Just found out my father is being unfaithful

My husband, baby and I have just moved to a new country to start fresh, and are living with my parents till we get on our feet.
In the last few months though, it has become increasingly obvious to me that my father - whom I have adored my whole life - is having an affair. An affair that has been going on for a long time. Last night I happened to be in the room when she called. I have no idea how to deal with this. I am devastated and disgusted. He has lied openly to his entire family. I know my mother knows on some level, and part of me wants to confront him.
Has anyone else been through this? Do you have any advice for someone who no longer believes or trusts her own father and doesn’t want to to even look at him?
Having just moved our entire lives to a new country has been hard enough (never mind becoming a mom for the first time!). Adulthood sucks!

I am so sorry and you and your family are in my prayers - if you are going to talk to him then make sure it is charitable. Maybe getting him a book on marriage or Theology of the Body may help - no one likes to hear these things from their adult kids but sometimes accountability helps too.


try to seek good counsel from a priest.

May the good Lord direct you during this difficult period. May he also help you to embrace the challenges of adulthood.

Well the first thing you need to do is confront him and let him know that this is unnacceptable and that he needs to confront his wife about it. If he doesnt, then you need to do it for him. lying like this is not okay. Once they know, you need to have them go to counseling or read some marriage books. I think your dad needs to block all contact with this person. If its been happening for a long time, then i assume he is already in love with this person behind your moms back. So I believe your dad needs to stop all contact with this woman. I dont care if he ‘loves’ her, he is married, and its unnacceptable. Any pain he feels from this, he brought upon himself.

Here is my opinion. (which some may argue). You are living in HIS house. If you do choose to comfront him, make sure you have somewhere else to live first because very few men what to hear from their daughter not to cheat. He will use any excuse to justify his behaviour and if you need his financial support, then he will hold that over you.


This is a very hard thing for a daughter to learn and to deal with–you have my sympathy. :console: Having said that, with all the tenderness of a mother, I think it best if you let him know you know he’s being unfaithful. You need to be kind, non-judgmental, and charitable when you let him know. Think of him as someone who is just a friend, and not your father to distance yourself from your personal feelings. And pray, pray, pray.

When you let him know what you know, tell him that if he hasn’t told your mother that he should, but don’t insist he do so. If he’s a Catholic urge him to go to confession and to stop seeing the other woman, but let him know that you will still be his daughter and still love him even if he can’t break free of her just yet. It is not up to you to tell your mother. He needs to do that because it is his sin and their relationship, not yours. As hard as it is to think in those terms, it’s what you need to do to keep the lines of communication open with him and to really help him. Also, you may advise him to seek counseling from a good Catholic counselor (if he’s a Catholic).

In a word, be gentle with him. Sinners need to be admonished, but with great love and respect for them as souls for whom Christ died. This is where we put our Christian love into practice–to love the unlovable. After all, Jesus died for lost sinners, even the worst. He redeemed us all, the good and the bad alike. He needs you to be a loving Christian right now more than ever, my dear. All the best to you. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

I’m sorry you are going through this and that your father has betrayed your mom’s and your trust.

Speaking only for myself, if one of my children stumbled onto this kind of information I would want them to keep their own counsel and not to assume a) that I don’t know about it and b) that I want them involved in any way, shape or form. I certainly wouldn’t want them to come and talk to me about it. The last thing I would want is to have them involved.

Undoubtedly her mother knows about this and has chosen not to confront him about it. Neither of us know her reasons for that but if you bring this to a head bear in mind you may be bringing on a confrontation your mother is not yet ready to handle. My recommendation is you pray.

first of all, iam sorry to hear this. affairs can ruin the stability of a family. and the trust the family has given freely to the perpetrator. so that being said, i’d sit your dad down and have a charitable talk with him. and ask him to have a talk with his wife. sooner or later it will happen. but if you do speak with your dad, ask him to stop the affair and tell him why. if he can’t do that for his wife and his chidlren,. well you have no control over it. pray and ask God for guidance. affairs can be very devastating, you can for yourself ask advice from your priest. as a matter of fact, i’d talk to him first before even considering approaching your father. take the priest’s advice as well. your dad is going to have to own what he is doing and move on from the affair and try to rebuild the trust with you and everyone else.
its not going to be easy for him to do so. but be kind, and be patient with him. give your dad the benefit of the doubt. i wish you well. God bless!

:thumbsup: This is exactly what I would advise.

It is not a daughter’s job to try to fix her parent’s marriage. My first recommendation is to speak with a priest. If the OP chooses to intervene I would go with Della’s advice.

you said your mom knows somewhat? what is it that your mom knows?

Whatever her mom knows, I don’t think it’s our business, really. I don’t say that snidely, but in plain, simple honesty. This man’s sin is between him, God, and his wife (if he needs to tell her–I think it best but he’s not under any obligation to do so any more than any other sin he has committed). Let’s not pump the OP for information. This is hard enough on her as it is. Yes? :slight_smile:

Just a word of caution, but make sure you are not falsely accusing him of cheating. The last thing you want is to confront him and then it ends up you were wrong. Then, your dad will have a different view of you. I’m not saying you are wrong about him being a cheater, I’m just saying it sounds like you have only bits of evidence.

I would say the relationship between he and your mom is just that, between he and your mom. If mom knows at some level it’s definitely between her and your dad. If you want to inject yourself into that situation I would do so with great caution.

Ill put it like this…
if you know for a fact that your dad is cheating, then thats one thing. If your mom ever asks you about it, then you should not lie to her. Meaning if she brings it up, you should tell her. And as for your dad, well… Hes going to have some explaining to do to god when he dies, thats for sure.

We’ve moved to an Islamic country, so I’m feeling very far removed from my parish and priest and more than a little isolated as it is. I can’t thank all of you enough for your advice and words of support.

Being a daughter who had held her father on such a high pedestal for such a long time… this has been very hard. And me being such a control freak, it’s very difficult to not insert myself and try to fix everything.

But you are right - this not for me to meddle in. It’s not my marriage, and if at least my mother knows subconsciously, I’m not going to force the issue and put her in this horrible place by saying anything.

This has affected my relationship with my father, but we are moving out of their house this week, so I will have some distance to figure out how to deal with the change it’s brought.

All I know what to do for sure is pray, and that seems to be the smartest thing to do right now.

Again, thank you everyone. You can’t imagine how your words have moved me.

It sounds like you have come to some very sensible conclusions. It’s always hard on us when a parent disappoints us in such a profound way. It makes us realize that they are just fallible human beings, after all. I’m glad our words have been helpful. Be assured of my continued prayers. May God grant you peace and happiness.

(((Hugs))) and prayers for you and your family. I can’t imagine how difficult this is for you :frowning:

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