Question: Dear Luise, I am so glad I found this site because I really need advice. Let me start by saying that my mother and i thought were very close, to the point that she would come to my house for dinner at least 4 days a week. She was my go to person, whenever something was bothering me I felt so happy that I had a mom that i would confide in. Well recently my “ex” and i have been having problems because he’s in the rears 160 thousand for spousal support(court ordered). I got very upset and told him I was going to take him back to court. To make a very long story short, I read my mothers texts to him, and she was telling him everything I was saying about taking him to court, all the specifics of the things that my lawyer might use to get him and what not. Also I read horrible things she was saying to my sister about me on her text too. before you answer me,, please keep in mind that i am always the one that is there for her. whenever she needs anything she calls me. Please help me figure this out Luise. Thank you so much! D.
Answer: Dear D.: My take on this is that you have made a mistake. You have held your mother in high esteem and have given her unconditional support and love. She simply isn’t who you thought she was. At least that was my experience when I was betrayed by the person closest to me in my life. The person I made up could never in a million years have done what he did. I simply didn’t know the person he was underneath.
This may sound harsh when we are talking family but when it all shakes out, family is people and people are human. We sometimes expect more of them than they are capable of. The mother you thought you knew and could trust doesn’t exist. That’s terribly painful to have to face and digest.
What I did in my own experience was to forgive my relative’s betrayal and at the same time let him know that trust for me is a fragile thing and was gone. I have stayed connected but I am no longer being used. I told him how I felt. I don’t know how you found those texts but in my instance, he found his actions too hard to live with (after years) and shared them with me with the plan to cease and desist. That was fine, if he so chose, but I was done with what I made up that I thought we both respected so deeply. It was, basically, my fantasy.
You have to decide, of course. I think, were it me, that would go to your mother and let her know what my detective work unearthed. I would tell her that she was free to live her life any way she wanted to, of course, and that I honored that. At the same time, however, the truth couldn’t help but change the dynamics of our relationship. I would let her know that I would no longer be available when she needed something and that she would need to make new arrangements. I’d make it clear that my support had been based on loyalty that I thought was mutual. And then I would stick to those boundaries no matter how much drama she tried to wring out of them. (And she will.) You matter. What she’s been doing has put you and yours in jeopardy. I’m so sorry, you deserve so much better. Blessings, Luise