Dad Had an Affair

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I just recently found out that my dad was having an affair. It is apparently over and my mom and him are starting to work things out. I am the youngest of 3 kids (adults now :) ) and I can see that it is hurting my mom severely. It escalated to the point today that my sister, the oldest, is going to be booking an appointment with the psych for my mom and so she can get some meds and talk about the problem. Then my dad and mom will go to the psych and hopefully sort this out.

I am just very unsure of how to deal with this. I obviously as an adult am not concerned with getting involved, except to the point as my sister has now when we need to as it is not getting better. I know it is their problem to sort out, but I am worried about my family. I just feel shocked and distraught and don’t know what to do. Both my brother and mother have begged me not to tell anyone, but I feel like i should. I have no clue what to think about the whole situation. I am of course worried about the stability of my mom and am unsure of what to do.

Please help me understand and work through this…I don’t want to be affected severely, but I also want to be there for my family, so we can hopefully move past this.

A: You are doing all that can be done right now. Your parents need to work on this on their own, and the degree to which they will be successful is unknown. Because of this the only reasonable response is to have as much compassion as possible for them, your siblings, and your family. I wouldn’t try to fix or correct as much as I would accept it, and have compassion as you see how the couples therapy unfolds for your mom and dad.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Sep 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Dad Had an Affair. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/09/28/dad-had-an-affair/