My ex abused my son and I don't know how I'll ever forgive myself

DEAR DEIDRE: I CAN’T forgive myself for letting a monster into my life. Now my son is paying the price for my mistake.

Seven years ago, when my son was 11, I started a new relationship. I am 49 and my ex is 52.

He seemed so genuine but within a year I noticed my son was very withdrawn. I should have spotted the warning signs.

I discovered the grim truth only because this man also abused my best friend’s son, who is a year younger than my boy.

They reported him to the police. That’s when I learned my son was also abused.

The case went to court but my ex was found not guilty. But I know they were telling the truth and I live with regret every day. I’m close to my son and he doesn’t blame me but I will never forgive myself.

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DEIDRE SAYS: What an awful, distressing experience for both of you to live through – especially as you didn’t receive the justice you deserve. The important thing to understand is the abuse was not your fault or your son’s fault. That responsibility lies solely with your predatory ex.

The legacy of abuse can be long-lasting and it is essential your son gets the right support as he moves into adulthood.

Please contact Safeline (safeline.org.uk, 0808 800 5005) which helps men and boys who have survived sexual abuse. It will support you too.

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