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My dad cheated on my mom. A lot. From what I understand, there were a couple confirmed affairs when my sister and I were just an infant and a toddler—so he didn’t wait long to stray from my mom. Later, in my teen years, I would personally overhear a phone call of his that confirmed that he was at it again. And when I told my mom, she was upset not only because of this affair, but because it supported her belief that the affairs may have never stopped—who knows if my dad was ever even faithful for a year? You wonder why he got married in the first place. When the news came out, dark times followed. Today, I’m okay (thanks to plenty of therapy, meditation, and very good friends). But coming from a cheating father affects you forever. Here are things only women with unfaithful fathers understand.

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His guilt weighs heavily on you

Your dad never stops feeling guilty. Even long, long after the discussions and fighting surrounding the cheating are over, the guilt still lingers in the air, in every interaction. Your dad figuratively hangs his head low when he sees you. There is a hint of apology in his every word and it makes seeing him emotionally exhausting.

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