The Triangle

by Arnold Nelson

      Back in the 1970s, I was in a rather unique situation. I could see all three sides of the triangle. First was my mother. I could see all the hurt my mother went through when my dad started seeing another woman. I wanted to help her, but I did not know what I could or should do. So I just stood by her, and gave her my strength when she needed it.

     Second was a man I used to work with, he was the cheating husband. Once a month he would drive 100 miles to spend a weekend with the other woman. As that weekend got closer and closer he got happier and happier.

     Third I used to be good friends with the woman who was the other woman. She lived a rather unhappy life. She spent most of her life in bars trying to find man would give her love and happiness. Sometimes it only lasted a day or two, sometimes a couple weeks, and on a rare occasion a few of them lasted more than a month.

      My parents raise eight kids. Four girls, three boys and then another girl. After the four oldest girls had left home and were on their own something happened. I have no idea what happened, or why it happened, but my dad decided he was not getting what he needed at home, so he started looking elsewhere for it.

      I have no idea what was wrong with their marriage because both my parents were very private people and very seldom talked about it. I do remember all the hurt my mother went through when she found out. I was in high school and we would be watching TV at night. All the younger kids were in bed. All of a sudden she would get up and go into her bedroom and I could hear her crying a few minutes later she would come out she'd be all right again.

      It wasn't until about a year or two later that I actually find out what had been going on. All of us kids rallied around her because we all loved her very much and we all felt closer to her then we did with our father.

     He split his time between my mom and the other woman, for many years, until my mom died in 1982. After her death he spent all the time with the other woman until she died a few years later. I remember one time talking with my dad and he was saying stuff about how the other woman caused so much pain and hurt in our family. It was all her fault, he never said he cause any pain and suffering, but that was the way my father was, he was perfect, he never did anything wrong. At least that was what he wanted everyone to believe.

      When I was in the Air Force I was stationed at Norton AFB. I worked with a man who cheated on his wife. He used to tell us stories about the other woman in his life and how much fun it was being with her that one weekend a month they could spend together. One day I got to meet his wife, for some reason I went to house with him, I don't remember why. His wife was sitting there in her chair and we talked for a little while. I could see the same hurt in her eyes that I saw my mom's eyes. I guess she decided to make the best of a bad situation just like my mom did. I know she went through a lot of hurt just like my mom did. I could see it in her eyes. I don't know how their situation ended because shortly after that I was transferred to another Air Force Base and never saw either of them again.

       The other woman. I knew a woman who was the other woman. She's a very nice and kind person. I really liked her. She had a really sad life. She married a truck driver at 13 and had four kids before she was 19. They divorced and she was on her own. She had no talent, there is no work that she could do. She got on welfare so the state could take care of her kids. It wasn't easy the state was on her back a lot but she kept her kids with her and raise them all until they went out on their own.

      She was a very lonely woman she spent most of her days in bars drinking and meeting men. She didn't really care whether the men were married or single as long as they would spend some time with her. She seems so much happier when she had a man with her then she did when she was alone. I didn't like her lifestyle I knew it hurt the kids but I couldn't really fault her for it because it was all she knew. What the kids knew about housework and hygiene they had learned by themselves because she was gone most of time.

      All triangles are different, just like all people are different. I am just telling you about a couple of cases that I have been involved with. I am not trying to and will not pass judgment on anybody. That is not my job that it's a job of the man upstairs. I think all these people have met their maker now and have had to settle up with him.

    It is not just men that have extramarital affairs. Women have a lot of them to. You cannot just blame one side of a triangle or two sides all sides have to take their responsibility for the situation. It is not just the people that are in the triangle that get hurt. There are many others on the sides that get hurt too. There is only one Man that ever walked on this Earth that was blameless and they hung Him on a cross, not for what he did, but for what we did.

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