DEAR CHRISTINE; I slept with my stepmum
I am a 28-year-old male with a dark secret which I need to deal with if I am to live with myself.
I am aware that it can potentially ruin my relationship with my father, but I do not know what is worse – telling him the truth, or letting fate decide where I go from here.
When I was still in my pre-teens, my parents divorced. Both of them later remarried. My father married a woman who was only nine years my senior. After the divorce I lived with my mother and grandmother, before moving in with my stepdad. However, when I was 17 years old, I went overseas to live with my dad and stepmother.
My stepmother was not only young but very attractive, and provided a more relaxed atmosphere than in my former home.
Needless to say, we developed an attraction for each other and an affair started. We were intimate almost every week for about one full year, since my dad usually had to attend meetings abroad twice a week.
At the time of our intimacy I was about to start college and it was only after my first year that I met a really nice girl and my attraction for my “stepmum” waned.
Coming home at the end of each semester after that was a strain on me.
My stepmum wanted to continue the relationship; I did not. I was feeling guilty and had no more interest in deceiving my dad. I also discovered that she had wormed her way into my dad’s life, and there was a covetous, horrible side to her.
Four months ago, my dad discovered she had been cheating on him with another man (not me), and now he is threatening to divorce her. My father is now 50 years old.
I no longer live with him and my stepmum, but she has threatened to spill the beans about our relationship if I do not convince or rather coerce my dad into staying with her, as he always believed she was a good stepmother to me.
I feel like karma is giving me what I deserve, but I am scared. I do not know if I can reason with my dad, far less this woman, whom I now scorn. Do I do her bidding in order to save my dad from greater pain – tell him everything that happened between us, even though it will ruin our relationship and that of other family members, or should I let fate decide?
I want to do the best thing for him at this point, but I am not sure what that is. I only know that I am sorry for what I did to my dad.
We have all done things in life which we regret much later, and you are no exception.
The pain of extracting this woman from your father’s life will be well worth it to him. Now that she has threatened you, it will be even harder to ever feel comfortable with your father knowing she has something against you.
There is no good choice here, but you should be the first to tell your father about the mess you made about ten years ago. Let him know what happened.
While I am not sure about his mental state, I am certain he will feel hurt, betrayed and deceived not only by his wife, but by his son as well. Be sure to talk to him somewhere in public, where he is more likely to remain calm, despite the pain.
Let him know you are remorseful, more grown up and understanding, and that you’ve been living with this shameful secret for the past decade.
As horrifying and hurtful as this revelation will be for him, it will further cement his decision to end his marriage – and give him further ammunition to do so. Also let him know that your stepmum has threatened you and has been trying to bribe you.
As for your relationship with your father, it probably will never, ever be the same again, but it will no longer be based on deception. I’m feeling, though, that he will forgive you and put this aspect of his past behind him.