Dad Hid His New Marriage

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

My father cheated on my mother in a very awful way. I remember very clearly watching her cry in the room. I knew their marriage wasn’t completely healed when she passed away after a bus accident; everyone rushed to her side and may be for a second, I thought mom and dad’s marriage had been real.

It’s been 8 years since that incident, and even though me and my siblings had learned how to cope with it, the big secret dad had been withholding came to the surface only a month ago.
Dad had found by now a new woman, life-partner that made him happy. But that wasn’t the core of the secret. She already had his baby, and lived in the same city as us.
Dad managed somehow to keep his new life from us for years. This new life-partner isn’t the one he cheated with on my mom.

I have lost all faith in my father, and I don’t even know how to begin to understand his point of view. If he’s lied about this for so long, what exactly am I supposed to do now?
I’ve moved with my older brother just two days ago, and the grief is driving me crazy.

A: What a difficult experience for you to be having. I am sorry for you and your siblings. There is only one thing right now that makes sense because I think it has a high possibility of helping — and low probability of hurting. I would take the time to write out your feelings in the letter to your father. This is not a letter meant to be sent, but rather a letter designed for you to get all your thoughts, feelings and reactions in one place.

Research shows that expressive writing can be very helpful and integrating our most difficult thoughts through the vehicle of writing them down. After this see how you feel and then perhaps consult with your siblings about what the next best thing is to do.

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

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 May 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). Dad Hid His New Marriage. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/17/dad-hid-his-new-marriage/