DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: When I was 18 I found out my father was having an affair with a woman we all knew from his office softball team.
At the time my parents talked about whether or not they would stay together, and they decided to for the usual reason — for the kids. When it all went down my younger sister was 14 and our younger brothers were 12 and 8. I was the only one who knew what was going on, but I am fairly certain my sister had some idea of the truth.
My parents’ decision may not have been a bad one. The woman ended up moving with her husband to a new job and town, and my parents seemed to get it all back together after a lot of hard work and counseling.
My mother told me last week that the woman was back in town, divorced, and looking almost as good as she did 10 years ago. Mom said my father knew about it before she did, and that it hurt her when he decided not to tell her.
I find it worries me too that my father didn’t bother to tell his own wife when his ex-mistress was back in the area. I asked him about it, and he said he wanted to not get my mother upset by being the one to tell her that woman is back, but he realizes now it was probably a mistake. I couldn’t agree more, but now that we’ve talked openly about it, do you see any reason I can’t ask Dad if he still has any interest in this woman? If he says no, I can tell my mother that she has nothing to worry about. If he says yes, then at least this time everyone will know there is a big something to worry about. --- THE OTHER WOMAN’S BACK IN TOWN
DEAR THE OTHER WOMAN’S BACK IN TOWN: It sounds like your parents were able to work through the effects of your father’s extra-marital relationship without your input back when it happened.
While your concern is clearly the result of your caring for your mom, I see little to no value in your taking an active role in how she and your dad tackle the reappearance of “the other woman” now she’s returned to your town.