I've had to turn down my partner's marriage proposal because my kids hate him

They call me names and tell me I’m a bad mum yet all I want is some happiness.

I divorced their dad ten years ago. They’re adults and my oldest daughter got married recently but I had to go to the wedding without my partner. Her dad was there with his new wife.

My youngest son’s girlfriend has had a baby and they don’t want my partner near my grandson. I’ve had to see him alone.

It’s because my partner was in trouble with the police 20 years ago. He’s 55 now. He did his time and now he’s gentle and loving but they just see him as a bad person. Do I have to live this way for ever? I’m 52.

DEIDRE SAYS: No. You’re an adult and you can make your own decisions just as you’ve allowed them to make theirs.

Keep the lines of communication open with them but it must be on your terms. They don’t have to accept your new partner but you don’t have to accept their name-calling and hurtful remarks.

You can’t change their behaviour but you can change your reaction to it – which may have the effect you long for.

You can find support through Family Lives (familylives.org.uk, 0808 800 2222).

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