Mom Doesn’t Know I Know She’s Cheating

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My issue is that a couple of months ago i realized that my mom was texting more than usual and when i would go see who she was texting she would move the phone out of my field of view so that made me even more curious, then a couple of days later i borrowed her computer to do school work and found a picture of a guy in a hotel room in his underwear that she took.

Just recently she started texting more and more during one off my school events we were at together she was texting then and i hapopened to catch the person to whom she was texting to. yesterday i looked at some of the texts she had from the guy but the were more like sexts what she wanted to do to him and how much she loved him and things like that, so i coppied down the number and started really thinking about calling this guy and cursing him out because i figured out that he is also married as well and has three boys around 8 years old. today i read the texts again and the new ones have her saying she cant want to see him in California where she was supposedly going for a “real-estate convention” for a week and all the things she was going to do to him.

I would really like your help with this, i am really considering calling this guy cursing him out and telling him off, but if i do that means i will have to tell my mom “she doesn’t even deserve to be called that by me anymore that how pissed i am with her” that i know, but i do not know how to do that. My parents are great together they never fight so i have no idea why my mom all of a sudden decides to have an affair it just doesn’t make any sense. I would really like your help with this, if i confront my mom about it i do not know what to say, or how awkward my life will be around her after i confront her. This problem has interfered with my ability to concentrate during school, i am always depressed now i just don’t know what to do, i would not like to have my parents get a divorce because of this, but i do not know if i ever could trust he again.

A: Although I can understand why it feels easier to direct your anger at the guy, the person you need to be talking to is your mother. She has put you in a terribly awkward position by behaving in ways that drew your attention and by leaving a “trail” so she would be found out. It makes me wonder if she is unconsciously hoping someone will figure this out and help her put the brakes on.

I realize it’s hard for a young man to call his mother out on something like this but I think you already know you can’t hold this secret. If you can’t bring yourself to talk to her directly, why not simply hand her a copy of the letter you sent to me? Then tell her how unfair it is to put you in the middle when you love both her and your dad. Be clear that you can’t be asked to keep her secret when doing so would damage your relationship with your father. Don’t threaten to tell your dad everything you know. It’s enough to tell him that he and your mom have some things to talk about. Suggest they get some counseling and then leave it to them. Yes, the relationship between your parents affects you. But how they handle their troubles has to be between them.

No matter how old they are, it’s hard on kids when their parents’ relationship is unstable. It’s especially hard when there has been no reason to think that there is tension between them. I’m sorry you are being pulled through this. Do remember that the situation is probably more complicated than you think and that you don’t have to take sides. You can love them both.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Nov 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Mom Doesn’t Know I Know She’s Cheating. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/11/21/mom-doesnt-know-i-know-shes-cheating/