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My Dad Had An Affair

My father had an affair with a woman at work 3 years ago but he doesn't know that I know. Although I love my dad and respect him, it's eating me up inside. To complicate things, my dad and I work in the same company. What do I do?

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 ---John on 5/14/07
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Since this was posted over one year ago, I am sure things have worked out on this one-for better or worse.
---Observer on 7/14/08

Talk to your Dad. In person..not via email, text, or IM. Go talk to him.
---melanie on 7/14/08

Rhonda who said denied intimacy is justification for a partner to stray?

In this specific case some criticized the straying partner,and justly so, but none broached the possibility of the mother sharing some blame.

I've no way of knowing what part, if any, she played in this disaster but it should be considered. There's usually a cause for such behaviour.

I've experienced such situations when counselling and believe denial of intimacy in quite common in marriage, some using it to have control over their partner. This puts the partner who is denied intimacy in a dangerous situation should someone else offer it. That's why Scripture says denial of intimacy is wrong.
---Warwick on 7/12/08

** mention of the very likely possibility the other party was also being unfaithful in denying intimacy.

very unusual to deny a marriage partner intimacy is same as stealing in Gods Word's wrong

if denied intimacy is justification for straying partner to seek sin against God then it validates the selfishness of their actions all the more

...if you ever get out in the real world you will see that "lack of intimacy" within a marriage is not the cause of the greater majority of adultry today ...but if it pleases you to believe others are "attacking" straying spouse wrongfully then just duck next time the rock is thrown at you and you won't yelp
---Rhonda on 7/11/08

Rita I was once involved in a discussion about abortion. The point was made that it is infanticide. One woman reacted passionately, bursting into tears. Unbeknown to us she had had an abortion and reacted so passionalely because she felt terribly guilty. That gave us the opportunity to pray with her that she may seek and receive forgiveness. She was the dog that yelped wasn't she?

I also believe it's incorrect and unbalanced to blame ONLY the straying partner. It is akin to the Biblical woman caught in adultery. As far as I know it takes two to commit such an act but the locals only wanted to kill her. An unbalanced situation beautifully handled by our lovely Lord Jesus.
---Warwick on 7/11/08

Warwick "I think a few here were annoyed by my comments for an obvious reason - the dog which yelps is the one the rock hit!" I think that your words here are quite insulting to those who disagreed with you. Here on C.N. we often disagree with each other but that doesn't mean that those with an opinion different from your own are guilty of that to which you refer. Some people simply do not agree with you - plain and simple.
---RitaH on 7/11/08

I'm sure some commit adultery even if things are fine at home,like those who steal for the thrill.

I didn't say the straying partner was justified.

I criticized those who attacked the straying party with no mention of the very likely possibility the other party was also being unfaithful in denying intimacy.

Scripture says in Christian marriage we mustn't refuse intimacy with our partner as Satan will use that. Refusal of intimacy equates to adultery.

I am well aware that there are physical reasons why some cannot partake but let's get past the red-herrings to the majority of situations.

I think a few here were annoyed by my comments for an obvious reason-the dog which yelps is the one the rock hit!
---Warwick on 7/9/08

From my experience when a marriage partner strays there is a cause for this.Quite often it has been because their partner is no longer affectionate towards them

so much for experience

from my "experience" those who "stray" do so because they are extremly selfish, lacking in character and integrity (aside from disobeying God) brother in law works in a high pressure white collar job where men boast about having needs met by their wife and lover on the same day ...attending church on Sunday with their family looking every part the devoted husband and father

and sadly many women boast of the same thing today too
---Rhonda on 7/8/08

Why always only blame the one who goes seeking?
---Warwick on 7/3/08

Well for one thing, adultery is a sin against God first and then your spouse.

Why not blame the one seeking? Even if there isn't any intimacy in a marriage for years, does a person have an excuse to commit adultery?

Many couples can not be intimate due to sickness,or soldiers sent overseas,esp wartime. That's why during your vows you are told through sickness or in good health. Rich or poor. A VOW IS A VOW.

Beside, I know some people who are intimate at home and still cheat. No reason is needed at all except that they are just selfish.

John, I would tell your father that you know about his affair. This might shame him enough to stop.
---Nicole on 7/5/08

I have just re-read the original question and see that he used the phrase "had an affair 3 years ago". This doesn't make it clear whether the affair is still ongoing (or that he suspects it is) nor does he state whether his mother even knows about it herself. If the affair is now totally over I'd say leave it be. If it is not and he feels that his mother does not know I think he should speak with his father - some of you think that is wrong. I certainly do not think he should speak with his pastor though. That is involving someone outside the family who, at this stage, has no right to know. If mother knows she is the one who could involve pastor, assuming this family attend church, and that isn't made clear either.
---RitaH on 7/6/08

I think it needs to be brought to the surface. It's hard to heal if it's hidden. You can forgive and not be bitter, or else you'll get eaten up even more. But bringing it up I think is absolutely necessary and bless your heart for keeping it in so long. I pray your family can move on and that sinful nature is removed!
---Gwen on 7/6/08

RitaH speaking hypothetically if my mother was complaining about my fathers infidelity I would indeed ask her what was happening or not happening in the marriage, which caused my father to stray. I didn't have a prudish relationship with my mother but an open and loving one.

From my experience when a marriage partner strays there is a cause for this.Quite often it has been because their partner is no longer affectionate towards them and there is no man-woman intimacy in their marriage.

It is common for people to judge the one who strayed without knowing if their partner was also unfaithful as in refusing normal marital intimacy to their partner. This is of course condemned in Scripture.
---Warwick on 7/4/08

Warwick,"I wonder if the blogger asked her mother what their intimate life was like?" Would you ask your mother this question? I think that I would have received a slap across the face if I'd ever asked my mother that and I think that my own reaction to that question from one of my own children would have been 'angry' to put it mildly. Whatever goes on between parents, this particular issue is a matter children (even adult children) should never pry into. Perhaps John should let his father know that he is aware of what is going on though and then leave it alone.
---RitaH on 7/4/08

We can't condone adultery but I always wonder why a married person would go elsewhere for affection and intimacy if it was happening at home.

I wonder if the blogger asked her mother what their intimate life was like? Maybe by refusing to have a normal intimate married life she was being unfaithful?

Why always only blame the one who goes seeking?
---Warwick on 7/3/08

Either the mother is in blissful ignorance, or she knows and is dealing with it. The Bible says Love covers a multitude of sins. In other words, your relationship with your father should be the way you want God to be with you when he sees yours sins. Forgive and cover for him. Don't get involved in lying or anything of that sort. But just keep it quiet. I am sure your mother suspected something. If not, she should be protected from this as it would not help the marriage. Telling her could destroy the whole family. Life is imperfect. Leave it alone. This philosphy obviously does not hold true when violations of human rights are taking place or about to take place and you can expose and help to stop it.
---frances008 on 7/2/08

Butt out. It is between him, your mother, and God right now. You obviously are an adult, and need to pray for your parents, but not meddle.
---Madison1101 on 7/2/08

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I know how it feels to have the pain of an adulterous father eating away at you. The only thing that saved me was meeting with a Christian counselor and being painfully open and honest with my dad. Other than that, I just had to learn to have tremendous faith in God's plan for my family and to lean on him when I am broken and hurting.
---Jamie on 9/11/07

Simple tell him that you know everything and show him some evidence :-)
---Christine on 7/10/07

Having an affair is wrong of course. Unless you want the relationship with your father to grow colder as time goes on because it bothers you, then you should talk to him about this. The day may come that you aren't able to and then you will never get any answers. Remember that your father is human as we all are. We make wrong choices and have to answer to God for them but we also need forgiveness and prayer for one another.Offer to pray with and for him.
---nannydeb_44 on 6/30/07

"Tell us EXACTLY how has father offended son (if this is true)?"
It is hard for me to believe that anyone would think the son was not offended by his father's affair, especially since they work for the same company. It is hard for me to think that anyone would think that the son was not deeply wounded by this affair. Adultery affects more than the husband and wife. It hurts the entire family. This father betrayed the trust his children had for him.
---Susie on 5/23/07

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Susie wrote: He needs to deal directly with his father, the offending party. It is the Christian way to deal with it.

Tell us EXACTLY how has father offended son (if this is true)?

The Bible deals with people who have been offended/hurt DIRECTLY. It tells THEM ONLY to deal with it.

Since the sin of another adult is "eating him up inside" it is he, not his father who needs counseling.

Mom may know, but may not share it with him. Not his business.
---Observer on 5/23/07

Madison, we may never know what John decided to do.
I suggest others take the ChristiaNet forgiveness quiz. I did.
Actually, I took the exam over 20 years ago. If you take the quiz, it will open your eyes.
It tells you exactly what forgiveness does for the other person.
---Tuscany on 5/22/07

What part of "it's eating me up inside" don't you understand? This man needs to deal directly with his father, the offending party, on this. It is the Christian way to deal with it.
---Susie on 5/22/07

Tuscany, your words are full of wisdom. Silence is golden, especially where boundaries are concerned.
---Madison1101 on 5/21/07

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I do care for my family. But I won't just sit back and let them be hurt. I just hope this man can live with the guilt. It is good that he forgave his dad. But what about the guilt of not speaking up. Apparently he has some guilt or otherwise he wouldn't have asked the question they way he did.
---Rebecca_D on 5/21/07

Rebecca, the affair has been over for quite some time.
I've been here a long time. I know John T., Madison and yourself. I've shared a personal story and I won't use my name. Self-control comes with forgiveness. There's no blood on John's hands. He didn't commit the sin of adultery. He's not aiding and abetting it. It's over. Pouncing on it, like a bulldog, meddling in it, can destroy his family. Sounds like you don't care for your step-mother, so you'd have no qualms with that.
---Tuscany on 5/21/07

Usually what happens, the poster of the question never comes back and responds to any of our answers. We go at it, back and forth, some give and take, and the person goes on with their life. Then you see the offenses, residue remain here for even a year or two. Lack of self-control is not a virtue but a vice. If you worked in a large organization, you would find that pouncing at every thing you see as an offense would soon get you fired.
---Tuscany on 5/21/07

I've given John's problem a great deal of thought. It's a tough one. Three of us agree that he needs to let this one, 'bite the dust', 'hit the dirt' (as catherine says). From the moment I read it, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I cannot go into details, but I witnessed something similar at my workplace. I struggled and struggled, like this man, John. I sought someone out to talk to and pray with. Over 20 years ago, and it was the best decision. Oh, am I ever grateful I kept my mouth shut.
---Tuscany on 5/21/07

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I stood in the gap for this person, prayed for their salvation. I asked God to forgive them. I forgave. When I did, remarkable changes came immediately. Changes continued over the years. If I had let my mouth be in charge, without any self-restraint, I would have ruined someone's life. Then that person's blood would have been on my hands. No John, don't rush in and confront. Ask your Heavenly Father to intervene. He has far more finesse, wisdom, and a plan of salvation for your father's life.
---Tuscany on 5/21/07

If I thought my dad was having an affair on my step mom, yeah I'd confront him. If he said yes, and I don't say anything to his wife, I am just at fault for his affair. If I speak up and say something, my hands are clean. But I will not let him hurt her or vise versa. to many people don't want to get involved but yet the blood is on their hands for not stopping the situation.
---Rebecca_D on 5/21/07

Make ammends. Apoligize because you know?
Respect your feelings. Confront the issue.
The healthiest for your position is speak up.
---jhonny on 5/19/07

Thank you, Madison.
Rebecca, forgiveness is not about feelings.
I'm not bitter. When we put our feelings above others, that's selfish.
---Tuscany on 5/19/07

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Rebbecca, did you not read this last part?

That's why prayer is vital here.
---Observer on 5/17/07
But yes, the answer is "stay away, and let God work".

John has no "injury" here, only his mother, (if true) and if he identifies with his mother THAT closely, well, there are serious boundary issues needing to be addressed.

See my point?
---Observer on 5/19/07

Rebecca: Tuscany is so right about this issue. John is an adult and needs to deal with this on his own. He can speak with a pastor or trusted friend, or a therapist about it. He should not talk to his father about it.
---Madison1101 on 5/19/07

Observer: Maybe it is a rumer. How does John really know this happened unless he confronts his dad? He won't know. How did this turn into about me? I never said I was leaving my church, I just said I was hurt. Back to the question. If something is bothering me and hindering me about someone. I will go to that person. I refuse to let anything hinder me. But I guess people like you would rather be bitter.
---Rebecca_D on 5/19/07

Rebecca, you're not understanding forgiveness.
If John is still motivated by feelings, makes all of his decisions based on feelings, then, he will be eaten up inside.
Forgiveness is not feelings. Forgive the pastor's wife, Rebecca, and you won't give the Mother's Day church incident a second thought. Wouldn't that be a shame to cause an uproar and have to leave the church over something so small.
---Tuscany on 5/19/07

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What if the church held a meeting and brought you and your husband's previous marriages/mistakes up, and said, your husband can no longer preach. Many churches are that strict, if divorce is in your past, they will not let you preach one word over a congregation. They would not care if your past mistakes happened before you met Christ.
The rules are that strict. Some church members would be so indignant about it, they would leave the church if you didn't step down.
---Tuscany on 5/19/07

I have watched that very thing happen in a church.
This isn't John's marriage, it's his mother and father. The tongue is a weapon, no restraint here, and John is going to lose. I have said, over and over, he can talk to someone who knows how to keep a confidence and hold their tongue. Not only heartache can John cause, but heart attacks.
The wisdom of the Lord, not man's wisdom.
He needs to forgive.
He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.
---Tuscany on 5/19/07

Observer: So John should just ignore this situation. And let it eat him up inside and out? I still say he needs to seek God in the direction he needs to take.
---Rebecca_D on 5/18/07

Forgiveness is not based on your feelings.
You choose to forgive, regardless of how you feel. Set your will to forgive, and put the wheels in motion. Forgiveness is not a feel good proposition. If you do not forgive, your feelings will feel much worse for the rest of your life. I'm with JT on this one.
If this is not handled correctly, he can destroy his family.
---Tuscany on 5/18/07

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Everyone takes so much offense at the slightest provocation, ready to jump down someone's throat. We see it here, everyday.
No restraint, that doesn't take any spiritual maturity or reliance upon the Lord. This situation requires the wisdom of the Lord. His mother and father are far more important than his feelings. He needs to talk with someone that can help him get a grip with his feelings, but not his father, not now.
---Tuscany on 5/18/07

He says he loves his Dad and respects him. God has given you a test, what the enemy meant for harm, God can use for your good. What will you do with it? Fall on your knees, humble yourself, forgive.
Then watch what God does. Today. Suddenly.
He is the God of Suddenly and Today.
He can move before I can type, forgive your father.
---Tuscany on 5/18/07

NO NO NO, Rebecca!

John is an adult child, NOT directly involved in the marriage. No parent wants children telling him what he should do, or to accuse (perhaps falsely) either of adultery.

Doing that, he would have two lions set to devour him; that affects his relationship well past the time he has grand children.

It is never forgotten.

As an adult, and being non-injured, he has little to gain, and too much to lose if he confronts dad.

That's why prayer is vital here.
---Observer on 5/17/07

It is hard to honour your father or mother when you know that they haven't been faithful. And they haven't made things right with their spouse. You lose some respect for them. John, seek God and let him guide you in the right direction. If you feel you should speak to your dad. Say how you feel in love, and try not to judge him. There is a reason behind every story.
---Rebecca_D on 5/17/07

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Honor your Father and Mother

Forgiveness is not airing your think so's, laying everything out on the table - then saying, Dad, I forgive you. That's not the way forgiveness works.
---Tuscany on 5/17/07

John, you are NOT injured here, although you are affected. Being affected by another's action is not the same as that person injuring you through infidelity.

Your dad and mom have to deal with it themselves, without your interference of ANY sort in God's timing.

Nevertheless, you can pray a prayer for reconciliation, asking Holy Spirit to reveal things correctly.

Do not get caught in this buzz saw; it will scar you forever.

---Observer on 5/17/07

I agree with Susie also except I would say be prepared to forgive him because he is human and all humans make mistakes. Pray unceasingly between now and the time you confront your father and God's love will guide you and help you.
---DoryLory on 5/16/07

Not only does this man have to deal with his father on a personal level, he also works at the same place. This needs to be resolved. You don't know how many drug addicts and alcoholics went through the rehab program where I used to work who had unresolved issues with their parents such as this. It can eat you up if it isn't resolved now.
---Susie on 5/16/07

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This is not the same as a spousal abuse situation.
This is his father's business, and there is a mother involved here.
If this is not handled correctly, the satisfaction derived from getting it off your chest will be very temporary.
---Tuscany on 5/16/07

I agree with Susie; this is obviously eating you up alive; it would me too! :( She gave very good advice; I would take it; I wouldn't "keep my mouth shut"; as a person who lives with a lot of anxiety attacks that boil over because I try to "shove them aside", I can tell you, it's not worth the price your own body will wind up paying.
---Mary on 5/16/07

That is not forgiveness.
Confronting, getting everything out in the open and then john, forgiving. I don't agree. He could easily rip his relationship with his family apart. NO JOHN, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.

God forgives.
Forgive First. Pray with someone that you can trust to keep their mouth shut. Forgive first, not after a knockdown dragout. That sequence of events will not bring peace or reconciliation.
---Tuscany on 5/15/07

You will never be truly at peace until you confront your father and talk to him about this. Be prepared to forgive him at the same time as that is expected of Christians.
---Susie on 5/15/07

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If this is bothering you this much, talk to your dad about it. Be up front and honest. Do not carry this burden of "not knowing" to your grave. I would seek God and ask him to direct you to approach him when the time is right. If you do this in God's time, it will work out. If you just jump right in, there may be some conflict between you and your dad.
---Rebecca_D on 5/15/07

And if your places were reversed, how would you feel about your dad confronting you with it?

Forbear, John. There's always a chance that YOU are mistaken.
---Jack on 5/15/07

you say had an affair .tell him you now and that you love him and this must not happen again or he or you must tell your mother she dont deserve this or you be strong
---gillian on 5/15/07

Fast and pray, do not approach your Dad before you do. Jumping in the middle of your Dad, without God's wisdom could cause some real damage to your family. I do not know how you've found out, how long you've known but tread lightly. You have to forgive your father, and that woman. I hope she's not working there, now.
Does your mother know? It's not really your responsiblity to tell her. That's your father's place.
---Bob on 5/14/07

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John, God will make a way when there is no way. There is nothing impossible with God. You will get through this. Are you a Christian? How about your folks?
Handle this correctly, and it can be used as an opportunity to witness to your father.
Prayer and fasting is a must.
Only fools rush in.
You've known for awhile, don't let emotions push it to the razor's edge. Timing is everything..
Do you have a minister, pastor to pray with? Someone you can trust not to tell anyone else?
---Bob on 5/14/07

John, I don't know where you go to church.
I had an incident happen to me at work that I could not share with anyone; I had so many years in, I couldn't just walk out the door. I was beside myself, like you.
I went to see a priest, and I'm not Catholic. I knew it was someone I could trust not to open their mouth and gossip. I poured my heart out, the priest prayed with me.
---Tuscany on 5/15/07

I cried, fell apart, took the weight off of my shoulders. I knew he wouldn't tell anyone. Things improved within two days. I was able to finish my tenure. To this day, I've never told anyone. I've learned a great deal from that experience, how to trust God completely.
You need to talk/pray with someone you can pour your heart out to. This is your Mom and Dad, their marriage, your family.
Blood is thicker than water.
Forgive. I hope your Dad has repented.
---Tuscany on 5/15/07

Husbands usually tell their wives everything, things slip out, and I could not afford the risk.
That was 22 years ago. The priest is an elderly man now. I'm sure he's forgotten me, but I have not forgotten all the kindness he showed me. I'm often on this site. My beliefs are different than the RCC but I don't badger, or bully. There's plenty of that, already. There are good priests and good pastors. At that particular time, I needed someone who could keep a confidence. I did the right thing.
---Tuscany on 5/15/07

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Be true to yourself. Speak to your dad about it.Not only has he betrayed your mom's trust. He has also disrespected you by flaunting it.
---joshua_richardson on 5/15/07

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