Jane's story

I realised, even if my son couldn't or wouldn't move on, it was time for me to do so.

Where she started

Jane was a single mum of two boys living in London after divorcing her husband. 

My ex husband was aggressive and jealous, it wasn't an easy decision to leave as I knew the boys were close to him but after years of trying I felt our relationship just didn't have any future. Although the boys lived with me, my ex and I managed to arrange days when they could stay with their dad.

A few years later Jane remarried and the whole family was due to move to Liverpool where her new partner had been offered a job. Unfortunately for Jane her younger son, then 17 refused to move, choosing instead to remain in London with his father.

He had lots of problems at school and started accusing me of causing his troubles by ‘abandoning’ him. I apologised to him and tried to talk to him but he continued to blame me. He stopped taking my calls or replying to texts and a year later when he moved out of his Dad's house we lost contact. I was heartbroken.

Seeking help

Jane felt deeply hurt and upset about the loss of contact with her son, she started suffering from panic attacks and insomnia. Her GP referred her to Relate Family Counselling.

I felt an immediate rapport with my counsellor and felt I was in safe hands. The help I received enabled me to hear the thoughts that had been in my head for so many years and to begin to listen to myself.

The process of counselling enabled Jane to reflect and realise that whilst mistakes were made, she had done the best she could under the circumstances.

I realised, even if my son couldn't or wouldn't move on, it was time for me to do so.

Where she is now

Jane re-established contact with her son initially by texting, until eventually she felt more confident to speak with him on the phone. Now the pair meet regularly for Sunday lunch in London where he lives with girlfriend.

My new approach to the relationship seems to have rubbed off on him too, as he now avoids talking about anything negative about the past. I am very grateful that I was directed to Relate and am very grateful to my particular counsellor.

How we can help

If like Jane you feel like you need a bit of support with your family relationships, we can help. Check out our counselling services.

How can we help

If you feel like you need some support in your relationship there are lots of ways we can help

* This case study is loosely based on the kind of scenarios we work with, as opposed to a specific client. Relate never shares the stories of our clients without permission, even with names and details changed.