The girl's freaking 15 years old confronted with a very complex issue. Yes, she acted immaturely. That's because she's only 15 years old.

What the dad needs to do is work on repairing his relationship with his daughter. Eventually, when things have healed between them, he can talk about the issue of privacy. He can talk about how it wasn't fair to humiliate the innocent parents and children of the affair partner. They had no part in the affair, but they were hurt by the whole incident. All that can be discussed. But the first thing to do is to work to rebuild the trust between father and daughter.

FUBARD should definitely get counselling to help him deal with this issue with his daughter. I'm going to repeat: HE NEEDS COUNSELLING. A counsellor can help him figure out how to work through his problems with his daughter and regain that father/daughter bond. Yes, she's lost his trust, but he's lost her trust too, and punishment is not going to get either back.

Now, if he's working on fixing his marriage, he'll probably end up seeing somebody with his wife. But he should get individual counselling as well.
All this side-taking is very well and good, but I'm with the couple people who suggested that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Instead of comparing cheating and snooping pieces of shit, why don't we cut our losses and write both Dad and daughter off as royally fucked up due to poor genes, environment, or both? Therapy can't change their DNA!
Even if you were innocent in this situation, FUBARD, I would tend towards recusing yourself in your daughter's discipline on this issue. I do agree that what she did was way out of bounds and she shouldn't get away with it. She needs to know that what she did was like pouring gasoline on a burning trashcan.

But, if you were a judge, a qualified legal expert, and somebody broke into your hard drive, you'd face serious professional censure, possibly even criminal charges if you were to sentence him.

And that's if you were the innocent victim of a crime. But you ain't innocent here, FUBARD. You fucked around behind your wife's back with a woman she thought was her friend. Affairs happen. Affairs never happen in a vacuum. Even if it was a case of the least wrong thing you could have done, you still did wrong.

Imagine a judge sentencing the guy who broke into his hard drive and exposed him for taking bribes. Totally wrong.

The excessiveness of your proposed sentence proves it. Grounded for A YEAR? Live with the grandparents? Please.

I also think that if your wife is the kind of gal to be fucked around on, that is, if you're not a total douchebag, she's probably not very well equipped to handle the sentencing herself.

Really. I seriously think the best advice is Dear Abby's old standby: bunting to the infield of professional help.
First of all, look, I'm sorry, but going on the details we've been given about the affair - "we have higher sex drives than our spouses" - I don't think this is a situation where cheating is acceptable. Obviously we don't have any more information than that (has he tried to negotiate openness with his wife, do they talk about sex, etc) but going on what we've got, that would be my opinion. That said, we barely know anything and it's not a helpful judgement to make.

Regardless of the morality of the situation, though, it doesn't look like FUBARD has paid anything more than lip service to his own part in it. His girlfriend is humiliated and their spouses are devastated, and their marriages might be over. That cannot be laid at his daughter's feet, regardless of her thoughtless behaviour; he had an affair, covered it up badly, and got caught. This would have been the case regardless of how it had been discovered.

The daughter acted badly. Why? Who knows? (All those calling her a bitch - she's FIFTEEN. A lot of people are bitches at fifteen, and it's the consequences of the bitchy things they do that make them grow out of it. Lay off.) Maybe the best friend did have something to do with it, in that the daughter was emotionally vulnerable and easily led in terms of her actions and the best friend went "hey, this'll make 'em pay, won't that make you feel better?" without really thinking about what the revenge would lead to. Maybe it was all her idea because she wanted someone to lash out at. Whatever the case, she needs to learn that it was wrong. Okay. Fine.

Grounding her for a year? No longer FUBARD's call, unnecessarily harsh, and you know what? Petty. She needs to learn the respectful and mature way to handle these situations - you think cutting off her social life and sending her away during the summer is going to do that? She needs to be told that while her feelings of anger and hurt are justifiable she had no right to involve innocent third parties (the husband, the kids, the relatives, the friends) in this; that she has, in doing so, shown herself to have little consideration for how this might have affected them and probably hurt some people who didn't deserve it very deeply. Community work, maybe. But not only is the punishment suggested harsh, it's not going to get through and it's not one FUBARD has any right or reason to suggest.

(And also, racy Gmail chats on a computer other people have access to with someone you technically shouldn't be having them with in the first place? Asking for trouble, regardless of the situation. Even if your wife had known about and approved of the affair that would have been a stupid way to go about it.)
In short, FUBAR and his family need to enroll in family therapy if they ever want to have a shot at normalcy. The damage inflicted onto his wife and daughter is far more extensive than FUBAR realizes.

FUBAR: you should also realize that your daughter is a child and reacted accordingly. Had she been a clear thinking 19 year old then maybe a discussion about punishment would be in order, but no 15 yr old child is equipped to react "properly" to an event of this nature, so cut her some slack and admit to yourself that what you want is not punishment for your daughter but revenge for revealing your bad behavior.
You, Sir, are the adult in the family and the one who sets the tone and establishes the family's value system. Accept the fact that you destroyed a lot of lives, forgive your daughter for pointing it out, and spend the next few years seeking their forgiveness by proving that you actually deserve it.
There's a reason we don't let 15 year olds drive, vote, or work full-time. There's a reason we discourage them from dropping out of school, getting knocked up, drinking, doing drugs, and getting tattoos or piercings. There's a reason we don't ask them to make major life decisions.

They. Aren't. Ready.

Maybe it's because I was fifteen not all that long ago, and I remember being fifteen pretty vividly, but I'm on the daughter's side 100%. The only reason I can think I would have done that is a vision of myself as a deliverer of justice, and the dramatic, terrifying truth was a part of that. (Inflated sense of self-importance: isn't that one of the reasons we all love to hate on teenagers?)

A lot of people have said "Fifteen is old enough for X," but we don't know this girl, and we don't know what kind of fifteen she is. An early-blooming mature fifteen? A just-hitting-puberty awkward fifteen? A superhumanly emotionally adult fifteen who is able to resist relationship drama? Fuck, I'm in my 20s, and I can't do that either. That's why I read Savage Love. If I found myself today where she was, I'd freak the fuck out. Several years of reading Savage is probably all that would stop me from having a total CHEATING IS THE END OF THE WORLD meltdown.

I doubt very much she did what she did out of cruelty. I would guess she did it because she thought it was what needed to be done. I'm certain she didn't realize she was unnecessarily hurting anyone, because I'm sure she didn't think it through very far. (Again: Fifteen! The tattoos! They aren't ready to think everything through!)

But you know what? I could be wrong! Because I don't know her either! And I can't guarantee that no one said this already, because I didn't comb through EVERY post, but I haven't seen anyone suggesting anyone ASK her what she was thinking. Why don't they just ASK HER WHY? There's a lot of shit going on in a teenager's head. Don't waste your energy guessing what's happening, and certainly don't tangle it up more by getting your petty, immature bullshit revenge. TALK TO HER! Talk talk talk. And let her talk.

I agree with the poster who said the best way to teach her empathy, and to realize the cruelty of what she did, is to make her apologize to the people she hurt. In person is best. It will kill her, and she will be ashamed. Doing community service isn't going to teach her empathy, and I don't think it should be a punishment anyway. All it will teach her is that she can't trust either of her parents to back her up when she does what she thinks is right. It was a misguided attempt to do the right thing, and now it needs to be guided by showing her the pain she caused. If you want her to EVER enjoy community service, don't make it a punishment. The same for sending her off to be with her grandparents, except that adds the element of rejecting her and withholding love, a buy-one-get-one of parental dickishness.

Dad should stay the fuck out of that. And apologize to her every day until she moves out, and after that to boot. How badly he's fucked up her trust in men is punishment enough, and one that will last the rest of her life, I'm betting.
I don't know if I'm unusual, but I can imagine that if I was 15 I would have done a similar thing in the emotion of the moment.

Also, I'd imagine that the upset of finding out about your affair is a punishment in itself.

I haven't read every single comment, but most, so apologies if I repeat something.

Putting aside the judgement about the affair, by exposing your daughter to this you have done her a lot of damage.

Your daughter reacted in an awful way, especially since she has not only humiliated you, which you deserve, but also her mum and the other family. 15 is old enough to be aware this is bad, but she may well not have been fully aware of the full implications of what she was doing, especially since it would have been deeply upsetting for her to find this. I think as this all unfolds, unless she is a sociopath, she will realise how many people she has hurt, and I am sure she will feel very guilty.

Separating her from a good friend, and her support group by grounding her, when she is dealing with this shit is cruel. While I agree that parents should have absolute authority, you don't want to teach her that children get punished, but adults do whatever they like. You need to acknowledge your role in the humiliation of the two families, by pursuing an affair with a close family friend and exposing your daughter to this.

I think if you give her any community service you should do it with her. It will show her that you see that you have played a very big role in what happened, but also punish her for reacting to it in a vengeful and selfish way. In addition, it will give you forced time together, where you can attempt the maybe impossible task of maintaining some form of relationship with her, I think this should be your main priority at the moment.
I am so fucking tired of hideously-behaved, self-centered, mega-entitled, unforgiveably rude, mouthy, willful, imperious, abusive teenagers getting a pass for their horrid behavior. When my neighbors' kids were teenagers, I wouldn't even let my little ones AROUND them out of fear that their shitty treatment of their parents would smear off onto my sweet kids. "Fifteen is a rough age," was always my neighbors' response when I would ask why some outrageous line-crossing insult or behavior was not given a consequence. MY ASS. Once these little fuckers moved out of the parents' house and realized the rest of the world did not think they were the center of the universe, they actually became a little more humble. Therefore, if people would stop treating their kids/teens like they were the center of the universe, like consequences and the rules of decency don't apply to them, then they would learn sooner not to be such dickheads. Bottom line: this princess' hurt and rage did NOT give her a pass to abuse others -- and what she did was abuse -- to ALL parties. Not taking you anger out on others is a LEARNED BEHAVIOR, a taught behavior. I would make her apologize to those kids, and I would take away ALL access to internet for a good month.
This is the saddest thing I have read here in a very long time. I hope that you read my comment, FUBAR-D, because I too have had my family life implode because of a decision that I made. When I came out it was every bit as devastating for my wife and kids. I still haven't made all of the pieces fit back together; it's possible, however much I hope not, that I never will. Punishing your daughter at this point is just moving deck chairs on the Titanic: it's not gonna change anything, but if you survive this it WILL make you feel stupid(er). I hope you manage to salvage some of the good things out of this.
My son is not allowed to ask his parents about their sex life. It's none of his business. I can't understand how all of you think this girl was "betrayed." The father-daughter relationship has nothing to do with sex or romantic commitment. She is not an extension of his wife.

He has no monogamous sexual commitment to his daughter.

He has no commitment to his daughter that he will never love another woman.

He is her father and so has a commitment to love her and take care of her as his child.
I think you need to worry more about rebuilding your relationship with your daughter than concern yourself with punishing her.

Children look up to parents and elders and expect them to conform to their mental image. You broke her expectations of you in a rather dramatic way, and there are going to be deep emotional scars that need healing dude.

Is your daughter supposed to trust you again? Respect you? You are in for a long haul, buddy.
@214 Disagree. I think you do have a commitment to your family not to lie and cheat.
That aside, finding out that your Dad is a lying bastard, who is so inconsiderate that he doesn't even bother to find someone who isn't a family friend, when he wants to cheat, massively damages your relationship with him. Denying the impact your behaviour will have on your children is very selfish imo.
I disagree with the shrill voices that insist this girl now has no chance at a positive relationship with a man because of how her father behaved. This is completely unknowable. Each of us has known people (or been one) that's gone through far far worse and been able to connect deeply with a mate later on in life. Others have gone through far less and really made an impact in such profound ways that the opposite is true.

I do think that you've fucked up in a brilliantly, spectacularly human way. You are a walking Shakespeare play, man. But there is a huge chance for you to understand a hell of a lot more about yourself, and that is always to be wished. But you've forfeited your chance to be righteous, no matter what. Leave it alone. Give up any expectation of *anything* from either your wife or your kids, your darker side has been exposed and you are at the mercy of the court, so to speak. You've hurt people here, so has your daughter, but it originated with you. You dropped the match and it ain't her fault she caught fire, and it ain't her fault she didn't have the maturity, life experience, or skills o even understand the nature of the fire. So chill out, be contrite, go sit under the metaphorical olive tree on the top of a hill and reflect on things. Don't ask for anything except maybe forgiveness and leave everybody else alone for a while.
Had FUBARs daughter done this as an adult, wouldn't she possibly be facing jail time if the other family decided to press charges? Since FUBAR is the adult, could he face charges? Either way, he should step back from "punishment" because that might not be the best way for her to learn anything from this situation. Afterall, with FUBAR as her father... who knows what childish behavior she has lived with having him as a role model. If the mom "punishes", the daughter may resent her since she is also a victim of the same circumstance. The consequences of her actions should be discussed in family counseling. Community service sounds like a good idea. At least it will keep her busy in a positive way and away from her parents. She should also be in weekly therapy of her own to help process this mess.

Here's what you do FUBAR Dad, you assemble your family into a room and you take responsibility for YOUR actions. You apologize to your wife and your daughter and any other children or family members involved in this mess.

Leave out any "buts", like "I was wrong to be a lying POS cheater, but you... blah, blah, blah" Set an example for your daughter of what a person should do when he FUBAR's a situation. Let her see that when someone screws up they should do their best to make amends to those that they have hurt and hopefully help the victims of their bad choices heal from the betrayal.

Perhaps by setting this example for your daughter she will see the error in her own ways, BUT you aren't the person to impose discipline on her in this situation and neither is your wife. Talk to some other adult, one who doesn't have a vested interest in the outcome and one whom she trusts and respects. Ask them to discuss her actions and the inappropriate nature of what she did and the ramifications of the collateral damage her decisions had on innocent people. Maybe if you come clean with with this third person about how you handled your FUBAR they can use you as an example of how we all fuck up, but that its how we react to our fuck ups that define our character more than the fuck up itself.

I've been in your position myself, both as the cheater and the cheatee. Karma can be a muthafucka!!!

Good luck to you all!
I think it's an impressive feat that the 15 year old daughter was able to successfully impersonate her father in writing, what with these kids and their wacky texting "lol omg wat u doin 2nite?"
Trying to make your daughter see what she did as a moral failing is going to take some doing if it's coming from the guy who cheated on her mom. The sooner you realize it's a fruitless endeavor, the sooner you can get on with your life.

I assumed my judgement of that cheating piece of shit and applauding his daughter was answer enough. She deserves no punishment. He deserves more.

I'm tired of seeing SLOTD where idiots want post-facto justification and support for their lousy behavior.

Fuck him.

being a parent means you have a responsibility to create as stable and loving an environment as possible for your children. his sex life became his daughter's business when he decided to create such a volatile situation and then be ridiculously careless about it. he betrayed her by placing his own sexual desires, NOT needs, before his family.

so yeah, good effort, but you're way out of line. it WAS her business, she may have overreacted, but she just had her whole world fucking turned upside down. they're called "extenuating circumstances" for a reason.
Some sympathy for the daughter is warranted here. Having discovered my own father's affair when I was a teenager, I know how traumatizing it is to have that bomb dropped in the form of finding tawdry evidence of dad's sleazy dark side. To be 15 and discover explicit photos of dad's girlfriend? Who is also your neighbour? How can anyone expect a 15-year-old, whose adult moral compass is still developing, to exercise good judgement and discretion when faced with such a shitbomb? Dad has to take a huge amount of responsibility for exposing his kid to that. If a kid finds dad's gun and shoots his foot off, you don't blame the kid for snooping.

FUBARD's daughter was likely filled with anger at the time and irrationally thought she was doing justice by informing everyone who could be informed about the affair. Of course it was wrong for her to violate dad's privacy, but would she be facing summers in exile and separation from her best friend had she been caught snooping but without finding anything incriminating?

Dad is in no position to make an objective judgement on the girl's punishment. Leave it to mom.

And for fuck's sake, what were these two morons doing making racy, explicit porn for each other? When you're having an affair, you don't create evidence. It will be discovered! Guaranteed. Especially when you have teenagers in the house. In a sense, they had it coming.
@ 214, the difference between your son and this girl is that you have explicitly taught him delving into your sex life is an unacceptable breach of your privacy and such behavior is not to be tolerated. Other kids in our culture are, unfortunately, typically taught that their parents' successful, "perfect" 100% monogamous marriages are very important and reflect upon the stability and legitimacy of the family as a whole. I completely agree with your perspective on kids' lack of a right to interfere in their parents' sex lives, but it seems that FUBARD never taught his daughter that lesson. And yes, it will injure her ability to trust him.

Also, I'm guessing that you conduct your sex life discreetly and privately, which is the exact opposite of what FUBAR did.

@ 217, I agree with you that FUBARD still has a chance at a positive relationship with his daughter. But first he has to stop framing this issue as "how should I punish her for this transgression?" and thinking about draconian measures such as grounding her for a year, sending her to live somewhere else, or banning her from seeing her best friend. He is still angry at his daughter and is seeking revenge against her.

Each of them will have to forgive the other. I don't think that's impossible but it will be difficult. Family therapy is pretty much required.
I call bullshit on the letter.
I think that the kid needs to be punished and to apologize for making the situation far worse than it needed to be....she should have talked to her dad or at the very least her mom do you think her mom felt finding out that way? What she did was awful and wrong....she needs to personally apologize to each person that she sent that to and the GF and to learn that we cant always act impulsively when we are for the mom and dad...i think they need to get over this and either accept their marriage as open or they should try to meet each other's needs....divorcing over this would be stupid as they seem to actually love each other....i don't think cheating is all takes creating an environment where one's needs aren't being met first in order for cheating to happen...
I know what the daughter did was wrong, and someone mature enough to realize this wouldn't see it right away. But she's a kid, and most likely didn't see it like that. Being told from a child that things are either good morally or bad morally, made her decision sound right. You were the one making the bad moral decision, so she did what she thought the good moral decision was. And out of hurt, sent it to the people that caused that hurt, in the worst way she could think of.

But I think if you left, as much as you want to punish her, would be the worst move. What is she to think when her dad leaves, and maybe never 'makes up' with the wife again. She'll be burdened with the weight of her breaking up the family. The 'If she hadnt said anything, mom and dad would still be together.' and then she'll definitely need therapy.
The girlfriend's kids are probably as morally bankrupt as everyone else in this so letting them know what a whore their mom is, was probably not a shock. Letting the grandparents know what a sank they raised? Also good.
I'm surprised by how many people believe the daughter is "punished enough" by Dad's actions. Dad's actions were in no way a punishment or reflection of the child's behavior or relationships, even though it will continue to affect her in the future.

Honestly, though, that child's actions should be addressed. Had she approached her father, or mother, upon reading Dad's emails, that would have been one thing. But to go the extra length to pose as Dad, and involve so many unnecessary victims is cruel and irresponsible. In school settings, we call that cyber bullying. At the very least, her Internet privileges should be taken away.
Really, guy? You cheat on your wife over a prolonged period of time simply because your libido is higher than hers, and your chief concern is how your daughter did you wrong? The knowledge that her father is an insensitive, self-absorbed, unfaithful jerk is punishment enough. She showed you the precise level of respect you are owed.
I am uncomfortable with the posts that label the daughter as a 'tart' and 'harlot.'
She wasn't just a "friend". FUBAR kept referring to her as his "girlfriend". That is a hell of a lot more then a fuck buddy. Not only did he screw with his daughters sense of trusting men, but also her ability to believe that platonic relationships are possible.
This entirely smells of christian fundie. What teenager knows the email addresses of her parents friends parents? Oh wait, when they are in a church directory.
FUBAR is most likely the one that taught his daughter that affairs were evil, sinful and should be severely punished. However, most fundies believe that divorce is far worse.
Something tells me that FUBAR is the one that taught his daughter that morality is far more important then empathy. Punishing her severely doesn't undo that lesson. It just reinforces what she already knows, that FUBAR is a hypocrite.
@225 planned barrenhood
Okay, that's fair. If they allowed their daughter to be a participant in their marriage/sex life then to some extent it's her business. However, as Rach3l says above, the girl had no idea whether her parents have an open marriage. I am, as you say, discreet (and faithfully monogamous). If I decide to cheat or have an open marriage I have no intention of getting my son's buy-in any more than I would choose his girlfriend for him or tell him what sex positions he's allowed to use.

The daughter in this case can certainly be upset about the future stability of her family but who her dad fucks has nothing to do with "betraying" her. That's between him and his wife.
I admit that I've only managed to read about half of the comments thus far, but I'm with the punishment is utterly misguided camp.

I'd want the girl to come to understand the harm she caused to innocent bystanders and, specifically, the additional humiliation she put upon her own mother and the other husband by airing the affair in such a cruel way. "Punishing" her teaches her nothing, allows her no self-reflection and, instead, would encourage her to see herself as further victimized by her cheating dad and his whore of a mistress. To me, she's gonna get punished enough as those pics get spread around her school, as the mistress's kids get over the shock and then hate her for subjecting them to such images of their own mother. If she has the capacity for empathy--or the possibility of developing it as she comes into adulthood--she will eventually see the consequences of her own actions and be able to separate those actions from her justifiable trauma and anger with her father. To me, you will destroy that possibility if you selfishly and foolishly insist on punishing her. You have not authority, your motives are suspect and punishing her will not help her.

I speak from experience.

My mother left my father when I was 12 to marry a "close family friend" with whom she had been having an affair. My father was an abusive, alcoholic, controlling, gambling sadistic asshole--I was terrified of him--whereas the family friend became a father figure to me shortly after I met him when I was 10. (My mother and he--my stepdad--were married 23 years since until his recent death from a heart attack).

So, me? I was thrilled she left my dad, because I knew she was in love, I adored my stepdad, and I wanted to be as far as friggin' possible from my dad and his temper. (I'm a girl, btw.)

My 16 year old brother, on the other hand? He, waxing in righteous anger over my mother being a whore, cunt, bitch who cheated on HIS dad, would go to my mom's restaurant (she was a waitress) to scream these very things so that everyone present would hear him. My mom begged and pleaded with him to understand and to come live with us, but he refused. He cut off all contact from us for 11 years in our very small farm town. He only came back 'round when his first son was 3 years old (my mom didn't meet her grandson until he was 3 years old) because my brother, shocker, needed a babysitter. My brother and her have never discussed what he did--she is as afraid of his rage as she was of my father's and she knows that he emotionally blackmails her with the possibility that he will cut her off once again--so they have this painfully strained non-relationship that is as dysfunctional and dishonest as the one she had with my real father. He and I have no relationship whatsoever--he will not acknowledge my presence in a room and wives/girlfriends are not permitted to speak to me--because he blames my mother for "choosing" me over him and I have no patience for these bullshit stories about our childhoods in which he tells himself that my mom--sweet and fragile to a fault--is this vile fallen women who is responsible for all his life's failures.

Looking back, I don't know what my mom could have done much different to change that sequence of events, but I wish she had the ability to see how much he was hurting and stop trying to make him understand and instead give him time to figure shit out while refusing--refusing--to allow him to publicly humiliate her. Yet, seeing what a selfish, rage-filled, un-empathetic, delusional and permanently victimized asshole my brother is an adult, I sometimes conclude that there was no possibility of things being better--that his behavior as a 16 year was a fair reflection of who he was and would become.

So, what I'm saying here, cheating dad, is that if you hope for the **possibility** of having any kind of loving relationship with your daughter, you need to do all you can to give her space to process this and hope that she has or develops the cognitive ability to do so as she ages. You'll know better than I did whether or not her behavior is an accurate reflection of who she has been or is becoming, but punishing her will only tip her into a bad spiritual direction.
Letterwriter, share this with your wife and kid:

I WAS YOUR kid over twenty five years ago: I was 16 when I stumbled upon my father and his affair when I encountered him leaving a bar with his good friend's wife.

What did I do? I stammered about the surprise of it all to my friend who didn't realize what was going on. And what did my friend do? Spread it around our small town, of course.

My punishment from dad? None. He simply never discussed it with me. He bore the scandal in silence, along with my mother, and my parents are still married. They have granchildren. They seem quite happy, actually. What I did hurt them both. It was stupid beyond words.

I profoundly regret my actions now. Who the hell was I to do that to my dad, my mom, my dad's friend, and his wife? All of them are actually very decent people, who knew me my whole life. It was then--and is now--none of my damn business. And it was certainly not for me to spread around. Yes, my mother likely had a right to know from me, in private, if only to protect her from STDs. (Unlikely in that circumstance, trust me.)

But beyond that, it was my place to STFU. Unlike my suprised stammer, your daughter pulled a total bitch, dipshit, mean move. In time, perhaps decades, if she GROWS UP (yes, dear, at your age, you are not grown up, trust me), she will likely see her move for the error it was. For now, let her simply marinade in it, until the enormity of her error hits her. If she ever gets past her princess stage, she will see that. (Many women never get past 16, sadly.)

So your move? No punishment. She wants to act like a grown up, she gets to. But you treat her like an adult from her on out: that means she lives with any decisions she makes.

I imagine college tuition will be the first one she finds a hard decision to live with. heh. Because you sure as shit should not fund college for someone that fucking mean to you and your wife and your former paramour.
I kind of like the Mom's punishment idea. I do think the daughter should be punished, though you could certainly make the argument that she got her punishment before she did the crime. What she did was cruel and mean spirited, and I'm not talking about what she did to her dad or his GF but what she did to her children and family and friends. That's not cool.

I like the idea of community service. It serves a purpose and teaches her a lesson at the same time. BUT! Whatever punishment she receives Dad should get double. Send her to do 4 hours of community service, Dad gets 8. Ideally, they would do some of their service at the same time and Dad could show at least a little contrition by working double hard.

Yes, it will likely take years for her to fully recover from this experience but I think the people saying she'll never be able to have a good relationship with a man are drastically overstating it. I know plenty of people who's parents cheated, and a few who caught them, and while it was traumatic it's something she will get over. I do think therapy is a good idea though.
Hold up guys, we don't know if dad is CPOS or if he's tried everything to get mom to open up. He doesn't mention. I think that his daughter needs to know that what she did was wrong too. Her dad started the forest fire but she directed it toward the houses and she needs to know that she's partly responsible for what got torched. Plus, impersonating another person online? Not cool, also a felony in many places.

The daughter needs to learn that not everything is black and white (not saying they did, b/c clearly the didn't, but what if they'd had an open relationship?)and she needs to know that in a potentially explosive situation like this, subtlety is the best way to start out. HER feelings and wants aren't the only important ones when the decision involves other people. Like father like daughter, eh? I'm not saying she needs to be punished but she needs to learn that she's partly responsible for the hurt here and she needs to be taught some tact and common empathy.

In any discussion they have about it they need to cover that what dad did was wrong (in the parameters of their marriage) but what kiddo did was wrong too. Perhaps if she'd gone about it a different way the marriage would have been saved, we don't know. Instead she chose to just slash and burn and it wasn't her decision to make.

BTW, tech folks who run the app/site/blog: I had to sign online and do this because on my iphone 3G when I followed the link from SLAP then hit, "preview comment" it errored out and the ap crashed.
This probably won't get read due to the sheer volume of comments on here, but I was thinking about this last night and it occurs to me that this situation could potentially have occurred even if FUBARD had done his extramarital activity the Savage Way (ie, with full knowledge of the spouses, etc) this could have still blown up in much the same way, because of the kids getting involved. While the spouses wouldn't be as hurt, you still have the fallout among all the kids and that's not inconsiderable.

Something to think about, even for private consensual affairs -- any bit of cover up has the potential to blow up.

Hold up guys, we don't know if dad is CPOS or if he's tried everything to get mom to open up. He doesn't mention. I think that his daughter needs to know that what she did was wrong too. Her dad started the forest fire but she directed it toward the houses and she needs to know that she's partly responsible for what got torched. Plus, impersonating another person online? Not cool, also a felony in many places.

The daughter needs to learn that not everything is black and white (not saying they did, b/c clearly the didn't, but what if they'd had an open relationship?)and she needs to know that in a potentially explosive situation like this, subtlety is the best way to start out. HER feelings and wants aren't the only important ones when the decision involves other people. Like father like daughter, eh? I'm not saying she needs to be punished but she needs to learn that she's partly responsible for the hurt here and she needs to be taught some tact and common empathy.

In any discussion they have about it they need to cover that what dad did was wrong (in the parameters of their marriage) but what kiddo did was wrong too. Perhaps if she'd gone about it a different way the marriage would have been saved, we don't know. Instead she chose to just slash and burn and it wasn't her decision to make.

BTW, tech folks who run the app/site/blog: I had to sign online and do this because on my iphone 3G when I followed the link from SLAP then hit, "preview comment" it errored out and the ap crashed.
These are separate things. Both families should get counciling. The daughter owes everyone an apology for envading her fathers privacy then dumping a huge bomb on everyone (the other spouses and the children). If she is adult enough to pretend to be someone else and destroy the innocent people that didn't see it coming then she is adult enough to apologize for what she did.

And she should be punished the same as if she did the same thing to a stranger.
I would also like to point out that a lot of people here are using phrases like the daughter "stumbled upon" or "was exposed to" the information. If the story told in the letter is true, though, that's not really the case, is it? She stumbled upon one (one!) raunchy chat message, which could have been from anyone. She, and her dilenquant friend, connived their way into the information on identity, nature of the relationship, and the dirty pictures. She is not a hapless victim, she is a heartless, spoiled, self-righteous trickster and an emotional thug. I hope her family life was worth the vindictive thrill she got from this, because she certainly seems to have traded one for the other.
@11 "You've raped her ability to ever have a decent relationship with a male, probably forever."

And all the similar stupid-ass comments.

Unless young women are the complete idiot-robots you imply they are, they'll figure out that not every man on the planet is 'daddy' (or a saint for that matter).

You want to know what to do? Lay your cards on the table to both your wife and daughter. Explain why you cheated, explain what you are sorry for (cheating on your wife) and what you aren't (needing intimacy). There's nothing left to lose now, so might as well have them be pissed and sad at the full truth.

Punishment, community service, what the fuck?

The "punishment" should be that your daughter apologizes directly to those who she hurt (in person if possible but that's probably a long shot). Especially the kids of the other woman.
@207 skyweaver has my favorite line thus far: "You are a walking Shakespeare play, man."

Nice to laugh while reading about this utter clusterfuck of a situation.
"I sent your Christmas presents off to other girls living in the neighborhood. I'm sure you can understand how that could happen."
The dad doesn't get to punish her. And I don't think she deserves punishment. She's a kid and was given a much more mature situation to navigate than she should've been and said situation is a direct consequence of her parent's poor decisions.
Admittedly, I can't properly fathom a family member behaving in so cavalier a manner. Families should close ranks, present a united front; this immediate and willing humiliation of her father makes me think that there was not much trust or love within this family; I also would presume that she would be utterly unworthy of trust should she be so willing to shame her mother and father.
The letter writer is a total and absolute fuckup. Him punishing his daughter for what she did would be like allowing a murderer to punish his murder victims for bleeding on his boots.

You hurt everyone, EVERYONE around you and now that it's blown up in your face, you want to punish your daughter? You're a sick, pathetic person.
@234 Getting your child's buy-in is completely different than merely making a consideration for how your actions might affect others. We would all love to be selfish and do whatever the hell we want, but we can't because we have to consider the consequences. I'm not going to ask my employer if certain sexual expressions are okay, because that's not their role in my life. However, I am aware that if any of my bosses saw certain things that it would affect how they perceive me and thus my job. His job is Dad, his actions affected his job as Dad.

Is it a betrayal? We don't know. We don't know what he taught his daughter to believe. What if he is a fundamentalist Christian and has been hounding her about no sex until marriage? What if she was told explicitly by them that they were monogamous and it wasn't an open marriage? To me that would be a betrayal. Like you said, if she was included in that conversation and sat through her parents lecturing her about sins, then yeah she is involved in their sex life.

As others have said, FUBAR's parenting is really what comes into question.
241 comments. Really? Here's mine. The daughter was wrong. Adults do things kids don't understand for reasons kids can't possibly comprehend. Prove to me that the daughter wasn't just waltzing into an arrangement that the husband/wife hadn't sussed out 15 - 20 years ago. Why is HE the CPOS? Why can't the nekkiid lady in the email be the CPOS? Why can't the daughter own up and take responsibility for walking Dad down the plank? She outed him with out confronting him first to find out what's up, She pretended to be someone whom she was not in order to incriminate, then did so. This is something the daughter must take accountability for.

All that being said, a simple screen shot and a "Hey Dad, What's up?" Would have been the proper place to start from.
Reading most of these comments it is easy to see why people write to Dan and not you morons - "everybody's life is ruined forever". Is this SLOG or the Christian Coalition web forum? Families can recover from infidelities, but sending the pictures to parents and kids was gratuitous, aggravating, and incredibly destructive to both families. I would be surprised if either stayed together. The daughter is thinking like a typical teenager - that she is the only one that matters. That is the reason why she MUST be punished. The kids and the parents to whom she sent the images have feeling and relationships and lives that matter too and it is COMPLETELY wrong to fuck them over by using the power of the internet to humiliate their mom/daughter.
Just curious. Does anyone think this might be a troll letter? It seems almost a bit too dumb.
I think the kid messed up in forwarding pictures and the like, but FUBARD has to accept that as the adult this is on him. Blaming and punishing the daughter does nothing to fix things at this point. Using this as a teachable moment might be doable, but that would take some deft skill.

FUBARD needs to step back and recognize he is probably going to get divorced. He will also still need to co-parent his child with his soon to be ex-wife. Trying to punish the kid now unilaterally is not going to help set up a functional working relationship there.

The daughter was clearly a little shit here, but I'm not sure how to punish her beyond explaining why she might want to direct her wrath a little more in the future. I think this situation would look a lot different if she just went to her mother with what happened and it went from there. Infidelity doesn't inherently mean trying to burn down the whole village is a good idea, but you can't expect a 15 year old to get that.

And finally, be more careful with your infidelity. Justified or not by your marriage, there is no excuse to be THAT sloppy particularly with teenagers in the house. You screwed up FUBARD, I hope you can find a way to rebuild a workable relationship with your wife and daughter regardless of what that looks like.
I only got to post #88, so maybe someone's already posted this.

One of many reasons why the daughter needs to be talked to and/or punished is because she had no way of knowing whether this affair was something known and agreed upon by all 4 spouses. Could you imagine if the four of them had agreed to this relationship as a way to maintain both marriages, and suddenly the grandparents are involved? Holy shit.

Her mother was the one who was wronged, so her mother should have been consulted before she did anything.

The internet fraud stuff was wrong and stupid, but the kind of thing you expect out of a 15-year-old. It should be discussed, but not necessarily a matter of punishment now (perhaps some newspaper clippings of people arrested because of impersonating someone online would be enough of a deterrent).

But, the blowing up a bunch of other people's lives without talking to her mom. She needs to know how awful that was.
i already commented on the topic at hand way above (punishment or not, and by whom), and now am going off-topic.
some have said that this is the kind of affair that aint necessarily bad, and that "even Dan Savage would condone or accept it" as morally ok.
but THREE YEARS? c'mon, i know it is hard to draw a line - how much time is too much...but THREE years? if a partner has to lie for that long, clearly something is wrong with the relationship. he shoulda brought it up long ago and asked for permission from wife to go outside the marriage for sex.
this guy clearly fucked up by not logging out, and may be a vengeful POS, but he ALSO is just a lying sack of shit with no balls.
Fuck that. That little shit outted him unfairly. You don't do that unless they were brutes, and not only was that her dad, he is not a brutish prick. Yeah he wasn't honest but if he ain't getting needs met after he's asked for so long, the affair is the sanest thing to do. If he's a cpos, then yeah he deserved it but not from his fuckhead kid. He was trying to be discreet and made a mistake and his fuckin kid took advantage of it to spite him. I'd disown her. Hell, shed never be allowed near me again after that.

I think the kid should be fined a couple hundred bucks and then sent to work for the elderly. I think FUBARD needs to be honest and to acquit himself with as much dignity as possible and get a divorce. The spouses should be honest and find some people with low sex drives.
124 for most annoying, pathetic drama queen ever to post here.

(And on a site this gay, that says something.)
Here's my two cents- I don't think the daughter was trying to "punish" her father at all by sending out those pics... if years of Maury have taught me anything, it's that she probably blamed the family friend for being a hussy that "stole" her father, and wanted to shame her as much as possible... being a teenager though, she didn't think through the consequences of how many other people she would hurt with her petty revenge scheme.
The kid is a CHILD and found out something horrible about her own FATHER and lashed out. If she gets punished, she'll hate you forever even harder than she already will. Don't you DARE punish that child for your own stupidity. Regardless of the ethics of the cheating, leaving your email account open on a family computer was YOUR mistake, not hers.

I hope she never speaks to you again. I wish I could adopt her. Jesus.
The daughter needs some kind of something. If she gets away with totally annihilating two families, she's either going to have to live as a 15-year old with a tremendous burden of shame or she's going to become a class-A manipulative power grabber.

The husband has no moral authority on which to punish, but if the mother happens to still be reading, she needs to make it abundantly clear to the daughter that everyone has a lot of power to hurt other people, and that part of being an adult is learning how not to wield that power.
I don't know. If we try to apply the principles a lot of people are supporting above to a different situation, such as workplace performance (e.g. a rule to talk to only discreetly with the people involved with a situation), then there really are a lot of hypocrites around. At most places that I've worked, there is a lot of loose gossip that could ultimately harm someone's career - about who screwed up, evaluations of someone's skills and personality, poor relaying of a conversation, criticism of the person who isn't in the room. This is very widespread. If people were really concerned about being ethical, you would require extra proof before thinking badly about another person or gossiping... but most people do it.
It's this guy's choice to cheat, and the consequences of getting caught are his problem to deal with. But his daughter invaded someone else's privacy badly, then proceeded to malignantly send pictures of this woman out to her whole family. It sounds like the pics are pornographic in nature, and technically sending those pictures to a minor is illegal. If she'd simply printed of the pictures and showed her mom it would be one thing, and I would say they guy's totally at fault, but this girl went way overboard. She tried to use the info she found to try and destroy someone's life, she didn't just find an email but impersonated her father, and people think she shouldn't be punished?everyone keeps saying how traumatized she was. If she was so traumatized, she would have typed "F off slut" and got off the computer. She sat there pretending to be her father to trick this woman, then sent this info out to the woman's family and kids. If he isn't punished, what kind of message is it? That invasion of privacy, sex chatting with a stranger, impersonating someone else, and finally exposing minors to pornography is totally ok if your parents are fucked up? Everyone's parents are fucked up. Punish her.
Dan's right - it's Mrs. FUBAR's call.

Dude, you're fucked. Sorry. What a little bitch.
Top ten things teens should know about their parent's sex life:
#10: The odds are 99.999998% in favor of the fact that your parents fucked to conceive you.
# 9: The odds are greater than 50% that they enjoyed doing it.
# 8: When your dad fucks your mom he's more likely than not fantasizing that he's fucking someone else.
# 7: When your mom fucks your dad she's more likely than not fantasizing that she's getting gang banged by your high school football team.
# 6: Your parents fucked each other before they were married and NOT just to make babies.
# 5: That wedding photo on the living room coffee table; your mom probably fucked half of the groomsman before she married your dad.
# 4: That wedding photo on the living room coffee table; your dad wishes he'd have fucked all the bridesmaids, whether before or after the wedding, including aunt Sarah.
# 3: Your dad plays with himself and your mom knows it.
# 2: Your mom plays with herself and your dad doesn't have a clue.
and the number one thing you should know about your parent's sex life:
# 1: There's nothing wrong with anything your parents did in 10 through 2 and someday you'll do them to, so butt the fuck out of their business!!!
Holy Shit! To both the letter and the responses!

The daughter absolutely fucked up here; she's not the victim, she's the victimizer. She snoops in her dad's e-mail account, poses as him, (illegally) obtains and spreads porn from his girlfriend, and in doing so fucks up a bunch of people's lives. Who taught her right from wrong? Oh, right, so mom and dad and culture generally have to share in the blame too, but at no point were the daughter's actions even remotely ethical and some of them are illegal. This isn't a 2-year-old who has no real conception of social ethics here: she's perfectly capable of making decisions about ethical behavior and considering the consequences HER actions have on others. She is NOT a victim (dad fucking people other than mom is no more her business than dad's masturbation habits), except perhaps of our moronic social conventions that would suggest to her that she should react negatively to the discovery of dad's affair. If anything, she's behaving very abusively toward everyone involved. I'd be fucking furious if I had a daughter and she pulled something like this (on me or anyone else; if I were the daughter's friend's parents, I'd be furious).

That said, I don't think coercive behavioral systems (authoritarian reward/punishment) are a good way to relate to people who are capable of empathy and therefore understanding ethics (if the daughter's actually a sociopath or is a 2-year-old who is incapable of understanding ethical behavior, then the situation's a bit different). What FUBARD should do is sit Daughter down and explain to her that, irrespective of what she thinks of his affair, he's absolutely furious because her actions were utterly unethical, some were illegal, and she's intentionally hurt a lot of the people closest to her. Spreading porn of someone else, obtained under false pretenses, without hir consent, is about as badly as one can publicly-sexually-victimize someone, and may qualify as sexual assault in some jurisdictions (and should in all of them). I can't think of a worse form of sexual violence other than rape. She needs to understand that. She needs to understand that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Does she want FUBARD snooping through her e-mail account, or all of her classmates knowing details of her sex life? She needs to understand that impersonating other people, especially to malicious ends, is unacceptable behavior. Would she want FUBARD, or anyone else, for that matter, impersonating her and chatting with her sex partner(s)? Finally, she needs to realize that however upset one is, vindictive action is not okay (FUBARD not punishing her but instead sitting her down and explaining how her actions are so problematic is a good illustration of this, too: would she prefer to be punished by either FUBARD or the police for her actions?).

The lesson to be taken from this is: Don't cheat on your partner. If you need sex that you're not getting from your partner, either pay the price of admission or split up. Also, staying together "for the sake of the kids" can be a really, really stupid plan: you owe your children material and emotional support (and forgiveness for when they fuck up, and advice about how to not fuck up in the future); you don't owe them a mother and a father or a marriage.
"Imagine a judge sentencing the guy who broke into his hard drive and exposed him for taking bribes. Totally wrong."

Isn't this an argument against the US government pursuing Julian Assange?
the 15 yo daughter got a harsh dose of reality. Harsh, but real. FUBARD got a harsh dose of reality in return. Bad deal all around. However, I don't think the girl is messed up for life as a result. Now she knows how to better watch out for scoundrel men & hopefully avoid them. That's what I did.
The thing is, instead of spending energy on an affair, you might have spent that same energy cultivating your daughter and her sense of fairness. Cheaters, take note.
I don't think it's possible to judge how FUBARD's daughter should be punished (or at the very least, who should decide how she's punished) without first judging FUBARD's actions, at least in part. I'll try to avoid any personal character judgments, since I don't know the individuals or all the details of the situation.

However, broadly speaking, if FUBARD's daughter is going to be punished for an act of deception, then her father should also face some sort of punishment if he wants to remain any sort of moral authority in his daughters life. Regardless of anyone's feelings about adultery, he did deceive his wife by not making her aware of his girlfriend. I think all parties involved (FUBARD, daughter and FUBARM) should participate in the discussion of what punishments are appropriate. However FUBARD's refusal to admit he should face any punishment in his letter (since I don't think the potential failing of his marriage is so much a punishment for lying as a consequence of his deception being revealed) suggests he's not in a position to make a final decision about this. It sounds like his wife is.

If FUBARD's daughter is being punished purely for exposing her father's adultery in a humiliating way, I think the considerations are slightly different. Her father, having been directly negatively impacted by those actions, should have a say in her punishment. While I think this is a real and reasonable thing to punish her for, allowances should be made for her personal feelings of betrayal at the time (much like the feelings FUBARD expresses in his letter) which most likely affected her decisions. I think when FUBARD is able to come to a more realistic punishment, he should have the final say.

Obviously the daughter is being punished for both of these things, so mix and match as you please, depending on which is the worst offense.
Seriously, y'all are out of your minds if you think this child deserves punishment. The only people who "wrecked two families" are the cheaters. And she didn't "snoop in his email;" he LEFT IT OPEN. She is a teenager who reacted to an extreme situation. The other woman's kids don't deserve a CPOS for a mother, any more than she deserves a CPOS for a father. It's a shame all those people found out, but boo hoo hoo, the "girlfriend" is humiliated? Good. The cheaters have only themselves to blame.

And no, I don't think affairs are always inexcusable. I think destroying your own daughter's whole world and them blaming HER for her response is inexcusable. This man has NO RIGHT to be "furious" with his daughter. None.
@270 she emailed it to underage kids.
actually her punishment should be to read each and every one of these comments
FUBAR, there is no sense in punishing your daughter for disclosing the pictures to your "girlfriend's" spouse (or to your spouse). Those decisions are properly left to the conscience of individuals, and while you may disagree with the decision, punishment is inappropriate for that part of the action. More troubling is your daughter's choice to send the pictures to your gf's parents, children, and friends. From your description, the problem with your daughter's actions is not the violation of YOUR privacy, but of your gf's.

Your proposed punishment, grounding your daughter for a year and sending her to her grandparents for the summer, is probably out of proportion to the offense considering her age and the circumstances, but more importantly, the lesson you are trying to teach will be lost in what she will perceive as the unjustified lashing out resulting from YOUR guilt. The lesson to be taught is that no matter how justifiably angry we might be at another person, we do not punish them by publicizing private photographs. So choose a punishment that fits the crime, and that also teaches a valuable lesson. If your wife approves, I suggest that you 1) make your daughter apologize to your "girlfriend" for sending the pics to her parents, children, and friends (but not for sending them to her spouse - your gf had that coming.) 2) Make your daughter apologize to your gf's parents, children, and mutual friends for inappropriately and graphically involving them in this private matter. 3) Make your daughter tell her best friend's parents about what happened. Use the parents' response to help gauge whether their daughter is an appropriate companion for yours. Your daughter should be grounded until she complies with any or all of the above, as you and your wife decide.

Your daughter likely will resent this punishment. She probably will feel humiliated at having to discuss this topic and at having to apologize. That she will feel some small portion of the humiliation that she caused your gf is the lesson. Further, it will reinforce the idea that it is possible to unjustifiably wrong a person who first wronged you, and that people do, in real life, suffer punishment when they inappropriately or excessively retaliate against another.

Being a good parent does not stop at the water's edge - your indiscretion does not absolve you of either the right or the duty to guide your daughter through this difficult time. But remember - your goal is to form her character and prepare her for life as an adult, not to inflict the pain of punishment for its own sake. Move out? That's for your wife to decide. Therapy? For damn sure yes. For your daughter, and for your whole family.
The father talks about the lack of respect his daughter's actions showed. Well, sorry, she has no respect for the dad, nor should she. However, she sent all the photos to the girlfriend's family, not her mom. Makes me think that she considers this women the problem, and somehow her dad is a victim.

The girls needs a talking to about privacy and the fact that adult relationships are not black and white. What if her parents were in an open marriage? Still though, the idea that dad is angry with his daughter for the invasion of his privacy is laughable. He messed up, he got sloppy, he rolled the dice and crapped out. He wants to hold a child responsible for reacting badly to a situation that he created. A situation that adults have been LEGALLY/MORALLY excused for killing each other over.

I bet dad would feel differently if daughter had come across the mother having an affair and informed only him. Then she would have been the dutiful daughter looking out for her family. Instead, he got outed as the cheating piece of shit that he is and he does not like that. Where is the remorse? There is none and that is o.k. Dad does not feel bad about things, fine, but dad can't shift the responsibility for the relationship, or getting caught, to his daughter. She acted like a pissed off person, she acted like a teenage girl.

Furthermore, the daughter needs to understand that sending the pictures to the kids and parents of this women, just wrong. However, they were actions of child that does not have the capacity to understand the ramifications of what was going on, at least not at the moment she saw her family's "friend", sending pictures to her dad.

@270 Would you want to find out your mom is having sex with someone other than your dad by seeing a photo of your mom's snatch?

Would you want to then know that many of the kids in your school also saw those photos?

What if the worst day of your life--you found out you spouse has been cheating on you for over 3 years with a friend--was broadcast for the world to see by your own child?

What if you found out your daughter was cheating by, again, having to see racy photos of her body?

How long before these photos are put up in school? On facebook? At one of the adults' workplaces? Even if that doesn't happen, they all must now carry around the fear that it very well could.


You moral outrage over cheating is blinding you to the very real additional harm done to these innocent people.

I would be aghast if I had a teenager who did something like this and I would be praying that it was not a reflection of the adult she'll become. Trauma, yes. Rage, yes. Throwing a bomb into the other family's house because of those feelings? No.
Here is a problem with having kids and then trying to hold secrets about things that would supposedly be devastating if other people knew.
Kids are exposed to lots of TV and storybooks, even if their parents don't supply it. My friend's 4 year old has been in a princess phase for 6 months, even though they never promoted cinderella fairytales themselves. Maybe she picked it up from the neighbors. She often acts out scenes with weddings or a prince bringing gifts to a girl and valuing her beauty. Movie plots and TV shows about celebrities often send messages about a spouse suffering all sorts of discomfort, but drawing the line and finally divorced when infidelity occurs.

If you are either going to have 'open' marriage ethics, or maybe you never married or lived with your kids' other parent, you probably did or should have thought through how you would slowly explain the contrast between your real life, and what the kid is going to pick up from the rest of the world.

Likewise, if your family has no religion or a minority religion, you will have to explain to your kid how to be friends with kids from other families with different practices.

If you never discuss this starting with small early steps, it's unrealistic to expect your child to act impartial or to hide something for you
@264 I agree, parent's sex life is of no business to the child. Maybe I am wrong, but I think cheating is different. The most upsetting part about cheating isn't the sex. Open relationships have just as much extra-marital sex, but no one gets upset. It is the lying, betrayal and the humiliation you will put someone through if they find out. These are all non-sexual, and finding out that your Dad is the kind of person who would do this is a very difficult thing. Doesn't make what she did acceptable, but she does have a right to be upset about it, and he is going to have to deal with it if he wants to rebuild a good relationship with her.

Also, although our parent's sex lives are none of our business, it is also something we really don't want to have to think about. If you inadvertently display your sex life to your child, especially something as devastating as an affair, you can't expect them to react well.
As she's unlikely to absorb anything her father says, and as the mother is unlikely to be impartial enough to say anything useful, I wonder if FUBARD can ask another adult to talk to his daughter about this - someone she respects, who will listen to what she has to say AND give her a sensible talk about why she behaved badly. Maybe an aunt/uncle/grandparent/family friend/adult cousin/non-crazy religious leader. At this point the family's privacy is already compromised, so I don't see any reason for them to hesitate from seeking outside help. A therapist or counselor would also be good for the whole family (together or individually), but may not be a good option to reprimand the daughter because judgment is the exact opposite of their job.

To the commenters who think the daughter shouldn't be punished or even reprimanded, because "she did what any teenager would do" and everybody knows teens hate hypocrisy - that's a bullshit reason. Number one, even if this is normal teen behavior, that doesn't make it right. A lot of normal teen behavior is mean and dangerous and foolish and ethically unsound. When it is, the kids need to be told. They need to learn how to do better in the future.

Second, it's false to claim any teenager would be as rash and cruel as she was. When I was 15, I found evidence that my dad had cheated on my mom, and my knee-jerk reaction was to pretend I hadn't found it. I was angry with my dad, but I understood that it was NOT MY PLACE to interfere. The one action I considered taking was privately ASKING MY FATHER what was up, but in the end I was too nervous and opted to stay out of it entirely.

I won't say I opted to "mind my own business," because anything my parents do to each other that might break up their marriage is my business, but even as an immature kid I knew there was no positive outcome to be gained by my interference, and that it wasn't my place to judge.

I'm glad today that I kept my trap shut. My parents' rocky marriage recovered, and ten years later they are very happy together. I don't know how they worked it all out. I don't know for sure what my dad was up to, or if my mom ever knew. That part is not my business. And if they hadn't worked it out, if they'd split up instead, at least I'd have been able to say they did it all on their own with no help from me. If FUBARD's marriage ends, it won't be his daughter's fault, but she will be responsible for a lot of the mess and pain these two families have to deal with. I'm sorry for her that she has to live with that responsibility.
I was a misguided, immature, cruel-at-times 15-year-old girl once. They come that way most of the time. I don't like it but can imagine doing the same thing at that age. It takes time to learn how to behave like an adult (most of the adults I know are still working on it, myself included). The inclination is to punish everyone the way you were punished and to make everyone else upset too. As many have said here, teenagers have awful impulse control... that said, I'm 30 years old and can imagine being pretty damn uptight were I to find something like that even now. It's a total violation of her expectations for her dad's role in the family, not to mention it'd be really a really gross revelation. ICK.

Family counseling all the way.
I do think it's important that the girl be made to understand that this well could have been a sanctioned open relationship. Her parents' sex lives are none of her business. She needs to learn to mind her own affairs and not make assumptions based on knee-jerk reactions.

The fact that it clearly wasn't an open relationship is beside the point. A third party who is not privy to the details has NO business interfering in this manner, at all, ever. If more people could learn to put their own busybody impulses aside and mind their own beeswax, the world would be a much better place.

Yes, it's hard for a teenager to understand the concept of an open relationship. But how much completely pointless damage did she do the woman's children and parents by outing her? Being hurt yourself is not an excuse for hurting others. It may be a reason, but it is not an excuse.
Am I the only one here who sees the behavior of the daughter & friend to be completely sociopathic? This behavior IN school is what causes teen suicide. Outside of school, it destroys families. Don't stand on your moral soapboxes and "see no evil" in your own lives. Sheesh..
Am I the only one here who sees the behavior of the daughter & friend to be completely sociopathic? This behavior IN school is what causes teen suicide. Outside of school, it destroys families. Don't stand on your moral soapboxes and "see no evil" in your own lives. Sheesh...
I can't say that just picking up and moving out is the right thing to do...unless that is what your wife and daughter want. Stop thinking about pinishing her like everyone else says. Trust me, you've punished her enough by being sloppy enough to let her see those pictures. And they're right, she might very well have a hard time with men now. And she could very well start acting out in sexual ways... People are right, she is going to need therapy, and your wife will probably need therapy also, but she's a grown woman and can decide that for herself.

Now, I never Met my dad, and considering how angry and malicious your daughter was when she sent those emails to everyone, tread lightly because I've been angry at the dad I've never met, but she is probably livid with you! And if you don't tread this the right way, she might decide at 15 that she doesn't have a father anymore either.
I'm sorry, I didn't read all 283 comments, but I've read enough. I can't have been the first person to think this whole thing is bullshit. Punishing his daughter is really his first concern? The wronged wife really thinks the girl should do community work? Someone's having a laugh at all of the outraged responses his little fiction generated.
i guess you folks havn't heard of the new game: "Let's see who can make up the craziest letter and get on Dan's blog." pretty good one, though.
@282, it is completely and utterly horrifying as a teenager to discover your parents are fallible by way of infidelity. Your whole world is turned upside down and everything you believed to be true suddenly isn't anymore. As adults we can recognize the complexities behind a situation like this, but for a kid you turn to survival mode. I know this from experience. It is still a feeling a can feel when I think about it long enough. It stays with you. Also I can imagine finding this out with a friend would only magnify the injustices of this experience even more. You can' t place blame on this poor child. She needs love and affection and to be told the world isn't as scary and cruel of place as she is imagining it to be right now, even if it is.
@287 I agree that she needs love and affection (re- her actions were signs of BPD or any non empathic behavior disorder, which Love and Affection tend to prevent.) But the punishment should exist as well. And that punishment should be SERIOUS therapy for all things involved. My mind raced immediately to how this generation of teens uses the digital world a bit differently, and much more violently than any other. The reason she didn't go to her mom first (which would have been appropriate, I feel most for the WIFE here) is because we learn its much easier to be evil, irrational, and mean online.

Though come to think of it, if this letter is in fact real, it sounds like her *friend* is the one who egged the situation on. Kids have an amazing ability to compartmentalize situations, its a natural survival technique. So, maybe her friend is the sociopath.
Also, my sister who was 16 at the time of our families troubles, drove to the other woman's house and threw a trash can through her window, and screamed "whore!" at the top of her lungs until the cops came.
Cont.: So maybe this internet attack is just the inevitable progression((Digression?)) of these things..
You can not surmise whether this child is a sociopath or if she suffers from BPD from this once instance where she was put under severe emotional distress.
Ah sorry, another comment. (and my last since no one will be scrolling this far back anyway)

When I was around her age we had what we called "slam" books. They were marble notebooks with a fellow classmates names' written discreetly on the inside cover in which kids would write their often horribly mean thoughts about that person. They were common place enough that there was a whole assembly aimed at trying to show us the terribleness of them. I mean sure, yes, the anonymity of the internet invites kids to be mean, but they were mean before. You can only try and give them enough positive experiences and show them enough love so they can learn to have empathy.
I'm with ns @ 8.

All the punishment the girl needs is the following: "I fucked up, and this is the result. I'm the bad guy. My actions have destroyed my family, and Mrs. ___ as well.

However, sending those emails after you violated the privacy of myself and Mrs. ___ made things worse for yourself, your mother, and Mrs. ____ family as well. Now you're going to have to live with that too."

She won't believe him, but eventually she'll realize he was right.

I do think he should consider moving out, for a bit, until things calm down... so his family doesn't have to look at him all the time. He doesn't have to leave forever.
What 284 said. And 292. (Although 286 does have a point.)

A few points:

The teen wasn't forwarding the photos for reasons of prurience. She was forwarding the photos as EVIDENCE supporting the charge she was making. Without evidence, it's unlikely that most of the people would believe her, the word of two fifteen year old girls making an "outlandish" claim against the word of two adults they know and respect.

Secondly, the teen sent these photos to all those people in order to COVER HER ASS. And rightly so, given that her father's first priority, as shown by his letter to Dan, is not to try to repair his relationship with his family from the damage HE caused, but to try to get revenge on his daughter. Now, when her father starts telling her grandparents what a terrible girl she is, her grandparents will know the context.

Third, the people she sent the photos to were helped, not hurt, by the disclosure. If I were one of the other kids, I'd be grateful for the head's up on the shitstorm about to hit my family, given by a friend and a peer, rather than waiting for one of my parents to sell me their version of it. If I were one of the cheated-on adults, I'd be thankful for being told what was going on.

Fourth, A's business becomes B's business when A's fist connects with B's nose. In this case, a parent's sexuality becomes their dependent's business when it compromises the marriage that's the dependent's sole means of support.

The girl shouldn't be punished at all. And as a man, I think any man whose reaction to being caught cheating by his daughter is to try to get revenge on his own daughter is an abusive psychopath.

@275: the girl didn't "throw a bomb" into the other family's house. The cheating parents did. And yes, to answer one of your questions for example, if I found out that I was being cheated on by it being "broadcast for the world to see by my own child", I'd be sorry that my child had to find out that way but I'd consider my child to have done me a favour. There's no nice way to find out that your partner is cheating on you, or that one of your parents is cheating on the other when you're still a minor, but I'd still want to know, rather than all sorts of **** going on and me being lied to "for my own good". The idea that I'd be suffering "very real additional harm" by being told is total BS.
I'm rather astounded at those who suggest that the mother be left to handle this, and stand with those who suggest having a counselor do it. The mother has just found out (?) about this affair, and with a close friend no less. It is both an unfair burden to put on her, and and unwise one given that she might just use the opportunity to reinforce the daughter's angry at her father and make the breach permanent.
Get your own laptop for starters.
As a kid, yes that would be scaring... but you need to talk to your wife.
Be a united front - dividing power further makes you the bad guy.
This will be hard for your wife, but your daughter needs to understand boundaries (as do you i'm afraid - seriously, get a separate email account for your girlfriend to respond to that you have only on your laptop and the password isn't saved)

Talk to your wife...Tell her, that it doesn't change how you feel about her (etc. etc.) but that your daughter needs a mutually-agreed upon punishment from the two of you that will show her that she's being a bitch (yes your daughter was being a bitch). That's not how you treat people and you will remember how she reacted when YOU catch her in bed with her boyfriend at a younger age than you'd like (could be 28, more likely it's 16/17/18).
Get your own laptop for starters.
As a kid, yes that would be scaring... but you need to talk to your wife.
Be a united front - dividing power further makes you the bad guy.
This will be hard for your wife, but your daughter needs to understand boundaries (as do you i'm afraid - seriously, get a separate email account for your girlfriend to respond to that you have only on your laptop and the password isn't saved)

Talk to your wife...Tell her, that it doesn't change how you feel about her (etc. etc.) but that your daughter needs a mutually-agreed upon punishment from the two of you that will show her that she's being a bitch (yes your daughter was being a bitch). That's not how you treat people and you will remember how she reacted when YOU catch her in bed with her boyfriend at a younger age than you'd like (could be 28, more likely it's 16/17/18).
Talk to your wife. Decide what the two of you want to do. Do it. Own your responsibilities, don't just disappear. Punish the daughter? Don't worry about that: life will punish her someday, by putting her in some similar situation.

I'm sorry to see so many people thinking the father has harmed the girl here, rather than the other way round. I'm also sorry to see so many sanctimonous, holier-than-thou, yes-I-do-cast-the-first-stone comments.

Personally, I'm sorry for the father, and for his lover. I'm also sorry for the two spouses involved. And yes, I'm sorry for the daughter -- but her behavior was wrong. She should have talked to her father, or at least to her mother, before doing anything like that. Did she suffer? I bet. And she made others suffer, too. Great compensation, right?

Ah, 15-year-olds... This one makes me think of Ian McEwan's Atonement. I hope she'll grow up, too.

Ultimately, what is wrong is the idea that such situations need to be so 'traumatizing'. This is yet an example of what happens in a society that continues to be so ambivalent about sex -- a society which underlies so many sexual tragedies in relationships.
Let me say, first, that your daughter and her friend are twats. Seriously, what she did, willfully destroying the life of another family, is wrong. You are the adult here, and yes, you had an affair. But, you are the adult here. Like Dan has explained many times, sometimes adults in marriages need to have an affair to keep the marriage intact. It is also important to note that you should have been honest and upfront with your wife about your needs and wants. It should have been a joint decision whether the marriage should have been opened-up to another individual. But I digress; if you do not establish yourself as her parent and the one who has the authority, then it is very likely that she will not respect your opinion or authority in the future. Moreover, since she is a malicious pissant, it is likely that she will pit you and your wife against each other in order to get what she wants. Whatever you decide, I highly recommend that you and your wife present a unified front to re-establish to your daughter that she is living under your roof and that she has to obey your rules.
Hmm. While the daughter's response certainly wasn't the best one could reasonably hope for from a fifteen year old, I don't think it falls outside the spectrum of normal behavior for that age group. The posters calling her a sociopath need to step back and take a deep breath; it's not as if she set FUBARD's girlfriend's cat on fire and then severed her father's brake lines. Also, the fact that she was acting with an accomplice goes a long way toward explaining her behavior -- crowd psychology, anyone?

Given the general self-absorbed, blame-deflecting tone of FUBARD's letter, and his fixation on punishing his daughter for something that was in large part his own damn fault, I'm inclined to suspect that he wasn't much of a father even before this particular clump of shit hit the fan. We don't know just how badly his libido and his wife's libido were mismatched, or what steps (if any) he took to address the situation before he decided screwing around behind his wife's back was the best solution, but I'm willing to bet that he was also a pretty lousy husband. FUBARD's daughter was probably acting out of loyalty to her mother, by "punishing" her father on her mother's behalf; it's too bad she didn't realize that she was making the situation much worse for her mother as well.

I think it's worth noting that dysfunctional families tend to sweep their troubles under the proverbial rug. Granted, this is highly speculative, but it's possible that by distributing the damning evidence so widely, FUBARD's daughter was (consciously or subconsciously) trying to make sure that her father's affair wouldn't simply get stuffed down the family memory hole.
Have a conversation with her. Speak calmly and openly. Ask her why she chose to send the pictures to the kids. Model the empathy that you feel she's lacking. Apologize for your behavior. If you can't do these things, then don't have the conversation with her until you're calm enough. Leave the punishment to your wife--from your daughter's perspective, they are on the same side, so the punishment means more coming from her. Right now you're the enemy, so punishing her in the harsh way that you want to will only make you more the enemy in her eyes.
is this a real letter? would anyone in their right mind actually provide savage love with that much grist for the mill? i find it hard to believe that was a real letter....surely to God nobody is that out of touch to think he would get the answer he was wanting after that cluster fuck......
You get to determine your daughter's punishment. Your daughter gets to determine yours.
In an ideal world, the average 15-yo would have formulated a game plan ahead of time for such occasions as finding out that daddy loves mommy but also likes fucking the lady who pretends to be friends with the family, including mom. Now this girl has complete strangers calling her a psychotic bitch, her own father furious with her, and an emotionally devastated and humiliated mom. Maybe she did make a poor decision, or maybe she thought she was sticking up for her mom, or maybe she wanted to put a definite end to the affair. Clearly, dad didn't see any reason to cut short the fun. And what is the lesson she's supposed to learn? That when people do things to hurt other people, you're supposed to be a good girl and keep it secret? Wow.

And who is supposed to teach her that lesson? Her dad? Apparently, since this girl was 12 years old, dad was too busy lying, not being home so he can fuck someone else, not taking his daughter to a movie or the park or the mall, so he can fuck his girlfriend again, not spending time with his wife, so he can fuck someone else.

If you expect your kid to keep your secrets, dad, then you gotta tell her that beforehand. Oh wait..,I guess it's inappropriate to discuss your secret sex life with your kid. And besides, who's got the time to talk to your kid when your girlfriend is waiting for sexy emails or txt pics of your dick? FUBARD and alot of the people making these posts expect more mature behavior from a kid than FUBARD has been capable of.
@293 since you called my reasoning bullshit, I must take some time to turn the tables.

You are actually arguing that if your 16 year old self found out that your mom was fucking someone other than your dad by another 16 year old sending you pictures of your mom's genitals and, worse, sent those pictures to other teenagers at your school, that you would BE GRATEFUL TO THEM FOR IT?

Talk about bullshit!

I guarantee you that girl has started a war with those mother's children. Their sense of betrayal toward and anger at their mother does not negate the vindictive way that they found out. This is not a zero sum game.

As for your argument that the girl had no choice because she had to provide proof!??! She could have told her mother, or for that matter her father, and then provided the proof IF and ONLY IF the father still refused to fess up. I mean, give me a fucking break, the GRANDPARENTS needed to see their daughter's ass in front of the camera?

Again, talk about bullshit!

This really boils down to a very simple life lesson: 2 wrongs don't make a right.

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