In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:
I live on my own, about a 40 minute drive away from the rest of my family, but both my brothers, aged 13 and 18, still live with my mom. I was talking to my grandmother on the phone yesterday, and she told me that she found out my mom was seeing someone. I was initially happy for her, and excited that she met someone. Then my grandmother gave me the rest of the details: the guy my mom is dating is 22 and is moving in with her in less than a month. Apparently, she has been secretly dating this guy for months. She met him online, and they met for the first time in real life this September. She told my grandmother that she didn’t tell anyone because she said she knew we would judge her (damn straight!).
Anyway, I will admit that I did not react well. I wrestled with the age difference, and my Grandmother talked me down from my state of dumfounded shock. She told me my mom was old enough to make her own mistakes, and that we would talk about it more when I saw her in person on Thanksgiving. I said okay, and I hung up. But the more I thought about it, the angrier I got. Yes, the age difference bothers me, but not nearly as much as her inviting a guy whom my brothers have NEVER MET move in with them! I feel like she is disregarding her role as mother in favor of some new relationship that gives her a sense of value. I know my older brother can (and probably will) move out, and I have offered my couch to him in case he is uncomfortable staying with her. But what about my younger brother? He can’t go anywhere, and she clearly doesn’t care how he feels about this situation at all.
I’m not really sure what I’m asking here. All I know is my mind is overwhelmed and I am upset. I’m not sure how to approach Thanksgiving, since she still does not know that I know about her boyfriend. I know I can’t avoid the topic for very long, since he is moving in at the beginning of December. — Not Thankful about This!