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I'm 19, discovered my dad's cheating on my mom


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Old 11th March 2019, 1:14 PM   #1
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I'm 19, discovered my dad's cheating on my mom

I found out by downloading and reading his private messages. What he wrote was pretty disturbing to me. he has a strong emotional attachment to the other woman and he wrote he's finally feeling "that way" after a long time, there are some sexual/semi-sexual elements to it as well. He wrote that he's had sexual relationships in the past too so it's been happening for a long time. I already hated my dad, now I hate him even more.

I don't know what to do at this point. He acts totally normal with my mom, but he goes away for long times even in weekends. I always had suspicions but now i know for sure where he's going, it's even worse. My mom blindly believes him when he says where hes going: I'm not sure if she's either stupid, or just a normal person who trusts her husband, or has suspicions but is afraid of knowing the truth.

I don't know whether to tell my mom, how she'll react (I don't want her to get depressed), will they divorce and what'll happen to the assets, am I doing the wrong thing by hiding it from her or should i just let it carry on (as it's already been happening for a long time), and how will it affect me as i'm in college and not earning. I support my mom 100%, I feel very uncomfortable and disgusted around my dad. I feel like ruining the other woman's life by telling (anon) her husband and seeing what happens, but what if that backfires? I'm confused on what step to take cause i'm afraid i'll take the wrong step and ruin things even more, I'm too timid to either confront my dad or tell my mom or anyone which is why I came here. any advice?
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:19 PM   #2
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Tell your dad you know and if he doesn’t tell your mother you’re going to.

She has a right to know and not be living in a lie.
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:22 PM   #3
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Do you have a trusted relative (older adult) or a parent of one of your peers you could speak to?

This is a heavy burden for you and you could use someone to talk to. How about a school counselor?
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:25 PM   #4
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I agree with amaysngrace. Tell your dad you know and that if he doesn't tell your mother you will.
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by amaysngrace View Post
Tell your dad you know and if he doesn’t tell your mother you’re going to.

She has a right to know and not be living in a lie.
I completely and totally disagree with this. You are their SON, not their marriage counselor.

This is NOT your problem to handle. you are the child, they are the adults. I hope you can find another trusted adult to speak to and help you navigate this. This is NOT your burden to carry and I'm really angry at your parents right now. No child (even though you are technically an adult) should ever have to be in the middle of parents marriage issues.
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:31 PM   #6
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It won’t be her burden once she unloads it on her dad. Until she does that though, it is.

I just asked my own 20 yo what she would do. She said tell dad to tell me or else she will.
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Wallysbears View Post
Do you have a trusted relative (older adult) or a parent of one of your peers you could speak to?

This is a heavy burden for you and you could use someone to talk to. How about a school counselor?
I totally agree. OP, it would be a good idea to get support and help to navigate this. It must be very upsetting for you. Do you have older siblings?
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by amaysngrace View Post
Tell your dad you know and if he doesn’t tell your mother you’re going to.

She has a right to know and not be living in a lie.
Thanks for replying. I'm afraid of my dad. I don't have the courage to speak to him, and I don't know whether he'll deny and would he be aggressive or violent toward me or my mom. I'm afraid of a major change, like divorce. The problem is, everything's kind of going on fine, although he's a cheater, he is good at hiding it and my mom is still happy with him (I think). My mom doesn't want to be alone. Also, they have many assets together. I don't know what would happen to the jointly owned home, what if he decides to continue living there and brings the other woman (I think that would be the worst thing). Also, my mom is financially independent but needs the home for job. What if he challenges me to tell my mom and she doesn't believe in me. What if he tells me he'll stop if I don't tell, but then he doesn't stop but just gets smarter at hiding it from me.
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:45 PM   #9
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I agree that you need support from someone you respect and trust. It seems to me it would be good for you to tell your Dad you know but not knowing your Dad I wouldn't know how to advise it.

This may seem like an odd question, but is your dad prone to violence or to passive aggressive behavior? My concern would be his lashing out at you in some way so that's one reason you really need support right there where you are before telling him.

Do you belong to a church? Is there an adult (besides your parents) you have a great deal of respect for and trust in?
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:47 PM   #10
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OP, you've laid out all the reasons why some of us are suggesting you get support in these matters, it's too much for you to navigate this alone. Quite frankly, these are matters that a professional would be better to take on, and release the burden from you.

I wish you all the best
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:47 PM   #11
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How old are you and what year of college are you in? Do you have siblings and if so what ages are they?

My concern is first for you and then your mother. You shouldn't have to bear the burden of this.

You really need a counselor to help you through this. That's the very first thing you need to see to.
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:52 PM   #12
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I also want to add that I grew up with this same knowledge and burden. But, I had siblings and we processed it together which was somewhat helpful.

In my situation, eventually the parent who was being cheated on discovered it and it was a life long ongoing saga between my two parents about it.

I would not want to have gotten between them as it was bad enough as it was and anything I could have done wouldn't have changed the scenario.

I have also had friends who have had to deal with this type thing. It's more common than you realize and chances are some of your friends are dealing with the same thing but, of course, not talking about it because of the shame associated with it.

Bottom line, it may or may not change anything between your parents for you to tell your father, except your relationship with him may worsen. It seems to me from your posts you recognize that.

You definitely need to find a counselor of some sort. A professional would be great.
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Wallysbears View Post
I completely and totally disagree with this. You are their SON, not their marriage counselor.

This is NOT your problem to handle. you are the child, they are the adults. I hope you can find another trusted adult to speak to and help you navigate this. This is NOT your burden to carry and I'm really angry at your parents right now. No child (even though you are technically an adult) should ever have to be in the middle of parents marriage issues.
Shouldn't you be only angry at my father, rather than both my parents?

Yes, although I'm technically an adult, I'm more like a minor emotionally and physically.

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Originally Posted by SunnyWeather View Post
I totally agree. OP, it would be a good idea to get support and help to navigate this. It must be very upsetting for you. Do you have older siblings?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallysbears View Post
Do you have a trusted relative (older adult) or a parent of one of your peers you could speak to?

This is a heavy burden for you and you could use someone to talk to. How about a school counselor?
I have some peers but nobody I'm that close to. I have one older sister but she's mentally disabled. So overall I don't have anyone to tell it to. That's why I came here.
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Old 11th March 2019, 1:56 PM   #14
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Shouldn't you be only angry at my father, rather than both my parents?
You are correct.

Is there a school counselor at your school you can speak to? A trusted professor? Do you live in a dorm? Maybe an RA?
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Old 11th March 2019, 2:02 PM   #15
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If you’re afraid of your father, then your mom probably is, too. I would not recommend talking to your father about this. Personally, I would leave it alone. My guess is, your mom knows or suspects what he’s doing. Because of the temperament of your father, announcing this knowledge to anyone could cause real problems. The only person I would even consider telling is your mom. Or, you could have her “accidentally” stumble on those messages so that it appears she found out on her own. If she knows you know about it but she plans to stay with your father, she may be embarrassed by you knowing. Or she may feel inclined to do something about it when she normally wouldn’t have. Telling others, especially family members, could also ignite a war.
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