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My father is having an extramarital affair. Part of me wants to end my relationship with him for cheating on my mom, but i worry that he will be depressed as he loves me a lot. How do I deal with this situation?

186 Answers
Last Updated: 01/01/2022 at 8:32pm
My father is having an extramarital affair. Part of me wants to end my relationship with him for cheating on my mom, but i worry that he will be depressed as he loves me a lot. How do I deal with this situation?
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United States
Moderated by

Tracy-Kate Teleke, M.A., LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

I assist adults and couples in CA experiencing relationship challenges and interpersonal struggles including anxiety, depression, and a myriad of other life challenges.

Top Rated Answers
January 13th, 2018 7:19am
You should sit and talk with him about how you are feeling and let the answer evolve. Do let him know your concern and love for him. Try some family therapy.
February 9th, 2018 6:31am
This shows that you are a sensitive person. Control your emotions and do what is right. Talk to him about this. By not doing anything, you are cheating on your mom.
February 16th, 2018 6:26am
Tell him how you feel, and that he needs to end it because it hurts both you and your mother, and your family as a whole. Warn him that you do not approve of what he is doing, but continue to love him anyway.
February 21st, 2018 12:45pm
Never ever doubt the power of communication. Talking to him about how you entirely feel is the best way to go. BUT! This could work effectively if you calm down and control your emotions first. Nothing is worse than letting your emotions to run the situation.
February 23rd, 2018 7:07pm
An extramarital affair is between the husband and wife. If your mom is aware of the infidelity, then you can be there to support her, but it is not your place to judge or take sides. Support comes in all forms: helping around the house, asking her to go out to the mall to spend time together, surprising her by emptying the dishwasher or cleaning your room. Although you may be angry with your father, there is no need to end the relationship now. You may want to step back, be supportive of your Mom and see what happens. This is, after all, their problem to resolve.
March 28th, 2018 10:44am
Talk. Discuss everything openly. We often make things more complicated by keeping our emotions to ourselves. Just keep your patience and talk to your parents. Know there views as well. I know it's complicated but it'll be much less complicated once you conversate. Don't be scared to show your anger, sadness, jealousy, resentment or frustration. It's natural to feel that way. It's better out than inside you.
March 31st, 2018 8:11am
I suggest you talk to him first about the his affairs. Then know his point of view of his doings. Leaving something behind is not an answer. Try finding a solution.
March 31st, 2018 8:57pm
I would really put out the pros and cons of continuing to talk to him. If I do, would it affect my mental health and if so, I wouldn't compromise for that
April 13th, 2018 7:43am
Oh, such a tough spot to be in. I am so sorry you are holding this right now. Whereas, i don’t have ‘the answer,’ i think that making sure you are taking care of yourself in whatever you decide, is crucial. Obviously, from your question, you are a loving, compassionate person, and you care and worry about causing your father pain. I would simply be sure, that you’re not ‘taking care’ of anyone else’s hurt, but allowing them the space to have and be responsible for their own feelings. This could translate to, say, taking care to not ‘take sides,’ with either parent. And, ultimately, it frees you to feel whatever comes up for you through this—from sadness, hurt, anger, to compassion or empathy, and even, perhaps, a bit of peace, without guilt, at some point, because this isn’t yours to have solve, cover-up, or compensate-for. Keep doing what you’re doing, with reflecting and caring for your parents’ well-beings. And be sure to tend to you, first and foremost.
April 15th, 2018 11:12pm
As hard as it can be to do so, you need to detach yourself from the situation as that particular issue is between your mom and your dad. You are absolutely allowed to disagree with what he has done, and to be disappointed in his decision to have an extramarital affair - but as a child we are not prone to knowing what may have caused him to do this. An extramarital affair in no way changes how much he loves you. Perhaps you could talk with him about how you are feeling. Be honest with him.
May 6th, 2018 2:02pm
talk to him. tell him how you feel about the situation and if this doesnt work then talk to your mother.
May 19th, 2018 2:23am
Never end you relationship with your father, obviously he is going through something that you are not aware of. Communication is the key to any relationship
May 23rd, 2018 8:17pm
I think you should talk to him about it and tell him how you feel and then if he don't try to tell you the truth then you should tell him he needs tot tell you mom the truth
May 26th, 2018 5:31pm
Talk to him about it and make your thoughts on the matter clear. He needs to know what he's done isn't right or okay.
June 1st, 2018 2:18am
I understand you feeling disappointed by your dad. He made a mistake that hurt your mom. As you consider everyone's pain, also consider that no matter what, tomorrow he will still be your father. Have you told him how you are hurting personally? Rage is not a good feeling to hold on to. Do you think you could find a path for your family to start healing?
June 14th, 2018 2:25pm
Although you're angry with him for cheating on your mother and it is a very wrong thing to do, that would be between your mother and father. You can talk to him about how you feel with him and his actions calmly and peacefully.
June 22nd, 2018 10:50pm
What a heartbreaking decision, to have to decide but having gone through this myself with my own dad I chose to forgive, forgiveness takes away the pain of the situation and the burden of this on your father would be unbearable, you are human and to feel human you have to be able to accept what he did and move one is the best thing you can do
June 24th, 2018 8:40pm
This is a hard place to be and unfortunate you have to be in this situation. I am sorry for your pain and dilemma. Exploring your feelings with you dad is something that may help and talking to him about how this makes you feel may start your relationship on a better path. You didn't mention if your mother knows or not.
July 4th, 2018 1:54am
First of all,i’m really sorry you’re going through that, secondly i think you live only once so you should do what you’re think is best for YOU. Think about yourself and your feelings as priority not anyone else’s. If you’re not feeling comfortable being around him and if you feel like you will be better off without him, then cut him off your life.
July 5th, 2018 10:32pm
You and your father seem to be going through a lot. Your father may regret his choice for cheating or he may not. It seems that you still care for him and he still cares for you. The best thing is to rethink this whole situation from both perspectives even though that will not be an easy thing to do. At the end of the day you are the one who will know what is best for you. I wish you the best of luck!
July 6th, 2018 4:40am
Since he loves you a lot, he shouldn't be putting you through this pain. Talk to him about it! You nor your mom deserve to go through this.
July 6th, 2018 4:47pm
Well for one, does your mother know? Regardless they are your parents and as such, they may not want you to worry so much. It’s their marriage and they’ll have to figure it out for themselves. At the moment you are upset and disappointed with your father but I’m sure you still love him. Maybe you should take some time for yourself and really think about it. One thing for sure is that if you strongly feel like you want to end your relationship with him, don’t let anyone guilt you into not doing so. But either way you have to allow your parents to handle their situation.
July 8th, 2018 6:13pm
There's no excuse for cheating. If you want to end your relationship with him because he cheated your mother then do so. I think you are right.
July 18th, 2018 6:32pm
Talk to him, he needs help. Make him realize how its effecting you all. Don't disown him before even trying respectfully. An act of kindly dealing with the situation can make a difference rather than jumping into opposing the situation harshly. Try to replace that women with your Mom back again. Try to find and work out whats he missing in your Mom and looking in that other woman, and get it back between them.
July 25th, 2018 6:15pm
I’m so sorry to hear that! I really do hope it’ll get better, maybe try talking to him about it! or maybe even your mom! it’ll be okay, we can get through this. tigether!
July 26th, 2018 1:54pm
Unfurtantely our parents affairs and their relationships are something that must be solved by them. Don't turn your back on your father because I'm sure he's not wanting to hurt you, instead try talk to him and face the problem by asking him directly his reasons for doing what he has done and then you may decide, after hearing him out, what do you want to do about it.
July 27th, 2018 10:04am
I think that it's hard to directly tell your dad how you feel about what he's done, especially if you're not open about these things in the family. It'll be good if you can approach him and tell him honestly what you feel. Moreover, if you can forgive your dad for cheating on your mom, continue your bond with your father and go on with your life, it would be the ideal situation. This doesn't mean that you forget what your father has done though. You don't have to rush, just take your time to think things through. Forgiveness is hard but it will give you peace of mind.
July 29th, 2018 3:32am
The best thing to do is tell somebody. Keeping that kind of weight on your shoulders can be detramental to your health, and happiness. It might make your father upset, but in the end the outcome will be better than keeping it a secrete. Your not alone in this, and your mother would be very greatful for your strength and honesty!
July 29th, 2018 10:22am
Your words can have too much power in this situation. It’s better to talk to him alone and it can even help him to change . In fact, he is a lovely dad and would it be right to hurt him ?
August 1st, 2018 8:04am
Infidelity is a serious breach of trust and you are justified in feeling betrayed by what must seem like a selfish act on the part of your father. However, it is useful to remember that people become unfaithful for different reasons and it is important to communicate with your father about his decisions. It might also be useful to try to make him understand how his actions affect those around him and to ask him to take some accountability for it. I am sorry you had to experience this. It is a truly disruptive and psychologically destabilizing experience. But talking to an individual and/or family therapist can help you and your family heal from the pain in productive ways, whether your parents choose to remain together or not.