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:
My mom has been financially dependent on my dad on some level or another their whole marriage. She has not worked since the mid-90s and cannot work now because of medical problems, but won’t go on disability because she says it would limit her options too much. My dad is a successful businessman and continues to reap financially from business ventures.
While I don’t have the details, my mom is angry because she does not believe my dad’s settlement offer is generous enough and that she will be left “destitute” and won’t be able to afford renting a suitable apartment in the area I grew up (which is pricey). Somehow writing this does not convey how angry, scared, depressed, upset, and worried she is. Suffice it to say she is FURIOUS at my dad and earlier this year was suicidal. When she was suicidal I reported it to her physician which made her livid at me and told me she could never trust me again.
According to my mom, my dad can’t seem to admit that he is the reason their marriage imploded (his argument is that she gave up on counseling and is the one who filed) and I’m sure if I were to talk to him about it would believe his offer is more than fair. When he and I talk we NEVER talk about the divorce, and it is a very stilted, superficial conversation. We talk maybe once a week.
So my question is: DO I talk to him about what is going on? My mom does not want me to, and I’m afraid of going behind her back again. I’m conflicted because as their daughter I know it is probably wiser to stay out of it. But as an adult, I (think) there is a huge injustice happening. I say I think because I know that neither of their versions of what is happening is the truth, but that the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
Readers, what would you do? I might add that because of my dad’s history I am VERY uncomfortable around him and grew up afraid of him because of his frequent yelling at my mom. He also has a new girlfriend (whom maybe he’s not cheating on? Who knows; we never talk about that either). — Stuck in the Middle