Mom is having an affair

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hi I’m 18 and I’ve known about my mom having an ” affair” with since I was 15. I noticed because at family dinners he would approach her and try to flirt with her and look at her and all at his daughters house in front of us. I’m the only one who notices because I’m a very detailed person and I always know when a man is approaching my mom in that way. One thing you should know is that me and my mother are very close. Also my mom has a rocky relationship with my stepfather and he hasn’t noticed a thing about this man and my mother. My mother never finished her education so she depends on my stepdad for economic stability but she’s always trying to see ways to divorce my stepfather while still being able to maintain me and her. but he doesn’t want to leave her or me ( I think we’re the closest people to him and he considers me his daughter , and he doesn’t want to leave us. )

so the other guy tells my mom he loves her and he has also lost love interest in his wife and that he feels strongly attracted to my mother and he sends her money and stuff. I honestly think my mom feels like he’s another option and she also sees economic stability with him , which I think she’s just repeating her mistakes over and over. She barely knows the guy that well.

My father was a married man when he met my mother. My father was later separated from his wife but never divorced . My mother and father still love each other but my mom decided to end it because she knew they would never happen and she married my stepdad. She recently planned a trip to visit the new guy and I found out. She got angry when I tried to talk her out of it.

My mom also says how I add to the stress using lame excuses as how I forget to wash dishes or leave things around. I’m always doing my part always doing my chores and being a good student so I can get a good career and hope to help her so she never depends on a man again. I don’t agree with this “new” relationship, I try to tell her as a friend that it’s wrong she’s married and he’s married and she’ll be committing the same mistakes.

The more she gets fed up with my stepdad the more she Leans to the new guy . I don’t know how to approach her and I’m getting sick of this and we get into stupid arguements over it. It is ruining the relationship between me and her .

I have no one else to turn to for advice I’m the only child and i don’t want to share this with anyone. I need advice on how to aprroach her wake her up from her constant mistakes . And how I should deal with this I feel so alone and lied to by the person who I trust and love the most unconditionally isn’t being the strong woman I know she can be and most important the person I trust and look up to, she’s is just disappointing me. Help me please sorry for the long story but I can’t keep this in any longer I need a solution to this mess and I feel depressed by the situation. Hope to hear back soon

A: The first thing you told me is the most important thing. You are 18. She’s the mom. You’re the kid. Even though you are a sensitive and wise kid, she still sees you as the kid. Although I agree with you that your mom is in danger of making the same mistake she’s made before, neither of us can do much about it. She isn’t asking for our help.

It seems that she sees men as protectors and providers and isn’t willing to figure out how to depend on herself. She is apparently so convincing in her helplessness that you are thinking about how to support her once you have a career. Meanwhile, she is hurting her relationship with you and taking advantage of a man who is committed to her and who sees you as a daughter.

I don’t know if this is the truth or the truth as you see it. She may have an entirely different take on how she is living her life.

As painful as it may be for you, I think you have to let it go. You’ve already told your mom what you think. She gets to decide what to do with the information. You get to decide what you’re going to do with your life so that you can be a strong, independent woman. Keep up your grades. Work with the guidance department of your high school to find scholarships. Get yourself to a good college. Learn what you can from your family situation so that you can avoid making the same mistakes. You can love your mom without following the same path she did.

I wish you well
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Dec 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Mom is having an affair. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/12/17/mom-is-having-an-affair/