I’m an 18-year-old girl and my dad moved out of our family home a few weeks ago to live with another woman.
My mum had no idea he was having an affair, although he was often away from home because of his work.
He just came back and told her he was leaving.
She was devastated, as you’d imagine, but her hurt turned to anger very quickly and she’s been doing everything in her power to get revenge on him.
Recently she took loads of his things and gave them away to the church or took them to the dump– not just clothes but other possessions.
There were things that had memories for all of us like photographs and ornaments.
My brother and me are really upset about this and feel that it was a mean thing to do.
What do you think and what should we say to her?
Your mum has been deeply hurt and she’s trying to hurt your dad back in whatever way she can.
She’s trying to get rid of every last bit of him from the house – probably because it’s too painful for her to sit there and look at his stuff – it’s like she’s cleaning him out of her life.
Look this is an emotionally painful situation for you all and it’s not been nice for you and your brother to see your dad’s stuff end up being thrown or given away.
However, I think you need to give your mum the opportunity and freedom to do what she thinks is best for her at this moment.
Her whole life has been turned upside down and it’s still raw for her.
I think she’ll calm down, but she might need people to talk to or rant at so she can get things off her chest.
You don’t say what communication you had with your dad before he left, but you mum probably doesn’t want to upset you by dragging you into any disputes she has with your dad, which is right.
But maybe you could have a word with close friends or relatives, who can not only support her, but also give you someone to talk to as well.
Leave your parents to sort out the issue of giving away his things on their own.
And if there’s anything left of your dad’s stuff at home, why don’t you and your brother arrange to get it moved to where your dad’s living?
There must be lots of practical things you can do to help your mum.