Dilemma: worried about my son's friendship with another woman

Katharine Whitehorn / 31 March 2016

A reader is concerned about her married son's friendship with a female work colleague, and worries that it might turn into an affair.

Dilemma: my son is very friendly with another woman

I recently ran into a girl I used to know fairly well, and discovered that she works in the same office as my son. 

This young woman seems very friendly with my son and I gathered they often lunch together. 

He is happily married with three children and I hate to think of any trouble coming to them as a couple; and of course this girl may be just a friendly colleague. But I wonder: should I worry about this?

Katharine Whitehorn's advice

Whether you worry or not is probably not under your control, so I suspect that what you’re really asking is whether you should do or say anything, whether there’s any way you can head off any threat to your son’s marriage. 

And that’s a clearer issue: the answer’s No. For one thing, a real friendship, even a flirtation, doesn’t necessarily harm a marriage if it doesn’t go too far. Indeed, it can often help someone over a sticky patch at home. 

But even if it is an affair, or might become one, expressing your disapproval to your son probably wouldn’t change anything, while passing on your suspicions to your daughter-in-law would be a rotten idea. 

Your son would probably think you’d betrayed him, and you might have done the exact opposite of what you want – namely made this relationship into a serious thundercloud over their family happiness.

Our readers say...

We also asked our Facebook followers for their advice...

"I would say it depends entirely on her relationship with her son - I know with 2 out of my 3 I could (& would) speak to them in this situation but, in the end, he does have to make his own choices."

"Unfortunately she has to stay out of it. He is a grown man and must make his own mistakes."

Follow us on Facebook to take part in more daily discussions.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.