Will my mom divorce me too?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 15. For as long as I can remember, I always thought my mom and dad were madly in love with each other, but in the middle of Dec. 2008 my mom tells me and my sister that her and my dad are getting separated. So, she uproots us from a house that we were comfortable in and loved to live with our grandparents until her new apartment is ready, which was in the end of Dec.

The shocker is that she moved in with some guy we don’t know, but later found out that they’ve been dating since Oct or Nov of 2008. So, in all of 1 to 2 months of knowing some guy from work she uproots our whole life by leaving my dad and dragging us along.

I just cannot look at her the same way, I want to scream, tell what is she thinking. But I don’t because I’m scared. I know this is silly, but I’m scared because I thought she loved my dad a lot and she was so quick to get rid of him, so would she do that to me and my sister?

My mom who normally is a level headed woman, how can she move so quickly in getting involved with a new man when they both are technically still married. Now with a total of 5 to 6 months of being with this new guy she’s now talking about divorcing my dad and planning a wedding with this new guy, who me and my sister don’t feel comfortable around. I hate to say this, but I don’t like him and it hurts a lot that my mom never considered mine or my sisters feelings about this whole situation.

My sister and me, we just grin and bear and hope maybe one day my mom will wake up and see what stupid mistake she’s making. Or am I being the selfish one because I honestly can’t bear to see my mom and dad divorced?

I don’t know what to do. Should I tell her how I feel? Or continue to pretend like nothing is wrong and let her be happy? Is it normal for people to rush relationships like this? One of my friends at school said he probably put some kind of roots on her. I don’t believe in that kind of thing, but I don’t know how else to explain it. I need help.

So, what should I do? Tell him or let them live their normal lives. I don’t know what to do. should i tell a friend and see what their advice is? Please respond when you can, this is very appreciated!

A:What a hard, hard situation. I’m glad you wrote.

First things first: Please remember that partner love is different than parent-child love. Whatever your parents’ problems, I doubt very much your mom wants to “divorce” you girls too. It’s only natural you would worry about this. Most kids do.

As for what to tell your mom: I encourage you to have a heart-to-heart with your mom about how you are feeling about the breakup of your family and her involvement with the new guy. How you say it will likely decide how she will respond. If you come at her with anger and accusations, she will be defensive. If instead, you let her know how much the situation pains you, how worried you are about her and your dad and how confusing it is for you to figure out how to relate to the man in her life, she will probably be more willing to really talk with you.

I found it curious that you never mentioned your dad in your long letter. He’s your parent too and has some say and what happens with you. Regardless of what goes on between him and your mom, he can still be your father. Right now he has lost his wife and his girls. I have to wonder how he is dealing with that.

Ideally, both of your parents would be talking to both of you girls about how parenting is going to happen now and what they expect of you if they find new partners. Since you are teens, your thoughts and feelings should be taken into account. You might want to suggest to your folks that some family counseling is a good idea. It might not save their marriage but it might help everyone figure out how to be this new kind of family.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Mar 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Will my mom divorce me too?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/03/25/will-my-mom-divorce-me-too/