Effects of Cheating Father on Daughter

What happens to children when their fathers cheat? The effect a cheating father has on his daughter is enormous. This first-hand account from a daughter of a cheater shares how infidelity affected her and the entire family.  Listen to the audio below to hear her story which gives invaluable insights before, during, and after her father's affair. 

Should Children Know their Parent Cheated?

Deciding whether or not to tell children about their father's infidelity is a complex and painful decision for betrayed wives to make. The infidelity impacts not only the wife but also the entire family, including the children. Children may already know or suspect something is wrong and may even blame themselves for the cheating. An affair changes the family dynamics and can have long-lasting effects on the children.

It may be tempting to wait until a more convenient time to discuss the infidelity with the children, but there is never a perfect time to do so. It's essential to consider the children's emotional well-being and provide them with the support they need during this difficult time. (Please read my article on how we, as betrayed wives, can support our children after infidelity.)

In my personal experience, my husband involved his affair partner with our children, portraying her as someone they could trust. During this spontaneous and raw podcast interview with my second daughter, you will hear the effects of the infidelity on our family and how we handled this painful situation. It's important to remember that every family's situation is unique. So how do we make the best decision for our families while also providing our children with the support they need?

Effects of Cheating Fathers on Daughters

My girls were devastated when they discovered that their father was cheating. Like me, they never believed him capable of doing this or of the lies he had been telling. His affair severely impacted their ability to believe in their own judgment of who they could trust. Here is a list of things children risk experiencing after their father cheats.

  • Feelings of betrayal 
  • Intense anger, resentment, guilt
  • Confusion
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Depression and sadness
  • Intentional misbehavior and self sabotage
  • Taking blame or responsibility
  • Attempting to earn love from the cheating parent
  • Becoming caretaker of the wounded parent
  • A lack of trust 
  • Difficulty in future romantic relationships
  • Becoming a cheater themselves

Although these reactions are possibilities, they are not certainties if appropriately handled. These adverse effects can compound when children discover for themselves that their father is cheating or they lack proper support from their parents and/or therapists. As a betrayed wife, when your children learn their father cheated, please ensure they get the support they need. As difficult as it is, you can help them through the complicated emotions they experience.

"My Father Cheated on my Mother"

Are you ready to gain a deeper understanding of how infidelity affects not just wives, but children as well? Listen as my daughter bravely shares her personal experience of watching her father cheat on me and the lasting impact it had on her and her siblings. She candidly shares how girls process the betrayal of their mothers, and the harsh reality that a father's infidelity betrays the entire family, not just the wife.

She says, "My father didn't just cheat on my mother, but on all my sisters and me too..."

My daughter asked me to record her raw and unscripted first-hand account of how difficult it was to deal with betrayal as a child. Her father's infidelity changed her life during the affair and for the years to come. Infidelity leaves a mark that lasts a lifetime. While it is hard, there is hope in the ups and downs of healing from betrayal for wives and their children.

The Interview - How Cheating Fathers Affect Daughters

(Click below to play audio)

I hope this daughter's story inspired you and gave you valuable insights. Infidelity has a lasting impact on the daughters and children of the cheater. It is so important to provide children with the support they need. As betrayed wives, we are not the only ones who need healing after infidelity; our children do too. 

(Click here to read a post about how you can give your children the support they need after their father cheats.)

Are you struggling with talking to your children about your husband's affair? Do you need to speak to someone who understands how painful it is to see and hear your children suffer because of betrayal? I've been there. I had to answer these challenging questions. My four daughters' did find out their father was a cheater. I know how soul-destroying it is to see the pain of betrayal on a child's face. 

If you're feeling lost and alone in the aftermath of your husband's infidelity, know that you're not alone. As a fellow betrayed wife, I understand the pain and confusion you're going through. That's why I'm offering you a free call on my calendar as a way to reach out and connect with someone who truly understands what you're going through. By opening up and sharing your story with someone who's been there, you'll be taking a positive step toward healing and finding the support you need. 

Don't suffer in silence, book your free call today and let's work through this together. Because only those who have experienced intimate betrayal truly know how hard it is, let's turn to each other for support and compassion.

With much love and compassion, 

Yours on the Journey

You may also find these helpful:

Supporting Children After Infidelity: Self-Care for the Betrayed Wife
Why Did My Husband Have An Affair? Didn’t he love me? – Navigating Healing After Infidelity
Infidelity Stress
  • I don’t have any children, but I found this podcast to be moving. I had to hold back my tears. Thank you for allowing such insight into your personal life and showing me how much grace and forgiveness can transform pain.

  • Wow.. this warmed my heart and helped me put a lot into perspective, after hearing your daughter’s point of view. Thanks to her for being so brave. It sounds like you’re now so close, and lucky to have each other. Lots of love blossoming from so much hurt. <3

    • I am happy to know this helped. My daughter and I are close, and continue to grow. Much love, Kate

  • Kate, this is a really valuable podcast. Wrestling with whether to tell our children has been such a dilemma for us even though they are young adults. I can’t imagine how tough it is for others who don’t have a choice in this because circumstances reveal the infidelity.
    Hearing your daughter speak from her heart is inspiring. I don’t know whether we will tell our daughters yet but if things are taken out of our hands and their father’s infidelity is revealed, you have both certainly given me a road map to navigate what feels to be undoubtedly scary and uncharted territory. I feel much more like this would be a survivable event.
    Not sure I can match up to you Kate because you’re really amazing.

    • I am so glad that this helped you. It is uncharted territory, but hearing my daughter state that she loves her dad, and forgives him, made doing this pod worth everything to me.
      Much love

  • Thank you Kate for sharing this. What a mature and beautiful woman you have raised. I am sorry you all had to go through this incredible pain.

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    About the Author

    I am a certified life coach and relationship facilitator with a passion for supporting women who have been impacted by infidelity. Drawing on my personal experiences and deep insights, I am dedicated to helping my clients heal from the trauma of betrayal and reclaim their lives.

    Through one-on-one coaching, I am committed to providing a safe, supportive space for women to process their emotions and move forward after infidelity. You can find me in my vegetable garden or taking long walks in nature with my dog when I'm not working. Read more about  the betrayed wife's personal infidelity story...