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Dear Wendy

My mum is having an affair

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  • #892163 Reply

    My mum left last May very suddenly and with no reason at all. It was most shocking because as a family of 4 we were incredibly close, did lots together and were so happy as a unit. Fast forward to now and after a year of doing our own research (myself, sister and dad) we have found out that she is having an affair with her ex boyfriend from 25 years ago. His wife passed away last year around the time he contacted my mum.

    I have confronted my mum and had repeated arguments over the months and she has denied so much so that I started to doubt myself. We found out he been paying her each month from when she left and she had also been staying there. She got into my head so much that I almost believed they may just be friends but several days ago I found a picture (on his sons social media) and it’s captioned “Family” with my mum and him surrounded by all family members. Obviously distraught I cannot get the image out of my head and in an odd way it has confirmed everything we suspected which is a horrible ‘at least now we know’ kind of feeling.

    I have so much anger in side and cannot do anything, not even confront my mum about the picture because the divorce is going through. I feel helpless and am not sure whether to write some letters now which I can eventually send because I want them all to know how much they’ve wrecked my life.

    I see a lot of stories about people’s parents having affairs but not many in my situation. My mum does not speak to me or my sister and has basically cut us off. I have discovered her affair online and can’t do anything about it. I have tried speaking to her many times but I just cannot have her in my life anymore. She is not sorry about anything she has done. I need to add as well that my dad did nothing wrong, he was incredibly happy in love with her so this was nothing on his part.

    What should I do to help get past this stage of helplessness? I want them to know the pain they’ve caused.

    #892170 Reply

    You aren’t in a position to understand or influence the dynamics of your parents’ marriage. You assume your mother was happy. Likely, he wasn’t. Your father isn’t perfect: joining his two daughters in cooperatively trying to investigate and prove your mother’s infidelity is dragging you and your sister into his marriage with your mother in a way which is totally out of bounds. Cyber-stalking your mother won’t help any of you.

    Divorces are difficult for all parties, especially the children. Find a therapist you can discuss your issues with and leave the divorce between your parents. It does concern you, but you are way over the line.

    Your family doing a lot of things together does not equal your mother must have been happy. It’s also possible that your father is a great dad, but with some shortcomings as a husband. You just cannot possibly know all the dynamics of their marriage.

    #892179 Reply

    I think at this point in time you will be best served by maintaining a certain amount of distance between your mother and yourself. You can remain friendly, but trying to understand why she’s done what she’s done at this point in time is going to be too much. She probably hasn’t fully processed everything either.

    As Ron said, if therapy is available to you, that would be good.

    The reality you’re in is this is going to take a long time to process and recover from, and it’s ok to have some really negative emotions right now. Resist the urge to snoop her social media. It’s ok if you’re distant from your mom for a time.

    #892206 Reply

    LW, You must repeat the mantra that your parents marriage has nothing to do with you.

    Your parents are adults and they may take decisions you don’t agree with.

    You are entitled to feel resentment as to how it effects your life.
    However, you have no right to badger your mom about her divorce and dating others. Which is the reason she is avoiding you.

    If you want a relationship with her, try being more rational and accepting. Otherwise accept that it is what it is and stay away from her.

    #892224 Reply

    I understand that she’s behaved badly, but she didn’t make that post with the word Family. And a lot of people use that term to mean things other than that it is their actual family.

    I’m sure it feels like your life is ruined, but it is not. I promise it’s not.

    You need to take a couple steps back from this. Your parent’s private business-(their marriage)is none of your business. Be angry at her for leaving. Be pissed she’s not making any moves to spend time with you, but her private life is her problem.

    Your father may have been happy, but she was not. Happy wives do not leave their husband and file for divorce.

    I would really encourage you and your sister to stop cyber stalking your mother and to ask your dad to make some appointments with therapists for each one of you. He should not be sharing his relationship woes with you.

    I’m sorry this is happening.

    #892234 Reply

    I disagree with most posters. Of course you’re hurt and upset and trying to figure out WTF happened. I think you’re being very rational — your family was happy, then your mom lied to all of you. That is the actual fact, and please do not believe anyone who tells you that it’s none of your business when your own mom lies to you for months. Or that you have to “accept it.”

    If your mom was indeed unhappy, then the responsible, adult thing for her to do was to express that to her husband and get a divorce, not have a secret affair. Ditching the family suddenly and then lying about it was unkind, hurtful, and I’m sure very confusing to you. In no way, shape, or form would I just shrug if I saw a photo of my mother with some new family. I also wouldn’t rationalize someone else’s shitty behavior by telling myself, “Well, dad must’ve had shortcomings, or she wouldn’t have done this.” (!?!?!?!) He did not cause her to have an affair.

    You’re doing nothing wrong. She is waaaay out of line, and that sucks. But your feelings about the hurt she caused are valid. Do talk this through with a therapist, and do be thankful that you have your dad and sister to love. It’s okay to avoid your mom while she’s acting out and self-destructing. I’m sorry this happened to you.

    #892254 Reply

    I mean, the whole thing sucks and so does your mother for cutting you out over it but your parents are divorcing, right? They’re not getting back together and your mother most likely isn’t going to apologise no matter how much proof you find. If you want to move past feeling helpless work on how you can accept the situation as it is and how you can find your happiness there, potentially with a therapist. You can’t control her actions, only how you react to them.

    #892261 Reply

    You have the facts: your mom had an affair, left, and is not making an effort to be a present parent at this point. I’m so, so sorry this is happening to you. But I agree that looking at your mom’s social media, demanding she confess the affair to you- none of that is in your best interest. You can’t possibly know that your mom was happy and your dad played no part in her decision to leave. You just can’t. And that isn’t where your focus should be. You have the information you need and you need to focus on yourself now and moving forward.

    I agree with the counseling, ask your dad to get you and your siblings into therapy asap. Write those letters, or keep a journal. Put your feelings on paper. If seeing your mom’s social media is upsetting you, take a break for a while. If you feel pressured to bring your dad information on your mom or have conversations with him about their marriage, it’s ok to ask to put the breaks on those. Your dad should be seeing a therapist individually too, and you should all go together. This is an awful situation and I’d be lying if I said you can just move on, but I do think you need to accept it and start moving towards a new normal. Family and individual counseling can help you put together a healthy roadmap to do that. It will get better, it will hurt less.

    #893648 Reply

    Hi, thank you for the replies it’s been interesting to read. Half of you made me feel cared for and could genuinely see my point of view. The other half I have to say, made me feel miserable and ganged up on.

    I have to wonder why some of you had the justification of “you shouldn’t snoop on your mums affair” rather than “I can’t believe your mum is having an affair.”

    You shouldn’t belittle someone by going straight to “you need to see a therapist” I have in the past when I was younger and it’s not something you should just tell someone, it’s rude. My dad had no part in finding out things through social media, I found it all myself so don’t jump to conclusions.

    It’s also pretty poor to tell me I’m not involved in my parents marriage/mother’s affair. I have had to sit by for months watching my dad cry and wonder what he did wrong, had to take him out so that he doesn’t get sad. And worry every time I leave the house that he will be sat on his own. It has affected and altered my whole life and future, so to tell me I’m not involved is extremely offensive.

    To be told these things when I have literally found out my mum is leading a double life and found her with another family online without actually being told is heart breaking. You will never understand that pain unless you experience it yourself, but please don’t undermine someone by saying “see a therapist” or “you’re not involved” because I came on this forum to look for help and only got this from 3 people. The rest made me feel depressed and just like they were blatantly siding with my mum tbh. Which I guess says more about those people, have to wonder whether you’re having your own affair to be so blasé?

    Thank you to those that were comforting though, you stood out and I do appreciate your words x

    #893664 Reply

    Hasn’t this letter been posted before? Like long ago? I swear I’ve read and commented on this before.

    #893676 Reply

    You asked what you could do to get past this. It’s not belittling to suggest therapy. Almost everyone could benefit from therapy, but even more so when something traumatic happens, like this. It seems clear that your father could be managing this a lot better. That’s what therapy is for.

    Your father should not be relying on you-his children, for emotional support. He needs to get help for himself and you and your sister could also greatly benefit from seeing a therapist right now. No one is siding with your mother.

    This doesn’t have to define your life. Your mother leaving is not who you are. It’s something that’s happened to you, and it’s fresh and I understand that you’re feeling offended.

    #893686 Reply

    “I have to wonder why some of you had the justification of “you shouldn’t snoop on your mums affair” rather than “I can’t believe your mum is having an affair.”

    I know that you feel betrayed but no good will come to you from being involved in this. Your father should not be leaning on you or involving you and it will be better for you if you stay out of this.

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