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Just found out Mom's in therapy over divorce from 10 yrs ago. My fault?


byates5637

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I'm 26 now. When I was 13 my mom had a secret affair that I knew about and she soon divorced my dad and moved out taking my sister with her, but leaving me and my dad behind. It was a terrible messy divorce (I imagine most are when their are teenagers involved). It mostly got blamed on me by my parents. It caused me tremendous emotional pain. I guess I should also mention that my dad was a stellar guy. Good job, hard worker, good dad, loyal, good with money, etc.

 

Anyway after the divorce my mom still tried hard to be a good mom...and she did a pretty good job. It was clear she always cared about my sister more than me....but she still paid attention to me and looked out for me. As I grew a little older I started to get over the emotional pain, but I always carried with me secret resentment towards my mother for ruining my family.

 

So a few weeks ago a got black out drunk with my sister, and I told her all about my feelings on the divorce and how much it hurt me. I guess it got back to my mom, because she just called me and it turns out she is in therapy now. She found out about how much it bothered me and the guilt is eating her alive. She can't sleep at night.

 

She was very hesitant to talk about it with me....but I could tell it was killing her. She didn't mention that my sis told her anything, but I'm sure that's what happened. We only talked about it for 2 minutes and touched on the surface of it before she changed the subject and was asking me if I wanted clothing.

 

I dunno to do. I feel terrible that my mom is in so much pain because of some from more than a decade ago that I can't let go. Should I call her back and try to talk to her about it more? Should I just wait until she wants to talk to me about it? Anyone in a similar situation?

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Why did your parents blame you? Is it because you had found out about her affair. It seems like once again you are feeling responsible for your mother's wrong-doing. Your mother was the adult and SHE chose to cheat, SHE chose to ruin her marriage, SHE chose to favour your sister. You are not responsible for HER choices nor HER state of mind, not now, not before. Your mothers actions are now coming back to haunt her..she feels guilty, as she finally should. Do not feel bad about it and blame yourself...it was her choices that resulted in you feeling bad, and it was her choice to cheat.

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Why did your parents blame you? Is it because you had found out about her affair. It seems like once again you are feeling responsible for your mother's wrong-doing. Your mother was the adult and SHE chose to cheat, SHE chose to ruin her marriage, SHE chose to favour your sister. You are not responsible for HER choices nor HER state of mind, not now, not before. Your mothers actions are now coming back to haunt her..she feels guilty, as she finally should. Do not feel bad about it and blame yourself...it was her choices that resulted in you feeling bad, and it was her choice to cheat.

 

Thank you for your well thought out reply.

 

As far as the blame thing goes... my mom told my dad one of the reasons she wanted the divorce was because I fought with my sis and cause problems for the family. My dad was completely heartbroken...so I guess he believed her and told me I had to be on my best behavior to save the family. It made me feel like the weight of the whole world was on my shoulders.

 

Anyway, that was all more than a decade ago. Since then my mom *has* done a lot of really nice things for me, she calls me frequently, and has really been overall a pretty good person. The pain and resentment has still stayed with me throughout the years though.

 

I feel terrible my mom is so upset. But as you said, perhaps this is just karma. She is just having a taste of all the pain I felt growing up.

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You were a child. Your parents were the adults. They were totally wrong to blame you. End of.

 

Do not let her guilt trip (which that call is a blantantly obvious attempt at) you on this. Her actions, her responsibility.

 

I don't think it was a guilt trip. The purpose of her call was to ask me if I wanted her to buy me any clothing (Which she has done incessantly for the past 10 years, perhaps to make up for her transgressions).

 

She mentioned in passing she was in therapy, and I had to try hard to drag out the reason. She eventually said it's because she feels bad about the divorce, and she knows she messed up.

 

She suggested we get together to talk about it sometime, and I agreed, but she quickly changed the subject. She has never been good at talking about serious things.

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That was your mother trying to find someone else to blame for her wrong-doing. Siblings fight when they are children and teens..that happens in most families. You were just being a typical teenage brother. An emotionally sound mother does not walk away from a marriage simply because her children are fighting with each other. Your mother knows it and that is why she now feels guilty. Their marriage split was NOT your fault. You were simply behaving as a typical teenage boy with his sister.

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There is always an opportunity to be the bigger person and show love and compassion when you could otherwise be showing bitterness and contempt. Relish in those chances, be thankful that they were handed to you, and do what you know it right.

 

Sometimes, people aren't as strong as you'd like them to be. Sometimes, life beats us down a little bit, and we can't be our best selves. Forgiving your mom, reaching out, showing her real love right now... That will end up helping you every bit as much as it will help her. Then, everyone wins.

 

Otherwise, you will just be "right", still rather "estranged", and you will continue to have two hurt people whose ego matters much more them then their loved ones. Is it a hard choice? I'm not sure how it could be. You are lucky, so lucky to be given an opportunity like this. I would be thanking my stars if given this chance.

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The fact that your mother had already entered into therapy indicates that your words were not want triggered her recent upset over this issue. So you have no reason to feel guilty about confiding in your sister or your mother's regrets.

 

And I find it very hard to believe that a 13 yr. would have the power to make their parent have an affair, get a divorce, and then leave behind one of her children.

 

I don't want to disrespect your mom, but I think she may have good reason to experiencing some guilt.

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Thanks for the replies. They are very helpful.

 

Just to clarify, when I was younger I did believe the divorce was my fault, but I have since grown up and I know that wasn't the reason. I have a pretty good understanding of everything that happened. I know my mom should feel guilty about what she did...ruining a family for selfish reasons is despicable.

 

But she has tried hard to make it up to me over the years, although we have *never* talked specifically about our feelings in regards to the divorce (At least not in the last decade). And I do love her...she's my mom.

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Thanks for the replies. They are very helpful.

 

Just to clarify, when I was younger I did believe the divorce was my fault, but I have since grown up and I know that wasn't the reason. I have a pretty good understanding of everything that happened. I know my mom should feel guilty about what she did...ruining a family for selfish reasons is despicable.

 

But she has tried hard to make it up to me over the years, although we have *never* talked specifically about our feelings in regards to the divorce (At least not in the last decade). And I do love her...she's my mom.

 

Seize the day my friend. In the end, you will feel amazing for having done it.

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I think you're right jetty. I called her and told her not to feel bad about it. She said she still does...and she didn't really sound interested in going into detail. She said my sis did tell her a few things I said but she felt bad about it even before hearing that. Kind of a bad phone call...i was hoping she was interested in really talking but she kind of blew it off and said "we'll talk about it sometime."

 

I just worry that if I were to put *everything* out in the open I would end up saying a lot of things that will hurt her a lot. I can forgive her for these things I think... I just need to say them. I just worry it's going to mess her up more if she hears everything I have to say.

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Thanks for the replies. They are very helpful.

 

Just to clarify, when I was younger I did believe the divorce was my fault, but I have since grown up and I know that wasn't the reason. I have a pretty good understanding of everything that happened. I know my mom should feel guilty about what she did...ruining a family for selfish reasons is despicable.

 

But she has tried hard to make it up to me over the years, although we have *never* talked specifically about our feelings in regards to the divorce (At least not in the last decade). And I do love her...she's my mom.

So just back off and let her deal with her own demons. They have nothing to do with you. She's an adult who is nearing 'that age' and is now seeing that maybe she should have done things differently. For her to be able to forgive herself, she has to admit the pain she caused. Just let her do that.

 

The best thing you can do is tell her you love her, you'll be happy to answer any questions if she ever has any, and politely drop the subject.

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