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Author Topic: Discussion When MLC and aftermath turn tragic

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Jo

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Discussion When MLC and aftermath turn tragic
OP: September 26, 2021, 12:24:13 PM
A year ago, a friend of mine from one of our book clubs reached out to me about a mutual friend who's husband was in a mlc. I reached out to her but she was in denial, changed the subject, and didn't want anyone in our small community to know. So I backed off. What I learned from our mutual friend was that her husband of 20 years had asked for a divorce to marry another man. I have no experience in providing support for that version of mlc fracture, but know that pain is pain, no matter which mlc variety we're experiencing.

I know that the mlc fracture knows no boundaries, races, creed, sex, et al. I let our mutual friend know to let her know that I'm here if she decides she wants to talk.

In this couples 20 year marriage, they had three children. A 19 year old son, a 16 year old daughter in the middle and a very young son 10. I know the youngest is autistic, the oldest son has mental health challenges which has kept him trouble with the law, and the daughter has been a "cutter" since she was very young and had emotional health issues. I knew that she'd been on meds, but I also know the family is quite private, so not much gets out until something happens.

Yesterday at noon, something happened.  My friend's daughter was found dead. It was a drug over-dose. We're all heartbroken for the family, and community. The mutual friend called to let me know. She also said that our lbs friend has begged her mlc husband not to move out because of the unstable daughter. Apparently they are still living together, and but not as man and wife. 

I cannot imagine the pain this woman is in today. I cannot imagine losing a 16 year old child in this way. This fentanyl crisis in this country has become so dangerous, especially for young kids like this who have other medications on board and don't realize the danger in mixing in other drugs.  I'm learning more and more about families having to bury their young children from so many friends. Intolerable pain. I just can't imagine how she's doing today.

The lbs was in my home a few weeks ago, not as just a peripheral friend, but as a realtor. We had a great few hours together. And we were going through my options. But I saw through her fragile smile, and my heart hurt for her with the all too familiar pain in the early mlc months. She has yet to admit to me what is going on with her husband/marriage. I did not bring it up. I don't know how to offer my support at this devastating time, or IF I should, but our community is small and we help our own. I fear seeing me now might be reminder of her other devastating loss.

 As a mlc survivor, I want to help, but also know that until one is ready, all we can do is wait. If this was me, the last thing I would be worrying about was my husband or marriage, but how can we not when you're already in the tsunami of mlc? Our mutual friend told me that she's been suicidal this past year, still wears her wedding rings and doesn't want anyone to know, cause she believes this is just a phase.

Has anyone else had any experience with a death of a child during the spouse's mlc? Any advice on what to say or do? She is scheduled to come by at 11:30 tomorrow with the square footage guy to measure the house officially, but I do not want to call her, or text, her, but assume that this is not happening tomorrow.

Any suggestions or comments?

Jo
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« Last Edit: September 26, 2021, 12:30:51 PM by Jo »
Married 18 years, 3 sons
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EA and PA while I was recovering from surgery
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When MLC and aftermath turn tragic
#1: September 26, 2021, 01:26:29 PM
What a heartbreaking story. The loss of a child is something I cannot even fathom, and you're so right that the opioid/fentanyl crisis is out of control.

I want to say upfront that based on your post, I do not think this woman's husband is MLC. That said, it's heartbreaking and she'll feel a similar helplessness as the life she knew falls away and she can do nothing to stop it, and she'll need support to get through the end of her marriage all the same. It'll be incredibly difficult, especially if she's currently in denial.  But I don't think coming out late in life is an MLC fracture - the fear and pressure to conform and hide a huge part of yourself (and especially decades ago when they married) must be so painful. My ex-MIL's best friend is a man who came out after being married for 25 years and having several kids. I know him well and his life story is amazing, with parts that were tragic and heartbreaking not just for his wife and kids, but for him as well. I think a person revealing a previously denied or suppressed part of one's identity (hidden for fear of being shunned or persecuted or just not accepted for who you are in full) is very different than a midlife fracture.

I say that as a prelude to commenting on your question of how to support her.  I would approach the loss of her daughter as you would any grieving mother, leaving the rest of her story of divorce/family struggles set aside as an entirely separate issue that she and her family will work through (and seek support for if/when they feel ready to).

I'm so sorry for your friend, and I'm sorry for her kids who have just lost a sibling, and for her husband who is no doubt struggling with a million emotions, just as she is. When so much pain is actively happening in a short timeframe, it's incredibly overwhelming and debilitating. They probably don't even know what they need right now, at least not in a way they can verbalize.

They're going through so much at once, it's heart wrenching to think about. I really hope she seeks professional support but in this moment, right now, she's probably wholly consumed with the grief of losing her daughter. And of course your instinct is to lend support in whatever way you can. For now, that might be helping with immediate needs - having food delivered, that sort of thing. Letting her know you're there if she needs you. I'm so sorry for what they're going through.
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Re: When MLC and aftermath turn tragic
#2: September 26, 2021, 01:52:52 PM
Jo I can't agree more with Nas.

Her H must have struggled with his identity for years.  It's very sad to hear their story, but I doubt this man will change now that he has brought it out.
I also do not see a midlife crisis.  Only an Identity crisis he struggled with.

I agree just reach out to her like you would anyone who lost a child.  Offer any help or support she and her family needs.
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Re: When MLC and aftermath turn tragic
#3: September 26, 2021, 03:39:55 PM
Thank you Nas and Thunder. I'm SO glad I asked!

I've never stopped to evaluate the comparisons of a person coming out at mid life with what many of us identify as mlc traits, or precursors to an almost predictable mlc fracture "playbook".
1.  Detachment: It makes sense that a person coming out would need to emotionally detach from their current life, in order to prepare for the next chapter. But perhaps in the coming out, the detaching partner would want to protect their wife and children? Laying a base for acceptance.
2. Lies and sneaking around, this is probably something they've been doing all their life...to avoid being outed before they were ready?
3. Emotional affair then physical, affirmation and confirmation of their true identity?
4.  Some folks spend money as a coping mechanism for stress. Some use money to impress their next partners. Hetero or homosexual?
5. Reinventing history, to assuage perhaps the identity guilt with their spouses of opposite sex? A safe landing post coming out for both partners?
6. Some folks in identity crisis also use reinventing themselves physically (some plastic surgery), and attempting to run from the aging process. Perhaps, the mid life homosexuals coming out also think time is running out to be the real me, or all I want to be?
7. Rush to remarry, although not yet divorced from current spouse? I can see this as a comparison.

I also learned that the husband also offered to give his wife "everything" (they're mega, mega millionaires), homes, jewelry, etc. but wanted to only keep one thing, his exotic car collection. He did want 50/50 shared custody citing that he was divorcing her, not their children. (Willing to sacrifice everything to be free...run?

Lots of family secrets were exposed. (And I don't mean about him being gay), I mean things that are legal in their native country are not legal here in the US)..This woman is being hit on all sides.

Again, I'm so glad I asked cause I've had a paradigm shift in my beliefs about mlc.
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Married 18 years, 3 sons
BD and served divorce papers on same day, 9 months after I had surgery for a brain tumor.
EA and PA while I was recovering from surgery
Deep FOO
Ex filed for phony bankruptcy 11 days after family court concluded.
Ten years of litigation to save my life's work stolen by ex.

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Re: When MLC and aftermath turn tragic
#4: September 26, 2021, 07:05:50 PM
It's all very sad. I have to agree with the others - this likely is not MLC. I hope your friend can move toward acceptance in the future, but that first she focus on what is likely horrible grief to work through with the loss of her child. As far as what to say or do, I would just show empathy as you would to any other suffering any loss, and not approach the marriage subject unless she asks. We all deal with the grief in our own way, and since so much has been made public for her, maybe just respect what privacy she does have.
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When MLC and aftermath turn tragic
#5: September 27, 2021, 12:50:34 PM
Could one end up in a crisis to realize at midlife that you have been hiding as non gay when you are gay? Maybe. He could well be going through a mid-life crisis AND decide he needs to come out of the closet. OR he could be in midlife crisis AND suddenly decide that some of what he is feeling means he must be gay. OR not in a crisis, just really, really bad about leaving his marriage and treating his wife like all the time they were married was worthless. OR a host of other things.

Labeling it isn't the important thing. Husband does not want to be with her in a marriage relationship. He is (currently) willing to stay married as long as they are roommates. She apparently wants to keep things status quo because she thinks it's a phase, and it might be as well just as it might not be. Not everyone knows themselves well enough to know their own sexual orientation or preferences. I have known quite few people who thought they were Gay/Lesbian only to rethink years later and find out nope, they aren't. Some were Bi, but some were quite appalled at themselves and had no idea what they were thinking (sounded like MLC in those cases, but I really have no idea).

My suggestion: Offer your condolences on the loss of her daughter, offer help with the youngest if you are able or willing to do so. She is currently a grieving mother, act as you would for any other grieving mother.

In the future, if she is your realtor and you are looking to sell or buy due to your own circumstances, you can speak of some of your own experiences as to why you are looking to buy or sell to open the door. If she wants to talk, she will. If she does not, you cannot help someone who is not ready to be helped.  .
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« Last Edit: September 27, 2021, 12:57:59 PM by OffRoad »
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Re: When MLC and aftermath turn tragic
#6: September 28, 2021, 02:45:30 PM
Hi all. Well, I received a text message on Sunday night about my realtor/friend not being available to be at our Monday 11:30 meeting here with the sq ft person. She only said, "I'm not ignoring you, my daughter passed."

I then offered my condolences and support, and offered to bring by a meal.

She did not respond.

The sq ft. person did arrive (employee of the realtor couple for 9 years), which surprised me because I assumed that under the circumstances, that our appointment was cancelled. I still was here just in case the person kept the appointment, and she did.

More is being revealed about the mental health of the young girl, and none of it pretty. The daughter had been molested by the husband's brother. I mean, come on, this family needed a break.

The daughter was scheduled to graduate HS June, 2022.



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Married 18 years, 3 sons
BD and served divorce papers on same day, 9 months after I had surgery for a brain tumor.
EA and PA while I was recovering from surgery
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Ten years of litigation to save my life's work stolen by ex.

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When MLC and aftermath turn tragic
#7: September 28, 2021, 04:38:47 PM
Jo, as a mother who lost our 25 year old son suddenly in his sleep, I will say it doesn't necessarily have any special bearing on the spouse who is in MLC.

Grief is an individual thing, it is lonely and can't be helped at some points. I think what helped me was people not giving up on me even when I was rather unresponsive.

My heart goes out to this mother, how lonely she must feel - and if the rumors you have heard are true - how many layers of hurt she has to deal with :'(

My son was the middle child too, it took time for me to focus back on the others - I can empathize with her, especially because she must be forcing herself to focus on them because of their difficulties.
I missed my h. terribly at the height of my grieving, i just wanted to sit quietly with him and remember our beloved son, yet he was totally unavailable in every sense. I just waded through , accepting that my memories were mine and that I was enough (with God) to sit through it.

I began to see that my h. was grieving too, in his way and I could see his grief, even from afar. I longed to be with him, yet his crisis (or whatever)  has no space for me and he has to see it through, the same way as I did and still do.

So, yes, respect her grief, her time and whether she will talk or not, will depend on her.

I feel for her, living in this phase of denial in her husband's crisis and now with her daughter's death - she will have to come face to face with these issues in order to move forward, may God have mercy on her and comfort her. 
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Re: When MLC and aftermath turn tragic
#8: September 29, 2021, 06:43:27 AM
Thanks Mitzpah, I'm so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine that time frame dealing with the loss of H and also your son.  You're stronger than I am. I believe the friend/realtor to be a woman of faith, and with her praying hand emoji in her text, I assume she's leaning on her faith. After my brain tumor surgery, and H beginning his deep-end dive into his mlc fracture and crisis, I will admit I was angry at God, because in my grief, I felt forsaken. I've been seeing a therapist for more than two years and she helped me see that my anger was displacement from my former husband.

Since I first posted this tragedy, more items have been moved into the fact category. I learned that a mother here in town (who I do not know)  some how was able to get a copy of the police report (this actually made me livid for what I felt was an invasion of my friend's privacy), and probable cause was drug over-dose.

The other issues about my friends rocky marriage were shared with me to provide mlc assistance for the wife. I will not repeat what I shared here with anyone.  I just knew if I was to be any source of assistance to her, I needed to get more feedback, which you all have been so kind and helpful to provide. 

I spoke with my therapist today and we discussed how strongly I felt about controlling the "gossip" that has just begun.  This is a very affluent small town and some of these folks have nothing better to do than be petty, and gossip. I know the news of my husband filing for divorce spread like a wildfire, and folks were cruel to me, and distorted the facts surrounding what really was happening. It was an extremely difficult time in those early months/year following BD. Actually, I never had a conversation really about my former husband's desire to leave the marriage, the first clue I had was I was served with divorce papers. My ex was conflict avoidant (we bickered here and there but never argued, which I've learned was not healthy for our marriage). My ex did not move out for 11 months post serving me papers.  I did the "don't rock the boat" thing for his PHASE, and pretzeled during this time.

I don't know if her husband is in a mlc, or not, and also coming out, or if his mlc caused him to re-think his life and question his sexuality. I don't know if coming out does not accelerate an identity crisis. I've also read some statistics that suggest that the death of a child can exacerbate more stress on an already fragile marriage. I know of another couple whose son was killed in a boating accident (the 8 year old son was standing in the middle of the coiled anchor ropes, and when the dad threw the anchor over-board, the child was drug into the water and drowned). The wife never got over her blame and resentment against the husband although he was suffering too from his son's death from the tragic accident. I can't imagine that the husband was not most likely harder on himself than the wife was.

Even though my friend's husband is coming out, (time will tell) the losses from this 180 on her marriage are actually very parallel to me with many of the actions of a mlcr. I saw this in the last few days after reading so many great responses. I do know that I'll be here for her in any way she needs when and IF she comes to me. 

Just all tragic.
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Married 18 years, 3 sons
BD and served divorce papers on same day, 9 months after I had surgery for a brain tumor.
EA and PA while I was recovering from surgery
Deep FOO
Ex filed for phony bankruptcy 11 days after family court concluded.
Ten years of litigation to save my life's work stolen by ex.

 

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