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Don’t bring her home, Dad!

I think my parents are divorcing and now my father has met someone else. Can I confront him? 

That’s not a great idea, says our elder. Find a sympathetic ear instead.

 

Dear EWC

My parents are fighting a lot. I think it is a matter of time before they divorce. Although I hate to admit it, I think it is for the best for both of them since they can’t tolerate each other anymore. What bothers me is that we are not very close with our relatives. All I have is my family (my parents and my brother and sister) and it is about to fall apart and if that is not enough, I think my father is meeting another woman. It is one thing for my father to leave my mother but it is another thing if dad decides to bring another woman home, I don’t think I can tolerate her existence. Should I talk to my father and forbid him from doing so? I know my father; he will do what he wants without caring about anyone and I am scared that if I bring this up with him things will get more complicated

 

Scriber replies

I see the difficult situation you’re in right now and I’m very sorry you have to go through this experience. I’m sorry that your parents are fighting. Unfortunately, this happens in many families. When I was a child, my parents argued every day, so I think I can understand how you feel. Perhaps you can leave the house, when they argue, so you don’t have to hear it. That’s what I used to do and it seemed to help me feel better because I didn’t have to always witness the verbal abuse between my parents. 

Right now, I don’t think you should say anything to your dad or mom for several reasons. It doesn’t mean that you like or accept the situation. It just means that you choose to leave it alone for now. If your mom and dad are having marital problems, then allow them to work things out between them. It’s not your job or responsibility to try to fix their personal problems. Sometimes in situations like this, it’s also better to not take sides because you really don’t know the whole story. You may get bits and pieces here and there, but there’s often a lot that goes on behind closed doors that you’ll probably never know. Your parents have a long history together and what they discuss in private between them is their personal business. Let them work it out. You may be affected directly and indirectly at times by what your parents do or don’t do, but your parents are grown adults. Parents aren’t perfect. They make mistakes and bad choices just like everyone else.  I know it may be hard to accept their imperfections, but these are all life lessons to be learned along the way. You may become a stronger individual as you observe the struggles of others, especially those people who are close to you like your parents. 

At some point you may decide to speak to your dad privately and let him know that you think he’s having an affair, but I don’t recommend doing this. You’re obviously very upset, so you could share with your dad how you feel and why you feel that way. If you choose to talk with your dad, think about the potential consequences to this action. You know your dad’s personality and behavior. How do you think he will react? Will it lead to a huge argument? If so, then what? Are you prepared for a possible negative outcome? What do you expect to accomplish by talking to your dad? He may become extremely offended. These are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself if you ever decide to say anything to your dad. 

I know you’re dealing with a lot of emotions. I’m sure you’re feeling very overwhelmed, angry and confused. What’s important right now is that you know that you don’t have to try to manage all of these emotions by yourself. Please try to find someone you can trust, like a counselor, who can offer you a listening ear. You may just need to vent, more than anything else. Even if you do decide to talk with your dad, you may also want to talk to someone else later about it, especially if things don’t go well with your discussion with your dad. 

I hope my advice was helpful. Think things through before you take any kind of action and weigh all the pros and the cons. Think about what goal or objective you’d be trying to reach if you confronted your dad. Would it make the situation at home better for you or would it make things worse? Please write back and let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help you. You are always welcome to write to EWC any time you need more advice. You are also welcome to get a second opinion from another Elder who may be able to offer you additional insights and suggestions regarding your situation. 

Article #: 480562

Category: Family

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