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The impact of my dad’s affair.(10 Posts)
My father had an affair when I was very young. According to my step mum’s wedding speech, it began before my younger brother was born.
As I get older I’ve realised it has had a huge impact on me psychologically. I believe both my parents thought it wouldn’t affect us, as my DF worked long hours to get his business off the ground (OW worked for him) and we wouldn’t notice he was gone. Admittedly my brother has turned out fine - very confident, sucessessful and self assured. But he was younger and benefited from far more quality time with our Dad - Im aware I made it difficult to seperate me from my Mum. I was a shit kid. Clingy child, teenager from hell. I was so angry that I could never feel good enough and I couldn’t understand why. My dad always told me I had his looks and my mum’s brains. I hated him for that, my mum is beautiful and a huge part of me. More than he’ll ever be.
He’s a good enough Dad but I want him to know how I feel. He chose OW, and his business, over his wife and children. It ingrained in me a belief that men are selfish and that for some reason beyond my comprehension he believed my Mum was worth no more than endless housework, childcare, arguments about money, loneliness, and isolation - we stayed in the house HE chose, away from her friends and family, far too big for her to cope with alone comfortably (his status symbol) because my mum was selfless enough to not want to disrupt us further than he already had.
I love my mum and he treated her like shit. Which makes me feel like I’m not worth any better, although I know full well that she deserved more. I’m not sure i can ever trust men the way I can trust women, and I don’t know how to rebuild my self esteem when ive grown up without any. It affects me every day. I have very little self worth, trust, and I’ve been known to cry at work when “family men” make pervy comments about female customers. I worry for their wives and children.
I don’t know if there’s any point talking to him. I want to see some remorse, really. For him to understand he fucked up and to show me he’s human enough to be sorry. I could never bring it up face to face - I’d have to call or text... i have no idea what he’d say. He wouldn’t see it coming. I’ve had counselling but got nowhere. I just want to find closure but I don’t know where to look. He didn’t just reject my mum but all the parts of her who make me who I am.
I don't think I've got anything helpful to say but your post made me cry. It is so heartfelt and articulate. I expect many children who suffered through separations/divorces feel the same. It breaks my heart to think that my dc, who I'm trying so hard to protect, may ultimately feel like you do.
If explaining all of this to your dad is important, but you can't do it face to face, I would suggest a letter. You can think about what you want to say, and he can digest it before replying.
It will come as a shock to him only because such men are adept at thinking that everyone is fine, they didn't hurt anyone too badly. To think otherwise would breed guilt, and they're not the type.
If you want to avoid confrontation, use 'i' statements explaining how you feel rather than making accusations.
If I were your dad, reading that, I would feel nothing but shame and do everything I could to put it right. If he doesn't, he doesn't deserve you.
Photocopy your post and send it in a letter. If his heart doesn’t bleed then your better off without him in your life😢
I am so sorry you have been through what you have
I want to say this as gently as possible - but you DF chose the woman that made him happy (and loved I assume). You wouldn’t have wanted him to stay with your Mum when he didn’t want to, right? That would not have been fair on any of you.
I'd write a letter, possibly to your stepmother as well.
Hang on- she put in a wedding speech that they'd had an affair before He's finished having kids with your mum?
I mean this kindly and to help and as someone who's father also had an affair.
Do you really know the ins and outs of your parents relationship? He left your mum but not you, I assume he still tried to gave contact as he did with your brother.
You need to find a way to put the past to bed and concentrate on the future, there is only so long you can blame your father for you adult problems until they become something you need go take responsibility for.
This is such a shame. I totally understand how you feel, but unless he specifically has said the reasons why he left your mum and what he didn't like about her, then I think you're reading too much into it?
BUT honestly, I do get it. From my father leaving, and my ex husband having an affair too and leaving me, I have a huge need to be needed. I have lots of children, volunteer, want to foster children etc etc. All things where I can be needed by someone xx
Yes she put the affair in her wedding speech - she referenced the year they started dating which was the year before my brother was born. I didn’t know until that point, ruined the day for me tbh but it’s a testament to my mum’s dignity. My mum never met anyone else which I think made it harder, I’d love to see her be loved.
I think a letter is a great idea thanks all! It might take years to reach a final draft, if at all, but that sounds soothing. I do agree I need to take responsibility, I’m so scared of it happening to me that some days I’m just consumed by sadness and worry that DP will do what my dad (grandad and uncles too!) did. Pretty classic daddy issues really, I wish I had male role models who weren’t selfish and cruel. DP is fab, as are his happily married parents, and with his patience I’m getting better.
Wow. I'm speechless that she mentioned that it started as an affair in the wedding speech, with family members present, and no one has told her how disrespectful and inappropriate that was. What a horrible woman! And you dad isnt any better. Maybe it is time he realised the long term effects of his selfish behavior - I'm a bit surprised you want anything to do with either of them, tbh.
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