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Recently found out my dad might be cheating, what do i do?

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manofintegrity posted 4/16/2019 07:50 AM

BS ONLY

[This message edited by SI Staff at 3:42 PM, April 17th (Wednesday)]

Wool94 posted 4/16/2019 07:55 AM

I, 100%, think the mom should know.

Odonna posted 4/16/2019 08:02 AM

Good for you Blue! I can see how hard that was for you. You know, the suggestion for some IC to help you process all this might be a good one. This is obviously dredging up the trauma from your own betrayal, and it is not over by any means. Take good care of yourself and take things one step at a time.

MamaDragon posted 4/16/2019 09:38 AM

Good for you Blue!

I know that is probably one of the hardest things you have had to do -

I would suggest to your Dad to get tested.

I would still suggest you tell your Mum - if nothing else try to get them into IC.


I do hope you mentioned to him that the AP needs to Get out of your office.

*This will cause you stress and if he cares about you like I think he does, this should not be an issue.

**I'd tell the AP that you know and that she needs to LEAVE. I'm betting she saw a meal ticket - and has ideas of taking over as your step mum. (Some women are predators, and the fact she is now divorced/divorcing, she is trying to latch onto someone and saw your Dad as the prime candidate)
(HUGS)

Questioningall posted 4/16/2019 14:50 PM

Take what your dad said with a grain of salt. Based on what you wrote, he blamed the OW and your mom for his behavior. Sleeping in separate bedrooms doesn’t necessarily mean your parents don’t have sex. Or if your mom said no more, it might have been because she discovered yet another A. You might not be the only one keeping secrets. Maybe the state of her marriage is contributing to your mom’s depression. Hearing about this latest A would indeed be hard on her, but it might also allow her to change her life for the better. Just don’t assume a man who has no trouble lying, blame shifting, and betraying his family will tell you the truth.

sewardak posted 4/16/2019 15:44 PM

questioninggall - yep!
Also, I love your tagline.

solus sto posted 4/17/2019 10:30 AM

ETA: I didn’t read responses before I posted. I see now your father has offered excuses for his behavior. This isn’t uncommon. They’re also not to be believed.. Back to my original response...)

You say your mother’s not in a good place, emotionally. I wonder: could this be, in last, because she has cognitive dissonance between what her husband is pretending to be, and what she senses (as we BSs often do, long before we have concrete info)?

Your mother’s mental health is certainly a concern, but I would feel very betrayed if someone I loved and trusted made a paternalistic decision NOT to give me vital information needed to make vital life decisions. It’s not up to others to decide with what I am able to cope.

That said, you can identify things that might help your mother cope, like SI.

FWIW, while I absolutely LOST it when I learned of my ex’s (last) infidelity, my overall mental health improved ENORMOUSLY. I lost it, short term, because I’d been so terribly manipulated/lied to/gaslighted. I didn’t trust my own perceptions. And that continued after dday; a counselor specializing in trauma was worth her weight in gold. Secrets would simply have made things SO much worse, when I found out (as people almost always do).

I know your intentions are good. But you’re not aware of all that makes up your parents’ relationship. It’s theirs, and your mother deserves all of the information necessary to make an informed decision about her relationship with your father.

If you hadn’t already done sleuthing, etc., I might counsel differently. I might say, tell your dad you’re concerned, that you hope you’re mistaken & that he’ll do the right thing but, regardless; your mom needs to know what’s going on so that she can make informed decisions about her life.

But you’ve gathered evidence and know he’s having an affair. That he’s doing it so overtly suggests a few things: that it’s not his first time; that he’s using YOU as a proxy to inform your mother (not sure I’d assume this role, at least not right off the bat), and —worst—that he currently respects YOU as little as he respects your mother. (This is likely a function of the idiocy that infidelity wreaks, and may well resolve as he pulls himself out of infidelity.)

In your shoes, I might use the last thing as a jumping -off point with him. It is unconscionable that he’s chosen to conduct an affair in your presence, and I’d let him know this. I’d make it clear that, no, he’s NOT so clever that he’s concealed it. He’s cheating, you know it, and you’re FURIOUS (and hurt and heartbroken for your mom and for your family—whatever you might feel) that he’s felt entitled to do so.

Think about the arrogance required for a man to conduct an affair in the presence of a daughter who also loves her mother!

I would NOT continue to keep his secret. Your mother’s mental health is NOT protected by guarding your father’s secrets. The secrets—which she may well suspect—may be contributing to her struggles; the truth, while unspeakably painful, may be a genuine relief. I know it was, for me.

I don’t think I’d bother to engage in any sort of negotiation or bargaining (“you tell her by X date, or I will”) with your father. He’s already demonstrating profound disrespect for you, by involving you both in his sordid affair AND marital issues. My father did the latter, and it was terribly damaging. There’s nothing to be gained from bargaining.

Identify some ways you can support your mom. Maybe find a good IC who specializes in trauma (skip the MC; that’s for her to decide, and depending on how long she’s been lied to/gaslighted, she may not be ready for a LONG time—that’s one last thing on the topic I WOULD share with your father, if he tries to pull you in. This is NOT about her, her drinking, or their marriage. It’s about HIS selfish decision to seek ego kibble from another vulnerable woman. Then I’d do my best to extricate myself—but I’d let him know that if your mother asks factual questions to which you have the answers, you WILL provide them.)

Other support for your mom might include letting her know about SI. If her “drinking too much” is a real concern, a complete physical and frank talk with the doctor (in case medical support is required during withdrawal; alcohol detox can be dangerous and whether she needs inpatient support should be professionally assessed—and because alcoholics downplay their intake, you might want to either join her or ask her permission to share your observations with the doc—with the goal of getting her the most and best help possible) would be wise.

My point is this: your mom’s emotional/mental well-being isn’t being well-served by secrets. They may be the actual SOURCE of much of her struggle. Truth DOES set us free:

In giving her the truth, YOU will not being doing ANYTHING to your mother other than offering her the potential for truth in her life. Yes, truth MAY involve life without your father, if he’s not willing to grow with her. (And it’s possible neither will choose to grow, too). Your father has chosen this for ALL of you. That he’s also chosen to involve you in the day-to-day machinations of his affair is a testament to his (current) selfishness & arrogance. Bringing it to light may or may not provide impetus for change. The outcome isn’t ON you. But doing the right thing is.

[This message edited by solus sto at 10:33 AM, April 17th (Wednesday)]

Shockedmom posted 4/17/2019 11:07 AM

Your caution regarding your mom's well being is understandable. Hopefully she is already seeing a therapist to help her deal with her depression. It seems your dad is also aware of how fragile she is.

Having this frankly uncomfortable discussion with your dad showed real strength. Hopefully he will end it without fail. It should have shamed him that you were aware of his affair and that it was so obvious to the office personnel.

Buster123 posted 4/17/2019 15:52 PM

Of course it's your call but I think your mom should know the truth to be able to make an informed decision about her life and future, I don't think lying by omission is the answer.

Buster123 posted 4/17/2019 15:58 PM

Also your mom needs to get tested for STDs just to be safe (some STDs can even be transmitted via saliva). If your dad is serious, have him call her in front of you and put her on speaker and end their A (no sweet goodbyes), then tell her your self to back off and leave your family alone, as soon you hang up contact OBS and inform him of the A. As thrive in secrecy, nothing kills an A faster than full exposure to OBS and all family and close friends.

ChamomileTea posted 4/17/2019 17:30 PM

....my mum told him 9 years ago that she no longer wants any sexual contact with him (I do know they sleep in separate rooms). I said have you talked to mum about seperating and he said he can't do that, that even with their relationship how it is they both still love each other very much and he wants to protect her. I said how an affair is not the answer, maybe talk to mum about having an open relationship, he said she'd feel obliged to do stuff she doesn't want to do then.

It sounds like he tried to put up a pretty compelling defense. But the devil is in the details, right? When you read the above quote, what stands out is that he hasn't gone to your mother and discussed his sexual needs for NINE years. Further, even if he's correct that your mom doesn't want sex anymore, he apparently never confronted that diktat in any meaningful way when clearly it wasn't working for him.

But the most egregious bit is right there at the last... "she'd feel obliged to do stuff she doesn't want to do". Which means that she'd have been willing to talk about it. That tells us that the problem was EGO. It wasn't enough that the wife was willing to negotiate and/or accommodate. He either wants the thrill of the chase or to be the object of the chase.

I'm glad you had a productive talk with your father, but don't let him buffalo you. He probably buys into his own brand of bull patties, most do, but he's as wayward as any other cheating spouse. And there's never a good enough excuse for adultery.

((hugs))

Odonna posted 4/17/2019 23:14 PM

I hope you are getting a good sleep tonight. You have been through the wringer! Put on some music you like, pour a beverage of choice, pet the dog or cat or just self-soothe in a way of your choosing. Point is- you have been on a war setting this past week and now you have to take care of yourself!

Western posted 4/17/2019 23:35 PM

I sincerely applaud you getting involved and trying to end the infidelity.

You are a credit to your family and society,. I wish we had more people like you

Bluebox posted 4/18/2019 11:35 AM

I know the OW marriage is definitely over, he was an abusive husband so i know she's latched onto my dad because he was nice to her, something she wasn't used to. One of her closest friends is a tenant of ours and i've often heard her and my dad talking about OW past and how awful her exhusband was.

Of course i don't believe my dad completely, hes told me he's taking a few days off and i immediately think oh it better not be with her! She was in the office today :( She's cleared out all her stuff though, but then sat at a table in my dads office as she's doing some work for him :/ When i spoke to him on monday i said i wanted her gone, but he said (and i thought it too) that would raise questions from the OW friend and she'll end up finding out and then everything goes to pot anyway. She didn't say much to me and when she did i didn't look at her. I'll make it as uncomfortable as possible for her so she just goes away herself.

I'm just going to keep an eye on him for a while, until i know its definitely over, and if i see anything that shows they have carried it on I will be telling my mum.

I've arranged with my mum to go out for lunch on a regular bases now to help her get out the house, and i'll start asking her about how she feels about the marriage etc.

My mum was in IC but she's cancelled it as can't afford it :(

Thank you everyone for your comments, I really appreciate every single one x

Bigger posted 4/18/2019 11:52 AM

What work is OW doing for your dad?
My biggest concern – and the reason I still think your mom should know – is your dad arranging to start a new life with OW, taking what assets he can with him.
Out of character? Not like him? Well… is cheating within his character?

Can Not Believe posted 4/18/2019 13:21 PM

This is so true:

The only way for evil to prevail - is for (so called) 'good people' to do nothing.

Not telling your mom, letting your dad make a fool of her, and you going along and aiding him in his efforts, is only perpetuating more evil upon her. Your mother, a person you profess to love.

In MY opinion, this is Not you showing her love.

This is you helping your dad disrespect her even more. Seriously - does she deserve this?

Can Not Believe

HellFire posted 4/18/2019 13:57 PM

He blamed OW and your mother.

Of course he's not emotionally attached, so it will be easy to stop.

And he wont fire her because her friends will be suspicious.

I'm sorry but he's manipulating and lying to you.

Oh,and the reason he wanted to know how you found out, is so he can better hide the affair in the future.

It's pretty clear they're just cooling things for a bit, before they take it further underground.

And,her sitting at a table in his office,knowing you know? Is her giving you the middle finger.

My husband and I have slept in separate rooms for over a year. He snores..loudly. 20 years of wearing earplugs damaged my ears, so now we have our own beds. But we still have sex all the time.

[This message edited by HellFire at 1:59 PM, April 18th (Thursday)]

Wool94 posted 4/18/2019 14:17 PM

While I applaud how you spoke with your dad, I'm really hard pressed not to agree that your mother needs to know.

I'm not understanding the reasoning behind threatening to tell her if your dad doesn't behave.

This usually only leads an affair underground.

Odonna posted 4/18/2019 17:39 PM

Bluebox,

I applaud you for your strength and resolve. And I do understand your impulse to take things one step at a time and see what happens. Many here would go immediately to inform your mum, but we are all individuals who know ourselves and our families best and have to make really important decisions that affect people for the rest of our lives. So this is up to you, no matter how much pressure you may get here to push you one way.

You may get to the point that you decide to tell your mum, regardless of what your father does, but I do not think you should be shamed for taking this step-by-step to gather information and assess the evolving situation. Some people can move quickly and forcefully, and some are more deliberate and need to evaluate options very carefully. There is no shame in being in the latter camp, especially as you are self-confessed as conflict-avoidant.

Take a deep breath and take care of yourself!

Odonna

Odonna posted 4/18/2019 17:45 PM

PS: I have heard that on-line therapy can be helpful if one finds the right fit with a therapist, and that is much more affordable. Also, there are sometimes community programs that offer mental health services at lower rates. Why don't you look around? That would be a real boon to your mum and would help her with her baseline issues, so that she can better handle any future trauma, relating to your father's infidelity or anything else.

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