Children Who Caught Their Parents Having An Affair Share What Went Down.

Cheating is unacceptable in any scenario but it's worst when there are children and families involved, because the actions of two people suddenly affect everyone else's day-to-day life. It's not fair for anyone, especially children who get caught up in these messes. 

People on Reddit whose parents had affairs were asked: "What went down?" These are some of the toughest answers.

I found out one day I was looking for condoms in my parents' bedroom, when I found a letter my mother has written to my dad. We all lived together, but my mother has always been more comfortable addressing issues written than oral.

I knew I shouldn't read this, but something in me couldn't put this letter down. The letter basically said something along the lines of "I can't handle anymore that you have mistresses. I tried to have my own affairs on my own but I couldn't really enjoy it. I called Jeff today to tell him we were over, and now I'd like you to do the same with the other girls. Please think of our children, we need to talk about this." I was in shock. I put the letter back where it was and went back to my bedroom. My (now ex) girlfriend asked me what was wrong and I told her everything I just read. We talked about it for hours. Everything suddenly made sense. My father was always out of town since I was a kid, and left my mother and I alone almost every evening. I saw him several times go on vacations with female friends for entire week-ends. Hell, even weeks sometime. Some of his female friends even had dinner at our home, with my mother, me and my brother being here. I don't know how my mother managed to handle this for years...

After talking with my girlfriend, I decided to never talk about this to anyone else. The day after this one, my girlfriend and I both went to my house and found my parents on the couch talking and stopping as soon as they saw us. My father had tears in his eyes, and my mother was looking at her feet. We acted like normal and left them alone. The situation began to change a little after that. My parents looked more happy, and my father was a lot more present in our everyday life.

A few months later, my parents announced during dinner to my brother and I that they wanted to divorce. My brother (younger than me) was shocked and had several issues about this for months (cause he was just becoming an angry teenager), but I knew what was going on. And that was tearing me apart. My parents decided my brother and I would stay in our house, and they would take turn to live with us. They each found a cheap flat to live in when they weren't with us. That uncomfortable situation went on for a few months, until we began to see both of my parents home at the same time. At first the official reason was cause our house was more convenient for my father to go to work on a specific day, but my mother then began to stay longer at our home cause "she was too tired to go back to her flat". And in a few weeks, the familial situation was pretty much back to normal, everyone was living 24/7 in the same house, until they announced us they didn't want to divorce anymore.

This was a few years ago, and now I think everything is forgotten an forgiven. My father changed his job and is now at home almost every evening, and my mother started to smile again.


A guy I work with had helped me move along with my dad and brother. I noticed a bit of tension when I introduced him to my father. Later that day my friend/co-worker tells me that my dad frequents his apartment building and has been spending time with a woman that lives there. 

That night my dad called me and asked if I wanted to grab a drink, I told him to tell me the truth. He came clean, he had been seeing a girl who worked for him, begged me not to tell my mom. He cut it off but a few months later I told my mother. She cried and said she basically knew it was happening but had been rationalizing it in her head. 

They went to a marriage councillor for a few years. Things were really rough at first and my mom sunk into a fairly severe depression. Slowly but surely after those first few years things began to return to normal, and now almost 7 years later they are very happy. They recently retired and moved to a condo on the beach down in SD. They will celebrate 40 years of marriage in December.


Dad runs an auto repair shop so a lot of the time he drives customers home when their cars break down and he has to fix them. One day while I was out with him I found a cigarette butt in the car that wasn't his. Dad said it was from an old lady customer. I wasn't so sure.

Turns out it wasn't, of course. He was having an affair with a drug addict that he found sleeping in one of the cars on his lot. Mom and I found out the truth at the same time when he left a note on the kitchen table on my mom's birthday telling her he was leaving. It gets even better from there: Mom had a complete mental breakdown and spent months alternating between begging him to come back and screaming at him. She went down to the business daily to try and stop it. I had to call the cops a few times when Dad beat her up for it. This went on until one of the girlfriend's druggie friends smashed her car windshield with a rock and she finally stopped going down there. While all this was going on I had to deal with strangers calling my cell threatening me if I didn't leave the girlfriend alone because Dad was a moron and gave her my number, which meant her druggie friends got a hold of it. I should probably see a shrink for it but money, no insurance, etc etc.

All in all it lasted a couple years. I wish I had inspirational ending to tell you where we lived happily ever after and Dad withered away, but alas it isn't so. Dad pissed away the family savings on drugs and booze, then the girlfriend left him and he came back home. He's an alcoholic and we're not on good terms. I still live at home for a myriad of reasons: health problems, money problems, the resulting mental problems from this nightmare, and the fact that if I leave Mom alone here I worry Dad will accidentally kill her one day while he's drunk. She also depends on me for emotional stability, I fear she'll spiral back into her self destructive depression if I'm not here. One day I'd like to move out of state to the area all my best friends are at but I have no means to at the moment. It's gonna take another year or two of saving/working probably.


I caught my dad on a dating site when I was about 15. I was a really sick kid growing up so I was homeschooled at the time and woke up one morning and saw him on the office computer while my mom was at work. Was asking him about something and he must have not realised that I was reading the screen behind him. He had already been caught having an affair a year prior by my mom so I wasn't that shocked.

I wrestled for weeks on whether or not I should tell her. Every moment I was alone with her its all I could think about until finally one day at the grocery store it just came out. I told her the exact conversation I had read and that he told the woman she could come over and sleep in their bed.

Eventually my mom told him about a month later and all hell broke loose. It was terrible and per usual when that kind of fight would happen she sent me to live with my older sister for a few months. They ended up staying together for about 3 more years with my mom putting up with the same thing and me basically living with my sister for good. She finally was able to leave him when I was 18 and now I have an amazing stepdad who could not be a better human being.


My mother began seeing an old friend of hers, just to hang out and be friends and do friend things. But she'd go out ALL THE TIME with this guy, sometimes we wouldn't even know where she was or when she would be back. We being my sister and I, both basically adults at the time also so we weren't children by any means. Sister gets suspicious and looks through her phone and lo and behold we find sexual texts and implications of meeting for such activities and so forth. 

We freak out, get upset, consider telling my father, who at the time was hunting up north and wouldn't be back for a few days. We decide to wait and, as my sister can be pretty rash, then decide to confront our mother. Sister does most of the talking, but mother gets angry at us for going through her phone, then accuses us of trying to ruin her marriage, tells us we're awful basically. It was pretty terrible and honestly I don't remember most of what was said but I ended up making a speech about how its her own fault if her marriage gets ruined and she tried to say now we don't love her and what do we want her to do, move out, go away? 

We told her to tell father or we would. She does and wouldn't you know it, he tells us not to tell anyone and gets pissed that we went through her phone. They're still together and we pretend nothing happened.


My sisters figured it out, and showed me their evidence, and I didn't believe it.

My father was always a moody person, and would often have hissy fits and want to be on his own, so it took a while for us to notice anything was off. There were little hints here and there, like when he was suddenly defensive of an adulterous family friend that he'd previously condemned, or when he was writing moody and sappy love songs on his guitar.

He started getting phone calls most days around dinner time, and my sister overheard a woman's voice wailing 'I love you, I love you!' on a couple of occasions. Then she started to snoop through his emails and search history and found out that when he'd been at a "conference" in Vancouver, he'd booked a very expensive hotel in Seattle with my mum's credit card (she was always the breadwinner).

I was living away from home when this all happened, and as I'd not seen it in person, I didn't believe my sisters when they told me. My dad was always a bit controlling with my mum and worshiped the ground she walked on.

Well, it turned out they were right. He randomly got a job offer halfway across the country, conveniently in the city where a female 'friend' of his lived. It was a big blow to all of us, but a blessing in disguise. When he left we started talking about his behaviour and finally admitted to each other that he'd abused each of us separately.

He's married to his mistress now, and she's completely unhinged. I haven't spoken to either of them in years, and I have finally managed to get my mental health and self esteem under control. My mum has an amazing partner now, and I've never seen her so happy.


I found an email from my mother to my father about his affair. It'd been going on for about three years at that point (I was 15, 16?).

My parents stayed together until I was 18 and then separated, got a divorce a couple years later. I knew it was coming, didn't bother me so much because I know how miserable they were - my sisters didn't. It still affected me a bit.

They're both a lot happier now separated than they ever were together. Dad is still with that woman and won't realise that I don't want to meet her. Mum is still single but she's happy being that way.


Went to visit dad at work while at college. Found out that he had a girlfriend. Had to come home and tell my mom. It was a mess and took 5 years for the divorce. I don't speak to my father anymore, for a mess of reasons, mostly stemming from that.


It all started when I was 10. My father has Multiple Sclerosis, and has had it for the last 26 years. He was also a Corrections Officer and worked the graveyard shift. My dad was the Vice-president of the Disable Drummers Association at the time, and was tasked with completing a new website. Now my father, to this day, needs help doing most things on a computer. My mother had the idea of asking one of the guys at the local computer store, where we bought our desktop, for some books on building websites because she was going to attempt to do it herself. This is when a young man, around the age I am now (28), offered to help my parents build the website. My mother at the time was about 36, and my father was 42.

Chris, the young man, started coming over around 5-6pm while both my parents were home and they would work on the website. This website should have only taken a week, or two, tops. It was just supposed to be something simple and informative. Weeks turned into months, and Chris came over later and later as time went on. I started getting a weird feeling about everything. I had a much different perspective of events because the computer was on the bottom floor of our house, and I was the only one that lived downstairs. The computer was in our family room, a mere 30 feet from my door. I was 100% certain something was going on about 7 months into this charade, when I heard them upstairs watching Saving Private Ryan. I could hear them making out and to me I remember it sounding like a sloppy mess, and heard them..... rounding 2nd and then 3rd base. Needless to say I still have not watched that movie.

I heard their conversations slowly progressing as the nights went later and later. To the rest of my family, apparently he had just become a "family friend," even coming to my elementary graduation when I was twelve. Yes this affair was going on for years, whether my father was oblivious or chose to believe nothing was happening, as she had cheated once before, a guy named Bob, when I was 6, of which I also knew about, but that story is for another time I suppose.

So two years later, three years later this damn site still isn't done and he's still coming over, now waiting until after my father goes to work at 9pm. One day, in 7th grade, I was 13 at the time, and it was about 1 month before Thanksgiving I finally decided to mention something to someone. I decided to tell my sister, who was 11 at the time, what I knew. She didn't understand and just kept saying "mommy loves daddy." Oddly enough, later that night, my father opened the cell phone bill, which he never did. My mom usually "managed" the finances. He saw a bunch of calls to a number, while everyone was home. My mom had been having undiagnosed "bladder issues" and had been going to the bathroom constantly. He put two and two together and it finally clicked in his head. He LOST IT that night. He found out 2 hours before leaving for his 9pm shift on. Had his uniform on and everything. He leaves at his normal time of 8pm because he worked about a half hour away and always liked to be early.

9pm rolls around and I'm still sitting next to my sister, and she seems quite confused. My mother sits us down on the couch upstairs and tells us to pack. I tell her I don't want to leave but she gets angry, starts crying, to guilt me in to following her orders. Chris shows up and him and my mother basically kidnap my sister and I and we drive to Chris's little apartment in town. It's the middle of the night so I cannot see street signs. It was a weekend so I didn't have to go to school for a few days, so we get forced to stay inside a couple days. I still remember the musky smell of his dark upstairs apartment. He had dating books all over his bookshelf as well. I remember hearing them while my sister and I attempted to sleep on the couch.

Sunday rolls around and my mom decides to take us to see the first Pokemon movie, as I was a huge Pokemon nerd, and it had come out earlier that week. Bad idea, because I learned where we were because I saw the local ice rink, Kennedy Ice Arena. I asked to call my dad because I missed him and the first thing I did was tell him where I was. At that point my mother offered to take my sister and I home because she didn't want my father knowing the exact location she would continue to stay at.

The next week my mom rented her own house in town. I keep saying in town because I lived outside of a city, and so you had to drive into town to get anything. Anyways, she rents this house and comes and gets all of her stuff within a week. My sister decides to go with my mom, as my mom was doing a "buy your love" tactic and I wasn't falling for it. Thanksgiving rolls around a couple weeks later and my father and I make baked chicken breasts, with stuffing and mashed potatoes, in our empty house. By this time it was more populated with our pets, 3 cats and a dog, than it was with humans. Christmas time rolls around, and for the last month it was a string of broken promises from my mother that she would make time for me, and promising me she was done with Chris.

I finally agree to go spend the night in the spare room at my mother's place and she promises me that Chris won't show up. I agree to go on a night my father didn't work, just in case. Around 11pm Chris comes. Perfect. There is a phone next to my bed, so I call my dad and ask him to come get me. I'm wearing no shoes, no socks, just shorts and a t-shirt. I walk past Chris and my mother on my way out and wait for my dad. It's quite mild for mid December, so this blizzard is more slush than snow. I stand at the end of the driveway for 45 minutes while Chris and my mother are standing all bundled up in the garage yelling at me to come inside, not once making an attempt to even brave the weather to come force me inside. My father finally shows up, and luckily has some blankets in the astrovan, so I put those on and on the way home I being spewing out the most hateful and cuss filled rant I have never beat to this day.

My parents eventually "work things out" which I believe my dad bit the bullet due to the impending disability the MS would strike, which he is currently in the hospital from a broken him and new lesions on his spinal cord. Which in the end was really the best for him, as my mom does take good care of him when needed now. I have moved on from the situation and put myself into therapy a few years ago to learn how to better control my emotions over the situation and we have a good relationship now.

I have had great suspicions that my mom still cheats on my father to this day, as I have found somewhat circumstantial evidence that I never dig too deep into anymore. As long as she continues to help take care of my best friend and hero I can deal with anything she decides to do.


At the time, I was 11. My dad worked nights at the bar he owned and my mother worked during the day. We missed my dad a bunch because he would leave right after dinner for work and when we got up in the morning for school he was already in bed. 

My parents had a bedroom upstairs and I went up there after I heard the phone ring. It was past our bedtime but I thought that is was my dad and I wanted to say goodnight. I was sneaking down the hallway and eavesdropping as I went. My mother was speaking so sweet over the phone and said she loved him. So I opened the door really quick and said, "Mom I want to talk to Dad." She hung up the phone and just kinda looked at me. I was mad she didn't let me talk to him. 

She sat me down then I told me this huge pile of crap that my dad has pushed her away and that she was unhappy for a long time and she met someone who treats her right but my dad didn't know yet. I didn't really know what to say. I believed what she said and said I was happy for her. She ended up taking me to see him one evening. We told Dad that we went shopping. At that point I realized how wrong it was. 

Eventually my mom stayed out all night and my dad after spending all night worried, was told by my mom that she had found someone else. After 15 years two children and a mortgage my mom had an affair with a bar fly who ended up dumping her after my dad moved out. My parents are still pretty close but my dad is still pretty bitter about it. They have been divorced for years now.


I was sitting in the back seat of the car while my dad ran into the store for something, and my mom was sitting in front of me. I looked over her shoulder at her phone not expecting to see anything interesting, but to my surprise she was texting another man about how in love they were. I acted like I didn't see it until I worked up the nerve to confront her about it a week or so later. Once she knew that I knew, she told my father. She didn't want to end the affair but also didn't want a divorce. My dad and I told her it was us or him, and she should leave if she wanted to be with him. 

She left that night, but came back the next day saying she chose us. We all knew she kept seeing him secretly, but my dad said he'd rather have part of her love than none. I hated her for a while, but we started to make up and become okay with each other about a year later. About a month after we actually became close again, she unexpectedly passed away. I wasted the last year of my mother's life hating her over that guy, and I will never regret anything as much as I regret that.


My dad was on a month long business trip so it was just me, my mom, and my brother. My mom had a lot of problems including depression and alcoholism, and she had gotten in trouble in the past for suggestively texting other men. My mom went to rehab for the first time, and then we all chose to pretend it didn't happen. Moving on, I was using her phone as a flashlight once to get something from under my bed when I text popped up from a man I didn't know saying some veeery suggestive things. I knew snooping on my mom was invading her privacy, but I was pissed off that she would put my family through this again. Anyway, I went to look at the conversation and she was sending him pictures of herself. When my dad came home I was to scared to tell him, but he found the pictures anyway. My mom went to rehab for the 2nd time and they divorced.

Don't put your kids through that. If you don't want to be in a relationship anymore then break up. It took me years to forgive my mom for what she put my brother and I through, and I still haven't told her that I knew about the cheating all along.


I was 17 and my family (my dad, mom, younger sibling, and I) took a winter vacation to Gatlinburg, TN. While there, me being the antisocial, internet nerd that I still am today at 23, used my dad's computer to check up on friends and forums I was on. I pulled up Facebook to post some photos and updates about our trip, but my dad's Facebook page was logged in. One I didn't know he had. On the page he was flirting with other women via posts on their walls. Things like "you are the most beautiful woman ever."

I was mostly in shock and spent the rest of the trip even MORE antisocial and quiet. I didn't tell my mom because my dad had always hammered it into my head not to tell in people. I later learned he had drug and alcohol problems among other things, so telling me this from a young age was probably a way to save him in case of relapse. (Which happened, though I didn't find out about it until later.)

My mom eventually found out the spring after. I remember because I saw her looking through his phone in their bathroom before she was supposed to go to school. I heard angry whispering and she curled up on the couch and started crying. My mom never cried. It just wasn't in her normal range of expressing emotions. I left for school and cried there because I hated seeing my mom like that. When I got home she hadn't even left. I asked and she said she didn't feel well. I told her I knew and I was sorry I hadn't told her before. My mom not going to school was a huge flag for me. She had gone to school awful sick before. Just proof of how bad she felt about it.

I later learned even more. He'd cheated on my mom before they were married. They had gotten divorced 6 months after getting married because he cheated. Then they had me and it stopped a bit. He did it again before my sister was born. My mom is pretty sure he has a son out there somewhere with an old friend of his from a year or so before I was born. The girl kept calling my dad and showed up at the house once asking for him with a little boy who she claimed was his. I tried to find her a few months ago but no such luck.

There's a lot more to my dad's ridiculous issues but that's just the infidelity bits. We were always super close even after I learned. We were practically the same person in mannerisms and interests and academic interest. Only I managed to avoid the drug use and infidelity issues.


My mom is in a music group. Nothing big, just a local band who plays around our area at bars and sometimes for town concert series, local weddings, etc. My dad works in safety and would often travel for work, and would be gone for months at a time.

Recently I moved back in with my parents. I wouldn't always be home, what with work and other things, but sometimes I would come home and my mom would be nowhere to be found. I thought it was odd because I know my mom's schedule and I know her and she's very much a homebody - does not like being away from home for extended periods of time. What I found even more odd was that I would call and text her and my calls would remain unanswered and my texts ignored. My mom NEVER ignores me. But then she'd text me a few hours later and say she didn't hear her phone, she was just out for band practice. OK, I accepted his without question. She's done it in the past, no need to worry. But something nagged at me and I would think, from time to time, what if something between her and the other guys (she's the only female in the group) was going on? I'd dismiss it, because I didn't think my mom would do that.

It was the first week of August (this past August). I had the house to myself (my mom went to visit my dad out of state. They were visiting some old family friends at the time). I was waiting for my boyfriend to drop by so we could hang out. A package my mom ordered came in that day, so I texted her letting her know it was there. She sent me a text to thank me.

Two seconds later I got another text. It said something like, "I miss you honey, I can't wait to hear your voice. I saw you messaged me and I can't wait to read it."

I read it and my blood ran cold. There was no coming back from this, I knew the truth. Amazingly, she sent another text. "I love you [GUY'S NAME]." Incredible, right? Too incredible to make up. It was the guy from her band that I always suspected.

At that moment my boyfriend walks through the door and I'm having a panic attack. I finally get the words out, "my mom is having an affair." He doesn't believe me. I show him the texts. My mom hasn't texted me for a few minutes so I'm guessing she realized she was texting the wrong person. Then she texts me, "don't freak out."

She calls me an hour later, we talk, I tell her if she doesn't tell my dad, I will. We cry etc. she eventually told my dad. They're split up now but not legally separated or divorced. My dad is going through a rough time.

I never told my dad about how I found out, or even that I knew about this before he did. And I feel like a horrible daughter for that.


Was playing on my dad's phone. He go to sleep, and I become tired of playing so I opened up his SMS. Have no idea why I did it. And there was few messages from girl with cliche romantic words: "I can't live without you, you are my star" and so on. There were 3-5 messages.

Today I can't say for sure about outgoing SMS, if my dad reply to this messages. But since my dad doesn't delete this ones, I assume he wanted to keep this messages. (My mom is really bad with mobile phones, she literally can use only two buttons - answer call and end call)

When I read this messages, I was in shock. It was in my 15 or 16 and have a very bad social skills. I have no idea what to do with this information. What if this just a flirting or some joke? My mother is pretty tough character, so I expected a freaking storm worse than Katrina.

So I ended up doing nothing. 8 years or less after this, he left my mom. As far as I know, it was not a "girl from SMS". But this fact don't give me any relief.


Well, it all started with me just having suspicion. My mom just had too many conference and meetings going on that it made me think potentially she wasn't actually going to a meeting. She was very protective of her phone and keeps saying that she doesn't look down upon people in affairs and that everyone makes mistakes. It just raised suspicion for me. I'm not very old (still in high school) so this is kind of messing with my developing mind but I have already been diagnosed with bipolar so it probably isn't a huge contribution as to why things are so off for me, but that's irrelevant right now

How did I find out? My suspicion got to me. I searched her room, I went through everything, I look over her shoulder when she texts, but the one that confirmed my suspicion, was her computer. The stuff that was on there, literally thousands of chat logs, pictures of many guys, pictures of her, pictures of her with many guys. I didn't know what to do. On the inside I was being torn apart, but then again, I was really phased by it. It was weird and I can't really describe the feeling, some days I'm okay with her doing this, other days it rips me to bits emotionally (That could be partially the bipolar kicking in though making some days harder/easier than others).

What have I done about it so far? Nothing. What is there to do? I don't want to tear this family apart. I don't want my dad to get hurt because I know this will devastate him. He doesn't have many people in his life but my mom and my sister and I. I've known for about a year now, and every night I think about what I am going to do about it, and very night I draw a blank. I don't want to tell her and mortify her, but she can't be doing this and I feel like it's my responsibility to stop her. My counsellor told me a few things I could do as to confronting her or help in coping with it, but I'm afraid to do anything because I don't want anyone hurt.

Long story short, if you are thinking about having an affair on your spouse, just don't. There is a very likely chance that you are hurting someone very close to you. Someone will find out eventually, it is not worth it. I have lost all faith and trust in my mom due to the fact that she could lie to everyone like that. If you don't want your kids thinking that about you, then just don't do it. It hurts everyone, not just your spouse.


His girlfriend contacted me on Facebook. What a piece of work she was. Apparently he had cut it off with her and she was desperately trying to figure out why. So, yeah, sure message me on Facebook.

Turns out my mom knew, and was happy to have a confirmation that he had ended it when I told her how wild she was.

Good dad..... poor husband.


I am not proud of myself. I suspected for years that my father was having an affair (he was not very good at inconspicuous texting, or lying and he would disappear for hours at a time with no explanation). However, I was only 14 and he was intimidating. I was too afraid to tell my mother, for fear of what might happen if I were wrong.

One day I happened to have his phone in my possession and I couldn't resist checking and the texts I saw confirmed my suspicions. I was still too afraid to say anything so I started sabotaging small things around him. I would secretly delete texts from the other woman before he could read them and watch him become irritated by her lack of response. He had gluten intolerance so I put bread in his calcium supplements. I thought he should be punished as often as possible. I'm not proud of what I did and I wish I had spoken up because I could have spared us years of pain.

He ended up throwing us out of our home after the other woman called my mother to tell her what was going on. We're a lot happier now.



Some of this material has been edited for clarity.

Whoops. That snip was just a hair too far....

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