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Are you a child of a parent that cheated?

Katz13 posted 11/25/2020 21:42 PM

Curious to see how a relationship changes once a child knows that infidelity caused their parents' divorce. How did you view your parents as time went on? If your parent then had a long term relationship with their AP, how did you view them?

How did infidelity and subsequent divorce of your parents change your views on marriage and relationships?

It's hard for me to hide my hatred for my stbx and his AP from my teen son. He is old enough to understand what has happened and feels awkward spending his alternate weekends with his Dad and his AP. I understand he needs his Dad in his life but this is painful.

leafields posted 11/25/2020 23:22 PM

My mom was the OW, and was single at the time.

This was back in the 60's. He was in the army and told her he'd leave his wife for her - but didn't. Her family said she should get an abortion, which was illegal back then.

She told me when I was 21. I know his name, but not how it's spelled. I have 3 sisters named Hope, Faith and Prudence. He was from CA. When she told me, I could tell she was ashamed.

She was married several times. Her second husband best her. One of my uncle's used to go by her house every day to make sure she was ok.

My brother's dad also sexually abused me. He had 2 daughters, and they fit between my younger sister and I. When they married, we were 6, 5, 4, 3.

That M lasted 10 years. My mom treated my 2 step-sisters very much like she did us. In fact, they still called her mom and kept in touch after the divorce. I consider them my sisters.

What this did to me was make me determined to only get married once. I stayed in an emotionally abusive M for too long. When dating, I said I wouldn't D, I'd kill him first. (Then watched Snapped and found out they'd look at me first.)

My kids are adults, so I didn't follow through with my original plan. It sucks because what I wanted to avoid is happening - stress for where to be during the holidays.

If AP is treating your son well, let that be your guide. She can't replace you. (My step-sisters had a relationship with their mom and my mom.)

It is painful. What is right for your son?

TwoDozen posted 11/26/2020 03:17 AM

I am the son of a W father. Multiple PAs and EAs and ONS throughout my parents 22 years together, they rugswept each and every one before eventually leaving and moving in with his latest AP. He then cheated on her with another AP then left to move in with this one before leaving her destitute and marring his next AP. He is still married to this AP but they have been separated for many years as he moves from one girlfriend to the next.

I will not be my father and trying not to be my mother.

My WGF is the daughter of 2 cheating parents, a controlling, abusive father who never showed her mother any respect and a mother who had 1 drunken ONS MLC. Her mother has spent at least the last 30 years saying ďI shouldíve left your father years agoĒ itís her catchphrase.

WGF sister also had a 2 year A with a CoW which ended and came to light when the AP committed suicide. Her H is also a controlling and abusive asshat and he has never asked his WW a single question about her A, he just turned up the emotional abuse to new levels.

WGFs parents and Sister + BIL are all playing happy families having rugswept their poor behaviours. WGF is cut from a different cloth to her sister and mother, she is stronger, more independent, she was always going to do things her own way and this meant she was either likely to not follow the family trend or take it to new levels of self entitlement and justification. Unfortunately she chose the later.

Her history has taught her that rugsweeping is the solution.

She is wrong.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 11/26/2020 03:31 AM

Yes, but my mom cheated after my parents were divorced. She was the OW, had a 3-ish year A with a married man (not completely sure how long it went on for), got pregnant, had the baby, he divorced his wife and married my mom. They are still married.

It made me a really good liar to be honest. Learned from an early age about being sneaky and hiding things. I became conflict avoidant. Honestly never really thought about the cheating much at that age - only as an adult did I think about it much. The non-infidelity related divorce of my parents affected me a lot more.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 12:54 PM, December 1st (Tuesday)]

99problems posted 11/26/2020 12:33 PM

My dad was a cheater and an abuser, but I never really knew that until recently.

Last night I learned that he took me by the ankle, when I was 3 months old, and threw me into a wall, because I wouldn't stop crying.
Obviously I don't remember.

My dad died in 2017 so I have only learned this stuff after his death.

My mom is co-dependent, I've known that for quite some time.

I take after Mom.

Trying to stop that though. Still, better than being a cheater and a bully I suppose.

So in answer to the question- I am not sure yet. Need some time to process, but I do feel like it has changed the way I feel about Dad.

[This message edited by 99problems at 12:34 PM, November 26th, 2020 (Thursday)]

Gottagetthrough posted 12/1/2020 12:26 PM

Not my parent but my grandparent. Definitely changed the way my father acted as a husband. He was ALWAYS 100% transparent with everything in life.

I married the exact opposite. It is still shocking that all men arent as honest and transparent as my father. I thought all men were.

On the flip side- milís grandfather cheated on grandmother. The family was close, and lived in a multi generational home all together. Mil and a cousin were laughing about grandpa and his mistress one Christmas. another one of Whís cousins, who was like a father to him, cheated on his wife and married his OW. So adultery is very acceptable in Whís family.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 12/1/2020 13:09 PM

I read this and wanted to agree 100%:

If AP is treating your son well, let that be your guide.

My Mom was the OW and her AP (now her H) had two teenaged kids. We ended up moving in with him and his kids once her AP got divorced (his ex wife was a nurse who worked graveyard so the kids staying with her really wasn't a good option). Any difficulties between the BS and my mother were a mystery to all of us - there was no outward trouble between them and we really were aware of nothing negative and my mom treated her kids just like us. There was no negative talk about any of the adults in front of us kids - we were shielded from what I can imagine was a total shit show in the background. His kids still get along well with my mom and we get along well with him.

As much as that sucks for you, it's the best you can hope for really. That whoever your EX ends up with is good to your kids.

crazyblindsided posted 12/1/2020 15:19 PM

Yes my mom cheated 3 times during the M. My parents are still married but it isn't a very good marriage as they argue a lot and my mom wishes she would have left and voices that to me often. Now she is a caretaker of my dad who has cancer.

When my parents met they were both married to others and divorced to be together then had me and my sister. I have a half brother who is estranged from my dad's first marriage.

My grandfather (Dad's dad) cheated on my grandmother causing their D. My Dad's brother had 3 wives and children with all of them. Cheating was abundant in my family.

How did infidelity and subsequent divorce of your parents change your views on marriage and relationships?

My view on relationships was that most people cheat yet I was still shellshocked when it happened to me.

It's hard for me to hide my hatred for my stbx and his AP from my teen son.

I don't blame you one bit and honestly I don't know how people do it. Both of my kids know I cannot stand STBX it's pretty obvious. Not sure how I would handle the AP. I would probably have nothing to do with them. I loathe blended families because that's what me and my cousins experienced growing up. It was a big family shitshow.

messyleslie posted 12/1/2020 22:58 PM

My kids are young so Iím not having to navigate them knowing exactly but my exís behavior was so noticeably hurtful to me that my kids basically saw me on the phone sobbing after he called and witnessed him he verbally abusive to me more than once.

In my case I think I just try to focus on telling them that in his heart their dad loves them and wants to be the best dad and husband but that his brain doesnít always align with that and therefore his actions donít show us that. And that doesnít make it okay, because the way he is acting is not okay but that itís important to not take it personally because itís about him.

I also encourage my kids to talk to me all the time and tell them that their dad never learned how to talk about his feelings so he just had to hold them all in sometimes to deal with them he made really bad decisions that hurt the people he loves.

I think for me itís important that my kids see that itís not their fault, or my fault, that he loves them, that everyone is human and makes mistakes, itís important to not allow people to treat you poorly, integrity is of the highest value (they see that they canít trust him and I name that and talk about how important keeping your word is) and that itís okay to be mad and be hurt because I am too and we talk about our feelings. Those are the things I want them to take away from it.

Somber posted 12/2/2020 05:57 AM

My father cheated on my Mother and they separated. He then chose to be a neglectful parent so we werenít much involved with him on a regular basis. When we did spend time with him, I adored him, I ignored all his flaws and likely loved him too much hoping he would show up more in our lives.

I didnít know until late teenage years that there was infidelity as the cause of their divorce. My Mom never spoke ill of him to us and did an amazing job distracting us from the loss of a father figure. When I did find out, I was hurt to have not known but also more in awe of my Mom. I know I canít respond as she did. I saw strength in her and loved her more for not poisoning our childhood with bad talk as I saw in other divorced families. My relationship with my father did change, I lost respect for him and was no longer trying so hard to keep his attention when I had it. I still enjoyed the time spent with him but was always more happy to go home. Home has always been where Mom was.

I have had negative views of marriage, I never thought we were naturally suppose to be with one mate for life. I hoped I was wrong though and latched onto every wrong man for way too long...repeating the behaviour with my father I suppose.

Not sure my perspective is much help. But I will tell you that I wish I was forced into therapy as a child. I believe it would have provided me with support, coping strategies and healthier ways to have relationships later in my life.

BentandBroken posted 12/2/2020 10:04 AM

My mom was the OW twice. First time got pregnant with my little brother and ended AP's marriage as well as hers to my dad. Married the AP and it lasted about 7 years. Next one was 30 years, but the AP never divorced his BS. He spent a couple nights a week with us, vacationed with us. How he explained his time away, I'll never understand. In my teen years and far beyond, that was my "normal." At the time I never gave a thought to the pain it must have caused her AP's BS. Because I know the BS found out at one point. And my dad...he never said a thing. He has passed now, and I hate that I never acknowledged his pain, or thanked him for his strength.

Now that I'm recovering from my second xWH's cheating, I think about it often and feel somewhat ashamed I didn't see my mom's behavior for what it was. I love my mom but I'm having a hard time with it right now.

[This message edited by BentandBroken at 7:02 PM, December 14th (Monday)]

WowItsReallyReal posted 12/10/2020 10:52 AM

My Dad, in his late 40's, cheated on my Mom with a 24 year old co-worker.
My parents separated, my Dad moved in with OW. Shortly after, my Mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal cancer. My Dad moved back home with my mom, my grandmother, and myself.
My Mom passed away several months later, after undergoing rigorous treatment. I was 10, just 2 weeks shy of my 11th birthday. My Dad moved my grandma out within 3 weeks of my Mom's dying, and OW in shortly after.

They married in October of the year my mother died (in mid-July). They got pregnant on their honeymoon. Both became physically & mentally abusive to me. The rest of my childhood was pure Hell.

They remained married & together for about 2 years, then she cheated, ran away, racked up all the credit cards, & hid my little brother from my Dad.
A huge, ugly divorce & custody battle ensued. Luckily, I had a BFF with a stable family & they essentially adopted me for awhile.

It's part of why I got married at 19. I saw my way out. Eventually, my Dad & I came to have a relationship, but I wouldn't call us close. Strained, for sure...but he's in his mid 80's now & I guess I have rugswept everything, so we can have a small semblance of a relationship (over the phone, now, as we're living several states apart after my divorce).

My exWH knew this whole story in great detail, saw how difficult it was for my Dad & I to have a relationship, saw the damage it did... yet he cheated on me multiple times with co-workers anyway. Left our family, discarded his adult kids, burned everything to the ground in the cruelest way possible... and still has zero remorse about it all.

He came from a stable, loving immediate family with a huge, tight knit extended family (I had no extended family- my Dad had lost touch with his, & my Mom was a foster child).

In every scenario you'd think I'd be the cheating risk. Not on your life! I went through that Hell as a kid, I swore I'd never inflict that pain on anyone.

I was misled my my Ex that he felt the same way, too. I guess that's how he felt... until he didn't.
All the FOO has definitely made healing, overcoming, and bouncing back from the betrayal & divorce a lot harder & longer process than I anticipated.

h0peless posted 12/10/2020 19:38 PM

My Mom fucked the pastor of our church for like 6 years while my Dad pretended it wasn't happening and "stayed for the kids". The, he met some mentally ill woman at his high school reunion and left my Mom for her. More than 20 years later, I don't have any respect for either of them, and I followed in my Dad's footsteps and put up with a lot of terrible shit in a bad marriage with a cheater.

If you have kids and your spouse cheats, you owe it to your kids to set a good example and divorce the cheater.

AboveAverage7913 posted 12/11/2020 09:49 AM

WW's father cheated. It was a signature topic for her for years - that she was 100% intolerant of infidelity. Tiger Woods? Terrible golfer.

I thought I had a safe, committed partner.

It turns out that NPD/BPD trumps all else, and COVID gave her the push.

Westway posted 12/11/2020 12:23 PM

My parents never cheated on each other, but they never liked each other. They were two lonely, miserable people who stayed together because no one else would have them.

I don't know if my XWW's mom ever cheated. She lives in fear of her husband. My XWW's dad was an "soldato", or a mafia associate. So, of course he cheated. He was well to do, feared, had powerful friends... I'm sure he had a harem of willing bimbos at his beck and call. Some women love dangerous men like him.

Westway posted 12/11/2020 12:33 PM


My Mom fucked the pastor of our church for like 6 years while my Dad pretended it wasn't happening and "stayed for the kids". The, he met some mentally ill woman at his high school reunion and left my Mom for her. More than 20 years later, I don't have any respect for either of them, and I followed in my Dad's footsteps and put up with a lot of terrible shit in a bad marriage with a cheater.

If you have kids and your spouse cheats, you owe it to your kids to set a good example and divorce the cheater.

What is it with church women and pastors?

nothisfriend posted 12/14/2020 09:07 AM

My dad cheated on my mom. They divorced when I was in high school. He married OW (she was a family friend) and they've been married 35 years. I do love my dad and my step-mom; pretty sure he has cheated on her as well but she stays. She never had kids.

My parents are well-behaved. Mom treats Dad like that awful relative you have to be nice to but only for about 2 hours a year. He acts like they are friends but they are not. They only see each other at grandchildren events. Actually Mom would rather interact with step-mom than Dad; they used to be friends after all. My relationship with Dad is superficial. I don't rely on him, I know he's self-centered and probably a narcissist. The closest he's ever come to admitting anything was during my D he spoke with DS about how he was wrong when I was a kid.

Mom and my sister were my greatest supports during the D-day, aftermath and D.

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