“What if the relationship ends and the son comes back later and finds out you saw it coming but said nothing?” says Dr Grenier. “He’s going to say, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’”

So silence is not an option. Instead, “Define what you see as the problem and put it out there,” he advises. “Respect is telling the truth, and it’s about the exchange of quality information. And good communication isn’t fluffy communication. It’s not all just sweetness and light and the idea that you say something positive before you say something negative. Frankly, that’s patronizing and annoying.”

And if you talk to your son and his fiancé and they go away mad or won’t talk to you?

“Well, then that’s the best you can do,” says Dr. Grenier. “Painful truths are more respectful than soothing lies.”


Send Diane a brief description of your dilemma, along with your first name and where you live, to [email protected]

A professional journalist for more than 25 years, Diane Sewell has written for some of the top newspapers and magazines in Canada and is a baby boomer herself. Her new blog “Boomerangst: Turning Dilemmas into Discoveries” is interactive with readers and focuses on life issues – like aging, dating, second marriages, sex, death, family and fashion. Diane will use her expertise to find the right expert to help solve your predicament, unearthing kernels of truth and quickly getting to the heart of the issue.

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