Dear B. Scott,
I’m writing because I don’t know how to handle this particular situation. I have a 22 year old son and he has an amazing, beautiful, girlfriend that our entire family loves. She’s over for dinner, holidays, family outings…we see her almost as one of our own. She isn’t close with her mother, so she and I have gotten close and she’s told me on numerous occasions she sees me as a mother figure.
The problem is that I recently found out that my son is or might be cheating on her. There’s another young lady that he seems to be spending a LOT time with — I’ve even overheard him lying to his girlfriend in order to make plans with this other girl. It breaks my heart! I don’t know how to go about the situation. I want to speak up, but I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news and I don’t want to lose my son’s trust.
HELP ME B. SCOTT!
Dear love muffin,
This is quite a switch up from the usual letters I get from mothers regarding their son’s girlfriend. It’s nice to hear an account of someone actually getting along with their potential daughter-in-law. As a mother, of course you’re going to want to look out for your son’s best interest. If you feel as though your son is making a mistake by getting himself into a situation with another girl outside of his girlfriend, tell him.
While it isn’t your place to alert his girlfriend to what’s going on, it is your place to keep your son in check and remind him of what’s right and what’s wrong. Start the conversation by telling him what you know. This will put you in the position to either give him advice, or to try to dig a bit deeper into the situation and find out exactly what’s going on. It could be that he’s not ready to make a commitment or he’s going through other unresolved issues that he just might not be talking about. After all, at 22, he’s barely had enough time to get to know himself and understand what he wants out of life.
If in fact your son is cheating on his girlfriend, you have to make it clear he must tell her because it makes you uncomfortable having to hide the truth as you interact with someone you consider to be like a daughter. Please keep in mind, if your son and his girlfriend break-up, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t remain available as a mother-figure to her. Sometimes, all a parent can do is love their child and be there for them, even if things go wrong.
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