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When you have a family and decide to have an affair, it's not just your spouse you're affecting. These poor children share the time their parent not only broke their family, but also their hearts.

(Content has been edited for clarity.)

It Was Too Late To Apologize For This Broken Situation

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It Was Too Late To Apologize For This Broken Situation

"I was sitting in the back seat of the car while my dad ran into the store for something, and my mom was sitting in front of me. I looked over her shoulder at her phone, not expecting to see anything interesting. To my surprise, she was texting another man about how in love they were. I acted like I didn't see it until I worked up the nerve to confront her about it a week or so later. Once she knew that I knew, she told my father. She didn't want to end the affair but also didn't want a divorce. My dad and I told her it was us or him, and she should leave if she wanted to be with him. She left that night, but came back the next day saying she chose us. We all knew she kept seeing him secretly, but my dad said he'd rather have part of her love than none. I hated her for a while, but we started to make up and become okay with each other about a year later. About a month after we actually became close again, she unexpectedly passed away. I wasted the last year of my mother's life hating her over that guy and I will never regret anything as much as I regret that."

Their Father Had A Dark Side That Nobody Knew About

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Their Father Had A Dark Side That Nobody Knew About

"I was 17 and my family (my dad, mom, younger sibling, and I) took a winter vacation to Gatlinburg TN. While there, me being the antisocial, internet nerd that I still am today at 23, I used my dad's computer to check up on friends and forums I was on. I pulled up Facebook to post some photos and updates about our trip, but my dad's Facebook page was logged in. One I didn't know he had. On the page, he was flirting with other women via posts on their walls. Things like, 'You are the most beautiful woman ever.'

I was mostly in shock and spent the rest of the trip even MORE antisocial and quiet. I didn't tell my mom because my dad had always hammered it into my head not to tell on people. I later learned he had substance abuse and drinking problems among other things, so telling me this from a young age was probably a way to save his sorry behind in case of relapse, which happened, though I didn't find out about it until later.

My mom eventually found out the spring after. I remember because I saw her looking through his phone in their bathroom before she was supposed to go to school (Nursing degree). I heard angry whispering and she curled up on the couch and started crying. My mom never cried. It just wasn't in her normal range of expressing emotions. I left for school and cried there because I hated seeing my mom like that. When I got home, she hadn't even left. I asked and she said she didn't feel well. I told her I knew and I was sorry I hadn't told her before. My mom not going to school was a huge flag for me. She had gone to school even when she was awfully sick once. Just further proof of how bad she felt about it.

I later learned even more. He'd cheated on my mom before they were married. They had gotten divorced 6 months after getting married because he cheated. Then they had me and it stopped a bit. He did it again before my sister was born. My mom is pretty sure he has a son out there somewhere with an old friend of his from a year or so before I was born. The girl kept calling my dad and showed up at the house once asking for him with a little boy who she claimed was his. I tried to find her a few months ago but no such luck.

There's a lot more to my dad's ridiculous issues but that's just the infidelity bits. We were always super close even after I learned. We were practically the same person in mannerisms and interests and academic interest. Only I managed to avoid the substance abuse and infidelity issues."

The Grass Isn't Always Greener

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The Grass Isn't Always Greener

"At the time I was 11. My dad worked nights at the bar he owned while my mother worked during the day. We missed my dad a bunch because he would leave right after dinner for work and when we got up in the morning for school, he was already in bed. My parents had a bedroom upstairs and I went up there one night after I heard the phone ring. It was past our bedtime but I thought that was my dad and I wanted to say goodnight. I was sneaking down the hallway and eavesdropping as I went. My mother was speaking so sweetly over the phone and said she loved him. So I opened the door really quick and said, 'Mom, I want to talk to Dad.' She hung up the phone and just kinda looked at me. I was mad she didn't let me talk to him.

She sat me down and told me this huge pile of crap that my dad had pushed her away and that she was unhappy for a long time. She explained she'd met someone who treats her right, but my dad didn't know yet. I didn't really know what to say. I believed what she said and said I was happy for her. She ended up taking me to see him one evening. We told dad that we went shopping. At that point, I realized how wrong it was. Eventually, my mom stayed out all night and my dad, after spending all night worried, was told by my mom that she had found someone else. After 15 years, two children and a mortgage, my mom had an affair with a barfly who ended up dumping her after my dad moved out. My parents are still pretty close but my dad is still pretty bitter about it. They have been divorced for years now."

Their Picture Perfect Family Had Some Dark Secrets

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Their Picture Perfect Family Had Some Dark Secrets

"I found out one day while I was looking for rubbers in my parents' bedroom. I found a letter my mother had written to my dad. We all lived together, but my mother had always been more comfortable addressing issues letters than talking.

I knew I shouldn't have read this, but something in me couldn't put this letter down. The letter basically said something along the lines of, 'I can't handle knowing any more that you have mistresses. I tried to have affairs of my own but I couldn't really enjoy it. I called 'InsertRandomGuyNameHere' today to tell him we were over, and now I'd like you to do the same with the other girls. Please think of our children, we need to talk about this.' I was in shock. I put the letter back where it was and went back to my bedroom. My girlfriend asked me what was wrong and I told her everything I just read. We talked about it for hours. Everything suddenly made sense. My father was always out of town since I was a kid, and left my mother and me alone almost every evening. I saw him several times go on vacations with female friends for entire weekends. Heck, even weeks sometime. Some of his female friends even had dinner at our home, with my mother, me and my brother being here. I don't know how my mother managed to handle this for years...

After talking with my girlfriend, I decided to never talk about this to anyone else. The day after this one, my girlfriend and I both went to my house and found my parents on the couch talking and stopping as soon as they saw us. My father had tears in his eyes, and my mother was looking at her feet. We acted like normal and left them alone. The situation began to change a little after that. My parents looked happier, and my father was a lot more present in our everyday life.

A few months later, my parents announced during dinner to my brother and I that they wanted to divorce. My brother (younger than me) was shocked and had several issues about this for months (cause he was just becoming an angry teenager), but I knew what was going on. And that was tearing me apart. My parents decided my brother and I would stay in our house, and they would take turns to live with us. They each found a cheap flat to live in when they weren't with us. That uncomfortable situation went on for a few months until we began to see both of my parents home at the same time. At first, the official reason was because our house was more convenient for my father to go to work on a specific day, but my mother then began to stay longer at our home cause 'she was too tired to go back to her flat.' And in a few weeks, the familial situation was pretty much back to normal, everyone was living 24/7 in the same house until they announced that they didn't want to divorce anymore.

This was a few years ago, and now I think everything is forgotten and forgiven. My father changed his job and is now at home almost every evening, and my mother started to smile again."

Their Broken Marriage Wasn't The Only Thing Falling Apart In This Family

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Their Broken Marriage Wasn't The Only Thing Falling Apart In This Family

"I was 18 at the time.

Dad runs an auto repair shop so a lot of the time he drives customers home when their cars break down and he has to fix them. For the record, he sucks at fixing cars. One day while I was out with him, it smelled like smoke and I found a butt in the car that wasn't his. Dad said it was from an old lady customer, but I wasn't so sure.

Turns out it wasn't, of course. He was having an affair with an addict streetwalker that he found sleeping in one of the cars on his lot. Mom and I found out the truth at the same time when he left a note on the kitchen table on my mom's birthday telling her he was leaving. It gets even better from there.

Mom had a complete mental breakdown and spent months alternating between begging him to come back and screaming at him. She went down to the business every day to try and stop it. I had to call the cops a few times when Dad beat her up for it. This went on until one of the girlfriend's friends smashed her car windshield with a rock and she finally stopped going down there. While all this was going on, I had to deal with strangers calling my cell threatening me if I didn't leave the girlfriend alone. This happened because Dad was a freaking moron and gave her my number, which meant her terrible friends got a hold of it. Life sucked and it messed me up pretty good. I should probably see a shrink for it, but I don't have money or insurance.

All in all, it lasted a couple years. I wish I had an inspirational ending to tell you where we lived happily ever after and Dad withered away, but alas it isn't so. Dad threw away the family savings on his newfound addiction, and then the girlfriend left him and he came back home. He has a drinking problem now and we're not on good terms. I still live at home for a myriad of reasons: health problems, money problems, the resulting mental problems from this nightmare, and the fact that if I leave Mom alone here, I worry Dad will accidentally kill her one day while he's smashed. She also depends on me for emotional stability. I fear she'll spiral back into her self-destructive depression if I'm not here."

Her Infidelity Broke Father And Son

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Her Infidelity Broke Father And Son

"It all started when I was 10.

My father has Multiple Sclerosis and has had it for the last 26 years. He was also a Corrections Officer and worked the graveyard shift. My dad was the Vice President of the Disabled Drummers Association at the time and was tasked with completing a new website. Now my father, to this day, needs help doing most things on a computer. My mother had the idea of asking one of the guys at the local computer store, where we bought our desktop, for some books on building websites because she was going to attempt to do it herself. This is when a young man, around the age I am now (28), offered to help my parents build the website. My mother at the time was about 36, and my father was 42.

Chris, the young man, started coming over around 5-6 pm while both my parents were home and they would work on the website. This website should have only taken a week or two, tops. It was just supposed to be something simple and informative. Weeks turned into months, and Chris came over later and later as time went on. I started getting a weird feeling about everything. I had a much different perspective of events because the computer was on the bottom floor of our house, and I was the only one that lived downstairs. The computer was in our family room, a mere 30 feet from my door. I was 100% certain something was going on about seven months into this charade when I heard them upstairs watching Saving Private Ryan. I could hear them making out and to me, I remember it sounding like a sloppy mess. Then I heard them rounding 2nd and then 3rd base. Needless to say, I still have not watched that movie.

I heard their conversations slowly progressing as the nights went later and later. To the rest of my family, apparently, he had just become a 'family friend,' and he even came to my Elementary graduation when I was twelve. Yes, this affair was going on for years, whether my father was oblivious or chose to believe nothing was happening --- she had cheated once before with a guy named Bob when I was 6, who I also knew about, but that story is for another time I suppose.

So two to three years later, this dang site still wasn't done and he's still coming over, now waiting until after my father goes to work at 9 pm. One day, about one month before Thanksgiving when I finally decided to mention something to someone. I was 13 at the time. I decided to tell my sister, who was 11, what I knew. She didn't understand and just kept saying, 'Mommy loves Daddy.' Oddly enough, later that night, my father opened the cell phone bill, which he never did. My mom usually 'managed' the finances. He saw a bunch of calls to a number, while everyone was home. My mom had been having undiagnosed 'bladder issues' and had been going to the bathroom constantly. He put two and two together and it finally clicked in his head. He FLIPPED HIS LID that night. He found out two hours before leaving for his 9 pm shift on. He had his uniform on and everything. He left at his normal time of 8 pm because he worked about a half hour away and always liked to be early.

When 9 pm rolled around, I was still sitting next to my sister, and she seems quite confused. My mother sat us down on the couch upstairs and told us to pack. I tell her I didn't want to leave but she got angry, started crying, and guilted me into following her orders. Chris showed up and he and my mother basically kidnapped my sister and me, then we drove to Chris's little apartment in town. It was the middle of the night so I couldn't see street signs. It was a weekend so I didn't have to go to school for a few days, so we were forced to stay inside for a couple days. I still remember the musky smell of his dark upstairs apartment. He had dating books all over his bookshelf as well. I remember hearing them fool around while my sister and I attempted to sleep on the couch.

Sunday rolled around and my mom decided to take us to see the first Pokemon movie, because I was a huge Pokemon nerd, and it had come out earlier that week. Bad idea. I learned where we were because I saw the local ice rink: Kennedy Ice Arena. I asked to call my dad because I missed him and the first thing I did was tell him where I was. At that point, my mother offered to take my sister and I home because she didn't want my father knowing the exact location she would continue to stay at.

The next week, my mom rented her own house in town. I keep saying in town because I lived outside of a city, so you had to drive into town to get anything. Anyways, she rented this house and came and got all of her stuff within a week. My sister decided to go with my mom, as my mom was doing a 'buy your love' tactic and I wasn't falling for it. Thanksgiving rolled around a couple weeks later, and my father and I made baked chicken with stuffing and mashed potatoes in our empty house. By this time, it was more populated with our pets (three cats and a dog) than it was with humans. Christmas time rolled around. For the last month, it was a string of broken promises from my mother that she would make time for me, and promising me she was done with Chris.

I finally agreed to go spend the night in the spare room at my mother's place and she promised me that Chris wouldn't show up. I agreed to go on a night my father didn't work, just in case. Around 11 pm, Chris came. Perfect. There was a phone next to my bed, so I called my dad and asked him to come get me. I wasn't wearing shoes or socks, just shorts, and a t-shirt. I walked past Chris and my mother on my way out and waited outside for my dad during a blizzard. It was quite mild for mid-December, so this blizzard was more slush than snow. I stood at the end of the driveway for 45 minutes while Chris and my mother were standing all bundled up in the garage yelling at me to come inside, not once making an attempt to brave the weather to come force me inside. My father finally showed up and luckily has some blankets in the van, so I put those on and on the way home, I being spewing out the most hateful and cuss-filled rant I have never beat to this day.

My parents eventually 'worked things out,' which I believe my dad bit the bullet due to the impending disability the MS would strike. He is currently in the hospital from a broken hem and new lesions on his spinal cord, which, in the end, was really the best for him. My mom does take good care of him when needed, now. I have moved on from the situation and put myself into therapy a few years ago to learn how to better control my emotions over the situation and we have a good relationship now.

I have great suspicions that my mom still cheats on my father to this day because I have found somewhat circumstantial evidence that I never dig too deep into anymore. As long as she continues to help take care of my best friend and hero I can deal with anything she decides to do.

No one should go through that alone. Through the whole ordeal, I was an emotional disaster as I was the short, fat, nerdy kid that nobody liked. All I had was my father. I attempted suicide, as did my father during the whole ordeal, but after we realized we truly had each other we got through it together. Our bond to this day is still unshakeable. I'm off to the hospital to see him now."

She'd Always Thought Of Her Mother As A Kind, Morally Upright Woman

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She'd Always Thought Of Her Mother As A Kind, Morally Upright Woman

"My mother began seeing an old friend of hers. It seemed like it was just to hang out and be friends and do friend things. But she'd go out ALL THE TIME with this guy, sometimes we wouldn't even know where she was or when she would be back, we being my sister and I. We were both basically adults at the time, so we weren't children by any means. My sister got suspicious and looked through my mother's phone and lo and behold, we found intimate texts and implications of meeting for such activities and so forth. We freaked out, get upset, and considered telling our father, who at the time was hunting up north and wouldn't be back for a few days. We decided to wait, and, as my sister can be pretty rash, we then decided to confront our mother. My sister did most of the talking, but mother got angry at us for going through her phone, then accused us of trying to ruin her marriage. She told us we're awful, basically. It was pretty terrible and honestly, I don't remember most of what was said but I ended up making a speech about how it's her own fault if her marriage gets ruined. She tried to go on about we don't love her and what did we want her to do? Move out, or go away? We told her to tell our father or we would. She did and, wouldn't you know it, he told us not to tell anyone and got upset that we went through her phone. They're still together and we pretend nothing happened.

Their relationship is not good and I doubt it'll ever be good at this point in time. He is a very lazy, stubborn man, who let his depression get in the way of his life. My father settled into this way of life and I don't know that he can change anymore. He spends most of his day complaining loudly (mostly about work and the state of the house) and watching TV, spewing his opinions into the closest ear available. I think he's lonely and wants someone to talk to. My mother was kind, or at least I always believed her to be. Kind and generous and morally good overall. After all these events, I began to realize that she isn't always kind, can actually be a real witch, and her morals leave a lot to be desired. She let my dad run over her, though she 'tries' to talk to him, but 'he just won't listen to me!' She is never interested in what he has to say and usually just sits on the couch silently while he yammers on. If she's not sitting with him, she's in the kitchen rolling her eyes and mumbling to herself about how irritating he is. I've tried to point out how she should talk but its always the same, 'He won't listen,' excuse. She doesn't really try because I think she's given up on this relationship. I think she's lonely and wants someone to talk to.

Notice something?

The man she was seeing, let's call him Bill, is married to a woman, who we can call Barb, that cannot get around on her own. She is wheelchair bound and dependant on Bill. They have children, most of which I believe are grown. I don't know anything about this man or his wife, aside what parts they've played in my mother's exploits.

I assume they were seeing each other for going on a year when we found out. My sister is the one that told Barb, even though our dad asked us not to tell anyone about this. She thought that Barb deserved to know and I agreed. My dad was more embarrassed, I think, than anything else. I think he suspected something of my mom going behind his back, but he's the kind of person that would rather not think about it and pretend things are still perfect. He later told me that when my mom called him and told him what she did, he wished to god she hadn't, not while he was alone in the woods with a weapon. I didn't know how bad his depression was until he told me that. I don't think he's told anyone but me.

He also blames Barb and Bill and my sister for basically everything that happened. I don't know why for sure he doesn't blame me, as I was involved and we never told them who actually went through my mom's phone, but he still blames my sister overall for being nosey.

I also want to point out that not once has my mother actually admitted out loud what she has done, nor ever apologized to us. I don't expect her to.

Since then, we have found out that she may have continued to see him after we all found out. I don't know how true this is, as my sister takes the word of Barb, who she has stayed in contact with. Just this year (this happened about two years ago) my sister was sent a picture via text of a note (in my mom's handwriting, it's very distinct) that was found in Bill's wallet by Barb. It was basically about her missing him and still loving him and so on and so forth.

My sister printed out the note and mailed it to my dad. I agreed to help her, but later I regretted the decision. It's wrong to keep harassing my parents about this. I'm not saying they handled this right but it's not my relationship. I can't help them fix it and really I don't know if I'd want to. Besides, I'm not altogether sure that Barb isn't just stirring up the fire since I know she blames my mother for all this. Apparently, (according to my mom) she has sent her emails and texts threatening her and insulting her, though I don't know if this is entirely true or not. For all I know, that was an old note that he kept with him or she saved to use against my mom and maybe my mom truly did stop seeing him. I don't know.

Still, I knew it wasn't going to help so I told my mom about the letter so she could intercept it. Apparently, I was too late, as my dad had already received it and thrown it away. I'm pretty sure he knows my sister sent it, and even if he doesn't know for sure, I don't doubt he'd blame her anyway.

My mom insists to this day that she has stopped seeing him and that she regrets her decision, though still no apology has been given. As recently as a few nights ago, I sent her a text asking when she'd be home, as it was pretty late. She told me out she was out getting ice cream with friends and then said she was 'sorry if I didn't believe her.'

I have forgiven my mom for what she did. I'm not happy living in the same house with a couple who clearly don't like each other anymore. But for now, I'm stuck."

Even With Proof, She Still Didn't Have The Guts To Leave Him

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Even With Proof, She Still Didn't Have The Guts To Leave Him

"I caught my abusive dad on a dating site when I was about 15. I was a really sick kid growing up, so I was homeschooled at the time. I woke up one morning and saw him on the office computer while my mom was at work. I asked him about something and he must not have realized that I was reading the screen behind him. He had already been caught having an affair a year prior by my mom so I wasn't that shocked.

He was violent towards me and my mom so I wrestled for weeks on whether or not I should tell her. Every moment I was alone with her, it was all I could think about until finally one day at the grocery store it just came out. I told her the exact conversation I had read and that he told the woman she could come over and sleep in their bed.

Eventually, my mom told him about a month later and the aftermath was nothing but chaos. It was terrible and, per usual, when that kind of fight would happen, she sent me to live with my older sister for a few months. They ended up staying together for about 3 more years with my mom putting up with the same thing and me basically living with my sister for good. She finally was able to leave him when I was 18 and now I have an amazing stepdad who could not be a better human being."

Things End For A Reason

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Things End For A Reason

"I found an email from my mother to my father about his affair. It'd been going on for about three years at that point (I was 15 or 16).

My parents stayed together until I was 18 and then separated. They got a divorce a couple years later. I knew it was coming, so it didn't bother me so much. I knew how miserable they were, but my sisters didn't. Still, it affected me a bit.

They're both a lot happier now separated than they ever were together. Dad is still with that woman and won't realize that I don't want to meet her. Mum is still single but she's happy being that way.

I'm 23 now, my parents still aren't very civil to each other but I told them to stop treating me like the go between and they've grown up a bit about it. Go figure."

They Couldn't Believe What They'd Found On His Phone

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They Couldn't Believe What They'd Found On His Phone

"I was playing on my dad's phone. He went to sleep and I became tired of playing, so I opened up his SMS. I had no idea why I did it. There were a few messages from the girl with cliche romantic words like: 'I can't live without you. You are my star,' and so on. There were 3-5 messages.

To this day, I can't say for sure if there were any outgoing SMS, and if my dad replied to these messages. However, since my dad didn't delete these messages, I assumed he wanted to keep this messages. (My mom is really bad with mobile phones. She literally can use only two buttons - answer and end call).

When I read the messages, I was in shock. I was 15 or 16 and had very bad social skills. I had no idea what to do with this information. What if this was just flirting or some joke? My mother is a pretty tough character, so I expected a freaking storm worse than Katrina.

So I ended up doing nothing. Eight years or less after this, he left my mom. As far as I know, it was not the 'girl from SMS' but it still doesn't give me any relief."

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