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TORN

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I have a wonderful boyfriend of many years and a wonderful  son whos 26 and has a 2 year old baby and a wife. My son was raised since the age of 5 with his dad on the other side of the country and the last few years he has been in the navy so he has now move d only about three hours from me. every other weekend I drive up to babysit my grandbaby while they are working. we have taken time off for holidays so they havn't needed me for a month or two. My boyfriends company party is this weekend and i have been promising to go for weeks now. The problem is, last night my son asked me to come up this weekend (spur of the moment) and watch grandbaby and I said yes of course , I would love to. The next morning I remembered the party I was supposed to go to with my boyfriend. I have been doing everything possible to be there for my son and make up for the time we lost when he was young. I want him to know he can always count on me now because in his younger years i was not a great mom. I'm not sure what to do ? My boyfriend will be hurt if I don't make his party and I will be letting son down if I do.

TORN

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Hi ZMARY, Sorry for the delay - respondents are thin on the ground, lately. If it were me: considering you'd said yes to your partner first, I'd explain and discuss the dilemma with my son (in a way where he could tell I were genuinely unsure of what to do thus genuinely seeking to know how he felt about it, i.e. he has an equal say) IN CASE he could switch days or was willing to let you me off the hook. A son is for life. Partners - could be, but you don't share genes so the bond is never quite as strong or (within reason) guaranteed. Plus there's the fact that your partner is the grown-up and therefore would (or certainly should) be able to cope with the one-time disappointment far better than your, let's face it, still quite young son. PLUS, if when he waas little you had more than the usual crap on your plate as forced you to somewhat neglect him and/or be incapable of rearing him, then, that would make him 'Boy, Interrupted', meaning, in some ways he'll be more mature, but, in others, a bit delayed (not so your partner, presumably) - put simply, he has a Mother Deficit, partner presumably doesn't feel neglected/owed? And again, partner's greater maturity would make the disappointment more handle-able. Depends on what the company bash is in celebration of, really? But, it's Fun versus Making A Living, isn't it? Talk to your partner as well (after son)... See how they each feel. See who's willing to let you off. In principle only, you did accept the work bash first. But then...this is about feelings, not on-paper norms/rules, meaning, we go full-circle back to: grown man partner is "big enough and ugly enough" to handle it, just this once, and be supportive of your attempt to strengthen your more fragile relationship and, therefore, loathness to lose the ground you've been working hard to regain. Son, probably not so much. (Damage-Limitation, therefore?) Plus, mistakes happen. Plus, as you acknowledge, yourself - you do owe son motherly attention/duties; presumably, not your partner? Another factor: will your son's job be put in jeopardy if you don't sit your grandkid? If so - you have to babysit. Fun does not trump Serious/Life-Affecting. ....Sorry about the above round-the-houses ramble. As it's a Grey area I needed to just get all my thoughts out, out-loud.... So... My own, personal end conclusion is: A son is for-life. You could always get another partner (talking hypothetically, in-principle, only, obviously, since IYO yours is wonderful). But you can't ever get a replacement son. Yep. Inform son first ('I need to talk to you to see how you feel or what can be done because...I've done a boo-boo due to a "Senior Moment" and need help to find a solution'). See how he reacts. If he even starts to react badly, even at the mere threat of a cancellation, back down immediately, with, "Okay, I'll talk to (partner), see what he says (he might be fine about it, just this once?) - and get straight back to you". Hopefully, it won't come to a tug-of-war...no-where near!...hopefully your partner IS a big boy, who, as such, KNOWS mistakes like that can all too easily happen, understand WHY you were so eager to say yes that his bash failed to occur to you, and also would himself give-way in this circumstance, were it his own child...etc.? ALTERNATIVELY!...Could you not collect grandkid and take her to the company bash with you?

TORN

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It sounds like you have a difficult decision to make. On one hand, you want to be there for your son, as it is important to you that he knows he can always rely on you. On the other hand, you have made a commitment to your boyfriend, and it is important to maintain a healthy relationship with him. It is possible to do both. One option is to attend the company party with your boyfriend and then make the three hour drive to your son's place afterwards. This way, you can still attend the party and fulfill your commitment to your boyfriend, while also spending time with your son and grandson. Alternatively, you could ask your son if it would be possible to postpone your visit until the next weekend, and still attend the company party this weekend. No matter what decision you make, it is important to communicate your feelings and intentions to both your son and your boyfriend. Explain to your son why it is important for you to attend the party, and let him know that you are still committed to being there for him and his family. Let your boyfriend know that you appreciate the importance of the party, and that you are still committed to your relationship. This way, you can make sure that both your son and your boyfriend understand your

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