Tell Your Dad You Know He's Cheating on Your Mom

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Anonymous, Lynn, Doug Collins and 16 others

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Cheating in a marriage is an issue between the husband and wife. However, what will you do if you're the first one to find out that your dad is being unfaithful to your mom? How will you let your dad know you're onto his ugly secret? Regardless of how you came to know the fact, you have every reason to be distressed, and at the same time protective of your mom. You need to know the truth before you totally shake off your dad's role model image. Knowing different ways to tell your dad you know he's cheating on your mom can help you cope with the situation.

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It's difficult for children, no matter how old they are, to deal with the fact that your dad is misbehaving in ways that are damaging to the marriage. If you're the one who discovered the trail of your dad's infidelity, you can be in an extremely awkward position until you can't hold his secret anymore and decide to call it to his attention. There are few things you need to take into consideration when you finally gather enough courage to talk to him.

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Do not confront your dad. He will deny it and hide all evidence. That is what cheaters do. I was in this situation and I made the right decision to show my mom the evidence. Now she is divorcing him and will be able to keep the house because of his bad behavior.

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Contents
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Different Ways to Confront Your Dad

  1. 1
    Talk to him in person.
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    A face-to-face dialogue requires enough guts to talk to your father about a very sensitive subject. However, once you're on it, you can directly tell him all the facts and get more from him. Mince no words to convey your feelings and how his betrayal has affected you. Speak about your views about how it can potentially affect your mom and the family, in general. If you can't be frank in person, communicate your message over the phone as if you're just a foot away from him.
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  2. 2
    Write a letter or note.
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    If you cannot bear to confront him in flesh, write a heartfelt letter as if you're speaking to him. Write down the details and circumstances leading to how you uncovered his secret. You can either give the letter to him or send it to his email address.
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  3. 3
    Ask another person to confront him.
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    Turn to family and friends for help. Relatives and people you trust will be willing to support you go through this trying time. Aside from giving you objective advice, they can be requested to meet with your father and talk to him about the issue. You may or may not let your dad know you're behind the friendly talk. If he insists to deny the whole thing, then it's time to let him know you're on it. Consider asking your grandparents, community pastor, marriage counselor, or his best friend for the job.
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  4. 4
    Give him a clue.
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    An indirect route is to leave pieces of hard evidence to let him know you've uncovered his affairs. You may discretely gather information and convert them into solid proofs, such as pictures, telephone numbers, or mobile messages which you can present to your dad. Even without talking to him directly, the materials you hold are enough to tell him there's more to them that you know.
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If confronting him in person is your option, it is best to get your act together to avoid blowing up the issue out of proportion and leaving it unresolved.

How to Approach Your Dad About His Infidelity

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  1. 1
    Gather your facts and evidence.
    Go over all the information and physical evidence you collected to make sure you have strong materials to pin him down. Photos, receipts, or a consistent unknown number on his phone bill can help you win the case.
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  2. 2
    Choose the right time and place.
    Pick a quiet place where you can talk to your dad in private when the time is right. The confrontation can be highly emotional; thus it is important to have a trusted person standing nearby to ease up your condition, if necessary.
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  3. 3
    Stay calm and composed.
    Despite the range of emotions you're feeling, it is important to remain calm and clear with the content of your confrontation. Be prepared for more information that you may not know and don't even want to hear. Your father may use your instability to protect you from the bigger truth. Be strong enough to accept the truth, regardless of how much it hurts.
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  4. 4
    Stay within the facts.
    Do not bring in irrelevant or off-tangent topics into the conversation. Your father may use the same ploy to divert your attention and lose your focus on the main subject, making your goals useless.
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  5. 5
    Consider your dad's reactions.
    The confrontation is very personal and embarrassing, mainly because it involves a child telling a parent about his adulterous deeds. If your dad appears nervous or exhibits unhealthy signs, end the talk to allow him to breathe and think rationally. He will be more prepared for the next episode. For the time being, you have successfully sent your message across.
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  6. 6
    Listen to what your dad has to say.
    It's most likely he'll lie or deny the whole thing. Regardless of his action, he will attempt to hide the truth to prevent hurting you, which makes it all the more difficult for him to be honest. Show him you're ready to listen to his side of the story to complete half of what you know already.
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  7. 7
    Decide your next action.
    The hardest part comes after the confrontation. What will you do to rebuild your trust in your father? Are you spilling the beans to your mom? How can you help your dad recover his shattered image to you? Depending on how the confrontation ends, and the commitment your dad gives to end his affairs, you can plan your next move from there.
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Regardless of how devastating it is to find out your dad is cheating on your mom, you still want their marriage to remain intact. It is for this reason that you're assuming the discomfiting task to confront your dad not only to tell him you know about his perfidy, but you're worried how it may affect the relationship in the family. Keep in mind that in confronting your dad, it is his behavior and not his person you are fighting against. No matter hurtful and confusing it is, you must be ready to understand and forgive. When it comes to family, what you personally feel has to be set aside for the sake of people who matter in your life.

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Tips, Tricks and Warnings

  • Don't threaten your dad that you'll spill the truth to your mom. It's enough to suggest that he talk to her at the right time and in a manner he deems fit.
  • Suggest he that he go to counseling, whether individually or with your mom. That's a concern better left to their discretion as husband and wife.

Questions and Answers

I'm very confused is my father cheating on my mother?

Ever since my dad begun working at this Italian restaurant he is been acting strange he is been protective of his phone he never answers our calls and when we text him or my mom text him he picks up at times he goes to work early like an hour early, he takes a long time dressing himself for work and he comes late from work he used to come at 12:42 cause supposedly they had to clean after closing the restaurant but now arrives at 1, last Thursday he arrived at 2, my mom tried to contact him but he wouldn't pick up, he is irresponsible too and on Tuesdays it is his day-off but around like 5 he usually wants to go out, he and my mom have talked about this he takes us out when we arrive from school and like at 5 he supposedly goes out and drinks with his friends and comes home around 7 a.m the next day

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This is a very difficult problem to deal with, and one that puts you in a very bad position. Relationships are complex, and especially when there are other people involved, such as you. A father has a duty to his children and family, just as a wife has a duty to her children and family. If you feel that your father is cheating, you should ask him to take you out, alone, to lunch, or to dinner somewhere.

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Once you are there, order some soda or any other non-alcoholic beverages. If your father wants to order a drink, ask that he does not, and tell him that you really need to talk about something important. Ask that he also switches his phone off, even if it is just for 30 minutes. Let him know that it's very important to you, and you want his undivided attention while you talk.

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Then, tell him how much you love him. Ask how he is, and if everything is OK. Tell him that you're worried, about your family, and about him and your mother. Tell him that you're worried maybe he has been diagnosed with a sickness, like cancer, because he's been acting strangely. Mention him going out, and going away all night. Let him know that you are worried, and that your mother is also worried.

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See what he has to say.

Then, you can ask him if he is seeing someone else. He may tell you that it is not your business, and he will likely be upset. He may even be angry. Tell him that whatever he is doing, it's his life, and his decision, but that you'd like him to be honest, with you, and with your mother. Tell him that he is your example, and your role model in life. Let him know that if he is planning to leave your mother, that it's his decisions, and you aren't going to try and change it or him, but that you'd like to try some family counseling, with or without you being there for the counseling.

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Tell him that however hard whatever he is going through is, you asking him and talking to him is the hardest thing you've ever done. Make sure he knows that you're doing it because you love him. Don't be angry or judgmental. There are things in a relationship that sometimes you won't even understand until you're in your 40s. The important thing to focus on is that your father hurts, and whatever he is doing to soothe those hurts, he isn't doing it to hurt you. He is probably just as confused as you, and also doesn't know what to do.

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Alternatively, if your father is prone to angry outbursts, you should write these concerns in a letter, and then discuss them with an unrelated counselor. If you are unsure of where to find one, most large churches have free counseling with a licensed and trained counselor, who will be willing to give you free and relevant advice. They can help you with your letter, and you can let him know in your letter that you have told no one of your suspicions. Only that you raised your concerns because you are worried about him, and that you love him.

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If you need more advice, just ask your question here, and we'll try to help.

I don't want to destroy our family what should I do?

I found a letter regarding his girlfriend

It's especially hard if you're stuck in the middle with this decision. But the truth always comes out one way or another soon and it would be best if you told your mom instead of her finding out the wrong way. Show your mom your support and be there for her. Don't tell her the truth just yet because it could be just a big misunderstanding. Make sure that it is his girlfriend or it could just be a business friend. Tell her in a couple of days or weeks if more things start to get sketchy. Don't confront your dad face-to-face because it would be easy for him to cover his tracks and remind him to be more careful. Your best get would to be writing him a letter or telling an extremely close family member to confront him. Plan the right place and time too. If he's stressed out or busy don't confront him, it's probably not the best time. But if you do need support tell a close trusted family member, friend or counselor.

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My dad is having an affair with an office colleague and I don't know what to do?

My father always shouts at my mom and hurts her feelings. It seems like he doesn't even realize that what he's doing is wrong.

It's very hard to deal with a parent's infidelity and relationship issues. Show your mom support and care, especially after an argument with your dad, but avoid telling her about the affair (unless she already knows). Be there for her, but don't talk negatively about your dad behind his back. If you want to let your dad know how this situation is making you feel, tell him that you have something important to talk about and ask him for some time when he's not stressed out or busy. If you're uncomfortable confronting him face-to-face with this, write him a letter. Avoid placing blame on him or lashing out in anger, since this will likely backfire. It's best to stay out of your parents' personal relationship, but if you need someone to talk to, reach out to a therapist, counselor or a trusted friend.

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See more questions like this: Is my dad having an affair, or are my suspicions wrong?

Do you think my dad is cheating too? Should I confront him?

My parents started having problems years ago, my mom is an alcoholic. However, my family staged an intervention. My dad moved out, my mom went to rehab and after about 8 months of separation and sobriety he moved back in. However since then I've been seeing little things that make me think he may be cheating, like condoms in his stuff (which make no sense because my mom had a hysterectomy years ago) and him getting super protective over someone using his computer (like me for school-- I'm in grad school, and occasionally need to print something using his computer, but now he asks me to e-mail it to him and he'll print it). So I don't even live with my parents, but he was so set on my mom doing the right thing, I am angry that he would be so hypocritical. Though at the moment it is speculation, or what do you think?

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Condoms are not just used for birth control but also protection from sexually transmitted disease and perhaps he is not ready to trust you mother yet because of infidelity in the past on her end that you are unaware of. Then again add the condoms to him not allowing you on his computer and things are starting to add up to cheating. Your father moved out for a long time and maybe he met someone during that time that he is not ready to let go of yet. Perhaps he has not cheated on your mother with this person but has the intention to. Alcoholism is so damaging to family which you as your mother's child can testify in detail on the pain that it causes. Your father could be so damaged that he is not really in the relationship 100% because of how badly he was hurt in the past. Stage a one on one intervention with him and give your proof and facts to him that add up to something not right. Tell him that you need to know what is going on so you can come up with the best plan to help your mother. He may not tell you the truth but you are both adults and you are at least letting him know that you are on to him.

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See more questions like this: How do I tell my mum, that my dad is cheating

What should I do? Confront him or nothing?

A few weeks ago I was on my dads phone and I saw a chat with a bunch of hearts so I clicked on it. It was a woman and my dad had been talking to her all day telling her everything he was doing and calling her my love and honey and all that stuff. I searched her up on Facebook and she is 29 years old. My dad is 41. My family in general is pretty messed up. My parents have been talking about getting a divorce for many years but my dad doesn't want to just leave my brother and I. They fight constantly and it's not a good relationship between my mother and father. I think he is cheating. I don't know what to do because I know I can't tell my mom. If she found out she would take her kids and never speak to my father again. But I don't want to leave him. He has given me so many great opportunities of moving to different countries and he always gives me great advice. I am so much more like my dad than I am my mom and I need him. I have so many questions but I'm scared of confronting him. I don't know how he will react. So should I just not confront him? It's one of those things that I wish I had never found out. I am 15 years old.

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It's understandable that you're scared to confront your dad and reluctant to tell your mom about what you've found. It's hard to accept such a devastating discovery. It's best that you don't tell your mom, since this will only make things more complicated. If you're scared to confront your dad in person, you should write him a letter to let him know how you feel, and give it to him in private, preferably on a non-stressful day for him. Avoid being judgmental, but let him know that you're worried about your parents getting a divorce. Let him know how much you love him, why you're thankful for him and that you're afraid of losing him if your parents split up. Don't place blame or point fingers, even if you found evidence that he's cheating. You don't know exactly what's going on in your parents' personal relationship, and it's best not to get too involved with the details. Knowing about your concerns might be enough to get your dad to reconsider his behavior, or to at least work on things with your mom. If you feel the need to tell him about what you found, then do so. Avoid accusing him out of anger, and give him time to respond. He's likely to be very defensive and uncomfortable himself, so don't press him too much. While it might not be easy, try to avoid snooping, spying or getting too involved in your parents' marital issues. It will only cause you extra stress and worry. Regardless of what happens between your parents, know that your dad still loves you and cares about you.

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How do I tell my mom about my dad wanting to take me away with him and his girlfriend?

The other day my dad told me he wanted to talk and so naturally I accepted but dad told me that he had met this woman and he wanted me to leave with him, but mom can't know until everything is settled...I am very close with my mom and I don't want to be the cause of a divorce, how do I tell her what to expect?...

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Depending on your age and location, you can decide who to live with even if your parents go to court because the courts will take your preference into consideration. Your dad talking to you about this is completely wrong and your mother needs to know that he has plans to move out. You do not need to tell her about the girlfriend but you should tell her that he wants to move out and take you with him but you do not want to leave.

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Have you experienced what I'm going through?

I'm not sure how to deal with this and it is best that I find out how to deal with it from someone else

I am not sure what you are dealing with but if it is about your parent cheating then please refer to all the advice in this article.

I think my dad is cheating on my mom,I've been suspecting it for months until today I found some evidence?

The last time I suspect he is cheating was because he always goes to an out station every Saturday and comes back on Sunday. He still goes every week. He comes back late at night. Just recently I kinda snooped through his phone and I found many pictures of this woman and her daughters, picture of him in resorts and restaurants which me and my mom didn't know he went. And I found out he and this women have been exchanging voice calls and messages. He would always tell her that he was back home and stuff and there was this one where that women said goodnight, I love you. I just hope she is just a close relative I can't imagine my dad would do something like that. Please help me and I'm only 14

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This unfortunately does not sound like a close relative. Think about it, if she was a close relative you as his daughter would know this woman also. Unfortunately it seems that your father is in fact cheating and your suspicions are correct. It is horrible that you are young and in this situation. Because of your age, you should speak with your mother about this. She as the adult can make the decision on what next step to take.

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See more questions like this: How do I deal with my dad cheating on my mom and I know but she doesn't

I can't tell him what do I do?

I'm not even sure but I've been suspecting it like 8 months by now, I just need to talk to you

Please refer to this article for help on how to deal with your parent cheating.

My father acts strange, he's a dentist but acts like a poor guy?

My dad is a dentist, dentistry is a good job for payments but recently my dad acts like he have nothing for me and my mom, I think he's hanging out with another woman, he's such a "self" man like a silent dad, you can't hear anything from him. he acts strange. sometimes he says "I don't work to give you free money to have fun and all that" I don't get it, I feel bad for my mom, she's beautiful, with an amazing moral, calm, with a great family, educated, a perfect mom, so polite I can't get it, I feel like my father is cheating

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None of the details you gave suggest cheating. He may be going through a bit of depression or tough time in his life that you are unaware of. It sounds like he is either thinking that you are spoiled or he is having financial difficulties.

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My mom broke over my dad's infidelity and she forgave him thinking it will end, but 3 years from now, me and my mom found out a WhatsApp message to that woman, my mom has picked up high anxiety and depression and even though I love my father, I'm filled with rage and I want to ask him. My mom is scared because we are financially dependent on my father?

My mom broke over my dad's infidelity and she forgave him thinking it will end, but 3 years from now, me and my mom found out a WhatsApp message to that woman, my mom has picked up high anxiety and depression and even though I love my father, I'm filled with rage and I want to ask him. My mom is scared because we are financially dependent on my father

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Even though you are financially dependent on your father, you should tell your father how angry you are to see that 3 years later he is still communicating with a woman that he had an affair with. Swallowing your anger will do nothing but cause further issues for you and the way you describe your mother I suspect she has been swallowing her anger for a long time. Try to help rebuild your mother's confidence. Suggest doing things with her like getting make overs one weekend or ask her to show you how to cook your favorite dish that she makes. Google your location plus child/spousal support as well a financial assistance for single mothers and show her. Hopefully things will resolve for you and your mother soon.

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I confronted my dad and now he is denying everything. I have the other woman's phone number, and Instagram photos of them. What do I do now?

For about a year, I've noticed that my dad has been texting this mysterious number. He would say things like "boo, baby, see you soon" and she would reply with hearts and kissing faces. So I looked up the number and found the girl's Instagram - on it were two pictures of her with my dad (kissing). I finally got up the courage to ask him about it, and he claims "that's not me", I looked at him and assured him that I was not blind and that was a photo of him. He said, "I remember that girl from a long time ago, but this must have been taken years ago" Right, Instagram says it was posted 3 weeks ago but whatever. I told him that I've seen him texting this number for a while now, and he says "I don't know what you're talking about. I'll get back in touch with this girl to see why she would post a photo like that because that's so weird." I know he is lying and I'm really shaken up right now. I am kind of scared and I am not sure why, and normally I turn to my sister for help, but she is just starting college and telling me about how great and busy she is. I can't burden her with this because I know it will ruin her - especially because her and my dad have always been so close. I don't know what to do because he just denied all the evidence I have been building up for months. So now what?

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His denial is typical. You spoke to him and he did in fact try to explain it all with explanations that do not make sense to you like the Instagram photo. You are right you are not blind, and obviously he looks the same in the picture as he does now so it is not a picture from a long time ago. Not to mention he was texting this girl all the time and calling her baby. Tell your sister. It may hurt her but you are hurt as well and she deserves to know what is happening and she will be able to work through all of this. You and your sister should then confront your father, this time together. If he still is denying the affair, you need to tell your mother.

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Can you help relieve my stress from this?

Last night I lost a football game and my dad left before I did. He wasn't home so I went to his work and his car was there, but he wasn't at work. He was next door with this lady called Mary that I knew. It was 12:30 and I didn't know then so I waited till 3:00, moved my car to the side of the building and hid waiting. He came out and I told him not to drive home and I'll drive. I caught him in the act. I never expected this from my dad at all. It was insane for me and its really stressing me out right now.. I have tried: I asked him why, I asked him when did it all start. I asked questions basically. I think it was caused by: My mom always being Nagy for stupid reasons and being nosy and annoying him

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No one forces their other spouse to have an affair. Your father made this decision all on his own selfishly. All you can do now is wait to see if he tells your mother. This is a big secret to keep from your mother so make sure that if it begins to effect your personal life, you need to tell your mother. The fact that you know personally this other woman further complicates the issue. Most likely this was not the first or last time as he drove over to be with her late at night which says this was planned in advance. Do not beat yourself up if you can't get him to stop. You could however confront the other woman since you know her personally and that may stop the affair.

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I logged into my dad's account to go on YouTube Red and in the process his Google hangout messages starting syncing to my phone. Well, after that I got a message from a person labeled "lovely one" and the messages between the two weren't exactly explicit , they were just stuff going around like I love you so much, Have you called my uncle?, I miss you , when are you going to send the money, etc?

What should I do next? I logged into my dad's account to go on YouTube Red and in the process his Google hangout messages starting syncing to my phone. Well, after that I got a message from a person labeled "lovely one" and the messages between the two weren't exactly explicit , they were just stuff going around like I love you so much, Have you called my uncle?, I miss you , when are you going to send the money, etc...

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Well, confront him with the messages. Let him know that he is being scammed because I picked up on that just from what you posted. The good news is he is probably not even talking to another girl but rather a string of scammers.

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Personally, I would advise that you speak to your mother about this first. If you do not want to hurt her then speak with another adult family member so that they can be there when you confront your father. We all do stupid things as adults. Maybe this was your father's way of escaping other life stresses and the good news is that you do not have any proof he ever acted out physically with any women.

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It Hurts & Disappoints me, What should I do?

My step mother is a very good woman indeed just like any biological mom, she's been good to both me, and my little sister & dad, and she believes my religious dad would never attempt any behavior to hurt her, I don't even think she has ever dreamed of something like that before, My stepmom has traveled now, and I am left with my dad at home, my dad always brings ladies to his bedroom & mostly make her leave at dawn during my sleep period, I sleep at the hall, and that's where everyone will pass before going out, so I am faithfully sure about what I am talking about, I have seen him come with many ladies, and what hurts me most is that we are Christians, and the most of the ladies know me by face, some have seen me sleep at the hall during their dawn escape, The most annoying thing is that I resemble my dad, facially & speechlessly, it will be a disgrace to me too when people find out about the Stupid behavior of my dad, now I even regret looking like him, besides I don't support him secretly paying back my stepmom in such unfaithful way after all the good things and help she has offered us, especially me. Please I don't know what to do! Help, thank you.

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Well, you are never going to be held responsible for the actions of your father. I am sorry that you are witnessing all of this. Since you are Christians, I suggest you speak to your Pastor about what you have been seeing. Seek his counsel on what to do in terms of notifying your step mother. It sounds like you have a deep relationship with her and perhaps your Pastor can help you let her know what has been happening in her absence. You can also call her and let her know that she needs to come back immediately without directly telling her why. Either way, you can't save their marriage just like you can't be judged for your father's actions.

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