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father having an affair

(5 Posts)
keepwhimsical Sat 04-Jul-15 12:53:22

I'm curious/puzzled and would be interested in your thoughts. I appreciate that it is a complicated scenario.

My dad has worked away for many years for half the week, but over the last five years or so I have been growingly aware that he was no longer going to work but was still away half the week. His lies became more shallow and the company he was 'working for' closed down. I finally got to the the point that I couldn't stand it any longer and declined the xmas present he gave because I couldn't bear the secrets any longer. We then met to talk and he said 'what do you want to know?'. I said I suspected he lived with someone else half the week and my sister had guessed who it might be. This was accurate and he admitted it. I have never met her, but he introduced my children to her (one of the many clues - and I am not happy that he did so). She lives in the house he had (secretly) bought as an 'investment' for the grandchildren. He doesn't plan to leave mum.

My mum has had MS for many years since I was tiny (I'm nearly 40). Her physical disability is increasing but she can take care of herself for some of the time (she declines carers). She has always been quite a difficult and hostile person so I find her hard to care for. Me and my sister do what we can when dad's away. She had a stroke about four years ago, which turns out to be the year after my dad started his affair (when we were in the hospital with her and rang him he said 'should I come home?', 'err, I would if my wife might be dying'). Strangely she is happier/calmer since the stroke, but more 'absent' and happy watching tennis all the time. She has no clue about the affair, I'm not sure what she would do if she knew/how much she would 'get'. I do not feel it is my place to tell her and I'm not planning on doing so.

I feel horrible around my dad. He is charming and delightful with everyone on a surface level and my sister is happy with taking the line of least resistance. They remain cosy. I find the secrets/lies (he says he's never told us a lie - he was waiting for us to ask when we were ready) horrible. I feel sad for mum, although I understand she is difficult and it is hard to leave someone who is so ill. But I feel lied to too and I am angry that he waited until I was ready to end the whole relationship with him to talk. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I find it hard being around him and mum.

It's just hard and uncomfortable is all. Is his position as understandable as he presents it? Would you be okay with it?

Twooter Sat 04-Jul-15 20:36:39

tbh if your mum is difficult, hostile and has your dad in a carers role, can you really blame him for wanting to get some happiness elsewhere? He only has one life and you don't make his life with your mum sound that pleasant. It would probably be much easier for him to leave your mum to it, so in a way maybe he deserves some credit for not totally abandoning her?

mrstweefromtweesville Sat 04-Jul-15 20:45:34

Your dad is living his life the best way he can. Its what we all do. Some men would be faithful to their sick, troublesome wives but others would find comfort elsewhere.

He's your dad, cheating on your mum, so you feel bad for knowing. So stop knowing. Take it all on face value. Your mum keeps her carer, your dad his comfort-life, and no-one is disrupted.

Thenapoleonofcrime Sat 04-Jul-15 20:52:24

Well, the alternative scenario is that he left your mum a decade ago to face her stroke and MS alone. I suspect this might have been what he would have preferred to do, but he has kept the facade of the marriage together for your mum's sake and perhaps he also does love her and want to care for her in his own way.

Caring for someone is very difficult, and I know people who have done similar things. I knew someone whose partner was terminally ill, but she was actually planning on leaving him when they found out- so she stayed, nursed him and had another partner supporting her on the side. The original partner was bedridden and very unwell so hardly in a position to be in a full relationship but she didn't feel that leaving him and being honest, which she would have been had he been in full health, was the right thing to do and would have devastated her and his family. Who is to say she was in the wrong?

If your mum hasn't noticed your dad is not there half the week, accepts his explanations and isn't seeking or perhaps couldn't comprehend him leaving, then it sounds like this is best all round if you also don't rock the boat.

It's not ideal, but we are imperfect, your mum isn't a perfect wife and your dad isn't a perfect husband, I suspect this compromise isn't really being done for his benefit in all honesty as I can't imagine.

Zillie77 Sat 04-Jul-15 21:40:43

My mother was a horror, mentally ill and hostile, and my father was loyal to her to the end. I often wished he had chosen to find some joy with another woman (or man-I sometimes wondered if he might be gay) before he died.

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