Should I tell them?
For a while now I have been wondering what to do with some information I have been given by both my parents on two separate occassions.
A bit of background might help. My parents got divorced ten years ago, even though they have moved on with new partners and now live in different countries they are still bitter towards one another.
For the last very three years, my relationship with my mother has been very estranged and we've never had a good relationship. Growing up she was very controlling with her main focus on me. She labled me as having 'middle child syndrome' when in reality she and my father both favoured my brothers. Throughtout my teens and early twenties I had no idea who the hell I was as a person, never lived away from home as I wasn't allowed to go to university, instead I had a retail job that my mother made me apply for, which I hated. So when I did move out of her home, I was constantly anxious, with low confidence and self esteem. I never had a propper relationship with a guy, my mother always had control over who my friends were and any relationships.
Thankfully, I met my husband, moved in with him and got some real life experience and a job I enjoyed. We were very happy and after four years we got engaged. During the year of my husband and I planning our weddding, my mother made the whole process so stressful for us. She behaved appallingly at our wedding and didn't speak to us. This resulted in us not talking for two years, in some ways not having contact with her did me a lot of good and I gained a lot of confidence. It was only when I fell pregnant that I felt the need to tell her and she started talking to me again but not my husband even though he had offered many olive braches to talk and make up.
Getting to the point of this thread. When I was 8 and a half months pregnant she came down to visit for a couple of days, staying in a near by hotel. I had been very nervous about her staying in the area but her visit had been going ok. During lunch on the last day of her visit, she was openly reflecting on her relationship with her own mother, and sister, with me as she always falling out with them over small things. She then randomly told me that my aunt was her half sister, she had a different father, which came as a bit of a shock. I realised this didnt really change anything but inside I was angry with her for telling me this whilst, I didn't show it though. I asked if my brothers knew and my mother said no, she wasn't planning on telling them as there was no need. I have been left with this and kept quiet for the last 6 months?
My father has done a simular thing, after my baby was born he came to stay. One evening after a conversation about my mother, my father told me that it was my mother who had, had an affair. As far as me and my brothers were concerned it was he who had an affair with his now wife and my mother was the one left hurt. My mother has always tried to turn my brothers and I against my dad. My father has told me not to tell my brothers because they have good relationships with my mother and he wouldn't want to ruin that for them. I have a better relationship with him so I told him I felt very uncomfortable about keeping this from them. I have kept this to self for four months.
I haven't talked to my mother about this either, my father is no angel and I realise there are two sides to every story.
Now I don't know what to do, I feel caught up, and I think about what ive been told a lot . Especially as my elder brother is very close to my grandmother and aunt and looks out for them both as he lives near by them. I know it wont make a huge difference to him either but I know he'd like to know.
With my mother partically I have a lot of confront her on, but im the first to admit I'm bad when it comes confronting her. I'd like to talk to her about the wedding, why she doesnt acknowledge my husband when he hasnt done anything wrong, yet she seems to demonise him. Id like to know if shes only talking to me because of her grandchild. I'd like to ask her about what my father has told me. It's a lot and I'm not sure where to even start. If I did this face to face I know how it will go, even though she is on very good behaviour with me at the moment, probably in fear.
However I feel my brothers need to know the truth on both theses matters, I'm close with both of them, and everytiime I see them, I feel guilty. I worry that one day they might find out and then will ask me why I never told them.
Whatever I decide I worry about the consequences.
Any thoughts on what i should do?
I know this thread a little all over the place and they are not huge secrets. Some of it is my fault for not confronting peaople at the correct times.
I wonder why your parents have decided to "unload" their past to you at this time, when you have found happiness and joy in your own life. .
Have you always played the "fixer" role in your family?
---- As if you are resposible to fix or change or resolve their issues!!.
You can ask them, "what do you want me to do with this information?"
But really - you have listened. End of obligation.
No, I have never been the 'fixer', hence why this is strange for me. Both my brothers received all the attention when we were growing up. I was controlled and made out to the jealous one, when actually I quite a normal and shy.
In recent conversation with my dad, he has recently confessed that I treated differently, which was quite a relief for me as I now know it wasnt all in my head as to how I was treated. I don't buy 'middle child syndrome' as an excuse either. Is there such thing?
The 'fixer' in the family is my older brother. He looks after everyone and their well beings, solves all the bickering between my mother, my aunt and grandma.
On reflection, I realise my mother was probably trying to confine in me, however she's always the one who starts the arguments and upsets other people then pretends she's done nothing wrong. A bit like she's done with my wedding and the words things she said and did!
My grandma had my aunt out of wedlock and being old fashioned I don't think she want want everyone in the family to know. So I won't say anything.
As for my dad, I feel he wants the truth out but he's trying to go through me. My mother having an affair chances a lot as it was not what my brothers and I were led to believe 10 years ago. My brothers should now bu it's not for me to deliever. I have a lot of questions that I'd like to ask, as would they. It would change their relationships with my mother, both brothers totally dismiss my mothers behaviour, eg at my wedding, how she acts and how she speaks to family and starts arguments. Still wondering how to tackle this?
I just wonder what the "intention" is of your father to now begin to talk about this issue.
Does he want in your adult children's lives now? Does he want to correct the wrong perception of him? Does he want to reveal your mother's behavior and relieve himself of guilt? Does he feel that you adult-children can "handle the truth"?
Was he protecting your mother?
As adults now, you and your brothers can hear him out and then decide what you will with the new "information."
It looks like no more information will change your perception of your mother - her actions of the past and of today - but it might help explain what happened between you and your father.
It's not to late to have a new relationship with your father. But it should begin with TODAY, not based on actions from the past.
A counselor may help you sort out all this. It will be an on-going thing, for sure, and must not disturb your own marriage.
Thank you for giving the background information. It helps in giving a response. You’ve had many disappointments in your life. You are also unhappy in the situation that your parents have put you in. There are 2 reasons for their confiding in you. They trust you enough to tell you the truth and keep it to yourself or they want to hurt you and your brothers (or possibly your father wants to hurt your mother). You will probably never know their motivation in giving you this information. Before you do any talking to your brothers, I believe that you need to verify the stories that your parents told you. In a court of law, it would be his word against hers and vice versa. Even if you find that your parents’ stories are true, you need to ask yourself what good it will do for your brothers to know. Has knowing this information changed your feelings about your parents or other relatives? Has it changed it for the better? Do you want to “tell on your mom” to get back at her for the way she treats your husband? I think there are other issues that need to be worked through then just whether or not you should give this information to your brothers. Have you thought about reconciliation with your mother? It’s not easy to confront someone. Many of us would rather just let things go. I know I would rather do that than face any confrontation. However, there can be a lot of healing in forgiveness. If your child is the first grandchild, your parents want to maintain a good relationship with you so that they can see their grandchild. Since I’m a grandma I know how important it is for me to keep a relationship with my grandchildren. Your husband is probably a good sounding board. Talk to him about his feelings and what he would like to see you do. I don’t think it’s urgent that you tell your brothers soon, if that’s what you decide to do. These things have kept for a long time and will continue to keep. May you have wisdom in this!