There are some telltale signs about when a father is cheating, and when a person is unfaithful to their partner in general. For example, they might start to dress differently, become guarded about privacy, or change their online behavior. These are just clues and may not mean that the individual is actually cheating.
Cheating within a marriage is an issue that occurs between two partners. But what should you do when you suspect your father is cheating? What are the signs of your father cheating?
Sudden changes in behavior, attitude, or a breakdown in communication, and factors including indifference, changes in his appearance, changes in his technology use, and new time-consuming hobbies are all signs to look out for if you suspect that your father is cheating.
You need to know the truth before confronting your dad about something as serious as cheating. Knowing different signs to know your dad is cheating can help you better handle and cope with the situation.
A number of these clues might warn us that something is not quite right in our parents’ relationship. How we handle the situation and look out for our emotional health when things feel strange at home is the most important thing.
Signs Your Father is Cheating
Infidelity is traumatic and one of the most challenging problems faced in any relationship, even if the relationship isn’t necessarily yours. Suspecting that your father is cheating takes an emotional toll on your life. So how do you tell your mother?
Gosh, do you even tell your mother?
Ensure you have the proper evidence and facts before spilling the beans to your mother and everyone else. Consider the following signs to know if your father is cheating.
However, be aware that these signs and behavioral changes do not guarantee that your father is cheating.
1. Changes in Communication
A communication breakdown is never a positive sign. Everyone has days where they aren’t feeling chatty, but if it becomes a trend that your father is uninterested in communicating with your mother, he may be cheating.
For instance, he might briefly or vaguely reply to her initiated conversation instead of replying descriptively, or if there is more difficulty talking about topics they usually discuss together easily.
If your father can’t communicate (or even fight) with your mother, if he no longer shares his day with your mother or with you, or the words “I love you” are no longer spoken, there is most likely an underlying issue that he is trying to cover up.
The following signs may also signal infidelity:
- If he changes the subject to avoid uncomfortable topics
- If he stalls or procrastinates to avoid talking
- If he storms off without saying a word
- If he constantly comes up with excuses of why he can’t talk
- If he makes accusations rather than talking about the current problem
- If he uses dismissive body language like rolling or closing their eyes
- If he acts in a passive-aggressive manner
2. Behavioral or Attitude Changes
Many external factors contribute to behavioral and attitude changes, such as work, stress, family, and friendships, to name a few. If your father tries to hide the truth, he will go to great lengths to protect his integrity. Hiding the truth is due to his inability to face the truth, or he is experiencing guilt but still wants to protect his families’ feelings.
The following may be signs of infidelity but take into consideration that they could also signal other issues.
- Noticing that your father has a sense of confusion about himself.
- Your father appears to be more secretive, for example, if he suddenly puts a password on his phone.
- Suppose your father is working longer and longer hours at work without a valid reason. Someone who has to ‘work late’ all of a sudden, and at times that go beyond a reasonable explanation, may be cheating.
- He seems to crave danger and thrills in his life all of a sudden.
- Your father tends to be more critical and negative than before, especially toward your mother.
- He tends to pick fights more often.
- He gets very defensive when infidelity or affairs are mentioned.
- Your father’s wandering eyes seem to be out of control.
- If he randomly abandons religious faith.
- He isn’t interested in going places or doing things with your mother anymore.
- Your father once was attentive but has pulled back and spends more time doing things he wants to do.
- Traffic jams, flat tires, dead batteries, and similar excuses for being late or absent altogether might also signal infidelity.
3. Changes in Appearance and Hobbies
Dedicating more time to taking care of yourself or pursuing new hobbies and interests can be stimulating, healthy, and positive. However, when combined with suspicious patterns and behaviors, it may be concerning.
If the following changes occur, it may be a concern that your father is cheating:
- Your father has a sudden increase in interest in his appearance—for example, dressing nicer or a sudden unhealthy obsession with looking fit and strong.
- If your father suddenly starts a new hobby that requires a couple of hours of commitment per day. It’s a major concern when you or your mother tries to show interest in their new hobby, and he becomes irritated or brushes you off.
- Spending extra time at the gym or practicing golf alone three times a week, insisting you stay at home, may all be signs of infidelity.
- If he isn’t sure about what his get-together details are with his friends participating in the hobby. He can’t tell you or your mother how long he’ll be out for or when he will be home.
When your father shows apathy or lack of interest in what he used to love and be passionate about without a plausible reason for his changes in engagement, infidelity may be suspected.
These indifferences may be a further indication of an affair.
- Your father seems bored with his job, your mother, the children, his hobbies, or even life in general.
- Your father has become lazy and uninvolved, especially around the house.
- Your father is unappreciative when your mother makes an extra effort to get his attention.
- Your father is indifferent to family events like birthdays and holidays.
- He might be distancing himself from the people he is hurting with the affair.
- He is more interested in other people’s relationship problems and has some strong opinions about their mistakes. He may be feeling guilty and is therefore projecting his fears and judgments about himself onto other couples.
5. Changes in Technology Usage
If your father is suddenly very guarded around his phone and P.C., then maybe something is up. Typically, when a person is cheating, they will be more active on their devices than before, and they certainly don’t want anyone to see what they’re up to—especially not their family.
Infidelity often occurs online. When there are sudden, disturbing changes in your father’s technology usage, it may signify that he is cheating.
Here are the technology changes to look out for:
- Your father is suddenly unreachable at certain times of the day.
- Your father started using a password or changed his password and refuses to share it with anyone, including your mother.
- Your father is constantly texting or leaving the room to take private phone calls. He could be avoiding receiving any questionable calls in your mother’s and your presence.
- Your father stops using shared devices altogether.
- Your father clears the browser history on the home computer.
- If your father never relinquishes possession of his phone, taking it with him to go shower or always keeping the phone on is not a good sign.
6. Dad Changes the Way He Dresses
If your father suddenly starts to pay more attention to the way his clothing looks, it might mean that he is trying to attract someone else’s attention or keep their attention. Even more suspicious is if he dresses the same as usual at home but makes more of a fuss when going out to work or socially. Of course, this could just mean that he has decided it is time to get out of his sweat pants slump.
7. Dad Suddenly Takes up Activities, Like Running
…or cycling, or gym, or any activity that he doesn’t usually participate in. If dad has always been Mr. Couch Potato, he could be trying to look attractive for someone else. This someone could be your mom. Or perhaps someone else. Maybe he is just trying to improve his health. Everyone needs to pay attention to their physical health, especially as they get older.
8. Your Mom Can’t Get Hold of Him for Extended Periods
If your dad is out and about and your mom (or even you) can’t get in contact with him, his attention might be on someone else. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for being out of reach, so this isn’t a dead giveaway, but it is something to look out for.
9. Your Parents Don’t Seem as Connected as Usual
If your folks are a cuddly, hand-holding type of couple and suddenly your dad is more distant and detached, then he could be having an affair. Sometimes a person pulls away physically from their partner when they’re cheating on them.
10. Dad Is Picking Fights With Mom for No Reason
A person might be trying to justify their cheating by finding fault and picking fights with their partner without good reason. It’s vital to remember that all relationships go through rocky patches for various reasons, so fighting could also just mean that your folks are going through a tough time.
11. Their Schedule Suddenly Changes
A person may be cheating if they suddenly change their routine. For example, your dad is suddenly working late all the time, when he usually knocks off work at 5 pm on the dot. Or he’s away on business trips when he usually doesn’t have to travel for work. Ignore this sign if he has recently changed jobs, and his new job requires that he work late or travel.
12. He’s Unusually Generous
A cheating dad with a guilty conscience might become very generous to try and compensate for their dishonest behavior.
13. He’s Drinking More Alcohol Than Usual
These signs are all things that a wide-awake family member might pick up on if they’re in touch with the parent’s relationship. The partner in the relationship might be picking up on a whole lot more signals than a child.
How Should You Deal With the Situation?
This question does not have any right or wrong answers. It is very difficult to know what to do if you suspect that your father is cheating.
Try to remember that the clues you have picked up on do not necessarily mean that your dad is cheating. Try not to jump to conclusions. Remain calm and take time to assess the situation and give them the benefit of the doubt.
Instinctively you might want to do further investigation or share your concerns with your mother. You know your family dynamic best, but generally speaking, the wisest decision would be to confront your father calmly with your suspicions and see what he says. He might deny everything, or he might admit to his actions.
If you have a safe confidant, they might guide you in dealing with this tricky situation and working through any feelings that are coming up for you.
How to Confront Your Cheating Father
If you are the one who discovered your dad’s infidelity, you can be in a highly uncomfortable position until called to attention. However, it would help if you considered a few things when you finally gather enough courage to confront him.
In most cases, the cheater may deny the accusation. However, without hard evidence or irrefutable proof, many people will not admit to infidelity.
Tips for Confronting Your Cheating Father
- Gather all the evidence: Make sure you have strong materials to prove it is cheating.
- Choose the right place and time: Pick a quiet place where there aren’t any major plans or distractions.
- Talk to him in person: Directly tell him about all the facts you have about his infidelity and covey your feelings of betrayal. If you can’t bear to confront him in person, write a heartfelt letter.
- Stay calm: Despite your emotions and disappointment, you must remain calm when confronting your father. In addition, be prepared to hear information that you’d never expect.
- Give him a chance to explain: Listen to what your dad has to say even if he denies cheating. Show him that you are ready to hear his side of the story.
Keep in mind that you are confronting and fighting against his behavior, not who he is as a person. Your personal feelings have to be set aside for those who matter to you. Do not threaten your dad to open up to your mom; instead, allow him to talk to her when he is ready.
Infidelity Affects The Whole Family
We immediately think of the innocent partner as the victim when the other is cheating. But the fact is, everyone in the family unit becomes a victim when this situation comes to light. For a child, the world, as they have come to know it, is forever changed.
Teenagers particularly have a tough time dealing with parental infidelity. The most common emotion is anger because the child feels like they have been abandoned and rejected. They feel like their parent has been unfaithful to their whole family.
They also tend to be judgemental of the parent’s misbehavior. It is as if the tables have been turned, and they suddenly realize that the people who usually make sure that they’re toeing the line are not infallible.
If the infidelity is out in the open, they might be struggling with the innocent parent’s reaction. Perhaps they expect mom to kick dad out, yet mom decides to give the marriage a chance.
Related Reading: My Husband Wants Me To Sleep With Another Woman, WHY!?
Looking After Yourself After Everything Is Out In The Open
It is important to remember in situations like this that it is not you or the family that is being rejected, but the marriage. And ultimately, even though your dad’s unfaithful behavior will affect you and your family going forward, the breakdown is between your mom and your dad.
It is important to respect them and give them the time and space to work out how they want to move forward. And remember, regardless of age and life experience, we are all human, and people make mistakes.
You need to find a safe space to work through your feelings about this. Speaking to a counselor or a trusted friend will help you process your emotions. Try to find someone who will remain impartial. Journalling your thoughts and feelings is an excellent way to deal with any of life’s challenges.
Above all, trust that everything will work itself out, one way or another.
Suspecting that one of your parents is cheating is probably one of the toughest challenges you might face as a teenager. We have listed some signs that this might be happening, but it is essential to remember that these are just clues. They may or may not mean anything. You should try not to jump to any conclusions.
Most importantly, remember that your parents’ actions are not a reflection or rejection of you. Regardless of their behavior, they still love you. Try to give them some space to work through their marriage issues and find a safe space for yourself to work through your emotions.