My name is Emily.
I'm 18. Three years ago my dad cheated on my mum and left to
live with his mistress. My dad's family own and live on a dairy
farm where they have worked since before my dad was born. When
my parents got married, my mum worked alongside them.
Now my mum,
9-year-old brother and I have to leave our house so my dad and
his girlfriend, and her family, can move back in and run the
These past years
have been hell for me and no one seems to have noticed. It's
only noticed when one parent is trying to show the other they
are the cause of my upset.
Emily, you didn't
sign on for your dad to cheat and kick you out of your home.
Of course, you are upset. But at 18 you are powerless.
Or are you?
Do you think
it will help to have your say with both your parents in the room?
Can you send them an invitation to listen to you at a particular
date, time and place? Pretend this is like a school project.
You are going to give your speech, and you have a right to be
Write down what
is happening and how you feel about it. Then make three copies,
one for you and one for each of them. If your feelings are too
strong, they can read what you wrote even if you are too overwhelmed
to read it.
dad's side, he would want the farm back since it's his family's
farm. But you are his family, too. You are his biological child.
Your mother is someone he made a promise to, but you are the
product of his body. You have a stake in the farm and so does
Talk to your
father about that stake. Can there be another home on the property?
Are there other options? You can't be erased no matter how many
women he chases.
have to stand up for your rights. Sometimes people have to be
told. It's his parents' farm, but you are their grandchild. Tell
him, "I don't accept you displacing me from my home. What
I need from you is..."
You are entitled
to make a stink. You have nothing to gain by being quiet. Silence
accepts, and you cannot be silent anymore.
Then make plans
for your future, and set your own goals in life.
- Wayne &
I am wondering
if you believe a marriage where infidelity has occurred can survive
and even improve?
the problem with staying? The problem is our reaction to being
cheated on is biological, in our genes. It's part of who we are
as human beings. It is universal.
How do we know
that? Because research done on the human reaction to cheating
has been conducted in cultures ranging from Japan to the United
States to tribal people in the Amazon rain forest.
universal reaction to cheating, has been found in all these cultures.
Just as interesting, kids as young as three and four react to
being cheated on in the same way. This is an unlearned response.
We may be capable
of talking ourselves into anything or talking ourselves out of
anything, but our gut won't go along. Cheating is the ghost which
always haunts a marriage. It doesn't matter how sincere someone
is in trying to help the injured party, or if their desire to
help is based on genuine religious conviction, it doesn't change
The only exception
to this rule is people who have been emotionally damaged in childhood.
They are so used to abuse, they may accept this new abuse as
normal. But the normal reaction of normal people to being cheated
on is disgust, a disgust which won't go away.
- Wayne &
Authors and columnists
Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.
to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email:
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