What do I do about possible infidelity? | INFJ Forum

What do I do about possible infidelity?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Vaguethinker, Aug 4, 2021.

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  1. Vaguethinker

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    For context I am 20 and still living with my family.

    I think my stepdad may have cheated on my mom and I’m not sure how to proceed.

    My mom has been gone on a trip for work the past three weeks. And a week later, one night my stepdad told me he was going out to the bar with a friend that I know. And apparently he had told my mom the same thing.

    The next day my mom messages me and is asking me questions regarding my stepdad, like what time he came home etc. She said she found it weird he told her he was hanging out with this friend because it’s been years since they’ve hung out and my stepdad apparently can’t hang out with him for too long because of his personality. She tells me to check the security cameras we have that luckily I just happened to subscribe to save footage a few days after she left.

    I check the cams and my stepdad came home around 1 am which my mom already knew because she had called him an hour prior during his outing. She said she found it weird when she called him that she didn’t hear any background noise from the bar. He apparently had told her he stepped out to answer her call and that’s the reason it was quiet. Because she was suspicious she had told me to check his phone logs and see if he had called his friend that day. I was uncomfortable because I don’t want to get involved in my parents business but I was hoping to put her worries to ease to find the friends name on his phone to see if he was called that day. Well, when I checked the logs his friend wasn’t on the phone logs, but it shows he called this friend right after my mom had called him the next morning.

    My mom was talking to him and brought up her concerns about that night and asked if she could see his phone logs when he got back. My stepdad had told her that this friend stopped by the house and asked him in person. Now fast forward to today, my mom told me to check the security footage all throughout that day to see if that friend had stopped by. I already could say he did not as my stepdad left the house 9:30 that morning and didn’t come back until 9pm. Then left again at 9:30pm to the bar. I checked the footage again and it confirmed what I already thought. Nobody came by the house.

    Now an hour ago my stepdad comes to me and says he thinks someone may have stolen some tools at the front of the house and wants to check the security footage. I already found this suspicious as I watch our cams everyday and I haven’t see anything out of the ordinary within the past two weeks. I’m also the only person in our house who has access to the cams so he asked me and I gave him the laptop to browse through. Twenty minutes later he gives me back the laptop and because I’m suspicious, I go back and check the date he went out to the bar and see he’s deleted the footage from 3-pm onwards until the next day.

    Deleting the footage alone makes him guilty and I’m imagining my family’s future being very dark now. I feel conflicted the most because I don’t want to get involved in their problems as I would be revealing this vital information which closes the coffin. I can’t think straight right now and I’m wondering if I should wait until my mom comes home and gets me to look up the footage and see it’s been deleted, which will blow up in my stepdads face anyway, or tell my mom what happened tonight and that he deleted the footage from that day. I don’t know what to do


     
  2. Anomaly

    Anomaly Selah.

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    This is so difficult. I'm sorry you're going through it.

    I would say that you should tell you mother that this is her business between her and your step-dad, and that you'd like to be kept out of it. That whatever she'd like to do to confront him with her concerns, she should do. You are not her partner, or her confidant. You are her child. Establish some boundaries there, or otherwise it will open doors for you to be involved in their disputes from now on. Also, if your step-dad ends up without fault in this (perhaps he is doing something else that he doesn't want to be found out about, or maybe he has specific reasons for deleting the footage that would be justified), if so, he won't trust you again. Boundaries are necessary here. Call your mom, and tell her that you won't be used to spy on your step-dad, and that she should confront him herself. I know this is difficult because you've already been involved, and you care about your mom and your step-dad. However, this is honestly not your responsibility. Free yourself of it, and put it back into their hands.

    I hope you have peace and clarity as you choose your next steps.
     
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  3. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome
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    There is context missing here about your bonds with your parents and how long your mom and stepdad have been together. If your stepdad didn't raise you, and he isn't like a father to you, your loyalty must be to your mom. Make sure whatever you do, your mom won't feel like you are being disloyal to her because it will affect your relationship. If your stepdad is like a father to you, stay out of it. You can't side with one parent over another.

    Your mom is depending on you for loyalty and she is asking you to check the footage. If she comes home and sees the footage deleted and you didn't tell her, she may think you deleted it to protect your stepfather, which will cause mistrust between you and your mom. If you choose to tell her, maybe you should tell her when she brings it up when she gets home, and not while she is away. She needs to concentrate on the work trip right now. After telling her he erased the footage, ask to stay out of it. That is where your involvement can end. It cannot end before you tell her he erased the footage because you are responsible for the footage. It is not possible that you wouldn't know it was erased.

    Another facet of this situation is that she already suspected something was going on with your stepfather because she is checking in and asking you to look at the footage. There is probably background story she hasn't told you that justifies her suspicion. If the relationship was healthy and everything was OK none of this would need checking.
     
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  4. Impact Character

    Impact Character folding paper cranes ⭐

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    I'm so sorry you are going through this! That sounds like a lot of pressure put on your shoulders, not to mention all the emotions and worries.
    Most importantly, please remind yourself that your parents are responsible for their relationship and that it is not yours to deal with. It's okay not to get involved and okay to set a boundary here if you wish to.

    They are playing that "outsmart the other" game.
    The part of the relationship you describe here between them is based on both avoiding to talk and share information, and everyone is doing that in their own way with you in the middle of it.

    You can if you want tell your stepdad and your mother that they need to evaluate their situation together, whether he is having an affair or not (some people do weird things just to have a moment for themselves that they don't like to talk about. But maybe it is an affair, then the damage was already done before that and the affair is more likely a symptom for something bigger that they really need to adress.) Things will just boil up even more if your stepdad keeps believing that omitting is going to keep the peace, and if your mother is keeping herself in a investigative (maybe slightly moving towards paranoid) state of mind. No place you want anyone to be in for too long!

    I wish you a lot of strength and calmness in these difficult times, and that they solve this in the best way possible.
     
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  5. Winterflowers

    Winterflowers Impermanent Fixture

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    Okay, take a deep breath. If you are still feeling extremely anxious, that's alright. If you could take some time away from your house, it would do you good - your home is unfortunately a battleground right now and grounding yourself inside it won't be as easy. Take a short walk around town, and stop once in a while to rest your eyes. It may help.

    So. Impact Character, Asa, and Anomaly have said exactly what I would say. I'll say it again for emphasis though: this isn't your fight. You're caught in the middle because they're trying to outmaneuver each other. Like Asa said, this to me sounds like there was preexisting problems in their relationship, and that's usually the case with infidelity.

    They're both trusting you to a degree, though I sense that your mum has been in your life much longer. Your stepdad, not to be too blunt, sounds like an idiot.
    You can wait to tell your mum after her road trip, but by the sounds of it it's already troubling her and I'm not sure it would make much difference. Would you know if the security camera company keeps backups of your footage? if so, that could be helpful, because right now it's your word that she'll be relying on, and your stepdad may resent you for that.
    Otherwise Asa's right. Because you're the sole person with access to the footage, you'll have to speak with her about it sooner or later.

    I'm sorry you're going through all this @Vaguethinker . I don't think it's fair or healthy for your parents to involve you like this, though unfortunately happens often.
    What are your options? as somebody who grew up around similar issues, one of the most disconcerting things is feeling like we have no control over what happens. But to an extent, we do. We can make sure that we land on our feet. Like, do you have friends or extended family you could visit for a while, if you want to be away from home? Or if these games continue, what do you have that your dad or mum have access to or might want access to? like the laptop.
    If these questions make you feel further overwhelmed, then you don't have to pursue them. For somebody like me, it gives me a sense of control over my situation. However they could easily work the other way.
    In any case let us know how you are doing okay? you don't have to go through things alone hugs
     
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  6. David54

    David54 David
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    What they said..you are not the truth police. This is their mess and they need to figure it out without using you..
     
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  7. InfernoMink

    InfernoMink Permanent Fixture

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    The truth will set everyone free. Good luck.
     
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  8. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    It's really unfair to bring children, even grown children, into these intimate matters. It's not a healthy dynamic. I would also agree that staying with other friends or family at this time would be a good idea. Ideally, just finding a place of your own if possible.
     
  9. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    I agree with the other posters here, it's not your business. Keep out of it. Sorry you're impacted by all of this.
     
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  10. OP
    Vaguethinker

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    Thank you. I know it’s not my business but I feel so sad for my mom. I love both my stepdad and my mom but I’m trying to picture it in her shoes and she has to deal with this situation alone and has no emotional support so I feel bad. But I also have to have some sort of boundary or else I may end up resenting my stepdad. I’m trying to create a boundary like you said and I think my mom is on her end as well as there are some things shes hinted at in the past that I don’t know about regarding suspicions with my stepdad.
     
  11. OP
    Vaguethinker

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    Yes you’re right I think context would help this situation more. I’ve known my stepdad since I was 5 and I love him despite wherever this may lead. I am worried if it ends up true, that he did do something he shouldn’t have, I will view him differently and kind of have lost faith in some things. He’s always been an upright person to me so I feel like it’s crushing my ideals.

    I don’t want to side wirh one or the other because I love them both but my stepdad’s deception is slowly starting to make me feel sick honestly. I can tell he’s on edge like a guilty child who has done something wrong. It’s in the tone of his voice when he asks simple things. He’s nicer than usual from this fear. I spoke to him this morning and he kept going on abojt the excuse for the camera and I just went quiet. I want to pretend I don’t know and try to help him save face but it’s still gross to know the truth while someone knowingly deceives you. So I’m trying to appear normal to him as I sort through it.

    I ended up telling my mom as I figured she would ask me when I found out he deleted it. I also told her I hate to be involved in this so I’m hoping that since the footage situation is dealt with it can be between them.
     
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  12. OP
    Vaguethinker

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    Thank you so much.

    I’m also not sure if I should even make it known to my stepdad that im aware of the camera situation as my mom isn’t back yet.

    This morning I opened my computer and noticed a mistake he made. Since my computer died while he was using it, the tabs were still open and security footage from two weeks ago was open and it showed me they’ve been deleted. I also saw he went to the recycling bin of my computer (not tech savvy so probably thought the security footage app would be connected to computer once deleting). If I wasn’t aware of this situation, I would think it’s odd and ask him why he deleted footage from two weeks ago. But I have to pretend I didn’t see it and it’s bothering me.
     
  13. Anomaly

    Anomaly Selah.

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    I understand the pain of being forced into the situation. It's disorienting to be pulled into other's chaos. Your Mother deserves the truth, but it is your Step-Dad who should be the one to speak it, and it is your Mother who should be the one to request it of him. If there is anyone that could act as intermediary for their issue, maybe a professional or a close friend who would be objective, then maybe you could suggest this for your mom as a support to her. You can empathize without carrying the burden of their choices. You can still speak the truth in what you've found, shedding light on it for your Mother, and then place it in her hands for her to choose what she wants to do and if she wants to confront your Step-Dad. Perhaps, letting her know that you don't wish to be a part of it moving forward, but that you will be there for her regardless of her decisions. Ultimately, you can have peace in handing back responsibility where it belongs, and caring for yourself in setting that boundary. I hope you do.

    Edited to add: I just saw that you've taken some of these steps. I admire you for your courage. As for your Step-Dad, he likely knows that you know, and is worried and trying to save face. If you are as close as you say, then perhaps you can discuss this with him, and tell him that you don't need details, but that you hope that he does the right thing in telling your mother the truth. Then, as you did with your mother, place the responsibility back into his hands and free yourself from it. If he tries to place blame, do not take it, restate the facts, restate that you no longer want part in it and that he needs to speak to your mother. I hope for strength as you process this.
     
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    #13 Anomaly, Aug 4, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
  14. OP
    Vaguethinker

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    Thank you.

    I agree my stepdad feels like a child to me right now. Deleting the footage is only going to make him look ten times worse. He knows she’s going to ask me so I don’t know why he think that would help him in any way. It really confirms any suspicions my mom may have just by him deleting it.

    Right now, it’s ok and my house isn’t a battleground because my mom is still away. But when she comes back, wow I don’t know what’s going to happen. I have two younger siblings as well so I’m more worried about the tension in the house and how it will impact them.

    For me, right now, I feel like the only sense of control I have is making the conscious effort to not resent my stepdad. To try and be there for both of them. I’m not sure what will happen once my mom gets back and I’m worried. Everything is going to change now and I can’t even picture it because it’s too depressing and unstable.

    I’m not sure if the best way to go about this is to act unaware to my stepdad when it blows up when my mom comes. He is a terrible liar and I can see right through him when he speaks so he’s making it extremely hard right now to feign ignorance especially because he knows I’m quick witted
     
  15. OP
    Vaguethinker

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    If I wasn’t the person who checked the cams geryday I feel like I could escape this without being involved. But if they get into an argument and my stepdad tries to say his friend visited, when I know for sure he did not, I don’t know what to do. Offering up any truth to clear this situation up would just make him look bad as he’s lying and I don’t want to be the person who has evidence someone is lying. It sucks
     
  16. David54

    David54 David
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    I'm very sorry that you're in this position. It's not fair and it's not right and both parties need to be told that this isn't fair it isn't right this isn't my business.
     
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  17. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome
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    I'm so sorry. It's a tough time. Make it clear that you want no part of it, try not to be home when she gets home from her trip, and let them make the decisions they need to make.
    If you can't crash at a friend's place for a few days use noise-canceling headphones (borrow some if you don't have any) and stay in your room. The forum is here for you.

    If it were me, I'd ask my stepdad to stop talking about it with you, too. Whatever he is up to doesn't concern you.
     
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  18. Impact Character

    Impact Character folding paper cranes ⭐

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    You keep repeating that you don't feel comfortable with being not honest yourself. Please honor that. I believe you don't necessarily need to act if nothing was wrong but you also don't need to start a conversation about their issues or something concret as the camera either. You feel uncomfortable and you worry about your family and the impact on your siblings. That is not an unimportant matter, and I think mothers and fathers usually want to know something like this going on with their children. You can surely consider if that is an option for you while keeping in mind that by playing along you are technically taking care of your grown up father not the other way around. What I mean is: it's probably okay if you tell your parents, both, that you love them and that you want (if you want) to visit friends or family with your siblings if that is possible. Maybe your stepdad can drive you guys somewhere or so before your mom gets home? At least that would be a bit more on the responsible side by them, you know? Or maybe your mom has an idea if you share your feelings. Just thinking here.. they are probably very caught up in their own issues right now and might not see very clearly.
     
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  19. OP
    Vaguethinker

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    I know. Right now my mom is ok with me acting like I don’t know either. I honestly feel really sick.

    This morning he came to me and said, “Your mom thinks I deleted footage from the cams when she went to go check. I didn’t delete anything.”

    meanwhile he used my computer and it died on him. And when I turned it back on the tabs were still there and it had showed me he deleted footage. So I just went quiet cause I’m really not sure what to say. And it’s making me sick
     
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  20. Anomaly

    Anomaly Selah.

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    I hope everything worked out for you, Vaguethinker.
     
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