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My parents are separated, dad has a girlfriend who's not too great and my mom is spiralling out of control. Help me please

Tagged as: Family, Marriage problems, Three is a crowd, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (12 November 2017) 2 Answers - (Newest, 7 January 2018)
A female Australia age 22-25, anonymous writes:


My question today/tonight is about separation..

My parents have been separated since April 2016, They are still married but do not live together.

I asked my dad nicely if he could pay for flights for myself and my mum to go over east to visit the family (her side) as the conversation went on, I said "well technically you and mum are still married, so money isn't just yours, it's mums too still".

Now my dads girlfriend of a year whom lives with him *cough* put her two cents worth in by saying "well actually they are separated, so the money is your dads, not your mums"

I was quit upset by her response as she's living in the house that my parents bought, using my mums kitchen stuff etc; mail that gets sent is still addressed to both my parents.

My parent's separation has been very tough and upsetting for me as my mum is living with my uncle (her brother) , is still living out of suitcases, not in a great state at all, drinks, sleeps all the time, barely showers, never answers the phone and isn't a very capable/stable person, is not motivated to do anything at this current stage.

Whilst my father is still living in the house that my parents own, with his girlfriend. I'm watching my mother suffer while my dad is sitting pretty in the house, and my dads girlfriend has taken over the whole house.

(I have tried AA meetings for my mother)

I am also very upset that my dads girlfriend asked me to sort out my clothes in my room, to then find her clothes in my wardrobe the next time I went over, I believe even though I do not live at home anymore, that room is still mine and should have been left as is.

I have not spoken to my dad on how I feel as I have to accept that this is life now.

thank you for reading.

View related questions: has a girlfriend, money

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A reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2018):


I am sorry you are going through a difficult time.

However, I have to caution you against taking it out on this supposedly "not very nice" new girlfriend.

To claim that your dad owes your mom money because "Technically they are still married" and to have this discussion in front of the new girlfriend was not appropriate of you and surely you know this. It sounds like you were purposely trying to needle the new gf by reminding her of your dad's past with your mom in a not very nice way. I mean, what if she had said to you: "Technically you have no right to be here, because you are past age of majority and this therefore isn't your house." THAT wouldn't have been very nice would it? You see what is TECHNICALLY true isn't usually how things are. How things are is that your parents ARE split,and have been for quite a while- whether officially or not, and your dad does not owe you nor your mom any money beyond what the courts order.

The girlfriend was absolutely right- your dad's money IS his own- not your mom's, and it sounds like you are having trouble accepting that they are no longer sharing things because they are no longer together. But that was a very entitled and rude thing to say to him and the gf. Look- I do sympathize that this is not easy for you.

But I am saying that the girlfriend's reply was completely rational to a rather insensitive assertion by you.

Guess what? Stepmoms and new girlfriends are people too, and so is your dad entitled to his own decisions, and neither your dad nor his new girlfriend need an adult daughter to tell them how he should be paying his money or responsible to your mom.

As for her asking you to clean up a bit in your are 22 years old. My parents cleaned out my and my siblings rooms after we became adults and moved on with our lives. You are no longer a little girl and you don't own a room. Unfortunately you will have to learn to share space with someone you do not like (the gf) or move on elsewhere as you are a full-fledged adult. I'm not sure why some of her stuff was mixed in with your clothes, but it could have been an error in sorting laundry. I think it would be best to kindly ask her.

I am sure it is not easy for her being a newcomer to all of your lives either. It is not her fault that your parents split up. Do not rub this in her face or go on and on about what your dad owes your mom (financially, emotionally, etc). That is in the past and you need to move forward.

You are old enough to control your emotions over this, try to be mature. You never know, you might just find out that she is a great person when you give her a chance.

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A female reader, femmenoir Australia +, writes (13 November 2017):

femmenoir agony auntFirstly, may i express to you, how sincerely sorry i am that you've been placed in such a difficult position as a young person.

You sound very wise, mature and seem to be keeping your head above water, however, i can't imagine what you've had to endure and are enduring day by day.

You have numerous dilemmas as i see it.

Separation, divorce, where does one begin?

You're in your early 20s and have to contend with the separation of your parents, plus the sad fact that your Mum isn't doing emotionally well at all and your dad has introduced a new and not so nice person into his life, adding to your stress and feelings of isolation.

In reference to your Mum, it sounds as though your Dad asked her to leave their marital home and i'm wondering why and what must have transpired?

Perhaps your Mum wasn't strong enough to fight back and she had every right to fight for what's hers too.

If your parents both own their marital home, then your Mum should never have left, even upon your dad's request, because from a financial standpoint, she is entitled to half of all assets.

Your Mum doesn't sound strong enough to cope with all this, however, it would really be in her very best interest to engage in the help of a Divorce Lawyer, just to find out what her rights are.

If your Mum is financially strapped, then she could look into getting the first 30 mins free of charge.

Many Lawyers will give free advice for the first 30 mins and these questions may be asked when the Lawyer's office is called.

Your Dad's gf, she should not be interfering in your parents separation/divorce as it is none of her business!

She may be his new gf, but the two people going through all this are YOUR PARENTS and she has no right to voice her opinion in the presence of your dad, certainly not regarding his FINANCIAL STATUS AND YOUR RIGHTS AS HIS DAUGHTER TO QUESTION HIM.

Could she be after his money/assets? It's very possible, because she seems to be making her move very fast, from what you share with us.

Wow, this woman has some nerve!

Your Dad sounds as though he's on the rebounds anyway, because seriously, who brings a new partner into their home, whilst STILL GOING THROUGH SEPARATION AND IMPENDING DIVORCE?!

She sounds very CONTROLLING. Am i right?

If so, you are no child, so why don't you pluck up the courage and share with your Dad as to how you feel about everything and especially about his gf.

Let him know that you didn't like what she said in your presence about your Mum and what she did in your bedroom when you weren't there.

This woman had NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to go through your wardrobe and remove all YOUR clothing and replace the wardrobe with ALL HER CLOTHES AND BELONGINGS!

I bet she didn't even come to you first, to ask for your consent did she?

Even if you no longer live with your Dad, she still had no right to do that and it's not actually up to your Dad, but it's up to YOU.

My gosh, if i was there, seriously, i'd act on your behalf and give this new gf a good whipping and tongue lashing!!!

I think your dad may be blinded by love here my dear.

Can he not see what she is really up to?

I mean, what has she brought into the relationship asset wise?

I'm almost certain nothing, YET this is how she treats you and your family.

Your Dad must step it up, before this gf really takes over fully.

Your Dad's naive and if he's not careful, she'll eat him out of house and home.

Believe me, i've seen it and heard about it happening so many times before and it's never pretty.

She sounds quite sneaky, abusive and as i said before, very controlling.

She has walked into your parents home and taken over, that's what she's done and i think it's totally acceptable for you to tell your Dad what you really think/feel about their impending divorce and his gf's behaviour.

She sounds cold, calculating and has a deep rooted modus operandi and one that doesn't place your entire family's well being at heart.

A sincere and caring gf would be more worried about you and your Mother, especially considering she's female.

She ought be trying to help maintain a level of "normalcy" to the best of her ability, considering she's entered your Dad's life during this sensitive and emotional point in time.

What kind of person has your Dad met?

You should sit down and have a chat, the sooner, the better, with your Dad and tell him that you are very concerned about your Mum and what is he prepared to do to help her, because you love her and need her and don't want anything bad to happen to her and besides, at one point in time, he did love her and you were born out of that love.

Surely your Dad hasn't become that heartless has he?

YOu are still quite young and i suspect, financially incapable of taking full care of your Mum, so you do require help from your Dad or a close family member.

Can you talk to a close family member about what you're going through?

Does your Mum have a close sibling or friend you can approach on her behalf and does your Mum have a good GP?

A GP is one of the best starting points to finding help, especially when you've nobody else and a GP will be much cheaper to begin with.

I'm assuming here, that your Mum is unemployed. Am i right?

If so, it will be very difficult for her to cope alone.

She, being so unwell at present, makes me think that even if she has a job, she'll have great trouble holding one down, which means, she really isn't coping.

It sounds as though your Dad is under this new woman's negative spell and he can't see right from wrong anymore and you've no real power to do or say anything, but you know that YOU CAN SPEAK UP AND YOU SHOULD!

If you would like to private message me, i'd be happy to hear from you and i can give you more advice and provide you with some friendly online support.

Make that next positive step and talk to your Dad in private and not with his gf lurking around.

Even if she insists on being present, you say, NO! I will talk to my Dad alone thanks and sound totally legit when you say it.

If you don't make this step, nothing will change and everything will spiral further downhill, so do it for you and for your Mum.

Best of luck and please let me know how you go.

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