Shortly after my 17th birthday my parents called me and my brother, who is two years younger, into the living room for a family meeting. I always hated that because it meant something bad was about to happen.
My parents sat us down and explained they were separating because they were just too different or some bull rap like that. I had seen it coming but my brother not so much.
It’s been a month, school started and we made it work. Our parents weren’t going to make us choose. We came and went from each house as we pleased. Recently my dad found out that before him and my mom separated, my mom was cheating with a man she met at a concert.
I never would have expected this from her. She always instilled these ideas into me about right and wrong, and here she is being a hypocrite. She tried to contact me and my brother but we’ve ignored her.
I’m just so angry. I will never accept this guy whoever he is. He may be nice, but because he disregarded that he knew my mom was married and still dated her, I will never welcome him into the family. I’m sad to say my mom and this dude totally disrespected my dad, and that’s not okay with me.
I know she’s my mom and all, but as of right now I don’t want anything to do with her.
Gretchen, kids love the word hypocrite. Why? Because kids don’t have freedom of expression or freedom of action. They are always being told what they can and can’t do. They constantly hear: this is right, that is wrong.
You were taught what is right and what is wrong by a woman who committed one of the worst wrongs in a marriage. Your mother’s teaching is part of the reason you feel as you do. You were betrayed. You have a right to feel betrayed. So do your father and brother.
Some people excuse anything in their family. They are not dealing with reality. But you are not giving her an excuse. You face the reality of what she did. That is the only way your mom can face the reality of what she did.
If everyone accepts excuses and says, “Oh, we can’t judge anyone,” then there are no standards, nothing to be held to. She has to suffer the consequences, and one of those consequences is her daughter doesn’t respect her.
If we are indifferent, that means nothing is wrong; anything goes.
Your mother knew it was wrong and she did it anyway. If we don’t give people who do wrong consequences, we condone their behavior.
You have a right to feel as you do and your mother deserves what she is getting from you. As the innocent spouse, your dad may feel better knowing that his kids understand right from wrong and understand what he is going through.
There is a way to part from a spouse, and a way not to part. Your mother chose the way not to part. Though the reason for the separation may not have much to do with the cheating, your mother put a whole different face on it when she cheated. You don’t start a new relationship before ending the one you are in.
While this knowledge is new and you are shocked and surprised, you will feel like this. You will feel like this until you know for certain she understands that you don’t accept her behavior. You will feel like this until some of the shock and awe are gone.
The passage of time diminishes m-ost things. Likely you will accept her back into your life, perhaps sooner than she deserves, but it will happen. It is just one part of her whole. It is only one part of who your mother is.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of November 17, 2014
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