The one thing worse than finding out your dad is cheating on your mom is having to tell your mom that your dad is cheating!
Here’s what Chris says:
“I found out my dad is cheating on my mom with some woman on Facebook. When my mom came home I told her, and for the past 3 months I have heard nothing but shouting. When my mother was sleeping he almost killed her, so I took his computer and threw it out the window. Help me, I have bruises and am abused, and so is my mother. We finally moved away but my mom can’t leave him alone, she leaves him text messages, voice mail and emails. My dad says it’s my fault, and I think he’s right because if I didn’t tell my mom, she would not be suffering. Help me, I’m only 10.” – from Is Your Husband Cheating?
If you’re being abused, go to The Hideout – it’s to help kids cope with domestic abuse.
I always recommend reading books to help you cope with problems, because I believe we can learn so much from other people! Read A Terrible Thing Happened - it’s a story for kids who witness violence or trauma (and your dad cheating on your mom is traumatic!).
And, here are a few ideas on helping your mother when your dad is cheating on her…
4 Things to Do When Your Dad Cheats on Your Mom
Do not blame yourself
Even if you told your mom that your dad is cheating on her, it is NOT your fault! You did not have the affair, you are not your dad, and you did not do anything wrong. Your dad is the one who hurt your mom – not you.
You did the right thing by telling your mom what you found out about your dad. She has every right to know, and it’s better for her in the long run. Sooner or later, she would’ve found out that your dad was cheating on her…and it’s better to deal with it sooner rather than later!
Be patient – remember that healing takes time
Yes, your mom will take a long time to get over the fact that your dad was cheating on her. It’s a very painful betrayal, and people don’t just bounce back after being cheated on. Physical and emotional affairs are destructive and heart-breaking.
Don’t expect your mom to “get over it” right away. Whether or not she stays with your dad, she has a lot of healing to do. She’s mourning the end of her marriage as she knew it, and that takes time. Being obsessed with a husband’s affair is actually quite normal.
Don’t take on your parents’ marriage problems
When I was 13, my aunt told me she was leaving her husband (my uncle). She told me all about their relationship problems, his weaknesses, and when she planned to leave him. Nobody else in the family knew – only me. I felt sort of flattered, but mostly burdened with her problems.
Adults should never, ever tell children their problems. Adults should only talk to other adults about relationship problems, marital infidelity, and marriage crises!
When your dad is cheating on your mom, one or both of your parents may confide in you. You may not be able to stop them from talking to you about their marriage problems, but you can try to leave their problems with them. Try not to let their problems ruin your friendships, school life, or mood. I know this is a tall order – it’s very difficult not to let your parents’ problems affect you! But you need to distance yourself from your dad’s affair and your mom’s pain.
Get help in person
The internet is a fabulous place to get information and support, especially for things as personal as dads cheating on moms. But, to truly heal and recover, you need in-person support.
Talk to an adult you trust – a teacher, guidance counselor, friend’s parent, or an older, wiser friend. Please don’t try to cope with the fallout of your dad’s affair by yourself! You need to lean on people in person, to get help from someone who can hug you and tell you things will be okay.
And, take heart in the fact that my article on coping with difficult parents is one of my most popular on Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals! Our parents make mistakes, have psychological problems, and sometimes are just plain stupid and cruel. Our job is to become as resilient as possible, and not let their problems and mistakes ruin our lives.
If your mom is staying with your dad after he cheated on her, read How Do You Forgive Your Husband After an Affair? It’ll help you understand what she’s going through.
If your dad is cheating on your mom, write down your story and feelings. Expressing yourself in writing is one of the best ways to heal….and remember that you WILL heal and be happy again!
If you know in your heart it's time to move on, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.
And so will your mom.