Since I was younger, my mother always got caught being on a call with other men, even before she and my dad got divorced about 5 years ago. Now she’s the only one who pays our bills, being the single mother. After she got divorced with her second husband, she started to become the old her, receiving calls from married men, having a date with them. Maybe because of her, I’ve always being skeptical about marriage, thinking if all men will cheat–there will be no point of being married.

This evening my mom got another phone call from one of the married men she usually talks to. After the phone call ended, I have this urge feeling to ask her directly about what I’m thinking. I asked her “mom, imagine if you still with dad now, and dad got caught having a phone call with other woman exactly like what you just did, will you be jealous?” and she was directly answered “yes” and after a while we started fighting.

My question is, did I do it wrong? if I did, how exactly am I supposed to do or feel? I asked because I have no idea how marriage and adultery life are like. I can’t stop feeling disrespectful towards her but she’s our only financial support and I feel wrong of feeling that way. (From Thailand)

A:  I think it is always alright to express how you feel about what is happening, when you are talking about YOUR feelings. Saying, “I’m upset when I see you dating married men because it makes me feel like there is no value in marriage,” is different than trying to make your mom feel guilty. You are always entitled to your feelings, but you will almost always be in for a fight if you try to make someone else feel ashamed of what they’ve done. Try to express your feelings without trying to shame your mother, and start thinking about moving out and having your own adult life out from under your mom’s influence.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral