Cheating Spouse: Telling Your Parents

Today, I finally told my dad about my husband cheating on me. I had told my mom and sister already, but I put off telling my dad because I feared his disappointment. My dad is big into family and really wants me to think twice about making all major decisions because of my little ones. I thought he was going to say, “Do whatever it takes to keep it together,” but he was more realistic than I thought he’d be.

He recommended counseling. I told him I wanted my cheating husband to set it up. He said it didn’t ultimately matter who did, and that I should set it up myself and then get a feel during the sessions about whether my husband is really willing to do what it takes to rebuild trust. Additionally, my dad said if my husband cheated again, I should pack my stuff and leave immediately, make him realize that he lost out. He also told me if the marriage doesn’t work, then I have to work on starting out fresh and giving my children the most comfortable life possible.

Even though I felt better after the call, I still feel like I disappointed him, even though I wasn’t the one who cheated. I feel like I disappointed him in my choice of a man. I had this same feeling when I told him I was with an abusive man some years ago. But I am still glad I had the conversation.

24 thoughts on “Cheating Spouse: Telling Your Parents”

  1. Dear jewels,
    Till now, I haven’t told my dad about my cheating husband. There were times that I tried telling him but I lost the nerve. I’m still gathering enough strength to tell him. I told my sister already. I lost my mom when I was young so my greatest struggle right now is how to tell my dad. I have the fear that, like you, he will be disappointed with me and with the man I’ve chosen. I hope someday, I will be able to tell him the story. I’d like to stay positive but I can’t help thinking about the negative things he could tell me. So hard.

    1. Wow…this is so similar to telling my parents. My sister was the first one, then my mom and dad. That dad disappointment thing is really hard. I told my dad, but I didn’t tell him I was moving out of the house, for the same reason, I didn’t want him to be disappointed. I was SO lucky that in both cases he made me feel comfortable with my decision, which is surprising, I just knew he was going to say something that stuck in my mind forever. You will tell your dad when the time is right for you and I hope that it doesn’t turn out as bad as you imagine it :).

  2. my family knows about it..they are very upset..his sister an his mom i have yet to tell them…I think they know though-his sister reached out to me and wants me to talk to her

  3. my father and my brother are way past dissapointed with me..they hate him as well as my mom but my dad an brother hate him the most because of the way he treats me. most of my family know aready but i am afraid to tell my brother about what happened…i know he’ll try to kill him literally-he’s tried to do it before and each time i had to intervine with cops.. everything is so scary and stressful right now..

    1. Hello Elishma,
      Why are your parents disappointed with you ? It is because of being with him, the cheating, and other things that he does? Just curious. That is a tough emotion to deal with at a time like this (parents disappointment). How is your baby’s father treating you? The next few weeks will be stressful, just make sure you do everything you can to put yourself in a safe environment for your little one.

  4. I am still trying to decide if I should tell anyone. I told a friend at work but that is it. I just dont know what poeples reactions will be. If I tell them will they take his side? Will they feel its my fault. For my kids who by the way are both grown and one has been through a divorce, I dont want to ruin the relationship they have with me or him. will they look at him differently. Mostly I am afraid they will blame me. Starting councling next week maybe I will wait and see. I dont know if I went to tell them for revenge or because they need to know.

    1. Hello Sue,

      I want you to read your comment again. One thing that sticks out for me is that every sentence focuses on the other person’s feelings, no sentence focuses on you. Your opinion and feelings are most important, not theirs. Think about this – your kids might be more angry that you didn’t tell them and hid it versus you telling them. I think everyone has their own journey of telling family and friends, and you have to do what’s comfortable to you. I just talked to a guy, his wife cheating on him, and is pregnant. He told people, knew the wife would be mad, but he said you know what, I have never felt so low in my life and I need as much support as I can get, so I need to make sure I take care of me. And you know what, even though he has his days, his support came to the rescue and I do not think he would of progressed as far as he did had he not reached out.

      Now I am not encouraging you to tell everyone, because you have to feel comfortable with that. What I will tell you is, once you decide, make sure you do it for your reasons, not to protect anyone else’s feelings.

      Lastly, why do you think people will blame you? And their opinions are just that, they are never going to know the whole story, so there opinion is based on so little facts, so you cant put too much pressure on it. My husband still blames me for the affair, but I don’t care, I know i didn’t do anything wrong, and you have to get to that point as well. Best of luck!!

  5. Tell the parents was easy for me but when he told his parents they said I was a bad wife. They blamed me for everything when he was the one cheating. Unforunatley I have yet to talk to or see his family since. I don’t know how someone can take sides with a cheating adult/child man! My parents will stand by me with what ever I choose to do. But they want and apology for the way he has treated me. Iam still holding my breath on that one. But in AA he has to apologize at some point to the ones he has done wrong!

    1. Lisa,
      My husbands mom acted a little strange when I told her as well, she made it seem like he did nothing wrong, that some bad girl made him cheat. I don’t think so. He was the one that was married. He made the choice to cheat, yes there are shady girls out there, but that doesn’t just force our husband’s into the arms of another women. Sometimes situations that lead to you not talking to certain people is a way of the universe telling you that those people are not needed in your life anyways, at least for this time period!

  6. Lisa I can empathize with your situation. My parents were upset and supportive for me. When I told his parents his parents defended him and tried to find fault with me and my family and told ME to respect their son in front of THEIR grandchildren. They were defending a cheating adult male and blaming me, an innocent wife and mother who has been very traumatized by finding out about my husband’s multiple cheating. I now realize that cheating occurred between both his parents and I figure that they see it as normal and something a woman has to put up with. I really cannot get my head around the lack of empathy, the anger and abuse that got dished out my way when I revealed to them what their son had been doing behind my back for 5 years. It was not the sort of reaction I expected and I am stunned by it. I have had to face them since and actually apologised to them for my behaviour when telling them. Can you believe that. Talk about those two men having such control over me so as to keep me in my place. I truly hate them.

  7. I feel awful. My mother is usually hard core, strong and positive….she broke down literally. Made feel worse about my situation. No mother wants her daughter to be cheated on let alone have an unhappy life. I felt so awful and ashamed…. i chose this awful person to be my husband and now he has made everyone in my family unhappy. Instead of my mom calming me down and giving me advice….I was trying to comfort her. I remember my mother and I would talk about me getting married…etc. Its like my worse nightmare come true….AND WHATS WORSE IS THAT I STILL LOVE HIM.

    My dad loves him like a son. So much disappointment. I’m going through the divorce right now…last night he kept texting me….was trying to make me feel sorry for him and at the same time being aggressive/upset. He thought that this time around I would say its ok, I love you and I forgive you. BUT no this time i want out. This is mental abuse, i never want to endure as long as I live…totally messed me up.

    The first instance of misbehaving. We confronted his mother. She was like you are creating a lie against my SON! Well if the shoe fits! Look at the evidence…she thinks she knows him well…..BUT she doesn’t. From that pt on she never spoke to my mom again. I mean seriously look at what your son is doing…would you want a man doing that to your daughter? I’m not her daughter …she could care less….honestly she will never take my side in this situation.

    I just want him to leave me alone and move on….I don’t want anything from him…just my peace. I’m scared actually because now my parents and I are seeing his true side…whatelse is he capable of? What if he harms me or my family? i feel so awful.

    1. Daisy,

      You don’t feel awful – because then he wins. He did this. Your mom is in pain now, but trust me, in the years that follow, she is going to see Daisy come out of this with flying colors and be happier than she has ever been before, so her pain is just temporary. It’s pain and crying from her disappointment in HIM – not you.

      I did the same thing in talking to his mom – and almost the same reaction!! She was like these girls are lying on my son, and it’s just these girls. I was like no – he cheated, he is married and he participated, it’s like she didn’t see the fault in him, and that hurt me as well. But I am over it, so over it.

      I know you still love him, that is where all of the pain in coming from. I was the same way, I literally had to detach from him to prevent myself from getting sucked in. But Daisy remember, he did this. Keep repeating what I am about to write over and over until this sticks in your mind. ” He created this situation, not me. He is accountable for the consequences that follow. I deserve to be treated with respect, and I deserve to feel good, that is my journey”. Trust me, tell yourself that everyday for about a week and I promise you will crack a smile or at least lift your head up higher within that period of time!! You will get through this Daisy!!

  8. I have only confided in my sister and brother in law. Both my in laws are deceased, and my husband only has a social relationship with his brother. As for my parents, they are divorced after 27 years of marriage partially becasue of my mother having an affair, major communication breakdown being the main reason. My father took it so hard, and to this day still has not gotten over it, almost 20 years later. I feel guilty for not telling either one of my parents but I also can’t handle bringing up infilelity with my parents either, and rehashing their problems when I am the one who needs their love and support.

    1. Hello Lauren,

      It seems like you want the support so bad of your parents during this time, but you are afraid that it is going to stir something up within them that might impact them and you don’t want to do that. I am glad that you at least confided in your sister and brother in law, I hope they are supporting you in this situation. Telling your parents is always tricky, I told my mom way before I told my dad, because I felt my dad would be more disappointed, but he wasn’t. You know your parents more than anyone, so you know if they are the type that you would tell now, or when you are more confident in if you are going to stay or leave the marriage. You know if your mom is the type that likes to talk or avoid conflict. You know that this topic might be sensitive to Dad so you might want to think about how to say it. Lastly, you know if your mind if they would be unhappy if you waited a long time to tell them. Go with your feeling, what do you feel is the right thing to do, the answer will present itself, without you thinking that much. Best of luck.

  9. ” He created this situation, not me. He is accountable for the consequences that follow. I deserve to be treated with respect, and I deserve to feel good, that is my journey”.


    You are absolutely right. I did what a good loving wife would do….forgave him and offered my help in everything that he did. BUT he didn’t do his end of the bargain. He lied and disrepected me. He told me that I am giving up to easily on our relationship. Well…it should be 50/50. He is an idiot, he gave up on our relationship long time ago…when he chose not to get help for his gambling, when he chose to continue to lie and when he chose to contact these women. I am walking away guilt free….God willing my life will continue. He is toxic …everything he touched he destroyed. If I stay I will destroy myself and it will be my fault only.

    1. Hello Daisy,

      Good for you in putting yourself first and not allowing his toxic behavior to impact you from this point forward. I know it is so tough right now, but your life will be better because of it.

  10. I want to tell my mom so badly, but they live VERY far away, and I don’t want them to be disappointed in me or him. They love him so much, and think that he’s the best thing since sliced bread. He’s been an awesome dad to my son (a teen now) from a previous marriage. My son’s dad was an addict, and alcoholic, and has been MIA for many years, and I’m afraid for him to find out about this, since he finally has a man to look up to, and trust. I’m afraid that my dad would hop on a plane and come kick some butt. His parents have always had a rocky relationship, and family means EVERYTHING to his mom, she was devastated when his brother and his new wife moved to another state. I think that his dad would be hurt too, but don’t know what he’d do. I don’t know how his mom would react either, which way her emotional roller coaster will swing. We have 2 smaller kids, together, and am wondering if my youngest was made in hopes to try to make him love me more? He just makes me so mad sometimes. I am having such trouble with trusting him. He’s a carpenter, and dose side jobs when he’s home from working off shore. He cheated with one of the women that he was working for. He’s cut all ties with her, but I can’t help but wonder what he’s doing when he gets a side job. Even when I know that it’s with someone that would never cheat on her hubby, but I just wonder. And also, how do I know that he’s not some other woman there with him? I hate how my mind wonders. Thanks so much Jewels for having this site to vent, and read all these other women’s comments!

  11. Unfortunately, I have found the whole involving the family to be lonely and more stress inducing. The day after I confronted my husband about my suspicions, which he admitted to, I called my mother to let her know what was going on. She listened and said how sorry she was, then went on to drop the bombshell that my father (who is deceased) had affairs also (one she confirmed, two others she had suspicions). To be honest, I was in no shape to begin to process the information and still am having a hard time. I haven’t followed up with her at all regarding that bit of information.

    Then, I have felt completely betrayed by my own family. I have always been amazed by how easily my husband fit into my family and the close relationship he built with everyone. Two of my uncles (my father’s brother and my aunt’s husband) were particularly close with the husband. Both of those men cheated on their wives. Guess who my husband has been in frequent contact with over the past few weeks since our confrontation? Neither of my uncles have made any contact with me. Now granted, these two are the scumbags of my family, but I’ve treated them with respect and never vocalized or changed my personal feelings to them. I can’t believe the lack of loyalty and respect for me. Are they trading notes on how to betray your wife? I mean seriously – or is he trying to bolster up some support for his pathetic behavior. Not only am I hurt, I am embarrassed because I’m sure he is providing details of our marriage that quite honestly are private. I am having a really hard time processing this and wondering how I can move past this. To top it off, one of the uncles (my father’s brother) is coming from out of state to visit with the family this weekend. I will probably have to see him at some point. I don’t know how to even begin to address him. It doesn’t seem fair that I not only have to process my own feelings, support my two children, now I have to support family members and deal with my disappointment in the people who are supposed to be on “my side”.

    1. Hello Jen,

      Family is suspect, sometimes they are supportive, sometimes they are not. I think your mom was trying to connect with you by saying I know how you feel, but unfortunately did not realize that it would have the impact of your now having to deal with the stress of knowing that information, I think she was just trying to say she understands, but it seemed like it backfired.

      As far as your uncle’s, I would not even worry about them seriously, if you see them, you see them. If they are the scumbags of the family, they are not even worthy of your time. They do not want to talk to you because talking to you is going to remind them of all the sleazy things that they did, they don’t want to be reminded of that so that is probably why they are shying away from you.

      Many times family has bias views based on their own personal drama, so remember that when thinking about reactions. Their not really reacting to you per say, they may be reacting to their own past and insecurities, and projecting that onto you by not reaching out, or saying something hurtful. If there is too much drama, I would just leave family alone and focus on you, the kids and your husband. At the same time, I think there are some people out there either your friends or family that can and will be more supportive of the situation, it is just a matter of finding out who that is. Take Care!

  12. My feelings exactly about telling my parents—ur words feel as if they r my own. So much disappointment. Beyond words–just like everything else right now. I can’t believe there are so many women who share my painful feelings—really makes me wonder if there are any men who don’t cheat!

  13. Wow – I’m reading all of the posts related to family and have discovered things in my family that I had no idea about. I think affairs are way more common than I ever realized. I can only think of one husband and wife in my family that has no experience with it. Each of my cousins has been in a marriage where one cheated (always the men) — and had aunts and uncles who also cheated. Don’t know about my parents — my mom is actually suspect as she didn’t really overreact or ask any details about what happened with me. SO — that leads me to believe that she may have experienced it or wanted to. I read on a FB post the other day — The first one to apologize is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest — and the first to forget is the happiest. I thought it was so true. I just can’t forget and and continue to struggle with it two years later. I hope you all are ok. Stephanie — I do wonder if all men cheat as well — or maybe some who haven’t — may not have had the opportunity to. It’s really sad.

    1. Hi Ella and Stephanie,

      I think that cheating is much more common than suspected. It is just not talked about. I think the issue of affairs is a societal one, it is much bigger than the individual. I almost believe because of the times we are in, and the way our culture is set up, it breeds cheating. I think it is time to redefine our relationships, how we communicate and how we view infidelity. There are men who do not cheat. There are actually many women who cheat, if there was a site like mine for men, you would see many stories as well. Men contact me heartbroken as well from women that have cheated on them, so there are men that do not cheat. Stephanie, I know you are struggling right now, make sure you eat and take care of yourself. Ella, I will be sending you hugs to help you deal with the pain. I like your quote, although I am not sure you can ever ‘forget’, but you can learn over time to remove it from front and center, and put it on the side. I like the quote because it is a reminder that when you hold onto hurt, it hurts you the most. I think you have to think about why are you holding onto the pain? For me, I felt like if I let it go, than he gets away with it. But in actuality, by me letting it go, I healed. Now since you are still married, you letting go of the pain is a huge milestone, but when you do that, do it in a way so that if it ever happens again, the foundation of Ella would be so strong that it will not knock you down like it did this time. And in order to do that, you have to work on yourself. And once you get to that point, I think you will have more confidence to not have it in front and center.

      Gradually start to shift your mindset to one of power. Are you feeling like you are ‘choosing to stay’ married, and that you are in control, or that ‘you are stuck’? Little mind-shifts go a long way in helping you to not keep it front and center. You are more powerful than you know.

      Hugs to both of you!!

  14. I dont know if this is a good place to talk and confess i cheated, but here goes…I cheated on my wife, we have known each other for 10 years now…9 years of staying together and 1 year of being married….now what happed was if you spare me to tell my part of the story…we both work in the hospitality industry we littarly lived past each other but always stayed true and loving…then we decided to make a big move toghter. i got promoted in my career to a very good position but never knew the stress and pressure that i was going to have to take. Out of frustration and anger i always wanted to vent to my wife and at one point she fot fed up with me always venting and asked me to stop talking about work isseus when i get home of witch i completely understand coz realy who want to listen to moaning and negativity every day right but at the same time i had realy no one else in my life to vent to and yes i give up all my friend in the 9 years for her to be happy…so i had no one…then a shift in the company happened and a new lady was employed…at first it was strickly business but then at times i got so upset with work isseus and work problems and i started venting to this lady…so it ended up that this other woman listened to me more and give me more support and advice than my wife of witch i made the worst mastake of my life and ended up cheating…1 night only 1 night destroyed my entire life and everything i lived for…before the actual deed my wife also went out with her girlfriend or so i think to this day…i phoned my wife and asked her can i join you because i am realy alone at home of what my wife then told me no go out with someone you know or guys you met at work coz i told her i met these guys at work witch was true but they were not my friends yet just guys i met that morning…so i asked her please cant i meet with you and were go out togther then se got upset and said no its a girls night out fo out…so thats when i decided to go to the one guys house were this lady was also there when i arrived. i knew then this might end up in a bad case but i was not going to sit at home alone while my wife is out on a jol…we all gut drunk and played drinking games and then late that night i fot tired and whanted to go when this lady asked me to sit and watxh a movie with her…i was drunk and did not think straight and thats when she also took advantage of the situation and know i should have stoped her but i made the wrong choise that night to let myself and my worries about work and my relationship with my wife go…thats when i made the biggest mistake of my life…now my wife needs space and time away from me but i get it but i promised her perants i will look after her if she is this far away from them…now i asked her to tell her perants whats going on or i will…was that the right thing to say and do?

    1. Hi Scorpio,

      If you are still on this thread please provide an update. Two things to point out 1. Communication was cut off. Talking through exactly what happened from your perspective with your wife is very important because it will open the lines of communication. 2. You mentioned you got rid of all of your friends for her – marriage is not suppose to be prison with no friends (smile). You always need to have a healthy amount of male friends that you can go out with. It’s not fair to totally depend of your wife for all of you human interaction outside of work. Interested in hearing what has transpired.

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