A father wrote a open letter to the Guardian. He needed some advice on how he should handle his relationships with his daughter after he committed adultery.
I feel strongly to respond to him with my experience:
I was once a daddy’s little girl. My love for him was deep and I always saw him as my super hero. I found out he committed adultery when I was 19 years old and my world that I knew shattered. It has been eight years since then, now I am 26 years old. Our communication has been reduced with two sentences by email, “Happy Birthday. I love you.”
I believe everyone can do what they want with their life, but it will always comes with a price. In this case, the price for your affair has torn your family apart.
You should expect your oldest daughter to be angry with you, but never think of it as a reflection of her mother. She is the extension of both of you combine. She was created ounce by love from two people. Now, at this time she feel betrayed and she has lost trust in you.
My advice to you is to be there for her birthdays, her accomplishments and support her dreams as much as possible. I moved away two years ago from everyone I knew to a place where I didn’t know anyone. In that time period, I allowed for my father to come back into my life. But, he too had to decide if he wanted me back.
I spoke to a friend I just recently met in college. I told her about my situation. She looked at me and said, “I can never talk to my father, because he is no longer with us. We only have one father.”
Her perspective helped my comes to grip with my relationship with my father. I had to mentally push by angry aside. As I grew in college, I was ready for him to back back into my life. I sent him an invitation to my graduation, but he was not ready. My father has not seen where I live or has made it to any of my graduations. Don’t ever make that mistake with your daughter.
You should never tell your daughter how she should feel about the situation. She has to on her own allow you to come back into her life. Good luck with your relationships with your daughter. It will take years to rebuild a foundation with your daughter, or you may never will.