I was 17 when the follwing happened. I have a mum, dad, and 3 brothers aged 25, 19 and 13. We’re all very close even though my eldest brother lives locally with his partner. My family unit is secure, affluent and we’ve been brought up with high morals For as long as I can remember my dad has gone away to play golf a couple of times a year with a group of golf buddies. Never an issue.
But for 3 or 4 months I felt the vibes between my mum and dad just weren’t right. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until one Friday morning we were getting ready for school and college and I remember mum running into the house holding a mobile, then running upstairs to their bedroom, slamming the door and then screaming and shouting coming from the room.
Me and my brothers just froze in the hallway. We didn’t know what the hell was going on. About 10 minutes later my mum came downstairs with tears pouring down her face. Really angry. We were all at the bottom of the stairs and I asked her what was going on. And she said, “This is the phone your father has been having an affair on with a woman called Carla.”
We just looked at each other in amazement and disbelief. She then said “get ready for school, I’ll be back in 10 minutes” and stormed out of the house.
My 19 year old brother, Jeremy, took charge and got me and my younger brother, George, into the kitchen and put the kettle on. Then my dad walked in with a strained look on his face and just said “mum and I need to sort stuff out.”
The boys didn’t want to know details of what was happening but I wanted answers. Jeremy refused to speak to my dad and took George back upstairs. Mum and dad weren’t prepared, at this point, to talk to me about it though.
I felt such anger for dad for having this affair and was also angry with my mum for not telling me what exactly was happening. Eventually, after a few days, it all came out. My dad had been on a golfing holiday and picked up with some woman and continued to text and ring her on his secret phone after he’d come back to the UK. I wanted nothing to do with him and refused to speak to him. I was disgusted and hated him for breaking up a happy home. Every time he entered a room I walked out.
Once he shouted at me that I was being rude and I just screamed back “what you did means that I have no respect for you anymore and I can’t look at you as a father figure.” This went on for a few months. I became depressed because I was worried about my mum and secretly started counselling in my school to try and get my head round things.
The counselling really helped. My mum could see I was having a hard time and one day she told me to come for a car ride with her. She obviously knew what she was doing because by being in a moving car I was trapped really and so had to listen to what she had to say. I was amazed when she told me to stop being rude to dad and that my actions were disrupting the house. After a lot of crying and shouting from me I did calm down and listen. And as she explained she would always be my mum and he would always be my dad and just because he’d hurt her didn’t mean that my relationship with her or my dad should be affected.
She’d made the decision to stay with him for her own reasons and I realised I had to respect that decision. I spoke to my dad later that day and told him how hurt I was and that as he was my dad I would be civilised and as a person I loved him but didn’t like him. That was almost a year ago. My parents are still together and we’ve all moved on as a family.
The whole thing has been a learning curve. I still don’t agree with my mum forgiving him and staying but in a way I’m grateful to her for being strong enough to do so because at least we’re still a united family unit.