Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Mom cheated on dad - broken family and hurt 20 years on

Community Member

Dear community,

I am trying to heal from a childhood experience and would like to write about it here.
My mom cheated on my dad multiple times during their 17-year marriage. My dad forgave her multiple times, never cheated himself and is generally a good and nice person.
When I started school, my mom not only cheated on my dad with two men simultaneously, she decided to marry one of the guys she was having an affair with, because my father did not forgive her this time and, according to her, “it felt good to be appreciated by another man at that time.”
When I learned of my parents’ divorce, I was devastated. As I see it, my mom chose her own sexual and emotional fulfillment over her children’s happiness, their dad’s feelings and their chance to have an intact family, telling herself and others different lies in order to justify her actions. Though I loved my mom, I emotionally took my dad’s side in the situation.
I started hating the new guy (my stepfather), not only because it was easier to put the blame of my broken family on him than on the person I loved&trusted - my mother - but because he turned out to be a really big jerk. As in playing violent video games, having a very weak intellect, frequently having anger outbursts, loving to command people around, requiring my “respect” just by the fact that he was legally an adult, ridiculing me and others, smoking, regularly drinking, gambling, using crude language, lying, and having zero motivation for self-reflection.
My solution was to pretty much stop speaking to my stepfather when I was about 8 years old. Any time I complained about the stepfather, my mom stated that she was the true victim of the situation, because I don’t get along with the stepfather and she is in the middle of it and that I should be respectful toward him. As though it wasn’t her who created the situation in the first place.
Even though I am in my 20s now, I simply can’t come to terms with the fact that a person I am so close to has hurt me so badly, acted selfishly and has continuously found excuses to why she is not to blame. I feel hurt that my mom seemingly takes my stepfather’s side and sees me and my attitude as the only problem.
I can’t seem to let go of the childhood hurt as the situation is constantly present when I visit my mother. I am thinking about limiting or breaking contact with my mother (at least for a while). If anyone has advice on how to healthily deal with the situation, I'd be happy to hear your thoughts!

2 Replies 2

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Anna, I can't say how terribly awful this whole situation must be for you, and for your mother to say '“it felt good to be appreciated by another man at that time', unfortunately, puts you in a position you certainly don't want to be in, especially after what your mum has done, you still love her.

I can't say what's going to happen but as the chap, she's going out with is just 'legally an adult', doesn't indicate how long the relationship will last, and it doesn't, then the same scenario may or may not happen, but that's nothing you can decide, as it's her decision.

Can I suggest that it maybe a good idea to limit your time with your mum, simply because every time you see her, those memories are going to return, especially if he is with her.

There are many different topics that need to be spoken to with a counsellor, same you're keeping to yourself and the rest both your parents know about, however, both are locking you away.

One day your mum might wake up and apologise to you, that's when you need the strength to be able to cope with this.

Ask your doctor about the mental health plan, this enables Medicare to pay for 10 sessions, although I believe there might be another 10 sessions able which the government have supported.

I want to talk some more but hopefully, will hear back from you.


Community Member

Hey bro,

I really feel this! I had a similar situation and let's just say a very toxic relationship with my mum.

Don't get me wrong, we both still deep down loved each other but there was a lot of fighting and anger there.

I didn't speak to my mum for two years, the anger didn't go away!

The only solution, in my opinion, is to let go of the trauma! how you do this I am still trying to figure out.

But I really do think energy should be placed into this rather than trying to make your mum see your point of view or just cutting her out altogether.

I would limit contact with her to maybe just phone calls, don't put yourself in situations where you know you will be triggered and start practising letting go.

I have tried writing daily affirmations as well as meditate on it for 10 mins a day, after 2 months I do feel more positive towards my mother. It's not going to happen overnight (depending on how deep the trauma is) but I know you can have a healthier relationship with your mum, even if it's not the best. In saying that whoever has a perfect relationship?