No one goes into a marriage believing that divorce is how things will end. That goes double for couples who decide to have children, but sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we’ve planned.
I would hope that most people do their best to keep their kids out of the middle when it comes to disputes, but sometimes that’s just not possible.
In this case, OP’s parents divorced due to an affair when he was 7. His father had been cheating on his mother with one of her friends for nearly all of their marriage, beginning after she almost passed away during the birth of his sibling.
My parents divorced when I was 7 after my mom found out dad had been cheating on her for five years with someone she considered to be her friend.
The reveal of the affair came during my birthday party, which we celebrated late because dad made up some story about an old friend dying and going to the funeral when he was actually with her for an ultrasound after learning she was pregnant.
Another element of this story is that the affair first started after my mom almost died losing my sibling. The pregnancy went badly wrong and almost took her and did take her chance to have more children. All the while her husband and friend were getting together behind her back.
My mom never “got over” what they did to her. I think what made it worse is two people betrayed her instead of one, because if our friends are willing to hurt us like this then we’re screwed.
His father married the friend and they have 6 children together, and though his mother always encouraged OP to have a relationship with his father, she said that because of the deep hurt caused by the affair, she’s never forgiven them or had any plans to act like one big happy family.
My dad married his affair partner. They have six children together now. My mom has stayed away from them as much as humanly possible.
She told me a long time ago that she loved me, wanted me to be happy and loved and not to be distant from them for her, but that she would never be able to play happy families with my dad and his wife and their kids because some hurts are too deep and painful to move on from.
Like most families, the pandemic and shelter-in-place orders complicated things. OP’s father asked his mother to take in their 6 kids so the siblings could be together – she said no.
When stay in place was ordered things between my mom and dad deteriorated after my dad asked if mom would take his other six kids into her home, so “the siblings could see each other” since both he and his wife were frontline workers and had planned to send them somewhere to limit their exposure.
Mom said hell no. She was pissed as hell at dad for asking while dad was pissed as hell that she didn’t force me to go to his in-law’s to spend time with my siblings while we weren’t legally allowed to meet up with others.
Now, things aren’t much better for OP’s dad and his wife, and when the father made a comment about OP and his mom needing to “get over” what happened all those years ago, OP reminded him that his choice to have an affair was what broke up their family, not his mother.
Things are the same now. Only my mom suffered less financially through the pandemic. After a while my dad and his wife left their jobs when it got too much and their financial stability took a huge hit. My dad can’t afford to throw a graduation party for me, which is fine. But he and his family are not welcome to the one my mom is hosting.
He was bi*%hing about them missing out on celebrating with me because of my mom. I told him it was because of his affair and not my mom. That he was the one who betrayed her over and over again, disrespected her and then expected her to act like none of that happened so he could act like the good guy.
Now his father is angry about him taking sides, etc, but was OP wrong to bring it up?
He told me it had been a decade and my mom and I should be over it, and I should not have taken sides. I told him he should have kept the affair from me then instead of letting it come out for me to hear.
Let’s hear what Reddit has to say below!
Not only does the top commenter think that OP isn’t in the wrong, he’s also wondering why he wants to spend time with his father at all.
It sounds as if OP’s maturity has surpassed his father’s at this point.
There are not good people on both sides.
Everyone agrees OP is lucky to have a good mother.
Sadly, people like his father probably aren’t going to change.
I think this is just a sad situation all the way around, and that OP and his mother would probably both be better off leaving the dad in the dust.
Would you continue seeing your father in this situation? Tell us why or why not in the comments!