Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Absence of mother

Community Member

Recently, at the end of last year when it was Christmas Eve my mother decided to leave my father of twenty odd years of marriage for another man.

This other man has not yet left his girlfriend and his little daughter but he takes turns in living between two houses.

As you can imagine my parents separation is affecting me immensely.

Growing up my mother had postnatal depression and was extremely emotionally unavailable and distant with me. When I was a baby I rarely received the affection and attention most children get from their mothers. My mother and I never had the bond most children and their parents have.
Whenever I cried I was told to shut up.
At the time of growing up I never acknowledged or recognised that my mother was distant. I just thought it was her natural way of acting.
She never showed me self love. She never taught me that it is wonderfully important to be happy with oneself before you decide to bring others into your life (eg relationships and friendships) When I started secondary school I was not properly taught things girls are meant to know. As a result I would get bullied. And the bullying got quite brutal. I would befriend people who would want to stab me. I left those friendships and relationships because they were toxic and haunting. I have surprisingly enough now taught myself a lot of things. Like how to dress properly, I have taught myself common etiquettes, how to speak well and how to be articulate with my thoughts and feelings.
With the assistance of my father too. Thanks Dad.

My mother would constantly compare my body to other girls. She would say things that were brutal and sharp tongued when I was upset. Merely telling me I should live in a ‘mental hospital’ because my anxiety and depression was getting quite uncontrollable at this point in time prior to her departure. Then when I attempted to seek help she would just be angry and disappointed in having to wait in the car when taking me to these psychologist appointments.

My mother’s absence has affected me greatly. It has not been a pleasurable and enjoyable experience. Most definitely a painful and heart wrenching one to say the least. I just don’t know what to do. My father is great support and has been helping me cope. Hopefully others can leave some advice.

It would be most certainly greatly appreciated.


7 Replies 7

Community Member

Dear PsychedicFur

You seem like a level headed person who has achieved a remarkable level of self insight. Congratulations to you, I wish I'd had your level of clear sightedness at your age.

One thing I don't fully understand is if your mother made your life miserable what is it about her absence that is affecting you? Does she not wish to see you anymore? Is the fact that she left your father for another man the reason for your sadness? How is your father coping with the loss of his wife?

If you wish to respond and talk about it a little more, I'm sure there are many posters who will offer you support and advice.

Hello there,

hope you are well. Mainly it is the problem that my mother has left my father for someone else. The way she did it was cruel. She is looking after this other man’s little girl which makes me think what did I do wrong? At the moment I’m very hurt. And I don’t want to contact her unless I really have to.
My father is doing ok. He has off days like everyone.

The fact that I know this person who she is going with isn’t very nice makes matters worse. There is some part of me that feels like even though she treated me quite badly I still feel for her because she is my mother.

hope this makes sense.

I suppose the thing that is another problem is she was the only mother I had. And people always say you ‘only have one mother’ hypothetically. So I tried to make do with what I had.
ok, she did make me feel miserable but I tried to conceal everything under the carpet for so long and I pretended everything was alright. I lived with my two parents. That’s all I can wanted. As long as she was there to me it felt... in some cases ‘normal’

For a while I pretended to conceal things under the carpet because I really did not want to admit that she was making my life miserable. I was in a spot of denial.
Ok her presences was not something that made me happy, majority of the time. Although I use to like to pretend I was living a perfect life with both of my parents close to me. I kept telling myself ‘this is the way she shows love’

but it wasn’t love.

I’m sure she does love me, even though she does tell me but the way she represents it is quite painful and at times wrong.


Ive read this thread fully. Sadly your mother must have been unhappy for some time and she has made her decision.

My sister (57yo) and I (63) became estranged from our mother 9 years ago. It has been a lifetime of ups and downs and primarily her not getting help for her issues.

You say “you only have one mother” well not really, you can like me, have older women as mother figures. But more importantly as you grow older, you can set a higher bench mark when you have children or to nieces and nephews. My nieces don’t have a good caring father so I’ve slotted into the space as best I can. So as you age you develop into a leader which I’ve noted, you have already started- well done.

As for your mum you can try to maintain a distant relationship, meeting up every few weeks or so to keep the relationship going without expectations from her. Sad as this situation is, believe it- she is hurting. She also would be wondering if she’ll lose you.

A daughter or son in this situation can remain neutral and support both parents. You are their daughter and the little girl now a step child sort of to your mum will never take your place. Remember, that child is also in an odd situation with her parents and your mum entering her life.

What I’m suggesting here is that everyone is suffering in situations like this regardless of what position they are in.

I don’t know your age but the world is your oyster, you can embark on careers and adventure. At 17yo I joined the Airforce and it launched me into a life of excitement.

At this point being supportive to your dad is paramount. Reassuring your mum (when you can) will mean a lot to her, but it is wise not to put her under pressure to explain herself.

You sound a remarkable young person. Throughout life you will feel loss many times. That’s life, it is how it works. Coping with it isn’t easy but... the secret is to rise above it and bounce back. Always rebound. That takes time and you can’t rush time.

Well done in writing in


Wise words, thank you.
i appreciate the advice and I will take the feedback on board. Thank you again.
I believe she is hurting too. I’m sorry for your situation too. Life is very unpredictable at times.