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Mother’s Cheating

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I am 20 years old and have been living on campus for the past 3 years. I had to move back in with my parents due to the virus. My parents have had a terrible relationship from before I was born. It is a physically and verbally abusive relationship. Since I have been back from college I have overheard my mother speaking on the phone multiple times, and have discovered that she is “cheating” I put cheating in quotes for the fact that her relationship with my father does not exist. It is a terrible relationship, and I have honestly always resented her for not leaving. I understand why she would be talking to another man and do not blame her for any of that. I just feel weird about all of this even though I know that she is an adult and this is her life. I am just someone who cannot hide their emotions and I have distanced my self from her. She has noticed and keeps asking me what’s wrong. The thing is, my relationship with my mother isn’t great either. We don’t talk about our emotions with each other or anything like that. I just feel weird about the whole thing, but I don’t know if I should just try to forget about it and let it be or to ask her about it. I think that I do want to ask her about it because it has been weighing on me. I think I am more so angry that she hasn’t been trying to build a relationship with me. Also, she always has something to say about my brother or I’s relationships. I just don’t know what do to about this, or how to approach my feelings.
Thank you

Mother’s Cheating

Answered by on -

A.

From the USA. What a difficult situation to be in. Your mother has put you in a tough spot and it seems like the best thing is to ask to have a talk with her alone and out of the house. Find a place to go to walk or at the very least be away from people. You want this to be a private conversation.

Let your mom know that her conversations are not being kept as private as they should be. Be clear that you are uncomfortable with what you’ve heard, and it makes it difficult to talk to her. Explain that you understand why she would want to talk to someone else, and that it creates anxiety in you. Don’t try to fix this, explain what you’ll do as a reaction, or minimize it. The work on your part will be when you hear your mother’s response to not lose yourself. If she says you shouldn’t have these feelings that would be a tine for you to assert that her wishing you didn’t have them doesn’t change the fact that you do.

Put the burden of what to do back on your mother. Ask her what she thinks is the best way forward. The idea here is to connect with your mom, talk about what is real, and work together toward a solution.

If this doesn’t work—or as an alternative—ask if your mom would come to a therapist with you and bring the problem there. This has the advantage of having a 3rd party present to assist.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan’t sound viable
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Mother’s Cheating

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Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

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. (2020). Mother’s Cheating. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/08/14/mothers-cheating/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 Aug 2020 (Originally: 14 Aug 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 Aug 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.