Many years later when Dad finally sought out the affections of another woman, Mom flipped out. She was incensed that he could "cheat on her like that." I was older then with a sensibility that sympathized with Dad's loneliness and anger at Mom. "Cheat on you like what" I asked her? My very handsome father who had seven children with my mother wanted to be with a woman who found him attractive and wanted to have sex with him. It was just that simple. After A DECADE of denial, hostility, criticism, and inattention Dad finally decided to go find a woman who actually wanted to talk to him, to find him irrepressibly funny, and to walk down the street with him at dusk in complete silence listening to the peepers and watching the dancing fireflies. And to have sex - lots and lots of life- and soul-affirming sex. My darling husband says that "even a hundred year old man wants to have sex." I'm sure he's correct.
Mom screamed that I didn't understand and she was one hundred percent correct. I obviously wasn't an insane sociopath like she was. To this day, I will never understand how Mom or any other person can treat their spouse like a cuckhold for years, sometimes decades, and then be surprised and angry when their husband or wife finally breaks down and finds someone else to love them - mind, body and soul.
Mom called all the shots in the marriage. It was her way or no way. Black or white were your two choices. She even had the nerve to try to bring all of us kids over to her side of the issue, succeeding only with one kid in making Dad the bad guy. Most of us recognized that although Dad wasn't perfect, we knew what Mom had done was just wrong in a marriage, or on a basic human level. Mom would threaten Dad in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that his fighting her or his telling us the truth would result in a loss of his children.
How do I reconcile this now that I'm much older, married, and looking at life with experienced eyes? I see it the same exact way I did when I was a kid. Mom was wrong and there was no fixing that. Dad wasn't "right," but he ended up giving up an important part of his real life for his kids out of fear he would lose us. Mom had no right to cry foul for Dad's infidelity. She treated him with incredible hostility with zero explanation.
I recently forgot about this life experience I've just chronicled when I was dealing with a very dearest friend's life event. I was called upon to use my intellect, powers of reasoning and love for him. Instead of doing these very things, I reacted to the hysterical rantings of a sociopathic woman. See, I didn't know any of her backstory, like I knew my mother's or I would have...waited. I let my friend down in a big way by not trusting that that he was fulfilling that very important part of his life that had been denied him for a decade.