My mom has been cheating on my dad for many years, and I have also known for many years. Let me start with a short summary of my parents’ relationship with each other. It’s terrible. My mom has directly told me that my dad doesn’t help her emotionally or physically. She even told me that if it wasn’t for me and my other siblings, they would’ve gotten a divorce such a long time ago. Since I was around 10 years old I noticed that my mom is on the phone with the same person A LOT. I know it’s the same person because the same number comes on the screen every time she gets a call (she doesn’t have a contact for him.) When I was 10 years old I asked her if she was cheating and she lied straight to my face. She told me that she wasn’t cheating and that it was just a friend. I forgot about it for another year and started thinking about it again when I was 11. I’m 14 now and I’ve been holding this in for so many years. Every time I think about it I get anxious and shaken up. I look over her shoulder and see flirty messages from this person, and I’m started to hold grudges against my mom. I feel like I’m 100% going to explode on her one day, but I love my mom to death. What can I do to help myself get through this? Should I talk to my sister about it? Should I tell my dad? I haven’t even told my closest friends (or anyone) about how I’m feeling about this. I just need some advice. (From the USA)
Thank you for talking about this with us. Your mom has put you in a very difficult position of having to keep a secret — which isn’t good. The anxiety and tension that this has created certainly isn’t fair, and you need some support.
You didn’t mention your sister’s age and I think it would be difficult for her if she were younger. It also sounds like it may be difficult for your dad — and if your mother has been so careless he may already know. I think the first place is to get some support outside of your family. Your school counselor is a good place to start. He or she can help guide you with next steps. You have done well speaking about it here. I would take the next step and talk to a professional who can guide you.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Mom Has Been Cheating for Years. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/11/17/my-mom-has-been-cheating-for-years/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.