What are we supposed to do when we suddenly know something secret about someone we love?
Or at least, we think we know something.
A 21-year-old Redditor going by “ThrowRAstepmom44” asked himself this question when he came home unexpectedly.
The Original Poster (OP) wrote into the “Relationship Advice” subReddit, wondering what he should do next.
The OP shared with the thread:
“I think my mom might be sleeping with my stepmom.”
Since the pandemic started, the OP has been staying with his mom.
“I am home from college at my mom’s house for [the pandemic]. It’s been a little weird but overall my mom and I get along pretty well.”
“My mom and dad got divorced when I was 11 and my dad is now married to my stepmom. My dad is kind of a jerk, don’t need to go into details but my stepmom is pretty cool.”
“Anyway, my mom is really careful about [the pandemic] so I can’t see that many people right now, no hookups, no friends, whatever it’s fine.”
While back at home, the OP began to wonder if his mom was dating someone.
“So basically here’s what’s happening, I started thinking my mom is seeing someone, which is crazy since she hasn’t dated anyone since my parents’ divorce as far as I know.”
“Plus like I said, she’s being really careful about [the pandemic]. My mom’s scared to go out so I’ve been doing the grocery shopping and other errands. Recently it’s been a lot of errands, this detail is important you’ll find out why.”
“A couple of times when I’ve come back from the store, she’s been gone for a while and I don’t know where she went.”
The OP’s mom’s absences became stranger after he came back home a few days ago.
“So the other day I was at the grocery store and I forgot the list so I called my mom to see what I should get, but my stepmom answered the phone. She seemed confused when I was like, why are you answering my mom’s phone?”
“My mom and my stepmom don’t really know each other and definitely don’t hang out. And also my stepmom and dad live 45 minutes away.”
“So I didn’t know what was going on, but my stepmom handed the phone to my mom really fast. I tried to ask my mom why my stepmom was with her, but she wouldn’t answer and just told me what to get. I asked her about it again when I got home, and she said that my stepmom had stopped by to say hi to us.”
The situation only became more unexplainable in the next few weeks.
“This was three weeks ago, and since then I’ve seen my stepmom’s car on my block three times. I asked my mom about it and she said she didn’t know anything about it and that it probably wasn’t her car, just one that looks like hers. Weird, right?”
“Then earlier today I got all the way to the store and realized I didn’t have my wallet so I went back home to get it. My stepmom’s car was in front of the house again and when I went past the bathroom the shower was on and I heard voices.”
After this latest incident, the OP isn’t sure how to proceed.
“I grabbed my wallet and left, I’m back home now but I’m still freaking out, I don’t know what to do.”
“My mom doesn’t know that I heard anything, and I haven’t said anything to her yet.”
“Am I crazy? What should I do? How do I talk to my mom about this? Should I say something to my dad?”
Fellow Redditors shared their theories on the situation and their advice for the OP.
Rather than a relationship, some Redditors thought the OP’s mom might be helping the stepmom leave her marriage.
“You mentioned your father sucks. Any chance stepmom is trying to arrange a divorce and is asking your mom’s advice?”
“Maybe she doesn’t want it getting back to him before she has the papers and a plan of escape? I mean your mom left your dad, who better to ask for help from?” – Sunnie_Cats
“This might be a crazy thought but, maybe your mom is helping your stepmom leave your dad. Like you said, he’s a jerk, maybe she wants advice on how to get out.”
“They could have been in the bathroom with the shower on trying to conceal the convo from you.”
“Maybe they are banging who knows, either way gotta talk to your mom. Good luck!” – brihorizon
“I’m definitely on the line of thinking mom is helping step-mom escape! But this could be because I’ve worked with DV (Domestic Violence) survivors and have heard of turning on the shower to muddle voices.”
“When planning an escape, everything does need to be kept to an ‘absolute need to know basis’ small group.” – Fresh-Relative1421
Whatever their reason for meeting up, some Redditors urged the OP to be open-minded.
“A) They are DEFINITELY sleeping together. As a lesbian who has literally LIVED this scenario I can tell you that much.”
“B) Figure out what your feelings about this are before you talk to your mom. If you think it’s f**ked up and you don’t approve, get yourself collected and TALK to your mom, don’t confront her.”
“If you’re cool with it, bring it up and make clear that you don’t have an issue with it.”
“If your mom is keeping this a secret it’s probably because it’s cheating but the gay and stepmom elements are also huge here. Be honest, be calm, be receptive.”
“Good luck!” – tastesofpurple
“Okay, something’s definitely going on, but I don’t know if you said anything that would immediately make me assume ‘affair’ right out the gate.”
“Maybe your stepmom is planning to leave your dad and wanted advice from someone who’s been through it. Maybe they are staging an intervention for you.”
“IDK (I don’t know) but I think it’s worthwhile to settle your feelings on ‘so what’ if they are having an affair together.”
“You said your dad is an a**, so I would cross off going to him (especially with so little to go off of) right off the bat.”
“Most people are suggesting confronting your mom. I agree that this is the only way to get a straight (haha) answer, but if you thought about how you’d feel if it really was an affair and you are actually okay with the idea of your mom and stepmom being a couple (provided she fesses up and leaves you dad), maybe don’t be so dramatic about it?”
“You can start by being supportive and telling them both separately, ‘you know you can tell me anything right?’, the kind of thing I’d do if I thought my child might be queer but trying to hide it. Find a way to send the message ‘you don’t have to hide anything from me, I love you no matter what'” – ciaoravioli
Whatever the actual story behind seeing his stepmom’s car and hearing voices in the house is, it’s clear to Redditors he needs more evidence and a constructive conversation.