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Teenage Problems/Mom is cheating

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My parents haven't had the best relationship. I overheard them talking about my dads penis and how it doesn't work (I know, kinda awkward for me) but I then asked my mom about it and she confirmed so I guess they can't have sex which can Be a huge part of a relationship. Since my mom doesn't get sex from my dad or any sexual attention, she seeks it from other guys. I caught her tonight on Skype having like..Skype sex. I read her Facebook messages and texts too, which I know is a violation of privacy, but Im an investigator. I consider this cheating. She said she didn't when I confronted her. I also screen shotted their conversations. I'm pretty much ready to ruin the guys marriage because I'm so upset. But my boyfriend is helping me through it and saying I shouldn't and whatever. My mom also brought up the point that my dad left my mom and me and when I was a baby for another woman for a little while. Pretty sure this is true. But my mom thinks this makes it okay for her to do it. She talks to all these other guys when my dad goes out of town. Their relationship just isn't good a lot of the time. My mom verbally and sometimes physically abuses my dad. My mom has told me she wants to leave but knows I won't go with her so she won't. I don't know if I should show my dad these messages or what. Sorry this is all over the place. I'm an emotional wreck right now. Oh yeah, I'm 15 if that matters. But please help. Should I show my dad the messages or confront them both about divorce? Because they won't do it.
Thank you.

Answer
Hi there Lauren,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I hope that I can help.

Firstly, let me apologize for not getting back to you sooner but my paid job has kept me busy and I have not been able to get near a computer as soon as I would have liked. So I apologize for the delay in getting back to you but I did not forget about you. Now on to your problem...

Sex is a big part of any relationship and it is a way of sharing intimacy and showing vulnerability that helps bring couples together. It is also a way of partners building their confidence about themselves and their bodies, feeling loved no matter what they look like under their clothes. Because of this, sex is important in a relationship because it fulfills both a physical and emotional need and when it is missing, so too is part of the emotional connection that helps relationships survive and thrive. From what you have explained, your dad may be having problems getting an erection (or boner) when he is attempting to have sex with your mom. This means that your mom is getting angry and frustrated with him because she feels that she is not getting the sex (and love) that she should be from him and consequently, she is seeking this from other men. I do not just think that this Skyping is just about sex though, I think your mom is craving the attention from men who want to see her and want to have sex with her to build up her confidence and to help her see that although your dad may not want to/be capable of having sex with her, she feels that by Skyping, other men do and this will boost her confidence. Ultimately though, what this is doing is actually pushing your mom and dad apart because the more your mom does this, the more she will crave the attention/sex and the more she will do it. I understand that your mom has needs that your dad may not be able to fulfill but she is playing a very tricky game and if your dad did find out, he would be the one that ended the relationship not her.

It sounds like this issue around the sex and the Skype is one of a couple that your mom and dad are facing and it is probably the case that their relationship has been in the process of breaking down for the last couple of years but neither wants to end it for fear of being on their own and losing you. This is a common situation where parents love each other but are no longer 'in love' with each other but neither will leave; they are bound by fear of loneliness, loss of routine and the fear of risk. That said, it is not fair for either partner to be cheating (either by physically having sex with or putting a show on Skype) as this is disrespectful and unfair. That said, it is not for you to confront them with the evidence as it will put you directly in the middle of the situation and you may be blamed; also, you may be asked by your dad for how long did you know about what was going on and again, this may cause friction. Similarly, getting involved in this other guy's marriage, although for all of the best intentions, you again may end up worse off for being honest.

One of the things that you could do is give your mom an ultimatum and explain to her that either she stops Skyping or you will take the evidence to your dad and see what she says. Tell her that it is not fair what she is doing on either your dad or you and that she needs to either end her Skyping or end her relationship with your dad because she cannot have both. If she doesn't give it up then approach your dad and ask him about whether or not he thinks that he and your mom's relationship is working out and see what he says; or, just ask him if he is happy? If he thinks that everything is going well and does not really see any problems, then be very careful about what you say about what you know because it could devestate him. Talk to him about hypotheticals (so, imaginary 'what ifs') about the future and whether or not he would cheat on your mom etc. By doing this you are getting him think about whether or not he would cheat but also whether your mom would but without actually saying that you suspect she is...so he will go hunting for the evidence and you cannot be blamed.

Ultimately, this is a sensitive issue and I know it must be hard for you to deal with but if you are not careful, you could end up in the middle of something nasty. It is about trying to get your parents to do the right thing but trying to help them come to their own conclusions themselves. This you can do by being tactful with the truth but also, posing questions to get them thinking...do this and hopefully everything will either be out in the open causing them to discuss everything or your mom will stop what she is doing.

I hope that helps.  

Teenage Problems

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Daryl Taylor, BSc (Hons) Psychology, PGDip (pending certification)

Expertise

My expertise covers everything and anything to do with growing up, being a teenager or a young adult or being the parent of one of the pre-described. I can cover issues on identity, sexuality, love, relationships, families, drug/alcohol abuse and anything and everything in between.

Experience

I have volunteered for AllExperts.com for over ten years now, but even before that I was trying to use my experience to help others by working with Advice4teens.co.uk, Teenadviceonline.org and even Lycos and Ask Jeeves. My experience comes from being a teenager primarily but this lead me to work with young people from the age of 13. I have worked front line, face to face and over the telephone, e-mail and webchat for a government department called Connexions UK (aimed at young people aged 13-19); as well as being student counselor in New York, a Peer Mentor, a student teacher and working for my school, college and University to help raise the aspirations of young people. My life has not been easy and I have been through my fair share of issues; so there is little that I haven't been through in reality opposed to just reading it from a book or from my academic studies. I have been featured as a case study as achieving through adversity for a number of magazines and I have featured in a couple of books on both sides of the Atlantic; even though I am UK based.

Organizations
The Albert Kennedy Trust

Publications
Relationships: Cathy Senker, 2012, Raintree The Dean and Chapter Positive Nation GTEN Television Aim Higher

Education/Credentials
BSc(Hons) Psychology Post Graduate Diploma in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation Basic Counselling Skills Effective Listening Skills Mental Health First Aid

Awards and Honors
Outstanding Student achievement Adult learner's Award

Past/Present Clients
Allexperts.com Advice4teensuk.org Teenadviceonline.org lycos.co.uk askjeeves.com Connexions Direct

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