Hiding a golden ring
Ask Rene:

My Dad Cheated On My Mom!
And I Have A Sibling!


Dear Rene,

My parents, John and Josie have been married for almost 45 years. They met as teenagers and fell for each other in high school.

I am 40 years old and their only child, or so I thought. I recently found out that I have a secret half sister, Lynn, the result of an affair my dad had years ago.

Of course, I’m shocked and disappointed to find out that my father cheated on my mom, but to find out I have a sibling has been a double whammy. An old family friend told me about Lynn because he thought I should know. And no, Lynn and I haven’t met yet since I’m still unsure about how I feel.

I’ve been watching the coverage of Maria and Arnold’s marital problems and am constantly reminded of my father’s own betrayal towards my mom. We all see how upsetting this news can be to a family.

Rene, My mom and dad are happily married now and I don’t think my mom knows. Should I say anything or leave it alone?

Allison, Oklahoma



Dear Allison:

No. No, no, nononononononono! AGH! I know you’re shocked and disappointed. I know you’re hurt. I know you feel the need to share that with someone and I would absolutely encourage you to do that, with anyone BUT your mother! Here’s why.


1. This Is Between Your Father And His Wife

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Repeat after me: this is not about you. I know you think it is because he’s YOUR father and whether you admit it or not, you claim some ownership of him (not in a literal way but you know what I am saying). How dare this interloper come in and take a piece of YOUR daddy?! So there’s a bit of possessiveness going. What you need to realize is that this was a mistake made many years ago by a man who is human. His relationship with the other woman (and child, if he has one) does not take away anything from the relationship he has with you. He is the same great guy you knew before finding out this information; he’s the same guy now.