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Topic: I can't accept my mum's relationships

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. sunflower_
    sunflower_ avatar
    2 posts
    1 November 2019

    My parents have been divorced for 5 years now, since I was in primary school and my brother was in preschool.

    At first, everything was fine.

    We both stayed in my mum's custody and went to see my dad one night a week and every second weekend. Both my parents moved on quite quickly, both getting partners in the first year of being divorced. My dad's only girlfriend, who is now his wife, is kind, caring, beautiful and I really love her. However, my mum has had 6 relationships since the divorce, 2 being very serious and long term. Ever since her first relationship I have never been extremely comfortable with her partners coming over, or us going on holidays/road trips as a "family". But in the beginning it wasn't that bad, I would get upset or uncomfortable, but that's about it. However, as each relationship went by, I grew more and more anxious, upset, angry, nervous, worried, uncomfortable and confused all at the same time whenever they came over for dinner or we would go to their house. It's now gotten to the point where whenever we are at my dad's house and I just think about my mum with her boyfriend I get anxious and angry.

    But it doesn't make sense. All of her boyfriends have been kind and caring people, but I still feel this way around them.

    It's also gotten to the point where I feel I am ruining her life. Nowadays, she has been in her current relationship for nearly 2 years and I'm pretty sure she is considering marriage. The only thing stopping them is me. Every time her boyfriend comes over for dinner, I isolate myself in my room and most times just cry or feel all the above emotions but in extreme versions. And when I find out he is sleeping over, I slam my door, cry profusely and can't sleep. At first, when my mum saw me upset, she always told me it's just a change and I will get over it. But after 5 years of me not being able to breathe when they are around, and it getting worse every day, I don't think I'm ever going to get over it.

    Eventually, I drive her boyfriend out of the house as he feels bad, and then I just hear my mum sobbing in her room, and it just makes me feel like I'm a burden and the worst daughter in the world, but I can't help it. I try to stay calm and talk to him, but when I try I just feel everything again but even worse and I storm off.

    My brother has been fine with all her relationships, and that just makes me feel even worse. How can he be younger than me but still accept him? Why can't I just be normal and accept him?

  2. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    262 posts
    1 November 2019 in reply to sunflower_

    Dear Sunflower_

    The family unit, mum, dad, siblings is one of the bedrocks on which most young people base their lives, and when that comes to an end, even if both parents still love their children just as much it is not the same.

    So there is grief, loss, certainty, even anger and feelings of betrayal, plus the world is not the same secure place.

    In all of that, after 5 hears you are still normal in feeling those things. your younger brother is more fortunate, perhaps because he was younger.

    I've been the man that left the house because the child was so unhappy, and though I tried my hardest was not able to convince them I was offering friendship, and was asking for it too. I guess I'm sensitive.

    I'd like to make a couple of suggestions if you don't mind.

    Firstly is it possible to stay more with your dad? That way you will not have your mum's relationships in your face every day.

    The second is to get counseling, hopefully arranged by one of your parents. There are some very good councilors out there well used to this situation.

    You may never come to terms wiht your mum's man, or you may, like my case, come to terms after a quite long period of stability. Stability is important.

    I notice you thought her choices were all reasonable people, maybe that means it is not the men themselves, but the changing from one to another -a lack of stability in your mum's affections- that is part of what is gettng to you

    What do you think?


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  3. white knight
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    2 November 2019 in reply to Croix

    Hi, welcome

    I wont duplicate Croix's fine advice.

    I was in your mums situation when my daughter was 19yo. She would not accept my new gf at all. It didnt help that my gf was her auntie by marriage (our ex spouses were brother and sister).

    In the end we married but I went to many bad places mentally with her about the topic. I felt that my daughter at that time, never put my choices above her own feelings...I would say she was possessive in the extreme.

    What I told her at that time was, that soon she'll meet a guy (she did a year later), move in with him (she did) and if I listened to her and broke off with my new gf, I'd be on my own. How is that fair?

    Two years later we married and she now treats her and calls her "mum". She apologised years later for being over the top. I forgave her but the hurt remains.

    Your mum deserves happiness. Life can be lonely being alone. We all want to be adored and cared for.

    Croix's suggestion of living with dad is a good one. Better still is to think about the sadness your mum feels, that she cant have love from a man because she is not "allowed".

    I'm sorry if this approach of mine hurts a little but there are many single parents out there that are unhappy as they have to remain single.

    My dad used to say "never stop another person from being happy."

    So I hope you just consider this as you work through your feelings. An environment with a step parent can be complex. The step parent and child need to establish a friendship also which involves effort from both sides.


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  4. geoff
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    905 posts
    2 November 2019 in reply to sunflower_

    Hello Sunflower, it is never easy for kids or even when the parents separate to have their mum or dad start a new relationship, it destroys the family unit and it doesn't matter whether the new person is kind to you in any way possible, it's still can't replace your mum/dad.

    My ex wife started a new r/relationship after we divorced and both our sons don't like him and I was quite surprised it happened so quickly because he had all the traits my wife disliked like in me, but now she is his carer.

    I can absolutely relate to what you are saying and have enormous empathy for you, as not only what I've said above, my Dad put Mum into a nursing home after a knee operation as she had no physio and was unable to walk, plus he was also having an affair with the next door neighbour.

    Much more had happened but you can see that I sympathise with you and feel so sorry for you.

    Best wishes.


  5. sunflower_
    sunflower_ avatar
    2 posts
    17 November 2019 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    Thank you for the advice,
    I have considered a range of options, like moving in with my dad, however they never end up working out. When the situation started to get worse, I did end up asking my mum if I could move in with my dad, but she got really upset and I knew that I couldn't bring it up again. I found out very quickly that the one thing that is worse than me ruining her relationships, is me moving out as my brother and I are the only family she has in Australia because all of her family live overseas. I have also been seeing different counsellors ever since my parent's divorce, but I have never told them about my feelings and problem as I have always told myself "oh you will get over it, it's just the change that you need to get used to" or "she won't be able to help you."

    I do also think that the lack of stability is affecting me, and how she gets a new partner nearly every year, but I've always thought that there is nothing I can do about it as she needs to find the right boyfriend. I don't want to make her stay in a relationship for more than she feels comfortable jut because I can't stand them.

    Thanks again for the reply

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  6. Croix
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    262 posts
    18 November 2019 in reply to sunflower_

    Dear Sunflower_

    OK, I've put forward the idea of more time with dad, but I can understand you do not want to wreck your mother's life. I think she is lucky to have a daughter who tries so hard for her.

    I'm no doctor, apart from a MH condition I was faced with a very reluctant teenage girl when I remarried. It never worked properly, though we are civil, as she has always felt her mum betrayed her dad by seeking another, after he died young.

    So I've no real answers. I agree your mother needs love and affection, your dad has found it, and you are stuck.I guess for your mother to allow him to go and weeps alone shows how much she will do for you - which might make you feel guilty but is in fact a wonderful thing. She herself no doubt feels guilt too.

    May I ask some questions? No need to answer, though you might think about them, probably hard not to.

    Has anyone such as a boyfriend of your mum mistreated anyone, you, your brother - or your mum? Or tried to lay down the law?

    Second what goes though your mind when you see the boyfriend arrive? What do you think is so upsetting?

    The second is the hardest, it takes in so many things, the absence of your dad in the house, lack of support as both mum and dad now have more priorities? Trying to find something wrong? The thought of your mother being intimate if the bf stays over? Plus more.

    Do you think the bf would like a genuine friendship with you? Nothing overwhelming, just an improvement until each is relaxed with the other.

    Those are just some thoughts, maybe wildly wrong -I apologize if so.

    When you think about it you have a lot of influence - or power if you like. And you want to use it for good, let your mum have a happy life, a caring loving attitude, as I said, she is lucky.

    Another approach: is there anything at all you might have in common with the bf? Music, books, movies, sport, ... Even in tears reaching out for a moment might help.

    No answers as you can see, and maybe a councilor will help in time, here you are cared for and will at least have us be beside you even if I am full of silly sugestions