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My mom suspects my dad

SteadfastFalter posted 6/26/2019 22:50 PM

Hello all,

I went through my own terrible infidelity was a couple years ago. I survived. Moving on lol.

Anyway, my mom and dad have been having some issues for a while, but my dad has really gone wacko lately, and some things my mom has been saying sound like deja vu. But I might be biased, so I want to get your perspective.

First of all, she feels like he as a person has totally changed. He doesn’t care about money, he’s taken up an expensive but silly hobby of revamping his car, he has been Mormon his entire life and just POOF decided he did want to be, he started drinking and swearing...he leaves at odd hours without telling my mom where he is or what he’s doing.

She feels like he just doesn’t love her or SEE her at all anymore. He started using emojis when he texts, which he’s never in his life done. Her total shock when she got a kissy face emoji...

And then out of the blue, for no reason, he said, “I’m not having an affair or anything.” He’s never said that in 32 years I’d marriage. After 32 years he doesn’t seem to worry about her at all...he pretends to worry, but it’s insincere.

My mom says for all the ups and downs they’ve had, she’s never had a moment like this where he is so disconnected.

To me, this seems like cheating. I went through this. I’ve seen it.

But his phone records don’t look odd from first glance. He’s a very straight forward (usually) honest person. I feel like if she asked, he would come out with it. Encourage her to snoop, or ask, or am I off base?

Heartinpain posted 6/26/2019 23:18 PM

So sorry you are dealing with infidelity again. I’d say all of us on this site perhaps have skewed visions because we’ve all been through it, but I’m with you, his behavior definitely seems suspicious. If it were me, I’d advise my mom to do some detective work. I don’t know if your dad is tech savvy enough, but we all know there are other ways of communication than straight up texting or phone calls. Plenty of apps to disguise it. I hope you’re wrong! But good luck:)

tushnurse posted 6/27/2019 07:11 AM


Not only does it sound like an affair, but a mid-life crisis type affair.

He gave up his faith, wholeheartedly which is strange, as most Mormons really live what they believe and practice.

I would offer to assist mom in seeing an attorney, getting a VAR in his car, and possibly searching for a hidden cell phone. Where there is smoke there is fire, and if it isn't an affair is there some other issue that may benefit from some Mental health screening.

Chrysalis123 posted 6/27/2019 07:17 AM

I agree with Tushnurse.

cocoplus5nuts posted 6/27/2019 07:29 AM

How old is he? Could it be some sort of dementia or something? I've read about older people going completely off the rails because of their aging brains.

BigMammaJamma posted 6/27/2019 08:39 AM

I will not pretend to be an expert on Mormonism; however, my understanding there is a lot of questioning/controversy going on lately with some of the decisions leadership has made (major changes in doctrine). Being Mormon is more than about going to church. It is their life -- literally their entire social circle, family, business acquaintances, etc. When a Mormon becomes an apostate, they are losing a lot more than a place to go on Sundays.

I cannot say one way or another with the information you provided. Yeah, it is possible he could be cheating. Or another very reasonable conclusion is that he has decided that he no longer believes the teachings he was brought up on and is going through the emotional and mental fallout from that. There is an exmo subreddit if you would like to get some of that perspective.

Either way, I am sorry that your family is going through this and I hope you all get to the bottom of way your father is now behaving this way.

MalibuBayBreeze posted 6/27/2019 08:58 AM

How old is he? Could it be some sort of dementia or something? I've read about older people going completely off the rails because of their aging brains.

No, what SteadfastFalter describes is not dementia. Dementia is a degenerative disease that wipes away a person's memory. My mother has dementia and in no way does it mimic the behavior that happens when someone is having an affair. Absolutely not. A dementia patient is not going to act in a suspicious way when they can't remember a conversation from 5 minutes ago or what they just ate for dinner. Watching someone suffer with the disease is watching them being slowly taken away from you. Please do not confuse the two.

That said SteadfastFalter, your dad's behaviors are understandably raising some red flags. A few sound like mid life crisis behavior but others, such as his disappearing for hours and not letting your mother know where he is, the detachment that is so extreme she says she's never felt so disconnected in 32 years and his quick snap back about not being in an affair when none was mentioned are another story.

Can you help her dig for some evidence? You know the phone bills have practically become irrelevant in the investigation phase because there are many ways for people in an A to communicate that won't show up on the account. Does he have a pass code on his phone? Is it always with him? If your mom does get a chance to look through it would she know what to look at? If not you may want to help her with that but if there are messages and pictures that have been exchanged I would urge caution since this is your dad. It may be a whole new trauma for you to read or see something you can't unsee. KWIM? If there's anyone else close that can be trusted to help with that it may be a good idea.

His dropping his religion is a big red flag. Did he say what would make him do that?

I'm so sorry and I hope it all turns out to be nothing but in the event it does, you will be there for your mom in ways others can't because you have been through this yourself.

Hugs to you both. Fingers crossed.

ChamomileTea posted 6/27/2019 09:55 AM

I've often wondered how you're doing, SteadFast. I'm sorry to hear there are problems with your dad. I do agree with Tushnurse though, cheaters talk, so if he's cheating, a VAR in his car would likely do the trick. Check the money trail too. You say he's more careless with what he spends. You'd be looking for charges in locations where he has no business being and checking receipts for cash withdrawals. Your mom should go through his computer too. I was shocked at how careless my own fWH was with his passwords. He had 3 or 4 that he used routinely and used them on everything.

That said, yes... there are several conditions which can cause personality changes; medications, stroke, infection, depression, and even diseases like Alzheimers and cancer. I think a medical work-up would would be in order.

onthefence123 posted 6/27/2019 10:03 AM

And then out of the blue, for no reason, he said, “I’m not having an affair or anything.”
My WH looked at me one day during his A, before I even suspected a thing, and asked, "Are you having an affair?" I was in shock and looked at him bewildered and said, "No, are you???" I thought he was just being stupid, I was so naïve. Seriously so dumb. My mom always told me that the guilty dog barks first....why didn't I remember that?

NotInMyLife posted 6/27/2019 10:05 AM

And then out of the blue, for no reason, he said, “I’m not having an affair or anything.”

That sounds like he could be denial about his emotional attraction/detatchment to someone. He's justifying it in his mind as "just friends".

You can talk to him about boundaries with new friends and leave a copy of Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass with him after you chat.

[This message edited by NotInMyLife at 10:05 AM, June 27th (Thursday)]

tushnurse posted 6/27/2019 10:38 AM

I totally agree w/ Cancun - This is NOT dementia.
However that doesn't mean there isn't some component of mental illness going on here, although I doubt it.

Dismayed2012 posted 6/27/2019 11:52 AM

It sounds to me like a young lady has shown interest in him and he's thinking she likes him for more than just 'friends'. So he's now picking up on younger text language and habits from hanging out with her. It's not unusual for an older man to be lured into a dreamland where a younger woman has him thinking she actually likes him when in reality she's just using him to get ahead in the company, etc. In any case, when you see a drastic behavior change in someone, something is going on and in this case it doesn't sound good.

SteadfastFalter posted 6/27/2019 12:35 PM

Thank you all for your input! I do think there’s definitely something off about him...something that, if not an affair, could be chemical. My mom has had a very off feeling about him for a while now.

I’m letting her stay with me for now, and she’s going to evaluate their relationship. He’s been making her feel sad for a long time now, but the odd behavior has kind of put it over the top. I’ll show her your responses and we can go from there!

But yeah, talk about triggers. None is this is particularly great for my state of mind lol.

k8la posted 6/28/2019 08:16 AM

Usually chemical issues that trigger this kind of behavior would show up in his 20s. And it might have been there back then, but he was good at suppressing it/managing it.

The dementia factor could be at play as well. Even though it is a deterioration of memories, there's a reversion back to child-like behaviors. I watched patients who were living in the same memory care facility as a family member make passes at female employees and be totally unabashed at their sexual behaviors, where before, they were able to restrain those impulses. Early onset Alzheimers has inappropriate sexual behaviors increase, causing all sorts of problems. A friend had to sell her business because her husband kept trying to build an intimate relationship with her secretary who did not welcome the advances. So my friend closed her business rather than deal with legal problems created by her very wayward husband who had already reverted to the moral functioning of a teenager. He was in his late 50s/early 60s when this happened.

So if dementia were at play, but his advances were actually welcomed by OW, there is a possibility this is the root problem.

If I were your mom, I'd be hauling his butt to a doctor who did a full panel blood workup plus screening for Alzheimers, especially because this seems to be more of a sudden onset condition, and his sudden disconnection with his faith where he'd previously been fully active. Alzheimers is not necessarily an old age disease, but can come on in some patients much early - even in their 40s. Mental illness like bipolar is also a possibility, but it would be rare if he had never had symptoms in the past up until now.

Cooley2here posted 6/28/2019 08:23 AM

Paranoia showed up in a friend’s mother in her 50s. She lost a husband and a brother in an accident and became mentally ill overnight. My friend said her mother had been perfectly fine until then.

I wish I wasn’t so suspicious but it certainly sounds like he is up to something.

RippedSoul posted 7/1/2019 09:32 AM

SF, my husband announced he no longer “believed,” too (lifelong, devout Mormon). This was around the time he met “her” (an excommunicated Mormon due to an affair). I don’t know which came first. In our culture, both decisions are betrayals. Both left me reeling. Based on my experience, then, the disconnect could be from the “apostasy,” but it also could be from an affair. I’d advise investigating.

I still remember, vividly, his saying (when I asked if he planned to leave us): “Just because I’m an atheist doesn’t mean I don’t love my wife and children.” Well, if that was love . . .

Evertrying posted 7/1/2019 16:54 PM

Yep. Midlife crisis I would say.

StillLivin posted 7/1/2019 23:32 PM

Even if he isn't cheating, does sound like he could be (hard to tell without more information), his behavior is completely unacceptable. Right now he's not treating her like how a husband treats a beloved wife. Your mom needs to ask herself if this is acceptable. In the meantime, she can do some minor sleuthing, check the phone bill, keylogger on the phone and computer, and a VAR in the car. It will give her peace of mind if it all comes back clear. But she still needs to address if she's willing to stay in a marriage where his behavior is unacceptable.

cocoplus5nuts posted 7/2/2019 08:23 AM

Even if it isn't dementia, it could be something physical/health related. I have read about older people becoming completely different people because of some health issue or another. I really think it's worth looking into.

Again, depending on age, idk about midlife crisis. Midlife is what, 40s to 50s? Presumably, this guy is at least in his 60s.

Idk. I would want to rule out other things before I j UK mped straight to cheating.

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