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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Jun 24

Coping with Infidelity

Posted By iamincontrol | June 24, 2014

Sad teen with parents fighting
By Kelsi

As a sophomore in high school and the oldest of three siblings, I always felt like I had a lot on my plate. Growing up, I had nothing to complain about, but then things got weird. My dad was always working on his racecar, and when he was done, he would sleep on the couch. I will never forget the moment my mom told me what was really going on. I was in the shower when she came in and told me that she had been cheating on my dad. The first thing that crossed my mind was the timing. I was in the shower. Maybe she was just scared and felt like she needed to tell me ASAP, but after this, things definitely went downhill. Being from a small town, everyone knew. Going to school and staying focused was hard, but the hardest thing of all was making sure my siblings were okay.

When the man my mom cheated with started coming around more, I hated it. I was very emotional and refused to look at him. We were supposed to speak to a therapist, but all I could ever do was cry. It was hard seeing my younger siblings acting perfectly normal around this stranger. I figured it was because they were too young to understand, but being as old as I was, I couldn’t stop thinking about my dad. He was going to live alone. How was he going to support himself and pay child support? He had to feel so hurt and alone. It was hard to not take sides and be angry with my mom.

The next few years felt like a rollercoaster. As time went on, I just tried to focus on succeeding in school and extra curricular activities and being the best I could be for my family and myself. I realized that my family deserved to be happy, and time heals wounds. Forgiving may not be easy, but you have to move on to truly enjoy life. I know my dad may never forgive my mom, but we are all alive and breathing and just have to get along with what we have. I continue to sometimes act like a mother to my siblings because I have this motherly instinct in me. I guess I just want them to have the childhood I had, even though I had two parents together in mine.

Still today, I feel like I don’t have enough contact with my dad. We are both busy, and he lives farther away than my mom. I know my siblings see him frequently, and I always try to remind him that I love him. In the end, divorce and infidelity are hard things to go through. I learned you have to continue to stay focused and know that you have a support system around you no matter what to get through the tough times. Relationships will have their ups and downs, but being open and willing to work on problems you have in your life will lead to positive and healthy outcomes.