him if he ever needs support.

You might find as time goes on, and he sees less of his ex, the more ­perspective he’ll gain, and he’ll find the confidence to make a complete break from her.

Anger may well overtake hurt if his ex is still seeing this other guy, and that might give him the motivation to put himself first and move on.

I’m sure that when he does meet someone else, his ex will be ancient history and he won’t want to see her, but right now this is his way of managing the break-up, even if it’s not the best way.

I’d resist the temptation to bad-mouth her, though, as he won’t want to hear it and it’ll just drive him away from you.

And resist the urge to be smug and say “I told you so” when he eventually does come to you and admit that you were right, because I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going to happen.

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