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Should I be mad?


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Hi. I'm a teenager (not saying my exact age) and I just found out my dad had an affair when I was six. My mom left him a year later after giving it another shot. My dad ruined my parents, broke my loving mother's heart, and tainted my childhood with terrible memories. Yet, I cant seem to be mad at him. He's so much more present in my and my sister's lives than he was years ago. He is being an amazing father to his baby with my step-mother. It's funny, I had an absent and mean father who refused to come home for dinner, screamed at his wife who loved him, and constantly left my three-year-old sister and I to fend for ourselves. My baby half sister has the best possible dad a girl could ask for, and he's the same man. I'm very proud of how far my dad's come in these past few years.

Anyway, I feel like I should be upset with my father for what he did. He ruined my family because of some chick he worked with, and never even apologized to anyone. Not me, not my mother, not the woman's husband and children. He just assumed we would forgive him. Whenever we had conversations about what he did he just assured me that he was better than his friends because he broke up with his girlfriend when his wife found out. He told me that it takes a man to do the right thing like that, but I think it takes a man to stay faithful to their wife. After everything he did to my family, I feel like I should be upset with him. But I'm not. Life just kept on moving as if I hadn't made this life-altering discovery. People told me that it didn't affect my life, but it did. My mom and my dad wouldn't have gotten divorced if he hadn't cheated (my mom would have stayed with him- I asked) and I wouldn't have had to suffer through 8 moves and 3 school transfers. I don't understand why I cant muster up feelings of anger or sadness about this. I want to be angry so bad. I just want to hate my dad and get it over with, but instead I have his affair hanging over my head, and I don't even care. Ugh. AM I supposed to be mad at him?

Also, there's another question. I found this out, and my sister didn't. She's completely in the dark. My mom plans to never tell her, and my dad plans to tell her when she's an adult, but I think that this will all come out sometime. The plan was the same for me, but I found out because I found a diary with evidence. If my sister finds out, do you think she'll be mad at me for not telling her? DO I have some type of sisterly obligation to pass this info along? I don't want her to be upset that she doesn't know major family things, but knowing would completely crush her. Would you be upset with your siblings if they knew about your father's affair and didn't tell you?

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You are not "supposed" to be mad. You are allowed to feel however you feel. This is your dad. You love him and you are proud of him. And it sounds like you have forgiven him for his mistakes. Take joy in that! Don't go searching for ill feelings; there is enough in the world to be upset about...don't invite it in! It almost sounds like you are getting mad at yourself. You have no fault in this.


I don't think you should say anything to your sister. However, ultimately, that is something only you can decide. Is your sister mature enough and emotionally solid enough to handle that information? Would this cause more damage than you can foresee? Your sister will be upset regardless of who tells her--that is a lot to take in. Is she ready for that? And is that your job?

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Who do you live with? How often do you see your father? Do not adopt your mother's anger. Do not let her poison you against anyone. Do not take sides or allow anyone to chew your ear off with adult problems. Some scorned angry parents do that to their kids. If you need someone to sort things out with ask your parents to take you to a therapist to sift through unresolved issues. Do not discuss this with your sister, she will learn and come to terms in her own time.


You can have whatever relationship with your father you wish. Their divorce is their issue. What happened behind closed doors is their issue. Keep your eye on your future. Focus on your education, college, what you want to do with your life. Get involved in activities at school. Sports, clubs, groups after school things. Make good friends. Do not worry about things you were not the cause of and can't change. Let the adults battle their own demons and battles.

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