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How would you react if your Mom was having a relationship with a married man?

So my mom has been involved with a married man for 1 1/2 years. She is a widow-my dad passed away 3 years ago and this man is one of her clients.

He has a family in VA ( 2 small children) and an older son from a previous marriage living in NYC.

My brother and I have been upset by her behaivor for the entire time she has been doing it. Most of the time we just turned a blind eye and were amibical with her. But there have been some instances where she has hurt us by blowing us off or her sisters and we really can't take her actions any more. 

I know she is an adult and should be able to do what she wants to do-But at what expense?

Her sisters have been hurt by her but just stand by her. 

She is saying that my brother and I are trying to control her..we are not-we just don't like the guy and the way he thinks. We would be thrilled for her to find someone who wasn't married to be with. 

So I ask..how would you feel? I feel like I lost the mother that I always knew..I feel like she tells lies and how do I trust her now? 

Do I let her continue with her behaivor and act like it doesn't bother me when it sure does? Or do I write her off?? or what else??

Re: How would you react if your Mom was having a relationship with a married man?

  • eeek that's hard!  On one hand if she lost her husband 3 years ago who knows what she's thinking, she might be afaid to be alone, she might find comfort in this man....I would assume what she's doing isn't to hurt anyone...do you think she'd talk about what she's going through if it was just an open talk with no judgement...you might get a better understanding of why she's doing what she's doing...

    on the other hand...she's your mom and you care for her and it's never easy to see someone in a unhealthy relationship...I don't know if you can really tell her not to though.  You can though tell her that you do not like this relationship and what you think about it (sometimes when you're in bad relationships you don't really realize it....or maybe she things he's going to leave his wife for her?...that's unhealthy too and may she needs to be reminded of that...and reminded that YOU love her.)

    sorry if my sentences are hard to understand today...I'm lacking coffee...

  • I wouldn't have a relationship with someone who was knowingly in a relationship with a married man.  No matter who it was.

  • image Sabrina121:

    eeek that's hard!  On one hand if she lost her husband 3 years ago who knows what she's thinking, she might be afaid to be alone, she might find comfort in this man....I would assume what she's doing isn't to hurt anyone...do you think she'd talk about what she's going through if it was just an open talk with no judgement...you might get a better understanding of why she's doing what she's doing...

    on the other hand...she's your mom and you care for her and it's never easy to see someone in a unhealthy relationship...I don't know if you can really tell her not to though.  You can though tell her that you do not like this relationship and what you think about it (sometimes when you're in bad relationships you don't really realize it....or maybe she things he's going to leave his wife for her?...that's unhealthy too and may she needs to be reminded of that...and reminded that YOU love her.) she knows he won't leave his wife..she said the only way their relationship will end is when he goes back to VA for his job..who knows when that will be-he has been here (NJ) for the past 6 years already..

    sorry if my sentences are hard to understand today...I'm lacking coffee...

  • This is a doozy. I don't like people who sleep with married people; it's disgusting behavior, lacking all insight and decency. Your mother's widowhood presumably has not deprived her of whatever morality she had before your father died; so this is a double blow, that she clearly was not the woman you thought she was all along.

    And yet, she's your mother. I don't know what to tell you. I'd be furious; disappointed; sick at heart; and no, I don't think I could be 'normal' with this.

     

     

     

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  • I would really struggle with this -- on the one hand, it's your mom; on the other hand, who wants to associate with people who knowingly sleep with someone married?

    Oy. I really don't have any advice to give you; I'd probably try to keep up a relationship with my mom, but I would absolutely not condone her behavior -- I wouldn't want to talk about her relationship or be forced to interact with the guy. I'm sorry; this is quite a mess.

  • You say he's her client? Some professions prohibit this, on pain of losing your license. What does your mother do for a living?
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  • Well, I have to say that what your issues seem to be actually have nothing to do w/ him being a married man.

    You don't like that she ditches you or her sisters.  Or that she lies. 

    You just don't like him as a person - the way he thinks.

    What do either of these have to do w/ him being married?  She would probably be acting the same way, and he'd be the same person, if he were single! 

     

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • My mom has a housekeeping business-it's her own business-no license involved.

    Ok-so I am feeling normal than? Because she is telling me I am selfish,and controlling. She wants to be "happy" during this brief moment.

    I said find a guy who can really be there for you! 

    And no she cannot bring him around our family-it is not tolerable..plus he goes home on the weekends to be with his family.

  • So since she knows he won't leave his wife for her....do you think she picked him becaue he's "safe"?  I mean, she just lost her husband, if she's with someone that she doesn't have to become TOO attached to but still gets all of the comfort and attention that she needs...maybe it's her way of protecting herself, as weird as that sounds?

    I think the only way to find out why she's doing it though is to really sit down and talk to her...It would suck if she has to wait years for him to just leave her....I'd be wondering if she actually plans on waiting or if she's just waiting until she's ready to actually start dating?....

     

  • Your mother is a housekeeper, and she's banging the husband of the wife and mother whose house she's cleaning? That's disgusting; what an outrageous violation. She has access to this woman's things; sees her home, cleans her house, cleans up after her children; and she's banging the man? Good lord.

    This isn't about your mother being 'happy' for a few scarce moments. It's about your mother being so self absorbed and completely lacking in empathy that she'd humiliate and degrade a woman in her own home. I'm astounded you still speak to her; and I'm surprised her sisters "support" her.

    SO SINGS MY SOUL *WHAM!* MY SAVIOR GOD TO THEE *WHAM!* HOW GREAT THOU ART *WHAM!* HOW GREAT THOU ART *WHAM!*
  • image Sue_sue:

    Your mother is a housekeeper, and she's banging the husband of the wife and mother whose house she's cleaning? That's disgusting; what an outrageous violation. She has access to this woman's things; sees her home, cleans her house, cleans up after her children; and she's banging the man? Good lord. NOOOO the wife and kids are in VA and he lives in NJ where my mom is during the week-he goes to his family on the weekends.

    This isn't about your mother being 'happy' for a few scarce moments. It's about your mother being so self absorbed and completely lacking in empathy that she'd humiliate and degrade a woman in her own home. I'm astounded you still speak to her; and I'm surprised her sisters "support" her.

  • I'm going to suggest taking a different approach w/ her.  Don't focus on "he's a married man and can't be there for you".  You know it doesn't work and makes her defensive.

    Stick to the facts about yourself and what you can control.

    "I feel its rude when you ditch me because something "better" comes along."

    "I dont' appreciate being lied to".

    "I don't agree w/ cheating and as such, he is not welcome in my home." (however, the arguement can go that she shouldn't be welcome either as she is a part of the equation!)

    But when you get into "you can do better" - there's nothing to that.  All she has to say is "no, I can't and here's why....".

     

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Well THAT makes it all better, doesn't it?

    Your mother's behavior is despicable; the man who is using her is a pig; and I'm surprised that your response to this is that "You can do better than him". DUH. Of course she can; the man is a pig with shoes. That's not the point. She's engaging in cruel and destructive behavior and she doesn't care who she hurts.

    Which is why she doesn't care if she lies to you, or stands you up; because what's a little lie to the daughter given what kind of behavior she already thinks is justified?

    SO SINGS MY SOUL *WHAM!* MY SAVIOR GOD TO THEE *WHAM!* HOW GREAT THOU ART *WHAM!* HOW GREAT THOU ART *WHAM!*
  • I'm with suesue.  I'd focus on addressing her behavior with her as in "your behavior is despicable and if you weren't my mother I'd write you off as someone with no conscience", maybe ending with "and I might write you off anyway if you don't start actign like a decent humap being post haste".

    As an aside, I don't think she can do better.  I don't think people who think this kind of behavior is acceptable are exactly good catches.

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  • What a terrible situation for you to be in, you've lost your father and now you must feel like you lost your mother too.

    I don't know what to say. Sure you could cut off contact with her but that might help the situation. Perhaps you might recommend that your mother get some counseling to help deal with your father's death (don't mention the affair).

    That might help her to realize what she is doing is wrong.

    I'm sorry that you are going through this.

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  • image AmandaWoodward:
    what is amibical?

    I was wondering this too!  Do you mean "amicable" as in friendly?  Or "ambivalent" as in don't care one way or the other?

    Anyway, you can't control your mom.  She's an adult and she knows what she's getting herself into -- or at least she should!

    You can only control you and your behavior.  If you don't condone it but still want a relationship with your mom even though you disagree with her, you need to ignore it.  If you really can't stand by and see her do this, you need to distance yourself from her. 

    If you are posting on here in an attempt to find some magic thing you can say or do to get her to see the error of her ways and ditch this guy, you are going to be disappointed.

  • I dont mean to start anything, but it seems like if you are trying to get her to do what you want (dump the dude) you are trying to control her. I dont see how you, her child can "let her continue her behavior" she's a grownass woman, and she had been married, its likely she knows its wrong.

    People get into relationships with married people for a myriad of reasons, many of which pp's have mentioned ("safe" guy, not ready for committment but not wanting to be alone, justifying it, etc.) She'll most likely come around, but that timeline will be on her, no one can force it, and the more you do the worse things will be.

    If you'd like to have a relationship with your mom, I would avoid the topic, and if it comes up simply state something like "I love you, but you know how I feel about this, lets change the subject" in a non-judgmental way.

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  • Everyone here has a good point and addressed the situation from what they tolerate.  It really depends on what you believe.  Trying to explain why your mom is acting that way Im sure she wouldn't even have the answer.  Try to talk about it without telling her what YOU think is good for her.  Just remember those days when you were younger and you wanted something and your mom would say no because its whats best for you.  I would bring it up one more time and just tell her how you feel about the situation.  Also, bring up the fact that you feel like for this man she is blowing off her family who should always come first.  It is wrong what she's doing, but I wouldn't put all the blame on her either.  The guy is a freakin pig and somehow its going to get to his wife, and he can even blow off your mom to make things better with his FAMILY.  good luck.

  • Who the man is - whether he's married or not - makes no difference.  It's rude and wrong to judge someone - condem them for cheating.  For all you know, his wife is fully aware of the affair and is fine with it.  Different couples live by different rules.

    The real issue is your mom dumping you.  What does she say when you explain that you're hurt when she cancels plans with YOU - leave out the sister and your sibs, this is just between you two.  It doesn't matter why she's cancelling - to see him or to sit on the couch and watch Law & Order.  I'd explain that if you make plans, you've made plans and are hurt when she cancels at the last minute.  Treat it just like any friend who makes plans and then blows them off at the last minute.

  • If anyone I knew decided to have a relationship with someone who's already married I'd stop associating with them.

    I don't care why, I don't care that they're in a loveless marriage or that they're "safe" or what-the-hell-ever.  The person is MARRIED.  If you don't want to be married get divorced, and then do whatever you want.

    How horrible for the wife, with small children and no clue.

  • I would tell her that I was disappointed & that she deserved better.
  • I've been in a similar situation, but let me start with my advice.

    Sit your mom down and be harsh with her.  Tell her that this guy is MARRIED.    He is betraying his wife and children by having this relationship with your mom.   He is not going to leave his wife and children for her.   She will always be second choice in the relationship.   Ask her how she would have felt if your father had been sleeping with his housekeeper?    Just because she is hurting as a widow does not give her the right to hurt another woman with her behavior.   Tell her that you're not trying to control her, but that you want her to be aware that her behavior is disgusting and you're losing respect for her as a person. 

    Is she in counseling?   I'm going to guess her actions go deeper than she's willing to acknowledge. 

    Now for my own anecdote.   My dad passed away in January, 2008.    He and my mom had been married for over 30 years.   My mom was soooooooo lonely.   And desperate.   And vulnerable.  And insecure.     She felt like she had struck gold with my dad, and she has actually said that no guy will be able to come close to him.   So, she kind of has this attitude that she can't find a guy whose good enough because they all will fall short, so it's like she's willing to tolerate anything.  

    She started dating a man maybe 6 months after my dad died.   She hadn't dated since she was a teenager (and it shows in her naivete).   He was married.   But, he told her that they were separated, but still living together for financial reasons.   He was "living" in the basement.   And she believed him.   He said they were just waiting to file for divorce until they sold the house, or something like that.   Naturally, I immediately called BS.   I told her that if he was indeed going to get divorced soon, that she should just wait for the divorce to be final and then date him.    But, I also told her that I didn't think he was going to be getting a divorce at all and that he was just giving her a line.    She didn't believe me. 

    Well, she finally believed me when he came over to hang out one day and asked her not to put on any perfume because his wife had smelled her perfume and got mad.   She was shocked.   Genuinely shocked!   She had honestly believed that they were separated and were getting a divorce, and that both were dating other people, or willing to date other people, etc.    Nope.   As far as I know, they are still married.   

    Doing this was totally uncharacteristic of my mom.   She's totally anti-cheating.   But, in her desperation, she convinced herself that it wasn't cheating because they were separated and getting a divorce, and her vulnerability gave her blinders to see that he was lying to her.    She also kind of had the attitude that she had dealt with so much pain recently, she deserved to find a little happiness (I actually told her flat out that her pain did not give her license to cause pain for this guy's wife). 

  • I guess she is the same as any woman who is having an affair with a married person: you could tell her over and over again "Come on, this isn't right, etc" but she will not listen.

    Sorry this happened to you.

  • Try to phrase it in a way that she can understand your side.  Say, ?Mom, how would you feel if I was sleeping with a married man???  Any parent I know would be crushed, disappointed and humiliated if their child was participating in an affair.

    In addition to the other comments, I agree that this is your mom and you need to figure out a way to keep your relationship with her.  Additionally, people do really stupid things sometimes.  If you had made a mistake (gotten knocked up at 15, gotten a DUI, etc), you would want her to stand by you, right??  Like others said, be clear where you stand on this issue and refuse to talk about her relationship.  Also,  make it clear that no matter what the reason, breaking plans is unacceptable.  No more blowing family off.

    I agree that this situation completely sucks.

  • image HistoryGeek:

    It's rude and wrong to judge someone

    Interesting. So you never judge anyone?
  • lol!  It's my favorite version of the liar paradox.
    image
  • Wow, no one has responded yet that there was infidelity in their own parents' marriage?  I'm a little surprised, but yeah, I went through that. 

    I had to deal with was the total breakdown in trust with my family.  It took years for me to get over it, but eventually, I decided to forgive eveyone.  Including the parent that cheated, and even the person that parent had an affair with and eventually married.  Do I condone their actions?  Heck no.  But it wasn't my choice.  Despite all of the embarrassment I felt (and honestly, still feel at times) they weren't my actions.  The people that know about the situation aren't judging me based on what my parents did.

    Basically, I decided I could swear off my family and carry that anger around with me for the rest of my life, or I could get over it.  It took a lot of talking, and a lot of changes in the way we treat each other.  I haven't forgotten what happened, but they are my family and I love them.

    I guess what I'm saying in all this is that you don't get to decide who your mom can date.  You can choose whether you you trust her or not.  You can choose whether or not you want to keep seeing her or talking to her, and in what circumstances.  If you think your mom is behaving like a selfish brat and treating you like she doesn't even love you anymore, you can tell her that, or you can stay away from her.  None of us can tell you what will work out the best for you.  You're just going to have to try something and see how you feel about it.

  • Wow that's tough.  I would definitely be upset with my mom if she did something like this, and I would try to talk to her about it and help her figure things out or whatever, but at the same time, it is her life and she's free to do what she wants with it.  Have you tried talking to her about it? Like for real talking to her, as a concerned daughter, without trying to pass too much judgement on her?
  • That sucks. It's a tough situation. On one hand she suffered a serious loss and has a lot of emotions going on. It's unfortunate that she had to find comfort with a married man. On the other hand, this is destructive behavior to herself. I think that if you don't want to deal with the situation then walk away, but if you still want her in your life you need to try and help her by making her see that the relationship can't end well. If it isn't a serious relationship then she can have a fling somewhere else. The guy will only end up hurting her. But a confrontation has to come from a standpoint of understanding. You can't really bring up how this is hurting you. It won't do any good. She won't respond to that since she's been through so much (as you have as well, but you have your family to help) She may feel alone and this man is the only thing to care for her. But again, I think the only thing that will get through to her is the future consequences of this relationship. It just can't end well and she'll feel more alone than before.
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