My mum is cheating on my dad

Dear Suzie,
My mum is cheating on my dad. This has been going on for months now, at least as far as I know. I’ve seen and read this I wish I hadn’t and I can’t stand the sight of her anymore. I wake up everyday and see her and I so angry. I can’t sleep and I have no one to talk to. I’m so lost and I don’t know what to do. I’m so close to going to her lovers house when she’s there and breaking down the door and confronting the both of them. I can believe she is such a selfish bitch. I hate her so much!

I am sorry to hear tis and I can understand how angry and upset you are feeling. You do have the right to say something to her – but let’s first explore what may be in your remit. I think you need to sort out a few things before doing anything – mainly, what’s your right to comment on and what’s not.

Adult’s behaviour and choices are theirs to decide upon and moderate as they see fit. You may want to tell your mother what you think of her but what she does in her private life is her choice, whatever you think of it. And, however much you may be sure you know what is going on, you may not have interpreted it correctly, or understood why she’s doing what she’s doing. If you tell her she’s a bitch, is cheating on your Dad and you hate her she may disarm you with a few chosen words; mainly, insisting that’s not what she meant to do at all. It’s always difficult to tell people what you think they are doing; they can so easily deny it.

But you do have every right to tell her what you’re feeling. After all, she can’t deny that. And I think you should for several reasons. You’re angry, upset and feel betrayed. I don’t think you hate her – what you feel is furious, raging hurt and vulnerability. And she needs to know that, and to realise how much her behaviour – whatever is actually going on and why – is affecting you. She needs to hear how you’re feeling – your pain, your resentment and your anxiety – and you need to give her the chance to do something about that.

Whether telling her what you feel leads to her changing her behaviour or not I don’t know. But I do think your having the chance to stop carrying around all this angst and pain on your own is vital. You say you have no-one to talk to. Nobody at all? Not a friend, not a relative, not a teacher you can trust? Look around you because I think when you recognise that you have the right to be cared for and supported, you’ll see that there are people who can be there for you and you deserve their help.

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