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

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Odonna posted 10/7/2019 08:26 AM

There are SO many cases on SI where a spouse gets either physical or electronic access to a phone or tablet and finds out about an affair. Some discoveries are accidental but many are intentional because something is just not right. Generations ago, the only way to find out for sure was to hire a PI to investigate. Nowadays we have ways to investigate ourselves electronically, and that is no different from hiring a PI when circumstances warrant.

Those who misuse their communications to do nefarious things, like cheat, are the most vocal protesters of “snooping” but the reality is that their own conduct brought it on. Had you found clear evidence of a solely “mentor” relationship, wouldn’t that have been a huge relief? You still might have counseled your dad about boundaries and appearances (because those relationships can lead to EAs and PAs), but you would not have gone into high investigatory mode.

So, yes, I understand you would prefer not to have to “fess up” about the extent of your intercepts, but you need to release your self-judgment on this, and defend yourself against any family admonishment. You were protecting YOUR FAMILY against a clear threat that proved true and awful. No shame at all.

[This message edited by Odonna at 8:28 AM, October 7th (Monday)]

MamaDragon posted 10/7/2019 08:59 AM

Do not feel guilty for finding the information out via snooping. Give your Mum the information she is asking for - your Dad does not have to know how or who gave her the information. Heck, some OW give the BS the information - who is to say this OW wouldn't do it if she thought she could get him to leave your Mum?

Now that that your Mum is in the know, she could hire a PI to find the information she needs but why waste money when you have the proof she seeks.

Your Dad is being horrible to your Mum, you and your sisters. Time he is wasting on the OW is time he could be investing in his business, in forging a better relationship with you, your siblings and your Mum. He is choosing to turn his back on his family and he will need to hit rock bottom before he pulls his head out of his arse and notices that he is losing you all.

This is NOTHING on you. You tried to help him see that his actions are wrong, he choose not to listen. Let him fall on his own sword. Take care of your Mum, you would want the proof if you were in her shoes. Be there for your Mum, grieve the relationship you thought you had with your Dad - and leave room for him to come back into your life as he was prior - he will one day.

Stay strong sweetie

Bluebox posted 10/9/2019 13:20 PM

Hey everyone, well its done, i had the meeting with my mum, my uncle and my aunt last night. They now know what i've seen. I put it all together and printed it out and read it allowed to them all at the same time. I even read out the conversation i had with dad over messenger (previous posts on this thread) forgetting I had put about my suicide attempts in there... I've never told anyone in my family about that, as i read it out it broke me - I had been holding it together okay up until then. They all agree its not my perception as my dad keeps saying, although they didn't really doubt it anyway. My mum straight away wanted to ring my dad and tell him what she'd learnt... but I asked her not too as that would drop me in it, id rather when he does find out about it he thinks shes had the info from the start.
They were shell shocked at how much evidence i actually had, and the extent of it. They had no idea it had got to the I love yous between my dad and OW. But they did agree with me you can tell she'd forced him there. She constantly asked him to say it until he did and once its said once its easier to say the next time... My mum did get upset at different stages, I think mainly through the bit where i was reading my conversation with him.
We are going away together this weekend for her birthday, with my sisters too, she wants me to bring it with me there for them to read also... I don't really want to do that as i dont want it to cast a cloud over the weekend, plus don't want it to ruin the relationship between my dad and younger sister... my older sister never wants anything to do with him ever again already so can't do any more damage to her relationship with him.

Odonna posted 10/9/2019 13:53 PM

So how do you FEEL now? Is this a relief to you? I know you have hated being in the middle, so maybe now you can view yourself just as the pebble dropped down on the water, and the repercussions to come as the ripples spreading outward that the pebble cannot control.

You have handled yourself with such integrity and compassion and patience in all of this. Do not doubt yourself!

MamaDragon posted 10/9/2019 14:48 PM

(hugs) I know it was tough to do but now it is no longer hanging over your head, Your Mum knows everything you do.

Do not worry about your Dad's relationship with your sisters. It is better to show them everything bc your sister will find out eventually and when she finds out that you had all this info, she will be upset with you.

Let Dad deal with the fallout - he is the one who screwed up (literally) not you.

Bluebox posted 10/9/2019 17:32 PM

I'm not too sure if its a relief for me or not, I do feel i've betrayed my dad - which i explained to my mum and she understands how i feel, but did say he's the one who has caused all this. She knows i've done everything i can to try and do right by everyone. I am nervous about what my dad will say to me once he finds out the extent of my knowledge and the fact i've 'shared with the group'
My dads way of dealing with things is burying his head in the sand unfortunately :/

Shockedmom posted 10/9/2019 19:03 PM

Sending you Mom hugs. I know how difficult this has been for you. At the very least the waiting is over, you have given your mom the information she needed and she can move ahead from here. You can’t carry your the guilt for your father, he may blame shift however he brought this onto himself. Be gentle with yourself, there was no malice in your actions. Continue to talk about this with supportive family and friends. This has been a real trauma and you need time and care to heal.

Bluebox posted 10/15/2019 03:02 AM

I'm off to see my grandma later - dads mum. My mum went to see her yesterday, shes not very well, but it didnt go well at all. My mums very upset about it :( my grandma basically said its equally my mums fault as she failed the physical side of the marriage, a man has needs etc :/ that OW is just a friend to my dad, a companion as he says :/ very nervous about going to see her as I dont want to get into an arguement with her. Nor to I want my boyfriend to have a go whilst standing up for me etc

MamaDragon posted 10/15/2019 08:24 AM

sadly, no matter how old someone gets - they are still their child and your Grandmum does not want to admit her child could be at fault.

Is the breakdown of a marriage the fault of both? Yes - however, the choice to cheat is that of your Father. Once he knew that his "friendship" with the OW bothered your Mum, he should have stepped back and done everything in his power to repair his relationship with your Mum.

If he is still hanging out with his "friend" (i use that term loosely) then he is still cheating. IF he says he wants to repair his marriage, he would be doing everything in his power to repair the marriage, and his relationship with his kids. Right now though the fog is thick with him.

Bluebox posted 10/15/2019 09:08 AM

Just got home, I didn't talk about OW at all, she mentioned how its sad about my mum and dad, but said these things happen sometimes things just don't work out... I wanted to say something but also knew there'd be no point. She wouldn't let me get a word in anyway lol.

My dad has sent my mum a big long message - first contact in 2-3 weeks i believe. And he has just laid it on thick on how it is her that left him, he is the injured party. That my mum hasn't even give him the chance to defend himself against my allegations.

Said her leaving without as much as a note and having ripped up all the photos etc hurt him to the core, feels like he's been chewed up and spat out like he meant nothing, and not just by my mum but by my sister too ("and grandchildren presumably")

Says he is hearing and realising just how little my mum actually thought of their marriage. And that she probably only saw him as a provider. Claiming she stated her proof of love for him was her doing his laundry (she did more than that) but since hes been doing his own these past 3.5 months it only takes him 20 mins a week, so thats all the love my mum had for him amounted up to according to him. :/

He says her brother shes staying with said he hopes that my dads side of the family won’t cut mum off… and pointed out that they haven't but her side of the family have cut him off.

He said my mum has hurt him, really hurt him, returning home that day to find her gone and all the ripped-up memories she had left him, cut him to the bone (and always will) – he said 'you broke my heart, so enjoy that victory. As has Daughter too'.

He said he has devoted his whole life to my mum and my sisters, decades of 'weekly 'double week' hours' – grafting to provide, and allow my mum not to have to go to work or only ever part time. Even risking his own health in the process in that expected role given him. That alone should have allowed him an opportunity to confront my allegations with my mum. But no – he hadn't even earned THAT right...

He said he sees now that whatever he allegedly did (or didn’t do), really doesn’t/didn't matter, as it provided the perfect excuse for mum to escape the intolerable marriage and life he had provided her with… and she jumped at it!

He says despite what mum has thought about him for at least the last 10 years… he will continue to help and support her where he can – after all he's done it all his life. And despite what my sister does, he will always be here for her too; but if there is to be any contact there, it will now have to come from her.

To date, his 'wants' (or needs) have not been considered at all… and it upsets him to finally acknowledge that HIS Wife did disappear over 10 years ago… that she merely vacated this year.

That he has never stopped and will always love her... truly he will. That he wishes her no ill, and will always care about what she does and what happens to her. He is proud to have been her husband, and to have had her in his life for as long as he has. And at the very least, His daughters & grandkids will always bind them in one way or another.

That he just prays that ultimately it can be a friendly and respectful one.

My heart is breaking for both sides of all this. I know my dad has done wrong, severely wrong, but he's still my dad and i know he is hurting too. When i found out my mum had cut up all their photos etc and just left them and no note when she left it broke my heart, and clearly it did break my dads too. Despite what he's done I do know he loves her, that she has been the love of his life, so knew that would hurt, coming home to her gone like that :'( I've said to my mum that i think maybe they need to get together and talk properly about it all as so far its been all via messaging etc. She knows what proof i have now so she can go knowing the facts.

I just can't stop crying at all this today :(

Odonna posted 10/15/2019 09:09 AM


Rehearse what to say if she turns to this topic. Something like: “Gran, I came here to see YOU and we are just going to have to let them sort it out between us. You know, the other day I was thinking about that [event/holiday/vacation/visit] with you when we ..... Do you remember that? That was so much fun!” Have some memories lined up to share and laugh over. Bring some photo albums!

Just do “the next right thing.” Your Gran May not be in the world much longer so strive to make it about her and the impact she has had in your life. You will be OK!

ChamomileTea posted 10/15/2019 11:24 AM

My heart is breaking for both sides of all this. I know my dad has done wrong, severely wrong, but he's still my dad and i know he is hurting too. When i found out my mum had cut up all their photos etc and just left them and no note when she left it broke my heart, and clearly it did break my dads too. Despite what he's done I do know he loves her, that she has been the love of his life, so knew that would hurt, coming home to her gone like that :'( I've said to my mum that i think maybe they need to get together and talk properly about it all as so far its been all via messaging etc. She knows what proof i have now so she can go knowing the facts.

What do you imagine a meeting like that will accomplish for your mother? Should she feel badly about leaving an unrepentant cheater? Your father is still denying that he was wrong, so what do you think he might say to your mom which could possibly be healing? It sounds to me like he will assert that it's all her fault that HE chose to cheat. And sweetie, it IS a choice. There are so many other choices a person can make if they truly want to resolve their marital problems. Getting a girlfriend isn't one of them.

I know you feel really drawn into the middle. These are both your parents and you love them. But you can't fix people, not even the ones you love most. They have to do that for themselves. It's okay for you to throw the bullshit flag when they're in your space, otherwise it's theirs to solve.

Your father cheated, he lied about it, and he's still blame-shifting. If he truly loves your mom, as he claims, he needs to stop doing that. That's Step One. And he's the only one who can make it.

Odonna posted 10/15/2019 14:20 PM

My last post crossed with yours about the visit with your Gran.

But oh my! Your father is still insisting that he never crossed any boundaries with OW and is therefore the wronged party in your mum's unfounded suspicions! This is gas-lighting in the extreme. He knows what he did and everyone else does too, yet he insists over and over that it never happened! How messed up is that?

All your mum could expect from meeting with him now is more denials and accusations against her (and you and your sisters). So I agree with CT (always compassionate and wise) that there is no point to that at present. But in the end it is up to them. If it were me, however, I would not meet with him unless he first confessed to the affair and provided a detailed timeline, including all the dates that you all know he was occupied with OW from the intercepts, and agreed that he would undergo a polygraph to confirm the timeline and ensure there is no omissions of additional facts.

Neanderthal is going through a very hard time now with a WW that got a gold medal in TT and minimization/denial - your mum does not want to go through that. By contrast, BeyondRage has a truly remorseful spouse that DID tell the entire horrible truth and a polygraph confirmed that, so they may have a chance. What so many WSs do not understand is that while the BS has the ultimate choice on whether to R or D, THEY have the initial power to affect the odds of R if they take the counter-intuitive step of confessing everything up-front. The longer the denials go on, the more respect and love is lost by the BS, until it becomes too late.

Maybe give your dad "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair," to help him understand this point.

But even if you do this, or counsel your mum based on what you now know about infidelity, be sure to take good care of yourself and step back for your own sanity.

We are here for you!

[This message edited by Odonna at 2:22 PM, October 15th (Tuesday)]

HellFire posted 10/15/2019 15:09 PM

I empathize with you. I truly do. But I'm going to be blunt.

Make a copy of all of the evidence you have,and hand it to your mother. She is the BS. And every BS has the right to a copy of all evidence of the affair. You are NOT doing anyone any favors by not giving her the evidence of her husband's affair.

Your father is abusing your mother. Blaming her, and launching a campaign against her when it comes to his family and their friends is abuse. No other way to look at it.

You are not helping your dad by withholding tangible proof for your mother. Think of it like this. Affairs are a sickness. Many waywards here liken it to drug abuse. By allowing him to continue to deny this crap, you are enabling him to be an abuser.

Yes he is your dad and you love him. Your sympathy for him is misplaced . He is a grown man. He knew, he KNOWS, what he is doing. He is choosing all of this.

Your mother is the victim. And, after the way he has treated you, and slandered you, you are a victim of his abuse as well. He is the perpetrator.

By giving her her own copy of all of the texts, pics, etc, you will be empowering her to stop this abuse. Once he sees she has the proof, he can't continue to blame her,and continue to traumatize her.

Help her. Help him.

RubixCubed posted 10/15/2019 20:24 PM

Your Dad deserves an oscar for playing the victim. Poor pitiful cheater feels cheated that his role as a husband and father didn't earn him the right to get a sidepiece. I'm sorry he's your father, he's pathetic.

Bluebox posted 10/17/2019 10:28 AM

So the time has come for me to show my dad the extent of the proof I have. My mum, sisters and uncle have all asked me to show my dad what i have as he's just embarrassing himself with the constant denial! I am too chicken to do this to his face, as it may be the end of my career and relationship with my dad. I am going to post it through his letterbox tomorrow after work so he comes home to it. I'll include a letter from myself, the book Odonna has suggested (although the book is about fixing the marriage, but i know neither wants that) and the print out of evidence i showed my mum. Hopefully he'll read it all and take it in properly and see I am also trying to help him.

Shockedmom posted 10/17/2019 12:09 PM


First, I’m so glad that you are ready to give him the proof. He needs to face the truth of what he has done. No more rewriting history to justify his actions.

Second, be prepared for him to lay a guilt trip on you. He has to lay blame anywhere but upon himself.

Third, he may (though unlikely) come to recognize his fault in this after seeing the paper trail and start attempting to repair the relationships he has damaged.

You are a courageous young woman.

nekonamida posted 10/17/2019 13:20 PM

Your Dad deserves an oscar for playing the victim. Poor pitiful cheater feels cheated that his role as a husband and father didn't earn him the right to get a sidepiece. I'm sorry he's your father, he's pathetic.

He is pathetic but he doesn't deserve an Oscar. His performance is extremely transparent to everyone except Bluebox and that is because he installed those guilt buttons in her that he is pushing. He installed buttons for her to give him the benefit of the doubt despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary. She's blind because he made her that way.

BB, I am glad to see that you're finally taking some of your power back. I still hope you see an IC and talk in depth about your issues regarding control and feeling responsible for your parents in a way that is unhealthy for a child, no matter what your age. I hope you read some books about dangerous and manipulative people like, "Why Does He Do That?" and "The Gift of Fear" because you seem incredibly susceptible to the manipulation and gaslighting your father is doing. It's concerning that it doesn't even register with you at all which makes me wonder how your other interpersonal relationships are and how far a toxic person could manipulate you into harming yourself or others. I wish the best for you but honestly, that involves a lot of self reflection and work that only you can do.

Odonna posted 10/17/2019 13:52 PM

I am very proud of you. I know this is hard. Do get some IC for yourself. You will emerge stronger and more at peace.

MamaDragon posted 10/18/2019 07:05 AM


Hard situation but you are doing the right thing.

Maybe this will be exactly what he needs to come out of the fog.

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