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Woman reveals her mother’s lies tore her life apart


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A woman has told how her life was torn apart after she spent her childhood covering up her mother’s sordid affair – with her husband’s best friend.  

Adrienne Brodeur, 53, a writer who lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says she became embroiled in her mother’s deceit aged just 14, and is adamant she won’t make the same mistake with her own daughter – who is now the same age.  

Speaking to The Mirror about the night the web of lies began, Adrienne told how her mother Malabar woke her up and said: ‘Ben just kissed me. I’m going to need your help sweetie. I need to figure this out. How to make this possible.’

Ben Souther was the best friend of Malabar’s husband, Charles.  

Adrienne Brodeur, 53, a writer who lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, told how she was dragged into her mother Malabar’s web of lies after she started an affair with her husband’s childhood friend, Ben. Pictured together, when she was a teenager

Following the revelation, Adrienne, who grew up in Cape Cod, was drawn into a life of lies and found herself helping her ‘self-centred’ mother and Ben cover up their affair.

‘My daughter is now 14 – the same age I was when Malabar told me about Ben’s kiss. But I’m interested in parenting – not being her best friend,’ she said. 

On reflection, Adrienne now realizes her mother was damaged from the events of her past.

Before she was born, Malabar had a child who died from choking at the age of two, leaving her depressed. Later, she divorced Adrienne’s father, before tying the knot with Charles, who fell ill after suffering several strokes. 

Then one evening, Charles’ childhood friend Ben and his wife Lily were invited over for dinner – but when the other guests were elsewhere, Ben and Malabar kissed.   

‘She was so excited,’ Adrienne told the publication. ‘The whole thing was thrilling. I was eager for details of her illicit encounters with Ben. 

Adrienne said as the secret deepened, it started affecting her mental health and she realized she needed help. Pictured, now

Adrienne said as the secret deepened, it started affecting her mental health and she realized she needed help. Pictured, now

‘Sometimes I would leave a note on her pillow instructing her to wake me as soon as she returned.’

From that moment on, Adrienne helped think up innovative excuses just so the pair could spend some quality time alone – and soon, it became routine.

Following dinner, Adrienne would suggest getting some fresh air and going for a walk, but with Charles and Lily frail, she knew it would leave just her, with her mother and Ben. 

She says the loved up pair would passionately kiss with her in the middle, before dashing off to an empty house together.   

At first, Adrienne was so desperate to get her mother’s love and respect, she did everything in her power to cover up the affair. But as the months went by, it started affecting her health.

Then things went from bad to worse when a pal got wind of affair and requested Malabar pay her $10,000 (£7, 707) to stop her from exposing it. 

Thinking up yet a plan to discredit the friend in case she ever did write a letter to Charles’ wife Lily, Malabar and Adrienne penned anonymous letters to Malabar’s friends, alleging she was having an affair with their husbands.

The plan was successful, but five years into the affair, Charles died after a stroke.  Malabar, Ben and Lily booked a holiday away together – along with Adrienne and Ben’s son Jack.

But in another twist, Adrienne and Jack developed feelings for one another and before long, got engaged.

Adrienne added her daughter is the same age her mother Malabar was when she told her about the kiss with Ben - but she's focused on parenting rather than being her best friend. Pictured, Malabar and Adrienne, as a child

Adrienne added her daughter is the same age her mother Malabar was when she told her about the kiss with Ben – but she’s focused on parenting rather than being her best friend. Pictured, Malabar and Adrienne, as a child 

In time, Ben broke the news to Lily about his affair and she died of a heart attack two years later.

The following year, Ben and Malabar tied the knot, but while they were happy together, Adrienne sunk into a deep depression and her marriage to Jack started to crumble.

‘I didn’t know who I was. My whole life had been so intertwined with my mother’s secret life,’ said Adrienne.

‘I hit rock bottom and realized I was living in the wrong city with the wrong man and working in the wrong profession.’

Following therapy and a change of profession, the pair got divorced and Adrienne met her current husband Tim Ryan, who she had two children with – Madeleine, 14, and William, 11. 

Malabar – who now has dementia – was with Ben for 20 years, until he died in 2013 – while Adrienne still has a close relationship with her mother.  

‘I often get asked if I’m angry, or why I haven’t cut her off, but anger is an emotion that can feed on itself and take down the host in the process,’ she added.

‘It’s been a complicated and difficult relationship and it will be long after she’s gone. Now that she’s ill, we don’t talk about what happened in the past.’   

Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover and Me by Adrienne Brodeur (£16.99, Chatto & Windus) is available now

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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