My mom lied about having an affair.

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Well, first off this is really hard for me to do. I feel like a loser. I feel like the only kid who goes on self help websites seeking answers to their problems, but somehow I don’t stop myself…

So over the past years things have been especially hard on me. There were always suspicions that my mom was cheating, but I never wanted to believe it. She lied and told me that she would never do that. I wanted so badly to believe her that I did, but I think now that a part of me knew. It wasn’t until last night that all my fears were confirmed. It turns out my dad had installed a GPS device in her cell phone and hid it in her car. He tracked where she was going and found that she went to a certain house.

He confronted my mom and she lied for 2 hours! Two hours! The only thing she was concerned about was how he found out. So eventually she admitted to my father that she had been in a four year affair with this guy. She said she had attempted to break it off, but he threatened to tell us. She’s a good liar.

My mom was my best friend until last night, where it all changed in an instant. I feel like a stranger lives here now. I really can’t even begin to describe the pain I feel. I cried for hours to her, telling her how I trusted her and that I looked up to her. What kind of good mom does that…?

I am so resentful for the hell she has put my dad through and I know it isn’t good for me. After last night, I have been seriously considering counceling. I really need some advice on what to do and what to say. I told my mother that I didn’t want her to be in my life and that I wanted them to divorce…was that a mistake?

A: First of all, you’re not a loser for writing. Lots of teens find it hard to talk about difficult things with people they know so they kind of run it by someone like me first. It’s a good way to try to get your thinking straight and to get some support and maybe even a few good ideas.

Your parents are having a crisis in their marriage. There is probably more to the story than you know or that you should know. It is their business to work out. You shouldn’t be asked to take sides and you shouldn’t volunteer. As angry as you are right now, it’s not your place to tell your folks to get a divorce and they shouldn’t let you believe for a minute that they will or they won’t because of what you say. They need to make their own adult decision about whether or not to try to save their marriage. None of you should make you responsible for what happens next.

The most important thought for you to hold on to is that your mom and your dad can still be wonderful parents to you even if they are fighting with each other. Finding out about the affair has made you see your mom in a different way, I know. But please don’t throw away all the many ways she has been a good mom to you because of it. People are complicated and your mom is no exception. It could be that what you see as lies were at least partly an attempt to protect you from having to deal with adult problems.

I think some counseling is a great idea. Things are difficult and confusing at your house right now. A counselor will give you some support and will help you sort things out.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Mar 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). My mom lied about having an affair.. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/03/03/my-mom-lied-about-having-an-affair/