"My Mom F****d My Best Friend's Dad": 19 Personal Stories Of People Impacted By Their Parents' Infidelity

I recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share insight on how their parent's infidelity affected them. As you can imagine the responses were detailed and lengthy, but some responses may take you by surprise! Here's what was said:

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1."I’m an only child, and my parents had a super toxic relationship my whole life, but it really amped up when I got to high school and my dad started cheating on my mom. I of course at the time hated him and only listened to my mom’s side of things. Meanwhile, she did lots of horrible stuff like make me go around late at night with her to find his car and prove he was cheating on her on MULTIPLE occasions. She also once pushed him down the stairs and I shouted at him to get out never once hearing his side. The worst part is we're not allowed to talk about it, which makes me feel like I’m holding a dirty secret from everyone in my family. Also, being an only child I can’t even corroborate the crazy stories with anyone else, and it wrecked my relationship with both of them for a long, long time."

—46, Ohio

2."My mom f****d my best friend's dad. I had no idea. However, we just weren’t able to see each other all of a sudden when we'd been together previously every day for years. Then when my parents divorced, I was finally able to see her again. I didn’t find out until years later and we aren’t even friends anymore but it was hard to understand as a kid. My mom also f****d my principal, and my dad dated the assistant principal which was super weird. I never got in trouble at school though."

—22, North Carolina

3."It's weird to say that an affair made all of our lives better but I think it did. My dad had an affair and left my mom when I was very young, but they hid their reasons for divorcing from me and just tried to be good to each other and be good parents to me. I didn't find out about the affair until I was in high school. I was very hurt, and it took me a little while to fully trust my dad again, but I got over it. I'm glad they got divorced. They were not a good match as a couple, but they are both good people and were great parents. I am certain they are much happier and are far better parents than they would have been if they'd stayed together. Honestly, the older I get the more impressed I am by them; the thought of having to spend the rest of my life being nice to my exes makes me want to vomit."

—35, USA

4."My dad cheated on my mom and left when I was 13. He gaslit us saying we were why he left but he wasn’t having an affair. Well, his girlfriend was the, also married, mother of a teammate of mine. It was no time until it all came out and it was incredibly hurtful for my mom and I. The other woman was someone that my dad had always made fun of and judged harshly. My mom babysat this other woman’s daughter multiple times because the woman was so irresponsible. When it all came out my dad acted like he was the injured party because other people in our community (and tight team family) didn’t embrace the new couple. I was always a daddy’s girl until he left and treated me like trash. I struggle with commitment and trust in romantic relationships and friendships. There’s rarely a day where I don’t struggle with issues stemming from his actions. I could have forgiven the affair. I can’t forgive the damage he’s done by being so selfish after."

—35, Utah

5."When my dad got together with his ‘other woman’ (now ex-fiancé), I was obviously shocked, but the worst part was learning my dad had been seeing this woman since before I was conceived. The whole breakup gave me a slew of issues, but the whole ‘how could you want another child when you’re already cheating? Did he even want me alive?’ thing was a whole other level of hurt that my older brother doesn’t have."

—Rhiannon, Scottland

6."My dad cheated more than 30 times on my mom, that we know of. He was a narcissist. Now, I struggle with feelings of inferiority and I am constantly seeking male affirmation. It's led me to also cheat on my partner."

—28, Iowa

A man and a woman stand in a kitchen, engaged in an intense conversation. The woman wears a sleeveless dress and has her hair up; the man wears a casual button-up shirt
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7."My dad cheated with my mom’s best friend. I was 13 when my parents divorced and at that time I was the only one who had recognized what my dad had been doing. It got ugly between me and him because I never bought into his bullshit and manipulation and he wasn’t going to tolerate being called out by a teenager. A year after the divorce he married the other woman, became the ideal stepdad and continued being a shit father to his 3 biological kids. I went no contact for over a decade and we now have very minimal communication, basically no more than a text on holidays. I think the main impact it had on me is it taught me to have a strong bullshit detector and not to trust someone’s words over what my gut is saying. The worst thing it did was put me in a position of realizing my mom’s self-esteem issues and neediness in a relationship, I am often left feeling like the one who needs to protect her."


8."I think my mom felt like there was no way out of the marriage other than to cheat and make sure she got caught. I don't know why she went the route she did. She has told me that at one time, she did love my dad, but it became a "roommates with sex" situation over time and there was no more love between them. In any case, I didn't tell a single soul for years about her infidelity, not even my best friends. I was so ashamed. At that point, two of my friends parents were still together and one was a single mother. No one had cheated or got divorced. I was the first and I was so scared they would judge me. As an adult, I have broken up with boyfriends, pretty ruthlessly I may add, LOL, but I have not cheated. I won't do that to someone. I also married someone whose dad cheated, so he's the same way. There are better ways to end it. Cheating just ruins everything."


9."My dad left my mother at age 65 and in a spectacularly mean way. However, she distanced herself for many years before. It was vile. At first, he told me he couldn’t love me if I wouldn’t accept her and let her take me shopping’. My mother was beside herself but gradually got herself together — she made friends and got a job for the first time. Then my dad had several strokes, and suddenly he didn’t seem so exotic and interesting (he’s Indian) to the woman he was with and she kicked him out so he came back to my mum. If only they'd remained apart — now they live in separate rooms in the same house. Whenever I go to visit, each vents about the other to me. They truly hate each other but ‘Christian values’ keep my mother caring resentfully and angrily for him."


10."My mother had an affair with a dude who promised her the world and it all turned out to be total bullshit. She and my dad had been married for over 12 years and seemed happy, then again, being 8 years old you have no idea about the inner workings of your parents' marriage. All I know is that my dad was on a business trip and my mother was spotted with this dude by my dad’s best friend. They had a blistering argument that me and my brother witnessed and my dad was thrown out of our house on Halloween. The image of my dad leaving the house with his belongings in trash bags whilst sobbing his eyes out will forever be etched in my memory. My relationship with my mother has soured irrevocably over the years and we are now no contact. My dad and I are best friends and I’d die for that man. But their divorce and the affair mentally screwed with me so badly that it’s taken nearly 15 years of therapy to understand how to deal with my feelings."


A man and a woman are arguing on a yellow couch while a person with a clipboard takes notes
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11."My dad didn’t introduce us (3 adult children) to his new wife until 5 yrs after they were married. Come to find out she was the woman my dad — a former HS teacher — had an affair with after she graduated HS. This young woman called my mom and told her about said affair, which then resulted in a divorce. I never looked at my dad the same after this family secret came out."

—44, Colorado

12."Shortly after my older sibling was born (1996) my dad began an affair (possibly multiple). My mom didn’t find out about it until at least two years after I was born (my dad had a vasectomy sometime after I was born). I've always felt as if my dad favored my older sibling over me and as if I wasn’t really wanted by him. I found out about the affair when I was 18/19. It kinda all make sense now, but I have struggled with my existence since then."

—24, NY

13."Growing up, the first blow came when I was 7, with the revelation of a half-brother that I'd never met. It was a stark reminder of my father's betrayal. Despite my mother's attempt to keep our family together, they separated when I was 10 due to another affair. This really impacted my sense of stability and trust in relationships, making me question commitment and loyalty. My father's remarriage a few years later seemed like a chance for change, but it ended similarly with yet another affair, with multiple likely ongoing throughout. These experiences have profoundly altered my view, replacing respect with disappointment and making it hard for me to trust others fully. I've struggled with self-worth, often feeling inadequate and fearing that I, too, would be betrayed. This constant fear has made me wary of commitment, leading to a reluctance to open up and be vulnerable."

—21, New Zealand

14."My Dad cheated on my Mom continuously throughout their 20-year marriage. She got pregnant with me when they were dating and told him he did not have to marry her, but he insisted on it, and then proceeded to cheat constantly. He was a truck driver, which made it easy for him, and this was before cell phones. My mom stayed with him because she never felt she had concrete proof (even though he’d given her STDs), but I knew he was up to no good from a young age. I don’t think I cried about it once. My mom will never trust any man again, and is a generally angry person. I don’t trust men either, and have a hard time believing anyone is actually happily married."


15."I instantly became my mom's therapist. My dad cheated on her. She found cell phone records and confronted him about it. From that point on, she told me every single detail of what she knew for years. She would come into my room to sleep with me at night, and cry herself to sleep. She’d tell me all his secrets and meet me at the door just to tell me about my dad. They’d fight. He’d cuss her out and threaten her. She would storm into my room, sobbing. Then one day, she just stopped confiding in me, and everything went back to normal with my parents. It confused the fuck out of me. I was 15. It messed me up for a long time. My mom hasn’t had a conversation about my dad since. 22 years later, I moved across the country, and she didn’t bother showing up to tell me goodbye. Neither did he. They’re still together. I truly think they deserve each other."


Two people sit on a couch, looking frustrated. The woman has her hands clasped, while the man holds his head in his hand
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16."After my mom died, I had to get some information out of her emails. I found her dating profile info, and all the messages she'd been exchanging with men. Turned out her monthly out-of-state business trips were serving another purpose. I deleted all that I could find, but I guess some were still coming in, because my stepfather found them and was crushed. We never spoke of it again."


17."My mom and dad were married for 20 years when she discovered he was a serial cheater. Multiple affairs (more than 10, that we know of) that took a lot of time and money away from the family. I hate my dad, not because of what he didn’t give us, but because of what he failed to give my mom. She’s really resilient though, she is absolutely the strongest woman I know. I wish my dad and I had a better relationship but also I resent him because who would do that to someone? He is a narcissist and I have healthy relationships but I am way less likely to get married."

—24, Georgia

18."My dad cheated on my mom with a friend of hers for over 8 years. His family helped him hide it and covered for him so it took that long for my mother to discover it. It damaged my relationship with my dad SEVERELY. I lost respect for him. I was so sad and angry that he would do this not only to my mom, but to his kids. It made me paranoid in my OWN relationships about cheating. I always thought my boyfriends were cheating on me and just hiding it from me. I would constantly accuse them of cheating based on nothing. I had very little trust, which tended to drive my partners away, or in a few cases drove them to actually cheat. It always boggles my mind when someone forgives a cheater, because to me it is the ultimate betrayal. Now that I am older, I do have more trust, and trust my husband (almost) completely. A small part of me is always on the lookout for signs of cheating, but I keep that to myself instead of accusing him based on my own paranoia."

—45, USA

19.And lastly, "I found out when I was 12. I answered a call that was supposed to be for my mom. The lady on the other end thought I was my mom and told me about the affair my dad was having with his employee (my dad was her boss). I hated him and her. I got teased because the affair came out. Everyone said the daughter of the employee was my sister. Cut to 7 years later, my mom passed away and they ended up together less than a year after my mom passed. My dad always told her he would never leave his family. But the damage was done. I don’t trust men in relationships. I always feel they’re cheating."

—31, California

Did one of your parents have an affair that still affects you to this day? If you feel up to it, please open up in the comment section below.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline is 1-800-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.