Should I tell my mother that my father is cheating on her?

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a woman in my 30s. I’ve just found out that my father is cheating on my mother and I’m wondering if I should tell her.

My father, who is in his 60s, is having an affair with a woman in her mid-50s. They work at different companies in the same industry.

My sister noticed suspicious messages on my father’s Line app. After checking the messages, she found that they had been meeting at a hotel once or twice a month for several years. My mother is completely unaware of this.

My father is a typical example of an emotionally abusive husband. As my mother has had to endure his behavior for a long time, I want her to have a peaceful and happy life from now on.

I’m wondering if I should tell my mother what he’s been doing, while also presenting the option of divorce. Or, should I leave my mom out of it and speak to my dad and the other woman about what they plan to do?

Even if my father refuses to get a divorce, I don’t expect him to end the affair and become someone who cares for my mother. What can I do for my mother?

U, Fukushima Prefecture

Dear Ms. U:

First, I think you should clearly tell your father that you want him to stop cheating on your mother. Then you could appeal to your father to be considerate of your mother and let her spend the rest of her life happily.

See how your father reacts to your honesty. I believe you will then be able to see what kind of person he truly is and how he actually feels toward his family. Make sure you confront your father first, not the other woman.

By the way, what do you think your mother will do when she learns about her husband’s affair? It will probably be quite difficult for her to immediately decide whether to get a divorce.

For those over 60, getting a divorce requires a great deal of determination and physical and mental strength. Plus, there is usually an onslaught of apologies, excuses, consolations and even threats from the man, which can sway a wife’s feelings when living with such a husband.

Furthermore, knowing that her husband is a cheater would not be an easy thing to forget. Your mother would have to live with such stress.

I think it’s best not to tell your mother about your father’s affair for the time being. But if he doesn’t listen to you, or if he is even considering marrying the other woman, then you should talk to your mother about his infidelity and wait for her decision.

Yoko Sanuki, lawyer