“Ask the Clown”: an advice column by The Clown
I have recently discovered that my father is cheating on my mother. The situation is almost justified by the way my parents get along. They hardly even acknowledge each other, they sleep in separate rooms, and I doubt that they have done anything together since our last family vacation. My question is, should I let my mother know about this or just keep quiet?
Dear Concerned Daughter,
This is an interesting situation. There are several things to unpack. You could approach your father with this information and get his take on it. If he tries to cloud the truth, you may wish to address the betrayal after consideration of what may follow. If he is honest and open about it, he may be the same with your mother and they may have arranged something already. To address this only with your mother may backfire in two ways. On the one hand, she may know and be fine with it. On the other hand, she may feel betrayed, pursue divorce, and otherwise destroy your current family structure. You have much to consider. If it were me, I would start with dad, watch for any sort of misinformation or squirming, and then you will know what to do, or not do, next.
My best to all of you,
My father passed about four years ago and my mother has been living on her own. Mom is not in the best health and we thought it would be best to have someone either move in with her to provide care or have her move in with one of us. My sister has decided that she wants to move in with mom. My brother and I are conflicted about this since we each have the room in our house to accommodate mom and my sister has been less successful most of her life. We are worried that sis may abuse the situation and that her treatment of the property will result in damages. We have had the discussion among the three of us and she knows about our concerns. We have been assured that she just wants mom to feel comfortable in her own home and that she will work with us to prevent any damage. Do we allow it, or try to move mom in with us?
First ChildDear First Child,
I find it odd that you equate financial success with the ability to provide care for a family member. I understand your concerns with the property, but those are easily circumvented with a bit of monitoring. Perhaps your sister lost a few deposits on rental properties in the past, but that may not be a factor on how she treats your mother’s house. Looking from the outside, your sister has saved you the burden of a move, and your mother will have the comfort and familiarity of her own place. You may wish to consider the value of these items in comparison to things that may equate to small property maintenance. In this instance, I would advise having your sister move in and you and your brother check in weekly at first. This will establish an increased comfort for you and your sister and mother will enjoy your participation.
Be excellent to each other,
1. In heated discussions and arguments, keep focused on the subject at hand without bringing up past grievances. Try to steer to a logical solution.
2. Any time you are bored, do something for someone else. Even a phone call can have great value.
3. Once again… wait for others to get off a train, a bus, or an elevator before moving yourself into the vehicle.