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.
We've all said something stupid, let's not lie to ourselves.
It's okay to say something stupid. It showcases the real person on the inside, that we're all flawed, imperfect, and made of cooky combinations of words that don't necessarily line up to make sense. Sometimes we're nervous in a situation, other times we're just hitting 'Quick Reply' in our brains and what comes out doens't work, but whatever the reason, you for sure are going to remember it, late at night, for the rest of your life.
What is the stupidest thing that ever came out of your mouth?
You may not have to change your home address because of these moments, but you should probably reconsider how many public outings you go to afterwards.
Should Probably Never Shop At That Store Again
"When the cashier said "Have a nice day", and I replied with "No, thanks".
"Background: I wasnt thinking straight that day, and thought they said "Do you want a bag"
That's. How. Twins. Work?
"Her: the twins are 3 years old"
"Me: Both of them?"
"Oh no this unearthed a memory i had buried from kindergarten lmao"
"We had a set of twins in our classroom and once on their birthday party I said "your brother got such a cool party, i hope yours is nice like this too" to one of them and he was like "yeah, this one"
"4 year old me was not a very bright kid"
That's. How. Death. Works...
"Watching the documentary 'The Last Dance' when a Kobe interview pops up -"
"Me: "Wow, they must have filmed this before Kobe died."
"My wife: "Yeah, obviously…."
The cringe comes out of nowhere, and you're not even sure how you were able to ask something so incredibly stupid, but here you are. Lounging in the stupid air.
You Should Have Asked What "Nothing" Tastes Like Next
"In my head I was wondering what one pound of water would look like in terms of volume. What I said out loud however was "How much does a pound of water weigh?"
Keep Up With Me
"A couple of months ago, I got up and drove to work as usual. Later, my girlfriend texted me from home to ask me if she had left her sunglasses in my car. I told her I wasn't sure, but she could grab my spare key and go check."
"In my car."
"Which I had driven to work."
Black Is White, White Is Black
"I don't understand why people place bets on who wins, why not just place bets on who loses?"
"Yeah took me a minute to register what I said..."
And then there's these stories, where the person is probably better off cutting off any human contact henceforth going forward. These are rough to get through, folks.
Should Probably Have A Chat With HR After This
"I was about 4 months into my current job, feeling confident being fresh off the contract-to-hire period, now moved into a coveted full time role. While walking back to my office from the morning kanban I was stopped by my boss, head peeking out of the office:"
"Boss: "Hey TheMediator, do you have a sec?"
"Me: "For you, I've got lots of secs!"
"Boss: wide-eyes, mouth dropped"
"If you're curious why this was incredibly stupid/embarrassing, try saying the phrase "lots of secs" out loud. Preferably, not to your boss though."
You Don't Need College Anymore. Go Home. Bury Your Head In The Sand.
"In my freshman year of college I was dorming next door to a couple cute girls. About a week into the first semester one girl walked from the coed showers to her dorm room in her towel still wet. We were both unlocking our doors to get in our rooms when she looks at me and says…"
"I know I look stunning…(sarcastically)"
"To which I replied, "don't flatter yourself."
"I had to slid a note under her door explaining I was tongue tied as she was beautiful and I meant to say "don't be hard on yourself, you look great." (Or something to that nature). We became good friends."
It's In The Descriptor?
"Chatting to a homeless guy on the street and he told me he was feeling unwell. I told him he should be at home, resting."
"It's been 20 years and the memory of it still brings me out in a cold sweat."
Oh Good Lord...
"Asked my friend how his mom was doing at his moms funeral."
"Jesus Christ this is the worst one on this thread. What was his response?"
"He looked at me and then the casket and kind of smirked. I awkwardly started to try and explain and just said "I'm an idiot. You know I love you. Talk to you in a bit." He makes fun of me now and I can't stop laughing. It's a positive painful memory."
Own up to your mistakes. You'll garner more respect by acknowledging the awkward things you say, however, it's perfectly fine to laugh about it in the moment. That's probably the easiest way to escape the deep, deep shame.
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The advice "fake it til you make it," though often said with at least a hint of sarcasm, does carry quite a bit of wisdom.
By simply putting one foot in front of the other, weathering the chaos of not knowing what's happening as you learn as fast as possible, we can find ourselves further than we expected.
Once we're there, reaping the fruits of all our "faking," we somehow begin to take on a new identity in people's eyes They assume we've always been in control and known what was going on. They defer to us for advice.
But that couldn't be further from the truth. So we keep on faking it.
Redditor espectro11 asked:
"What's your 'I don't know, I didn't think I'd get this far' moment?"
Many Redditors discussed their experiences navigating the intimidating environment of job applications, interviews, and offers.
Oh Right, Getting Paid
"I gave my resume to fancy private school (I'm a teacher, but new to the field) and I didn't expect a call back. But they called me today to ask my expected salary and I said 'I don't know what the average is. Let me Google it.' "
"Ya girl was not prepared."
"When I went for a walk-in interview looking like crap and they hired me on the spot. I get they were hiring for a new store, but they up and said 'if you want the job it's yours, when can you start?' "
"Deada** didn't think I'd make it that far."
Outside the Box
"Years ago I was applying to a bunch of copywriting jobs and feeling frustrated because I wasnt hearing back from any of the places I was applying to."
"It was especially frustrating because I was putting in all this time on cover letters and I felt like nobody was even reading them, so I said, 'Fu** it, I'm gonna write one that is more me.' I thought it was a dumb idea and never imagined that it would work, but somehow it did."
"I applied with this cover letter and the subject line "Copywriter: Will Work for Beer" to a job that I was very underqualified for. It managed to catch the eye of the headhunter for the ad agency and was enough to get me an interview. Shortly after that I was hired and ended up working there for a few years, but I remember thinking on my first day, 'I can't believe that actually worked.' "
Just Not the Right Fit
"An interview at Google. The 20 years younger than me was describing the peer review system."
"I responded with 'Jesus, that sounds awful.' "
"I did not get the job."
Others also shared experiences that centered on their working lives. But these stories weren't about being hired or interviewed.
These were accounts of long-developing success stories that they never would have predicted.
A Winding Road
"My entire legal career"
"I have four degrees and a 10 year career in commerical litigation. I just wrapped up a $200mil trusts lawsuit."
"I started at uni doing theatre and stand up comedy. I have no fu**ing idea where I turned to get here."
"Started at a very small company doing sales straight out of college. I went about messaging big corporate players (who obviously would never do business with us since our size) and was laughed at by my new colleagues for even trying."
"2 weeks later My boss was asking me what we (a team of 6) should say on the conference call with Toshiba Buyers."
Putting Fires Out
"Me at work. I feel like every issue that comes up has me unprepared. But I am always praised for my good work."
"So, I assume I have imposter syndrome and keep doing what I am doing."
So next time you find yourself ruling a possibility out completely, maybe take just a few seconds to imagine it actually occurred and prepare.
You just never know.
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I'm going to be perfectly honest––I'm a city boy. I'm not a huge fan of hiking or camping. I happen to be a huge fan of running water. Have you heard of it? It's great. Highly recommended.
I've also, on a more humorous note, watched far too many horror films over the years and don't particularly like idea of running off into the woods only to piss off some demon that was perfectly fine until I arrived. I also have immense respect for our friendly neighborhood serial killers and demonstrate this regularly by staying out of their territory.
Those who love the great outdoors had plenty to share after Redditor Your_Normal_Loser asked the online community, "
Hikers of Reddit, what is the weirdest or creepiest thing you've come across while hiking?"
"The only reason..."
"When we were exploring the Australian Outback as university students, my friend and I found an old, tightly wrapped plastic bag with five or six damaged wallets along shrubbery at the base of a cliff.
The only reason we opened it up was because we were so remote - hundreds of kilometres from any town or tourist attraction - that it was strange to see garbage out there. All the cards were in female names and birthdates placed them in their late teens to early 20s. Some lived in the Northern Territory but one was in Sydney and another from Queensland. At the time we figured rock climbers must have stored their valuables in the bag and then lost track of it. I'll never forget the strange look the police officer gave us when we handed them in."
You see... this is why I wouldn't go mess around in the Australian Outback.
I also may or may not have watched Wolf Creek one too many times.
"A recliner on a small hill with a hole dug out in the middle and water bottles all over the place."
"A trashed campsite..."
"A trashed campsite complete with the tent cut open...
...do you report these things, or what?"
Or maybe not... you might want to turn back.
"The walls were completely plastered..."
"I was walking in a thick forest and came across an opening. In the center there was a shack made of lumber, with a bench built into it that was slightly leaned back.
The walls were completely plastered in porn."
Well... that's one way to get off.
"The man stopped talking..."
"I was backpacking with a few friends. A few days in the middle of nowhere, a man approached our camp as we were cooking dinner to say hi. We talked about our routes for a few minutes. Out of nowhere, he told us that he had had a vasectomy in his 30s after his 2nd child. Then somehow his wife had gotten pregnant with his 3rd child. He didn't believe this was possible, so he demanded a DNA test to see if he was actually the father. He was. Still, he explained that he had his doubts and thought that his wife must have fixed the DNA test.
My friends and I were in our 20s and had no idea why this guy was telling us this. We all just nodded and smiled.
The man stopped talking and then just walked away into the night."
"I stepped in..."
"I stepped in and fell over a cow carcass on a night hike. It was a bright moonlit night but I didn't see it in the shadows. Thankfully it was mostly dry."
"We still have no idea..."
"I was in the woods with three friends at night. A friend's house was nearby and I was getting hungry so I went inside to find some food. Another friend came inside with me. Two friends were still outside.
Later on, one of the two who outside came in and sees the indoor friend on the couch next to me. They panic and immediately run back outside.
I poke my head out the door asking what's going on, only to hear them yell as loudly as they can, "THAT'S NOT KEVIN"
Everyone comes inside and calms down a bit, and the story comes out. They thought the friend who was indoors with me (Kevin) had been outside with them this entire time. Why? Because in the darkness of the woods they saw a silhouette about the same height walking alongside them silently, then at some point it ran away and they were chasing it thinking Kevin was running off for some reason. The reason my friend yelled, "That's not Kevin" was to stop the last outdoor friend from chasing whoever was out there deeper into the woods.
We still have no idea who that was or why they didn't even speak."
This story sent a chill running down my spine.
Who was that?!
Perhaps figuring it out would be even scarier.
"Went hiking with my dad..."
"Went hiking with my dad one day over a ridge. A girl from the group in front of us tripped and slid down one side and was just able to hold on to the tiniest branch from the only tree around. Had she slid down all the way she certainly would be dead or massively injured!"
"I was trying to make my way across..."
"I was hiking in Washington sometime in December. I was trying to make my way across a river but the bridge was out. I was walking along the shore looking for a shallow spot but couldn't find one. I saw some footprints leading down the bank, my thought was that someone was trying to do what I was doing and decided to track the prints to see if they crossed. It was not easy but I followed the prints for about a mile. As I approached what looked like a crossing I heard a loud BANG like a stick hitting a tree. I froze for a few seconds and heard no other noises. I just slowly back up keeping my eyes on the other side of the river. Could not shake the feeling that I was being watched. Got the hell out of there quick as I could."
There are few feelings creepier than the feeling of being watched. It makes you feel like you've been violated in some way.
Thankfully you got out of there!
"I thought it was a magical, beautiful moment..."
"I was hiking with some friends, and I saw a cluster of butterflies on the ground. I thought it was a magical, beautiful moment until I realized they were congregating on a pool of blood. It turns out that someone had been hiking on the bluffs above earlier that day, and had fallen off and died."
Sooo... still want to go hiking or camping? None of this changed your mind? None of it?
It was nice knowing you. I'll stick with my running water.
Have some creepy stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Have some experiences of your own? Have you also survived the hospitality industry? Feel free to tell us about it in the comments below!
Time is of the essence. And time is not definable. Those are lessons we learn as we get older; as times passes and fluctuates in front of us.
Time is always fleeting yet always catches up to us. I find myself shocked when I wake up on certain days and realize I'm a particular age of my parent that sticks out for me.
Like, how did that happen? I guess I should just be thankful I'm still here to witness it all.
Redditor u/TW1103 wanted to discuss the meaning... of time and all of its affects by asking:
What fact really puts the scale of time into an insane perspective?
Ok, who is watching the clock? Those seconds aren't going to count themselves. The only way to understand time is to be its witness. Although that can get depressing. Let's focus on the light and cool.
History...Calculate Figure It Out GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"If you are an 80-year-old American, you have lived through approximately 1/3 of our nation's entire history."
"The 80s were 40 years ago."
"This is what messes me up because I was born in 82 and graduated high school in 2000 so for some reason my brain is stuck on the 80's being twenty years ago. The 70's thirty years ago etc etc. I have to stop and realize sometimes that my concept of how long ago things happened is way off."
Time goes by...
"We observe that light travels at 186,000 miles a second, but given the vast size of the observable universe, that's a snail's pace. But from the point of view of a particle of light, time doesn't even exist."
"Time slows down as you approach the speed of light, and theoretically stops completely when you reach the speed of light."
Years Gone By...
"MLK Jr. and Anne Frank were born in the same year."
"Betty White was born in 1922. Automatically pre-sliced packaged bread loaves became commercially available in 1928. Betty White is six years older than sliced bread."
Long Live the Queen!queen elizabeth images GIFGiphy
"The queen and Marilyn Monroe would've been the same age."
I swear Liz is going to outlive dirt. Wait, I believe she already has. Well she won't be alone, she'll have Betty White. At least she better have Betty. Time is nothing without Queen Betty.
TV TimeSeason 2 Omg GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"Happy Days was a TV show made in the 1970s-80s about teenagers in the 1950s. Similarly, That 70s Show was made in the 90s-00s about teenagers in the 70s. If a similar show were to be made today, it would be about teenagers in the 2000s."
"If a T-Rex imagined a creature as ancient as the T-Rex is to us, it would be a Stegosaurus. If that Stegosaurus imagined a creature as ancient as the Stegosaurus is to us, it would be a Crocodile. If that Crocodile imagined a creature as ancient as that Crocodile is to us, it would be a Shark."
On the Clock
"On a twenty four hour clock the amount of time that humans have been on the earth would total around five seconds."
"How about this one: If Homo Habilus first appeared at midnight, 24 hours ago, that means the first Homo Sapiens appeared at 9:25 PM, or about 2 and a half hours ago. The first human civilization, in lower Mesopotamia, appeared at 11:57 PM, or about 3 minutes ago."
"The Western Roman Empire fell at 11:59 PM, or 1 minute ago. Everything that has happened since - the Crusades, the Plague, the discovery of the New World, the world wars, all of it - has happened in the last minute of human existence."
And that's just OUR Sun...
"The span of our lives are so insignificantly small that our Sun will last another 5 billion years. That's 9 zeros people. Our eldest live to around 100 in the best places. That's 50,000,000 (50 million) times longer than any person can reasonably expect to live. And that's just OUR Sun. The universe as a whole has probably existed for magnitudes longer than that already and will continue to exist until the end of time as we know it."
Tell Me a Storywilliam shakespeare GIF by will herringGiphy
"We know what a good storyteller Shakespeare was but there were Greek playwrights who wrote shows nearly 2,000 years earlier that are pretty good, too."
I hate time. Only because I'm petty and irritated of the amount I squandered. That's neither here nor there though. Time marches on and continues to amaze. I'll keep watching.
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