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User Topic: Adult Children Dealing With Unfaithful Parents
SI Staff
Moderator
Member # 10
Default  Posted: 1:18 PM, February 16th (Thursday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A thread for current members that are already dealing with infidelity in addition to their parents infidelity.

Please use this thread if you have been directly effected by this type of situation.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:28 PM, March 19th (Monday)]


Posts: 10000 | Registered: May 2002
momdaughterwife
♀ Member
Member # 32209
Default  Posted: 6:00 PM, February 17th (Friday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi everyone. This part of my story was not fully explained in my profile, but I'll put it here. Thank you SI for this thread. My dad was a serial cheater. Starting in Elementary School, I knew there were things that were wrong. My mom was always sad. My parents did not show affection. My dad was always off bowling, golfing, going on vacations, WITHOUT my mom or my brother and me. In middle school, the fighting and screaming started. My dad would get locked out. My mom would throw away his sports equipment. By that time, I also knew that my dad was drinking while he was out. I knew that he wasn't always at work and I knew that he was selfish to leave my mom alone so much to care for the kids, the house, the bills, etc. The only chore my dad did was mow the grass. He did not spend time with my brother or me anymore at that point. Once in a blue moon, maybe we would have a meal together or watch a show on t.v. While in HS, my mom started abusing prescription pills. Junior year, she just went cold turkey and ended up in the hospital for two months. She did not know who we were. During that time, we had fast food or I cooked. My dad didn't even so much as grill some burgers or hot dogs. Also during that time, my brother started abusing alcohol and drugs. He was also getting arrested fairly regularly. Upon graduation, I met my FWS. We were not dating very long when one day a woman in her twenties showed up at my house. She handed me a note. I read the note and it outlined a LTA my dad was having with the woman's mother. I handed the note to my mom and left to go cry on my FWS's shoulder, who was my BF at the time. This affair ended, but it wasn't long before my dad started another one. His next affair lasted for five years. During that time, he repeatedly told my mother he didn't love her, but that she would have to be the one to move out and divorce him. Once I got married and left home, I encouraged her to finally leave. She found an apartment, a divorce lawyer, and the divorce was quick. My dad moved in with his GF, who was 17 years younger. Things were fine with them until my dad retired and his health and finances went to hell in a handbasket in short order. Eventually, his GF met someone else and started leaving the house to go on dates before my dad moved out. Now, he is old, sick, and lives with my alcoholic brother. He calls me all the time. He is nice to me, always has been, at least verbally. He cried when he learned about my husband's two affairs and his battle with alcoholism. He also apologized for how he treated my mom, my brother, and me. He acknowledged that my childhood could have had something to do with my problems. (My mom remarried an old childhood friend and had several happy years until her and my step-dad both passed three years apart. They have been gone almost 6 years.) This is just MY story. FWS's is probably worse. His dad was an alcoholic and serial cheater. The ramifications in his family are still felt today, even though his dad died at a young age from all the years of drinking so heavily. Through all the reading I've done and research, many people who suffer the experience of infidelity also experienced it as a child. It seems to be one of those family traits that often keeps repeating itself until someone gets help and changes the patterns. It would mean a lot to hear other stories or words of encouragement. Infidelity is the most painful betrayal. I was just SO sure that given what FWS and I had BOTH suffered with our fathers, that FWS would NEVER want to hurt his kids or me in the exact SAME way. It truly felt like a double betrayal, like a double dose of the pain from our childhoods. My biggest fear has been for our children. We are working hard on IC and I pray everyday that we can stop this aspect of our families with our generation, NOW. Thanks for reading.


Me BS
Him WH
2 boys
We've all been through a lot. Our family seems to be thriving again. I pray that will continue.

Posts: 825 | Registered: May 2011
silverhopes
♀ Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 7:14 PM, February 18th (Saturday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow, momdaughterwife. I am so happy that you shared your story. It's amazing, that they look back on it and think differently, when sometimes during the fog it seems like nothing will ever get better.

There has been infidelity in my family too. My parents separated when I was two. For a long time I thought it was because of my mother's addiction, and maybe it was. But I learned a couple of years ago that she cheated on my father with his best friend. My father forgave them both, it seems, or rather I'm guessing - his best friend has been around for years, hanging out with my father and me, and I never knew.

My mother came out a few years later. She had a girlfriend. We three moved in together during my early teens, and I looked to her girlfriend as my stepmother. They were together for six years before we learned that my mother had been sleeping with one of my stepmother's best friends. It tore them apart. I learned later that my mother had asked to open up their relationship for sexual reasons, and feeling pressured to let her be happy, my stepmother said yes. Later she asked that my mother not sleep with a specific six mutual friends, including the OW. My mother asked her, "What if it's too late?" and continued sleeping with OW. When my stepmother learned her identity, she left. I came home one day to be informed that she had moved out, her relationship with my mother was over, and OW and my mother had been seeing each other and were now together. Three years later, they broke up because my mother wanted a sexual thing, and OW wanted to be the "girlfriend". Three years of seeing them together, of trying to get my father to let me be at his place more often. Three years of being left alone on weeknights while they were out at clubs, or staying at school or work late (I worked in high school), of having to buy OW holiday presents, of having to cook for her. Three years of hell.

My stepmother met another woman, and to this day they are beautifully happy together. My mother is now in a polyamorous relationship; her girlfriend is married. All parties know each other and communicate, and it seems very healthy. I am happy for her. But I am also still struggling with what happened between her, my stepmother, and the OW. I consider it cheating. And it seems like she is rethinking how she did things back then. She admits that the way she handled the "open" part of her and my stepmother's relationship was "sloppy". In the last six months, we've had some slightly more open discussions about how it went. I haven't been able to tell her all my feelings yet; how much it hurt that she could betray my stepmother that way, that it felt like she betrayed me also. I'm scared to. Maybe someday. She is surprisingly respectful of my decision to be monogamous... even though she jokes about how she thinks it's part of the "heteronormative agenda". I don't question her open relationship now; I question how open her relationship was with my stepmother when there was so much secrecy.

I think it has affected my own relationships. I put up with more emotional abuse than I should have in hopes of "earning" love. I'm working on that in therapy.

Thank you for this thread, mods.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 7:21 PM, February 18th (Saturday)]


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3761 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
momdaughterwife
♀ Member
Member # 32209
Default  Posted: 9:26 PM, February 18th (Saturday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Silverhopes, thank you so much for sharing your story and responding to mine. I'm so sorry for all of the pain that you've been through. My mom never knew about my FWH's alcoholism or adultery. She passed in 2006. He went to rehab in early 2008, immediately started an EA with a woman he met there and had a PA right after getting out. I think if my mom knew that I've suffered through the hurt she lived with, she would be crushed. Maybe she does know now, from heaven. I want to make her proud and want her to see that she raised a daughter smart enough to at least TRY to stop the family cycle. Growing up, my mom pounded into me to never depend on a man. (Those lectures made me sad for her.) She was not educated beyond HS, and lacked the confidence to get a job outside the home, yet was not happy at home because her efforts there were not supported or appreciated by my father. It was sad, but thankfully when she remarried, it was to a good man who loved her for her. He appreciated how she cooked and took care of the home. He appreciated that he could trust her. They shared many similar interests. He cared about having fun with her, rather than out carousing the bars and bowling alleys for women like my dad. Affairs can affect children for literally generations. I think in my case, FWH's behavior brought back so much pain from my childhood, that I was literally frozen with fear and a sense of helplessness. It was so shocking that it would happen to me. I thought that my mom had trained me so well that my life couldn't possibly turn out like hers. Hopefully with the efforts we're making toward our healing, we can both create a new family trait of faithfulness in our relationships. Nothing would make me happier than for my two boys to grow up with a sense of family, a sense of appreciation for their girlfriends or wives, and most of all, a sense of self respect.

[This message edited by momdaughterwife at 9:30 PM, February 18th (Saturday)]


Me BS
Him WH
2 boys
We've all been through a lot. Our family seems to be thriving again. I pray that will continue.

Posts: 825 | Registered: May 2011
purplejacket4
♀ Member
Member # 34262
Default  Posted: 4:48 PM, February 19th (Sunday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am so happy that this thread has been started. My story is in my profile but I'll recap:

Mother was born to alcoholic father and sick mother; Her mother died of breast CA when my mom was 6. Her father was murdered four days later. Lots of ugly custody battles. Her uncle and his wife eventually adopted her (the aunt wanted nothing to do with me mom and treated her like a slave child). As soon as my mom went to college she latched onto the first KISA she could find. My dad.
Since my mom had had no emotional support growing up everything revolved around things. Her family was very wealthy. My dad promised he would get an MBA and support her in the way of life she wanted. He did not. He changed his mind and decided to join the ministry. This made my mother very angry. Not only was there no financial payout but then she had to be the dreaded "preachers wife." It took all for four years before she started having an affair with... the lead deacon.
When it was time for my dad to be fired from this preaching job, too (poor dad... such the idealist) my mother threw a fit and said she'd leave him if he tried to find another preaching job. This deacon was also the only one who fought for my dad's job. I wonder why? Rotten asshole.
So my dad stopped preaching, became depresssed, started sleeping in the guest room dosing him self on massive amounts of benedryl. I'm sure he would have drank if that hadn't been "against" our religion.
So he went back to college (I was in jr. high.. only child BTW... lucky me) and he got an engineering degree and worked in that field for the rest of the time I was at home. Mother continued her affair unbenowst to me. My father knew but never asked who it was. To this day he doesn't know who the OM was.
My father started using me in inappropriate ways (nothing sexual just not right). He had no boundaries and started telling me he had the right to get prostitutes, look at porn, etc. He took me to his 20th year high school reunion because my mom wouldn't go. He would have me accompany him to work situations in the place a spouse would normally be at (I was 16). I tried to stay away from both of them as much as possible. I'd already begged him to divorce her but he refused. I just don't think they wanted a custody fight.
I knew when I went to college they would finally end it. It did take one year but the summer between my freshman and sophomore year they woke me up on their 20th anniversary to tell me they were divorcing. "now go have fun at Six Flags today." Like it was no big deal. Of course I knew the writing was on the wall because cooking utensils and sheets and towels had been disappearing as my mother stocked her "love nest" in the metroplex far away from my bedroom hometown.
So I finally got the divorce I wanted my sophomore year of college. And therapy. My father started dating with a vengeance and brought one woman after another to meet me at school. Finally after a year of this he brought one to meet me he had known for a whole month and was going to marry her!
She told me she would end it all if I just said the word! WTF!! You don't put that on a 19 year old kid!! Anyway so they got married four months after meeting. I met my step sisters at the wedding. "Hey, this is A and P, your new step sisters. They'll be living in your house now. Get your stuff out or it goes in a garage sale!"
All the while my mom continued with the deacon who was married. I finally figured out by the end of college that she was having an affair but she never admitted to it until I was 29 years old! Yes, two more years of college, four years of med school and three years of residency went by before she ever admitted that she was having an affair and who it was with and that it had started when I was ELEVEN years old!!

This was also the same time I admitted that fWS and I were more than just, ahem, roommates. So I made the crazy agreement to spend my 30th birthday with mom, MOM, and fWS in Las Vegas. WTF was I thinking?!?!?! I guess I was just grateful that she still loved me even though I was gay. WFT, I now feel like I was some kind of condoner of their "arrangement." The SOB even calls me to ask me questions about his damn prostate and his WIFE'S medical problems!!
So now I'm 42 years old. My mother has been the OW to a MOM for 31 years!! Their relationship is now platonic but only because he is now in his 80s and stuff doesn't work! Ugghh!! My mother has moved out to where I practice medicine but boy has the whole A between fWS and skank OW caused tension for everyone. How do I refer to OW as a whore-home wrecker when my mom's been doing the same thing for years. She always justified it by saying "the heart wants what the heart wants." What fuckin' drivel!
Of course I've never told the BS of the MOM. She's now in her late 70s and dying so what would the point be? The whole thing just makes me feel stained and dirty. Oh and my father still thinks that MOM is his friend and has invested money with him. I told my dad to stop giving that guy money. Really.
Anyway, when I was picking a spouse 16 years ago I purposely picked one from an intact seemingly happy family. I wouldn't marry a man because I knew I was gay and didn't want to end up like my mother. Yet, I inadvertently married someone like my mother who would cheat and so I ended up like my father instead. What an idiot!
For anyone who takes the time to read this, thank you.

PJ4

[This message edited by purplejacket4 at 4:49 PM, February 19th (Sunday)]


Me: BS 44
Her: fWS 47 (same sex partner)
Together: 17 now (both MDs)
OW: meh so what 40s PhD
DD1: 10/30/11EA; DD2: 11/10/11 Had ONS; TT until 12/26/11; broke NC 6/12; NC again 7/12; R-ish

Posts: 1851 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: Great Southwest
wanttounderstand
♀ New Member
Member # 33819
Default  Posted: 4:51 PM, February 19th (Sunday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you Mods for creating this topic. I have been so overwhelmed with all of the issues surrounding my infidelity. Being able to address one aspect of it in this safe place is like a gift.

My heart goes out to you Momdaughterwife and to you Silverhope. I have nothing to offer you but my best wishes for a healthy happy life. As I gain clarity, I promise I will respond to you with any info I have.

Please see my profile for my story.

As a FWW, I have spent quite a bit of time wondering if my father's cheating somehow gave me permission to cheat on my husband.

I don't accept the obvious answer "yes" because my father and mother's circumstances appear to be different than those of me and my late husband.

My father was married to my mother, a woman who was still in love with her first husband(deceased war veteran). He met a woman who loved him unconditionally. He had been abandoned by his mother and father as a young child and had severe abandonment issues.

After being told by his AP that she was going to break up with him if he didn't leave his wife, he made the decision and told my mother that he was in love with someone else and wanted a divorce.

My parents told my sister (age 10) and I (age 12)(our older half-brothers were already out of the house) and our lives turned up-side down. My mother committed herself to a mental hosptal and my soon to be step-mother and her two teenage sons moved in to our family home.

I immediately fell in love with my Step-mother. She was kind, loving, yet stern. We had to do more chores, but got more attention. I gave her chocolates and a card on the first mother's day we spent with her. I wasn't thrilled with her sons, but there wasn't any big problems.

My step-mother and father stayed together for approx 20 years when she died of cancer. I was heartbroken when she passed.

My mother remained bitter about my father and his actions until she hit her 80s when she developed altizmers. Ironically, he had developed the same disease about the same time.

They would both talk to me from different nursing homes in different states about each other. It was so strange. All of the pain and hatred was gone. They both just talked about the early loving times.

My question today is trying to figure out how this background relates to my having an affair.

Did the fact that my father and step-mother were happy and loving and my father and mother were distant and disconnected give me permission to be with someone else when I found myself in an unhappy marriage?

The obvious answer seems to be yes, but I wonder. Other than that difficult time during my marriage, I have been a faithful and extremely loyal mate. I didn't cheat on my first husband and he was far more abusive than my second. I have not cheated in any other relationship. And today, as a single woman, I am unable to date more than one man at a time.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Mods thanks again. This is such an important topic.


WW (me)
Marriage 1978-2005
Affair 12/81-11/82
My husband knew but never confronted me. I never confessed. We NEVER talked about it. My husband died in 2005. I am trying to understand why I did it. My story is posted in my Profile and I has been u

Posts: 46 | Registered: Nov 2011
wanttounderstand
♀ New Member
Member # 33819
Default  Posted: 4:52 PM, February 19th (Sunday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Double post

[This message edited by wanttounderstand at 5:05 PM, February 19th (Sunday)]


WW (me)
Marriage 1978-2005
Affair 12/81-11/82
My husband knew but never confronted me. I never confessed. We NEVER talked about it. My husband died in 2005. I am trying to understand why I did it. My story is posted in my Profile and I has been u

Posts: 46 | Registered: Nov 2011
momdaughterwife
♀ Member
Member # 32209
Default  Posted: 7:27 PM, February 19th (Sunday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Purplejacket4 and wantounderstand, thank you for sharing your stories. I too am so appreciative of this thread. I don't think that our backgrounds allow us to give ourselves permission, really. My understanding from years of reading and IC is that unfortunately we sometimes subconsciously recreate our childhood problems so that we can try to 'fix' them. Not an excuse, but we come from broken homes, and we end up with a skewed version of the world. Many of us from broken or unhealthy homes are also seriously lacking in coping skills, hence FWH's alcoholism. He used alcohol to numb the pain. I will admit that my FWH, when I met him, totally fit the KISA profile. I was in a horrible family situation, and so was he. We bonded over that. Eventually, I started to heal from my parents problems, and began to be more independent from FWH. I think that made him unhappy, so he needed to search for other damsels in distress. Our entire relationship, he's been a magnet for those kinds of women. His need to be a KISA gives him a feeling of control he didn't have growing up I guess. When you grow up in unhealthy situations, with poor boundaries, you then develop poor boundaries yourself. It took two affairs before I was able to set boundaries with my FWH. I was in denial and overlooked so many signs for so long. I chalked it up to his charm and good looks. I was proud that women were attracted to him, until the EAs and PAs started. I have hope that by identifying the patterns in our families, we can stop these patterns and change them for the better with support and IC. My motivation is my children. Of course I do want to be healthy too, and be in a healthy marriage. I want our boys to grow up and be secure in their relationships.


Me BS
Him WH
2 boys
We've all been through a lot. Our family seems to be thriving again. I pray that will continue.

Posts: 825 | Registered: May 2011
momdaughterwife
♀ Member
Member # 32209
Default  Posted: 7:34 PM, February 19th (Sunday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

wantounderstand, just a thought, but maybe there is no 'understanding' with these things. All we can do is try to make improvements from this moment on. The fact that we are here says, to me, that we are working for a better future. During one of my FWH's EA's years ago, I knew and never confronted. Deep down, I hoped that it would just stop on it's own, and it did. The MOW was my friend, and our kids were friends. Like I mentioned above, I was kind of frozen with fear at that point in our marriage. I knew we were headed down a bad path, but wasn't ready to force a change. FWH and I are in R, and I truly want him to forgive himself for the past. It seems as though he is doing that. I believe that your former H would want that for you, too.


Me BS
Him WH
2 boys
We've all been through a lot. Our family seems to be thriving again. I pray that will continue.

Posts: 825 | Registered: May 2011
momdaughterwife
♀ Member
Member # 32209
Default  Posted: 7:21 PM, February 21st (Tuesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Question: How is your relationship with the unfaithful parent vs. the faithful? My mom was the faithful one. When she was alive, every decision in my life was made with her in mind. She was a priority in my life. Her opinion mattered to me. We had our disagreements, but I respected her. With my dad, the unfaithful one, I still love him, but I don't seek out his advice, or consult with him on decisions. I don't worry about how my choices will affect him. He is not a factor in my decisions. I make them, then let him know what is going on. He can join in, or not. I don't worry or fret about it. Sometimes, it doesn't feel like he's really a dad to me. It's like there's this guy out there who I talk to a few times per week. In between, I hate to admit that I sometimes just plain forget about him. I think that's a coping mechanism. I spent so many years worrying about him and his messed up life. Enough was enough.


Me BS
Him WH
2 boys
We've all been through a lot. Our family seems to be thriving again. I pray that will continue.

Posts: 825 | Registered: May 2011
SnowflakeBonfire
Member
Member # 34292
Frustrated  Posted: 5:50 AM, February 23rd (Thursday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If anyone wants to feel a little better about their messed up family, please feel free to compare it to mine.

Both my parents are cheaters.

My dad started cheating on my mom before they were married (they had a long engagement). Only once that she can confirm (she contracted an STD). Then cheated on her periodically after that. He admitted to a ONS with a prostitute while my mom was miscarrying, there are various assumed As before and after that. To my knowledge he mostly had PAs with hookers, however he did have EAs and possibly some PAs with people he worked with or worked for him. When my mom was sick with breast cancer and having a mastectomy in another state he was having, at the very least, an EA with our baby sitter (I was 16 at the time but my siblings were 6, 6, 6, and 9). I can remember calling my mom and telling her she needed to come back ASAP because something was going on. Too friendly with her, always "helping her" with something, she would touch his shoulders or his arm in a very non-employee way. She also made a comment about "well, if *I* was your mother..." to myself/siblings which sounds innocuous but her tone of voice implied that she considered it a distinct possibly that she *would* be our "mother" at some point. I moved out at 19 and was not aware of any A activity as I was several states away.

Fast forward to when I was 25. I now live near my parents again. My mom tells me that she and my father are getting a divorce. I am actually not that surprised or especially displeased with this. He was controlling, emotionally (though never physically) abusive, and I knew he had cheated on her (I only knew about one time and only because my sister had brought it up and I had questioned my mom about it). I also find, on his computer (while admittedly snooping), various emails to prostitutes soliciting sex.

My dad, who has had various medical problems throughout his life fell sick several days after she revealed to me that they were separating, but before any news of this had been relayed to my siblings. He was hospitalized. I offered to spend the night at their house so she could go to the hospital. Mom confides that she thinks a man who had previously worked for them is interested in her. I'm not sure how to react but say something about how she'll be single soon so then she can pursue that if she wants. She had previously been "helping" him with his "custody case" regarding his youngest child (he has 8 or so, and possibly more that he hasn't claimed and none lived with him). One night she doesn't come home till about 3am. I ask her were she was. She states she fell asleep at OM's house. Remember, at this point my siblings still think she and my father are married and fairly happy. Her "dates" with OM become a nightly occurrence, using me to cover for her. After a week of this I give her an ultimatum; she has three days to tell my siblings what is going on or *I* tell them. Cornered, she finally sits the children down and tells them (they are 15, 15, 15, and 18 at this point).

What follows is several years of hell. My father's health deteriorated rapidly. My mother instantly shacked up with OM (moving out the day after telling my siblings). OM is a drug user, dealer, emotionally AND physically abusive. My siblings bounce from house to house, not really sure which is worse. My youngest sister comes to live with me for a year. My mother spends her time working to support unemployed OM. I take over care of my father who is becoming more and more disabled as time progresses. My sister goes to live with my grandparents, my brothers come to live with my father who sets no boundaries and allows them to act out and act up in ways that would have, previously, merited strict punishment (drinking, partying, street racing, etc). My mother tries to get custody of OM's youngest child as he is a "wonderful father" (still reeling over that one). The oldest of my siblings escapes with friends and moves several states away. My youngest brother is suicidal.

Things go from worse to... well.... worse. OM becomes physically violent to my siblings. My brothers, now 17, feel they cannot leave because they think OM will kill my mother (which is probably true). My father needs progressively more care and is unable to really support himself financially.

My mother finally decides to leave, moving states away. Still in a fog over OM, believes it was only RECENT drug use that made him "crazy", continues contact with him, etc. Gets custody of his youngest child thereby binding herself to him forever.

My father, now disabled but living in the house next door to me (so he has a semblance of autonomy) has rewritten history to paint himself as the hero and her has villain. He also repaints my (and siblings') childhood as well as other key events.

My sister gets a brain injury while doing cheer leading. Mother will not pursue treatment options because she is "too busy" and (my opinion) likes that my sister is now home to give her free babysitting. Sister is now a shut-in.

Throughout both parents use, mostly me (as I prefer to be the one they use, instead of my young siblings), to pass messages and "check up on" the other person, they attempt to manipulate me (and siblings) to "their side" through lies and gifts. They lie. They ruin themselves financially. They BREAK MY FAMILY.

The current: My father died in November (3 days after I found out about my SO's A, nice that). My mother is in the "off" position of her on and off again relationship with OM. She *says* he is clean now. Brothers will both graduate HS this year (late, they missed a lot of school... guess why???). I am handling my dad's estate. I am trying to help my shut-in sister get into (and stay in) college. I am trying to get my brother, who still has severe depression, help.

So I guess I am done "dealing with unfaithful parents" but still trying to put the pieces back together from their screwed-upped-ness.


BSO: SnowflakeBonfire (29)
WSO: LonesomeRoad (27)

Trying to R...


Posts: 106 | Registered: Dec 2011
icbtih8
♀ Member
Member # 23797
Default  Posted: 7:28 AM, February 23rd (Thursday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was just SO sure that given what FWS and I had BOTH suffered..., that FWS would NEVER want to hurt me in the exact SAME way.

I took out the parts that didn't pertain to me.

This. I thought I was "safe" because he understood. The fact of the matter is that his experience was much different than mine and by the time we met, my mom and dad were separated.

WH's father died when he was a baby leaving behind his older sister, a brother not of the same mother who he's never met and who is older than him but younger than his sis, and himself. He never saw the stress and turmoil infidelity caused because he was a baby.

At the age of 11, he went to live with his grandparents and it was rumored that his grandfather was cheating on his grandmother. After years of living together, my impression is that his grandparents' marriage was "dead" and she really didn't care what her husband was up to. Of course, my impression is based on what I was told by WH.

So he basically didn't really know the ramifications of infidelity even though it was happening all around him.

How is your relationship with the unfaithful parent vs. the faithful?

Both my parents were unfaithful. My mom was the OW in my dad's second marriage. I am the OC. He left his second wife to live with my mom and was unfaithful to her throughout their relationship with various women. She knew about them but was unable to leave, emotionally and financially. She did have one or two EA's while i was young. I've only realized this recently. She finally left by having an exit A with a single man who treated her like a booty call (he called and she would leave us to be with him). This went in for 7 years. Until very recently, I had never seen my mom show an ounce of self respect.

I vowed to not be like my parents and here I am, with a wayward for a husband. Crap. My biggest struggle is "if I knew what infidelity looked like, why the f*ck did I marry a cheater?!"

As for my parents, I don't really have a close relationship with them. My father passed away in January, but prior to this, it had been close to 10 years that I had not spoken to him. He was an emotionally abusive man and our distance was more because of the kind of father he was than the kind of husband. My relationship with my mon is platonic. I tell her the bare minimum. Her disregard for us whenever the OM called left a scar. It doesn't hurt, or throw me in a fit of rage anymore, but I don't trust her to have my best interest in mind.

Maybe this is why I've been able to stay with WH for so long after dday, though what I want is D. It is known and comfortable to feel like the only one looking out for me is me. I don't believe something else could exist.

[This message edited by icbtih8 at 7:33 AM, February 23rd (Thursday)]


D-day #1 - April 29, 2009

Beauty is a calling...a call "to transfigure what has harden or was wounded within you"
-- John O'Donohue


Posts: 5424 | Registered: Apr 2009
SnowflakeBonfire
Member
Member # 34292
Default  Posted: 8:28 AM, February 23rd (Thursday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I vowed to not be like my parents and here I am, with a wayward for a husband. Crap. My biggest struggle is "if I knew what infidelity looked like, why the f*ck did I marry a cheater?!"

@ icbtih8
My biggest fear is ending up like my mom. Married to a serial cheater who emotionally tramples their SO whenever they want to.


BSO: SnowflakeBonfire (29)
WSO: LonesomeRoad (27)

Trying to R...


Posts: 106 | Registered: Dec 2011
itainteasy
♀ Member
Member # 31094
Default  Posted: 11:59 AM, February 24th (Friday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Everyone, I'm also an adult child of an unfaithful parent.

Here is my story (warning, it might be really long).

My mother and my father got married in 1972, or 73. I came along in '76. My brother J, came along in '78. By 1980 my father was a city policeman, and he was a cheater.

Around this time, I just turned 5 (or maybe I was 4?). My mother's birthday is in September, and my dad, my mom, and mom's BFF went "out" to celebrate. The next morning, I woke up, likely at the crack of dawn, as kids do, and I wanted my breakfast. I remember that I had recently been allowed to pour my own cereal in the bowl, but still needed help with milk. I walked into my parents' bedroom, to ask my mom for help. To my surprise, I saw my mom on her normal side of the bed. My dad in the middle of the bed, and mom's BFF on the other side of my dad. Topless.

I remember feeling very, very scared. I walked over to my mom, and said "Mommy, why is Mrs C in bed with you and daddy" My mother sat up, looked over, and said "Go to your room."

The next few hours were nothing but screaming. J came in my room, and we just held each other.

After that, my mom just cried all the time. My dad moved out to live with Mrs C, and her two kids. I remember when my dad was leaving, I wrapped myself around his leg and begged "Daddy, please don't leave. I'll be a good girl", and he said to my mother "Get her off of me."

My mother and father divorced after that. My mother went on to marry a good guy, and they have been married 26 yrs.

My father went on to his second wife (who was NOT an OW), and had my 2nd brother, C. Their marriage lasted about 3 yrs, because he started cheating on wife #2 with a 17 yr old burger king employee. My dad was in his 30's at this time. My father introduced us to his "friend" on my birthday. He said "Let's keep this between you and me. I need you kids to be tactful." I didn't know what tactful meant, so when I got home, I asked my mother. She said it meant to keep a quiet counsel to yourself. I said "Oh so it means don't tell someone if someone else does something they aren't supposed to do?" My mother said "what happened?" So I told her that my dad brought this girl on the boat and said she was his friend but we needed to be tactful about it. My mother said "How does that make you feel?" I said "I feel scared and sad and I want to to talk to Laura." So my mother dialed up my stepmother, and said "N needs to talk to you." So I told my stepmother about my dad's girlfriend. She thanked me for being honest with her, and told me she loved me. I, to this day, treat Laura as family.

After I outed my dad, this girl used to torment my stepmother. She'd call Laura and taunt her.
Finally, she had enough and filed for D.

My father went on to marry the OW, whom I hated. She was 6yrs older than me, and didn't want me, J, or C around. So we never saw my dad.

Dad had a vasectomy after C was born, because he maintained that C was "an accident", and that my stepmother "trapped" him. I was 12 yrs old when C was born. I said "Wow, dad, I didn't know it was 1858 and you HAD to marry a girl if she was pregnant."
My father yelled at my mother for "poisoning" my mind against him. I mean, God forbid, I have my own thoughts and opinions.

Anyway, fast forward a little, and dad has been married to OW for about 8 yrs. She comes to him and asks for D. He panics and says he'll do anything to stay M. He really loved this girl. She said "well I decided I want kids and you can't have any, so I want out."

My dad had his vasectomy reversed for her. She left him anyway, after finally confessing that she fell in love with a lawyer, and she gave him the "ILBINILWY" speech. He was devestated.

I thought he got his Karma. And I said as much to him.


After a few years of being on his own, he got married again. To a woman who is 6 mos older than me, and shares the same first name with me. (Creepy). Six years ago, they had my baby brother, D. I love that kid to pieces. I even get along well with my new stepmother. She hates when I introduce her as "My Stepmother, N". I find it funny.

Now, I do act like my relationship with my dad doesn't matter. I put on a lot of bravado.

It does. I have major, major abandonment issues. The memory of him saying "Get her off of me", will not die no matter what I do. I judged my own self worth from that incident for SUCH a long time.

My dad left me=my dad doesn't love me=why should anyone else?

My first serious relationship was a best friendship that turned into romance. I was 17. He joined the Army. He asked me to marry him on Christmas the next year. By that April, he already had an OW in another solider. I found out about her that June. He left his wallet open to her picture. I thought it was MY picture. We looked A LOT alike.

I didn't know what to do. I didn't confront. Turns out he bragged to our friends that he had this "girl" back at the base that would do anything for him, buy anythinig for him, etc. My friend said "You tell her, or I will." He said he would. He didn't.

So my best friends in the world sat me down and said "N, Jamie is having an affair." I told them I knew..and the BF of my friend, K, said "He said he still loves you and wants to marry you, but when he's down there, he's "Jimmy", not "Jamie" and is living like that."

I waited for his ass. I waited for him to ETS, and come home to me. Well he ETSd alright, and he came home. For a week. A week that he hid from me. Then he moved to Boston, to be with her. They got married, have two kids and are happy.

I'm happy for him, I am. It took me a LONG time to get there though!

My relationship (or lack thereof) with my father has shaped every relationship I have had with a man. I KNOW what cheating looks like, yet I have managed to get involved with cheaters.

When I turned 30, I took a long look at my life. I forgave myself for past mistakes, and I think I truly started to love myself. I stopped basing my self worth on whether or not my broken father loved me. He does. In his own way, which is not my way. I learned that.

I don't think he's cheating on my now stepmother, but he never, ever got help for himself to see why he did what he did, so you never know.

Now, my current F, is dealing with his father's recently brought to light infidelity. I have talked about this before....his dad chose a stripper crack whore to cheat on his mom with. his mom is in her 70's. His dad is in his late 60's. He's been in this affair for 9 yrs now. He has been caught, gaslighted, admitted it, gone underground, got caught, gaslighted, admitted it...it's a vicious circle.

His mother chooses to bury her head in the sand. But, she confides in my F, which is so unfair to him. He doesn't know what to do or say, and he hates his dad now. His dad acts like he does nothing wrong and can't understand why anyone would ever be angry with him.

So we make a good pair, my F and I!


Posts: 3080 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: NWPA
momdaughterwife
♀ Member
Member # 32209
Default  Posted: 5:19 PM, February 24th (Friday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

For those of us who experienced infidelity growing up with our parents, there are probably too many stories to even remember. What most of us have shared is probably just the tip of the iceberg. One of you mentioned that you are accepting that your dad loves you in HIS way, not your way. That strikes a chord with me. I do believe that's true in many cases anyway. I guess I have accepted that my dad puts himself and his needs first. It's not mean spirited, it's how he is. If he DOES do something nice, he usually wants something. I take his kindness with the wariness of what he'll ask in return. Thank you all for sharing. It is really helping me to share this pain with all of you and to hear some of the things you've done or are doing to heal. Hopefully more SI'ers will share here as well. Like I said, I'm afraid this is the tip of the iceberg. I'm afraid that there are probably many of us here who have this particular FOO issue. Since my father cheated and so did FWH's, why couldn't WE avoid it??? Since we suffered pain as children, how can we inflict the same pain on OUR children??? These are the questions that I am seeking in order to hopefully heal and help our children heal. Some of these stories about the AP becoming a step parent or live in parent? This is one of the reasons I fought hard to save my marriage. The MOW was a stranger who cheated on her husband with mine. I didn't want her in my kids' life as a mother figure. The thought scared me because you just don't know what the future would hold for our kids.


Me BS
Him WH
2 boys
We've all been through a lot. Our family seems to be thriving again. I pray that will continue.

Posts: 825 | Registered: May 2011
itainteasy
♀ Member
Member # 31094
Default  Posted: 4:54 PM, February 25th (Saturday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I wanted to answer the question:

How is your relationship with the unfaithful parent vs. the faithful?

My father and I have a friendly relationship, but not a family/father/daughter one. That's as far as I can go. I can say "I love you Dad", but if I try to get emotionally invested in him, I usually get burned. Instead I focus on my relationship with my baby brother. I don't know how healthy that is though. The love I want to show to my dad, I show to my brother. He loves me, unconditionally, so there is no fear of rejection. How sad is that? I fear rejection of love from my father.

My mother and I are close, although we butt heads frequently. But, with her, I have unquestioned trust. She has never lied to me, used me, or put me in harm's way. All things that my father has done.


Posts: 3080 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: NWPA
silverhopes
♀ Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 11:32 PM, February 25th (Saturday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I didn't want her in my kids' life as a mother figure.

That is very profound. To me, that's one of the scariest results of infidelity; the OP winding up with some sort of power over the children. I think you're brave for protecting your kids that way.

The thing about having these parents who cheated... It's sad because I think we learned not what kind of role model we wanted, but what kind we didn't want. And that affects us more deeply than we'll ever know. That's not a way to learn life values, by seeing horrible examples instead of positive ones. But we can reclaim some of it, especially as parents ourselves.

Something I struggle with is how much I still love my mother and didn't want to lose her, how I was always scared of losing her (she had a drug addiction during my early childhood). But what she did to my stepmother absolutely disgusted and hurt me. My therapist has said that I need to work on forgiveness. Forgiveness isn't saying that what happened is okay; it's accepting that yes, it really happened. It's letting go of some of the pain that it happened. I know it's not an overnight process. Each day I need to make the decision to forgive a little. But I'm wondering where to start. Maybe by realizing and being thankful that my stepmother has moved on, and that it's not happening to her anymore. She's not in pain anymore.

Momdaughterwife and itainteasy - I am so glad that your mothers remarried to men who loved them so much. That is the greatest gift out of so much pain. That someone better for THEM came into their lives.

My relationships with my parents were... well, they were complicated by a lot of other things. My diagnosed mental illnesses, my mother's drug addiction, my father's issues with my mental illness in middle school (he hit me a few times when I verbally pushed him too far), the split custody, historic issues with my godmother who I think has some boundary issues, my family's general issues with being passive aggressive and explosively angry, my father's decision to not be in his grandson's life... But I will say, generally, that my father has always been more responsible than my mother. During my mother's drug addiction, I gained some sort of horrible complex that I needed to take care of her (and everyone). It was unhealthy. Also that anything that went wrong, was my responsibility. That I had to keep the peace. So I hid a lot of feelings about my mother's infidelity from myself for a while. My father didn't even know about her betrayal of my stepmother until a couple of months ago, when I emailed him about it (he emails me to keep in touch and ask about therapy, but his requirements for us to keep in touch are that I am to overcome my mental illnesses and in the meantime not speak to him about my son or husband. I haven't seen him in almost two years, by his choice and not mine). Long way of saying, my relationships are complicated with them. All three of them. Forgot to mention that my godmother is an OW in an LTEA (ex fiancÚ from 40 years ago), and it makes me sick. But my therapist said that I am not to judge her for her lifestyle and that I cannot say anything against her choices out of respect for her as my elder and parent figure. I said something once, she ignored me, and continues to talk about the married man. I've begun walking out of the room when she starts. I feel shitty for being rude to her, and even sicker to think that she justifies doing this. And keeps trying to tell me about it like it's this great secret! After I've told her so many times how my mother's and WH's actions have hurt me. She's made excuses for them somewhat, and I accept that she has her own issues. I still love her. Just not her choices.

Love them, and my way of love is different ...that resonates with me. Thank you itainteasy.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 11:48 PM, February 25th (Saturday)]


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3761 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
itainteasy
♀ Member
Member # 31094
Default  Posted: 11:46 PM, February 25th (Saturday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that the way I love and the way my dad loves are very, very different.

But once I did, it was a lot easier to be around him, and involved with his life.

I am very blessed to have my stepfather in my life. He's been there in every way that counts for 26yrs.

silverhopes, my heart is just broken for the little girl you once were. You had to be a grown up way too early, and it is so unfair that you had so much adult pressure to take care of everybody.


Posts: 3080 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: NWPA
silverhopes
♀ Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 11:58 PM, February 25th (Saturday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you (((itainteasy))).

I know my mental illnesses were hard on them though. How do you tell your parents it's not their fault you're sick? No parent wants their child to be sick. I still feel guilty that I don't know how to be normal. But we're working on that in therapy.

I think we all had to grow up way too fast.

I like what you said about your way of loving is different from your father's. That's so wise.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 12:03 AM, February 26th (Sunday)]


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3761 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
momdaughterwife
♀ Member
Member # 32209
Default  Posted: 1:22 PM, February 26th (Sunday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Itainteasy and silverhopes, I agree that accepting their way of loving is not the same is very wise and profound. That being said, through IC, reading on SI all the good advice, I've applied some boundaries with my dad as well. That has really helped me. We do not need to listen to their dysfunctional stories and choices out of respect for them being our elders. We can set boundaries without lecturing them or telling them what to do. My dad lives with my alcoholic brother, against my wishes or advice. We have an agreement that if my brother gets drunk and they argue, my dad is not allowed to call me to complain about it. He knows that I don't agree with him living there in the first place. He continues to allow it, so I cannot worry myself sick about it. He's a big boy. Same with financial woes. I cannot pay my dad's bills or manage his money for him. I've advised him to stop gambling, I've giving him many suggestions for easy, healthy meals, yet my brother and him eat out 1-3 times per day. My dad is diabetic and really cannot do this, but he does. So, I've asked him to please not divulge every awful detail of their money problems, because I can't fix it for them. Another boundary I've had to set? My dad has this bad habit of running to the emergency room for every pain. He has been to every one in our region of our state. He used to call me at all hours of the night, COLLECT!!!! I've given him several calling cards that he loses, so now the rule is that he is to call me from home before he goes, and to call as soon as he gets home unless he uses the calling card. Also, my brother can call me first thing in the morning. We were literally getting upwards of $70 or more extra on our phone bills due to the collect calls. It's like he's this wayward teenager, and I have to administer tough love so he'll grow up! JMHO, this is not an 'unloving' or disrespectful thing to do. When you've been hit by the train, you don't keep laying yourself down on the tracks. So if any of you are currently being triggered by parents' or elders' behaviors, you don't have to watch it, or listen to it. You can speak up for yourself and ask that it not be brought up in your presence. If they cannot stick to the agreement, then yes walk away. If you approach it gently, it can work. With my dad, I would start out by explaining, "Dad, I love you but I can't sleep at night if you tell me too much that I cannot help you with because you won't follow my advice." Every once in awhile he slips up and tries to run me over again, but if I gently remind him he's agreeable to my requests. Thank you all for sharing your stories. I feel like I've found a spot where I really fit in here on SI:-)


Me BS
Him WH
2 boys
We've all been through a lot. Our family seems to be thriving again. I pray that will continue.

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