I think I know how to deal with my cheating father

I want opinions and suggestions.

This is going to be my plan for now. The first phase is just collecting evidence from his phone. Checking his internet history and seeing what I can find. I take snapshots of his phone screen and leave it when I left it so he doesn’t suspect that anyone went through it.

After I feel like I’ve gotten everything. Me and my brother are going to confront him with everything we have and we’re going to make him explain all of it.

Then I think we’re going to get therapy for him because it seems like he’s struggling with attachment issues, not sleeping, and using unhealthy coping mechanisms. Also depression too

I know this isn’t an excuse for what he did but I also feel like my mom is a little harsh on all of us in the home. She grew up with tough love and that’s how she expresses it, by being highly critical. The things she says hurts but she means well. When my mom lectures my dad, he shuts down completely and gets a little depressed. Kind of like me, I’m similar to my dad in terms of sense of humor and sensitivity.

Again what he did is definitely not an excuse to hurt us. I would never do something like that to my mom no matter how many times she upsets me. I just want to understand what is going on and hopefully fix this mess.

I think I really want family therapy for all of us

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Your dad is a grown up who knew your mom for many years and would have chosen to with her knowing how she is. Sure people change but certainly there were other ways to handle the situation.

Does your plan involve your mom? Any other adults?

I commend you for tackling this with a plan. but I just want you to know that there is the possibility of your father being extremely nasty and toxic and putting the blame on “ruining the family” on you and your brother, and not on his cheating ways.

I’m proud of you for caring about your father’s mental well being too. Not many would be able to see that he needs help. Again, good plan, but also prepare your heart and mind for him not taking that suggestion well.

I really hope your family can get together, look at the matter honestly and openly and move forward with the least damage possible. I really am rooting for you. just please make sure you consider him reacting badly to being called out.

We’re here for you. You’re not alone. Wishing you well friend!

Why is it your responsibility to bust and fix your father? I’m just curious why you and your brother are doing all this and not letting your mother deal with him? Maybe I’ve missed something in your posts about it, but I don’t really think it’s a problem your children should have to solve.

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I also agree with @Mystrose stance to a degree, but it depends on whether your mom can handle the emotional betrayal and be able to formulate a plan, or if she will just cave emotionally and feel trapped in the marriage/be powerless to leave due to the kids, finance etc. Depends on finances, support systems, etc.

Children don’t have the emotional maturity to even begin to comprehend adult problems. If they are an adult that’s a different story.

I guess I just want to protect my mother. I don’t know why I’m dragging this. I really just want to know everything because right now, I don’t trust my dad. I want to involve my mom too at some point. I just don’t want what happened last time to happen again where nothing was addressed, there was only one “im sorry” to my mother and him going at it again.

I’m just hurt and confused

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I understand your frustration and confusion about all of this. We don’t want to see our parents hurting or fighting. It’s messed up. If this has happened before, then your mother should know. She probably already knows to be honest. She needs to handle it tho, not you because it’s her life. You might not even have the full picture about what’s going on either because parents don’t (or at least shouldn’t) depend on their children for emotional support.

It’s up to you tho and I think your mother should know, but I think you should go to her and not your father first. So, she can do the investigating etc and decide about the therapy with him. You can’t make your father go to therapy.

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seconded about going to the mother with all the evidence first, so she’s not blind sided, and she is aware of everything, so she can’t be mislead with lies.

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I think sometimes I have the tendency to carry things that are not mine. It’s usually because I care a lot. Sometimes when someone is going through something, I do a lot of brainstorming, planning, experience the grief for them. And it’s hard to not get attached, I feel uncomfortable if I’m not being active and doing something to help

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Hey @Amaris,

Your whole post and intentions show how much you care about your parents, despite their mistakes and the hurt they might have been causing around them. I see a lot of myself in the way you observe and understand each member of your family. I’ve always been in this position too - and always the emotional pillar for each member as a result. Somehow, I never asked to be in this position, and at the same time I reinforced it by trying to take care of them all too many times.

I don’t know if there is a right or wrong way to approach this as it is about things that are painful and affecting everyone in your family one way or another. It involves deep emotions and others reactions are impossible to predict with certainty. However, it is absolutely true that, as the child, your role is not to find solutions for your parents and be almost their therapist (not saying it in a judgmental way). They have to figure out the steps they’d be willing to take by themselves, which would never prevent you from saying “I would like for you to be helped and to consider this possibility” either.

For now, there’s this heavy secret and burden on your shoulders, and despite it all you manage to think about them, how they feel, how they would react and what could be good for them. I think your parents are very lucky to have a child like you. They may not be aware of it because of all the things that have yet to be discussed between you all, but I see how much you care and you truly have a loving, caring, beautiful spirit.

What I would like to encourage you to consider more than anything, is you. The urge to talk and find a solution, any solution, comes down to the hurt you feel and a need for it to be expressed. It’s a very personal opinion, but it sounds that, at this point, your parents need to hear what you’re aware of and how you feel about it. I think they need to be aware that there are things at play that can’t stay as such. Secrets like these can’t be hidden forever, and the cost on you and your brother is unfair. They both need to be faced with their responsibility of parents, by addressing their couple issues on their own and, as a consequence, having more room for being your parents too. Conveying that can be done in a loving and understanding way, just as you’ve displayed in your first post. However, the conversations you intend to have - no matter how, no matter with which parent - are likely to be painful/difficult, so I hope you will keep in mind to do this for you first and foremost. You too have a voice to use and a heart to be cared for.

What is on your heart, Amaris, is certainly what is going to guide you in the way you would initiate these conversations. And regardless of their reactions, you cannot be wrong for expressing how you feel about a situation. It’s just how it is. :hrtlegolove:

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Somehow I feel like I needed to hear that. Thank you for this post. I really appreciate it. I’ll do my best and i’ll try to get my mom involved as soon as possible. And talk to both of them about how I feel when I’m emotionally ready to

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@Micro your reply was more eloquent than mine, but you said what I felt too. Thank you. You basically worded it like I wanted to, but couldn’t.

Being a mom and hearing you talk like it’s up to you to fix things hurts my heart. If I was the mom in this situation, I would want my children to come to me with evidence. Just a couple rock solid things. Then, I would take matters into my own hands and deal with him. That’s really all you need to do.

I will also add that if this has happened before… you better believe your mom is looking for signs that he could be cheating… all the time. Like I said, she may already have an idea if not know.

Take care of yourself ok? This isn’t easy and I had to talk to my son a lot after his father and I divorced. It’s confusing to children and it hurts so much.

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Thank you, I feel encouraged. And you take care of yourself too, I know divorces are crushing :heart:

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