In this post I will address how children are impacted by their parent’s affairs. In subsequent posts I will discuss the effects on adult children of affairs and offer suggestions for parents involved in affairs on how to best support their children through this difficult time. You may also wish to read about “Children of Affairs”.

Many couples I see who are trying to work on healing from an affair are devastated not only by the destruction in their own relationship, but also by their children’s reactions.  Other couples are in complete denial that the children are affected at all.

Unfortunately, the emotional turmoil resulting from the discovery of infidelity can have a negative impact on children unless special care is taken to avoid this. Feeling completely overcome by the pain and shock of the revelation can leave a parent emotionally withdrawn and unavailable to connect with their children in their usual way.  Or a child might get pulled in emotionally, “triangulated,” feeling pressured to take sides.

Sometimes I hear, “the children are fine, in fact, they’re being very supportive.”   This can be part of a slippery slope in which children can get pulled in and become a source of comfort for either spouse. They can be manipulated into taking sides and vilifying one or the other parent. It might seem obvious to the discoverer of infidelity that their spouse is now a villain. But it is important to know, that once a child becomes convinced that a parent is a villain, they lose the sense of actually having that person as a parent. This is traumatic.

In other posts I have talked about the trance-like state of consciousness that one inhabits during an affair. In this altered state links between actions and consequences dissolve; in the euphoric bubble it is easy to believe that  an illicit relationship can be pursued and and no one will be hurt; that  one can control everything and so prevent this from happening. However, this is a grandiose assumption that more and more requires lying  to, manipulating and avoiding genuine contact with  all family members, including the children, sometimes with irrevocable results.

The effects might not show up right away.  But years down the road parents are sometimes quite surprised and distressed at the amount of rage that the child (maybe now an adult child) has about what happened and how they felt either drawn in or emotionally abandoned.

There are reactions that occur while the affair is going on, but before it is disclosed, and reactions once an affair has been disclosed.

Before Disclosure

If you think back to when you were a child it is easy to remember how much more you knew about what was going on in your family than the adults around you thought you knew. Children are tuned into the nuances of their parent’s relationships in ways that might be surprising to adults. I have heard more than once about a two or three year old becoming alarmed when mommy and daddy aren’t talking and actually trying to physically pull them together, while urgently pleading “daddy talk mommy.”

Many betrayed partners, when looking back, can recount exactly when the affair started, even though there wasn’t “disclosure” until much later. The change in their partner’s affect; “you were acting like you were on acid” “you just turned off to me, overnight” was obvious, but the meaning could not yet be expressed. Children feel these changes too, and for them they have suddenly lost the parent they always knew and someone else has taken their place. This is very frightening. An anxiety with no name sets in, this anxiety can follow children throughout their entire life time and leave them with not being able to feel safe in their most intimate relationships.

After Disclosure

Catherine Ford Sori has delineated children’s reactions to affairs according to age.

Younger children might not fully understand what has happened, but nevertheless can be traumatized by the change in the emotional climate in the home. There is a sense that something that was whole that was the foundation for everything else has been severely damaged if not destroyed. These younger children cannot put this into words very easily, but instead usually develop regressive problems such as physical illness, clinging, bed-wetting, thumb-sucking,  temper tantrums or night terrors… in fact, anything that seems an appropriate response to the fear that the family is about to be wiped out. Conversely, the child may start trying to be perfect, completely hiding the intense anxiety that is eating away at them on the inside. If the parents are preoccupied with the fallout from disclosure the child can feel abandoned and no longer loved. When thinking about young children It is important to keep in mind that the younger a child is, the more the family is experienced as if it is the whole world.

Older children may also regress, but they also have more access to language for what they are thinking and feeling. The older a child is, the more capable he or she is of abstract thinking, so worries about what is going to happen to the family and how their lives will change or who they will lose if there is a divorce can surface. They may withdraw or act out in an effort to get their parent’s attention, stop the affair, or prevent a divorce. Shoplifting, vandalizing, getting into fights, running away from home, hyperactivity, setting fires, and even threatening suicide are common reactions. “My parents will realize they have to stay together if they see how disturbed I am.”

Pre-adolescent and adolescent children: The older a child is, the more apt he or she is to get drawn into the conflict surrounding the affair by one or both parents. They may be asked to keep secrets and/or expected to chose sides. As I stated earlier, asking a child, overtly or covertly, to take a side is like asking a child to lose that parent. This always has severe emotional consequences. Keeping secrets from one or both parents can create  terrible guilt and a sense of oneself as destructive.

Adolescents continue to develop their capacity for abstract thinking. They are highly aware that they are preparing to enter the adult world and therefore questions of values become central. They are extremely sensitive to hypocrisy; when a parent’s actions are exposed as opposed to his or her stated values, that parent falls off a pedestal. And when a parent falls off of the pedestal it changes the child’s whole conception of who their family is and thus, their sense of who they are. Identity and moral development are impacted negatively. Frequently, up until this happened, there was an unconscious assumption that one behaves with integrity as a matter of course. Suddenly, the very people who have ingrained this in the adolescent  have assaulted this unconsciously held foundational belief.

Adolescents are also developing sexually, they are entering their first relationships and struggling with their own experiences of infatuation, falling in love, physical intimacy, boundaries and trust. They look to their parents to demonstrate how all of this is handled. They want their parents to behave as adults, as role models, not as peers. If there is no ideal to strive for, it is very easy to fall into dysfunctional relational patterns that can become entrenched such as promiscuity, dishonesty, insensitivity, self-devaluation and an inability to trust. Furthermore, the experience of real love can become intertwined with the expectation of abandonment. Relationships can feel doomed and pointless.

Adolescents can also act out in other ways, such as substance abuse, truancy, apathy, low achievement, or running away. They can become emotionally unstable; anxious, rage-prone, reckless, depressed, and/ or extremely disrespectful. They can engage in self-injurious behaviors to try to get the parent to chose them over the affair.

As adolescents move farther out into the world they need to know that their parents will be okay without them, otherwise, they can remain in a regressed and guilty state their entire lives. It is natural for parents to feel sad as an adolescent becomes more and more involved in their own lives with their peers and is at home less of the time. An adolescent who cannot feel supported and therefore confident about this age-appropriate emotional “weaning” because their parents are too injured by it can carry guilt about forming new romantic relationships of their own. They may never feel truly free to develop their own unique lives.

This Post Has 172 Comments

  1. Edna

    A popular subject it would appear, and I may become unpopular for my view here.
    My father had an affair with a co-worker which all blew up when I was about 14, he left for a bit and then came back. My parents got back together and now approaching their 80s.
    I know there was an impact on me, and the way I have relationships now. However, I believe that parents don’t always get it right in many ways and it is really important to appreciate that life doesn’t always work out how you expect it to, despite all the best efforts.
    We are born alone, and we die alone. Therefore, when it comes to the crunch of a decision- most people go with what makes themselves most happy right there and then.

    I do not blame the other woman for my hurt, my mother’s hurt or the following years of being unsettled. I blame my father and my parents marriage dynamic.
    I was married 15 years ago for a short period. My ex husband had an affair with a co-worker, and he ended up marrying her and having children.
    The other woman had no responsibility to me. She doesn’t know me or my relationship. She only knows what he tells her. I did not go after her or tell her what a vile human she is, she was single and free to be happy however she wanted.
    It is unfair to blame a mistress for failure in your marriage, because temptation is around us all every day. If you cannot say no, this weakness lies within YOU or your husband/wife and potentially has something to do with your lives/relationship at that very moment.

    The mistress is not the problem.

    How lovely it would be to believe there was a legal code of conduct for married people!

    If you find yourself in this situation, opt for talking it out with a therapist.

  2. Anonymous

    I was nine when I discovered the affair my dad was having with another woman. I found them kissing. They quickly broke apart as though nothing had happened. My mother was in another room. She was unaware. Although I didn’t show it, I felt terrible distress on the inside. I didn’t know what to do and I felt a desperate need to protect my mother. I also felt that it was my fault. I had no idea about what to do or how to express what I felt and also felt very alone. I felt guilty because I knew, but my mum didn’t. Nobody ever talked to me about it. The affair carried on for a couple of years. Eventually my mother found out and emotions were fraught. The tension I held on the inside was huge but I started to feel strong anger towards my father. I felt guilty for feeling angry because I loved my dad but I didn’t know what to do. I would hide away from him. Nobody talked to me about it. I still carry those feelings. If you are involved in an affair, ask your children how they are feeling on the inside; acknowledge them and give them your time; tell them it is NOT their fault; tell them how YOU are responsible and how YOU are taking control of the situation; look after them and take the weight off of their shoulders; be responsible; be the adult. And remember, the child will love both parents so hurting one parent is like hurting the child. Take those feelings off your child’s shoulders and help them understand.

  3. anonymous

    My husband’s mother cheated on his father while working abroad. He was in the third grade. He and his eldest siblings saw her mother having sex with another man. His mother got pregnant and that’s the reason that their family broke apart. Though he’s the middle child of five, he felt responsible for his other siblings. His older brother and sister rebelled so he had no choice but to become the head of the family. He had another family before we were married but unfortunately, it did not succeed. He’s a good father to my children. But I just noticed that he’s not a good husband. He keeps on lying. Whenever we fight he threatens me. The worst is that he’s having an affair which he denies mostly. What hurts the most is that he exchanges messages with that girl when I am with him. One time it was after we had sex and he texted her that he loves her.

  4. E

    To anyone who has had an affair or is having one now. Don’t think your children don’t know or won’t discover it. You’re foolish to think they don’t. My children knew and both held a deep secret for far to long. When my son told me the whole family dynamic fell apart. The affair has devastated my son who has spent the last year in and out of hospitals due to multiple suicide attempts. My daughter hasn’t spoken to her father for almost 6 months now. When you cheat on your spouse you cheat on your children. To put your own selfish needs above the love of your children doesn’t leave them okay. It’s causes great pain that lasts a lifetime. We are in family and couples counseling now, but that doesn’t mean the pain goes away. My caution to anyone out there, affairs hurt children, hurt parents, and hurts everyone.
    To the mistresses, I hope that you live with the knowledge that you helped destroy a family, children and possibly caused a child to kill himself because you knowingly involved yourself with a married man. This makes you culpable and their future choices and lives now are as a result of you and your stupidity and selfishness and this in my mind is not forgivable.
    Oh and yes, I do still hate that bitch.

  5. Michelle Scott

    I’m 13 years old, and I recently found out that my father had an affair when I was five. My parents divorced a year later, after trying their hardest to work out the issues in their marriage. I found my mother’s diary and read that my dad had cheated on her with a woman from work. I feel like I should be angry at my dad for all of the pain he caused my mother, but I have trouble feeling that way. In the past seven years, I have grown much closer with my dad, and he has been much more present in my life than he was before he and my mother divorced. I am really happy that he is such a loving father now, and is married to a very nice woman. I wish I could feel something about his affair, though. He broke up my family and affected my childhood a lot. I had to move, transfer schools, and adjust to my dad’s new wife who he married months after leaving my mom. Also, he caused my mother (my favorite person on earth) so much pain. After I found out about his affair, it wasn’t evenr mentioned. When I tried talking to my dad about it, he told me that at least he broke up with the lady after my mom found out. I wish that he had apologized to my mother and I for everything he did to us. I think if he could do that, I would be able to completely forgive him. My little sister is ten, and she doesn’t know. My parents weren’t planning on telling me, if I hadn’t found out. She is very close with our dad and is a very fragile person, so knowing would hurt her very much, but she has a right to know. Finding out about my dad’s cheating really hurt me, and I would never want to put her through that, but I would have liked to know if I were her. Should we tell her, or let her believe that our parents just didn’t get along? Also, will she be mad at me for knowing and not telling her? I really need help.

  6. Anonymous

    I was the child of the other woman. I remember the day I met my dad’s family… his wife… his two daughters were just a little younger than me. I was about 6. He took to to his house to meet them. His family. I guess he thought he was doing the right thing. Owning up to my existence. . The girls didn’t seem to understand when he introduced me. But I will never forget the pain and bewilderment I saw on that woman’s face. I cut my dad out of my life after that. Even at 6 I knew it was wrong and hurtful. All my memories of him have faded. That is the only memory I have of him I don’t even remember what he looks like. But I remember her and the pain I saw on her face and the guilt and shame and anger I felt as a result.
    This has haunted me my whole life. I grew up without a dad. I am cold, distant and unemotional. Afraid to trust. I feel unworthy of love and affection. I am a mistake that never should have been.
    I vowed to never be like his wife. I live with the thought that my very existence caused someone to to feel so much pain. I feel tremendous guilt over that. I know objectively that it’s not my fault but emotionally I can’t seem to get over the guilt I feel by merely existing . I can’t imagine what happened to her and her girls. I wonder if they ever knew what happened.
    I didn’t want to feel the pain I saw on her face that day. But that pain has found me as my husband had an affair. I want to leave but I won’t for the sake of my two kids. I want my kids to grow up in a family with two parents, living in the same house not being shuttled back and forth between homes, living fifty percent of the time with each parent. That is what will happen if we separate as that is what courts here automatically do. I can’t imagine that would be healthy for any child.
    I don’t know why men do this. It ruins so many lives

  7. Anonymous

    My father actually is still married to my mother. She has to raise two of his sons, he had while still being married to her, and she doesn’t believe in divorce. His choices ruined my childhood because he said he wouldn’t do it again. He did. When he was dating this girl, he told us to keep it a secret from my mother. He was a horrible father and the reason for my bad childhood. I find this article, in fact, very true.

  8. Anonymous

    What if a child is around to age of 10 years old but knows a lot about what is going on? How does that affect them in the future? A close friend of mine’s parents got a divorce when he was around 9 years old. His mother was having an affair with someone she was working with. The man she was having an affair with was also married and with kids. His wife was the one who called my friend’s father telling him about the affair. At first, his father wanted to fix the marriage but his mother wanted a divorce. My friend remembers his father giving him all the details about the affair including racy emails and pictures that were sent between his mother and the man at work. Although he has a younger sister, she doesn’t know anything about the affair and hasn’t asked about it. He’s told me the most terrifying stories, about how his father was in a bad place and attempted to commit suicide after the divorce. To this day, his mother denies ever having an affair and has remarried. He tells me that his parents’ marriage was never perfect, but I just wanted to know how something like this could affect his relationships; knowing about the details of the affair at such a young age. He has issues with staying faithful in relationships but I don’t get why. You’d think he wouldn’t want to put people through that but it’s like he can’t help it. Just wanted to hear what you had to say!

  9. Anonymous

    I’m not able to find much information on the affects of parents infidelity and a toddler. My daughter started to have an affair in front of her 13 month old son. Filed for divorce two months later. The day after her husband of 6+ years moved out, I and my 27 year old son moved in to help her out. The next day, her freeloader boyfriend started coming over a lot, and spending most nights. She was very vulnerable and naive. Didn’t give her son any time to adjust to the new major transition. I read in an article published by a Australian child psychologist that a toddlers memory starts to form at 1year. This is connected with their ability to form & process their language. My grandson is 18 months now and still not talking very much. My daughter has disowned her family of 26 years because we will not accept her loser boyfriend. Its a bad, bad situation. Can you comment on a toddlers memory?

  10. Anonymous

    My father cheated on my mother my entire childhood. She knew and there were times that I knew something wasn’t right/didn’t add up. Then, when I was 8th grade he became so bold as to openly spend time with one of his conquests in the apt complex where we lived. It seemed from the time I was quite young 3-4, my mother was depressed a great deal of the time, isolated herself from others, didn’t trust anyone (family members, friends, anyone). I remember being mad at her, not him. Heck, he wasn’t around enough to really have any kind of relationship with him. When he was, he was watching football, golf, going golfing, or reading fiction novels. I’m 60 now, twice divorced (short-term marriages 2.5/6.5 yrs). In my 20’s I was angry at both parents. A lot of rage, depression, sadness. Both sets of grandparents were stable, but my parents, not wanting their life/my dad’s infidelities, compulsive gambling and daily beer-drinking to be exposed, moved and stayed pretty much clear from extended family members. We moved alot. We barely had what we needed, there were no extras. I resented that he spent money on beer, cigarettes, women, while we struggled for the basic essentials. In my mid-thirties, he came (or returned) to the Lord. Threw away his cigarettes, beer, pool-shooting,gambling ways and became a preacher. Boy, if that wasn’t tough to swallow. My mother said that what he did was between them & had nothing to do with us kids. We never talked about it as a family. Now, my mother is gone. And still, I have a thin veil of a relationship with him. I do love him. I just wish we had a “real” relationship. He and my older sister are close. I find that I’m jealous of that at times. But, the biggie issue for me now is that I think I have BPD. The only symptoms I don’t exhibit include self-injurying/cutting/suicide attempts (although, I think of suicide often). After all this time, I am trying to make sense of who I am – breaking it down, why I do & say the things that I do. I have difficulty really trusting anyone. Love them one minute and then distrust them and paranoid the next. Suspicious of their motives/intentions. I’ve found it easier to just stay busy over the years rather than seek out a relationship, knowing the outcome would be as futile as before. It’s Christmas and my dad & sister arrived yesterday. My paternal grandmother is dying. I guess that’s why all of this is coming up. I searched online in years past for diagnoses of my personality. Went to a counselor and without any tests whatsoever, she prescribed two different meds. WHoa, Smokey! And, she didn’t prescribe therapy. What a quack. I want do-overs. I’d have courage. Courage to tell my dad that I knew. I’d tell him he was hurting mom and that he was hurting us kids too. I’d shout it from the rooftops. It seems that people closest to the philanderer go to great lengths to keep their secret(s).That angers me. There’s so much more. But, this is nuts….writing this, in a public forum with no hope of it changing anything. I take that back . . .
    FOR THOSE OF YOU WHOSE SPOUSE IS HAVING AN AFFAIR, don’t kid yourself, your children will be hurt …for their entire lives. It will change who they could have become. STOP THE AFFAIR NOW. Get counseling for the entire family if you are to stay together. If he or she is a serial philanderer, they’ll keep cheating. It will change who you could be or become, if it hasn’t already. The cycle will repeat itself in your children…. THE SINS OF THE FATHERS . . .

  11. Anonymous

    Growing up in a dysfunctional can be tough. It is even tougher when you have two dysfunctional families with stepparents. I had an evil stepmom and a parade of clowns for stepdads. I always tried to think of ways to get rid of my stepmom but I never acted on any of my plans. I found that it was therapeutic to write stories that would lampoon them. I have a new story called My Psycho Family! It is free if you have a Kindle and Amazon Prime. I hope you enjoy it.

  12. Anonymous

    I had a relationship with a man for 7 years who told me he was divorcing his wife but needed me to wait cause she was diagnosed with cancer. I recently found out that my gut for 7 years was right about him seeing another woman. His wife and family found out about the other woman but he never confessed about our relationship. I informed them of his relationship with me. Was that wrong? He is with his family. Was it wrong of me letting them know? I figured if they going to start over he needed to let them know about all his affairs.

  13. Anonymous

    i have resolved my dilemma. Thanks.

  14. Anonymous

    My husband died during his 2nd bypass surgery over 20 years ago. I have been in therapy on and off and have felt very unsettled since. Unable to have closure! I have just put together that he was having affairs during the marriage and this was just confirmed by one of his coworkers. My 3 daughters are now adults and have beautiful loving families of their own. I am devastated and very much alone. The girls and I are very close. I feel as if I need their support through this discovery but I do not want to ruin their lives. What should I do?

  15. Anonymous

    My mom does not know I know about the affair.

  16. Anonymous

    My mom started having an affair with a man, who I didn’t know until I was 10. At first, I didn’t understand it, then, I became 12, my mom bought a tablet that was hooked up to her phone, I could read her texts, found out not only were they sexting, but they were sending nudes and they were having sex 3-4 times a week. I always cry every night. I am now 15

  17. Anonymous

    My daughter wont talk to me. Her father had affairs on me for 5 yrs. Then I left him. I feel it effected her as she was only 2 and today she has affairs and it hurts me. I don’t concur with her actions, and am very open about it. I love her but she should have never gotten married if she was going to do this. To top it all off her two kids don’t belong to her husband and he knows it; why is it ok? I don’t get to see my grand kids as my daughter says nana is mean, is she blaming me for her father’s actions? I miss and love her so much, life is so empty without them. Although I have three others I still love my daughter and I don’t understand why she wont talk to me when I have always been faithful to her and their father.

  18. Anonymous

    Eight years ago, I discovered my husband of 14 years was cheating on me.
    I had my suspicions and found out the truth by reading texts and emails between him
    and this other woman, as we ‘had no secrets’ and knew each others passwords. It went back further than I wanted to acknowledge. I vomited on the keyboard of our computer.
    I was completely blown away. I had trusted him implicitly!
    As we have a son, he was 6 at the time, I was willing to do ANYTHING to keep
    our family together and we went to counseling. My EX, however, had already made up his mind and was ‘done.’ I was completely disgusted and could not even LOOK at him. I told him he revolted me.
    He took no responsibility, blaming ME for his infidelity!
    The counselor said we should ‘together’ sit our son down and let him know that we are no longer staying together and that his father was moving out. (I TOLD him to find somewhere else to live.)
    He sat indignantly nodding his head, saying NOTHING, while I told our son what was going to happen. He was DEVASTATED.
    Now my son is 13; he says that when he goes over to his father’s, his father ‘trash talks’ me.
    My son asks questions. The only thing I have said is that I kicked his dad out.
    I am SO and torn as to if I should tell him of his father’s infidelity.
    It bothers me SO much that because of his fathers lies, I am not 100% honest.
    I have ALWAYS told my son to be honest, about EVERYTHING. But inside I’m being destroyed as I am not being true to what I tell him.
    There is already strain in the ‘relationship’ he has with his father.
    Also his father’s girlfriend, the one he cheated on me with, is not very nice to my son.
    What should I do?

  19. Anonymous

    When you are the offending parent, but have worked things out with your spouse, why do you owe your adult children anything if they choose to harbor this anger and resentment to hurl at you when it’s convenient to justify poor choices, drug use and lack of motivation? The situation has been discussed and resolved by the adults involved and as kids you don’t know everything your parents deal with as a couple. Just like they love you unconditionally and forgive all of your ridiculous antics as teenagers, why as a grown adult now can’t you forgive them? The memory is yours to be had but is only a part of your daily life if you choose keep it alive by laying blame and living in the past. You can only try to LOVE that child’s pain away for so long until you realize you are being manipulated.

  20. Anonymous

    So much anger resentment pain and blame on parents. I ask where is the accountability on these adult children to make a conscious choice to move on? How long do you use a 5-10 or 20 year affair as a crutch to justify your bad decisions? And once you self identify through forums such as these why does the anger fester? At this point who are you still mad at? Especially if your parents worked it out and have moved on to a deeper stronger level of love because they both took accountability for how they got there and if were good parents, you lived a happy normal childhood and the only negative aspect of it is “knowing about affair”.

    I guess my point is this…anger is a poison that only effects the person holding on to it. Everyone around you has moved on. Let it go, learn to forgive so you can live your life now and not stay stuck in the past. Your feelings are yours to be had and I am not making light of them but at some point you have to take accountability for your choices and stop wearing the mistakes of your parents like a Scarlett letter. There are dozens of scenarios on here explaining how they found out, if they were told, secrets to be had… all ends the same. You felt hurt, angry and betrayed but now it’s time to seek your own therapy and move on because in your present moment, you are the only one suffering.

  21. Anonymous

    I’m 13 years old and I found out my father has been having an affair for 6 years. He is still with her. My mother is beginning to forget them.

    However, I can’t forget it and I feel as if I will soon take out a kitchen knife and stab both of them to death, is this a normal feeling as a child who has witnessed arguments, etc?

  22. Anonymous

    I am a 61 yr old male, and my mother messed me up in a terrible way. She began having an affair with an older man when I was about 7. She involved me in the affair, and I had to keep it secret from my dad. At the same time she developed intense hatred toward my dad and brainwashed me to hate him too. I should mention that part of her being messed up is due to her being in Auschwitz in her preteen years where she lost her father and younger sister courtesy of Hitler. When I was roughly 12,she developed relations with another older man, who was also married. At that point my father couldn’t take it any more, and left the house, to my immature delight. All this has caused me to have a chronic state of self-punishment. My dad passed away a few years ago and since then my mental situation has greatly deteriorated. I was treated for a while by a competent and caring psychotherapist but he only managed to scratch the surface..

  23. Anonymous

    I have been married for 18 years and together for 24. Three years ago I had an affair with my husband’s friend. It caused the fall of their relationship and the other man his job since they worked together. I confessed and now three years later things have only gotten worse. I have a now almost 15 year old son, my only child. About six months ago he told me how he felt about this. He said he didn’t want to tell me because he didn’t want to hurt me, but I pressed. He asked why I didn’t divorce first. And then said it changed the way he felt about me. He coulnd’t explain why, but that he just felt different. Oh god, what have I done. Here is my sweet sweet boy taking me off that pedestal. He always looked to me for everything, especially the truth. I have noticed an extreme change in our relationship. Not only this, but I have been struggling with alcohol for years and he’s seen that and he has also seen me go to jail more than once because of his father and my fights. I am devastated. I weep, WEEP all the time. I’m losing my marriage to divorce and am going to have to move back home with mom and dad. He knows I can’t even get my own place since I am also unemployed. I am so sick over this. I am so afraid of my present and future relationship with him. And since he sees my sorrow, I miss out on his smile. Oh god; I don’t want him to think differently of me. I am having such a hard time coming to grips with this. And I always want him to tell me how he feels about me but I know this is wrong and I do my best to maintain control over my selfish feelings. My marriage has been doomed from before the start due to abuse mentally, physically and spiritually. My husband, who has been abusive and regrets it, can’t forgive me and so of course my son can’t either considering I selfishly made him think bad thoughts about me. My poor baby, I can’t believe I lost that respect and happiness. This is crushing. This is my hell. He was my Love bug. I’m afraid I lost my Love bug. Thanks for the read. It confirmed my fears and now I’ll finish up and go back to weeping. Been crying every day and night for so long. I am so very truly sorry, I pray constantly hoping for a miracle time machine. I brought pain in my home.

  24. Anonymous

    I have been in a marriage for 25 years to a very controlling man. I have not been in love with him for a long time. He always had parties in the house with all his friends who drank a lot and was also into drugs. I used to tell him that I did not like these partiess but he did want he wanted. He is very into himself. He had a bad temper. He never hit me, but the names he called me were worse than hitting me.
    So I started to drink so I could cope with his nasty mouth and his parties and this is what my two sons saw. They like his friends who had children, and they were all at the house and the kids would be all over the place and parents were drunk and did not know what the kids were up to. So I went to AA for help. but it never helped me.
    To make this short I had an affair with his friend who helped me to stop drinking. We did not mean for it to happen, but we fell in love. I got up enough nerve to ask for a divorce. I told him last year. I told him I want out of the marriage, that I fell out love with him a long time ago. He told the boys and they were crying. I did not do it for the sake of my boys. So he found out about my affair and told my boys. One is 14 and the other son is 10, and he told our family and friends and now the kids in school all know about it as well as his friends. My aunt, my mom, and my sister told me to leave him a long time ago, but I stayed because of my boys. My older son is now texting me, “how could I do that to his father?”
    My husband is saying all these bad things about me and to anyone that listen to him. He wants to take my children away from me. I told him we should tell the kids together, but instead, he told then in a nasty way. I know that he is going to make my life a living hell and will talk bad about me to my boys all time. I never bad mouthed him to my boys. He is a good father in certain ways.

  25. Anonymous

    My parents have a very unhealthy marriage. I have grown up being the mediator
    and agony aunt for both of them. They refuse to take responsibility for all of the hurt this has caused me. I have been doing this since I was 10 yrs old. And my father had an affair a few years back I don’t know if he still does. He denies having it but I have seen him and this woman a lot of times and he bold-faced brought her home many times and says she is a friend. At that time I believed him even though I knew better.
    And I can’t get past the anger and the lies, and my mother is a nag and petty and can’t stand up for herself. She lives with all the pretense. As a kid she used to tell me all of her problems, which was so unfair!!! All I want is for them to take responsibility for the enormous pain they have caused me and and for ruining my life because of this!! That is all I ask!

  26. Anonymous

    My kids are 5 and 1. We have lost our home and everything familiar to my 5 year old. It’s really hard for him to understand why daddy is no longer there. I don’t say negative stuff about his dad in front of him but l hate him so much right now. It’s worse because he makes promises to him that he doesn’t fulfill. Affairs are for selfish twisted people

  27. Anonymous

    My Dad had an affair with our female hairstylist in the early 90’s. I am 41 now, but back then I was in high school. He lied over and over and never took responsibility for his action, not even to this day. I caught him back then cold and stood up for my mom and basically got thrown out of the house for it. I was 16. My younger brothers did not know or were too young and afraid to say anything, my older brother did not even know, lived away from the house at the time. I took a lot of heat for taking my mom’s side. Apart from the verbal, there was physical confrontation and even now there is always very awkward to be around him. Even to this day, My dad treats me subhuman to my other brothers. He tries to embarrass me or say demeaning things to me in front of them, etc. I believe he is also is a narcissist and is very manipulative. He always made it look like my mom was crazy and needed to go see a psychiatrist. He made up lots of lies to cover for them. Even to this day, when she gets upset at him, he will email me saying, “she is not taking her pills and she is having “an episode”. I shutter to think what he emails all the other family members about me. The worst part, he is a Eucharistic Minister for the local church. I think either his guilt drove him to that, or he wants to cover up so people don’t actually see him for what he was. If they only knew him like I do. He always wants to look good in the eyes of other people. He gets off on it. He caused a lot of pain for me and I still feel it today. I want nothing to do with him, but it is very hard because I feel sorry for him and he is 70 years old now. So, I guess the effects of parents having affairs is real…and it hurts and is a terrible thing.

  28. Anonymous

    My mom is having an affair with an uncle whom she calls her so called friend..I discovered it 2 weeks ago younger brother who is in 12th grade knows everything and is supporting my father is a heart patient.. I can’t tell him..I need some help please reply to me with something useful.

  29. Anonymous

    My mom had been cheating on my dad for over 10 years, and made me and my other siblings keep it a secret. My siblings and I were very young when it started and had no clue what she was actually doing. She would take us on vacations with him. They would sleep on the same bed, hold hands, and take intimate pictures. Being young children at the time, we had no idea that she was cheating and considered it normal. As I grew older, I suddenly realized what she was doing. I cannot even describe how painful and agonizing it was to see her with him. He would come over to our house when my dad was at work and slowly, I grew so much hatred for him; I didn’t even want to see his face. I was so, so guilty whenever I saw my dad. To this day, my dad still has no idea. What my mom has done is irreversible. I look at my siblings, and myself, and can see how much it has affected us. I can no longer trust my mom and I don’t think I can ever believe her when she says she has “cut off all ties with him.” It pains me so much…if she doesn’t love my dad anymore, I would think it’s better to get a divorce rather than being so selfish and tearing my family apart.

  30. Anonymous

    To the guy above caught red handed, your kids will permanently have the image etched into their brains no matter how they try and delete it, you’ve hurt them and their mom. That’s hard to deal with, plus their home used for this affair. Home should be their safe place; you’ve taken that away. I suggest you talk a lot to them and be prepared to wait and do things at their pace. I won’t wish you luck because you knew all along what you were doing. No excuse is valid

  31. Anonymous

    Your pieces on this topic have been such a blessing to me, my dad had an affair, we think my mom did but she denies it, both are selfish never considered any affect it would have on us kids, I’m almost 30, my sisters are 35 and 36, after reading your articles I can see the damage in each of us and it’s brought it all back for me, I have renewed anger towards my parents. Thanks for helping me realise why I am the way I am. Would love to discuss this more with people.

  32. Anonymous

    My wife caught me red handed with my lover in bed, my son who is 18 took the photo and my daughter also was involved in catching me. They threw me out of the house. Will me kids ever forgive me??? Please help

  33. Anonymous

    When I was 6 I found out about my mom’s affairs with a man who is a family friend. She doesn’t know that I know. My dad doesn’t know. I was too young to be sad. The secret affair lasted for a few years. Then we moved away. I guess it stopped. I kept the secret for years. I couldn’t tell anyone because it would destroy the family. They already fought so much. Later in my pre teen years, 7-10 years old, from time to time, at night I cried myself to sleep heartbroken, comforting myself that my mom just made a mistake of the moment and that she didn’t mean to. Today I’m 32, happily married. I don’t feel that I love my mother, or feel close to her, or even like her very much, even though I know she loves me very much. I can’t even tell my husband, because I think that will make him despise her. I can’t cut her off either, because she loves me very much and has done a lot to support me. An affair is not just a betrayal to a spouse, it’s betrayal to the child as well. Every time this affair enters my mind, it still brings me tremendous sadness, after 30 years.

  34. Anonymous

    I have recently found out that I am a child that was produced from an affair. ( I am a middle aged adult) My mother hid it for years and I found out after she died. I have no idea who my father is and I would like to know. My family thinks I should just shove it under the rug and not acknowledge it to anyone as it is an embarrassment to the family. (This person is also tied to my racial heritage which I also found out was a lie given to me long ago.) But this is part of who I am, and I do not want to hide from it. Should I take their advice and not say anything about who my real father was, or who I am. I feel embarrassed by her actions and I have done nothing. And truly if she had not I would not exist.

  35. Anonymous

    My daughter found out that my husband had been having an affair and it literally broke her heart. I have now finished the relationship, and due to various bad things my daughter has decided she no longer wants to see her father. I will support her in whatever she decides and have told her she can change her mind if or whenever she wants. (although I know she is better off without him, as he is a controlling bad father, and only ever upset her). What gets me, is the amount of people who say “he did it to you, not the children”. To some extent this is true, but he hurt them too (maybe even more). He continued to lie to them, would be grumpy whilst with them, whilst having a secret life where he would happily socialize with another woman and her family. And to this day, he has only apologized in the way my daughter found out (told by other woman). No remorse for his actions.

  36. Anonymous

    I am 50 and the pain of my mother sleeping with my dad’s boss when I was 14 has reared up. I had so many struggles in life and this event was the one that just destroyed me. If anyone thinks kids just get over it and are resilient, think again. I was denied any opportunity to express my hurt and betrayal and anger and thus took it all out on myself. I almost destroyed me in the process. It has taken some unique events and my 8 year old daughter for me to face how much I lost. If you are unhappy, leave your marriage. Don’t think you can raise healthy kids with good morals when you set the examples of lying and cheating. That is the definition of insanity. My mother and that cowardly man destroyed my family and deprived me of the opportunity to grow up with my own father. My brother is a mess, my sister violently angry and my mother to this day plays the role of the misunderstood and wronged party. It’s so ugly

  37. Anonymous

    An affair causes a lot of damage. You don’t only screw up your own relationship, but the relationship with your entire family!
    Someone said this article is very negative. To that I say, what in hell do you expect? Due to the many affairs my father has had, his four children were severely affected. My twin sister has a careless personality and is an extreme push over. A straight A student, she allowed her grades to drop because she lacked motivation. I have a lot of anxiety and low self esteem. I have panic attacks. I can’t be alone. The list goes on. My younger brother is withdrawn and lacks any motivation. He used to be a hyper/happy annoying kid. Now he is silent and disrespectful. My baby sister is about to go to middle school but I can tell she gets very self conscious. She’s been hurt by my father telling her he is leaving us for the 5th time.

    I push away these memories because it hurts. I feel like I skipped a few years/months/days of my life because I only remember the pain. And when I surpress these memories I am only trying to protect myself. I become an empty shell. No more pain. Each day I wonder why I am here.

  38. Anonymous

    OP of #129 here. In response to #133, that kind of secret can be a burden to anyone, especially her(?) granddaughter. It was a good thing she was able to confide in someone, but the toll of knowing can be quite stressing. I do agree with having a discussion with #132’s son.
    PLEASE do not let their dirty secret thrive.

  39. Anonymous

    #132, that is an awfully heavy secret for her to expect you to keep. Ms. Berger is the expert here but I would say you should at least have a discussion with your son. Since you don’t have definitive proof that she is having an affair, I would maybe just tell him of your daughter’s concerns. If she is having an affair and it comes out eventually that you were made aware and never told your son, I think he would have a hard time forgiving you. I don’t normally like getting involved with other people’s business but with your children, it’s a different thing. I may be wrong. I’d like to hear other people’s opinions.

  40. Anonymous

    My 14 yr old granddaughter confided in me that she discovered her mother was having an affair on my son. When she confronted her mother she denied it and stated the two only talked because he made her feel good. My daughter in law called and asked me not to tell my son. What should I do?

  41. Anonymous

    I think that mistakes should not be told to children. They do not need to carry that because the adult parents couldn’t figure things out. The reality is this, some people get married and fall out of love. They have children and remain not in love. It is not fair to fight and have dysfunction and raise your children in this! I agree that people nowadays need to look at the bigger picture. Admit the flaws, try to work on them, but if you can’t…then amicably separate and divorce. Being happy will make you a better person and parent. We all deserve happiness. Just remember it takes courage, courage to try and courage to change and courage to move forward.

  42. Anonymous

    thank you…………

  43. Anonymous

    Count me in this too. Similar story: Dad left us for another woman he had an affair with for 3 years. We were never the same, of course. I saw a question earlier regarding happiness for the parents from the children. If you are the parent that had/is having an affair, then I have a question for you. How do you define happiness?
    Because the way I see it, if that means sacrificing OUR happiness just so you could fulfill YOURS, then our perceptions of happiness are VERY different.
    The same goes with love. If you think you’re deeply in love with someone worth leaving us for – and I don’t mean the sick and sappy teenage Twilight romance BS you seem to be high on like our father was – then as mentioned above, our perceptions are VERY different. No, that does not mean we want you to be miserable in a family you don’t want, but at least have the guts to tell us you’re unhappy and NOT make it more complicated by shoving another person into our faces. It justs ASKS of us not to have any respect for you.

  44. Anonymous

    My mum had an affair for two years, the arguing went on for what seemed an eternity, then one day the arguments stopped. Myself and brother called into the living room where both my mum and dad announced their pregnancy! Confused?? I was 13 my brother 15. Mum didn’t stay and left just before Christmas 3 months after her announcement. She never told us who the father was and I don’t think my sister has ever been told the truth? My sister is late 20’s and my father died a few years ago. He will never know and it affected me for a very long time. I hated Christmas and never trusted woman. Affairs are very selfish..this happened 29 years ago and I’m a mother of 3..I find it hard to understand how she could do this to her children and then carry on as if it never happened.

  45. Anonymous

    Children’s feelings are real. Don’t ever think they will bounce back.. I see the impact my husbands affair has on my daughter everyday. The hurt and sadness in her face. She sometimes looks lost and walks with her head down. It has affected her self esteem in a very big way. She breaks down in tears and has a lot of hate and resentment for her father. Only a child once and to have that ripped out of your grasp because her father was selfish and self centered is very heartbreaking. Instead of being a child and having fun giggling and playing she worries about whether or not she can trust her father. He didn’t only cheat on me but on her as well. She looked up to him, put him up on a pedestal and now is ashamed of him.

  46. Anonymous

    Whatever the reason for the affair, the consequences are real and you hurt and devastate your children, it doesn’t justify your betrayal. Maybe you should have tried treating your wife like you did the whores you had affairs with. Should have been a real man and ended your relationship with your wife before sleeping with someone else’s wives. Maybe your wife wasn’t that happy with your fat ass either. Be honest, she could also be having great sex with a new more attractive partner. Be fair instead of pretending you are married and committed. The betrayal comes when one sits and is committed and then finds out her husband is a disgusting pervert, re-creating his own porn with married women. The disappointment is epic. Do Men hide the affair because they want you both, or because they are ashamed, or they can’t wait to jump in bed till the divorce is final? Men when are you going to realize that the whores you are sleeping with are well versed, and have had lots of practice, sexually transmitted infections and diseases. I guess if you enjoy dumping in the same hole as all the other men you are good! If sex is all you want from a relationship you need to be single and hang out in brothels or pay prostitutes. Your wife was yours and you didn’t have to share her, but if you enjoy sharing you should have let your wife have someone keeping your bed warm while you were out having affairs. Despite all the adult drama please realize that your sexual gratification affects your children. When you decided to marry and have children life was supposed to be about your family. Family should be a priority if you have any morals. KARMA comes in different forms, illness, finances, and the worst is when you get Karma in the form of your own medicine. Reap what you sow. Treat others as you want to be treated! You will have to answer to God one day. When you thought no one was watching, when you thought you were being sneaky, and you thought no one would find out, someone was watching. God was watching! Forgiveness…..Hope your family can forgive you one day…Some day…Self control. Discipline. Morals. FAMILY FIRST!

  47. Anonymous

    Sometimes people have affairs not because they are monsters but because they are flawed human beings. I am not condoning affairs but I want to believe there may be forgiveness and healing. Especially if the parent who has an affair is truly remorseful and takes responsibility of making the marriage work or accepting it is beyond repair. I think if the children see both parents having their best interests at heart after this incredible heartache, maybe they will see that terrible mistakes can be made but they also can be overcome. Maybe I am being overly optimistic but I pray its true.

  48. Anonymous

    I’m currently dealing with a husband who is having an affair. He has two children from a previous marriage that ended due to infidelity and we have one together. It appears this “woman” who is a nurse and a high school teacher and a mother of three, has put herself into my step kids lives. She bought the Xmas gifts from my husband as he was out of the country. Uhh I bought the Xmas gifts as well. She also bought from what I can see from pictures gifts from herself and his ex wife and kids sent the woman a Xmas gift back. Who does this to their kids??? The ex wife told the kids when they were mine or ten daddy cheated on her and she has been bitter and nasty towards me forever. Funny thing is I didn’t cause their divorce. Papers were already filed and she had moved them out of state before I came into the picture. Now our three kids have this big secret between them and my husband says it’s no big deal and our child will never have to know what he did. Is this the thought of a sane man? His daughter has yet to call me about her Xmas gifts or even send a text. I’ve been in their lives eleven years. Not even a thank you text? If this divorce goes through it will be his kids third. They are 13 and 15. Our daughter is holding on that we can put this back together. She knows it is a mess but hasn’t spoke of knowing about the affair. She is eight. My husband takes after his father and grandfather. His father is still cheating away even after forty years with is second wife who knows all about it. I think my husband refuses to admit he has pain and possibly great anger towards his parents for their behavior in their marriage. They both cheated. I don’t know how to show him what he’s doing to these kids is so mean and wrong.

  49. Anonymous

    Cheating parents does have adverse effects on their children. I am one of those children. My dad decided after twenty-two years of marriage to my wonderful mother, to cheat with someone he had invited into our home. Mind you, when we moved, dad did not want to find a job at all. So, he’s already a loser there. I think I was twelve or thirteen when I finally found out. Unfortunately for this one, I saw the sexual action. I always thought of myself as very aware for my age despite being an only child. So when mom came home from her business trip, I told her what happened. My dad had the audacity to tell her to her face that I was lying. Me! After that, he was gone and I was glad. He moved to another part of the neighborhood with the other woman, who looks like a trash can let me tell you. After that, he moved back to his home state. Yes for mom and me. Then, fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen hit me. Oh my goodness. I turned into a near homicidal goth. I started to listen to angry music, had evil thoughts about the male gender in general, school life sucked, etc. My sexuality was messed up as well until I turned twenty-five. I won’t tell you what because it’s not important right now. I didn’t tell anyone any of this until the recent years because it still angered me. Even when my family would ask about him, I would tell them to shut up. Now, the affair-divorce thing doesn’t bother me so much anymore. It took me ten years to sort through most of it and I think I have just a couple of years left to sort the rest. I do wonder though, if my mother knew about the affair for awhile and spared it from me. I do not appreciate that. If it hurt her, she should have ended it and explained it to me. I would have understood. Why do parents have the need to suffer just because they have kids while an affair is going on? Just fucking end it. Seriously.

  50. Anonymous

    Walk in my shoes — powerful stuff – wow. So many of us have been in loveless, sexless, abusive marriages for years and years. And we stayed “for the children”. But the cost to our personal selves is devastating.

    If you truly love somebody, don’t you want them to be happy? Parents want their kids to be happy. Do the kids want their parents to be happy too?

  51. Anonymous

    For the response of falling in love is a choice. Falling in love is nature and while I believe one can try to stay away from temptation, I believe like thirst, the need to be loved and not being fulfilled will drive someone to fall in love and be attracted to someone that might fulfill them. I am not talking about flings or sexual gratification alone. The feeling to be loved and wanted and made to feel whole again is a need that almost never can be denied. Anybody who doesn’t believe it, has never experienced emptiness and loneliness in a marriage that in all good intentions started out on a good foot but did not have the long term ingredients it takes for the long haul. DIVORCE DISTURBS CHILDREN-ADULTERY DISTURBS CHILDREN BUT also the partners. Humans are vulnerable and always have been. No easy answer.

  52. Anonymous

    I read the article about marrying and picking your lifelong partner when you are too young and ill equipped to do so. How can one emotionally choose a forever mate at 14 years old and expect to make the right choice? Affairs physical or emotional are bound to enter the marriage because the base is weak. No one is at fault. I blamed my parents for the longest time for allowing me to date and encouraging it because I was the youngest girl of three. Besides, my mother said she dated at 12 and married at 18 so what’s the big deal??? Insane. She just lucked out that my dad was older than her by 8 years and put her on a pedestal. My husband acted like he hated me and always had a chip on his shoulder. After he bullied me into an abortion on my 3rd pregnancy, I went into a deep depression and hated myself for letting him manipulate me so. I ended up in a very inappropriate relationship for 2 years and ended with me blurting it out after it ended sending my husband over the edge. Decades later, my older son hates me, as he tore me apart for something nice I did for his son when the real reason for his hate was hearing the rampages decades earlier of my husband over my affair. My son attacked me verbally and now no longer speaks to me. Why he waited, I don’t know, except his wife really never wanted to share him with his family anyways and saw an opportunity after they had a child (my grandson). I stayed in an abusive marriage with no love or intimacy unless he wanted something; then shut me down after a mastectomy and hysterectomy. I stayed because I was afraid for my sons, their future and myself. I saved money to leave the marriage, but then spent it on their college educations and things they wanted like traveling, cars etc. WHY, WHY, WHY???? DO ADULT CHILDREN TEAR UP THEIR PARENTS FOR BEING VICTIMS; when they were just looking to be loved???? Can someone shed light on this.

  53. Anonymous

    Read that love is a choice. Dead wrong. But unfortunately or fortunately sometimes comes into ones lives. You can’t throw every affair into the same basket. Some people cheat for the thrill of it and that’s it. But I believe most happen out of marriages that were not good or had abuse or taken for granted. Many spouses refuse counseling because it’s not their problem. Life is so very short and feeling connected to a soul mate is an incredible feeling. After years of verbal abuse and selfishness and lastly no intimacy…. I fell in love on line to a man I grew up with and was friends with his sisters. We talked and Skyped regularly and shared so many stories and interests. I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD FALL IN LOVE 3000 miles apart. BUT I DID…. VERY HARD…. He also was in a loveless marriage, and lived separately…but because his wife had health issues and I believe his guilt of being a strict Catholic and complicated financial holdings…kept him in. He died suddenly last January from heart failure. I was and still am devastated. He changed me and was the best two and 1/2 years of my 60 plus years. My younger son recognized that I was grief stricken and told him I lost an incredibly wonderful friend. He understood. Maybe people are more understanding when sex isn’t involved. THE HEART STILL HURTS. We were kindred spirits. Life is unfair and cruel sometimes. Even when you try to play by the rules set by society.

  54. Anonymous

    LIFE IS COMPLICATED…. HUMANS ARE IMPERFECT….. WALK IN MY SHOES FOR A MILE…. Grown children need to realize that parents try their best and their best may not be great…. MAYBE LOVE ISN’T FOREVER…. PEOPLE FALL OUT OF LOVE… WE ALL HAVE ONE LIFE TO LIVE… Is that selfish? Yes… but we sacrifice our lives being in LOVELESS OR TERRIBLE MARRIAGES…. AFFAIRS CAN BE LIKE DRUGS OR ALCOHOL… IT FIXES THE BROKEN FOR A MOMENT… But divorce brings out the same anger and stress in children as infidelity… WALK IN MY SHOES….. A MARRIAGE WITH FIGHTING OR VERBAL ABUSE AND NO AFFECTION OR INTIMACY IS BROKEN… Yet many of us still try to hold the marriage together because that is what we were taught by family and church…. TIL DEATH DO YOU PART….. BUT WHEN YOUR SOUL DIES, THE PAIN IS MUCH WORSE…. CHILDREN PLEASE TRY TO BREAK THE SANTA CLAUSE ILLUSION…. AND DON’T JUDGE OR HATE YOUR PARENTS FOR BEING FLAWED OR TRYING TO GATHER SOME HAPPINESS IN LIFE….

  55. Anonymous

    Regarding #111 -#99 again here.

    I agree that lying is wrong and certainly is not how I raised my kids. And maybe this is a lie of omission. I just dont see how the “truth” helps the kids in this situation. They struggled with the divorce as it is. Why layer additional crap onto an already lousy situation?

    I still feel that they have a better chance at having a good future relationship/marriage by not carrying additional baggage. I want my kids to be happy! I dont want them to make the same mistakes that I made -and I have discussed those mistakes with them. (Not making time with my husband a priority ie: date nights, lack of good communication, not asking for what I wanted to be happy and being resentful as a result etc). I think modeling GOOD behavior is the most important.

    And my kids get to have great relationships with two happy parents. And we are good co-parents since we took responsibilities for our personal issues and learned and now am modeling good and loving relationships. Our kids deserve that. And if a lie of omission accomplishes that, I guess I can live with that. I couldnt live with destroying my kids’ or their relationship with their dad. He was always a great dad.

  56. Anonymous

    To #111 – this is #99. No I never cheated on my husband! And I really resent that. I was simply trying to show another perspective. Of what worked for my family. Especially as people are asking if they should tell their kids. My perspective is why would you tell your kids and knowingly inflict pain on them?! Being cheated on hurts so badly -trust me I know. But the kids have the right to a loving relationship with both parents!

    As I was struggling with the end of marriage, I went into counseling before we told the kids about the divorce. With the help of a good counselor I realized that bringing my kids into my marital issues would do nothing but hurt them. My ex and I promised each other that we wouldnt discuss the breakdown of our marriage with mutual friends, people in town etc. That was the best pledge we could have made. Because now five years later, our kids are doing so incredibly well in their lives. In fact, they are doing better now because they no longer live in the middle of a bad marriage/home life.

    I do agree that if somebody is unhappy they should leave a marriage before they cheat. It saves a lot of heartache believe me. But I am also a big enough person to acknowledge my contribution to the demise of my marriage. Again good counseling – she hears all my nasty comments about my ex. But I stop there.

    So you can agree or disagree. But at least understand that this is another option. And I know I am not the only one to have kept an affair away from my kids knowledge.

  57. Anonymous

    I have two younger sisters. My mother had been having multiple affairs even before she and my father were married. She managed to turn me against my father for the most of my life. I used to think he was just cruel, now I know he was just afraid of me and my sisters turning into our mother. Plus I never got to really know him -my mother made sure of that. Two years ago I found out the truth. I am not even sure my sister is my father’s daughter. My parents got divorced about 1,5 year ago. Only my father knows that I know and we’ve been very close since. He is a wonderful person and I regret not having known him for most of my life. My mother is a manipulative bitch, she’s spent a lot of money on her various boyfriends, used to give bl@@jobs in the car with my baby sister in the backseat. She’s the reason I had to change schools 4 times. My father found out and forgave her but she got on cheating. My sister tried to kill herself a few months ago because she couldn’t stand all the gossip about my parents and my mother pressuring her at home. An affair affects directly the children in a family. I recently remembered that when I was 8 I had asked my grandma whether my mother was having an affair. And a short time later I even asked my mother herself. Children know. And it hurts.

  58. Anonymous

    I have a friend that is having the same problem. Her mother is been having an affair ever since she’s been a baby, and her father doesn’t even know. She feels so guilty but she doesn’t want to tell her dad because she says she’s going to feel like she is the cause of the divorce. She has one brother and two sisters and she is tired of talking to them to see what they would say and they don’t really care. They just act like its normal and nothing is going on. She said the man her mom is cheating on with doesn’t even know she’s married but he follows them and he is very jealous. Her dad is also and she is very scared that if she tells her dad he will end up killing her mom for cheating on her. She goes to see the guy at the times my friend’s dad is at work, my friend said that her mom buys all of her sisters and brother clothing so they can feel better. My friend is really depressed and doesn’t want to come to school because she thinks that when she’s in school her father will try to abuse her mother and she is very scared and doesn’t know what to do. I want to help her out but I don’t know how. I told her the only thing I can think of is calling the cops, but she said her mother doesn’t want to leave either of and wants to be with both. My friend said why can’t she just pick one instead. My friend is now suicidal and I don’t want her to kill her self. Her mom and siblings don’t care how she’s feeling and doesn’t know what to do. Her mom said if she tells her dad she will hit her and she doesn’t care because she knows my friend won’t tell her dad.

  59. Anonymous

    It breaks my heart that my family is going through a rough situation and I wish I had someone to talk to. I have GOD but I need someone physically to talk to. Around 8 years ago a girl was born. While her mother was pregnant she talked to my mom and said it was my dad’s daughte. My dad denied it. He’s been denying it until now when he said I’m not sure if she’s my daughter maybe I was drunk and something happened. But the mother of the girl is not a great wife; she’s had affairs with others. My mother told him to have a dna test done with the girl, now 8 years old and it came out positive. She’s going to leave him it breaks my heart; they be been together 18 years. My mother said if it comes out negative she hopes he forgives her for doubting him. Of course my father will, he loves my mom. I don’t think I could make it. My mother doesn’t understand. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone deserves second chances. He is my father I know she still loves him. My father loves my mom. He is truly sorry I can tell he’s never cheated on her before; it’s the temptation of this life we carry. My mom and dad have 5 children in total. There was 6 of us but 3 years ago my youngest sister at the age of 3 passed away and it’s been a terrible life. My mom and dad have always been together until now this. God help my family in this hardship time.. I won’t stand them being apart from each other.

  60. Anonymous

    I am 14 and my father had an affair about 3 years ago with a woman he had been seeing for 2 years. My parents don’t know that I know but at the time I knew something was wrong so ended up looking into my parents emails and texts. It was very hard as I felt like I had to talk to my dad and act normal even though I hated him but I still loved him at the same time. He is my dad and I can’t help loving him but he had hurt my mum so badly. It was a very confusing time and I felt like I had to pay attention to both parents so neither if them felt abandoned. I was constantly worried the word “divorce” would be used and that my dad would cheat again. I also have two younger sisters who I had to protect from seeing my parents argue or cry. During this whole thing I couldn’t speak to anyone and have never told anyone any of this before. When I found out I felt like the last few years of my life had been a lie and I kept trying to work out when he had gone off with the other woman, and when he would have had any time. Even today I am worried the woman will resurface and I have a hard time trusting people or my dad. He has managed to cheat for a long time before so who’s to say he isn’t seeing another woman right now? So for those who say affairs don’t have any effect on children, I can assure you they do.

  61. Anonymous

    #99 wrote: “Kids need to understand that what happens in a marriage should stay between husband and wife. Affairs should NEVER be discussed with the kids”. I disagree. It needs to be made clear to the kids that affairs involve the breaking of a VOW that marriage partners make to each other…no wishy-washy-let’s-not-discuss-what-happened-shoving-under-the-rug pretending and avoiding the topic. I suspect #99 is the cheater who wrote this to justify what he/she did. Once a cheater brings lying and deceiving into the family, it IS the business of the kids too. The secrecy is what destroys trust. They don’t have to know the details, but there should be a discussion about how WRONG affairs are so that the kids don’t have confused ideas about what marriage vows means in their future lives (if it was okay with dad or mom, then maybe it’s fine). Otherwise they learn that avoiding difficult situations by lying is okay. Teach kids to have courage to face their problems and deal with them (get advice/help or get divorced – divorce is a much better option than cheating). Cheating is cowardly – have the decency to be a good role model for your kids and spell out clearly why the breaking of trust is not acceptable. Otherwise you are essentially TELLING your kids that LYING is fine. Are you okay with that as a parent of an innocent child who looks to you for guidance? It puts in place a shaky precedent for their future relationships. I am impressed in reading these posts how much the teenager/adult children “get it”…that the reason they have so much difficulty with a parent cheating is that they know it is WRONG – it is felt at a gut-level. Cheating can devastate FAMILIES, not just marriages. Affairs involve children unfortunately…they are the true victims of selfish and thoughtless acting out. Put your children first – you brought them into this world…don’t screw up their lives.

  62. Anonymous

    I’m 22years old and I resent my father so much. A few months ago I found out he’s having an affair and it totally destroyed me, I was constantly angry (still am) and I would even collapse due to depression. I haven’t had any counselling because my dad says he doesn’t care about my emotions. To make things worse, my dad brought his mistress to stay with us (him, myself and my 14year old sister), my mom lives in a different town, they are still married but my dad had to move because of his job. My dad is a cruel man, he defends his mistress and is always defensive. I hate that man, I can’t wait to graduate. After graduating I’ll only see him at funerals or weddings, I want nothing to do with him.

  63. Anonymous

    I married 3 years ago and my husband was already in an affair, but I didn’t find that out until two years into our marraige. The other woman is married (her husband is in the military) with five children from different men and now is engaged to my soon to be ex husband, I have two of my own but they’re off in college. My husband is raising his children (4 more) but they seem to have behavior problems and attitudes. Can this already be affecting them since their natural mother has a live in boyfriend and they visit their mom every other weekend and my husband had a another wife before me that lasted less than 3 years also and then me and now is living with the married one, but she lives in her house and goes back and forth from house to house. What can the children’s outcome be? My divorce is in process because he chose her and all baggage and drama.

  64. Anonymous

    My father I think cheated on my mom for awhile but never with the same woman ( I’m not quite sure of the whole situation) I found out in high school and kept it a secret for 2 years from my brothers. Then last year my
    parents had an argument about it. My mom made a huge ordeal saying she was going to leave him and then about 3 weeks later decided to stay and work on things but expected us three to be on board with it. I am a huge fan of going to see a psychologist and that has helped me but the littlest one (16) has always walked a fine line of being good and bad. He recently just snuck out of the house and when he came back my father asked what happened and he went out saying he hated him and had no respect for him because of the affair. The whole situation happened 10 months ago so it was very odd for it to come out now/ he broke down every single door in our upstairs. My mom is all about dealing with the pain independently but I just want to know if there is anything I could say to my brother or mom on strategies to help him because he clearly is still struggling with the whole situation

  65. Anonymous

    My dad had an affair on an off for 15 years (that I know of). My mum knew about it, and although I wasn’t aware of what was actually going on at the time, I was very much involved. My dad used to take my brother and I to “her” house and we would play with “her” son while the two of them disappeared for an hour or so at a time.

    It affected my mum significantly as she tried to commit suicide 3 times. She felt pathetic and unloved. They were constantly screaming at each other (actually, my mum did all the screaming, my dad would just hide and/or ignore her). She vowed to leave him, but not until my brother and I finished highschool (she claims she couldn’t afford it without him). As a result, mum wasn’t able to raise us in a loving, nurturing and secure household and it has significantly impacted on both my brothers and my mental health. We both abused alcohol for years, and now that I have quit drinking (total abstinence for 2 years for me so far), and am getting counselling, it’s all becoming clear why I am the way I am – a nervous, insecure and depressed wreck. I had no idea that my fathers “extra curricular activities” could affect me so much 15 years on. I found out the other day that my dad still occasionally catches up with “her” and was physically ill for the next few days. At the time I thought I had just caught a stomach bug, but it has since become clear that there were other forces involved.

    I had never connected the dots before, as it all started at a very young age for me (my earliest memory of the scenario is at age 6 – I am now 32). This life was “normal” for me. I had every reason to think that this was how relationships worked. The other day I was laying in bed wondering why I had never been in a loving relationship before, and my friends come and go so quickly I can hardly keep track. The answer is because I never had an example of what love is and I push people out of my life quickly because I don’t trust them – I get rid of them before they can hurt me.

    So, all of you people saying that you have had an affair, or are currently involved in one, think of me when you look at your children in the eyes. Chances are you are doing more damage to them than you realise. Think they don’t know? Think again.

  66. Anonymous

    I am trying to figure out how to deal with my adult children who are still very hurt over an affair I was involved in and ended up being forced to move in with my lover. I admitted my affair after two weeks. and knew that my marriage was over. Either I go home and make it work or leave. being a stay at home mom with my children, so that he could further his career to six figures no money or career I left. I could not handle his control issues. 7 weeks later he moved my friend in. I am happy and the kids saw it just dad always trying to make them feel bad because they like Mark and don’t like Mary. Mary is not a nice person. I have not filed for divorce as there are no funds. I am going to file myself. However, they are hurt and upset, I have apologized many times and cried I am sorry I hurt them. I cant do anything but tell them that. When do I stop saying I am sorry. will they ever get beyond this? HOw can I help them??

  67. admin

    And thank you for posting your comment. I’m so glad you can feel a bit more hopeful. Susan Berger, MFT

  68. Anonymous

    My mother has always had affairs, when I was younger perhaps I didn’t understand what it meant for her to be with other men while my dad was out of the country. But now I’m 15 years old and last night she brought home a man that neither me neither my little 8 year old sister know. He slept over . And I really don’t know how to feel or how to react. My dad and my mom got separated a month and a week ago. But they are not divorced . I would have never expected her to bring another man to the house in which Her two daughters live! Also the night before she did not sleep at home and people are always telling me how they see her clubbing and going to the blue martini bar when she is supposably working.

  69. Anonymous

    92 – that is the dumbest piece of advice I’ve ever read.

  70. Anonymous

    Cheating? Why bother. Just get a divorce! I have no sympathy for cheating couples. If your wife or husband or boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t get your rocks off like your affair partner, then leave the marriage already. Stop being so cowardly and lie in the bed you made.

    What’s that? You think you love them? You’re putting a person you claim to love at high risk for STDs and deep psychological damage. How is that love?

    Trying to have your cake and eat it too is going to backfire – just as it did for my father. He contacted an incurable STD as his mistress was (no surprise) lying to him about her health and other partners she had.

    My mother and us adult children are still dealing with the emotional damage my father did to everyone by choosing to have an affair. You might think its a private affair, but our entire community was talking about it when it got out that he had cheated on a 35 year marriage. I personally didn’t speak to him for years – not until he was man enough to apologize for the pain he caused. I’ve allowed him to be back in my life with huge limits, despite that he’s still with his mistress. His choice.

    Years later my father still thinks that we’ll come around to liking his mistress as much as he does and be a big happy family again – NOPE, not happening ever. It’s hard enough having him in my life despite that our relationship will forever be a shallow one from now on.

    I don’t have a problem with a parent finding a new partner after a divorce, but before a divorce is just asking for it. You’re hurting a lot of people for your own selfishness and there’s absolutely no excuse for not leaving the marriage. If you love your family as much as you claim you’d divorce so the cut is clean and doesn’t fester with resentment that for some lasts a lifetime.

  71. Anonymous

    Hi this literally feels like what I’ve been feeling. a guy “friend” of my mother’s has made it clear and so did my mother through numerous e-mails that they wanted an affair wheither that ever happened I don’t know but last night I snapped and tried to tell my dad. But my mum my own mother, just lies through her teeth so no one will belive me and I’m left to pick up the peices and evidence how am I to forgive or let go when i feel angry and used. and why? would a mother really be selfish enough to use her daughter like that?

  72. Anonymous

    This is the first honest report I have yet to find that demonstrate the ‘personal’ impact of secrecy and deceit upon children and family systems – involved directly with infidelity and cheating. It appears to be socially acceptable that a significant number of our population cheats and minimizes the impact upon their own families. There are more books on how to conduct an affair without getting caught than even open discussion on the consequences to those left at home. In other words this notion “If no one knows it won’t hurt anyone.” is deadly-false and debilitating for the bystanders. Can we educate people to become more honest? Tell the truth bravely? Dare to dig into primary relationships and even agree to disagree? If your marriage isn’t working deal with it directly and if if fails end it compassionately? Are we teaching our children to create a false fence and jump over it when their partner isn’t looking? If our parents secrets of infidelity are not brought to light will our children either marry a cheater or become one? At least if they are give the facts with compassion they can choose for themselves. Otherwise doesn’t this continue in the family system?

    I believe in telling the truth. I have three daughters and they will- for the rest of their lives wonder about infidelity and have issues with trust. But at least they have the family truth as best we can give them. I believe we live in a cruel fog without the truth. I hope my daughters grow to love boldly and honestly and demonstrate compassion for others. In the light not sneaking in shadows.

    I have not read all these entries but truly appreciate children and adults commenting on how infidelity impacted them directly. This topic is easily dismissed and sexually acting out individuals can more easily be regarded as returning prodigals while the REAL impact of their secrecy and deceit upon their families is minimized by our culture (my observation).

    Thank you

  73. Anonymous

    Affairs are a tough thing to deal with. My ex was a serial cheater for 20+ years but I have never let our kids know. (My girls strongly Suspect but I cover for him). The reality is that it was an unhappy marriage and should never have gone on that long. We were terrible role models for the kids of what a healthy relationship is.

    Now my ex is in a healthy loving relationship and my kids see that. That is much healthier all the way around. We are also much better parents to our kids without the personal crap between us.

    Kids need to understand that what happens in a marriage should stay between husband and wife. Affairs should NEVER be discussed with the kids. I do agree that if you feel like you are going to cheat, that an honest discussion with a spouse is needed. And affairs are not about sex for the most part. If something wasnt broken in the marriage, people wouldnt have an emotional void that needs to be filled elsewhere.

    People make mistakes every day and yes they can hurt others. Kids need to
    Understand that moms and dads still love their kids no matter what. Definitely explain your anger and disappointment with your parent. But please move past it and live your life. My kids are now older, and yes frame their relationships by what they saw in their parents marriage. Hopefully they will be stronger and not make the same mistakes. I agree with commitment and responsibility 100%. But there also needs to be a point where one needs to look at personal happiness, and weigh it against responsibility. My ex and I realized that being happy in our individual lives made us better people to those we loved and especially our kids.

    Staying in a bad or toxic relationship is the worst thing for all involved. Marriages sadly do end. Doing so with dignity is ideal. Unfortunately some people do not realize the depth of their unhappiness until they feel happiness again when they meet another/right person.

    Kids – please try to forgive your parent!! I know it is hard, but in the long run you are missing out on the love of your parent. The energy you expend on hating the parent will only bring more pain to you. Everybody deserves to be happy in life. Life is to short to stay angry. Is your mom or dad a good parent? Do they love you? Do you have fun doing things with them? Do you have fond memories of life before the breakup? Then the relationship with both parents should continue but in parallel.

    My kids are glad that we are a separate but loving family now. They know that both of their parents are happier. And life is calm and peaceful for all of us.

    I wish you all love and peace!

  74. Anonymous

    Marriage is a form of insanity. Why does society believe that 2 imperfect people can form a Hollywood fairytale? My advice would be that once someone decides to cheat after being suckered into a marriage with kids, is to simply divorce and leave before the cat gets let out of the bag. Daddy is tired of mommy and I still you Tyler and Hayleigh. Find new happiness and send the kids some dough. Theyll get over it. don’t be stupid and tell them you’re having an affair. after reading these posts, it appears it REALLY screws them up…

  75. Anonymous

    I’m glad I read this. For 27 years I thought I was crazy for feeling the way I do about my mother and her affair.

  76. Anonymous

    Thank you for writing this article. It’s incredibly accurate. I’m seventeen now, and for years I’ve felt off about future relationships, marriage, and the overall idea of life long commitment. I also feel like I’ve lost my father, even though he is very much present. After reading this article I feel practically diagnosed, making it easier for me to move on and hopefully develop a healthier view on relationships.

  77. Anonymous

    I just found out my mother secretly had a relationship with another man, my father was ofcourse furious but didn’t result to violence. What heppened was that 5 months ago my mother met a man on facebook, they chatted with each other daily for 2 months and had sex multiple times for the past 3 months she tells us. She begged my father for a second chance while she said she would stop contacting the other man.
    My father gave her another chance, but I feel as if this will never work ever again. My father even spoke to me the way he felt, he stated he felt that suicide would have been the only option if I didn’t exist.
    I don’t see why my mother decided to cheat on my father, he’s a good dad after all, and I have never seen my parents fight at all. I honestly blame my mother, she knew what she was doing was wrong, and she went at it for 5 months without telling anybody. She makes the excuse that my father constantly asks for sex every weekend. That’s really not a legitamate reason to cheat on my father, especially when he is the one bringing the food on the table, she was just looking for an excuse so that she may shelfessly pleasure herself by sleeping with that other man. When I first heard the fact that she cheated, I swear my heart stopped for more than 2 seconds and felt weak as if I have been starved nearly to death.
    I’m glad this topic was pointed out, now I understand why I feel like I can’t trust or even hate my mother.

  78. Anonymous

    I just found out that my father started an affair when I was 9 years old. He fathered two children from this 12 year affair that he had. My brother and I are shocked beyond belief that it carried on for so long. I thank God that my mother has passed and to my knowledge never knew about the 2 children that were brought into this world. My opinion of my father has changed from being my hero to being a low life. He currently has no remorse or no consious about having this affair. I am happily married and I am very grateful for my husband. As for my so called Dad, I have lost complete respect for him. He certainly isnt the person I thought he was.

  79. Anonymous

    When i was twelve my parents got a divorce. We were told that it was both of their decisions and that they were just taking some time apart. within a week my mom was seeing someone and within a month had us living with him. For years there has been mistrust and hurt and depression. My sister and I have taled frequently about all the anger,hurt and resentment. However now, after being with her husband for 26 years she has met someone else, had an affair and left her husband. They have 3 beautiful daughters. They are doing what kids do and trying to accept. The oldest is having the most difficulty. Now my mother has decided to accept this new person into her life. I have not and will not because i know how the kids are feeling. My sister is so infatuated with this guy that she has completely forgotten all the years of anger and hurt and justifies all of it. It breaks my heart. She doesnt even realize that the kids are confused and hurt. she continues to put this guy first and her oldest wont even stay with her. It is tearing my family apart and i am under constant pressure to accept this guy. I refuse to for my neices sake. I want them to know I am on their side. Any advice? also for parents who cheat… it is devestating on your children and rips their world apart. For their sake… dont be that selfish!

  80. Anonymous

    5 years ago, I bought my wife a very expensive 20th Anniversary Diamond Ring. When I gave it to her, her reaction was just odd. She’s a crier … she cries so easily it’s annoying. She cried when I asked her to marry me, and she cries every time I give her flowers or a card. That night, she just seemed like she couldn’t breathe or speak. We went on to dinner and seemed fine, so I blew it off. 5 weeks later, she declared that she was not in love with me and had not felt so for five years. If you had asked me, I would have guessed those previous five years were the five best years of our 20-year marriage. I was devastated. We have four kids and no real money and neither of us wanted to divorce, and yet she seems to think that it’s just NORMAL to fall out of love. I asked her what brought this on, and she told me that she has had an emotional affair with a family friend ten years younger than she for about 15 months. No sex, but definitely something she sought out and perpetuated. She decided to end it, calling him, telling him it was more her fault than his, and he needed to take care of his wife and kids and stop all contact. Although she really did do the right thing, it did nothing to improve our marriage. We have never been on the same page sexually. I’d consider myself rather conservative, but she just feels that sex is a chore … she felt that way since we were married and it was painful the first few times, and never gave it another chance. Through therapy, counseling, friends, books, etc., she never gave any real effort to fix it, and I just gave up. Even our kids were conceived through IUIs. Between years 15-20, after HAVING the babies were done, she seemed to gain a lot of confidence in herself, and take care of her body, and things just really improved. These are the same years she claims she fell out of love with me. About a year later, she was still fighting off her feelings for this young man, and I honestly wished she could be with him. If I couldn’t light her fire, then my thought was, “Let him light it … I’ll have no trouble finding someone who would appreciate me.” Well, I got involved with my old high school/college girlfriend that I literally hadn’t seen in 19 years. She was separated and going through a divorce. We fell madly in love and have had this affair going on for four years. My wife and I don’t fight anymore. We are better parents, and we are better friends, and we have thrown in the towel on finding a sexual compatibility, and I find myself loving her … but now I too feel as though I’ve long since fallen out of love with her. Through several means, my daughter found out about my affair and I recently found out her mother had admitted her emotional affair.

    I’m not someone who didn’t give it a good long try, I’m someone who stuck it out for 15 years before it even improved. Then at year 20 I felt like we had what it took to go the distance, only to be shot down to reality.

    I now have no guilt whatsoever about my affair. She and I are in love. It hasn’t lasted 4 weeks, or months, it’s been 4 years. It’s real. It’s difficult, as we live 300 miles apart, but I fly and have an aircraft, and am able to see her around once a month. It’s become a don’t ask don’t tell situation between me and my wife and my daughter and there’s no one on here who’s gonna tell me I’d be better off divorced. There’s no one on here who’s gonna tell me that the passion in my marriage could be or could have been saved. I gave a sincere effort. My wife gave an insincere effort. She admitted to that and used those words.

    So sometimes, it’s just not the evil situation so many think it is. Sometimes two people who may have chosen wrong when they were mere kids getting married have valid reasons not to divorce … in my case, four kids. Maybe in several years, when all are grown, we will. Maybe we won’t. But cutting off the love and passion and all the things we were created for would not make me a better husband, father, or role model. It would make me miserable. My wife is perfectly content to have no sex. She likely only had it at all out of a sense of guilt or obligation. At age 46 I learned that I could be appreciated for my softer side, for my being a lover, for my being romantic, for my being charismatic. I’m married to a woman who doesn’t appreciate any of that. She appreciates my sense of humor and my love for the children and my steady work and income, but she couldn’t care less about being my lover. I’m going to enjoy my girlfriend and she will enjoy me, and as my kids grow older and likely find out the truth, I’ll have no trouble explaining to them why they don’t have to live through the same crap their parents did.

    Girls, if sex isn’t important to you … for your sake, don’t get married. Period. Boys, if children aren’t important to you, for the sake of taking on the huge responsibility of being a father, then don’t have them. Ask your girlfriends to their faces how they feel about sex. Ask them if they experience some pain, would it turn them off, or would they fight through it. It’s only fair.

  81. Anonymous

    Hi, I found out my dad had an affair when I was 12 , I found certain texts, emails etc. I knew there was something wrong at the time and I guess you could say I searched until I found out what was wrong. My mom and dad are still together but my mom still has trust issues and doubts my dad. I’m 16 now and I’m really shy , have never been in a relationship or even been close to a boy and I feel to shy and uncomfortable to even want to be in a relationship. I used to be confident and had loads of friends but I feel myself that since I found out I have become closed off , lost a lot of close friends and don’t even think I will get married and have kids when I’m older. It wasn’t until tonight my mom was comaining about my dad or whatever and I told her I knew everything and she seemed sort of shocked but I’ve always known. When I see other people my age , confident, in relationships I think that maybe if I had never known about the affair I too would be less shy, low self esteems etc ..

  82. Anonymous

    I am 13 and just found out today that my dad has been cheating on my mom. He was my role modek! He was the perfect dad, but I just randomly found out that he has been dating a younger woman for 7 months! He cried when he told me, and so did I, but then he just left the house! My mom and I talked and now we are at their best friends’ house. They are also mad. Earlier, the great aunt of mine that I haven’t spoken to for 4 years due to her reaction when my sister died came and is willing to help. My grandparents on my dad’s side were here and they didn’t address anything, but my other grandma is driving here from Oklahoma now.I took a day off from school today in fear of having to tell my closest friend. Also, my dad works there. I don’t want to see him right now. I’ve been reading articles like these, though, and am now worried about how I will turn out! I’m only 13 and now this man whom I thought was perfect has betrayed both me and my mom! I thought my family was super close, but I guess not! I was best friends with both of my parents, but now I’m questioning everything, because Dad said he’s been lying for 13 years, aka my entire life. I’m so confused!!!!

  83. Anonymous

    My mum took me away with her boyfriend affair and his daughter on weekends. I was not only aware but a witness an accessory after the fact. I was in my early teens.
    I have never gotten over the hurt hate and pain..worst of all I have transferred all those feelings to mum current boyfriend (she is now divorced) and I can’t even talk to him. I am paralized with fear. It hurts mum so badly. Its illogical but its real.

  84. Anonymous

    Hi, have just come across this article. I was 11 when I realised that my mum and dad were splitting up because my mum was having an affair with a man from work for at least a year. I remember the very months in great detail of what was happening and how my dad found out, and even the arguments they had when I would lay at too of stairs listening. The one particular one was the night my dad caught my mum red handed and threatened her with and wooden mallet and then hearing there argument in detail about the whole affair. As an 11 year old it was very scary and frightening to see. The next day my mum dad said that they would be giving it another go so then he went to drive us to school but happened to forget something so drove back to find my mum on the phone the the man she was having affair with. As you can imagine my dad went mental and said to my mum he’s going for an hour and when he gets back she should be gone. So my mum in tears took my sisters with her but I said I didn’t want to go as that home was all I ever knew. Rather than sagging me with her she just left me there on my own in that house.

    I’m asking whether the affects I have felt as an adult, now 27 are from this? I have major trust issues, need a lot of attention and affection and struggle to cope with trust.

  85. Anonymous

    we found out my dad had an affair about 2 years ago, i thought i was further along in the forgiveness process then i am. i am still so full of rage that i cant feel the bottom of it and i hate it, we were so close before, i’m pissed that i’m going to be the one to talk to him about it, isn’t the parent supposed to approach the kid when she’s upset? i’m 27. whenever any topic comes close to relationship my dad changes the subject now, we used to talk about everything. ive been projecting my anger at my partner that i’m so in love with, i think i’m always afraid that he’s going to leave me, but i can tell the depth of my anger when its actually meant to be for my dad. i guess its just nice to write out here and feel seen by all of you

  86. Anonymous

    My mother had an affair with our family doctor who was also a close family friend. Apparently it went on for a while. I was 15 when I found out and my brother was 17. My two younger siblings then aged 11 and 8 never knew what our mother had done. My parents never got divorced over it but since then they have argued tirelessly throughout our years at home and even now they are 65 years old. They are constantly angry with each other about one thing or another. My father told me he has never been able to trust her since.
    An affair can affect families for an entire lifetime.
    I am 33 years old now and a mother of four children. I think a lot about my mother’s infidelity since becoming a mum myself. She has NEVER spoken about it to me and I believe she may still think her actions were justified as my parents already had a rocky relationship long before the affair.
    All she ever said to me when the affair came to light was that I was never allowed to mention it to my grandmother, which I never did.
    Last night I received a text from one of my younger sisters. It read “Did something happen between mum and dad years ago that has affected their relationship all these years”? She told me that our father recently told her to never betray her husbands trust. My sister is now suspicious about our mother.
    I cannot reply to her because I don’t know how the truth will affect her. She is 29 years old.
    After all these years of suppressing the truth about what happened I fear it is all resurfacing again, and my feelings of the anger and disappointment I felt towards my mother 18 years ago is flooding back into my life. Is that normal and is it right for my sister to know the truth??
    I feel angry with my mum because she has never apologized to us for her selfish actions and I believe that has a lot to do with her arrogance. I don’t think she realizes how much her affair affected her children. Please could I have some feedback…
    Im not sure if I have completely forgiven her, I am confused with how I feel lately.

  87. Anonymous

    Number 83…you’ve done nothing wrong so don’t start now. Tell your kids and set the exam of honor, honesty, accountability, love , forgive but don’t forget, right and wrong. I admire you are working on not talking badly or putting the kids father down but teaching them their father and the other woman have been selfish and betrayed God and their families as well as friends, coworkers, etc. is continuing to teach them the values you and their father was teaching them prior to his affair. The damage when people have affairs or do other wrongs are good people compromise their own integrety by not verbalising the obvious. In your case your husband and his mistress was selfish and they are trying to pass their relationship off as something right. More people to speak up about right and wrong and hold each other accountable. I admire that you are trying not to be judgemental. Remember when you talk to you children and tell them the wrong that has been done and also I encourage you to be honest of how hurt, scared, angry, worried you are so your kids don’t feel they have to bury their own feelings. Sounds like you had a great family….I’m sorry this happened to you and your children.

  88. Anonymous

    *Reply to above*

    I wouldn’t lie. If they grow up and find out that you were keeping the secret as well as their dad it could cause more harm than is needed. Obviously this is slightly biased towards my own experience (number 56) and that every child/adult is different.

  89. Anonymous

    a year and a half ago, my ex-husband had an affair with a co-worker in the very small town we live in. I wanted to work it out, but he kept in communication with the other woman and was very unwilling to do the work it would take to fix our marriage after so much damage caused, and we ended up divorced. The other woman was also married with 2 young children and they are also now divorced. All four adults still live in this small community, and most people know what happened.

    My ex-husband and the other woman have kept very secretive about their relationship, over the past year while divorces were pending, and embarrassment was high, not being seen in public or admitting they have been seeing each other. My children are 9,11, and 13 and because we have been so careful, so far, they do not know about the affair or the other woman. It has been the most devastating thing I could ever imagine, but I have never blamed their dad, spoken ill of him to the children, we have remained friendly, and we have only told the children that we love them, we had adult problems they don’t understand, it’s not their fault etc.

    He has been overall a very involved dad (spending quality time with them, coaching, involved in school and sports, fun), and good to me, as far as paying the mortgage so we can stay in the home, flexible with co-parenting, helping each other out, etc. So far so good.

    However, he has now decided to come out with this woman as his girlfriend. He thinks he can introduce the children and they will continue to be in the dark about the affair, and just believe Daddy has a new girlfriend. I am horrified by the idea of my children ever meeting her, then finding out what happened and having that memory of knowing and hanging out with the “woman daddy left mommy for”.

    After reading so many of these comments, I don’t know what to do. I have been arguing with him about not introducing them, and if he insists on still seeing her, keep doing it in secret– easy enough as the children live with me and only see him on weekends. He is not agreeing to that, as he thinks if they do find out, the children will be ok.

    Should we tell the children the truth, and let them know and deal with it now? or keep it a secret and hope they never find out (which seems unlikely). I have been under the belief that if they are ever to know the truth, I would rather they figure it all out as adults when would hope they could handle it better, not pre-teens just entering the teenage years. However comments above like the 20 year old who just found out about her mother’s affair, and she is so angry that they kept this secret from her– make me wonder if I should continue to shield them from the truth. Their Dad’s take on it is that he’s still their dad and loves them and will be there for them, and they should know that he is human and made a mistake, and meet this woman.

    I am so terrified of my children knowing the truth, and following in his footsteps, or going through all the other emotional trauma listed above. Is he right in wanting to tell them now, or am I right in wanting to keep it a secret from them?

  90. Anonymous

    My father cheated for years and it came to light when his mistress started calling my house and she will wait until my sister or I would pick up. I was 14 at the time. When I confronted my dad, he yelled at me and told me to leave him alone that it was his life and he could do whatever he wanted. Time passed and he convinced my mom and move back home. Then he lied more and promise her a new start in a new city. We all moved and expected everything to be better. 3 months later, he lefts us in a new city and since then we only see him 3 – 4 times a year. He always supported us financially but he completely forgot about us. He has a new family and it just feels like he replace us. I am 28 and I still cry and feel depressed on holidays and birthdays. It has been 13 years since I celebrated my bday with him. Therapy has help me cope but it still hurts having a father alive but who acts as we are not.

  91. Anonymous

    Just found out my whole family life is a LIE. I’m 36 and my stepdad has been my mum for 33 years. We found out yesterday that he has a 19 son we have to pretend that we don’t know until stuff get sorted. I HATE my stepdad right now but know I will have to forgive him.

  92. Anonymous

    I got married for ten year’s when I was 17 my ex an I had two boy’s & two girl’s my ex was having affair with different woman he also has a drinking problem his very stubborn person both of my son’s were just so small 7 and 6 year’s old when they show there dad with other woman in between my 2nd son and my daughters he had kid’s with two other woman some how I knew I had to end it when son told me about how he seen his dad with other woman it really bothered him he wasn’t doing well in school I had to put him counseling it for two months after four months later their dad showed up my house to see them my son was still mad his dad told me he didnt want to see him but there dad just keeps coming over I let there dad pick them up to spend some time with him, there time I let him take my boys for few months out of the winter but he has no respect of my son’e he still does it front of them we been separated for two years still this day my boy’s tell me how they feel and what they think about there dad but there that alwasy question WHY? Mom I try to explain it to them how life is for them to understand i know they just small there now 10 and 8 i try talking into them to not let ot get to them but still i know it still hurts them but im trying my best keep them happy as much as i can just few day’s ago my kid’s n I were at restaurant for lunch there dad was there to and my daughter show her dad for the first time with other woman seeing on her face was something that I knew she didn’t like it I know it not right for kids to see things like that but if she asked me I’ll try my best to the explain it to her about life for her to understand I am a single mom right now but I’m trying make my kid’s and I life batter for us
    Sofia 28 Eagle Pass, Tx

  93. Anonymous

    I told my adult daughter about father’s affair to prepare her for any eventuality that might follow.I dont know if I did right or not

  94. Anonymous

    My husband of 25 years suddenly came home one night from working in Singapore announced he was leaving (said no woman involved) and quite literally packed up 25 years of us up in 40 mins and fled to Asia where we found out he was already starting to build a mansion with an filipino he had met whilst working away. We had been putting offers on homes ourselves not less than 4 months before and i and my son were completely blindsided to say the least. He denied a woman for first couple months then admitted bit by bit but has never been back to face us to tell us the truth. it is now not about the affair with my son, (hes 24) but he almost lost his life 3 years ago, has major heart conditions, one leg and his dad will not, even though he earns a tax free fortune, pay any maintenance (im a housewife with autoimmune issues) and he has completely denied us any financial assistance and can get away with it cos we cannot enforce it where he lives now. He is happily telling his family I have a beautiful mansion and altho i feel a bit sorry for them, its not my concern anymore!! He then wonders why, on the obligatory xmas day email, my son does not respond. How can he assume he can respect him, when we have all been through hell and back and yet his dad can dismiss us and disrespect us so massively with absolutely no conscience about it at all. He will not come back and face anyone or even close bank accounts and completely refuses to comply with his financial obligations and yet promised on my sons life he had hurt us enough and would settle the financial agreement and trust him he would not rip us off. My son will not even have his name mentioned in the house and yet my ex thinks he entitled to just walk out, leave us with nothing and expect no backlash whatsoever!! Can anyone please explain that to me cos I cannot believe another human being could deliberately make things harder for those he has loved and spent most of his life with!!!!???? Even a mid life crisis does not explain his completely despicable behaviour and the annoying thing is he can afford to pay us off but cos hes living abroad he knows I could spend thousands chasing him and still not be able to make him pay it!!! I really really am struggling with the lack of disrespect he is showing!! Any thoughts please would help me understand or make some sense of this. He did tell or beg me to move on and luckily i have now found a wonderful man and not a boy and he has got a hundred times worse since he found that out. Can it just be that although he begged me to move on, my turning the tables on him and firmly closing the door for his “back up” plan have disturbed him???

  95. Anonymous

    My step dad cheated on my mom, she feels she can never trust him again,but all the weight was put on to my shoulders. I understand that she’s going through a lot but that fact is their making me chose a side. My mum went through a lot with my real dad because he was very abusive towards me and my brother. My mom feels suicidal and sometimes wonders what she did wrong to get all of this in return. Me knowing my mums story she’s had a rough 36 years but is still struggling and I don’t know how to help I’m just an 11yr kid.

  96. Anonymous

    My ex partner had two beautiful children already we had been friends for yrs prior to deciding when we were both single to try at a relationship it had many ups and downs but alot of ups we went through a particular rough patch when I was pregnant with our first child unbeknownst to me he had an affair with his ex partner resulting in a child being concieved. I discovered this devastating news 4 weeks after giving birth at which time my life was pure happiness my whole world crumbled down . I dont know where I was but for me being a family was the most important part of my life he played the part well crying begging for forgiveness guilt over how a seperation was bad for the children involved and we decided to make a go of our life together. He chose never to see the other child explaining to all it would be too hard on the other three already in the world and although the pain was very raw we seemed to get throuhh each day then a massive bombshell a happy one but I fell pregnant while breastfeeding my daughter .I now have two beautiful girls a yr apart they are my blessings and I truly believe they have saved my sanity. He left 7mths ago and 5mths ago announced he is now seeing the child he denied for 2yrs.he has short frequent visits with my children and has the other 3 everyother weekend . I hsve tried to keep my girls in a bubble to ease the hurt on them its hard I smile all day and think all night…their father is very controlling and since he has left I have found the old me and gained incconfidence I have had no mental health issues I dont know how I will thank my girls till the day I die for giving me the strength I needed to be their mummy. My ex is now desperate for all the children to be together my oldest is being assesed for autism and I know any change in routine will destroy herso I have told him that it’s not even crossing my mind yet. But he is running the guilt trip of how his oldest daughter is being disruptive at school and crying for me he wants me to have contact with her again but when I asked 7mths ago he said no and now the situation is so complex I don’t wantthe children hurt but protecting my own is all I can think about .seeing all three is out of the question and singling the other two out is unfair too I just think he needs to focus on being a father seperately to each family and allow the children to decide when they are old enough. I will never hide the fact they have half siblings but I believe they should have the choice to have contact not be forced.advice needed confused and hurting and I know he still is able to control me emotionally but he never sees this I wont allow it.

  97. Anonymous

    My mother had an affair. While my parents’ relationship was not healthy and I didn’t care for it, I still didn’t like the idea of her doing that. I much would prefer her moving out of the relationship and onwards with her life. She told me that she had an affair, and told me who. I was 19 at that time and didn’t like to be around him anymore. I don’t have other issues but it scares me that I can be capable like my mother, having an affair. I do wish for a solution to this so please post a solution. I will find a therapist when I can but I prefer reading a solution and have it toss and turn in my head for the betterment.

  98. Anonymous

    My father had multiple affairs when I was a child which I never realized I knew of, but must have sensed that things were not right with our family. My mom always maintained a sense of surface calm and we seemed like the perfect military family but underneath the tensions between my parents spilled over into alcoholism on both their parts. My mom recovered but my dad continued the pattern of affairs and drinking throughout their marriage until I caught him with another woman when I was 22 and my mom was out of state taking care of his mother who was dying of cancer. I never really realized how much this affected me and made me mistrust men completely. I did not have any really long term relationships until I met my husband at age32. I married him because I loved him and thought I could trust him to tell me if he wanted to be with someone else. My husband was divorced and had his own trust issues because his ex cheated on him then left him for another man. This caused a gradual emotional distance between us. He did not trust me fully because of what his ex put him through. And I had great difficulty opening up to him about my feelings because of my past. I felt him really distance himself about 6 years ago and confronted him about another woman which he denied and I never found solid proof because his mom died and we were both grieving. He deployed after that on and off for 3 years basically abandoning my sons and I in his grief. Upon his return last year I found solid proof of 2 emotional affairs with old HS girlfriends then of the physical affair 6 years ago. He says is sorry and wants to work things out but I am still heartsick about his betrayal and basic abandonment of his family during the affair and afterward in volunteering to deploy. I have come to realize how much both our pasts played into our lack of communication in our marriage. I acted just like my mom. In my mind I really deep down knew he was unfaithful but I was so frozen with fear and responsibility for keeping our family together that I failed to follow through after confronting him about my suspicions More than once. The final straw was just prior to his last deployment when he was home on leave. I spent the whole time he was gone trying to stop loving him and get my life together so I could expose his affair and leave him upon his return. For his part he was completely shocked when I confronted him with proof and did not back down. If I had done this years ago, things might have been different. We both know that our sons have been affected by my husbands lack of involvement in their lives over the past 5 years. They were in 4th & 5th grade during his affair and jn middle school through his deployments. Ive realized that my husband was very critical of me & the boys during his affair as well as just being gone physically & emotionally. Also my younger son, now 13 found an affair recovery site on my computer. That I was reading and asked if my husband was having an affair twice. I told him I was looking up info for a friend but pretty sure he knows im lying. I hate that they will have to go through the feelings about their Dad that I did about miNe and hope my husband still has time to forge a good relationship with them since he missed those formative middle school years.i do not want them to have to go through the pain that affairs cause families as adults.

  99. Anonymous

    My Father had multiple affairs when I was young. My Mother looked the other way. We all knew what was happening. I am now 57. I was never able to trust a man again and repeated the pattern by becoming involved with cheating men who I thought would ultimately love me if I accepted their weakness. I spent 10 years with an abuser who was ultimately jailed for his physical abuse and, after I ended the relationship, stalking. If there is anyone out there who thinks there is only one victim (the person who is being cheated on), think again. It echos down through the generations and destroys lives. My life was forever changed by these selfish acts.

  100. Anonymous

    My husband had a 10 1/2 week affair about 4 1/2 years ago…we had been married for 16 years but together for 20…my kids were 13 (son) and 11 (daughter)..My husband cut off all ties with this women, took two years off of work to be close to me to help me with the devastation and the pain…I never told my kids although I am sure they must know something..I was deeply depressed for two years and even still my moods are quite sporadic…I am bitter and angry that my husband has done this to me and our family and our life…everything blew up that day I found out…I decided to try and forgive him to keep my family together..I didnt want to hurt my kids the way I was hurt so I have been just trudging along hoping I am doing the right thing…It has been exhausting!

  101. Anonymous

    I am. Needing some help with an situation that I find myself . I was married for 28 years and 22 yrs ago I had an affair with my husbands best friend the affair lasted about 2 months I felt so guilty that I told my husband we went into therapy and worked through the issues. He has never once brought it up and thrown it in my face. I have three adult children to this man recently separated from my partner and now he believes that I should tell my children what i did as be believes that the reason he doesn’t have a relationship with his children is because of the affair. Is this true ?…. I thought that in telling him all ose years ago this was over he now believes that my children will act out this dysfunction in there relationships … Can someone please advise me on what to do ????

  102. Anonymous

    Three of my oldest four children, 15yr. old son, 14 year old daughter, 11 year old son, 9 year old daughter, just found out my husband is having an affair, and has been having it for a long time. Two of them can not even look him in the eyes now. It is unbelievable to understand that my children will suffer this lifelong pain because of the selfishness of my husband.

    Four unbeleivable beautiful souls will now go through the same torment and pain that I have all my life, as my father cheated on my mother and they divorced as well. I was determined not to be divorced. I lasted 22 years with this man, who wasn’t even home to help accomplish the children in the evenings.

    Unbelievable. Unbelievable the pain and devastation this will wreack all their lives.

    To top it off, he belongs to a very conservative religious organization. He is a knight in another. He is a particular religion, and always attends church. Now I know why my older son has also lost his religion. And my daughter too already.

    What devastation he has brought to our lives. And not much remorse. He blames it all on me. My heart aches for the beautiful children I brought into this world, and the troubles they will now have because of his selfishness.

    I will pray every day for them to be healed, and will also get them some counseling.

    I do believe I need to move out, and restart somewhere else, for my own sanity, but this would also be difficult on my older son, in 10th grade. Unbelievable the devastation his selfishness has caused.

  103. Anonymous

    My mom had me w her bf s husband …. the three of us know and he’s still with his wife and three sons he has no intentions of telling his wife .. and family iv hung out with my whole life .. in just the dirty secret … i wouldntmind so much if i didn’t have such trust issues …… i get serious rage from him and his stupidity in 30 now and his been screwing around the hole time… don’t get m married if ya want to screw every one pretty simple

  104. Anonymous

    my mother had an affair with my father’s brother 10 years ago. somehow my father found out. he used to be a very quiet man. an ideal father. but since knowing this he has changed. he comes home drunk. shouts at my mother. both me and my sister are studying in colleges. my mother calls us and narrates her plight.i am really broken . my family is no longer the same. i am feeling so helpless. can anybody help me?

  105. Anonymous

    I am 36. My parents divorced when I was 13. My father had multiple problems. He wasn’t close to any of his 3 kids. I have forgiven him for his failures. For ex. he was disbarred for embezelling (sp?). My mom had an affair, which he informed the kids of years later. She did this when I was maybe 5 yrs. old. It was only one time. At some point when I was older, it was discussed between us. She said it was wrong, but mainly justified it due to my dad’s distant behavior and her need for affection. I found out as a married woman with kids of my own, that when they were separated, but not quite divorced, she met with this man a second time. It’s shows me that she wasn’t sick to her stomach and truly remorseful. Otherwise, how could she be with him again? I once confronted her about this and she said the sin she committed was against my father, not the kids. As a 36 year old woman, I am not close to her. She cannot relate to the pain it caused me and how greatly it affected my ADMIRATION for her. How can you be close to a parent you don’t admire? You can’t. She wants to be close and can’t relate to how this still affects me 20+ years later. I wish she would have left my father with dignity, instead of having an affair. I would have had so much respect for her, and would probably had the relationship with her she has yearned for. I am a Christian, and struggle with the need to forgive her, as I know Christ would have me. It is just so hard.

  106. Anonymous

    First off, let me just say how comforting it is to read all of you guys’ stories about your struggles with parental infidelities and to be able to relate to what you have gone through or are still going through. But to those of you who write about currently having affairs and being in love, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Fuck you.

    I am 20 years old, and a sophomore in college. I just found out that my mom had an affair with a guy a few months after I was born. My mom has always been my best friend, my biggest supporter, and I loved her so much. But this news is way overdue! My parents ended up divorcing when I was 7, but being so young, I didn’t know the reasons why. My dad recently moved to another state because of a job promotion and I went to visit him this summer. He told me what happened and I was floored. My mom has always made my dad and stepmom out to be the bad guys. After learning about this, I broke down and apologized to them for all the grief I caused. They told me that they knew it wasn’t my fault- that my mom was brainwashing me and I didn’t know. My dad and stepmom kept it a secret for 12 years. I’m not angry at them for doing that, because my dad told my mom he was going to tell me when I turned 18, but my mom told him she was going to tell me. BULLSHIT!! What is worse is that the man my mom cheated with is now my stepdad. I have lived primarily with my mom since the divorce, so I always saw him as a father-figure. Well, not anymore! Even moreso, I am the only person on both sides of my family who did not know about this. Needless to say, I was/am beyond hurt. My mom once told me that sometimes I may need to put my feelings aside and make a decision that is best for myself. But, who is she to tell me that when clearly she didn’t follow through herself? I am going to confront her when I get home for fall break. My dad is driving 7 hours to come pick me up after I tell them and I am spending the rest of my break with him. The fact that my mom couldn’t sit me down like a grown-ass woman and tell me this is heartbreaking. I feel like I am going to suffer a lot of emotional turmoil from this. I don’t blame my dad for telling me- since finding out it has brought me closer to my dad and to my stepmom. I know with the help of my (other) family and friends, I can get through this, but it is going to be a long recovery.

  107. Anonymous

    About six years ago my ex husband had an affair with a married woman, we had been married for 18 years, at first I was devastated, and when I did find out he was in total denial, in fact I confronted them both one day and they both denied there was an affair and he in fact had his girlfriend believe I was mentally unstable, at the time of the affair I was half way through a law degree whislt supporting him in his business and caring for our 4 children. I did not have any mental problems, all I was doing was fighting to save my marriage. After the breakdown I realised my ex husband had been a control freak, and in fact my 2 older children (his step=children) seen how stressed I was during the entire marriage and also could see the control he had over me. My ex was also a conman and a charmer, the woman he is with is an ex-stripper and still married to her husband and shares herself with my ex and her husband, she also has two boys who want nothing to do with her. The worst thing is my two youngest children have chosen to live with there father, mainly because he has a continuous flow of cash and owns a property, I had to sell the family property to pay the debts I was left with as well as the business debts my ex had left secured by our property. I am now in a situation where I am lucky to see my two youngest children once or twice a year, they never call me or answer my text, and when my daughter does make contact it is only for money. My daughter recently lost her job and is now working for her father and his girlfriend not only is the father a control person so is the girlfriend, the children are totally controlled by them and it hurts so much that I do not see them, they are actually now young adults aged 18 and 23. My 18 year old son has put on so much weight since living with his father, and I worry so much for him, he is anti-social and spends all his free time on computer games, he works in a sheet metal business which his father organised, my son has no say in regards to his occupation and does as his father says. My son told me once he would never forget what his dad did to me and the way he left me, he witnessed his father trying to drown me in a swimming pool (knowing I could not swim) and choking me around the neck, all because he had to get away from me at the time to see his girlfriend, it hurts me so much that not only did I lose a husband but I also lost my children and that in itself is so very painful. I do not understand how a man like this can be supported by his children and forgiven for his evil ways or accept a woman with no morals who continues to live part time with my ex and her husband, this behaviour is not a healthy environment for my children to live with and it concerns me how they have now closed the door to their maternal parent and accepted the fathers affair. I have learnt over the years to forgive my ex husband but I am again starting to build up anger within myself because I did nothing wrong in our relationship yet I am ostracized from my children as though I was the one who had the affair. I lost my children, my home, my lifestyle and my law degree because of this man. Now my two oldest children are living interstate and I am left without no children in my life, although my older children call me almost every 3rd day and I at least get to see them every 3 months. Has anyone been in a situation like this or married to a charmer and conman who has the ability to manipulate people and convince them he is the victim.

  108. Anonymous

    About three years ago my ex husband had an affair and left me after 25 years of marriage. Although I was hurt and angry, I did everything possible to make sure that my two children maintained a relationship with him and I never said anything bad about him to either child. I made sure they understood that he left me, not the children, that relationships are complicated things and that being morally judgmental is not a healthy way to move forward in life. Because of that, both of my children are extremely well adjusted and they have strong healthy relationships with both parents. I also have been able to move on in a very positive way.

  109. Anonymous

    Number 50 I am really sorry for you. Yours is the situation that most closely mirrors mine, and probably the hardest one to deal with. When your one parent does not know and you are the only one keeping the secret it magnifies the pain and heartache that you already feel from the infidelity to such an extent that sometimes it’s hard to even go on. I also have two siblings who do not know and realize that we are looking at each other from across a certain line. I have made a decision after long and careful deliberation, agonizing, heartache, and advice-seeking from online sources to not disclose my father’s emotional affair to my mother or anyone else. I am 30 years old and if there is one thing I have learned from reading countless articles and sources is that there just is not a one size fits all solution or plan of action for such an event. Every family is different and possesses it’s own unique circumstances. There are so many websites and resources out there yet sadly, there are not enough perspectives from adult children who have decided not to disclose. The simple and undeniable fact is that in some instances honesty is not always the best policy and I feel like I want to punch anyone who would dare try to convince me of such and that their idea of full disclosure would be the way to go for my family. When your family could face issues of financial ruin, destruction, parents that may be physically or emotionally unable to carry on living any quality of life after learning of this, siblings who are happily getting married and expecting baby nieces and nephews who need and depend on their grandparents- the decision sometimes makes itself. The destruction would simply be such that it would ruin so much for so many people who mean everything to me. I did however disclose what I knew to my father. He was beside himself in agony, insisted that he had ended it even before I revealed what I knew to him, falls over himself to dote on my mother and each and everyday lives to repair and “atone”- or so this is what he tells me. My father has been the greatest and most devoted father to my siblings and I and while I live everyday with the issues a child goes through when they discover this, I stand firm on the decision I made not to reveal it to my mother. He never asked me to lie or keep a secret, the decision I made was my own. While we keep up a relationship for appearances to the family, my father and I do not have much of one personally. I love him yet cannot trust him at this point in time and I express this to him. I feel like it’s some duty I have to remind him at regular intervals. He agonizes over the loss of our relationship and what he has done to me. I know he is remorseful beyond words. It may be stupid, I may find out years later that he continued to do it (because you really just lose all trust no matter what they say), my mom may discover it, or he may choose to disclose himself at a later point and it will all come back to bite me in the ass… however at this point in time I have made the firm decision not to disclose and I stand by that. I took a chance (and let me tell you it’s a bloody HUGE chance) on the possibility that he really did make a mistake and that he is living everyday to make up for what he did as he says he is. Perhaps it will all come out one day and maybe it won’t. However if there was a chance I could spare my family from the destruction it would have faced, my mother the mental anguish, my nieces the sadness, my brother the confusion in the belief that humans (even superhero fathers) do make mistakes and have weaknesses that we can all learn lessons from and learn to value and cherish how valuable we are to each other- I would take it. I will continue to take this chance. My decision is my own and only I (and others who have been through this) truly understand the reasons for making them. I will not let it direct and overcome my life. I will not allow myself to be a bitter and jaded person anymore.

  110. Anonymous

    My wife of 21 years told me on January 28th the she loves me but is not in love with me anymore. She said she was not going to have sex with me anymore. She told me the next day that there was not another man in her life, that since her brother died in October she is looking in the mirror that there has got to be more in life than what she has. Her sister also died of brain cancer 4 years ago(at 54) and with her brother passing away of a heart attack at age 53 along with our oldest son going off to College I believe my wife is in the middle of a classic mid life crisis. On April 22nd she finally told me the truth and that she has had an affair with another man and that she is in love with him. He is getting a divorce from his wife of 25 years and they think they have found their soul mates. Even though they haven’t dated, haven’t gone to a movie together, haven’t paid mortgages, been to plays, concerts, etc..these two grown people actually believe this life they started based upon lies, deceit and destruction is going to make them better people. Our youngest son is now aware that she is looking for a place to move and he is very upset at what might happen with his life. Until now, he has been the best student and overall the best kid anyone would hope to have. She is being so selfish that she really doesn’t care about me anymore but she says she loves her sons. As much as I want to save this marriage becuase I feel once this infatuation is over with this guy she will find the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence, I have to realize there may not be a way to save this sinking ship. I want to be there for our sons who will be so confused over what has happened to their parents in such a short period of time…I am at a crossroad in my life..I will be 56 next month..not wanting to lose the love of my life and be a single Dad but at the same time, do I want to continue to love someone who feels like I am not the one for her anymore. I never thought this would be happening to us..really thought we had a great, secure marriage until January 28th…any suggestions??

  111. Anonymous

    Anonymous Says:
    I am currently having an affair online through email and skype contact. We are both very much in love with one another and have been together for several months now. We talk online as often as we can and as often as it is safe to do so..although we are both still taking enormous risks. She has two grown up children; I have a young child and another who is grown up and now lives independently. WE want to be together. The difficulty lies in the fact that we are thousands of miles apart, and our lives are very different. The pain that will be inflicted upon our families is balanced against the pain of never being together. What should we do?
    March 1st, 2011 at 7:54 am

    -People like you make me sick. Both of you are so selfish and ignorant for continuing this knowing that both of you have families and still living with them. Do you know how hard is it for a child or even as an adult knowing your parents are cheating and living a double life. PLEASE PLEASE I beg of you cut off your affair and discuss your sentiments with your wife and cut off contact with that other women. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH PAIN YOU WILL INFLICTED ONTO YOUR CHILDREN.

  112. Anonymous

    I was eight years old when I found out my Mum was having an affair. This man was suddenly always around and my Dad seemed oblivious. I was so afraid the family would split up I felt I had to keep it all a secret. Reading this article is like looking in a mirror. As a teen I started taking drugs, starting fires and running wild. I felt like nothing mattered anymore as ‘everything was all a big lie.’ My two brothers have always regarded me as the troublemaker in the family – and still do today. I’m 45 now, I’ve suffered repeated bouts of depression and I have never had a successful long-term relationship – my self esteem is so low. My mother has always known that I knew of her 10-year affair but has never once asked me if it has affected me. She says she ‘doesn’t regret a thing and would do it all again.’ The biggest joke is that we’ve just discovered that my Dad had a child before he married my Mum and kept it a secret his whole life. Secrets, lies and hypocrisy. It’s such a terrible burden for any child to carry. People are just so selfish.

  113. Anonymous

    My substance abusing ex cheated on me while I was at my overnight second job.. the girl was in my house… kids caught her …A week later I threw him out and we divorced.. my ex is in jail now..he met her in rehab and they still betray me by talking to her. I do not feel right about having kids that do this. My 19 and 20 yr old I told them to leave and never come back…They are so disloyal. I have 4 kids and 2 are loyal…. I feel like the older 2 will eventually have the younger ones befriending this junky too. I read all posts and I dont see it where the kids turn on the mom. I havenever had a substance probem and I am a good hard workign mom. I do not beat my kids. They are always fed.. They have cell phones computers …I have 2 jobs an go t college onlne.. I pay for everythingI never get a penny from anyone. Noteven the dad. What do I dooo I am hurtttt so much

  114. Anonymous

    I am 22 and recently found out my father had been having a three year affair with a woman living only 20minutes away from me. I also found it I have a two year old brother. I also discovered this the night after I threw my parents a suprise wedding anniversary party for their silver. It seemed soap like and something I still can’t comprehend. I found out as he left his email account logged in on my computer and discovered the photos and emails from her. I have been on a rollar coaster of emotions, the hardest part was my mother knew as well and as a young adult I felt there was a lack of respect. I was also expected to accept it and remain close to my dad. I have been told I have my own life and this situation doesn’t involve me, but it does? I have no other sibling except this half sibling who I have only met a few times. I love my dad but find it very hard to even look at him. It wasn’t even the affair part that really angers me but the fact he told my mum about the affair and the pregnency and yet carried on seeing her. This other woman is also not a nice person, she has written horrific things about my mum ( who is a sweet loving person who has a brilliant career and has done everything for me and dad) and advertised them on social network sites such as facebook. This woman I also ran into one night and I confronted her in a mature way, i decided as much as I couldn’t bare this person I want to develop a relationship with the child as it is not his fault and I want him to grow up loved by everyone, it is what he deserves. My dad is still continuing to talk to his ex girlfriend from 30 years ago on facebook as well. My mum does not deserve this and there is evidence to suggest he is still seeing this woman. The night I found out he drove to the other womans house and told her he was leaving me and mum and going to be with them. I don’t know who he is anymore, I don’t know why mum is with him when she could be with someone who respects her and loves her. I don’t know how my dad looked me and mum in the eye while he was with her and it has been four months since I found out and am only now struggling with the shock. When I drink I end up crying at the end of the night, I sometimes break down for no reason when alone, I don’t know how to adapt to this new life with these people in it. The family I thought we were is now changed forever and I don’t know how i can ever forgive him for that.

  115. Anonymous

    My husband of 27 years had an affair with our friend/co-worker. Even though I was willing to try to save the marriage, my husband was not. It has been seven years since he left, but our adult children continue to struggle with the anger they feel about their father’s affair. His affair contradicts everything he taught them about honesty, character, morals, etc. Dealing with a selfish hypocrit has been very difficult.

  116. Anonymous

    I am 20 years old and I found out 5 years ago that my divorced mother was seeing a married man with two children (one of whom I found was my age but in the other school) and that this had been going on for 10 years at the time, 15 now. My dad left my mum when I was too young to remember and has repeated affairs and flings with girls in their 20’s. I’m not bothered about my Dad, he is not in my life enough for his actions to hurt me but to grow up on my own with my mum and suddenly find out that she is not the person that you thought she was and that the neighbours knew of him, that he had been in the house hiding when I was for the past 10 years was destroying. What was worse was that my mum continued and continues to make me lie to my family so they don’t find out. I realise I am 20 and do not need to do this anymore but I feel obliged. Furthermore, this man has been in my life so much that I have at times, a fatherly relationship with him.

    However, I suffer greatly with trust issues not only with those around me but I don’t trust myself. I suffer anxiety problems, I cannot talk about this with anyone, or do not feel I can. Even when I am away from home and at Uni it follows me. I feel an enormous sense of guilt. That I am contributing to this affair, that I did not try to stop it.

  117. Anonymous

    The abouve stories definitly resonate with me. I come from a military family and my dad was overseas most of my young life. Everytime he left my mom had an affair. I can can go back to my earlist days around 3 or 4 yrs old and remember what happened. my mom never tried to hide it when I was real young but she did when i got older even though I always found out. One of the last affairs she had was with a friend from high school who was living with us. My dad also wasalcoholic so when he got drunk all that stuff my mom had done came up.Its hard to believe they stayed married until my dad died when i was 44 yrs old.It was a horrible marriage. I have been in recovery for 25 years now and am grateful to be sober. The issues surrounding my family of origin have been very difficult to look at but slowly the layers still get peeled. definitly the most difficult thing for me is intimate relationships. Thanx for listening.

  118. Anonymous

    Number 52. Good for you! Just because your mom forgave him,doesn’t mean you have to. After all, he betrayed you too, and only you can decide how a person can treat you. My husband of 9 years just cheated on me. Our kids are 7,5 and 4 and I can already see the intense pain it has caused them. I am trying to be strong for them, but am really struggling with staying with him or leaving. My kids life will change drastically, loose the house, move far away, they loose their friends, for what? So he could stroke his ego? What type of man takes so much from his kids, so he can feel good about himself?
    I’m having such a hard time seeing a good future for me and my kids after all he has done. I want the best for my kids, but am not sure how to get it now.

  119. Anonymous

    My friends husband of 8 yrs had an affair with her friend. Their child was 6 at the time. The husband is marrying the mistress now since the divorce is final. Dad had the child propose marriage to the mistress with him. The mistress/wife wants to be stepmom. I worry about the damage this father has done to his son. Before dad walked out, mom and dad never argued. Life was normal for the child one day, upside down the next. He knows dad had a relationship with this woman. He knows the woman was moms friend. He now has to visit this woman taking moms place with dad. He knows how much this has hurt mom. What does the future hold for this boy as he grows into an adult?

  120. Anonymous

    I am 20 years old and this year I found out that my dad had an affair. My parents are still together and working it out, and I often feel that even though my mother has forgiven him I will never be able to. For all of you who think that your kids seem okay with your affair or that older kids and teens are mature enough to not be effected, its just another selfish lie you can add to your long list of selfishness and deceit. I used to view my dad as a superhero and a role model, and now I look at him and picture him fucking some slutty woman. He is now only a whore to me who put himself first and tore our family to shreds. You people who post on here abput having affairs disgust me… IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY WITH YOUR SPOUSE GROW SOME BALLS AND DIVORCE THEM BEFORE SEEING SOMEONE ELSE YOU OLC LOSERS.

  121. Anonymous

    As an adult whose Mother had an affair, with my Father’s Brother In Law. I have long suffered anxiety, depression, substance abuse and many emotional and trust issues. I don’t think my Mother truly understands the damaging effects this had on me. To this day I still at times feel like my childhood was cut short somehow. Superficially my Mother and I have a good relationship, but it is very superficial, and she still tries to have a stronghold over my life. My Father and I have a more genuine relationship, but it’s very shallow. As I don’t have much trust in him either. These issues presented over 20 years ago, and from that day on nothing has been the same for me. I function well in society, but mostly live to please others. Because I believe deep down if I could have pleased my parents enough, maybe this wouldn’t have happened….. Maybe? I don’t really know. But it’s damage done, the scars have healed, but the hurt never stops, and the wonder never ceases. In a lot of ways both of my parents still treat me like I am the age I was when the affair occurred. They both very much keep me in the dark over things, and are ridiculously generous. I gather there’s nothing I can do to resolve these issues, but to all those who have experienced similar, I completely feel your pain and understand your anguish.

  122. Anonymous

    So happy i found this site. I found out my father was having a affair over nine years ago, in one fell swoop my happy life stopped. I have never divulged this secret to anyone except a best friend and my current partner of six years. The depression, feelings of guilt and anxiety never leave me. The worse thing is no one ever did find out, it was clear after a year the affair had ended (home on time, not secretive with his mobile phone) and I somehow managed to go forward. My parents are still together, seem very happy (obv everyone argues) and even run a successful buisness together. I moved city, i think subconciously to get some space and am so jealous of my other two siblings who don’t have this huge worry. My mum and dad call regularly and I even go home once a month for fear of them asking why i’m not around. I love my mother beyond words and I didn’t say anything because I couldn’t bear to see her alone. I wish I had, there was an oppourtinity when I could have told her, selfish as it might seem, at least then I could pass the problem on. Its my sisters wedding in a few weeks and all i think off is the moment my dad gets up to say his speech and I’ll have to sit there with a smile plastered on my face when I really want to scream at him for effectively ending my life and creating this huge emotional rollercoaster. I would ask for help or advice off people from this page, but really my choice is simple. Tell my dad or mom I know what happened and ruin a family or don’t say anything and at least save some happiness that I haven’t caused the same pain to everyone that I feel everyday.

  123. Anonymous

    My name is Joe, I’m 23 and in my first quarter of university at UC Davis. My father disclosed his affair to me over the phone this summer before leaving to school. I had always suspected this because he told me how unhappy he was with his marriage (my mom has bipolar disorder). When he told me this over the phone, all though had suspected this, I was shocked and extremely hurt. More over, he told me to keep it a secret from my mom and brother (who is 18). He told me because his indiscretions caught the attention of his superiors at work; the woman he cheated with was a coworker. What was particularly disturbing was that the woman was 23, my age! I was disgusted quite frankly. But I am the type that clams up and takes pain into myself out of fear of hurting other people. Well I carried that with me, pretending like nothing happened for the summer. A few months later and I don’t even speak to him or my family anymore (do to more extreme drama the ensued just 2 weeks before I left for school). We just got into an argument tonight because I told my brother and to cover up his tracks he lied and said that he never had an affair and was testing his trust in me. WOW. Anyways, I’m not trying to scare anyone who had been unfaithful and wishes to tell their children, but do take into account that your affair could ruin your relationship with your child. As a side note, you owe it to your partner to tell them about your affair if you haven’t done so already. It is cruel to allow your spouse to believe that you’re husband/wife of the year while you were betraying their trust.

  124. Anonymous

    So I do choose to speak about it on a random website where I see my exact story played over and over again. It’s been almost 5 years I guess since it all started, and about 7 years since the initial deployment to Iraq (as a civilian this time). My father was usually deployed at various points troughout me growing up, as he was a member of the Special Forces group with the Army. This time he didn’t come back though. I am 31 now, and am married and have my own kids, 1 and 5, that he has never met. My mother didn’t deal with it very well, and she decided to move in with me when it all came out. She is remarried now too. Seemingly they have both moved on, and I have not. My old dad now has 3 new babies, younger than my kids, and I have no contact with him. I was raised to be honorable and confront life with what came, but he and his new family (she’s younger than I am) started their life about 16 hours away. As an adult, I probably could have made a little more ground if I could have confronted him, or even if he would have tried to explain anything to me. My feelings, rational or not, are that I was replaced.

  125. Anonymous

    Thank you for all these comments this has helped me so much. My husband of 25 years left his family for a woman 16 years younger then him. We have a thirteen year old son and we are both devistated, but what makes our story even harder is my husband had his affair when our oldest son was in the hospital battling cancer. He was 19 and later died. So not only did we lose our son which was devistating enough we had to deal with the affair also. We are both having a hard time with everything and can’t understand how a person can go from wonderful father to the monster he is now. He has been so mean and selfish. All he says is that he wants is to be happy. My son will not talk or go see his father and i cant blame him. The one time we needed him the most he left us for some young girl that dont even know what being a woman and a mother means. I hope and pray that one day we will be able to put this horrible time behind us but right now its very hard to do. His dad shows no remorse and believes he is doing nothing wrong and my son should want to be around him and respect him but it doesnt work that way. And please tell me how a thirteen year old is supposed to be around a step mom who is not much older than him. She hasnt had life experiences like we have she has no children and has never lost one to a terrible disease. My son and I are getting counseling but how do you get over someting like this ever.

  126. Anonymous

    I am 34 now, and am realizing how damaged I was/am due to my inability to face the wrongs done to me and work through towards healing my point of view about my life. – My dad had multiple affairs when I was a child. The head trip his authority and demands for respect did to my sisters and I was severely emotionally abusive. He actually took us on outings with his affair partner and expected us to think it was “ok” and to treat him with respect, and even not tell our mom. He passive aggressively threated us, manipulated us to not tell her. Our mom was actually suffering cancer at the time and undergoing cancer treatments in another town. They never said they broke up, only that she had to stay in another city (and took us with her) in order to get the treatments while he worked in our original city. No one ever addressed our feelings. We were dragged through the mud of what he was doing. And the pain my Mom was going through was… It was atrocious. In my adult life, I have been unable to attract and settle down with a man. I am 34 and not married. I didn’t start the family I dreamt of having. Deep down, I think I have to work through this garbage, the truth about the damage it did. And only then may I be ready and attract a fruitful relationship. I feel like my life was robbed from me. I feel exploited, used, and distrustful of men in general. I got into 2 really bad relationships that not surprisingly involved me being disrespected and used. My self esteem never really fully bloomed. When I was 27, my life was on track. I thought I’d finally found the one. Then my whole world shattered when he just casually changed his mind and cheated on me. Then I got into a verbally abusive relationship (of course he wasn’t that way in the beginning but I should have been able to avoid a person like that). I found myself thinking how my mom thought. Why can’t I be good enough for someone’s love and loyalty…I finally realized I needed to be good enough for my OWN! I have been practicing spirituality, learning better discretion and avoiding negative energy/bad men. My life is improving and I believe I will finally have the life I’ve dreamt of. And if I don’t get married at least I will have my own love, integrity and loyalty to the truth. I am taking back my life. To the person who wants to have an affair and thinks they can get away with it and also drag their kids through that mud…you have no idea how irresponsible you are…the reprecussions are many…and you will bring on horrible bad karma for yourself. Don’t do this to people. GET A DIVORCE. And make sure that everyone officially knows and understands that you have a new life now. Give some space and time for children to process things in a healthy way before you go on. Behaving selfishly on these things is WRONG.

  127. Anonymous

    Hi I grew in a family where my dad had an affair, my parents never split up and it was really hard for us to cope as he tried to conceal the affaur for years but we all knew. Your article was very helpful as it explains maany feelings I had as a young girl and also my sister was quite rebelious and got into a lot of trouble as she was my mother confindent, and you clarified the emotional and damaging effects of this. My parents are still in denial that this family dynamic affected us, we are still healing.

  128. Anonymous

    Number 39…You need to cut it off! No contact and be open and honest with your spouse. You end one relationship before you start another…live with no regrets. Do everything and anything to get your marriage on track..If that does not happen then divorce and start a new relationship. Your married lover needs to do the same..No contact.

  129. Anonymous

    My stepson is struggling with his father’s remarriage to me. His parent’s marriage ended after multiple affairs on his mother’s part. He is so angry and blames my husband for so much, to the point that he now prefers to live with his mother. I know that we haven’t handled things perfectly, hindsight tells me that. I don’t think he’s aware of his mother’s actions, although I know he must have been exposed (my husband travels quite a bit and the affair that ended their marriage was with his ‘best friend’). After reading some of the postings, I can’t help but wonder if some of his attitude (depressed, angry/sullen, withdrawn, expects that gifts or money are owed when he feels like he’s been wronged) is a result of what he’s been exposed to and maybe even any guilt he feels. I hurt for him, but am not sure how to handle the situation without causing further distress to my stepson or possibly harming my marriage.

  130. Anonymous

    “Anonymous Says:
    I am currently having an affair and it is the best time for our marriage in a long time. I am much less frusterated with it, and we are happier partners.
    October 14th, 2009 at 12:06 pm ”

    I seriously hate you.

  131. Anonymous

    my mother and biological father were together for only a few years when my mother found that she was pregnant with me, my father stuck around until i was around 2. before he left my mother and i he took us both to a resturant where this women who he was having an affair was working. my mother had no idea until they had been seperated for years. my biological father passed when i was eight years old i am now 16. i have a step dad who i regard as my only father. i have very little/ nothing todo with my biological fathers family. when he passed i have never seen my mother in such pain ever in my life stil till this day. he had another daughter and a wife they live in Ireland. His other duaghter is 9 the same age as my other sister (born to my mother and step father). my mother speaks of him when i was younger foundly but my grandfather has a different story to tell. its never easy to hear your biological father is a terrible person but his mistakes will never go away as long as i or my mother live.

  132. Anonymous

    Every child is different. My 12 year old son has been deeply scarred by the lies of his father associated with his affair. I have encouraged him to express his feelings and he does so with a maturity way beyond his years. If only his dad could open his eyes and ears to his sons needs he would be able to move on…but his dad dismisses his emotions very coldly, his role model has vanished, he feels abandoned by his dad who seems wholly unable to accept any responsibility for our sons fragile emotional state.It breaks my heart to see him so vulnerable.
    My 10 year old daughter has seemed almost relieved by our separation,forgiving of her dads unfaithfulness and equally comfortable in either of our company.
    At this point my son seems in greater turmoil than his sister, but I worry that my daughters feelings have been bottled(as were my own in similar circumstances as a child) to trouble her in later life.
    As the faithful parent I see my role in providing the unconditional love and constancy that they both deserve. Sadly my loved up ex partner seems to have little time for our son, openly treating our daughter more favourably and creating further conflict by so doing. Where my ex has expressed a lack of understanding and commitment to our older child I am beginning to question how much I should continue to encourage him to spend time with his dad as his time with him seems to be only further making him feel unloved. If only he could have waited to get into a new relationship until we had separated all this pain need never have been…

  133. Anonymous

    I am currently having an affair online through email and skype contact. We are both very much in love with one another and have been together for several months now. We talk online as often as we can and as often as it is safe to do so..although we are both still taking enormous risks. She has two grown up children; I have a young child and another who is grown up and now lives independently. WE want to be together. The difficulty lies in the fact that we are thousands of miles apart, and our lives are very different. The pain that will be inflicted upon our families is balanced against the pain of never being together. What should we do?

  134. Anonymous

    My precious daughter, at the age of 15, walked in on her father making out with my best friend when I was out of town. I will NEVER forget the moment that I received a frantic text message from her telling me what was going on and how they were trying to make her believe that she didn’t see what she saw! How dispicable of them both! My daughter is now 18 years old. I have tried and tried to make the marriage work because her first reaction was to ask me not to divorce her dad. As time passed after her discovery of the affair, things got worse and worse for her. She is now disrespectful and wants to move out of our home. I am working on helping her with her feelings and I have every intention of making a life just for the two of us now. My advice to all of you that are selfish enough to continue an affair when there are children involved is to stop. Just stop it. The children are the victimes here. You have no idea what your selfish actions are doing to your children and how all of this will affected them for years to come. Shame on you! Shame on you for taking their innocence and security from them. Shame on me for not dumping the jerk…

  135. Anonymous

    Hi, I am trying to decide if the time has finally come to explain to my 16 & 18 year old sons why I do not like their father or step mother, & why it is so hard for me to trust them. We divorced over 14 years ago & my husband married the woman he had been having an affair with for 5 years. I have struggled with co-parenting since then, but there is so much stress around different parenting styles & finances. I ask myslef why I want to do this now. I don’t think it is about getting back at my ex, or making my children dislike him. I would explain that what they did was wrong, & hurt me, but that does not mean they are bad people or bad parents. I guess I just need to relieve myself of the pressure of not being able to be honest about things. My 23 year old daughter knows the truth, & I have thought about asking her opinion but I don’t want to put the stress of making the decision onto her. If I ask myself why I haven’t told them yet, there are probably 2 main reasons: I don’t want to destroy their relationship with their dad; but mostly I am afraid of the anger etc that my ex & his wife will erupt with, as I know my sons will tell them. I have no doubt their father will lie about it, & they will abuse me for bringing the boys into adult affairs (pardon the pun). Then my sons will have to choose who to believe which I am not sure will be good for them. So I guess it is about me. But I am SO TIRED of all this. I am ready to tell them to live with their father full-time so I don’t have to deal with him anymore.

  136. Anonymous

    I can’t stop taking in all your experiences. I am trying to figure out how to handle my situation. I am a mother of a 1 yr old, and my husband had an affair for our whole 7 year marriage and basically lived a double life. He has a 1 yr old with her, too. They are only a few weeks apart. How in God’s name am I suppose to handle this so my daughter and this poor little other child can grow up emotionally happy, stable, and “normal?” The other woman is insisting I wrecked her family, like I’m the homewrecker. I didn’t know they were even together. I think she’s saying this in writing so she can turn her kid against me when he’s older. She actually wrote that I was evil because I attended the visitations and she claimed I was attending in order to cause her pain (??). I attended the visits because they were at my house where my husband lives. I was trying to be supportive of the situation. These poor little babies need to grow up with stability, security & LOVE. How can I achieve this? I have withdrawn and emotionally checked out. Should I check back in and give it another go?

  137. Anonymous

    My father had an affair and at least three children with the woman. He was a playboy and a party man. He was very handson, and five years younger than mom. Mom made the family, kept it together met our needs. She relied on her Baptist faith. Father never went to church. My mom was orphaned at an early age, my father was abandoned by his young parents who were parents to soon. Both mom and dad are dead now. Only one of us ten children are in a successful relationship with a partner, of the five girls and five boys, only the youngest brother has a wife. We all have had relationships and all have children, but the relationships did not last. We all hated that man and his cheating and the shame we felt because it was known by the community in which we lived. Now one of the children from the affair wants to be acknowledge by our family but noone can accept him. Some of them even invaded his funderal and set up front. Our father had the affair that brought him into the world, not us. He lives on the street and is mentally ill, it’s best he finds his way with his own family. This is how parents cause children to suffer even in death.

  138. Anonymous

    After 16 years of marrieage, my ex husband left our family 3 years ago for another woman. Their affair had been ongoing for quite sometime and both of them were married with 5 children between them. The hardest thing for me to accept is that my ex wants to re-write history and says we should never have been married. he is so hurtful and controlling now…was he never who I thought he was…is that possible? Our three children were devasted though our youngest understands little. Our older two knew her and her family and are very morally grounded. They have chosen not to have him in their lives at this time. We are getting along okay…have a new home(after having to leave our marital home). The children seem good and tell me often that they are…am I to believe that or not? In these posts it makes me wonder if I need to be pressing them more and push them toward reconciling with their father or something…please advise. This has been the saddest time in our lives…how can people act this way?

  139. Anonymous


    I just turned 50 and still HATE my mother for her affairs she had during my childhood and adult life. She did have a very hard life and was divorce for decades before meeting her second husband during an affair.

    The last affair (the guy she married) wife was on her death bed.

    He said if she got well, she would leave my mother and go back to his wife. How sick is that.

    I have not spoken to my mother in over 15 years (until this year when SHE called me). He second husband died and she needed my support. She was like a scared child.

    I did not help her. I told her to leave me out the obituary because I did not want to be associated with that family.

    I do not trust people after her affairs.

  140. Anonymous

    My ex-husband left our 25-year marriage for an affair and it was devastating to me and my two children (ages 16 and 21). We were a close family and the loss is unmeasureable. My son (21) talks to his Dad on ocassion but rarely sees him (and they live a block apart). He tells me that seeing his Dad just reminds him of all that he’s lost. My daughter has refused any contact with him for over a year. I’m sure this is breaking my ex’s heart but he continues in his affair and drifts further away. On the surface, we’re all doing ok. Kids are doing well in school and social life. But the affair ripped apart this family – nothing could have been more damaging and we were so undeserving of that. I have to believe that if my ex could turn back the clock he would because no bubble could insulate him or us from the unspeakable pain his affair has wrought.

  141. Anonymous

    I am stuck in the middle of my mum and dad for the past 6 years. My mum asked me to lie to dad about where she had been and bribed me or blackmailed me with money to lie… It got to a point where I was drunk and broke down in front of my dad and told him….I have now moved over 100miles away from them on my own in Another city bcd I cent take it and it is just getting worse….,my mums going to divorce my dad, and is still seeing this man who is married dad has no one, his parents passed away not long ago,z he has no brothers or sisters, he hasn’t got that many friends, so he has no one to talk to and he has devoted all of his life to my mum, and everything he has done in their 26years of marriage was because of her to make her happy…. And my mum at the moment is in a depression mode and cries every night and is being horrible to my dad and I hate it I don’t know who to be worried about the most… It ticking around in my head…. I feel like since I was born, all the Christmases, all the good things we have done together is all fake, I cnt trust my own mum anymore I can’t trust people because ip seen what can happen between them two. I cry all the time wondering what to do, I stress myselfmout everydqay tryi not to think of it, what’s dad goin to do when they break up, what’s going to happen to their house which my dad has made perfect for my mum and been crafting for the last 19 years since we lived their, what’s mum going to do is she going to find another partner? Will she try and get together with the man she’s having an affair with? I also feel angry all the time I want to just hit that man who my mum is having an affair with If I ever lay my hands on him I wouldn’t know what I’d do…..I’m only 19,and this all started when I was13 , so these are the e,emotions I am feeling, so whoever this lady is who has written this it is all true,

  142. Anonymous

    The impact never ends. I am a 55 year-old woman and I am dreading attending my high school reunion because of my mother. She had a long running affair with the father of one of my classmates. This affair, never admitted at the time, destroyed my homelife and turned my house into a battleground. My parents were always fighting and my mother was always sneaking around. We kids suspected the affair but my mother did not admit it until a few years ago when my sister suffered a mental breakdown of sorts. Even then, she was not repentant. She is an extremely arrogant person who thinks her refusal to “care about what other people think” is a strength not a weakness. When my sister and I finally confronted her about the affair, she told us we had no room to talk because we had dated losers. We were single, we told her when we dated “the losers”. It was hardly the same thing. Both my mother and the other man have been involved in politics and have an extremely high profile in my small town which makes the sordid mess even more humiliating because we have to deal with the hypocricy of my mother acting holier than now all the time in public. I escaped all of this for many years but now it seems that the resentment and embarrassment are coming back. When my mother had surgery a few years ago, this man had the nerve to phone my house and leave a message asking how she was doing. It is as though we are now — after decades of lies — supposed to “know.” I am so ashamed and I really do not wasnt to see my old classmate, who also, I suspect, has been traumatized by this. She moved to another country but is back for this.

  143. Anonymous

    My father had an affair with his secretary, who also was a babysitter for my sister and I. The affair went on for appx 2 years before it was disclosed. I was 14 when the divorce was final. A few months later my father married his mistress and I was basically forced to accept it and act like nothing was wrong. Nothing was ever discussed about the incident with my father. They are still married and I am 27 years old now. I have suppressed many memories from that time. It’s almost like there is a span of a few years that I almost have no memory of. I have now been having many emotional issues with this that I have never really had. I am suddenly very angry and upset. I have dreams about it and wake up crying. I can hardly look my father or her in the eyes now. I do not know what to do about this. Do you have any advise about what is going on with me and how to fix it? Thanks.

  144. Anonymous

    I am currently involved with a man and have been for 5m…I am divorced and his divorce is final next week…we did not get involved until after we were seperatate…but we were all friends before (me and my ex and him and his soon to be ex)…we each have 2 children (7yr, 6yrs, 3yrs, 2yrs)….We have just let the kids know that we are “dating” in the past month…we havent seen any backlash from the situation but his ex wife is certain that us being together is going to scar the children forever and we are all going to hell…any suggestions as to how and ease the transition for the kids…I know they will have questions but I feel if we are strong and happy and support them we can get them thru this feeling happy and secure. This man and I are planning to marry and have a future together. I dont want to hurt my kids but I love this man deeply. Any advice would be very helpful

  145. Anonymous

    I was a young girl (10 or 11 years-old) when I found out/sensed that something was amiss with my mom and that she was having an affair. The worst part was that no one else in my family knew…neither my dad, nor my sister, so I had to hold on to this secret all by myself. In my 20’s I confronted my mom and she admitted to me that she did have an affair, and it wasn’t until I went to therapy in my mid/late 30’s that I realized how traumatic this secret was. My parents are still together, and a few years ago my mom told my father. He was hurt and shocked, and although they’re still married, he’s “checked out”, and my mother basically loathes herself. I rarely come across information from the child’s point of view, specifically the child who knew of the affair when the other spouse didn’t know. I’m shocked at how blase so many married couples are when exposing their children to their affairs. My dating relationships have suffered greatly, yet I am determined that this trauma will not stop me from having a great marriage myself one day.

  146. Anonymous

    When I was 10 I found out that my mother had an affair with my pastor. I am 19 now and I haven’t believed in anything in 9 years. I have never had a boyfriend because any time a guy i like gets close to me I become physically ill and have to end things before they even start. I mean, who wants a girlfriend who has to run to the bathroom to have diarrhea every 10 minutes they are with them. I have never let my parents know that I know about the affair and I fear it would destroy them if they ever found out. The day I found the letter in my dads sock drawer was the last day i ever believed in love, God, or truth. I became a machine, and barely spoke a word until high school when destructive drug use finally allowed me to stop feeling so hurt. Numbness was better than constant pain. I held state records for cross country running before the age of ten, however once the apathy set in I never cared enough to run again. I was the smartest kid in all of my classes but I stopped caring about school and did just enough to squeak by. I didn’t brush my teeth or hair for six years. I am a poster girl for what a careless affair can do to a potentially wonderful human being. Never have an affair- you are essentially murdering your child. I will never be normal. I only stay alive now because I love my younger brothers (who do not know of the affair and are too young to remember the fights) more than anything in the world and unlike my mother I can foresee the consequences of rash actions.

  147. Anonymous

    i just found this out today,i am 16 and i dont even know who i am any more

  148. Anonymous

    my dad died the day i found out he has been cheating on my mom for the past ten years. He was my hero, but now he is only a zero. That hurts

  149. Anonymous

    I am in a relationship with a man (45) who is from a family who’s mother had an affair with one of his fathers friends. He was about 12 when all this happened in his family. The friend was also married. They both left their spouses for each other. Now you have to remember what era this behavior was occurring. The shame and secrecy of something like this was monumental in society. (b His father then went on to remarry a woman 15 years his junior only to end up in yet another divorce…but not before producing yet another child…(the step-brother).
    We have spent 8 difficult years together.
    I come from a background of parent’s preparing to celebrate 50 years of marriage and they still are close to the same friends I knew as a child.
    Our backgrounds are polar opposite.
    I have only recently been able to come to terms with knowing I may have to leave inorder to protect my own emotional happiness and well being. I have tried to help him recognize that the anger, distrust, blame, and lies he projects toward me is not because of me or my life.
    I am seeing first hand what his parent’s choices have done to his emotional health and intimacies. I have chosen not to gather with his “families” at all….. only to again be attacked with anger, blame, and
    insults to my family. I know where this pain comes from. It is very sad to see….and as a woman of compassion I feel for his pain. However, I also know that if he continues not to hear my concerns and chooses denial over accountability, I will need to move away from the relationship….and that means allowing him to again feel abandoned.
    If anyone is in a similar situation, I suggest you first ….DO NOT threaten to leave if things don’t change…..find a way to say first…you are not leaving…Otherwise, they hear abandonment. Tell them you know they are in pain and are angry because of things in their past……If you can reach them with calm and loving understanding, they might be able to not only respect you but,feel trust for you. They first need to know they will not be abandoned. Intimacy has become their enemy…. Intimacy is pain for them, it’s distrust, it’s abandonment….are you following me on this?
    If I do leave this relationship, I will know I had tried to show compassion,trust,love, and all other healthy emotions you can offer to the most intimate person in your life.
    Good Luck to all those hurt by situations like this…If I can offer advice with a great sense of compassion for those who hurt…..let someone in that truly wants to be there. Find out first of there own childhood. Did the same things happen? This IS NOT a reason for relating and falling in love…on the contrary, this could become toxic for you both!
    Look beyond any yearnings to have someone/anyone in your life. Look long and hard at their ways of handling emotional issues of intimacy.
    and most importantly yourself….Know if you betray the trust, begin to blame,develope secrets,….you are not recognizing the pain within yourself.

  150. Anonymous

    My dad 36 met a girl 22 on Twitter. He talked and texted her and called her his spoulmate. In the months since it has been better. I read this article because he is going to a concert out of state alone this week. It scares me that this isn’t what he is really doing. I am 18 and even though my parents are working on it, my mom went on happy pills, I’ve already experienced EVERYTHING except suicidal underneath the adolecence section. I withdrew, began acting immaturely, i’ve been contemplating doing sexual activites with a guy friend, I’ve drank, I tried cutting even though I’ve always been vehemetly against it, I even get panic attacks from anxiety. I’ve always been very close with my parents, I’m the oldest, and I’ve always been affected by their arguements even when I was 3 or 4. I can’t descibe the hurt and pain this kind of mistrust puts on a child

  151. Anonymous

    I need an answer I just just did something that I might of screwed up, I told my daughters of my affairs I have had and not sure if that was right. I told my 13 year old daughter and she was understanding and she told me she is not mad. But I have been reading responses from other people who have been through it and im worried. My other daughter is 15 and she was upset but told me she is not mad at me. My husband knows of these affairs and tells me that he cannot stop me and so I have continued a little more. He does not give me the right attention to help our situation so thats why I have continued a little. But now im worried that screwed up by telling my daughters about my affairs. Please answer me if I screwed up my daughters.

  152. Anonymous

    My family has broken up due to an affair and my parents didn’t force their arguements upon me, make me chose sides, tell me secrets etc. They acted in my best possible interest as best they could. Yet still i went through three years of minor depression (, receded to act immature, closed myself off, was sullen and felt horrible most of the time). I now have a huge mistrust in people and find it truely hard to open up to people, to the extent that for those three years i chose not to go out or have friends over (,luckily now out of the depression i am in a more capable position to deal with my emotions and the situation). My mistrust is that that this is the first real time ihave taked of how the affair affected me. I am putting this post on here as i believe it paramount that parents should know that what they do in an affair will be devastating beyond believe, and what is visible to them once the child knows of the affair and split is only the tip of the ice burg to what is running through their adolecent mind. (I was thirteen at the time). I found the description of the affect on the adolescent near perfect. As i luckily had parents that did not use and abuse me in the battle of the affair. Yet i still had many issues, so an adolescent who is abused by the parents, like telling secrets by parents to them etc. will cause huge implications in the adolescence development for their entire child hood till 18 and maybe beyond that. It will affect their personality and their friends. The only way i got out of my depression was the complete cut off from my dad who had the affair,as this was the poisonous parent, which had made me question morality, trust and friendship.

    A childs/adolescents trust is strong in their parents but so fragile that once broken it shatters to a million pieces and will never be fixed to look brand new, but will always be fregmented and chiped if rebuilt.

  153. Anonymous

    well i am currently going through crisis and finding my families current affair to be so overwhelming. I am 22 years old and still living with my parents. My older sister and support has moved out so I feel very alone. I was 13 when i found out about my fathers affair with my mothers best friend. My father is a very emotional man and my mom is completely opposite. I grew up being told to toughen up and never cry. I have never heared my mother say i love you and never heard my mother say those words to my father either. For these reasons i understand why my father would look elsewhere. Its inevideable, everyone wants to be loved. I still cant forgive him though. I am extremely close with my dad so I am stuck in a hard spot. After about 5 years of knowing about his affair, with my moms best friend whom always comes to my house and family functions, i finally had the courage to tell my sister. We suspect that my mother knew of this affair because she would make allegations to him but she has not done anything to stop it. She may be in denial, not have sufficient eveidence or feel to dependent to leave. After about 9 yrs of holding in this secret, we have recently found out that mother is beginning to have an affair aswell. This angers me beyond no end, more than my father and i dont know why. I think it is because I heard my mom tell this man she loved him over the phone, and those are words she was never able to say to me. She is so nieve in thinking that i dont know about her affair. She talks on the phone in another room, asks me how to delete messages on the phone, etc. She has even asked my how to spell i miss u. (My mom is portuguese and not very good at spelling english). What do i do??? I cant take it anymore. Everyone in the house knows about the affairs and walks around pretending it doesnt happen. My sister and I have approached my father and he denied everything. He said the marriage is fine and that this women is just a family friend. After i told him i know everything, have seen emails, heard conversations he continues to lie. I told him that i hate this women and no longer want her in coming to the home. Rather than respect his daughters emotional plea and wishes, he brought her over 4 weeks later and has since come three times in the past 2 weeks. Please help me I cant take the constant reminder and tonight im loosing my mind. My boyfreind and sister tell me to ignore it since they have made their choices in life but i cant go on. I live with my parents and hears conversations EVERYDAY. Im reminded and asked by my mother to help cheat although she conceals her actions. I cant imagine forgiving and forgeting. I just want my family back and feel like noone understands what i am feeling. I am currently graduating University and rather than being happy i am more depressed than ever. I have begun having physical signs of anxiety and fear my relationship wiith my current boyfriend of four years. I cant trust him and feel like im scared to marry him out of fear that he will do the same later on in life. Please offfer me advice. I dont think talking to them will no longer help because they deny everything, my mother is so unemotional and would dis-own me. what else can i do for my own sanity?

  154. Anonymous

    All good stuff and thanks to everyone,,,, my thoughts whe it first happened it was like a vacume cleaner trying to suck me over, and out of who i am,,, some months have past,, it shocked my world,,, but to the kids it was a earth quake,,, i hope if any reads this please,,, be there for the kids,, they need the stable one,, and no one gave us this job to be the stable one,,, but we own it,,, i was told to move on,,, after some thought and long talks,,, being the best parent i can be is moveing on,,, the kids and i are now moveing on together,, even planing our first Christmas,, well really theire Christmas,, yes i am actually letting them decide,, what and how it will be,,, so yes move on with them,,they need you and youre time,, thanks from Colorado

  155. Anonymous

    this is very cool to do this for the parrents

  156. Anonymous

    my husband had on and off again affair with a marriage and family therapist. She knew he was married and selfishly they both continued the affair. My children found out and my son wanted me to never for forgive him. He wanted to move and face whatever hardships we had to. He has had a hard time forgiving his dad. He says he can’t wait to graduate and leave home. My daughter idealizes her father. This woman was of a different nationality and I wonder the affects of that on her self image like the above post said. When you cheat it is not only on the spouse,but on the whole family. Everyone is robbed of time, affection,finances,and trust.

  157. Anonymous

    Well i am going through a tough time this may not be on the subject but my nan is having an affair and i dont know what to say to er i want to but i will just get very angry at her and i dont know how to put it across to her??

  158. Anonymous

    Thank you for this article. I wish I could have read it years ago to use as a road map for my life. I never realized that what I felt and how I reacted were completely normal considering the circumstances. At 5 years old, instead of confronting the situation, I ignored it until my father forced me to condone his affair with a woman who hated my mother. Because his affair lasted until his death when I was 15, my issues with him have never been resolved. It has now been 4 years since his death and I still pretend like everything is fine and will stop at nothing to protect my mother. I can only wonder that if I had seen this article earlier I could have steered my reactions into a better direction. Instead I am now consumed by regret and anger and incapable of trust. I still just want to know why?

  159. Anonymous

    My 44 year old husband is having an on line affair with a woman from Oregon, he met her in a chat room in July, she met him at a business meeeting in September, and she flew to town in December for a 4 day tryst. He moved out in November. My children are overwhelmed and afraid to ask him why? His father did the same thing to him. He is acting like a 17 year old and my 13 year old son knows it is wrong and wonders why his father does not think it is wrong. How can he give up his kids and think only of himself. He thinks that seeing the kids 1 day a week and daily texting is a relationship. My father left my mom when i was 40 and i still am dealing with it. What is wrong with men in this era??? How can they just walk away from a 16 year marriage and 2 kids 15 and 13???
    45 yo female, MN

  160. Anonymous

    I am so glad someone is addressing this. I was 22 when I and my sister discovered that our father was having an affair. It was 2 am in the morning and we heard him in the kitchen saying sweetheart to someone else on the phone. I remember saying “Please God not that, let it be drugs or gambling, but not that”. My mom was clueless until he confessed to all of us a week later. I remember screaming and saying I can’t believe you put your___ in another woman’s ____, you are only supposed to do that to mommy! I was enraged! I can still feel the adreneline rushing. My mom just sat there quietly sobbing then she started yelling. But I was the one going off! I thought my parents were perfect! They told me they were both virgins when they were married, so that was my goal. Unfortunately, 2 years later I lost my virginity. If that hadn’t happened I know I would have remained a virgin. I felt as though my dad had died. He looked so different. My mom kicked him out for a month or two. I even had the locks changed. My hair started falling out. I was scratching my scalp and totally unaware of my scratching until one day I parted my hair and their was a bald spot about the size of a CD. I had to get steroid shots. My dad did not believe that I could be that upset. When my parents reconciled I was not ready to forgive. I became very disrespectful, I just didnt care, I would come home late at night and sometimes the very next day, I just didnt care. When I lost my virginity (23)I felt like crap. The guy told me he would marry me so I gave in. Then he told my that I didn’t bleed when we had intercourse (my first time) and he ended it with me. At that moment, more of my hair fell out. It finally grew back(after more shots) and my family and I are all reconciled. We also went to counseling,all of us. Thank God for counseling!I am even a happily married newlwed of 2 yrs. But those events almost caused me to call of the engagement when I believed my fiance would do the same thing to me that my dad did to my mom. I did not want to tell my dad’s business, but I had to tell my fiance the reason why I would not trust him. It was like a lightbulb went on when I told him. I’m so glad I did.
    Thank you for allowing for these posts and continue to do research on the effects of adultery on children and adult children. People seem to think we are invisible, but it affects us throughout our lives too. If you know of an adulterer who has kids, please make them read my post. Maybe then they will get a clue!
    – Female, 30 yrs old, MD

  161. Anonymous

    My father started having an affair with a co-worker, who is now my step-mother, when I was about 1 1/2 years old. My mother did not find out until I was about 6 years old. Now I am 24 years old and in a serious relationship that feels like it is about to end. I am so afraid of being cheated on, and my self-esteem is so low; I just don’t feel like I am good enough for my partner and am fearful that because I am not the prettiest he will find someone better than me. The very thought of him wanting another women more than me, gives me a panic attack. I have actually turned into a maniac, and have realized that he actually prefers women w/ a different hair color then mine. It sounds so silly when I type it, but the feelings are real, especially because my father cheated on my mom with a woman who was a different ethnicity and hair color than my mother. Actually, my boyfriend is slightly more attracted to the type of woman my father had an affair with than girls that look like me. How can I get past this? Because my father cheated on my mother, I feel like I don’t know what love really is. It is not enough for him to tell me that he loves me with all his heart, instead I would prefer to be sexually idolized like the women he really fanatisizes about. Is there any hope for me?

  162. Anonymous

    My dad brought the mom of my best friend into the hotel room that i was staying in when i was in grade 5, i am now grade 11 and have kept it a secret and i feel like im using this as an excuse to make myself feel better when i know i am under achieving. Any suggestions?

  163. Anonymous

    My father had an affair when I was 13, and the effect it had on me was so profound and huge that now, at 20 years old, I still don’t regard him as my dad. He and my mother patched things up and are together now, and live with my 2 younger siblings while I study away from home, but that period in my life was a rude awakening. My younger siblings were too young to understand, and the way I found out was, the first time, by overhearing a conversation and the second by receiving a text my dad had meant for the woman he was having the affair with. Needless to say, I play men for all they’re worth, feel guilty for moving away to college everyday and have no intention of getting married and ending up miserable like my parents. In my opinion, it affects children more than the adults involved.

  164. Anonymous

    I am currently having an affair and it is the best time for our marriage in a long time. I am much less frusterated with it, and we are happier partners.

  165. Anonymous

    I was looking for writings about the effects an affair would have on children, who are forced to keep and cloak the affair from their Father. From my own experience I can tell you…the children get pretty messed up and they stay messed up. Unless they find someone to talk to. I am not a therapist, I lived this personally. It is selfish for a parent to force children to keep secrets. It is cruel. It is controlling. Which that my Mother was. Myself and my siblings all have had lasting lifeling grief from this I am sure.

  166. Anonymous

    Please don’t overlook adult children. I am 37 years old, and my father’s repeated affairs have ripped our family apart. He refuses to accept any responsibility for any pain he has caused me. Even though we are adults, we are still their children.

  167. Anonymous

    My wife had an affair with a married doctor with four children. One of his kids was suicidal in the hospital when they started the affair, another was either in rehab or about to enter it. The affair has precipitated the break up of two families and caused immeasurable pain and suffering to me and my two children. I cannot imagine how this must have effected his kids considering their conditions prior to the disclosure of the affair.
    My six year old daughter is having a difficult time with it all. She is not aware that we will likely lose the family home and she will have to change schools and daycare.
    Adultery is an extremely selfish act, especially when children are involved, as it clearly has life long effects.

  168. Anonymous

    What if one of the children involved is the child who was conceived as a result of the affair? How is this child going to be protected? In this case, mine, my child is the result of the affair. He has two with his spouse. She does not know, yet everyone else does. How can my daughter be protected as well as her siblings. I am contemplating on how to end the affair now. I do not now how to do this without harming the relationship he is trying to build with our daughter. All of the kids are less than two years old. He is a wonderful father, but obviously a questionable man. I never thought I would be in this position in my life. My exhusband passed away, and our daughter is now 10. I need to be a better person for her. She is one reason why I am suffering with my actions now.

  169. Anonymous

    My step-daughter was forced to be invovled in the lies her mother told her father. She is now 16 and seems to be secretive about what she does. I would appreciate more ideas of how to handle the after affects.

  170. admin

    Thank you for your comment. I will soon be writing on ways to help children through this difficult time to minimize their distress.

  171. Anonymous

    I believe that an impact on the child(ren) is inevitable in the case of an affair, but you make it sound like there’s absolutely no hope for your child following a split due to this. I think your article was very negative and should concentrate more on solutions than scaring parents to death!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.