Hello Auntie,
My problem is my father. My father cheats on my mother. Recently, I found out that my maid and my father had an affair. First, I decided to keep silent about this issue, but now I feel that this decision may harm my mother.

There is another issue also Auntie. My maid has also been giving sleeping pills to my mother. My mother spends her time sleeping almost the whole day. My mother does not know about the affair. The maid is harming my mother. My younger sister and I know about this affair. My eldest sister is married. Can I discuss this issue with her? I feeling very helpless right now. What can I do?
Helpless Child

Dear Helpless Child,
It is painful to read about the situation in your house. Your mother should absolutely know about what is going on for several reasons, but the one that stands out the most is her health. Your mother’s health is at risk because she is needlessly taking sleeping pills and also because of your father’s activities. As caring daughters, you and your sisters absolutely need to watch out for your mother.

Think about another situation. Say if you knew a shopkeeper was being dishonest in his dealings with your mother, would you continue to stand by and watch him fleece your mom? Similarly, your father is lying to your mother and putting her health at risk. You cannot stand by and watch him do it. It is difficult to confront your father, simply because he is your parent. However, for the sake of your mother, it is extremely important that you tackle this issue right away.

‘My father and our maid are harming my mother’

There will always be people who think that it is okay to let your mother continue to sleep away her life blissfully unaware of what is happening around her. A what-she-doesn’t-know-can’t-hurt-her attitude. However this is just a weak excuse to put off rocking the boat. Also, you know that your father is actually hurting your mom.

Tomorrow, if your mother catches your father red-handed and if she finds out that you and your sister knew what was going on, not only will she be devastated, she will also be upset with you for not telling her. Forget the husband, she may never be able to trust her own children again. Her whole life would feel like a lie. Your mother deserves better than being surrounded by people who lie, cheat and keep important information from her.  

However, I suggest you don’t just pounce on your mother with this piece of information. You need to confront your father. It would help if you had evidence of the affair. It would make your case stronger. Sit your father down and calmly tell him that you know that he is having an affair with the maid and that you have evidence. It is important that you remain calm and, if possible, do it with your sister by your side. You might also want to tell your elder sister about what’s going on and, if you think you will feel stronger with her around when you confront your father, do involve her also.

It is not going to be easy, but please know that you are doing the right thing by your mother. Tell your father that you want him to tell your mother about what is going on, otherwise you will tell her. Say it like you mean it, and make sure you put a date on it. Then stick to it. Next, tell your father to fire the maid right away. That woman needs to leave your house this very minute. If he doesn’t fire her, you and your sisters will need to do it.

You already know this, but let me say it here: there will be rough times ahead. Your parents might end up fighting, your mother might compromise with the situation or they might break up. Whatever happens, it won’t be easy. Let your parents deal with it the way they want. It is very possible that one parent or even both of them might blame you for triggering the instability in the family. However, you need to be extremely clear that it is your father (and not you!) who destabilised his marriage and family the day he decided to start his affairs, and when he either colluded with the maid or looked the other way when she started sedating your mother.

I hope you and your family find a way to deal with this.

Auntie will not reply privately to any query. Please send concise queries to: auntieagni@gmail.com

Published in Dawn, EOS, June 6th, 2021

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