So, you’re in a relationship that seems to be going fine, but one day you get the wrong text, or you see something is off, or someone spells out the bad news: Your girlfriend’s been cheating on you. It’s a shock; you’re angry, sad, and disgusted. But then you find out more, and here’s the real shock: The mystery man who has been warming your girl’s bed behind your back is your own father! It’s bad enough when you find out your woman’s been cheating on you. But how much worse is it to find out her sugar daddy is your actual daddy?

When she’s cheating with your dad, it can feel like your entire world is simply imploding from all directions. Of course, the main problem here is that there is a double betrayal–by your girl, but also by your father. As hard as it is emotionally to break up with someone, you can find the strength to dump them and never have to deal with them again. But how do you handle cheating by a family member?

It depends on the situation, to some extent. Are you seeing the girl casually, and your dad didn’t even know? Such things happen. It’s possible for one or the other of you to step off, but it’s probably best all around for both of you to kiss her goodbye, because no one needs that kind of awkwardness. Things get worse if you were in a committed relationship and your dad knew. They get really bad if your dad was also cheating on your mom.

breakupOne step at a time: Your ladyfriend is out, period. There is no salvaging that part of it. As for what to with your dad, that correlates directly to your relationship with him. Is he a general asshole who is always doing awful things? Well, then, cut him loose–you don’t need toxic people in your life. As tough as this is to do with blood relatives, there is only so much stress you can be asked to take from someone who clearly doesn’t have any concern for you (hint: that amount is “zero”). And if your mom is still with him, she needs to cut him loose, as well.

I would recommend telling her about the affair; it might be just the impetus she needs to finally jump ship on that fool. Just be sure that there is no likelihood of domestic violence, first. If there is, please enlist the help of an organization that can help your mom get out safely.

confrontIf, however, your dad is generally a good guy who made a mistake–especially if your girlfriend was the instigator of the affair–you would be best off finding it in your heart to forgive him. Don’t expect to forget, but do forgive. That’s too important a relationship to discard lightly. Just make sure to confront your dad about his shenanigans; an immediate and heartfelt apology on his part is absolutely necessary to make sure things work out. Good luck!