I can’t forgive my father for cheating on my mother with 3 women

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female student in my late teens. I can’t forgive my father, who cheated on my mother.

I first became aware of his behavior when I was in kindergarten, when I found a picture of my father with another woman on his mobile phone. I remember that he immediately took the phone away from me.

I didn’t understand the situation very well at that time. But when I was a second-year student in junior high school, I wanted to confirm what was going on, so I looked through my father’s mobile phone. That’s how I found out that he cheated on my mother with three women.

Since then, I have been repulsed by my father. Just his presence in the next room makes me unable to concentrate on studying.

I haven’t talked about his affairs to anybody in my family, thinking this could cause my parents to divorce. If they do so, I’ll be in a serious financial situation.

I despise my father so much that I want to break from him as soon as I start earning my own living in the future. I feel anger toward him boiling inside me. I wonder why I have to suffer although this is his fault. Do you think my way of thinking is amateurish?

I, Osaka Prefecture

Dear Ms. I:

You’ve distrusted your father from the time you were in kindergarten to today. A father plays an important role for a daughter in developing her view of the opposite sex.

It’s very natural that you have feelings of anger and distrust about what your father did.

I also understand that you desperately want to move out of your house as soon as possible, and be in an environment in which you don’t need to see your father. In order to do that, it’s important now to focus on your future life plan.

I recommend you find something to put your heart into, think deeply about your future path and make your best efforts to obtain the qualifications required for your plan.

I also hope that you keep the possibility in your mind, even a small possibility, that someday you may open your heart to your father. I don’t say this out of consideration for him. I just want you to help yourself, as it’s very hard to go through life hating your father.

Looking back at my past and thinking about my experiences with people I’ve met, I understand that there are no perfect people. Sadly, we can’t be perfect even after we become parents.

I don’t mean to praise unethical behavior. I just think every single person makes many mistakes in complicated situations, but they live by offering and receiving forgiveness.

Masami Ohinata, university president

(from May 17, 2019, issue)Speech

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