My father has had numerous affairs throughout his marriage to my mother(20 years). Recently I found evidence that my father has been meeting for sex with women, girls 19-24, by the way I am 24. He uses Craig’s list to find these girls. I actually have papers I found in his vehicle describing their services and their prices. These papers of his that I found even include DIRECTIONS in his handwriting.
My mother knows about this. It is the usual numb feeling that she and I experience and share pertaining to my father’s behavior. We are so used to this. B,ut this time it’s different. This time I refuse to forgive and forget so easily. I want to comfront him. I already know all too well how to stroke his ego in order for this conversation to even begin to take place.
Can you PLEASE inform (OR PREPARE) me for how I should go about the conversation and how to handle his immediate reaction? Thanks soooo much…
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
There are many things about your father’s behavior that is very objectionable and I do not blame you and your mother for feeling extremely upset by this. The fact that he leaves evidence lying around about his activities indicates a real contempt for your mother and her feelings. His daughter, you, should be protected from this but he seems to disregard that obvious fact. What is also alarming about this disgusting activity of his is that he brings home the danger of exposing your mother to sexually transmitted diseases.
However, even though his activities are revolting to you, I am not sure it is your place to confront him. In other words, this is an issue between him and your mother and that is where it should be addressed.
It is time that your mother confronts his behavior and demands that she will not longer tolerate this and ends the marriage or, at the very least, demands that he stops visiting prostitutes.
As with all families, there are boundaries that must be in place. It is not for children, albeit adult children, to be involved in marital difficulties especially those that are sexual, between parents. It is your mother who must do the confronting.
In my opinion, you can and even should, confront your mother about why she has done nothing. You can push your mother to stop living this way. You can beg and plead with your mother to end this now. However, in the final analysis, you cannot force her to take action.
I would hate to think of you putting yourself in a situation in which you confront your father, be told by him that its none of your business and discover that your mother is not there to back you up. Ultimately, at age 24, it is time for you to live your own life. You can advise and encourage your mother but it is up to her to take action.
People will stay together for many reasons when the rest of us believe they should not. This may be true with your mother.
Perhaps your mother is depressed about her situation and feels helpless. You can encourage her to go for help. In fact, its a good idea for her to seek psychotherapy so that she can get herself out of this awful situation. But, you cannot do it for her. I think that once she confronts him then, if you want, you can tell him how you feel, but not until then. Perhaps she has a fear of being abandoned and that a bad man is better than no man. That is why she needs help and that is why its up to her to take action. My opinion, of course.
Best of Luck