I’m shocked to discover my father may be having an affair

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a 16-year-old girl and I have no idea what I should do about my father, who seems to be having an affair.

Since starting high school, I’ve come to love my family even more than before. I enjoy family time much more than spending time with my friends. I love spending time at home so much.

One day, though, I borrowed my father’s smartphone to talk with my grandma. After we hung up, messages from the Line app appeared on the screen. They said things like “I love you so much,” and “I finally finished my work for the day.” I was shocked.

My family once talked about how cruel affairs can be and how much it could break someone’s heart. I carefully read the messages, hoping it was all some kind of mistake.

But I only found other similar messages. It seems to me like my father and this person have been meeting privately.

I have no intention of ever telling my mother, but I’m so shocked. How should I approach my father from now on?

—N, Aichi Prefecture

Dear Ms. N

Of course, finding out that your beloved father might be having an affair is quite shocking. You must be a bundle of nerves with so many things on your mind.

Whether or not this person is someone he’s dating, just a friend or even an actual person is unclear, because you said the messages were all similar. However, based on the content of the messages, it’s possible that these are flirty messages sent by a nightclub employee to her customers.

Whatever the truth is, it is certain that you’ve now gotten to a point where you can objectively see your father as an adult male. As you can’t live with your family forever, it may be a good idea to consider the notion that the time has come, albeit a bit earlier than usual, for you to begin mentally separating yourself from them.

You may now feel that the version of yourself who enjoyed time with family over friends to be a bit immature.

If your father really is having an affair, your mother will find out sooner or later. How will you react when she does? Will you vent your anger alongside her? Will you share in her sadness? Or will you turn the other way, relegating it as a problem for your parents to deal with? Now’s the time to begin your mental preparations.

Your friends may also be able to give you some advice. They may be much more sympathetic than you expect. Reading books can also be a big help. I’m sure you’ll come to realize that you are never alone.

—Hazuki Saisho, writer