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Terra's Past Letters

 

Parents:
"My parents are divorced and my mom has a new boyfriend."

Hey Terra,

My parents recently got divorced, and it's been hard on everyone, but we finally worked out the custody thing. Both of my parents want to see me and my brother all the time etc... but we finally worked that out.

Now my mom has a guy in her life who she says is "just a friend" but it seems like they are a little more than friends if you know what I mean. They are always together, he comes over for dinner with his daughter, he meets my mom's friends, she talks to him on the phone all the time... It makes me really mad because I feel like she's lying to me and not being straight with me. I feel like she thinks I'm stupid or something because she thinks I don't realize she has a boyfriend. I guess if she had been straight with me in the first place I would be more accepting of that fact, but now whenever I see them together it just pisses me off.

I know this isn't true but I feel like she's trading me in for his daughter. I mean my mom takes his daughter shopping all the time, they do stuff together, his daughter is about a year older than me. And I know that the guy and my mom are not "just friends." I don't know what is wrong with my mom, why won't she just tell me! It makes me really angry with her, and it's hurting our relationship. Me and my mom normally have a really good relationship, and I feel like she's lying to me, and I can't confide in her because of that. When I tried to confront her about her relationship she accused me of being selfish and not wanting her To have a life. I just don't know what to do about it and thought maybe you could help.

Really Confused

 

Dear Really Confused,

You don't need to "confront" someone to talk about your feelings. Since you and your mom already have the basis of a healthy relationship (which of course includes open and honest communication) I'd suggest you pick a time when the two of you are alone and unstressed so you can talk about this, calmly. You might start off by saying something like this:

"Mom, I feel badly that you don't trust me enough to really let me in on what's going on with you and your 'friend.' I'm not a little kid and I can see that the two of you have gotten really close. I don't have a problem with that. I like your 'friend' and I'm glad that you're happy, I just wish that you would trust me enough to tell me the truth about your relationship. If it's serious, that's certainly going to affect us as a family and I think I have the right to know. Also, I feel weird that you are spending so much time with your friend's daughter. I feel like you care more about her than you do about me. I know intellectually that it isn't true, but that's how I feel! Could we please, talk honestly about all of this?"

If you are calm and speak to your mom with respect, I think you will find that she has been wanting to talk to you about all of this too.

Good luck and please, let me know how it works out.

In friendship,

Terra

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