Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Affected as adult by parent(s) A?

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

AStar posted 8/26/2013 06:08 AM

When you were growing up did either or both of your parents have an A?
How do you think it affected you?
My Dad was a serial cheater and had one LTA where there was a OC. I don't know how my mother coped with it as I was a child at the time. I do know who LTA OW was and I still hate her- someone I don't know and never met. OC (female and my age) has on off familial relationship with my three brothers. They sometimes communicate. I never wanted anything to do with OC- we got to know each other in our early thirties although I always knew of her existence.
I hated that my Dad had As. Parents think that their kids are too young or stupid to understand, but I did know. Probably from when I was about 8 or 9 about my Dads waywardness. I don't think I really knew what it meant. I remember knowing that there was a woman I hated and that my Dad had exchanged some other whore (I knew the word!!) for us. His As carried on until he died 5 years ago. My parents never D'd. My mother had one A- guess it was a revenge A type of thing where someone paid her attention: our neighbour. It's all I know as I was around 15 and I remember my parents arguing. I thought my Dad was a hypocrite to berate my Mother.
So yes, there were As as I grew up. However, I have never had an A. I promised myself I would never cause anyone such harm and pain.
I guess getting married late and having no children was part of dealing with my childhood. I did have intense IC in my late twenties to deal with that trauma.
I know why my Hs EA is a deal breaker- it stems from my FOO.
Anyone else been affected like this and able to share?

[This message edited by AStar at 6:11 AM, August 26th (Monday)]

childofcheater posted 8/26/2013 06:30 AM

Yes as you can tell from my username I was very affected by my dads infidelity. I initially joined SI because I thought my parents had successfully reconciled but found out that my dad had another A. In the midst of processing that I discovered my h's EA with co worker. Although there wasn't an OC from my dad's indiscretions is been very difficult and has always affected my relationship and how i deal with things in my relationship. I still haven't confronted my dad or my mom about new allegations. I just don't know how to deal with it.

childofcheater posted 8/26/2013 06:30 AM

Oops double post

[This message edited by childofcheater at 6:31 AM, August 26th (Monday)]

PrincessPeach06 posted 8/26/2013 06:31 AM

WS's dad had an A and married the OW - 20 years later neither of them will admit they were still married when they got together. My dad is the most amazing man ever - no A's and taught me so many things that have served me well during these hard times.

WS's childhood screwed him up big time - something only now he will admit.

TheRealDeal posted 8/26/2013 06:57 AM


Yes, I can relate to your situation. You are not alone

here is link posted earlier this month and the replies.

like you it carried over into my adult life although I never realized it...until now. i'm working hard thru many FOO issues and many of them stem from "that time" in my life when my Dad was a WS.

For most of my adult life my Dad and I just couldn't connect with each other. Deep inside I suspected it was related to what he did but couldn't seem to address it.

When Dday occurred for me those long-repressed feelings hit me full force. I literally hit a brick wall in my life. My Dad became a MAJOR trigger for me. He was planning to visit me (we live 1500 miles away) and I had to tell him not to come. That was painful in itself.

I'm making progress in IC with FOO, which in turn is helping with my current WS situation.

My parents have 50yr anniversary in September. I remain positive that I'll be able to relate better with my dad; not that we are hostile but we've never been able to find common ground to talk about anything but the weather, my job, etc...surface stuff. One day I know we'll move beyond that.

So yes, a parents A does affect a child. it may not seem like it at the time, but there are oftentimes repressed feelings if counseling isn't offered to the kids, too. IC told me - and I learned the hard way - those feelings WILL eventually surface. mine from 28 years ago. And when they do surface, there is no running from them, you have to go thru more denial or going around it.

anewday78 posted 8/26/2013 09:56 AM

This is a topic that's coming up quite frequently lately. I'm copy/pasting a comment I left in another thread here- I've read that there is surprisingly little research on the impact of infidelity on children of a marriage in which a spouse has been unfaithful. There's one really good book called, "Parents Who Cheat: How Children and Adults are Affected when their Parents are Unfaithful" by Ana Nogales, Ph. D. The author has focused a great deal of her research efforts on children and how they react/how their lives are altered after a parent has an affair and how it shapes their relationships/adult lives. I highly recommend it to any of you who may be struggling with a parent's infidelity. I also recommend it to EVERY BS to give to their WS.

strongerdaybyday posted 8/26/2013 10:01 AM

my mom had an A - it lasted about a year before I figured it out and told my dad (i was a teen at the time) - although my parents successfully R'd it gave me the utmost respect for my dad (he did EVERYTHING to keep the family home when mom moved out)and, although I love my mom, it made me look at her differently..even now. And it made me cynical towards others and untrusting of friends and other people in general. my mom's OM was a coworkers, knew she was married, but was easy to prey on because her and my dad were having probs.

[This message edited by strongerdaybyday at 10:02 AM, August 26th (Monday)]

TS68 posted 8/26/2013 10:05 AM

I find this to be a very interesting topic. One I wish I had more answers to.
My H, who has been lying to me about time he has been spending with his secretary, (I am still in the dark...) comes from a very secretive family. His parents were married 50+ years before his father died. My H claims that his Dad would never had cheated, it was against his character. My opinion of his dad was not so favorable... He would monopolize conversations, claim to have planned very well for the future when in fact it was mostly BS, drink too much, and act like the model person when others were around but I would see glimpses of meanness toward his wife I was not meant to see. My MIL denies that anything was ever less than perfect with any of them, including the kids. If someone brings up an unflattering memory she will deny and tell them they "make things up" major gas lighters, all of them.
So the adult kids:
#1: divorced 2x, no children.(56)
#2: never married, never brings girlfriends around, very controlling of mom and no kids (53yo)
#3: my H. Married to me for 20 years, 3kids, and the reason I am on SI today, chronic liar
#4: never married or has BF (to our knowledge) very secretive, arrogant, no children (43yo)

Ok so my childhood:
My mother grew up helping with a family business at a resort hotel where apparently she witnessed men bringing OW there all the time. Made my mother very jealous and suspicious of all men, including my Dad. I never knew my dad to cheat but remember my mom constantly badgering him about his whereabouts etc. She was so bad that I swore I would never treat my H that way.

So I have been very "trusting" of my H. But anytime I questioned him in the slightest, even at times just "what did you do all day" my H would accuse me of being like my mother. Now, in light of his recent lies regarding his secretary, I know he cannot be trusted and that my fear of being like my mom has served him well over the years.

My question is this: I desperately want to know the REAL story behind my H's childhood, but NONE of them would EVER tell me. I have pressed my H before and though he agrees they are crazy, will become defensive if pushed too hard.

I only want the truth. I want to know the extent of my H's relationship with his secretary, whether there were others (I have reason to believe there were A's, but I was blind)
I want to know why his family is so dysfunctional (did I mention none of them get along either?)

I have to be able to deal with the true realities, what ever they are,because I am determined to stop the cycle with my own kids.

[This message edited by TS68 at 10:08 AM, August 26th (Monday)]

tryinginmi posted 8/26/2013 10:37 AM

My mother had an A when I was very young. I remember watching her flirt with men at work (real estate agent) and I overheard phone conversations that even in 1st and 2nd grade I knew were wrong. She even moved out of the family home for awhile. It has greatly affected me and I hate my mother.

roses303 posted 8/26/2013 12:00 PM

This is an interesting topic. Neither my WH nor I had infidelity that we know about in our family history (both sets of parents celebrate 50 yrs this year)

But MOW's dad had an affair with his secretary when she was a preteen. Her dad left her mom for the OW. MOW lived with her dad and OW for the rest of her childhood. In college she complained about OW and OWs children from her first marraige all the time and although she got along with OW felt she was a gold digger and just after her dads money.

Fast forward 20 years and MOW pursued her friend's husband, was ways trying to get him to pay for things for her and tried to get WH to leave me and marry her because the affair and remarriage worked out so well for her dad. He's so much happier after dumping my mom and taking up with is AP--you can be too dump the dead weight and I will make you the happiest man alive.

She seems to have taken her childhood trauma and turned it intosome sort of fairy tale.

AStar posted 8/26/2013 13:15 PM

Thank you for the responses. It's sad how people are affected by As.
At the moment I just feel so sad and lonely and alone... I know this hasn't just happened to me, but I feel so alone.
My whole world has imploded and I have turned the spot light inward. All hurts, disappointment and slights by people I love is surfacing.
I hate it that people I love, trusted and who should have been a source of emotional security turned out to be @$$holes!!!
It just feels like there is no one I can trust because in the end they are all the same: horrible liars who willfully stomped on my heart.
Urgh!! I hate feeling like this.

TheRealDeal posted 8/26/2013 13:53 PM

My whole world has imploded and I have turned the spot light inward. All hurts, disappointment and slights by people I love is surfacing.
I hate it that people I love, trusted and who should have been a source of emotional security

yes, it is a horrible horrible shock to your system its a combination of your current situation AND dealing with those long-ago events that occurred with your parents. somehow it gets all jumbled together.

One of the best books I randomly found at the library was Changing Course Healing from Loss, Abandonment and Fear by Claudia Black PhD.

For me it got to the root-cause of MY feelings from that horrible time so many years ago. The book outlines steps/questions/action you can do to get those feelings out, address them once and for all and then leave them in the past. When you read them it sounded a bit odd, but I did them anyway - and it worked. It's like a huge weight was lifted each time I addressed issues from 28 years ago. They are things you do at your own pace, when you are ready and not "with" anyone so as ridiculous as they might sound, it worked.

I'm not "recovered", I'm still dealing with other things, but it was certainly a step in the right direction. And when I walked into IC office the following week he immediately noticed difference in me without even knowing. Once I explained he told me to just keep reading the book.

h0peless posted 8/26/2013 14:07 PM

My parents both cheated. My mom had an LTA with the pastor of the church we went to when I was a kid. My dad had an exit affair with this batshit crazy lady he "reconnected" with at his high school reunion. They're both still married to their APs, who are strongly disliked by my siblings and I. I think they're both miserable but too stubborn to admit it.

I still love both of my parents but I will never respect either of them. The experience of having my own marriage end due to my ex's infidelity gave me an even greater appreciation of the pain they put each other through and increased the disdain I feel for them. On a positive note, I've always been really careful with my boundaries around women because I don't want to lose respect for myself as well.

Tesa posted 8/26/2013 14:21 PM

When my 1st marriage ended do to his multiple As (one with a man), I discovered that my mother had been unfaithful to my father many times over their 40+ year marriage (most of his As occurred when I was a young child ..8 - 9 years old). My father also had 1 A.

I never knew ……… or at least I didn't think I knew.

What I learned through IC was that I did know as a child but I became a master at rug-sweeping and pretending. I became so good at it, that I taught myself to ignore my instincts. This is what allowed me to miss (or pretend they weren't real) all of the red flags that my ex-WH was a lying manipulative NPD jerk. 14 years wasted on someone who was completely false. That was a hard lesson to learn.

It’s taken 7 years to retrain my brain to not “pretend” everything is ok.

[This message edited by Tesa at 2:24 PM, August 26th (Monday)]

StillStanding1 posted 8/26/2013 18:52 PM

My WH was a child of divorce - his parents divorced when he was only 2. He always said he would never divorce because it "was such hell for the children". I never took into account his other FOO issues.

His mom (who I adore) cheated on his dad while he was in Vietnam. They D'd. Later she was an OW and ended up marrying her AP after he left his family. (My WH just recently realized why his stepdad's son hated him!!!!!) After H#2 left them due to alcoholism, she ended up being the OW in a LTA with a professor she worked with.

WH's dad, although always faithful, has been divorced 5 times.

So, I guess he learned that divorce sucks, but A's are a normal way of coping with life.

FOO much?

So, yes, I definitely believe parents' A's affect their kids well into adulthood.

Now my question is: how does my WH's A affect OUR kids???

Not to t/j, but anewday and
therealdeal, do you think these books, "Parents Who Cheat: How Children and Adults are Affected when their Parents are Unfaithful" and "Changing Course Healing from Loss, Abandonment and Fear" might be good books for my DD17? She is an avid reader and very mature for her age. She is in IC, but I am looking for ways to help her deal with the fallout from her dad's A. (She found out 6 months before me and confronted him, but he continued A and made her his unwilling co-conspirator.) Your input would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for t/j.

Wish none of us were here....

[This message edited by StillStanding1 at 6:54 PM, August 26th (Monday)]

sullymeishadomi posted 8/26/2013 19:17 PM

I was 8 when I saw my pops confront the manager of our building. The egg donar was trying to talk him down. Mgrs wife tried to hold back her h.

I knew then egg donar and h had an affair. I didnt see it, that I remember, but I knew it to be true

Days later mgrs wife took my 6 friends and moved away. Sometime after egg donar had my pops arrested and then mgr moved in with us.

How did this affect me? I had the fear of being called a whore...and I was falsely accused of being a whore by my pops family. I was for years and years ashamed of being female.

purplejacket4 posted 8/26/2013 20:05 PM

My whole world has imploded and I have turned the spot light inward. All hurts, disappointment and slights by people I love is surfacing.
I hate it that people I love, trusted and who should have been a source of emotional security.

This is me too. If fWS affair wasn't bad enough it dredged up my repressed feelings about my mom being a WW/MOW and leaving me and my dad.

I've said to my IC "how can I trust anyone? If you can't trust your own mother or your life partner NO ONE can be trusted." I still feel that way and don't see it changing. My IC and I seem to be at an impasse on that.

There's a great thread in I Can Relate about children surviving unfaithful parents.

I'm going to check out those books.

On, and fWS supposedly grew up in a perfect little family. So what's her fucking excuse?!?

[This message edited by purplejacket4 at 8:06 PM, August 26th (Monday)]

TheRealDeal posted 8/26/2013 20:11 PM

StillStanding1 - I've responded to PM with opinion of book for your a word... yes

If it prevents her from carrying forward many different feelings she will certainly be having, then it's worth it.

carnelian posted 8/26/2013 21:13 PM

I know my mom had at least 3-4 APs - which have had lasting consequences that I'm still dealing with, even though she's been dead 20 years.

First off, she demonized my dad and bad-mouthed him pretty much all the time. I should note that they had been married for almost 30 years by the time she died, with no talk of divorce. Though he wasn't the best dad, I didn't realize until recently how deeply she hurt any possible relationship I had with him because I could only see him through her eyes/lies. Even further, I have no doubt now that she was lying about certain events and manipulating our opinions and time with him so that we would be on her side (whatever that meant to her). After she died, I didn't talk to my dad for over 15 years - in very large part because of that anger she'd helped me cultivate.

One of the other issues is that she would tell me about the person she was cheating with (in one case, her boss - whose children she had me babysit. How messed up is that?) and have me keep her secrets from my dad. Which, of course, was okay because he was such a bad man, right? It's just so twisted.

Our relationship changed because of that particular "relationship". As we were very religious (supposedly!), I questioned her cheating. She didn't like that. She grew paranoid. One day she misplaced the card she was going to give her AP and accused me of stealing it. I think she was afraid that I took it and was planning on outing her to my dad. While I was out babysitting one night, she tore apart my whole room looking for the card, upturned the bed, shredded all the posters, ripped down all the clothes from the hangers, dumped out all the drawers, etc. To cover up what she did and why she did it, she had to make up a story about how I'd done something to deserve it (wish I could remember what) and of course apologized profusely afterwards, helped me clean up, and begged me not to tell anyone about the card or the affair.

She did things like this with subsequent APs - like going berserk on me, hitting me and accusing me of smoking when my brother found her AP's cigarette butts outside the house. Chasing me around the house, screaming about how a certain t-shirt (which was sent to her by her old AP a couple of years after we moved to another state) got under her pillow, and why it smelled like men's cologne. Why, I must be crazy and doing all these things to torment her! She had to have an audience for this, of course.

Her faux rages really damaged the relationship I had with my brother, too. Since he wasn't privy to insider information, despite the fact that we had been the best friends (how sad is it that we were living every parent's wish and she tried to destroy it all), he started to believe that I was a crackpot, doing all these "bad" things - and doing them to hurt his mommy.

We caught my mom and her last AP red-handed at one point. By this time, she was, thankfully, no longer confiding in me about her APs (since I clearly disapproved), but was in full gaslight mode. We walked into the house after school and our mom was sitting in the AP's lap and they were kissing. She tried claiming they were just horsing around. I mean, really? My brother believed it because the AP was female. When I told him what was really going on, finally, relieved that someone else was seeing what I was seeing and could back me up, he was so angry - at ME, because it couldn't be true and I was just making stuff up.

That relationship never recovered fully. We talked about it recently, but the cold fire was burning in his eyes the second I brought it up and he remained icy until the topic was changed.

Yeah, by day I was a nerdy, library-loving youth group enthusiast - but by night, I was a smoking, card-stealing, cologne spraying, t-shirt stowing rebel. I wish i could look back on my teenage years and be able to see my family relationships more clearly, without the foggy lens of the madness wrought by dirty secrets. I have no idea what a relationship with my mom would have been like without her cheating and everything she did to protect herself while throwing the rest of us, and especially me, under the bus.
Though there is a light in all of this. My oldest half-brother and I got back in contact recently and it turned out that he knew exactly what was going on in the few trips he took to visit us. So all these years of feeling crazy or like I just imagined things or overreacted or maybe I was just a horrible kid after all... At last someone's got my back.

I've said to my IC "how can I trust anyone? If you can't trust your own mother or your life partner NO ONE can be trusted." I still feel that way and don't see it changing. My IC and I seem to be at an impasse on that.

Ain't that the truth.

[This message edited by carnelian at 9:16 PM, August 26th (Monday)]

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy