I’m sorry that you are in this painful position and have seen these shocking images and messages. Sometimes we get information that we would rather not have, but once you know it, you can’t go back to not knowing it. I’m also sorry that you feel that your mother is being dishonest.
However, marriages are complicated and your parents may have agreements that you are unaware of and don’t need to be involved with. In other words, as painful as this is for you, your parent’s marriage is not your responsibility. They need to work through their own issues and you need to focus on being a teenager. But in order for you to disentangle yourself from the situation, I think it would be best to let your mom know that you have observed some of her private messages and have your suspicions as to what is going on.
You can let her know how upsetting this has been for you and that you hope she and your father can work through this together. If you can’t find the courage to speak to your mom directly about what you have discovered, I would suggest that you first confide in a trusted adult, possibly an aunt, grandparent or adult family friend. For one, it will relieve some of your stress because you won’t be carrying this burden alone, and second, hopefully this person will have some insight on how best to handle the situation because they know your parents.
Unfortunately, affairs are fairly common these days and committed relationships can change over time. Some couples are able to work through their challenges and remain together, others cannot. Either way, I’m sure your parents love you very much and would not want you to be hurt. If your mother is having an affair, I hope that someday you find a way to forgive her so that you can be close again. I’m really sorry that you are going through this and hope that there is a peaceful resolution.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts