Can you imagine finding out that your own father has been unfaithful? It’s exactly the emotional roller coaster you expect it to be.
I found out that my father was unfaithful through my younger brother who is 11 years younger than me. He was only 9 then.
My younger brother was playing games on my dad’s PC when he found a WhatsApp chat backup log in “.txt” format. He sent the two files he found to my younger sister and me.
It was a collection of texts between my dad and his lover, spanning from 2016 to 2018.
Every single WhatsApp message my dad sent to this lady (a woman from his former secondary school) were in it. This lady is married and has her own kids too.
Let’s call her Lisa.
I read it all, as did my sister.
Obviously, my sister and I were upset after skimming through the chat logs. It had her phone number and her nickname in my dad’s phone – which kept changing over time, perhaps to avoid suspicion.
The chat log was full of confessions of love for each other, discussions of their next meeting place and time, followed by joyful conversation about how good the sex was and how they should have met each other sooner.
They talked about how fate is cruel sometimes, giving you true love only after you have other commitments and your own family.
It was disgusting.
As it turns out, my dad has even brought her a necklace, and they went to a Chinese temple together to have their little pretend wedding.
I can assure you – the feeling of knowing that your own father is a cheater is horrible, especially when you grew up being daddy’s little girl.
My sister and I were conflicted. Do we tell our mom? She has no clue.
There were nights when my dad would tell her that he would be busy working, that he’s going out with his friends and won’t come back for the night.
Ever since we read that chat log, we knew that these were lies.
Mom would video call us every day. She would tell us that dad was busy at work again, but there’s food at home, and that she has her Korean drama series to enjoy.
She would always talk to us when she’s mad at him, or unhappy about other stuff. She even told us how angry she was because my dad admitted that he hired prostitutes when he went on a business trip in Cambodia and Thailand.
She was willing to tell us everything. So we knew – she didn’t know about this affair.
I indirectly asked my mom what she would have wanted.
Our younger brother is 13 now. He understands what is going on too, but we have asked him not to say anything.
I am the eldest sibling, and so I took it upon myself to test the waters.
During one of our chit chat sessions, I told my mom about “a friend’s” dilemma. I showed her a picture of a random classmate with her parents – how happy she looked.
I told her exactly what I found in those chat logs but posed it as my friend’s problem with a few twists.
“She loved her parents. Her family has always been close-knit but now she finds all these proof that her mom has been cheating. She doesn’t know if she should let her dad know.
“If you were the father, would you want to know?”
I just wanted to see if she would.
She didn’t. She told me that if it was her – the marriage already lasted several decades. What good would it do to divorce when they’re already in their 50’s?
There the children to think of too, especially for my “friend” who still has two siblings so young.
But she also told me that my friend should talk to her mom. A daughter’s words could be meaningful to a parent, and they might feel remorseful.
I confronted him once.
So be it. We wouldn’t tell our mom.
When my emotions cooled down, I talked to my dad. I told him that he should stop going out with Lisa.
I told him that I knew, but I didn’t mention that my sister and brother know too.
He feigned ignorance and asked me where I heard this from. I only told him that I knew that it’s been going on since 2016, and that he should know that what he is doing is wrong.
He only replied, “If that was indeed true, I would have stopped it long ago.”
Just this year when I went back home for Chinese New Year, and I saw the affair still going on.
He tries to hide it, locking his phone, keeping close guard of it whenever we help him fix problems with it.
We saw, and we knew.
My mom will never know about this, and I can only wonder if my dad will have the conscience to call it quits with the other lady one day.
After all, his own father was unfaithful and he despises that fact.
We attended our grandfather’s funeral in the beginning of 2019, and his whole other family showed up -my grandfather’s other family I mean.
My dad wasn’t happy about it. Neither were his siblings.
He called his father a cheater, but it’s really just the pot calling the kettle black, isn’t it?
He’s a cheating husband, but he’s still a father who takes care of his family.
My siblings and I have calmed down since we first found out. I also received counsel from friends about this.
My dad may be a terrible husband, but he still gave us what we needed. He paid school fees, put food on the table, came home every week or so.
I suppose as a daughter, that is as much as I can do. I confronted him about it, and it’s all up to him now.
All I know is that I don’t want to grow up to be him, although I really wanted to when I was a child.
For more articles on cheating, read 6 Behaviours of a Jealous Partner and Why It Happened, and Getting over a Breakup? Here’s What Malaysians Advise.