DEAR ABBY: When my sibling and I were 6 and 10, our parents sat us down and told us they were getting a divorce because Dad had an affair. Mom was, to say the least, incredibly hurt. Her hurt and resentment haven't subsided to this day. Dad has never apologized to her, but he has supported her financially ever since.
Mom has tried therapy, but the minute a therapist upsets her, she stops going. My parents both now live near my sister to help care for her twins. Mom is constantly upset with things Dad does or that he's not friendly enough with her. She says he is nicer to strangers than he is with her.
I don't want to seem insensitive, but they have now been divorced longer than they were married. It's exhausting, and it is starting to feel like we are enabling her. I hate that what happened has defined the last two decades of her life. Is there something I can say to communicate that it's way past time to be over this, but in a nicer way that may be helpful, and maybe won't leave her too much room to tell me I'm victim blaming? -- WHAT'S PAST HAS PASSED
DEAR WHAT'S PAST: I, too, am sorry about what happened to your parents' marriage. That your mother has been unable to move beyond the divorce and quits therapy the minute a therapist says something she doesn't want to hear is very sad -- for her. What you need to understand is that some people cling to their "victimhood" for comfort. It buffers them from having to recognize their own contribution to their failure.
Because you have tried in the past without success to help your mother let go of her bitterness, I'm advising you to stop trying. For your own sake, when she starts complaining about your father, change the subject, end the conversation or tune out. Enabling her isn't helping either of you.