Cutting the apron strings

Mothers and sons can develop an amazing bond that lasts forever. But sometimes mums need to step away and allow their children some independence.

Dear Wendyl,

For 15 years it’s been only my son and I living together, since his dad died in a car accident. My son is now 20 and still lives at home with me, but we get on really well.

I kind of thought the two of us would be together forever, as I’ve never wanted another partner. But recently I met a man and we fell deeply in love. Now he wants me to move with him to Australia, where he’s starting an amazing new job soon, but that would mean leaving my son, who’s at university.

I don’t think I can do it and every time I try to talk about it with my son I can’t say anything. Meanwhile, my lover is getting impatient for a decision. I’m so torn, please help.

Angel, by email

Dear Angel,

I really want to see you happy. You have devoted a large chunk of your life to your son and good on you.

But despite thinking that you would be together for years, it’s highly likely he might fall in love himself, get married and move out. And where would that leave you? I want you to put yourself first for once. Can you make the shift but leave things as comfortable and secure as possible for your son? Could he stay living in the same house and could you afford to fly him over for holidays?

These things can make a difference. I’m sure if you explained to him how happy this man makes you feel then he won’t be too upset. But you must talk with him first. You may be pleasantly surprised by his reaction – the independence he would get from this move could make him very happy.

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