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Distressed by overheard parents' conversation

(16 Posts)
forthispurposeonly Fri 22-Apr-16 23:41:34

Just heard my parents arguing about past adultery. I feel sick. They came home drunk and I think they thought the doors were shut. They've been married 35 years. My head did that buzzing thing. I feel like my life has just changed forever. Everything I believed in changed forever. What do I do in this situation? sad

Fairylea Fri 22-Apr-16 23:44:36

Absolutely nothing. I feel for you but as adults they have their own secrets and what you weren't supposed to hear needs to remain that way. I take it you are an adult yourself? It's hard to see parents as their own people and not "perfect". All you can do is pretend you never heard anything and take time to come to terms with whatever you heard. If they want to discuss it with you they will.

Canyouforgiveher Fri 22-Apr-16 23:46:46

Must have been horrible and I really feel for you.I'd have been gutted.

But really I think you have to pretend you didn't hear it. Think of it as walking in on them having sex-you just have to brain bleach it out.

this is their marriage, their lives. you can approve/disapprove whatever but the truth is most of us parents have all sorts of shit going on that our children don't know about and, if we are lucky, won't know about.

Maybe you thought your parents were a loved up happily married couple with strong moral values. now you've discovered one of them had an affair. But they could still be in love, still be happily married (now) and be trying hard to have strong moral values.

You could approach one of them and ask for an explanation. But in the end of the day, this is their relationship-the most important adult one of their lives. They have to manage it themselves.

mathanxiety Sat 23-Apr-16 00:07:08

You are all adults. If you feel you can approach them or one of them, and you want to know the details, then I would ask., and also ask how they managed to patch things up and move on with their life together. But think about it for a while. Are there things in your life that they don't know about? OK, maybe not adultery, but maybe things you might consider private matters.

Canyouforgiveher Sat 23-Apr-16 00:29:26

If you feel you can approach them or one of them, and you want to know the details, then I would ask., and also ask how they managed to patch things up and move on with their life together

Fair enough. But also be prepared for them to tell you they have no intention of discussing it with you. This is about their adult life together. you have no right to know what goes on there.

And also - what if they tell you the details? do you really want to know exactly what happened back in the day. how will that help you?

Cagliostro Sat 23-Apr-16 00:34:06

Oh, that's horrible to have to hear it sad

I agree it may be best not to say anything, although I don't think there'd be anything wrong with asking, in a non-confrontational way, what happened.

My mum revealed an old affair a few years ago. I did ask a little, particularly because I knew it was before I was born and basically I wanted to check that my dad was really my dad. But once mum clarified that there was no question about my parentage, I never brought it up again.

GraysAnalogy Sat 23-Apr-16 00:42:48

There's nothing you can do and until they want to speak to you it's best to leave it at that.

Their relationship with each other might have changed but their individual relationships with you haven't flowers/

blankmind Sat 23-Apr-16 00:51:16

It's in the past, don't say anything and let them leave it there. It's none of your business.

Nothing's changed for you, you are just the same as you were before you heard it, they are still your parents. They will treat you tomorrow the same way they treated you yesterday.

GraysAnalogy Sat 23-Apr-16 00:53:41

OP do you mind me asking, how old are you? Just because responses may differ depending on your age. Don't feel you need to answer that though!

MsMims Sat 23-Apr-16 00:55:37

Depends on your relationship with them, do you feel you could mention what you overheard? May be better to hear their take on it instead of hearing it as such a shock. Sorry you've discovered like this flowers

imwithspud Sat 23-Apr-16 01:00:48

Must be awful for you op. I agree with previous posters, I think it's best not to say anything and to try and forget you heard anything. Maybe you misheard or misunderstood them? Maybe because they were drunk they weren't articulating themselves well.

I know as a child of any age when it comes to your parents you take them at face value, you've known them literally your entire life, they raised you so why wouldn't you. But as a parent I understand now that there will always be things I will try to keep from my dc's because they simply don't need to know.

BabyBuzz Sat 23-Apr-16 01:03:20

You've had an awful shock but if you are drunk, you're better off going to bed and speaking to your parents tomorrow, when you are sober and can make more sense of it all in your head. flowers

mathanxiety Sat 23-Apr-16 04:38:16

It's her parents who are drunk, not her.

Sadmother Sat 23-Apr-16 05:17:26

It may be in the past, but the fact that they are still arguing about it is worrying. Not so much if it happened in the last few years, but if it is from a long time ago and they are not fully over it then I understand that the OP feels that her past is forever changed.

mathanxiety Sat 23-Apr-16 05:26:15

People say all kinds of stuff when they are drunk though. It may or may not be significant. They may or may not remember their argument tomorrow.

curren Sat 23-Apr-16 06:02:54

I have been there. There is no magic solution.

I heard similar when I was a child. I have now been married 15 years and realise that no marriage is perfect and we all have secrets that would shock people outside our marriage.

A few years ago mum did open up to me. She didn't like my answer. Mainly because I knew they had both cheated.

She wasn't happy that I knew that dad wasn't the only one who had fucked up. Also both of their mistakes happened over 20 years ago. She was still punishing him, for his mistake. Though he had let hers go.

My opinion on infidelity is that if someone cheats, it's awful. But you can't keep punishing the cheater forever more. If she couldn't move past it (or even understand it having done it herself) after 20 years she needed to leave dad. Spending the next twenty years miserable about it is no life for her.

Also being punished and verbally abused for a mistake that happened twenty years ago, is no way for dad to live either.

I think mum expected me to join her punishment of dad.

I love her but our relationship has suffered. But something sunk in as their relationship has been getting better.

Sorry for the long post, but what I am trying to say is a lot revolves around how your parents relationship with each other is, and how your relationship is with them.

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