I have a strong suspicion that my mother is having an affair. She recently started a new job in a communication firm after teaching for close to 15 years.
All of a sudden there is this change in her personality. She works late often and seems distant from my father and her two children. A few times, I have caught her making phone calls upstairs and she stops talking or hangs up if I walk in.
Recently, my best friend said she saw her at a restaurant with a strange man and they were talking intimately.
What should I do so she won’t do anything to break our happy home?
Louisa, By e-mail.Dear Louisa,
Are you sure your mum is not simply adjusting to the high demands of working for a big company where she is more exposed than
she was when she was a teacher?
For instance, late nights at the office and dinner meetings with clients might be her new responsibility and because she’s busy, she might not be all that focused exclusively on her family.
She may have hung up quickly while making out of hours work calls because she felt guilty about it, and the man she was seen with could easily be a client she happened to get on with.
But what if she’s having an affair as you suspected? To get you out of your misery, you’re better off talking to her. Get her chatting about her new job, how it feels working in a male – dominated office.
If the conversation is going well and she’s opening up, you could tease her that you thought she was having an affair by her power-dressing and not having enough time for her family. If your worst suspicions were confirmed and she became uncomfortable, try not to condemn her.
Seriously, if she were having an affair, there is little you can do but hope that by opening up the discussion, she may think seriously about her next action.
Should you tell your dad? I think you should always let the two people in the relationship – in this case, your mum and dad try to solve the problem first, before you step in as an outsider, even if you are their child. They may well be able to work through it without too much stress.