My Father is Having an Affair

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: From a 14 year old girl: MY FATHER IS HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH A MARRIED WOMAN FOR ABOUT 6 TO 7 MONTHS AGO. HE USED TO MET HER AND TALK TO HER RAPIDLY IN FRONT OF MY FAMILY. WE ARE 4 SIBLINGS AND MY MOTHER IS A HOUSE WIFE. PLEASE HELP ME OUT. I AM TOLLY LONELEE AND DEPRES . MY MOTHER DOESN;T KNOW ABOUT IT .ONLY ME KNOW ABOUT IT.I AM VERY MUCH ATTACHED WITH MY FATHER. I WILL HAVE MY EXAMS IN THE END OF DECEMBER. I CAN;T CONCENTRATE ON MY STUDIES DUE TO THIS ISSUE.
PLEASE HELP ME OUT AS I WILL BE VERY THANKFUL TO YOU.

A: This is a terrible, terrible position for a child to be in. If you keep your father’s secret, you are betraying your mother. If you tell your mother, you are betraying your father. No kid should have to be torn between the two parents she loves. No wonder you are depressed and having difficulty concentrating. It’s time for you to get out of the middle and let the adults work out their troubles. You could start by telling your father what you know and by sharing with him the effect it is having on you. Ask him to be honest with your mother and to get you out of the middle. If he won’t do that, seek out a trusted adult in your family and ask him or her to get your parents the help they need. At your age, you cannot be your parents’ marriage counselor.
One more thing: Please remember that your parents can each love you and you can love both of them even if they can’t find a way to love each other. They are both still your parents even if they can’t be good married partners.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Oct 2006

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2006). My Father is Having an Affair. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/10/09/my-father-is-having-an-affair/