A young woman recently turned to Reddit for advice on how to proceed after discovering that her father had allegedly been having an affair with her aunt for the last 20 years.
Likening the “heartbreaking” realization to a “bad dream,” commenters urged the Redditor to inform her mother sooner rather than later of her husband’s reported infidelity, for her own good.
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On Oct. 12, Reddit user Vantaed posted the emotional take in the forum’s “Surviving Infidelity” support group. “My father (towards whom I didn’t have any positive feelings even prior to that) apparently has been having affair with my godmother,” she said, clarifying that the woman, also her aunt, is the wife of her mother’s brother.
Vantaed began by explaining she had been spending time with her cousins, and describes their relationships as “very close.” And the day before she took to Reddit, she claims a cousin had accidentally opened her aunt’s Facebook page and saw a “sexting” conversation between her mother and Vantaed’s father, News.com.au reports.
Alarmed, the Redditor told her cousin to screenshot the chat, and she obliged, later printing out the conversation.
The woman’s cousin, meanwhile, quickly called her mom, who wrote off the banter as a “joke” and immediately deleted the chat.
The next day, the Vantaed and her cousin read over the “God-awful sexting” conversation together, and informed the rest of their adult-aged cousins of the news.
“We decided to give my aunt a week to confess (which she’s not going to do) and then we will show the copies first to my uncle and then my mum,” the author said of the larger plan to address the situation.
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“Honestly, what do I do?” Vantaed asked. “The fact that my father is capable of this did not surprise me, but I know it was heartbreaking for my cousins as they’re close with their mom (and I am as well) and I cannot even imagine how my mom would react,” she said.
“I have a 9-year-old sister and after 18 years I know my mom quite well I think, she won’t let anyone know how hurt she is and remain in the marriage for the sake of my sister,” she went on. “I’m just so confused and probably still in denial as the last two days have been like some bad dream to me.”
In reply, commenters urged Vantaed to inform her mother of the alleged affair immediately, as difficult as sharing the suspicions would likely be.
“Your mom absolutely needs to know, do NOT fall for the age-old ‘I need to hide this to protect her’ fallacy. It will hurt her, but she deserves the truth,” one user said.
“You need to tell your mom before your aunt tells your uncle. Your uncle might tell your dad [who] would be able to cover his tracks,” another agreed. “Tell her so she can plan. Tell her you support her.”
Others asked Vantaed how she discovered that the infidelity had been happening for two decades, while some advised her to “stay strong” for the sake of her mother.
“I am so proud of you! You have tremendous character. Your cousin too,” one supporter praised. “But don’t leave this for another second, as bank accounts get emptied and money removed. You will not believe how horribly people behave not just by cheating but in all financial matters. You need to get your mother to a lawyer and counseling.”
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Alternatively, one commenter wondered if the Redditor’s mother perhaps already suspected the adultery.
“There is a good possibility that your mom already knows or at least suspects. Women’s intuition… She may know but chooses to remain in denial. It’s sad but it seems to be the norm. Just be prepared,” they said.
Later on, Vantaed thanked respondents for taking the time to share their opinions.
“We’re still trying to exactly understand what this situation is truly about (whether there was a sexual relationship or romantic one, or was it just sexting for a long time), as my aunt still claims they never slept together and I obviously know she could be lying but still, we’ve seen only some of their messages and can’t put everything together solely with that,” she followed up on Oct. 12.
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“I still take into account the possibility it was ‘harmless’ in a way that they never slept with each other and have no romantic feelings whatsoever, and they just kept this sexting thing over the years… Just wanted to give you an update as the situation has been changing constantly,” she shared.