Why Mom Did Nothing About Dad’s Cheating

Main Street, Beaverdam, Ohio where my Dad drank and chased women.
Mom dealt with perhaps one on the greatest indignities that a woman can live with; my Dad’s infidelity.

When I graduated from Army basic training my wife and mother came to my graduation at Ft Dix, New Jersey.

They spent three days and we parted. I went to Ft. Devens, Massachusetts and my wife and mom drove back to Ohio.

As they neared the home of my mom and dad, mom suggested they drive through the small town of Beaverdam. A bar was there that my dad liked to frequent. Sure enough, my car was parked in the street in front of the bar. Dad was using my car.

My wife and mom walked in the bar. Dad’s back was to the door and did not see my wife and mom enter.

Dad was sitting with a woman and at the exact time of my wife’s and mom’s arrival Dad said, “Why don’t you just come home with me tonight?”

“Well what about your wife?” The woman said.

“Oh, she won’t be home till tomorrow,” Dad said.

“She’s standing right here,” Mom said.

Dad jumped up and began to babble, “Come on over here,” Dad said. “Let me introduce you.” Dad was nervous and acting like there was nothing wrong; as if he were joking and never meant it to be serious. At the very worst he was merely offering a woman a place to stay who had fallen on hard times.

Mom told dad to get into the car. They drove home together and my wife followed in our car. When they got home my wife said she would rather drive home than stay the night.

After my sister’s funeral in December of 2010 Mom told me about other infidelities of my dad.

I have seldom spoke back, contradicted, or corrected my mother. To me it was enough to be right in my mind. Arguments are seldom won by argumentation. Time and experience is most effective.

“Why did you stay with him?” I said.

I knew her reply. I had heard it before. “It was because of you.”

My answer was not calculated nor rehearsed. Although there were some issues within the family I was prepared to address that I allowed to lay dormant for forty years. If the occasion arose I was prepared, but for this one I was not.

I looked Mom in the eyes. “Dad’s infidelity started long before I came along. Don’t blame it on me. You stayed not for me, you stayed for yourself.”

Mom stared into my eyes and said, “I suppose so.”

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9 comments

  1. Good for you for standing up to your mom! My husband has 15 years of sobriety and to my knowledge, he has never cheated on me. I know infidelity is one of the “isms” of alcoholism, unfortunately, along with many other things. Thanks for a good post.

    • Thanks for your comment and I hope things continue to go well with you. To those men who think that infidelity can be healed between a husband and wife, which it can, the collateral damage is felt by the rest of the family. In some respects it hits children harder.
      In July I will start to write stories about my dad.
      Thanks for following,
      Kenton

      • I agree with your comment that it hits children harder. I have worked with families in recovery and have sponsored wives and adult children whose husbands/fathers have cheated. It is very painful. I’ll look forward to your stories.

  2. It must have taken a lot of strength and courage to write and share this! I guess in the end we all have our own reasons for what we do, which others may rarely understand!

    • Your comment seems to beg a response. Here it goes:
      Many in my family admire my Mom as do I, but some find it difficult to figure her out. At times she is harsh and unreasonable. She hurts feelings and seems not to care. I’ve wanted to give some perspective to Mom’s personality to my family.
      I want to understand her better. I thought that by writing about her I would increase my understanding.
      There is also the hope that some issues I raise may help others to have a better understanding of their relationship with their parents.
      My name is a pseudonym and adds some degree of insulation if this should offend or embarrass anyone.
      Kenton

    • This never started out this way, but it’s how things ended. I start with my Dad in July. It will be a challenge to clean up his language. He was a colorful character.

Blather away, if you like.

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