My Husband Cheated With His Niece – Now What?

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Dear Elsa,

My husband cheated on me with his niece. I was very hurt and sought counseling. I have passed through several stages of denial, acceptance, grieving and finally moved on.

Because of the children we are still communicating, but his mistress forbids him to see his children and my children are too young to understand. My children ask for their dad but when he spends time with them he has to lie to her. He is so into his mistress at this point that when my daughter got sick at school while I was at work and asked him to pick her up, he said he would, but he didn’t. Then when I called him back, he had turned off his phone.

He is so afraid of his mistress breaking off with him, he is willing to give me full custody of the kids. How am I going to explain to my kids that their dad doesn’t want to spend time with them and that he is going to the US to leave them permanently in Philippines? He has stood them up several times and I don’t know how to stop them from getting hurt.


Dear Mother,

Your children are being abandoned by their father and there is no way you are going to be able to prevent them from being hurt. All you can do is be the best mother you can and there are limits to that. You have no control whatsoever over his behavior and it seems he will soon be off in another world anyway.

At this point, your job is to pick up the pieces and to do that you are going to have to let the pieces drop. You will have to stop holding up the illusion of “Daddy” when there is no daddy. And I don’t know how old your kids are, but I would say you start by telling them the age-appropriate truth.

See, they can’t have him because he’s not interested in them. They cannot rely on him and you are going have to let them find this out, while simultaneously letting them know that they can rely on you.

I would say, the sooner he is out of the picture the better… and advise you to work on releasing him and all expectations of him while concentrating instead on how your family is going to function without him. And accept that pain is part of life – even for children = and all you can do is try to not be the one who inflicts it.

Much love and good luck.


5 thoughts on “My Husband Cheated With His Niece – Now What?”

  1. So so sorry this happened to you nothing you asked for just put all you energy on the kids off of him.He will regret someday these are very hard to things to accept i am sure.

  2. Elsa’s advice is good, but also remember to flood them with love! You will never be able to replace their missing or flawed father-figure, but you CAN love them purely and boundlessly. Your behavior now teaches your children lessons for the rest of their lives. Try to work through and abandon your anger and resentment towards their lame-ass father, then teach them to confront adversity with courage and compassion for themselves. It’s not your fault or their fault that their father is an asshole.

  3. I agree with Elsa’s advise let him go and just be the best mother you can be. The only thing I don’t agree with is telling your children that they can’t have their father because he doesn’t want them. My parents divorced when I was very young and my mother remarried shortly after. She left my father for good reasons (cheating, staying out all night, ect.) however he could not handle her leaving or being involved w/ someone else, his anger and hurt was so consuming that he couldn’t ever see or call my bother and I but once in a blue moon. My mother never bad mouthed him although she could have she simply let us know he loved us very much but was not emotionaly equiped to be a father, so it wasn’t personal it was just who he was. My septfather raised us as his own and he is truely the dream father. I felt lucky to have two father who loved me. My bio father and I had more of a friendship type of a relationship in my adult life and my sept father and I have more of a nurturing relationship. My bio father was killed in car accident a few years back and yes I’m sorry he was not always there for me when I needed him but he did always tell me how much he loved me. We had several long conversations where he told me of all him regrets, my mother, my brother and I. You see he never did grow up but he did feel remorse. My hope is your childs father will someday too come to realize his mistakes, just don’t let your children feel as though they were somehow not good enough because it is he who had the ploblem and no child in the world could have been perfect enough to change anything this man did. Good luck and I hope this help gives some perspective on a childs point of view.

  4. There’s no better advice I have than what’s been given already, so I’m not going to try that front.

    What strikes me about this situation is the husband cheated WITH HIS NIECE. Assuming this niece is at least the age of legal consent, it’s still creepy! Why does someone who is capable of such questionable actions even ~get~ visitation?!

    Personally, I would refuse to let my children see this man (father or no) unless supervised by someone I trusted. It just pegs my weirdometer.

    1. Avatar
      Hildegard's Noviciate

      I agree…that jumped out at me toO. how twisted is that??? sorry. I’m actually quite open minded but that??? Brrrrr….
      how is he EVER going to explain to his kids later on that he left their mom for THEIR cousin!!!
      ohhhhh he in for a boatload of hurt cause this is gonna end VERY badly for him I’m thinking…

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