How I Forgave My Unfaithful Father

September 12, 2019  |  
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a father daughter relationship

Source: Vladimir Vladimirov / Getty

“Daddy issues.” It’s such a diminutive, dismissive, and quite frankly infuriating term. But, for all intents and purposes, I just need to say that I didn’t want to have “daddy issues.” And I was certainly on the path to having life-long issues if I didn’t forgive my dad for having cheated on my mom so, so much. Any time somebody cheats, our brain wants to take the easy route and simply demonize the person. It’s funny because it is, in the long run, the most painful thing to do. To just believe that people can be evil is not good for the psyche. But, it’s what the lazy brain does when we aren’t willing to dive into the complexities of why people do the things that they do. For a long time, I didn’t want to face it: I just wanted to hate my dad. And, on a very much related note, I developed an eating disorder, got into an abusive relationship, and had severe depression for a while. I eventually had to face that something was wrong with me. And, you guessed it: I needed to forgive my father. Here is how I came to forgive my unfaithful father.

a father daughter relationship

Source: Shannon Fagan / Getty

I asked for his perspective

First (and this wasn’t easy), I had to let my dad talk. I asked him to tell me why he thought what he did was okay, and why I should let him back into my life. I knew that I would never see what he did as okay, but there is a lot of value in just hearing the other person’s perspective. Usually, it isn’t, “Because I’m evil and wanted to hurt you.” Usually, they somehow twisted things in their mind to see their actions as okay. It’s important to know that, so we stop demonizing the person. My dad ultimately didn’t think his actions within his romantic relationship with my mom should or would impact his relationship with his kids. He was wrong, but that’s how he felt.

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