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parents split right before my wedding

Hi All!


My husband and I were married on August 13 and it was the perfect day. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect start to a marriage. However, three weeks before my wedding and the day before my bachelorette party, my mom found out my dad was cheating on her and kicked him out. This obviously caused a lot of heartache and pain within my family and with myself. I still had my dad walk me down the aisle and had my father/daughter dance with him even though I was still very angry but I knew he was my dad and I didn't want to look back on my wedding day and regret not having him there.

After the wedding and while I was on my honeymoon, he asked my mom to try to give him another chance. She agreed but warned him that she was deeply hurt and the love she had for him was gone. After a month of trying, weekend trips, dinners, talks, the works, she told him that she was done and that the love she had for him faded away the day she found out of his infidelity. If they were to split up, I would be ok with it. All I want is for them to be happy and if that means they are happier apart, then that's what it has to be.

My problem is both parents have been talking to me about the other. It is really hard for me to be put in the middle and to be supportive for both of them. My dad made a huge mistake and has to unfortunately suffer the consequences. I've been there for my mom through this entire situation, but now I feel like she's holding a grudge against me since I haven't seen her in a few weeks due to work schedules, previously made weekend plans, and stupid colds (but I talk to her for a minimum of an hour on a daily basis). It has just become very hard for me and I'm at a loss of what to do. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance!


PS- Sorry for the rant lol

Re: parents split right before my wedding

  • "Mom/Dad, it is inappropriate for you to discuss your relationship with the other with me.  If you do not change the subject, I will hang up/leave.  I am not doing this to be rude.  You need to find a friend or therapist to talk to."  BTW, they are both jerks for putting you in the middle.  Congrats on your marriage.
  • You need to stay out of it. Completely. You are not their therapist.

    If they start talking about their problems or bad-mouthing each other, immediately cut them off and say, "Mom/Dad, I love you but please don't put me in the middle of this. Work it out amongst themselves or see a counselor." Then change the subject.

    If they won't knock it off at that point, then you need to end the conversation. "I won't get involved in this. If you're going to try to get me involved, then I'm afraid that we can't continue this conversation today. I love you and I'll talk to you later." Then hang up the phone, or get up and leave their house/the restaurant, or open your front door and show them out.

    They might get mad if you do this, they might yell or scream, they might cry, they might say that you're a bad daughter. But you just cannot. get. involved. Nip it in the bud NOW before you get in too deep. If you show them right from the start that you're not going to stand being pulled into their argument, then they will stop trying because they know it won't get them anywhere. And it absolutely does not make you an uncaring person or a bad daughter if you refuse to listen to their troubles. You're not a therapist - even if you were, as their daughter it's not your place to help them work it out. If you were to allow them to put you in the middle, the only thing that'll get accomplished is that you will get a headache and heartache.

    Sorry they're doing this. Stand strong and stay neutral.  

  • Change the topic and just be honest about what you feel and what you do not want. Make it clear that you love them both and you are there for both of them but you cannot be their sounding boards.
  • Thanks everyone! I guess its just hard because I was so "Team Mom" in the beginning because I was hurt and angry as well. However, now that it has been over a month, I'm talking to my dad more in order to get our relationship back on track. So it was my own fault for being so open about it to my mom in the beginning.
  • I would also add....

    I'm not sure what their marriage was like before the infidelity, but pretty much your spouse is the one that you lean on in hard times, is your best friend and confidante, your go-to person for outings, etc....your mom fired your dad from that job.  That is her right (especially given the circumstances!), but she made that choice, and it is not YOUR job to fill that void in her life. 

    If anything, your mom need to build a support system of friends her own age, with her intrests.  Ditto the pp's who noted that you are not your mom's therapist.  If she needs counseling, she needs a professional, but she also needs a network of friends so she can move her life forward. 

    And it is REALLY unfair for her to bring you into her marital issues.  You're allowed to love your dad, even if he did cheat on your mom. 

  • It definitely isn't fair and I guess I've just grown up always being my mom's support system. She doesn't trust many people and therefore doesn't have many friends so I've always been her go-to person. As mad as I was and still am about this whole situation, I also know that my dad didn't do it to personally attack me or my brother and I have to find a way to get back to a good place with him. So I will definitely talk to both of them, I'm  just not looking forward to the yelling/screaming/crying/etc that my mom will give me lol
  • I also want to add that the situation may not be as cut-and-dry as you think. I'm not trying to excuse your father's affair, but you never know what your parents' relationship was like before this, or what your parents may have done to each other in the past. It's their own business.  

    image megan_redding:
    So I will definitely talk to both of them, I'm  just not looking forward to the yelling/screaming/crying/etc that my mom will give me lol

    Sorry that this might happen. I wouldn't want to deal with it either.

    But it's important to remember that this is a better scenario, believe it or not, than you getting dragged into the middle of their fight. It'll blow up in your faces in the long run if you act as a pseudo-therapist to your mom, so it's better to deal with a short fight now than a long process of weaning her off of her co-dependence in the future.

    Remember that you and your mom love each other, and if she yells or cries that it's coming from a place of heartache that has nothing to do with you. You need to stay calm and collected and say, "Mom, I love you very much, but nothing good is going to come of me getting involved in this situation. I will do whatever I can do help you find a counselor to talk to." Repeat as necessary. If your mom still won't snap out of her screaming fit, then that's when you need to say, "Mom, you're clearly too upset to talk right now. I'm going to go home/hang up the phone, and you should take some time to calm down and relax. I'll call/visit you again soon. I love you." It might make you feel bad, but this does NOT make you a bad person. And the sooner you get used to shutting her down if she tries to get you involved, the easier it'll be for you (because you will get used to it, and she will learn that you're not going to allow her to drag you down with her).

  • You've been given a lot of really good advice. My parents divorced when I was 2 and I've been told on numerous occasions how lucky I am to have parents who still have a good relationship despite not wanting to be married to each other any  more.

    My mom put it best one time when this was brought, "I chose him as my husband and her father, I then chose for him not to be my husband any more...for him to not be her father was not a choice for me to make." If/When your mom gets upset about you not wanting to be in the middle gently remind her that he is still your dad and you still love him as much you love her.

  • thank you so much for all of your advice. there relationship was definitely not "healthy" by any means before the affair but it wasn't for a few years before this. but i cannot be in the middle of this. that was pretty spot on law67 with what your mom said. i think because i told her from the beginning that he is my dad and even though i may not like him right now, he's still my dad, i love him, and he's the only dad i'm ever going to get. thank you so much again everyone! i really appreciate it!
  • I can understand your wanting to be there for your mom in particular.  After all, she's the one that was wronged.  Of course she's holding a grudge.  A month is nothing compared to a long term marriage that one has found to be lied about and cheated on.  I think the view that she's being hard nosed about this needs to be softened a bit.  I think it is also a very short time for them to try to fix things with dinner dates rather than counseling, for what its worth.  Too, it is going to be difficult for your mother.  Likely she's pingponging over her emotions even dealing with you.  At times it will seem to her as if your continued relationship with your father, as if nothing ever happened, or thinking she should be further along in her acceptance of the affair, is going to look something like your condoning him in her eyes.  Not reality, necessarily, but it would be unusual if that thought wasn't pricking her.

    However, you need to pull yourself *out* of the middle by not being in the middle.  I don't even think you need a pre-statement...when things start happening in your presence with your father, you need to point him directly towards your mother.  Bluntly tell him it is a marriage issue and if he had kept things, including difficulties, in his marriage he wouldn't be where he is now.  When your mother begins the same, tell her you love her but that you are not the one to confide in and offer to go with her to counseling to help her heal and/or sort things out.  (You can wait in the waiting room and show support that way).  I would not encourage or even discuss the possibility of divorce or reconciliation with them - just point them to counseling or one another.

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