My mom’s changed

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Well my dad lives out of state due to his job, and in our house is basically just me my mom and my other 3 siblings(which are younger then me). My mom has changed so much with time, shes stopped caring for us, its like were barely related to her, she wasn’t like this at all.

Its been about 2 months and my mom has had this friend, who basically comes over every night to our house and leaves at like midnight or 1am. she tells me hes just a friend and whatever. well i really don’t feel comfortable with him coming over and all.

well yesterday i saw in her rooms window stuff which i wish i had never seen, i cant even describe it, even thinking about it makes me cry. i came upstairs and cried , i couldn’t bear it and told my sister(who’s about 2 years younger than me). we both were in great shock, i couldn’t sleep the whole night just thinking that my mother would ever cheat on my dad like this.

i have no idea what to do, and i really want this to finish, i cant tell my dad because he would definitely divorce her, and if i tell my mom she’ll probably yell at me and wont agree with me, and i have a feeling this guy wont leave her this quick, the way she describes him (as a friend), and i have a feeling if my mom even tells him to leave her, then he’ll start blackmailing my mom, and this issue would end up famous in our whole family, and i can definitely not live with people talking stuff against us because of my mom. i don’t understand what to do. its like I’m just stuck in the middle of something which has no solution. Please someone help me, and tell me what to do.

A: I’m so, so sorry you find yourself in the middle like this. It sounds to me like your mother is in some kind of emotional trouble. It’s not just that she’s having an affair. She’s stopped caring for children who are too young to be without a mother. You say this isn’t like her.

I think you need to tell your mother what you’ve seen. As hard as it will be, don’t accuse her or blame her. That will just make her defensive and angry. Instead, tell her how worried you are about her and how scared you are for the family. If she gets angry, tell her that you’re the one who has the right to be angry but you’re just mostly scared; that you need your mother; that you and the other kids need their family. I understand that this is a lot to ask of you. But you’re asking even more of yourself if you decide you and your sister should keep such a difficult secret.You love your dad as well as your mom.

Ask your mom to get you and your sister out of the middle. Suggest she get a counselor to help her sort out what to do. Tell her she needs to be the one to talk to your dad. It’s not fair to leave you feeling like you are betraying him by keeping quiet.

If all this gets to be too much, seek out a counselor at school or talk to your minister or rabbi if you have one. Professionals like these honor confidentiality. They can give you important support during this difficult time.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Oct 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). My mom’s changed. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/10/07/my-moms-changed/