Teen discovers mom’s affair while looking at her phone

Published 8:42 am Friday, April 1, 2022

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DEAR ABBY: I am 15 and have a big problem. My mom and my dad have been married a long time. I was looking through pictures on Mom’s phone and found some very inappropriate and romantic texts from “Rob,” her business partner. Mom forces our whole family to hang out with Rob, and my brother doesn’t like him either. But anytime we bring it up, my mom yells at us and makes me cry. She wants me to be friends with Rob.
One time when we were all at a restaurant, someone asked if he was my dad. I know what she is doing with him, and I can’t focus on school because of it. I think my dad knows — kind of — but I’m sure he hasn’t seen the texts that I saw. I don’t want to ruin my family, but I cry about it every night alone. I know my parents won’t go to couples counseling, and I don’t want to hurt my brother either. Any help would be very much appreciated. — KID WHO KNOWS THE TRUTH

DEAR KID: Because this is causing emotional problems that are affecting your studies, it can’t be ignored. It is time for you to talk about this with a school counselor, a relative or a family friend for emotional support and guidance.
I also think at some point you should talk to your mother about what you found on her phone. Tell her that’s the reason you don’t want to be friends with her business partner. Your sense of right and wrong is valid, and don’t let her tell you otherwise. Do not be surprised if she’s upset about the fact that you know what has been going on, so be prepared for it. I am sorry you have to go through this. It’s a shame.
DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, my husband and I bought and moved into a very old, small house in our ideal neighborhood, which has beautifully manicured yards, nice people and a lot of diversity. We had a vision for this place, and it was perfect for us.
A friend of mine, “Maggie,” who I knew had a judgmental streak, repeatedly asked to come see the house, which I knew was nowhere near in the condition for visitors. After about her 10th request, I told myself maybe I was overreacting to her potential reaction, and I invited her into my home for a tour. Three years later, my husband and I remodeled our home to fit our vision. We are happy.
Six months after the remodel was complete, my husband and I were at a friend’s house and Maggie was there. At one point, Maggie’s husband commented to us that he couldn’t believe we had moved into that “s— shack.” My husband’s jaw dropped. Maggie jumped up and said, “I didn’t call it that!” Of course it was logical that she did. She had seen it; he had not.
To this day, a year and a half later, I cannot get over why someone I invited into my home would say something so horrible about it behind my back or that her husband would repeat it among a group of mutual friends. My husband refuses to engage with Maggie and her husband. What should I do? — PROUD OF MY HOME NOW

DEAR PROUD: I am sorry you didn’t write sooner about this. If you had, I would have advised you to tell Maggie exactly how that incident made you and your husband feel. It is a little late for that now, but you would certainly be within your rights to clear the air if you wish. What they said was uncalled for.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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