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.
Raise your hands--who had an emo phase in the 2000s? I know I did, as did a lot of people around me. All of us heard “It's just a phase" from our parents at some point, but when you're a kid, life as we know it seems so permanent.
Of course, most of the time, it was “just a phase". And looking back, those phases are regrettable, to say the least. Here are some prime examples of that.
What was your biggest/most regrettable "It's not a phase, mom. It's my life." that, in fact, turned out to be just a phase and not your life?
The enthusiasm of a young person can lead to some unexpected changes that parents are just not ready for.
I was VERY into The Transformers when I was a wee lad in the 1980s. One day, I decided to change my name to the name of my favorite Autobot. My name was lame, and I wanted an awesome Transformer name. And I was VERY insistent that my parents only call me by my new name. Calling me by my 'old' name would cause a big fat tantrum on my part.
So for the better part of a week, my poor parents had to call me Wheeljack.
Very 2008.Ariana Grande Shrug GIFGiphy
My cat-ear phase. I wore cat ears every single day. Everywhere. I had like 20 pairs of them. Now everyone thinks I'm a furry.
I find that very cute and wouldn't have thought you'd be furry. Even if you'd had cat mittens. I think my suspicions would have started if you moved a bit like a cat, displayed catlike grooming habits or got a cat mask.
Not gonna lie, that car sounds cool.
I went to a car show once as a teen, and the only newer car there was some chick's PT cruiser. It was hot glittery pink, and at the time I was obsessed. I insisted that one day I would have a hot pink car, with pink seats, pink dash, pink carpets, etc. I was pretty heavily goth at the time, so my parents just rolled their eyes.
These phases can often lead to some very strange fashion choices.
When I was a teenager (early 00s), I was waiting for my mother to pick me up and was wearing one of those sh!tty sports wristwatches. It was itching me so I took it off for a second, but then she arrived and because I was struggling to get it back on my wrist, I looped it around the equally sh!tty chain I had around my neck in a rush to get out the door.
My mom asked me about it in the car, and I told her this was my new style and I planned to wear it like that every day. She rolled her eyes.
I wore that watch on a chain around my neck every single day for 3 years or so. There are even professional family photos where I'm wearing it because I refused to take it off.
One day, the chain broke and I lost the watch. I was in high school at that point anyway and it was a major lady repellent, so... phase over.
Not everyone can be Eminem.slim shady eminem GIFGiphy
Baggy pants, being a rapper someday and being a professional skater.
When I was about 14 and Eminem was starting to blow up I bought myself a keyboard with a synthesizer. It cost like $200 which was all the money I had saved up. It finally came (this was way before amazon prime and such) and I tried rapping.
My sister told me "you're effing horrible" and I gave up right then and there.
This should be a sin.
I used to button the top buttons of polo shirts.
I must say, this is probably the worst one I've read.
Looking back at our regrettable choices, all we can do is cringe.
An optimistic look at bad tattoos.check me out season 3 GIF by PortlandiaGiphy
Being a tattooer. Regrettable because of those poor people who have my awful doodles on their bodies.
Take heart! My favorite tattoo is the one I drunkenly got my buddy to do in his living room one year during March Madness! It's dumb and frankly mediocre? But such a good story and has such good associations I smile every time I see it.
My friend and I decided we were going to open a bar in Jamaica with exotic snakes in glass cages in the walls at each booth. We convinced ourselves it would be amazing for at least two years in college. It was going to be called Fredro's.
My entire family made fun of me for it. Once we got out of college, we realized it was not feasible and joined the office grind. We're also two white guys with no ties to Jamaica.
Talk about cringey.
I wore a top hat with an anime pin on it for around a year. Met one of my current best friends while wearing it, idk how he could bear to speak to me after that.
My weirdest phase was probably when I insisted on wearing knee-high rainbow socks to school every day. But honestly, I don't regret it. I rocked those socks, and I wish I still have a pair.
To all the people out there cringing over their past selves, remember that you were just a kid, and to be easy on yourselves. After all, we've all been there
It should not take much for a consumer to be satisfied with the products they purchase.
Yet, too often, manufacturers who oversell their products fail to deliver what is promised and are inevitably left with angry customers who want their money back.
Whether the merchandise was defective or ridiculously overpriced, strangers online shared some of their worst purchases when Redditor BooksMcGee asked:
"What is the worst product you ever paid money for?"
Short Life Span
"This NERF gun that's supposed to shoot tennis balls for your dog. I bought it cause I thought you could load 3 at a time and shoot them far, but it's just one and it's super loud and the gun broke after like 4 shots (reading reviews later, this was a common issue)."
"There were these toys called squiggles when I was a kid and the commercials made it seem like the toy was alive. It looked like you would get this crazy little fuzzy worms as pets that would follow you around an so sick tricks and listen to your every command. It was really just a piece of fluffy string tied to another piece of string with googly eyes on it. People may say that it was supposed to be a magic trick but they should also explain that to a 5 year old who really wanted a pet."
"Not their fault, but I paid $70 for a Yugioh card hours before it was limited to one copy. Probably dropped to $20 by the end of the day."
These purchases were bad for your bum.
"A bicycle that literally fell apart before I made it out of the parking lot."
Not Worth Sitting On
"Joybird brand couch. Was so terrible, we returned it. Still hard to believe, we returned a freaking couch."
Going Nowhere Fast
"A 2000 VW Beetle (used)."
"Biggest piece of sh*t that literally had to have just about everything replaced before 100k miles and would still break down every time you left the driveway to the point where the tow-truck driver knew us on a first-name basis."
"An Oldsmobile Achieva from one of those buy here pay here places. I should have known better, but I was young and thought I was getting a good deal. I had the thing for about 5 months, I drove it for maybe 3 weeks. The rest of the time it was either in the shop, or in my driveway waiting until pay day so I could afford to fix whatever broke on it this week. Eventually told the dealer just take it, I'm not paying for it any more. He said nope, and I will make sure your credit is ruined. I said well you sold me a lemon, do you really want to go this route? He came and took it. Never reported anything to credit. I heard he got sued by several other people who sold sh**ty cars too and eventually went out of business."
"Always amazes me when I see them driving around still, I can only assume there's enthusiasts who just love repairing horribly designed cars."
These Redditors were not convinced what they ingested was edible.
"A box of plain Cheerios. Thought they were honey nut, poured a bowl, was very disappointed."
"If I wanted to taste cardboard, I'd just eat the box."
"A burnt frozen pizza at the air and space museum cafe in DC. I Don't wish that experience on anyone. There are some amazing restaurants in DC, don't settle."
The following electronics just gave off a bad charge.
"Asus Transformer Pad TF700"
"This was one of those early 'high end' Android tablets that was grossly underpowered, and it showed. Thing was slow as sh!t in no time flat. Rookie mistake investing into shiny new tech while they were still working all the bugs out. Think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-400 for it..."
"macbook pro 2018 13" touchbar. 2 years old and dead (battery). they're asking $300-$400 to change the battery. malfunctioning keyboard with double presses and missing presses. that's a lot of money for bad design."
"Past winter my old room heater broke down and I had to buy a new one. Went to a store nearby and somehow got convinced to buy a very costly heating device.. It's also my fault, since there were some sligthly cheaper options around, but nope. I wanted the expensive one thinking it will make my small room a volcano with little to no effort/cost (that's also what the seller told me). Long story short the device wasn't doing ANYTHING. No significant temperature changes, too much space, a weird noise, and was doubling my previous device in utility cost. I still gloom over those 80 euros.."
Some of my disappointing purchases was clothing, but only because I purchased them online. Unless they are a brand I'm familiar with, I'm usually fine with buying new jeans off of their websites.
But when it comes to graphic tees only available on specialty shops, an M-size shirt is not necessarily the same size as those found in other reputable stores.
I bought a medium sized T-shirt from a boutique store online because I loved the look of the design. But when it arrived, the supposed medium fit me like an XL.
At least I gained a fierce cleaning rag from this impulsive purchase.
We all know the job interview butterflies.
We sit outside the office or wait for the phone call and our foot taps at rapid speed. We run through some rehearsed answers, but worry that they'll ask a slew of things we never even considered. We try not to sweat too much.
Often, it turns out alright. We may not get the job, but we're respectable, give solid answers, and learn a lot about the place we're trying to get hired.
Other times, however, all of our far-fetched worries seem to come to life.
Curious to hear just how bad an interview can go, Redditor UIGrimsen asked:
"What was your worst job interview?"
Plenty of people had some truly bizarre stories to share. Part of these train wrecks were bad luck, and part were the insane antics of the people giving the interview.
But for us, they're simply hilarious.
"I applied for a job in a Planetarium, the interview was conducted in a big dome."
"Problem was, another part of the Planetarium staff was doing fire alarm tests during the interview. The dome amplified the sound so much, it was deafening. The interview staff acted like nothing was going on. We had to shout so we could hear each other."
"My mom raises chickens … and during COVID one of them got sick (not COVID). She had it inside to feed water hourly to try to nurse it back to life. My mom has to run an errand so I'm in charge of this chicken for the afternoon."
"I was on a phone screening with a candidate for a position in my office and this chicken starts having a seizure and dies on the middle of this phone call. I look over and it's laying almost like it was crucified."
"The candidate heard the commotion and asked if everything was ok … Which I relied 'yeah, the chicken just died.' "
"She withdrew her application the next morning."
"1.) I walked in as the HR lady farted"
"2.) it was a small office with no windows"
"3.) I asked her questions about their employee retention rate that she couldn't answer"
"4.) the fart stayed the duration of the interview"
"5.) I hope the fart got the job, because I didn't want it"
A Very Instructive Moment
"Applied to work at a vet clinic. Veterinarian did the interview while spaying a cat, apparently one of the cleanest and quickest surgeries they do. I fainted."
"Was not offered the job (after I woke up)."
Others shared moments when their excitement was deflated instantly. They encountered such closed-minded interviewers that there was almost no need for discussion.
That Bus Perk
"As an interviewee It was when I applied to a job as a Junior programmer and in 5 minutes the guys goes 'look, I'll be honest, there is no job, you can get an internship, no pay, we offer the bus pass' "
Plains, Trains, and Automobiles Later...
"I took vacation days to interview, bought my own plane ticket, and paid for my own hotel. First thing the interviewer said was, 'I have no intention of hiring you. This is just a courtesy because I knew your brother.' I had 8 more hours left in my interview day. It was painful."
"They ended up offering me the position many weeks down the road because they couldn't fill the position. I politely declined and got a very passive aggressively worded survey to fill out explaining why I passed."
There's a Right Answer??
"Wanted to work at H&M, got interviewed by the worst person ever."
"One question was and I am legit not lying, 'What is your favorite color and why?' "
"I answered 'baby blue because it's calming and not too harsh to the eyes.' My interviewer then said Oooh, sorry! Red is what we were looking for. And then proceeded to show me the exit."
Last, some shared the times they arrived for the interview excited and enthusiastic, but quickly learned how out of their league the position was.
These interviews looked more like brutal interrogations from the FBI than job interviews.
All the Principals
"Fresh out of college, I was looking for my first teaching job. I applied at a small district for an elementary school position."
"I walked in, expecting the principal and a few teachers. Instead I had the superintendent of the district, some high-level admin, and every single elementary school principal in the district. Probably 15 people in all. They peppered me with questions for 45 minutes."
"I had zero experience, just my student teaching. I did not get the job."
Shove Your Masters
"Finished up a masters degree in physics. Got a phone interview and was was told it would be an introductory chat. Was confronted with a technical interview panel (over the phone) of 6 PhDs, 4 of which had graduated from the research group I had just left. We walked through my research project in about 10 minutes."
"Then the pain began... felt like I'd only learned kindergarten physics."
An Extremely Intimidating Position
"Got an interview for a job as a floor manager at a gigantic steel foundry. I have some background in metallurgy so I thought it'd fit. It paid $90k and I was qualified resume-wise. I got there, turned out it was a group interview with three other applicants, to hear the pitch."
"If something messes up, the company loses $100,000 (some shockingly high amount, I don't remember if it was exactly 100k) per hour and it's your sole responsibility to fix it. They said you'd have to be on call 24/7 to handle anything that comes up."
"I got to the solo part out of curiosity and the interviewer they put me with said something to the effect of 'I know this job sounds bad, but actually it's even worse.' I was desperate for a job because I didn't land one straight out of college, but I was glad not to hear back from them after the interview..."
Here's hoping you don't have a job interview scheduled and this just amplified your anxiety 1000%. The nice thing to remember is that these horror stories are few and far between.
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Believe it or not, Canadians don't live in igloos or freeze to death all year round. If you go to Germany, it's highly unlikely that every German you meet will be cold and uninviting. Hop over to the United Kingdom and you're not going to run into tons of people with terrible teeth and bad hygeine.
These are called stereotypes, my friends, and it's best you leave them at the door. People were more than willing to strike down some stereotypes about the countries they know and love after Redditor HelloThere577 asked the online community,
"What are some false stereotypes about your country?"
"When most folks envision Scotland, they think of kilts, whisky, bagpipes, and red hair.
All of those things exist (and are common) here.
People might also imagine verdant hillsides, rocky bluffs, and skies that randomly switch between clear and cloudy.
Once again, that's completely accurate.
However, one stereotype which has absolutely no foundation, in reality, is the assumption that Scotsmen are constantly hunting haggis. In fact, haggis-hunting only takes place in February (which is the season for deosil haggis) and May (which is the season for widdershins haggis). For the rest of the year, the haggis is more or less left alone."
"I am originally from Portugal and moved to the United States. Around 80% of the people that I have met thought Portugal was either in South America, owned by Brazil, or a part of Spain. When I first came here it made me really sad."
"If the wildlife hurts or kills you in Australia, it's generally because you are f***** stupid. You are 10000 times more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident in Australia than by anything in nature."
This is likely very true, but knowing me, I'd probably be easy pickings for one of those huntsman spiders.
"That we end every sentence with "eh" and drink maple syrup by the gallon and have moose and igloos in our backyards."
You mean... you don't?
Just kidding. Canada is lovely––visit sometime. It's a lovely place.
The United States
"That we always have a shotgun at the ready. A shotgun is a home gun where a pistol is your everyday gun. Your revolver is your dress gun, for special occasions. Then of course your assault rifle is for when you're kicking back and cracking open a cold one with the boys."
"Anything related to The Sound of Music."
Probably gets annoying afer a short while. Great movie, though. Still dreaming about a trip to Salzburg.
"A lot of Americans seem to think we're inbred because we're an island. This is dumb, because it's a very big island (10th biggest in the world), and it's not isolated, we've been invaded, invading, and trading with the mainland for thousands of years."
"That we are car thieves. Crime was widespread in Poland in the 90s but today crime (including theft) rate in Poland is low."
"We do gesticulate a lot, but we definitely don't yell like crazy."
It seems Italian Americans are the ones who could learn a thing or two about being more reserved.
"Iceland. We're not some utopian Disneyland filled with quirky superstitious people that all believe in elves."
Remember: The world is an enormous place filled with people from all walks of life, and they don't take too kindly too stereotypes. Expand your horizons by having conversations with as many people as possible. You'd be surprised how quickly your preconceived notions will vanish.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!