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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5762
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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A family member who is a 37 year old woman, married for 18

Resolved Question:

A family member who is a 37 year old woman, married for 18 years, 3 children, met another woman on Facebook and basically started to stalk her and we noticed that she began this intense, what we thought was a friendship, online. They began to constantly text each other and then began secretly seeing each other. She is now divorced and her husband was devastated.
My question is:

She has basically alienated her family although we have all left the line of communication open. If we contact her, she is cordial but she makes no effort to contact us.
We've never had a chance to sit down with her and talk about what happened as we feel she should at least apologize for lieing to us for 18 months. She is alienating her mother who is having the most difficult time with%2
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your problem.


Are you asking about whether or not you should try to talk with her?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes, should we try and talk with her because as of now she makes no effort to at least talk to us about what has happened.
Are we supposed to support her relationship with this woman and forget what she has done to her husband and her family?

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

No, you cannot forget what she has done. She hurt your family and has not addressed it. That means either she feels it's no ones business or she is afraid to address it with all of you. She may also be going through something that is affecting her. Sometimes when people have unresolved issues, they push down their feelings until one day they cannot cope anymore. They make a radical change in their lives cutting off what they knew and starting over, essentially. The popular term is mid life crisis, and it is a crisis of identify and facing middle and older age. They feel their old life is not working and by changing things, they can have better control.


She may feel that addressing it would bring up too many bad feelings and she would end up a single person fighting a family. Many people would avoid such a situation. She may also feel defensive about her choice because she knows she has hurt the family.


The best option is to try and talk with her individually. Make sure you are alone. Bring up that you understand she has made a choice and that is ok. Stick to addressing your feelings. Tell her that her choice had effects and that these effects are hindering your relationship with her. Let her know you'd like to clear the air. Then see how she responds. Her response will tell you a lot about where she is at with her choice.


You also may want to suggest seeing a neutral third party to talk this out, such as a counselor or pastor. That would help each side to feel protected and would also give some guidance to the discussion. If she refuses to do this, you and your family may want to consider going yourselves. It would help you heal as a family.


Regardless of what happens, keep in mind that she made this choice because something was wrong with her feelings. There are unresolved issues for her. If she felt ok and she was healthy emotionally, she would recognize what she has done and repair the damage. As a result, this is not an easy situation for any of you.


I hope this has helped you,

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I haven't heard from you. Did you have more questions or want clarification?







Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I will sit down with her and tell her that I can support her choice but not the way she has chosen to treat all of us. I still feel she owes us an apology and I will see what she says. I will contact you further and let you know how she responds and will most likely need some further advice. I know this is a slow process but hopefully will be productive in the end. Thank you for your advice and time.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Sounds good. Hopefully she will respond to what you say and this situation can be resolved.


I would love to help you further anytime. Please click accept for this answer if you found it helpful. I appreciate it.



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