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Divorce Distress

Dear Sugar
I am 21 years old and my parents, after being married for over 30 years, just separated three weeks ago. Their break up was a total shock to me and I am having a very difficult time right now dealing with this dissolution of our family.

Since their split, my mom has been talking to a guy that works next door to our house who is closer in age to my older brother than to my mother. Needless to say, I am not thrilled with their new found friendship. The other day, my mom asked me how I would feel if he came over to the house for dinner.

Since I am currently living at home, I told her his presence would make me extremely uncomfortable. Later that day when I came home, he was sitting with my mom in our living room, she had completely ignored my feelings. Am I over reacting or do I have a right to be upset and unsupportive of this relationship? Betrayed Bettina


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Dear Betrayed Bettina
I am sorry to hear about your parents break up. Divorce is never easy and it takes time to accept. Almost half of American marriages end in divorce so you are not alone. Since you are grieving your parents split, you are entitled to have a roller coaster of emotions.

Are you upset at the thought of her dating or are you more concerned with the age of this man? I don't feel you are over reacting, you have a right to be upset that your mom disregarded your feelings, but I think the best thing to do is talk to her about how you feel so that you can understand why she made her decision.

Let her know that you are wondering if your feelings matter to her. Ask her why she did not consider your decision. Make sure that you are supportive and tell your mom that of course you want her to be happy, but you also want her to respect your part in the split.

After the initial shock wares off, with time you will get used to your parents each being single and looking to mingle. No one will ever replace your father but hopefully you can all find a way to be happy in your new lives.

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