Dear Thirsty and Thirty,
I’m in my 50s and I can say that I’m probably one of the unluckiest women in the world to have witnessed cheating all my life.
When we were in grade school, my dad would bring us to school every day. There were numerous times when he would pick a woman up ( usually a college student) from the bus stop and drop her off somewhere near our school. Him, his kids and a mistress – All in one car. That time, we were all under the age of 10. So we had no idea what that all meant. This would go on intermittently for years, but none of us ever mentioned anything to our mom. For as far long as I can remember, I think our dad told our young, innocent minds that we shouldn’t tell our mom.
Fast forward to when we were in high school, my mom would get anonymous phone calls telling her that her husband is cheating on her and that his mistress is his secretary. My mom never checked on him. NEVER. We would sometimes hear her tell my dad, “ ALAM KO HINDI KA SANTO, MGA LALAKI NAG DADATE SIGURO KAPAG WALA NA SA BAHAY. PERO WAG KA LANG MAG ANAK SA LABAS”
Fast forward again to my 20s. My dad told me and my siblings that he has a 2 year old “love child” and that he wants us to meet her. We were all so surprised, but back then, we didn’t have the courage to get mad at him. He forced us to meet up with her regularly from then on, threatening that if we do not, and if we tell our mom, he would disinherit us and give everything to his “child”. We were hurt, furious, and felt incredible pity for our mom, who was either clueless about the whole thing or turned a blind eye from the truth.
Years later, she eventually found out about the “love child”. She confronted my dad, but it was him who ended up furious and threatened to leave her. You know what my mom decided to do? She told my dad that his child can join us for our Sunday family lunches. Unfortunately, his child was evil. Every time she was with us, she would somehow stir up a fight that would make my dad furious at my mom or his grandkids (who were around the same age as his kid). This led to my mom deciding that his child cannot come over anymore. He fumed at this decision, and only came to his senses when a friend of his convinced him to stop forcing his wife to accept his child.
In his 80s and during this pandemic, he refuses to stop cheating. It was just recently that they slept in separate rooms because we told her, for fear that he might infect her with COVID-19, because he still continues his habitual pattern of sleeping with different women.
Sorry for the long letter, but sighting specifics will give a better picture of what my family has gone through all these years.