My parents have been happily married for twenty-four wonderful years. They have always been openly, DEEPLY in love and have modelled what it means to have a healthy, happy relationship. Through my dad's medical issues, my mom's problems with depression, and extreme financial issues, they have made the best of life with their sense of humor and trust in one another.
Mom is 48. Dad is 65. Dad was diagnosed with dementia a few years back, which has now turned into Alzheimer's. I now live 1800 miles away from them, so I can't physically be there for either of them, though I call almost every day. My mom has been having a hard time -- She now feels like she isn't a wife anymore, just a caregiver. And they are no longer intimate. My dad gets very emotional and has crying outbursts, being terrified that my mom is going to put him in a nursing home/will leave him, etc. My mom lost her job last year, so she is always home with him, which now works out because she, my sister, and I really don't think he should be left alone at home. I have been helping them financially and listening to my mom when she needs to talk, even though it is very, very overwhelming for me.
What would you do if you were in this situation and discovered that your mom is now cheating on your dad? (As a side note, I really don't want to hear shit about how no one should be snooping around in anyone else's phone/computer/etc or invading privacy like that. I honestly am too heartbroken to give a shit how awful of a thing this might have been for my sister or me to do.) My mom wasn't very good AT ALL with hiding it from us when we came home to visit. It was very, very obvious, which is the only reason we even thought about looking through her phone or on their computer history. I'm sure it's easy for her to hide it from Dad since he can't remember a whole lot and can be pretty oblivious at times.
I really try to understand what she is going through and everything she must be feeling. I really, really do. I'm sure she still loves my dad. She must be very, very lonely. But it is so easy for me to feel insanely angry about all this -- After all they have been through together and what my Dad has helped her overcome, it has all come down to this? Due to her depression and fragile mentality, I have always been understanding of her lethargy, her need to talk about everything even though it kills me, and all the financial help I give them. But it's so hard not to freak the fuck out sometimes.
What would you do? Would you confront your mom? That's the big dilemma I am having right now, aside from being mindfucked about what I thought was the ideal model of a marriage. Any advice? She has no idea that we are aware.
Sorry to be so goddamn depressing. Usually, I can keep my cool, but I'm at work totally filled with anxiety and was hoping maybe to find someone who has been in a similar situation or has some words of advice as to what they would do. Thanks!