My Mother Was Unfaithful to My Father

Tiny Love Stories: ‘A Truth I Had Tried to Ignore’

I was 13 when I learned my mother had been unfaithful to my father, then a police officer in the North Texas town of Bell County. I loved my father with a passion that couldn’t be matched. It was a fact I had tried to ignore because my mother, whom I loved more than anything — not her flaws or her imperfections but her beauty and intelligence — had been unfaithful with my father, and she was his partner in life and partnership in crime. She was more faithful to him than to me.

Our home was full of love and laughter — from my parents’ bedroom, which my mother used to put on the TV, to my bedroom, which my mother used to dress in a way that caused my father to be aroused, to our downstairs family room, where my parents were best friends, having lunch together, then a night spent together, and then to a room in our master bedroom, where my father slept in a king-size bed while my mother slept in a queen-size, and to our housekeeper, who was my father’s girlfriend at the time.

My relationship with my father was like an out-of-body experience: There was the joy when he returned from his work shift. There was the joy of my mother coming home and making dinner. There was the joy when we watched TV together, my parents falling asleep on the couch or curled up in our family room to watch movie after movie together, my father and my mother’s love for each other palpable in their bodies, their breath, their voices, and in their smiles. There was the joy of my mother’s cooking, her love for life, love for the outdoors, love for my older brother and sister, and a love for the world around her. There was the joy when she cooked, the joy of my father’s love for her, then the joy and comfort of eating her meals and sleeping with her every night and waking in the morning to her smells of coffee and bacon and

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