How to Deal With a Parent who Cheats?

4 Mins read

 4 methods to deal with parental infidelity.

It’s very harsh to discover one of your parents having an affair. Life as you know it will seize to exist. Your views and perceptions about your parents change. Feeling vulnerable and angry are two natural reactions.

After discovering the infidelity of a parent children can be shocked and need therapy sometimes. It’s a hard realization to find out that one parent doesn’t love the other the way things are supposed to be. It’s also harsh to see the other parent suffering and feeling inadequate and insecure.

However, there are some methods to deal with the realization of parental infidelity. This article will explore how to deal with a cheating parent. We will explore the four most effective methods, which are processing your feelings, rebuild the relationship with the parent, setting boundaries, and confrontation. 

1St Method: Processing Feelings

Seek someone to talk to

                Talking about problems is the first therapeutic step in the process. You can find someone who is not directly involved with the matter and talk to them. It could be a close friend or a counselor. Talking about the matter will help you see the bigger picture because the other person might give you a fresh perspective on the situation.

Write down how you feel in a journal

Writing about your problem with the cheating parent will allow you do organize your thoughts about the situation, which is a good for processing your feelings. The writings don’t have to be shared with anyone. You can keep them only for yourself.    

Don’t rush to judgments

                Understanding why the parent is cheating is impossible because it’s a very complicated issue. So, don’t rush to judgments about it.

Don’t investigate

                It’s not your concern to investigate about the truth of the cheating parent. It’s not your marriage after all, so avoid snooping around.

Check on your siblings

                Take care of your siblings and see how they’re dealing with the matter. If they don’t know about it, think before you decide whether to tell them or not. 

2nd method: Rebuild your relationship with the cheating parent

Remember what your parent meant to you before knowing about infidelity

                Don’t let the incident affect your views about your parent, especially if they’ve always been a caring and loving parent to you. You respect for the cheating parent might be damaged, but don’t let your anger control you.

Don’t take sides

                Taking sides will only make the matter more complicated for you. You should instead focus on your life and build a relationship with both parents. They both love you equally, so try to love them the same way.

3rd Method: Set boundaries

Make it clear to the parents that you’re not taking sides

                Your parents should know that you have not willing to take sides. They should try to solve their problem on their own or seek counseling instead.

Avoid identifying with one parent

                Identifying with the parent who has been cheated on might seem like the right thing to do. You might think that you should protect your parent, but that’s not the right answer all the time. You cannot ever know the whole story behind the cheating, so it’s better to set boundaries and continue with your private life.

4th Method: Confrontation with the parent

Decide what you want the outcome of the conversation to be

                You have to decide where you stand on the issue and confront you parent with what you want to achieve through the conversation, be it gathering information, expressing your thoughts, or knowing if there’s a future to the marriage.

Find a good time to talk

                You should aim to talk to your cheating parent when they are ready to do so. You can arrange a time to talk privately when both of you are feeling calm.

Be rational

                You should always be willing to understand the behavior of your cheating parent as something that humans normally do. Try to remain calm and try to talk about your pain instead of anger. Talk in manageable pieces and work out your resolutions with each other. You should respect where your parent is standing and give them time to express themselves.  When they do, don’t try to hurt them by making judgmental comments.


                A cheating parent always has a story that might invoke sympathy instead of anger, so try not to be hateful about them. Remember that it’s your parent we’re talking about and that they love you no matter what.

                Try to enhance your communication with the parent instead of cutting it because of the issue. And eventually, everyone will get over it and continue with their lives.    

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