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Newest Member: Unsureofhope

Just Found Out :
Recently found out my dad might be cheating, what do i do?

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 Bluebox (original poster member #43718) posted at 2:30 PM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

We share an office space, but he pays for it, I am self employed and do the same as him, he is my main customer as i do all his production work for his clients, i'm basically a supplier of his. He met this woman through another lady that rents an office of him here, OW is close friends with the woman here who i do get on with. I had considered speaking to her about it so she would have a word with her friend but that could open it all to everyone here, we have a business club based at our offices so it could spread to all the local businesses that attend, which could destroy the whole thing for everyone. My dad has no pension so these offices and business club is basically his income for as long as it lasts. And we have a business community now where other people rely on me and my dad to stay running for their businesses to benefit

posts: 137   ·   registered: Jun. 13th, 2014
id 8360327

BeingNaive ( member #30652) posted at 3:22 PM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

My opinion would be to take the evidence you have and deal with this head on. I know you don't like/do confrontation, but it needs to be done. It doesn't matter if all you have proof of is "flirty friends". It is still inappropriate! Although, the fact she thought nothing of sitting on your father's lap leads me to believe that they're definitely at least "touchy feely".

As much as it would suck, I would set up a meeting with my siblings and share what you have. I'd also tell them about what you've seen around the office.

This affects your whole family, obviously. However, it could really damage your own relationships with your siblings and mom when they find out and if you don't tell them before then.

I wish I could do this for you. Try to use your fear for your family as your power to confront your dad. Lean on your siblings so that you all can make it through this.

posts: 300   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2011   ·   location: Michigan
id 8360353

imwideawake ( member #23386) posted at 3:46 PM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019


I'm really sorry you are going through this. I know confrontation can be difficult, but trust your gut on this. Your dad is being inappropriate and his actions jeopardize your security as well as his. Find your strength and stand up for your security. Think of all the damage that could be done by him having a relationship with this woman and how it could effect your business relations. Think it through and then confront him. Don't be wishy washy. Be solid and tell him what you expect from him going forward.

Together 21 years.
Married 19
Me: BW
dday 9/08
3 daughters, now grown
Divorced 12/04/12

posts: 1049   ·   registered: Mar. 26th, 2009   ·   location: currently in school getting my degree
id 8360370

beauchateaux ( member #57201) posted at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

If it all came out my dad would loose my 2 sisters for sure including his 2 grandchildren.

My dad has no pension so these offices and business club is basically his income for as long as it lasts.

So basically, there are a lot of reasons why carrying on with this OW is a very, VERY bad decision on his part. These are all things that need to be made clear to him - a lot of people who get themselves into stupid situations like this are in la-la land, and I wouldn't be surprised if perhaps these very harsh truths haven't occurred to him. Or if they have, they haven't sunk in.

He's got a lot to lose, here, and he needs to at least be told this. Whether he accepts it or not is on him, but letting it go on until it destroys both your family and your livelihood is not the answer. However you confront, I'd say do it soon. You don't need more proof than what you already have - if a woman was texting my husband telling me she was writing something that was turning her on and he was calling her sweetheart, I would certainly not be kind about it.

You're doing great, and I'm glad you are seeking advice here!

I edit pretty much every post because I always hit submit and then think of 'one more thing' to say.

posts: 315   ·   registered: Jan. 31st, 2017   ·   location: Chicago
id 8360386

 Bluebox (original poster member #43718) posted at 5:49 PM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Well I have proof its more than just friends, proof i got through snooping but who cares, she sent 'ok my love, I miss you so so much' he replied 'ditto'... So i know i have to say something now. Just when... She's away until weekend, so do i wait until monday and confront the pair of them, saying something like I warned dad 1 to 1 and thats not done anything, so i'm warning you both, back off or i go public. Or do i just confront him on his own again tomorrow when i see him?

I know i'll cry and not be able to speak when i do but it's gotta be done. Maybe a quick shot of wine to give me a little dutch courage before i do so i can atleast speak!!

posts: 137   ·   registered: Jun. 13th, 2014
id 8360466

Edie ( member #26133) posted at 6:38 PM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

HUg Bluebox

Don’t feel you have to confront them both. This is between you and your dad, you don’t want him acting with any kind of false front or bravado to save face in front of her.

You don’t need to give an ultimatum either. Tell him you will not be complicit to the affair. Point out that it is deeply distressing and impossible for you to continue working there whilst this is going on and very unfair and unthinking of him to be doing that to you. Especially as you know how it feels to be cheated upon.

He may try to minimise it, in which case you tell him that you know a lot more than he thinks you might know. ( but don’t state what). Ask him if he has considered that she is likely a gold-digger. And don’t feel forced to say much more than that. Just look him in the eye. Doesn’t matter if you cry. It’s authentic disappointment and sadness. It’s probably even good if you cry.

All that’s just my opinion. You know him better than I do as to how defensive or rebarbative he might be. I worry that it might just go underground. But that bridge can be crossed later.

[This message edited by Edie at 12:49 PM, April 10th (Wednesday)]

Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
FWS 55
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.

posts: 6398   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2009   ·   location: Europe
id 8360501

MamaDragon ( member #63791) posted at 7:26 PM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Confront him now, I'd include your mom or at least give her a heads up. These things have a way of coming out and eventually she will find out and will be doubly hurt because you didn't say anything.

I would not allow him to go another day without speaking my mind. He is disrespecting his vows, his wife and you.

Plus the longer you wait, the longer you will stew about it and that is not healthy either. Stress is awful.

I'd come clean to your dad about your ex too - explain to him how awful it hurt you. Putting a personalized spin on it might be the thing to lift him from the fog.

BS - 40 something at A time, over 50 now
WS - him, younger than me

posts: 1226   ·   registered: May. 16th, 2018   ·   location: Georgia
id 8360534

Lieswearmedown ( member #61335) posted at 7:49 PM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

First, I’m so sorry you are having to deal with this. That is a given. We are all sorry you have to deal with this, but deal with it you must in one way or another.

You cannot be responsible for your father‘s behavior, your mothers reaction to your father’s behavior, or whatever moral malfunction this other woman seems to be afflicted with. You must be responsible for your actions and reactions to knowing this is happening though.

I’ve unfortunately been in a position to have to parent my parents and it isn’t easy. In order to get through confronting a parent about their bad behavior, you have to do a couple of things. I promise you it doesn’t feel comfortable or natural, but it is effective.

You have to compartmentalize the conversation and IGNORE the fact that you are dealing with your father. I set it in my brain that I was dealing with a colleague who had just done something destructive that could potentially affect my job, my relationships with valued colleagues, my safety, and my reputation.

You have to stay on message no matter how he tries to derail the conversation.

“I’m your father! Watch how you speak to me!” should be responded to with, “I know you’re my father. Believe me, it brings me no pleasure to have this conversation and I’m working hard here to talk to you honestly and with as much respect as possible given how difficult this discussion is.”

“My marriage is none of your business!” should be met with, “ordinarily I’d agree 100% but since it is apparent that you have made it my business by conducting your affair right out in the open and you are expecting me to turn a blind eye to the harm you are doing my mother, I don’t really have a choice here. Note that helping you to cheat on mom by being silent is all kinds of wrong and I’m not going to disrespect her that way.”

“Fine -you don’t want to be around it, you don’t have to work here!” should be met with, “okay, but that is a choice you’ll be making. It won’t keep me from doing the right thing and telling my mother what is happening in her life. Mom being told the truth is not negotiable. It will happen today no matter whether you decide to fire me for refusing to stand by while you cheat on my mother. The only decision to make there is whether you are going to be responsible and do it yourself or force your child to have a conversation no child should ever have to have with their parent.”

“What proof? You don’t have any proof! Nothing is happening with OW!” should be met with “I have proof I can hand to mom. I know it’s happening because you haven’t been as diligent about hiding things as you think you have. I’ve witnessed plenty and have proof of much more. At this point, we are past the proof stage. I have plenty of it. You need to be thinking of whether you’re going to tell mom the truth yourself or shuffle that responsibility off on your daughter.”

You have to state your problem, offer him possible choices, and reaffirm your position.

You have to be calm. You have to not respond negatively to threats of being fired by him, emotionally cut off by him, or even warnings about what your mother’s reactions might be. You have to be able to calmly remind him that you aren’t responsible for his horrible decisions or hers, but you are responsible for your reactions and you won’t help him to lie and cheat and jeopardize your mother further by being silent.

1. Your script for a conversation with your father should be straightforward.

“I know you’ve been cheating on my mother. I have proof. You don’t owe me and I won’t hear any excuses for your behavior. What I’m telling you is I have my own moral responsibilities here and I won’t ignore it or be complicit in your affair. I won’t pretend I don’t know. I won’t help you to deprive my mother of knowing the truth about her own marriage. She may have some problems, but she deserves to know what is happening here. Neither you nor I get to decide what’s best for her.”

“You have a few decisions to make. 1. You can tell mom the truth and if she doesn’t mind you having an affair, then I’ll say no more about it. 2. You can decide you won’t tell mom and I will. I’ll provide her with the proof I have and support whatever decisions she makes. I’m well aware she has an alcohol problem and she’s not stable, but none of that gives you license to do what you’re doing. I won’t stand by silently and help you to hide this betrayal. That isn’t something parents should expect of their children, grown or otherwise. You are my father and she is my mother. Expecting me to stand by and pretend that you aren’t doing this to her is not going to happen. If the situation were reversed, I’d be having this same conversation with her.”

“I’m not going to get into a discussion where I tell you exactly what I think of your actions or my own personal pain from adultery, but I’m telling you here and now, I do have an opinion about your behavior and OWs too. If you’re ever interested in hearing any of that, please say so. That said, I think you already understand you’re not going to feel better afterwards.”

“Because you and OW have put me in an impossible position, you should go home tonight and tell my mother the truth about her marriage and her life, because right now she is living in ignorance and deserves to know what is happening in her own life. If I don’t hear from HER that you have told her the whole truth, I’m going to have to have a difficult conversation with her where I make sure she knows what is happening. If you have any understanding or concern for the disgusting position you’ve put me in, you will not force me to be the responsible adult here. You’ll do your own unpleasant work.”

Finish it by telling him you love him (if you do) and you’re hoping he will see that he must do the right thing here regardless of your mother’s mental and substance challenges because they may have both done some horrible damage to their relationship, but expecting you to go along with this mess is likely going to forever damage your relationship with him.

Turn around. Go grab your purse. Exit the building. Let the evening pass. Call your mother the next day and let her know you’re stopping by.

It’s awful and I’m so sorry.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Nov. 7th, 2017
id 8360548

Odonna ( member #38401) posted at 8:22 PM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Blue box,

This is just so awful for you! I am so sorry.

I get the sense that what you want is to make your father stop what is clearly an EA and likely a PA assuming your dad is physically able. You want the OW out of your office building and out of your lives. There is a lot of passion on SI about telling the OBS about the truth of their marriage, and generally I agree with that. But I get the impresssion you would rather not tell your mother and blow up your whole family if the A truly stops. That is a choice you can make, of course. It has its own consequences, though, as you will forever have this awful secret with your father. And even if he agrees to stop the A can very readily go underground. You would be constantly in snoop mode, which is a horrible way to live. But from what you have said about keeping the sins of your ex and your uncle secret, you seem like the kind of person who would prefer to internalize that pain rather than blow up your family. If it were me I would tell, but you have to decide for yourself based on who you are and based on what you know about your family.

So I would think very carefully about this before you confront your father, as you need to be very clear about what you are asking him to do: 1) stop the affair only; or 2) stop the affair and come clean to your mom.

But I agree with others here that, as soon as you are clear on what you want your mom to know, you should confront your dad alone. You can write it down on paper and have him read it in front of you if you do not trust your emotions to let you speak.

Please know we are all here to support you, so let us help if we can.

[This message edited by Odonna at 2:26 PM, April 10th (Wednesday)]

posts: 967   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2013   ·   location: Northern Virginia
id 8360568

Thanksgiving2016 ( member #63462) posted at 3:24 AM on Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Please for the love of god tell your mother. First. Do not let him take this shit underground first.

posts: 697   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2018
id 8360800

 Bluebox (original poster member #43718) posted at 8:49 AM on Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Thanks everyone, I won't see him till later today if at all as I am at the hospital this morning having a heart monitor fitted :/ supposed to be de-stressing my life think this will be one of my most stressful weeks typically it lands when im being monitored!

I will definitely right it down, but will try and say it first. Needs to be when we won't be disturbed and there's 3 other women in our offices as well as me, my dad and OW. My worry about confronting him this week is its ovious i've been snooping and its more likely to go underground, where as if i did it after seeing them together again on monday it looks like im reacting to that. I'll get it all written down and just do it as soon as i see an opportunity but it will be in the next few days. I just need to compose myself best i can and take strength from all of you that i can do this. Plus use some of your messages to piece together my message to him!

Thank you everyone for taking the time to respond to me and help me this site truly is a god send!

I am leaning more towards wanting to give him this one last opportunity to save his family and his career, as it will effect alot of lives! We are a close family and my dad has 5 siblings and my mum has 6, plus both my mums mum and my dads mum aren't in the best of health's so i want to protect them if i can. And my sister with the 2 children split from her husband a couple years ago and the kids struggled with it, and still are, if this causes my mum and dad to split i'm not sure how the kids will take them splitting too :( I can carry the burden of the pain and knowledge if it saves everyone else from having to BUT only if it definitely 100% stops!

I will then also arrange to go for lunch with my mum and ask her if she's truly happy in the marriage as i suspect shes not. If they split naturally then it's less damaging than if they split because of adultery.

posts: 137   ·   registered: Jun. 13th, 2014
id 8360915

Wintergarden ( member #70268) posted at 9:15 AM on Thursday, April 11th, 2019

I am probably about your mum's age and recently found out my H of 30 yrs had been having a PA for over a year. It has destroyed me, my M and everything I looked forward to is now tainted. It feels like a glass has shattered and there is no glue to mend it. I sure hope your mum doesn't have to deal with anything like this. Thank goodness you are on the case.

posts: 311   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2019   ·   location: UK
id 8360917

Wintergarden ( member #70268) posted at 9:16 AM on Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Sorry double post

[This message edited by Wintergarden at 3:17 AM, April 11th (Thursday)]

posts: 311   ·   registered: Apr. 10th, 2019   ·   location: UK
id 8360918

 Bluebox (original poster member #43718) posted at 11:43 AM on Thursday, April 11th, 2019

I'm sorry wintergarden that your going through this right now, I am about 4ish years out from finding out about my ex and his 3 yr affair. I never thought i'd be happy again, nothing filled with me with joy, i was like a zombie just going through life. But it does ease with time, there is no rushing it. My mums 60 and always thought she'd be retiring now but the retirement age has gone up to 67, but if she split from my dad she's likely to have to go back to full time work (currently only does part time because of bad back issues and her depression) I doubt she'd cope with full time work :(

Your at the start of your journey, and its a horrible place to be, feels very lonely but stay on these forums, they help alot! You'll get there with time. Do you have children wintergarden?

posts: 137   ·   registered: Jun. 13th, 2014
id 8360933

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 2:06 PM on Thursday, April 11th, 2019


We recently had a poster whose in-laws kept an affair from 2 weeks before a wedding a secret for 8 years. At the moment of posting this thread can be found on page 2 of JFO.

The relevance of that thread to you is to see the damage of NOT DOING can cause. In that thread the damage is twofold: the damage for the BH that his wife cheated when they were in an exclusive relationship and the damage of her family knowing but deciding to keep it secret from the BH.

I wouldn’t focus on confronting your father.

I would inform your mom. That would be the main priority for me.

I wouldn’t focus on the proof. If you are convinced, then that’s enough. That’s it. At most I would pull out relevant proof if your mom isn’t convinced.

Talk to your mom. Just tell her that you know. That you have the proof if she needs it, but you KNOW. After that you can confront your dad, but once again you don’t need proof. It’s enough that you KNOW and are convinced.

“Mom. I hate to have to tell you this, but you raised me to do the right thing. Even when it’s hard. Dad is having an affair [or if you don’t have proof of a physical affair:] Dad is having an inappropriate relationship with OW. I had my suspicions for some time due to some interactions between them, body-language and their behaviors when they didn’t realize I was there, and I have seen communications between them that prove to me that something is going on. There isn’t a person on this world that I would less want to hurt than you my mom, so you can imagine how hard it is for me to tell you this, but you need to know.”

Regarding your dad:

“I know you and OW are having an affair.”

And that’s basically it.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 11167   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8360988

nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 7:58 PM on Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Bigger is spot on. I'd also like to point out that the poster is not the first or last to find out that their children/relatives/friends all knew of the A before the BS did and DID NOTHING. It destroyed them even more than the A did. It led to lost friendships and lost relationships. It led to the BS feeling ashamed and humiliated to know that everyone must have been laughing at them behind their back. What's even worse than finding out about your spouse's cheating is adding a secondary betrayal from friends and family who knew and didn't act on it. It sends a strong message that you don't care about the BS and you condone the cheating which I know isn't the message that you would want to send but it's the message that your mother will hear if and when she finds out.

Would you rather she hear it from you or that she finds out by herself and knows that you've been complicit?

posts: 5166   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8361297

Odonna ( member #38401) posted at 5:27 AM on Friday, April 12th, 2019


Blue Box gets to decide what is right for her and her family. I would tell my mom and most of you would too from the posts here, but berating her and telling her there is only one answer is not what we should be doing. Yes, by all means explain what the consequences of different decisions may be. But no berating of Bluebox for having a different view of what is right for her and her family.

Her mom is ill in several ways and she wants to spare her pain in her elder years. She wants to see if her father can stop this and avoid the world war in her family. So many of us would vote for the painful truth to be exposed, but this is Bluebox’s choice alone. She is entitled to protect her family in the way she thinks best, knowing all of them.

So stop berating her! Say your views respectfully and understand that SHE will decide for herself.

posts: 967   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2013   ·   location: Northern Virginia
id 8361576

 Bluebox (original poster member #43718) posted at 5:58 AM on Friday, April 12th, 2019

Thank you odonna.

I know I an I alone can decide what to do it's just so hard. I've Googled the same situation and so many people have said to keep my nose out, it's nothing to do with me etc but I cant in good conscience so that, I cant just ignore it.

I discovered yesterday it doesnt matter who hes messaging if it's a lady he calls them darling, sweetheart and/or lovely... all stuff I've seen him call her, he seems to call it everyone. How have I never noticed before :/

posts: 137   ·   registered: Jun. 13th, 2014
id 8361583

Odonna ( member #38401) posted at 10:49 AM on Friday, April 12th, 2019

Good morning Bluebox.

Does anyone else sit on his lap or talk about writing pornography and getting aroused on the train? Your dad’s habit of using tender endearments with women may have emboldened her to pursue him initially, but it seems it is more now. She said she loved him just the other day. Granted, he said “ditto” to that and from what you have seen has not gotten mushy or sexual with her. This could just be an EA powered by the ego kibbles. How old is your father? You mentioned he is not in great shape; is he capable of a PA? Is this just a foolish falling of an aging man for attention and compliments?

Believe me, I am not minimizing anything. This is all purely awful. And a bad marriage with your mom and his susceptibility to outside attention is no excuse. But thinking about these things might be helpful, at least in crafting the tone you want to take with him.

I certainly would confront him. I think advice just to butt out is wrong when it is your family involved. But I certainly understand if you want to watch a bit more and tease out what is actually going on. At a minimum you will have more confidence about what you need to say.

Stay strong!!

posts: 967   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2013   ·   location: Northern Virginia
id 8361638

 Bluebox (original poster member #43718) posted at 11:22 AM on Friday, April 12th, 2019

He is 60 as is my mum, married since they were 24. OW is 41 :/ I don't see how he would be capable of a PA but i guess when theres a will theres a way so who knows.

I will keep you all posted once i have spoken to him, I need to write it all down first which i'll do over the weekend when i have some peace.

posts: 137   ·   registered: Jun. 13th, 2014
id 8361653
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