Relationship Advice


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My parents divorced when I was nine. When I was 11, my mother's boyfriend tried to get me to touch him in inappropriate ways. My dad told my mom he was going to send this guy to jail or take full custody of me.

My mother chose her boyfriend over me and later married him. My father moved me to another city and raised me. To this day I still live far from my mother.

In 2000, my mother's husband died and our house burned in a fire. I thought, "Wow, this guy is finally out of her life, and now would be a great time to reconnect and repair our relationship." But my mother refused to come to my new house.

Come to find out barely three months after her husband died she had another man living with her, though she kept that from me. Toward the end of 2002 I gave my heart to God and grew spiritually extremely fast because I put so much time in learning God's ways.

My mother, who had been saved when I was little, lived a very carnal life. Nonetheless, I did what I could to let her know I loved her. I sent plants to her house on a monthly basis and bought her presents for her birthday, Christmas and Mother's Day.

Anyway, in 2008 my mother wrote and said she had active cancer. Scriptures we are supposed to stand upon in times of sickness came to my mind. I reminded her of them. I thought this was very loving of me.

I got a sledgehammer to my head when she and her two sisters wrote that I shouldn't talk about God to other people. I didn't get it. I felt I showed love and forgiveness even though she chose her molester boyfriend over me. So I ended all contact.

Wouldn't you know it. My mother called me names and said she doesn't believe her boyfriend tried to molest me and never will. She threatened to write me out of her will and says she thinks I fell off the deep end and need professional help.

It's weird. It's like she is blinded by her own behavior and says to me what I believe of her. I don't want her and her sisters thinking bad things about me. None of them speak to me anymore. I don't see what I have done that makes them feel this way.


Donna, you confuse bad people when you give them gifts. It's like giving a treat to a puppy after it soils your carpet. Giving gifts to your mother reinforced her denials and allowed her to tell her sisters, "See, I was right. Nothing happened."

When your mother's husband died, there was no opening to repair your relationship. He didn't cause her behavior. She did. You can't give forgiveness to a person who isn't asking for it.

Your mother has been telling the same lie for decades. An event ruptured your relationship. You are still caught there, and she sees no advantage to herself in admitting the truth. She chose a man over you. Some women do that. A man, any man, is more important than their own child.

Your beliefs tell you what to do when you abuse another. What your beliefs don't say is that abusers don't live by those rules. The general rule with abusers is they don't admit what they did and they don't confess.

Now it is time to come to terms with what happened. A book which can help is Laura Davis' The Courage to Heal Workbook. One of its central ideas is confrontation is not required for healing. Another is, when you confront an abuser, expect to be called crazy or a liar.

Your mother has called you both. It's time to accept what happened and recognize your mother for who she is.

Wayne & Tamara