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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
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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
August 1st, 2018 1:49pm
You should ask your father to leave the other woman and get back to your mother and make her the happiest person on this planet in the name of his relationship with you. If he really loves you, he will improve.
August 15th, 2018 6:32am
Inform your mother, tell your dad you love him, but what he did is wrong. Being upfront about secrets will gain trust from your mother, and respect from your father
September 13th, 2018 3:25am
It’s always tough to find about something like that and it’s completely normal to have these conflicting thoughts. Only you can decide what to do so try taking some time to reflect on not only on how your dad may feel but how you feel, then when you’re reading try talking to him about it. Also if you’re feeling angry or upset about this you should try to find a way of coping that works well for you so that anger doesn’t build up until you eventually explode and do or say things you may regret or feel guilty about later.
September 28th, 2018 5:00pm
Do your hardest to tell, teach, and show him how wrong that is, and that if he truly doesnt love your mother anymore then he needs to be honest and upfront with her about that too, rather than trying to just leave her in the past and move on, while sneaking around. Im sure its alot of stress for him even to be doing what hes doing, and mention that to him, to lean him more towards wanting to stop doing that. He could still love your mother very much and not be thinking right or have external influences that are altering the way he would usually react and decide about decisions like that, and if so, you need to ease into him while talking to him, because you could get him to vent out to you, what that is. If we can stop all the problems in one go, rather than working at one at a time, is great.
October 14th, 2018 4:26pm
Talk to him. Let him know that you're aware of his affair. And then also let him know how disappointed you are. I know it feels horrible, but still, that an issue between your father and your mother, and not between you two. Try to separate yourself from that problem. I am sure he values you and loves you dearly, and I also understand you want to 'punish' him for treating your mom wrong. But still, you are a different 'world' for him. Try to not be too harsh on him, but let him know. Hope this helps :)
November 4th, 2018 3:06pm
It sounds like you also love him a lot, but you are disappointed in his behavior. It's difficult to make oneself vulnerable and express how we really feel. But it can also be incredibly rewarding to open up and be honest with the person who has hurt or disappointed us. The key is to do this from a voice of vulnerability and love so as not to trigger defensiveness. Before deciding to shut your father out entirely, it might be worth it to initiate this difficult conversation about how his actions have impacted you. Be sure to have the conversation from a place of love.
November 11th, 2018 2:52pm
First, you're allowed to be angry about this. I'm sure you're feeling betrayed, like the foundation of your relationship has been shaken. I think that one thing to remember is that parents, no matter what, are still humans that are capable of doing good and doing harm, and - just like you - they're trying to live their life the best way they know how. I think the number one thing would be to take stock of the facts and assess from there. How is it hurting you? How is it hurting your mother? How you're feeling? I'd voice all of these things to your father and go from there.
November 14th, 2018 11:25pm
I would recommend that you talk to him about it and how it makes you feel. Tell him that you do not like his actions and that, even though you love him, you do not respect his decision to be with someone else when he is married (I suppose? Sorry for assuming, dear) to your mother. Honestly, you need to chat with him about it, or maybe tell your mother. The situation he's putting himself in is not good and will most likely end up hurting everyone in a way or another. So really, talking to him is all you can do. Keep in mind that it's not your fault.
November 29th, 2018 7:15pm
You should speak with directly, portray your feelings, emotions, worries and concerns towards him. Tell him where you stand and your feelings towards him. Nothing is ever black and white, you can still love him, but he needs and should hear how his actions in marriage effect you! Maybe look at options to help him also, marriage councilors ect, as he may need this. Also take into consideration how ending your realtionship with him would honestly effect you, as much as its easy to say that now, yes he has done bad, but he is still your father, good or bad, family is family!
December 1st, 2018 5:05pm
I know it's never been easy for you in this matter. seeing your father cheating on your mom and breaking their marriage in to a deeper problem. but im here for you , you cab always tell me anything. I believe you are a good person with good heart to decide the best and fit for your situations.
December 14th, 2018 11:35am
My father cheated on my mum too, he also loved me a lot. I hear you're so angry for what he did, and I think you should definitely let him know, you have the right to be angry. I invite you to consider that what he did, he did to your mother, he didn't mean to harm or cheat on you. What I mean is to leave the conflict between your parents to them, and focus only on your issue with your dad, without taking the side of anyone, because it's not a position a son/dauguter should ever be forced to take, and they are both your patents, you can't choose on this. So you can think your mum's right, be enraged with your dad, but you don't have to cut contacts, if you don't feel like doing it, just because your mother would do the same, or just to support mum. It's complicated, I hope I explaned it clearly
December 14th, 2018 6:01pm
Hi there, It’s unfortunate that you somehow got caught up in the knowing of your dads personal affairs. As a daughter I feel that would be a sticky spot to be in. Here’s the thing, does your mom know? If I were in your shoes, I’d sit down with my dad and ask him how he thinks it should go moving forward. Take into consideration that he loves you and the affair isn’t about you or how you feel about your mom. We fail to see our parents as real people beyond our mom and dad. They are so much more. It’s understandable that you will want to stick up for your mom and she will need you, no doubt but at the end of the day you will want to do what’s best for both of your parents. It’s not fair that you are in the middle of it. Start with your dad and tell him your concerns. And if you aren’t wanting to lie to your mom, he will have to make a choice. Good luck.
January 11th, 2019 3:39pm
I would suggest speaking with your Father. Let him know how you feel about the affair and that you are thinking about not having a relationship with him because of it. Ask him to be honest with you as you are being with him. Let him know you do not wish to hurt him but his behavior is hurting you and how it makes you feel about his relationship with your Mom. Often opening up like this allows the other person to see the impact of their behavior. You will then know what he thinks. It may help you make the decision if to stay in relationship with him or if to cut ties with him for now.
January 12th, 2019 2:02am
First, I would be selfish and put yourself first in this situation. The only way to get out of this situation satisfied is to think if whatever you decide is the best option. No one is going to give you a specific answer as to the only correct one is the one you feel will be happy with long term. There will always be options too. If you really do love your father and want to keep a close or distant relationship with him, I would visit him as much as you feel is necessary. If you're only doing this for him I would close all doors with him as in the end he would only wish for you to do what's best for you even if that means leaving him in the past
January 20th, 2019 5:48pm
First of all, lets address some of the feelings that are plaguing your mind; hatred, betrayal, hurt, and confusion. Your father's behavior is a reflection of himself as your behavior will be a reflection of yours. You should always carry forgiveness in your heart because at the end of the day you are going to be the one to deal with your emotions. This lack of loyalty your father committed will take a lot of healing to surpass. I am sorry that he did this to your family. Let him confront his sins. If you need time to let everything settle in then take that time.
February 22nd, 2019 8:48pm
Talk to your father and understand his view towards the affair. It may feel scary and you may be feeling anger towards him but if you do not try to understand why he decided to have an affair you will not be able to move on. If you stay angry with him and put a strain on your relationship, it can have detrimental effects for both of you- you need to be honest with each other. If you are concerned about how your actions will effect your father then your emotions may be clouded by the anger you feel, you may come to regret cutting him from your life later on and could benefit from talking to him now instead of trying to mend to relationship later. And it is okay if you decide you want to end your relationship with him but at least you would have talked to him and tried to understand why he did it.
April 12th, 2019 11:26am
First of all, be honest and accept all of your feelings. You obviously are hurt by his actions but still care about him a lot. His relationship with your mom is separate from his and yours. There is no reason to spread the damage. You might want to have a heart to heart with him and try to understand his reasoning and help him see that his actions are wrong and selfish. Sometimes that is all that is needed. As family we must try to salvage whatever love we can from any situation (unless it is dangerous or extremely damaging to ourselves). You do not have to agree with everything a family member does to continue loving them and you can still point out right from wrong while maintaining your relationship and any good that is coming from it.
May 16th, 2019 3:31pm
Sometimes it is so tough to disconnect with people though you feel like it’s the best. That’s how I felt when my father was seeing other woman. We may not be the same person but what would you say to yourself if you wanted to deal with this? That is what I told myself. I soon came to realization that other people’s problems are not mine and I shouldn’t carry it on my shoulders. I felt lighter once I acknowledged that and what my parents have, that is something I can’t do nothing about but to be there to support both of them, that was what I felt was best.
August 8th, 2019 1:23pm
This is a very difficult situation to be in as you feel a sense of responsibility towards both your mother and father. Keep in mind that this is your fathers wrong doing. You must ensure your own personal needs are being met and this is unfair putting you in this situation. Speak to him and explain that he has put you into a difficult situation and you want him to tell your mum or else you will. Secrets always come out in the end and it is better to say now than to lose a relationship with your mum whenever she finds out that you knew. Also if your worried about your father getting depressed, perhaps he isnt happy at the minute and that is why he is having an affair
September 1st, 2019 12:41pm
This is most certainly a difficult situation to have found yourself in. Please know that although your father chose to make a decision that affects many people, he more than likely did not choose to make it with the intention of hurting anyone. Infidelity is a complex situation that has so many intricate components in it, and the reasons for each person who engages in it are as unique as the person themselves. It's completely understandable that you would not want to talk to your father for some time now that you have found out about this situation. Please know that if you do continue your relationship with him, it does not mean that you are condoning his behavior. It's more about being able to forgive his mistake, loving him for the person that he is to you, and understanding that even though he is your father, he is a human being first, and therefore is incapable of escaping the ability to make problems for himself, and others. Your loyalty to your mother will never be questioned if you choose to continue speaking with your father. However, if he does become depressed by your choosing to cut ties with him, then it is up to him to understand that his inappropriate behavior couldn't exactly lead to positive reactions from his family members, including you. This does not mean that he should be "punished" for the sake of hurting his feelings. What it does mean, though, is that no one has to minimize the effects of the damage that has been caused by his decision. If you're hurt, you're hurt. If you don't want to talk to him for a short while, or a longer while, that is okay. Whatever it is that you choose to do, so long as you are willing to do it from a place of love for yourself, you will be able to feel comfortable with the decision that you make.
September 7th, 2019 7:32pm
My advice to you would be for you to do what you believe is morally right. Perhaps ask him to end his affair he's having and discuss with him how it makes you feel about him, your father must love you a lot and if its hurting you and causing you grief he will respectfully come to a choice, you should know that he may choose to stay with your mother or end the relationship and start a formal official one with his new partner. Be prepared that it may not go the way you want it too, but as long as your father makes a choice to stop holding the family at a stand still then thats morally the right thing to do.
October 12th, 2019 6:34pm
Hi, I’m really sorry you are having to go through this tough situation, is not an easy one. As a daughter you don’t want to be disloyal to your parents and that is basically what this scenario presents you with. Have you thought about having a conversation with your dad and just letting him know you are aware as to what is going on which doesn’t mean you will emotionally cut him off but that you would really appreciate if he was honest and upfront with your mom. Hold space for both of them and just be there to support them individually in which ever way you can. As for you take care of you and do not compromise who you are soon enough all will fall into place.
October 13th, 2019 10:52am
Well it's not easy I will tell you that. I have also had similar events take place with my parents, due to separation because of extramarital affairs. My situation happened very early on as a child so I didn't get to worry about my father's feelings at the time I was not given a choice unfortunately. But I could see how this could way on your shoulder's. First of all your father put his self in that situation, and usually there are consequences to those actions. But please know that you are not responsible for the outcome. You are entitled to have worry or concern at your Dad's actions because you have fear of loosing your family, and who wants to know that dad is cheating on mom right. Dad may become depressed it can effect all parties. But you don't have to end your relationship with him. The family may need counseling to help the family with separation. And hopefully your Father can see the hurt he's caused and try to build gaining the trust of his loved ones. Sometimes families move on and you will get through it, its just how people move on. Try to support both parents your mother for her devastation of your father's affair, and your father for his embarrassing act towards your family. And know that things will work out fine. I'm sure you can work it out being that he loves you dearly. My Father loves me it just didn't work out as planned with my parents. So I learned to forgive in hopes to build and have better future relationships for myself. And I know you will do the same. Good luck on the way!!!!!
October 27th, 2019 11:42pm
Express your displeasure and stand up for your mom. But don’t break your loving relationship with your father. Both are your parents after all. And each relationship can be given it’s due and treated separately. He loves you and that is a very special thing for you and you shouldn’t lose out on his love because of his affair. At the same time, you should offer support to your mother and be there for her. Mothers wouldn’t want their children to lose the love, affection and company of their fathers, so she wouldn’t ask that of you. Give them both their dues.
November 3rd, 2019 3:30am
Keep in mind that your relationship with your father is separate from his relationship to others. The extramarital affair he is having does not reflect negatively on you, and he will have to own the consequences of his actions. You didn't cause it, cannot control it, and cannot change it. There is no way to "punish" him for his actions. Each individual must come to terms with the impact he is having on each relationship he has. You must take care of yourself -- whether that means taking time away from him or maintaining your relationship with him. Do what is right for you.
November 21st, 2019 8:59am
Yeah. I think it's hard to solve. But, you just end up this now. Don't be afraid about what happened next.. because your step for want to end up is good, I think. Yeah, It's okay you feel afraid for what happened to him. Because he so meaningful to your life. But let's think it clearly. If your mom know it, what Will she feel? What Will she think about both of you who hurt her heart. The end of something is beginning for others. I think both of you must learning the truth because It's can't be forever. In the end, it Will be hurting you, your father, your mother. But you need to decide. You not alone. I Will hear you :)
November 24th, 2019 3:17pm
I know you care about both of your parents but severing your relationship with one of them because of this is choosing sides. Getting involved is not the best decision. This affair is between your parents, you did not cause it nor should you try to fix it. They must work through this on their own as this is their problem. The best you can do is be there to support each of them unbiased. It will be difficult but you must be strong. You will feel a sense of betrayal, distrust, disappointment, sadness and even anger but do not allow these feelings to affect how you deal with this situation. At the end of it all they are both your parents and they both love and care for you despite whatever issues they are having among themselves.
December 25th, 2019 6:30am
What do you want the end result to be? Youre dad is having an affair, if you spoke to him about it, would you want him to end it? Does he know you know? But no matter what, try to talk to him about it, voice why you want to end your relationship with him (also you need to take care of yourself in this, so cutting yourself off isnt bad) and if you need to, do. My parents went through a bad divorce and I refused to talk to my mother for several years. Now we talk almost everyday and have an even stronger relationship.
January 11th, 2020 8:01am
That's a tough one. You are clearly angry with your father and those feelings are valid. One thing to bear in mind though is that we are not responsible for another person and how they feel or react. If you worry about your father being depressed you are taking on a responsibility for him that isn't yours to take on. Your father is an adult and he is responsible for himself. I can see that you want to try and protect your mum from being hurt even more, but all you can do is be there for her if she wants to talk to you about things. I know it's a difficult thing to do especially when the affair is still going on but forgiveness is a big thing, and that will help you to let go of this burden that you are carrying. You can't change your father or his behaviour but you can control yourself and how you react to any situation. You are in a difficult place but try and take of you and let the other stuff over which you have no control work itself out.
January 16th, 2020 10:40pm
It is an upsetting to learn when a parent is being unfaithful. I can only imagine the betrayal you are feeling. That said, I understand your interest in severing your relationship. I'd like to remind you that there are always two sides to consider. We do not know how/if your mom is contributing to your dad going astray. We say it takes two, two people to make love, two people to break-up. I can appreciate your desire to side with your mom and to be protective of her. I also think that it could be damaging to yourself as a relationship with both parents is important and when we do not know all the details and later learn them, sometimes we regret it. Instead, my suggestion might be to have an honest and open discussion with your dad, privately, about the situation, what you know, and how you feel, and then ask questions to better understand. Perhaps with that information you will have some new options and or decisions to make, however, it is a mature way to protect yourself, and your relationship and is an important growth step in healthy communications.