“I thank God for giving me the love of my life after all those years that I wasted with someone else,” was the least a teen expected to hear from her dad at his engagement party. Infuriated by how he referred to his marriage to her mom as a “waste of time,” she shamed his fiancée by calling her his “mistress.”
Let’s be clear. There’s never a valid reason for engaging in an open affair, and it’s only a matter of time until the truth comes out in surprising ways. At the end of a string of family dramas, women who become “mistresses” are considered family breakers by kids who are too attached to their parents.
Believe it or not, the other woman in a man’s life, aka the mistress, does feel guilty. She’s aware of the fact that her partner is married to someone else and has kids. But she still decides to blend a new family with him. Though the adults may move on, kids aren’t always willing to accept the bitter doses of reality on seeing their dad with the “other” woman.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE PROMISES YOU'D BE A GOOD HUSBAND & A GREAT FATHER?
A father’s role in his daughter’s life shapes her image, self-esteem, confidence, and opinions of men. But one daughter resented her dad and blamed him for her mother’s death because of his affair with his colleague, Amanda. Posting to Reddit, the 18-year-old daughter said:
“Last month, dad informed me that he and Amanda had gotten engaged, and he wanted to let me know first before he shares the news to everyone.”
At the engagement party, the father toasted over his relationship with Original Poster (OP)’s mother and referred to their marriage as a “waste of time.” Infuriated and broken, the Redditor lashed out against her dad’s new fiancée and addressed her as a “mistress” in front of everyone. Unfortunately, she’d launched more trouble saying something like this.
According to research, girls benefit from the strong relationship they have with their fathers. When dads connect with their daughters, it helps them feel better about themselves. But in the Redditor’s case, she felt humiliated, and even her dad’s fiancée addressed her expletively.
“I was with my boyfriend who picked me up when dad called, and he was very furious with me. Apparently, what I said made Amanda cry, and he’s now demanding an apology. He also accused me of ruining his engagement party,” she explained.
Nurturing a rewarding relationship with each other can be a wonderful experience for fathers and daughters who spend time together. Though they build a foundation of trust and support for each other, things can go awry when kids find out about their dad’s secret life with someone else.
RELATIONSHIPS OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE HAPPEN FOR A MYRIAD OF REASONS
A person posted a question on the Quora forum explaining they’d found out their dad’s secret life and his adult son. The news seemed to take a toll on their emotional well-being. The person asked if anyone could advise on how to deal with the jolting situation. Eventually, a respondent named Ronald J. Brown wrote:
“We don’t know why your father took a mistress, but many men (and women) have had relations outside of marriage for a myriad of reasons which do not necessarily seem justified to us. Having a mistress does not make your father a bad man; nor does it mean that he loves you any less.”
Most extramarital affairs are reasonable enough to end even the strongest marriages and kid-father relationships. Introducing the “other woman” can make it difficult for kids to get over their father’s infidelity. On the other hand, daughters can grow up distrusting men because of the emotional scar, claim experts.
“I HATE MY FATHER”
For some children, the news of their father moving on within days or months of divorce can be too much to handle. Another 18-year-old daughter was taken aback by the very thought of her dad and his mistress expecting her to be “excited” about their wedding. “Honestly, I just hate my father,” she said, adding:
“He was going to get married to her, and he asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. I felt like slapping him and her. Immediately I said no and that I didn’t even want to go to their wedding. Mistress started crying and ran out of the room, and my father told me he was very disappointed in me. I told him I was disappointed in him too and left.”
It’s just not about the fractured relationship. An extramarital affair can cause lasting damage to children. Experts say kids who learn about parental affairs react similarly to children whose parents have divorced, except the emotional scars of infidelity are more profound and can have long-lasting impacts.
BROKEN PROMISES SEED A ROCKY RELATIONSHIP
Some kids may have sensed something awry but couldn’t identify it, while others might’ve been suspicious, only to find the truth years later. “Infidelity violates everything they know about their parents as people,” claims Don-David Lusterman, marriage and family clinical psychologist and author, adding:
“Their parents have told them to be good, tell the truth...and suddenly they discover that their parent is doing something way out of the promises they know that their mom and dad have made to each other.”
In rare cases, people leave a clue or two with their loved ones about their secret lives. For instance, a Kentucky-based woman shared the shocking details of why her father was overly excited to name her so that he wouldn’t get busted for having an extramarital affair with another woman.
Kentucky-based Kristina Fletcher revealed her father named her after his mistress so that he wouldn’t get caught if he called her mom by the wrong name. “Everything was fine for a few months until my mom found out my dad was cheating on her,” she said, adding:
“And guess what the woman’s name was? Kristina! So, if he messed up and called her the wrong name, he could say he was talking about me!”
Situations like this might urge people to think if children have a “good relationship” with their father. Shockingly enough, many people have admitted to having had bitter experiences in their lives and opened up, saying Kristina wasn’t alone in this.
UNABLE TO FORGIVE AND FORGET
Kids are mostly left feeling betrayed when they learn “another woman” has already taken over their mother’s place. While forgiving and forgetting are humane qualities, some children find it harder to get over how a mistress broke their family.
“According to research, adult children are becoming estranged from their parents after discovering their secret life. A study conducted at Adelphi University revealed that around 23 percent of undergraduates were aware of their parental infidelity.”
Children don’t feel empathy for whatever marital frustration might have urged their parents to have an extramarital affair. Often, kids assume their parents are old enough to manage such frustrations in mature ways. However, when parental infidelity is exposed, most kids distance themselves to be self-protective and never get hurt again, claim experts.
The news of a mistress arriving in the family can be a jolting experience for some adult children. A befitting context of this would be that of a 40-year-old woman whose dad in his late 70s had an affair but refused to admit it. In such scenarios, even pretending to be comfortable and acting like a happy family can be difficult.
Some children, especially daughters, grow up having severe distrust for men. The reason mainly stems from an emotionally distressed and conditional relationship with their father, who had an extramarital affair.
Often, the distrust breeds their inability to believe that their partner loves them, mostly placing the trust factor in a string of doubts. Let’s be clear: There is never a good reason for someone to engage in an extramarital affair with a married man. Unfortunately, it happens! Let us know your opinions. Thanks for reading!
September 17, 2021
September 23, 2021