Her Mother’s Divorce

Her mother and stepfather are in the process of divorce due to his affair with a coworker. She says her mother is depressed and trying desperately to get her husband to come back to their marriage. She wants to help her mother but feels that there’s no hope for the marriage and she’s getting tired of her mother’s questions when she sees her stepdad.

I said:

From my personal view, you said it correctly when you said “I feel helpless and at a complete loss.” This situation is not in your control nor should it be. This is your mother’s life, her decisions and no matter how much you want to help, nor how much she tries to get you to help, this is definitely not your responsibility.

It is unfair for you to be placed in the position in which you find yourself. You cannot have the advice she needs nor can you give her the emotional support she requires. You are her child, not a trained counselor. Hopefully you can explain that to your mother. Tell her you love her with all your heart, but ask her not to place you into a role for which you are completely unqualified. If she won’t listen or respect what you tell her, you’ll have to set boundaries.

As far as how long it will take her to get through this, that depends upon her. The best you can do is try to distance yourself as much as possible from the emotional load she is placing on you. This is a trying time for you, too. Please take care of yourself.