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Angry about my parents divorce.

Tagged as: Big Questions, Family, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (10 September 2017) 6 Answers - (Newest, 13 September 2017)
A male United States age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Long story short, when I was 6 my mom cheated on my Dad with a married man that has 2 kids older than me. Less than a year they both left their spouses for each other. When I grew up my step siblings ignored me like I don't exist. My step dad son ignored me and his sister was mean to me. My mom brainwashed me to call my step-Dad "DAD".......if I accidently call him by his name instead of Dad my mother gets angry at me. I would never forget when I was 14 my real Dad confronted me about it, he was so upset with me calling my step-dad "dad".......I'm so angry at myself for being stupid and argued with him How it's ok for me to call my step-Dad "Dad". I was very laid back growing up, whenever I ask mom about their divorce she quickly shuts me off....she said that She don't owe me an explanation. Growing up it was very weird for me to see my friends live with their real Dads, I always ask them why they don't have another Dad like me? I thought that was the coolest thing.....my friends gets to live with their real Dad. Now I'm grown and married with 4 kids I can see what a piece of work my mother was. Till to this day she still thinks she don't owe me an explanation of what happened. I asked my Dad about their divorce now I know everything. My mother brainwashed me to call the man that broke my family apart "Dad", my step-Dad already talk to his kids about the divorce cause they were bitter too yet my mother refuse to talk to me. I have to rebuild a relationship with my Dad that he was robbed from by my mother, I have to look at him in the eye and apologize for arguing with him when I was 14 about calling my step-Dad "Dad". Now that I'm married with kids I can finally understand what my Dad talked to me about, if my wife do to me what my mother did to me I will be the man with nothing. Last time I talked to my mom i asked her why? Why did she brainwash me to satisfy my step-Dad?A lot of questions but she still stubborn refuse to talk to me about it cause it was in the past......it should stay in the past since she can't fix it. Her attitude is making me very angry to a point that I'm thinking of cutting her off from my life. We used to be very close until 2 years ago when I start asking her questions. She blamed my wife, she thinks that she bad-mouth her to me, she thinks that my wife was the one that make me bitter about the divorce after so many years cause I used to not care. I told my mother it's "me" not my wife....it took me a long time but now I'm angry about it. I just want her to at least admit she was wrong...which is something she will never do. I don't know how to talk to her anymore, she kept blaming my wife for her mistakes, she don't want to explain anything to me. She cried play the victim card whenever I talk about the divorce......she treated me like a child, now I'm starting to think maybe the reason why she treat me like a stupid child so she don't owe me an explanation. I knew about their affair but I didn't know it was bad. Makes me sick to think about my "Christian" mother being a homewrecker. I have tried but she don't want to admit she was wrong. My mother wanted me to forget and forgive but I just can't forgive her...help.

View related questions: affair, divorce, married man

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (13 September 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntThis is a choice that you have to make, but allowing it to build up and eat you up inside is not healthy. Eventually things will get so bad you will need therapy. Do you really need the answers from your mum for closure? I understand that yes she had an affair and that was wrong and it was wrong off her to do what she done to you and your Dad, but is cutting her from your life now going to make it easier for you? If it is then sure cut her out and spend more time with your Dad. You do whatever you need to do to look after yourself.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia + , writes (11 September 2017):

Aunty BimBim agony auntI meant to add, demanding your mother admit she is wrong when she doesn't think she was wrong is just like flogging a dead horse. It is cruel to insist she admit guilt when there is none.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia + , writes (11 September 2017):

Aunty BimBim agony auntI have long pondered whether I should respond to your question or not. There are so many issues here and its very obvious, at least on your part, a whole lot of hurt.

I have to ask, what is it you are expecting from your mother? For her to break down and admit she was wrong, she is evil, she ruined your life? And from then on to renounce her place in the world and go lock herself away wearing nothing but sack cloth and ashes?

What is it you want from your mother?

None of us, not you, not me nor the other people reading this know what it was that caused your mother to forego her marriage vows and enter into another relationship while still married to your father ... we also don't know what was going wrong in your step father's first marriage either, or why he entered into a relationship with your mother while he was still married. When your father gave you the story it was his version, remember there are three sides to every story, his side, her side and somewhere in the middle, the truth!

Another thing, your mother doesn’t OWE you anything, especially not if you are as aggressive asking her as your words here indicate.

She cant fix anything the way you want it fixed. She can’t throw herself on your mercy because she would then be denying everything that has happened since her divorce ... her current marriage and any happiness she has from that marriage. Why should she do that for an angry son?

If you want to cut ties with her as punishment then do it, but I believe forgiveness is what is needed here and would go a long way towards healing the rifts.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 September 2017):

Holding anger against your own mother all these years must be quite exhausting. Anger and resentment is quite toxic. The longer you hold onto it, the more it eats away at your soul.

It starts to work it's nasty way into everything. The bitterness starts to show-up in different areas of your life. It manifests itself in various emotional responses; and there is no way to anticipate how or when it will surface. It can make its way into random thoughts and actions. Tainting your feelings about things that are totally unrelated.

So you're teaching your kids how they should treat you or your wife; if one of you makes a choice they don't like.

No one can tell you how you must feel. I only hope you are never forced to make a decision your own children will hate you for. I hope that is a promise you will never break. I guess holding contempt for ones own mother will erase the past and make life more livable?

Do you have to teach your children to hate and ignore their grandmother? I assume you must perpetuate your grudge through the next generation? Your legacy to pass on. I guess your mother should have remained with your father; even if she didn't love him.

I agree that your mother is a selfish woman. She had no right to force you to call some other man "Dad;" unless you really wanted to. She forced two nasty resentful brats on you; who refused to acknowledge you, or show you love. Must have been plenty of hate to go around. You must have tried your hardest to be nice to them. You know, in spite of the fact their dad married your mother. Now you're all grown-up; but nothing has changed in all this time. For you, time has stood still. How hard that must be?

What could your mother possibly tell you that would make you accept that she left your father? Being a child in the middle of all this; you wouldn't accept any reason a parent would give for breaking-up the family. Alas, you are no longer a child. Now stubbornness has stepped in; so you must keep up the anger as a full-grown man. Refusing to let go of the past. Although everyone else has moved on. How does it feel back there in the past?

Forgiveness is freedom. Maintaining a life of anger against the woman who gave me life is inconceivable. The funny thing about it. Everyone (which includes you) thinks they deserve forgiveness. No one thinks they can sin so badly they don't deserve it. Even when you know how much you've hurt someone you love, you starve for it. Time is supposed to be a healer. Not for some people. They live for their pain and suffering. They think that nasty side of themselves is undetectable. It's as visible as the nose on your face.

If you can't forgive your own mother; I wonder what kind of husband and father you've become?

It takes a lot of work to withhold forgiveness. Something good inside has to be given-up to make room for the hate. Hate takes up a lot of space; and it tends to make it's way into every thought and action. You can let it grow so big, it controls you.

You can continue punishing your mother. Spoiler alert!!! It won't change a thing!

The only one changed for holding onto hatred, is you. You're a bitter man. Wrapped in resentment for his mother, who was forced by her heart to make a choice. For reasons only her heart knows. For reasons that will not change the past; even if she gave you every dirty detail why. Your father explained it to you. Instead, you want her to suffer through telling you to your face. Karma has already done that. She only has to look in your eyes. She has seen the pain in your face all your life. Like you, she's stubborn too.

It seems your father has moved on. Who could be hurt more than he? Hate and anger can't change the past. It's sad you can't outgrow it. The fact is, what happened to your parent's marriage is beyond your understanding. It's none of your business. No matter how they try to explain it; you won't like it.

There is also such thing as "too much information." There may be secrets your mother will take to the grave that she will never reveal; if it will protect you. A mother's love is weird. Sometimes they will protect us from the oddest things. She sees her karma every waking-day. What could hurt more than being resented by your own son?

Well, if you can survive on it; there's not much I can say to change that. In all my experience; I have never seen a good outcome for people holding angry grudges against their own flesh and blood. They don't realize the wasted-time until death steps in; and nothing can be changed. Then the love that was imprisoned and held locked away; struggles to get out. Grief will set that love free; only to find that it's too late. Then here comes guilt and regret on top of everything else. She's still your mother. What can I say?

My friend, hatred and resentment stunts your growth. It keeps you stuck in the past. It has taken a chunk out of your life, and you wrote this post only because you're exhausted. Punishing your mother is hard-work. Doing so hurts you more than what she did. If only your stubbornness would let you admit it. I think you miss her so much. If only you could get past it all.

The choice is yours. What a weight would be lifted from your shoulders. What comfort you would find to bury all the pain in the past where it belongs. What joy it would be to love both your mother and father, as they both love you.

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (10 September 2017):

A lot of people will tell you to forgive and forget. I'm not one of them. But I will tell you that carrying around a grudge toward your mother is like drinking poison hoping that it will kill your enemy.

You know what your mother is and what she did. And what she is doing now, bad mouthing your wife. You also know she is not going to change or give you the apology you want or need.

Rebuild your relationship with your father. Make sure your children know wh their grandfather is. And if you think it will make your life better by cutting your mother out of your life then do what you have to do for you and yours.

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A male reader, Denizen United Kingdom + , writes (10 September 2017):

Denizen agony auntYou may never want to forgive. However you don't have to let it affect the rest of your life. You don't have to carry this around with you anymore if you don't want to.

Accept that you cannot change what has happened. But your life is yours to live. You do not have to walk around under the shadow of it all.

Focus on your future and your present. Believe me, crap happens all the time to all sorts of people. No-one gets off Scot-free.

The difference is how we handle it. Do we let it make a difference? Or do we say, 'That isn't mine. Not my concern. I can get along quite well with my life without their problems.'

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