Dear Coleen: Son found out about my old affair and now he’s cut me off

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Dear Coleen

I had an affair more than 20 years ago, but only because I found out my (who’s deceased) was having an affair. My two boys never found out about their dad’s mistress and I stayed with my for their sake.

I discovered what he was up to when we went on a coach trip to Paris and his woman and her came along, too. I suspected he had affairs with several other , but I never had any concrete proof.

My problem now is that someone told my eldest son about my affair all those years ago. Shortly after that, he neglected to invite me to my only grandchild’s confirmation – I found out by accident that it had happened.

I feel very hurt and let down.

What do I do – tell him about what his father did? And will he believe me?

I will be 80 years old later this year and have no other family apart from my sons. I feel so hurt because I stayed with their father and made the most of my life, so I could give them the best life. Now I have no one to turn to.

Coleen says

I don’t know whether your son will believe you, but I do think you should tell him about his dad.

He’s an and he should be able to handle the fact that his father wasn’t a saint – what’s important is how you tell him.

There’s no need to go into detail or badmouth his dad so it looks as if you’re trying to score points or get revenge. Start by saying you’re not telling him to justify what you did and then explain the situation at the time, so he can put what you did into context.

Tell him that whether or not he invites you into his life, he should know that you stayed with his dad, even though it didn’t make you happy, because you felt it was the best thing for him and his brother.

I think you should also emphasise that you’re not telling him because you want him to feel differently towards his dad and that no matter what you did wrong as a , you never stopped loving your kids and tried to be the best parents you could.

I think if you put your story in that way, he’d need a heart of stone to cut you out of his life. Good luck.

* More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your , family, and problems

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