Our heart breaks for those who have been the unwitting victims of a cheating spouse. It's hard to be blindsided by something so horrible with zero warning.
u/imnotfromomaha told us her story:
My Dad [M 43] cheated on my mom [F 43] - and my mom and I [M 19] found out because he sent an email meant for his new GF to us.
This a bit surreal for me so I apologize in advance for my emotion in this post.
I - along with my mom - discovered that my dad was cheating on her because he accidentally sent a message meant for his new girlfriend in an email to my mom and me. (What a fucking idiot, I know.)
As my parents have always fought, I guess I expected a divorce (I'm 19, no siblings, and they've been married 20 years), but I never thought about cheating. This is especially hard for me because I am close to my dad - he is my role model and one of the best friends - but this is so two-faced it gives me stomaches. Additionally, I am not very close with my mom.
The hardest part is that the email said that he "just got away" from my mom and me so he could meet up. In other words, he chose this person over being with me (and my mom) this weekend. I leave for sophomore year of college this weekend so to hear that he didn't want to be with me is extremely painful, and unexpected.
I'm writing because I need advice:
- How to approach my dad - right now I have no plans to talk to him, at least for a while. My mom - who I want to support in this especially difficult time for her - wants me to give him the silent treatment but tomorrow (before I leave) wants me to say all these things about how he lied to us, etc. she wants to keep the marriage, I'm 99% sure my dad wants to get a divorce. My mom believes that if I say the right things that make him reflect, he'll realize he's missing out on family things, repent, change, and come back. Personally, even though I think a divorce is solidified, I owe it to my mom to support her.
- How to approach topic with friends - my mom doesn't want me to tell anybody because I don't think anyone in our community would expect this, and as a result it'd become nothing but gossip and embarrassing. I have close friends that I certainly trust, but I'm worried that 10 years from now at my wedding or family events they'll see my dad and presumably new wife with such disgust. I don't want to be known as the kid with a dad that cheated on his mom, but I feel like I have to tell some people. I know my friends will support me, I just don't want them to look at my dad so negatively. He is an amazing father (except this does break my respect for him), just a bad spouse.
To all those who say my dad is not the villain: since when is cheating a way out? he could have just ended things. I appreciate trying to see his perspective but lying to me, avoiding time with me while I'm home for new girlfriend? Fuck.
TL;DR: My Dad cheated on my mom. My mom and I both found out in horrible way and know I want to know how to approach my dad and if I should tell my friends.
Here was some of the advice he got.
My mom believes that if I say the right things that
Oh God. No. This thinking is highly emotional, which is fair. But, it is not reality. Just nod until she clears her head. But, forget all that.
You are right, this is your family, and ramifications could last decades. So, even though you love your friends, I don't think you need to rush the cat out of the bag. I think you should get a counsellor. You need someone to talk to, end of. Get a pro to help you unload. Your friends don't benefit and aren't qualified to help in that regard anyway. No need to stress them out..
If you want to tell your friends, that's up to you. This is something that happened to you, nobody owns it. You can. But, you should honestly wait until you process it with a counsellor first. That way you don't go off sounding irrational like your mom, talking at the highest emotional time. That kind of stuff is hard for your friends. They can't tell you that you are wrong. They can't stop of you from doing things that will be bad for you...
You get it.. get a pro. That's going to guide points one, two, and help you through the list that grows from there.
I think your mom is putting you in an awkward position by asking you to influence your dad's decision regarding their marriage. Their marriage is their business and they need to sort it out between themselves and decide what to do next. Putting you in the middle of that is unfair.
If I were you I would concern yourself with your relationship with your dad as a completely separate thing from their marriage. You have every right to be upset and he has amends to make with you. Hopefully in time this will happen.
In the meantime, if you feel you need support, maybe identify a couple of close friends to talk this through with. Hopefully as your friends they will provide support without judgement.
No no no!!! Do not get between your parents on this one, their marriage is their business. You should t be asked to "say the right words" and win him back for her. If she wants to save the marriage, she needs to do it herself, and take responsibility for the things she did that have made the marriage bad as well, it will likely take couples therapy, but even you can see that it's over.
IF you talk to your dad, talk to him about it's impact on YOU. Tell him you feel like he had to escape you, and that he should have done this the right way instead of being a shameful cheater.
I went through something very similar to what you are describing- closer to my dad, dad cheated on mom during sophomore year of college, ditched us to talk to gf, mom emotionally manipulating me/putting me in the middle, etc. I cannot recommend counseling enough to give you the coping skills to get through this. I used my college's counseling services and it was a godsend.
- You cannot be the one to support your mom. She needs to find support elsewhere. You are going through your own grieving process through all of this and she is going to need a LOT more support than you are capable of providing.
- Tell your friends. I waited because my friends all loved my dad and I didn't want to taint their relationship with him or view of him. I wish I had told them sooner to help myself accept it sooner. You have nothing to be ashamed of, you did nothing wrong. I am telling you this as someone ten years on the other side of this incident, nobody will view you differently for your dad's actions.
PM me if you want to talk. I'm so sorry this is happening to you. Things will get better, hang in there.
I want to write my dad a letter and tell him he hurt me. But I'm scared I'lll come across as too emotional.
"Too emotional" isn't really a thing. This is an emotional situation and you have every right to feel how you feel about it.
Sit down and write out however many letters you need to. Decide after they're written if you want to send them.
Don't feel pressure to say things to help your mom or keep the family together. Your mom and dad's relationship is between them and they're the ones to work it out. As for not telling anyone; does your college offer any counseling services?
It's strange to me that he accidentally sent it to two people vs the mistress. It may still be unintentional but it's less likely to me. Could it be that they decided in the past to stay together until you were an adult and your mom wants to delay the divorce because she hopes to change his mind? Sending the email to you both would force her hand by informing you about the situation in an explosive way that's not easily ignored.
It's magical thinking that someone can say the right words to make the situation okay. The only thing that you might be able to do is to guilt him into staying in a relationship where he's unhappy. That's not fair to anyone. I would talk honestly to him about how you feel and ask questions to understand him. You can make the case for him staying with your mom if you still want to, but you need to understand that if the relationship between your parents is broken you cannot fix it.
I think you should cut your mom some slack. Don't do what she is telling you! But I wouldn't hold what she is doing against her either. Right now she is in free fall and not thinking straight at all.
Again - do not do what she wants. It is not your place to mediate your parent's marriage. They will figure it out on their own. I would recommend you advising your mom to confide in her friends, perhaps start seeing a counselor. Advise her to NOT sign anything from your dad until she has a lawyer look it over.
I'm sorry - but cheaters do not play fair during a divorce anymore then they played fair during their marriage. Protect your mother by insisting she get a lawyer.
Your dad is still your dad. You love him but now it is complicated. This is going to be rough. I hope you take advantage of counseling provided by your university. Learn how to enforce boundaries with both parents.
Understand though, that you are completely justified in your feelings towards your dad. You may eventually want to confront him about this - and that is your right. Don't be guilted into accepting his mistress. Don't be surprised if your dad is angry that you aren't happy for him.
Finally, don't carry your parent's secrets. It will weigh you down and eventually crush you. Tell your g/f. Line up counseling. Confide in your best friends. Take care of yourself. Your world just came crashing down, too. It's ok for you to be sad and mad and relieved all at the same time.
Don't listen to your mom here. She's going into damage control mode which is understandable but she's doing things wrong.
First, don't say what she wants about your family. If you say anything to him, say what you feel.
Secondly, tell your friends. Your mom is embarrassed but it's not her fault and nobody is going to think badly of her. And you're going to need your friends' (hopeful) support. Tell them. Talk to them, if they're good friends, about how you feel, because you need to talk to someone and your mom isn't the right person. Good luck man
Hey just so you know you don't have to do anything about this right now. You don't have to know how you feel, you don't have to know what to do, you don't have to have a confrontation. You will not get this figured out and resolved today. And you don't have to. Take time to feel how you feel without others input and then do what you feel is right when you feel it is right.
My mom suspects that my dad has been cheating on her. He vehemently denies it. What I have told my mom, and she hundred percent agrees with me, is that I will not get in the middle of it. It is wrong of your mom to ask you to play any role in their marriage or their divorce if it comes to that. You can support your mom emotionally, but remind her that you still love your dad and nothing will change that. I told my mom that if my dad was cheating on her, It is absolutely horrible and reprehensible, but it is a wrong against her, not a wrong against me, and I won't let it change my relationship with either of them. As hard as it will be, don't let yourself get in the middle. Don't condone the behavior, but stay out of it as much as possible.
You work hard for your money, you should be allowed to use it.
What's the most expensive thing you've bought?
Being an adult means sometimes, the most expensive thing you can buy, is something extremely practical and inoffensive.
Aw, That's Nice
"Diamond earrings for my mother. She believes that you can't buy diamonds for yourself, as a tradition, but no one has ever given her diamonds as a gift, so when I grew up and started earning money, I bought her earrings, she cried with happiness."
Should Have Kept It Small
"Small boat w/ trailer. Worst decision ever. I should've just gone with a kayak"
"Mountain bike. It cost more than any car I've ever owned"
"I only slightly regret the price because I should have gone higher. Yeti SB130 if you're wondering."
Treat Your Fingers
"An Ibanez Prestige guitar for 1500$. I've always played on normal priced guitars so wanted to try what the deal is with these higher priced guitars. The thing plays like a dream. Being new to a floyd rose bridge system, it is a pita but I'm sure I'll overcome this hurdle later. In case anyone is wondering, it is a model RG652AHM."
The most expensive thing you buy might not even be something you were expecting to spend a lot of money on. In fact, it might be something you didn't even plan on buying in the first place.
Something To Play On
"A ps4 at a third-world country."
"You think ps5 scalpers that sell the console for thousands of dollars are bad? That's cute. They ain't got shit on legit big stores that import the console legitimately and have to raise the price because of nasty import taxes."
"I bought a Gaming PC and the cost was like buying a Cheap Motorcycle in my country (Mexico)"
"Gaming in 3rd World Countries is hard , no wonder why everyone plays mobile games like Free Fire"
Do They Make Good Pets?
"I got pigeons as pets, 4 in total. My second pigeon I brought him (Pulgas) from a slaughter house cause I was looking for a mate for my first pigeon (Nieves). Well I ended up paying $20 for him and after a month he got really sick and we had to take him to the vet. After treatment and care the total cost was $550. And that's how I ended up with a $570 pigeon named Pulas, the little isopod of the house lol"Bormahu-3-
Buying Something That Might Explode One Day
"A freeze dryer. This thing had an 80 lb vacuum pump that ran on mineral oil and it could drop the air pressure of its chamber to below 300mTorr and the temperature to below -50 F. It would take about 36-48 hours to freeze dry 7 lbs of food. It was an electricity hog and probably could have exploded or caused a fire if operated incorrectly."
"I kept it in my parent's garage."
Looking at all the entries, for the average person, the most valuable thing you own might be the very thing you're living in.
Or clothes. It could be clothes.
"But it was worth it"
"Marriage is grand. Divorce is 5 grand."
Hurts Now. Pays You Back Later.
"Yep! And then all the things you need to work on in the house..."
"The Great thing about a house, though, is that while it is extremely expensive (absolutely the most expensive thing I have ever purchased by far) it is almost guaranteed to make you money over time. Where I live, housing is at a premium. We bought our first home a year and a half ago and it's estimated value has already risen $70 k. It's an investment that you also get to live in and enjoy. That's not something you can say about all expensive purchases."
It's A Storage Unit Full Of Useless Crap
"I'm going to clarify the question by adding "useless" to the sentence. The obvious answers as the question stands are going to be those big ticket items like a house or car, luxury or not."
"So what's the most expensive, useless item I have ever purchased?"
"Well, maybe useless wasn't the best choice but I bought an RV with a payout received from a court case. Should have paid bills or something. I rarely use it."
"I once dropped $3500 on "dress clothes" at Macy's only to never wear them because the office I worked at wasn't business formal."
"I pay monthly for a storage unit full of stuff I don't need or want but can't manage to get rid of."
"When I get a windfall like a bonus or stimulus check, I like to go on AliExpress or Joom and buy $2-300 worth of useless crap."
Don't fret over what you own. Enjoy it. There's no reason no to be thankful you could afford it in the first place.
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Rules are in place to maintain some semblance of order. But that doesn't mean they are always effective.
There are many grammatical rules that are broken, like nouns acting as adjectives, or nouns acting like verbs.
To explore this concept and to hear input from strangers online, Redditor Shabbydarstqc asked:
"What 'exception to the rule' do you live by?"
According to these Redditors, telling the truth doesn't always set them free.
"Being honest. There's times where the truth isn't always for the better."
"You can be honest but you don't have to tell them everything you know."
Feel The Room
"Actually, when you are saying the truth you should consider why you are saying it. If it's to make someone look bad or yourself look good, you should say nothing at all."
Reeling It In
"Everything in moderation, including moderation."
"Basically, exercise restraint and self-control, but not to an extent that it bars me from new experiences, and with the understanding that it's okay to be a complete, sloppy disaster person sometimes."
Generally speaking, we should all treat everyone with kindness.
But, when we're wronged, do we take it lying down?
"Be nice to everyone, you never know what they are dealing with..."
"Except the b*tch that made a huge scene about my disabled son in a packed store at the checkout."
So What Happened Was...
"My son was 5 at the time. He has Septo-optic dysplasia, schizencephaly, and autism. Basically, he's missing two parts of his brain, had brain surgery for a large mass from the schizencephaly, totally blind in one eye and tunnel vision in the other. (It's honestly a miracle he is as functional as he is)."
"Anyway, we were behind the woman currently checking out. There was coloring books at the end of the check out line. He asked if he could look at them and I said that's fine. So he starting flapping his hands while walking that way because he was excited. The side she was standing on was the side he can't see out of. While flapping, his hand grazed her backside and she went off that he groped her. Yelled and pointed in the store that my 5 year old, that you can physically see is disabled- sexually assaulted her by groping her butt. Thankfully he had no idea the scene was about him because he was looking at the coloring books at that point. Im not one to yell, especially in public but I did. Then went to my car and cried wondering how many people like this he's gonna have to deal with in his life. It sucked."
It's all a matter of preference for these Redditors.
Being In Control
"Everyone in the neighborhood hires a lawn service to mow, weed, and trim their properties."
"I do my own - not because I can't afford it, but because I prefer the results when I do it myself."
"100%, same for food."
"$15 at home gets you a family meal and maybe leftovers, tastes good, decently healthy."
"$30 out gets you a family meal that is kind of meh, too salty and probably too greasy."
"Home Ec is a dying art."
"All things sugar free - except my coffee."
"Hah I'm the other way around. I love sugar, but keep it away from my coffee."
A Matter Of Taste
"Vegetarian except for lobster corn chowder."
"In my defense, the haters claim there is no actual lobster in the chowder so that's my excuse for eating it. It's been so long since I've had actual lobster that I forgot what it tastes like."
Going Off The Footpath
"Shoes. I just don't wear them unless I'm snowboarding, my boss is gonna show up to work, or I plan on doing a lot of walking around outside in the snow."
"I don't care about the needing to wear shoes signs at places."
As a general fan of cinema, I am open to watching all genres of film.
I'm also a huge fan of horror, and I can take bloody carnage, and everything having to do with the supernatural.
However, there is ONE film I refuse to watch, and that's Human Centipede.
Seriously, why would anyone ever watch it? I don't have to see it to know it is gratuitous and made for shock value only.
I challenge anyone that might argue it has artistic integrity. And if they try to make me watch it to prove a point, I just might allow them the win if only to spare me from puking my guts out.
Secrets, lies, and betrayal. That is often the foundation of a family. We can go through life thinking our families are perfect and everyone loves one another, that's the training that keeps us from searching for the skeletons in the closets.
But our secrets will always find a way to break free. We may not even be alive to see the outcome, which is anti-climactic, but they will be out of the dark eventually. And once we learn what some loved ones are hiding, life as we know it can be obliterated.
Some secrets may best be buried. So be really sure you want to know everything.
Redditor u/mykirto wanted to hear about all the family drama they've been uncovered, by asking:
What is the most f**ked up thing you found about your family?
My family has a history that includes the mafia, the FBI, murder in an asylum, alcohol, drugs... the list is endless. And I'd rather just watch Days of Our Lives.
Family IssuesStephen Colbert Love GIF by The Late Show With Stephen ColbertGiphy
"My mother told me that my dad, wasn't my real dad, drunk one night when I was 16. That was 31 years ago. To this day his side of the family still thinks I'm his."
Show me the $$$
"One of my uncles borrowed $20,000 from my other more successful Uncle to start a business and refuses to pay his more successful brother back because he's "got so much money already". The more successful uncle refuses to sue him because that's not what family does, but they are no longer on speaking terms."
Mum is crazy...
"My great-grandmother helped cover up a murder. Claimed the guy was a psychopath and attacked her daughter and granddaughter for no reason. In actuality, my mum was going through a phase where she would try to get men turned on by rubbing her arse on them. This guy pushed her off and told her to screw off."
"My mum took offence to this and claimed the guy was trying to take her clothes off. My grandmother, who was on all the drugs, came out of her room and stabbed the guy to death to protect her daughter. My mum told the truth after the guy was dead and they came up with a cover up story so that they wouldn't get in trouble."
We were on a BREAK!!!
"My grandpa and grandma broke up for a few weeks in August 1962. In that one week my grandpa got drunk one night and got the woman living across the hall from my grandma pregnant, and my grandma had a fling with a married man while on the late shift as a bartender and got pregnant herself. My grandparents got married and my grandma passed my aunt barb off as my grandpas child."
"The other woman gave my aunt Joyce up for adoption. Both were born exactly a week apart. 30 years later my mom was getting married and visited my Grandmas sister to hand out wedding invitations. My Grandmas sister decided that was the perfect occasion to tell my mother out of nowhere that my Aunt Barb was not my grandpas biological daughter. My mom was shocked and confronted my Grandma after the visit and who denied it."
"My mom then decided stupidly to keep it secret. It was kept a secret from my Aunt Barb for 40 years until my aunt Joyce found my grandpa and looked exactly like him. That is when my aunt Barb had a DNA test done and confirmed she wasn't his daughter. It took my aunt barb 17 years to find her real fathers family and she finally found them last year. They all accepted her into the family."
WTFSteve Harvey Reaction GIFGiphy
"My Dad lives in his car and is only given enough money for basic food and is only allowed in the house to clean it. He's more of a household servant than anything."
Yeah, that is a whole lotta mess. That's why sometimes you just have to change your name, or fake your death. These people are crazy.
CaptorFrustrated Skip Bayless GIFGiphy
"I have done extensive genealogical research and found that my maternal family enslaved over 700 human beings."
"My grandad had sex with everyone of my grandma's 5 sisters, over about 40 years, 3 he had long term affairs with. It all came out at my grandma's 60th birthday party when everyone had too much to drink. Fun times, trying to get between several old women, trying to prevent them from punching one another."
"While cleaning out a relative's house after his funeral, we discovered that the family member was virtually on a first name basis with every major law enforcement department (city, state and federal) within a 100 mile radius. Among other things, he had consulted on FBI cases."
"He wore his disdain for all politicians openly. So, imagine our surprise to discover that he'd been invited to almost every Presidential inauguration within the last forty'ish years. I never had any illusions that I ever truly knew this family member. But if I had, they would've gone away after discovering all that stuff."
"My great grandfather would lock my uncle in one of those big metal toolboxes you sometimes see in the back of trucks for hours as a form of punishment when he was a kid. I can't even imagine how hot it must have been being locked up outside in one of those during the summer. He must have been terrified. I see now why my uncle's a drug addict with a crap ton of mental health issues. And that's not even the worst thing my great grandfather did but that's not my story to tell."
Lord DNA can be messy. And now I want to know even less of my family's past. I'm going to cancel my Ancestry DNA package. Let's be strangers.
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There are some things that society just seems to expect adult humans to be able to do, but it looks like not everyone got the memo.
Whether due to never being taught, or a simple inability to pick up the skill no matter how much you practice, there are some things that some folks just can't do.
I was a teenager before I was finally able to properly ride a bicycle, and even now I'm not a stranger to falling off. Let me tell you: flying over the handle bars of a bike hurt a heck of a lot more at 25 than it did at 15.
Reddit user DeterminedGames asked the folks over on AskReddit:
Whistle While You Work
I can't whistle.
I'm certain it has something to do with the shape of my mouth and tongue. Been trying to whistle for 20 years and all i've managed is a very deep single tone that sounds like wind through an old building lol
Ugh I even watched YouTube tutorials and read a whole wikiHow article and I am still unable to do it.
Sticking With It Is Hard
Long-term passion for an activity.
There are people who remain active in a single hobby or club for decades. I can't do that. I burn out on most things after a couple months max.
I'm the same but I've convinced myself it isn't such a bad thing.
I enjoy trying new things and I'm kind of the 'jack of all trades but master of none' type, which I think is probably more useful in day to day life, rather than being really specialised at something.
I’ve always struggled with that. lately I’ve been trying to wrap new hobbies into my old ones. Oh, you’re tired of woodworking but doing photography? Guess what we’re filming your woodworking now!
Is It Worth It, Though?
Neatly folding the laundry. Usually it looks... acceptable. Unless it's a fitted sheet, then it just looks chaotic.
Shower thought: but is it worth it?
I can’t roll my R’s
So I’ll never be able to properly speak Spanish or impersonate AOSTH Robotnik
Same, my mother tongue has a lot of rolling Rs and I just never clicked it. It's taken me years of practice to even manage to do it properly occasionally, and if there are a lot of consonants around the R, there's no way I'm gonna say it right. People frequently laugh at my pronunciation of certain words in said language bc I sound like a lil kid or that dude in the Princess Bride. Meanwhile my younger brothers, who've lived in the UK all their lives, can speak the language with perfect accents. :/
Words Are Hard
I forget words and end up silent or saying something really stupid and then it's awkward.
I feel that, people always seem to have every word they need ready, and I'm just sitting there thinking of a single world that fits the situation...
I feel you. Sometimes I’m at the end of my sentence and then just forget the last part. I just give up on the sentence when that happens. Sometimes other people finish the sentence for me which is pretty awkward.
As Long As It Works
I can only tie my shoes by doing bunny ears
Yeah same and I don’t give a damn that I can’t do it the ‘adult’ way.
What's That Look For?
When someone gives me 'a look' I have absolutely no idea what they mean
People shouldn't always expect people to pick up on subtle signals, even if they think it's very obvious themselves.
And then they get mad because I couldn’t understand the “weshouldgotalkoutsidewhiletheyaregoingtodancesothatwecanbealoneandeatsomefreepizza” look. what the f**k?
I can't even make straight lines due to my hands being so shaky. Fortunately I can get around this by using art programs with bézier curves and other shaping tools.
Drawing is an unfathomable mystery to me. I just don't understand how people can do it. I've never been able to.
Talking to people randomly. I can carry the conversation for hours with literally anyone, but they have to initiate it
My brother is 48. He mostly has his same friend circle as we did in high school. Other people can be around for years but if they haven't initiated a conversation with him. He doesn't speak to them. People have said they thought he was an arrogant a*s but one day they said something to him directly and he talked their ear off. He's shy, not arrogant.
I Want To Ride My Bicycle
Bike riding. Never learned because I had supposed epilepsy and fainted a lot when younger.
I can't ride either. Tried to learn as a kid but couldn't get the hang of it. Friends tried to teach me as a bigger person. I can go, but can't turn. I'm afraid of getting hit by a car too.
You might get teased for not being good at any one of these skills. But the likelihood is, if you've made it this far without the skill, you're probably fine.