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Can you make a man in the grip of a MidLife Crisis see sense?

(97 Posts)
SisterAct Wed 03-Oct-12 23:02:08

Namechanger but regular FWIW.

My DB is in the grip of what would appear to be a classic MLC. Has left his wife of many years, and is now shacked up with OW. He claims his marriage had ended in his mind before he had his affair. Well he would say that wouldn't he, but I know that SIL did her utmost to be what he wanted her to be and to try to save the marriage but I suppose he had no reason to really engage with that process as the OW became apparent very soon...He has children, mid and late teens, all in turmoil.

He and OW share what sounds like an addiction to their chosen hobby, something which takes up a lot of time in the evenings away from respective families. They live in lalaland. She has left her DH and children now but didn't until SIL told DB to leave. I think she (OW) sees DB as her escape and rescuer.

Is there anything we can do or say to make him see that destroying his family over a fantasy is not a great idea? Can anyone get him to open his eyes? Or do we just have to wait until he realises that the grass on the other side is still just grass, by which time the damage will be irreversible? SIL says she stil loves him and is devastated by his affair.

He thinks this is all unknowable to anyone else as we weren't there in his marriage, but from reading midlife crisis boards and stuff on here, he is just following the same old script but can't see it/doesn't realise it's all tediously common. If I tell him this he won't get it will he?

When do they wake up?

Agnesinroom25 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:04:18

Ime no you just have to wait for it to al come crashing down around them then pick up the pieces < bitter>.

geegee888 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:05:40

Maybe he's fallen out of love, and in love with the OW? It does happen. I don't think you can "force" someone to love someone else, I suppose sometimes you can force them to stay with someone else, but do you think thats healthy? These things do happen, people do change, and some people can't live with that.

Am curious as to what the chosen hobby can be. Maybe he and your SIL don't actually have that much in common?

SisterAct Wed 03-Oct-12 23:08:28

The hobby is one that SIL would have loved to do as well but owing to shift work has never been able to indulge over the years.

skyebluesapphire Wed 03-Oct-12 23:08:58

Have you read this one? Im going to send it to STBXH once the divorce is final....

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1527705-Midlife-crisis-this-is-the-script

MorrisZapp Wed 03-Oct-12 23:10:22

Nothing you can do about this one, sorry. You must be up to ninety with all this crap, but there's nothing anybody can say to him that will change his mind, I wouldn't have thought.

Stay out of it if you can.

SisterAct Wed 03-Oct-12 23:11:28

Yes I have read it loads of times on here! And he ticks so many the boxes in it. Which is why it's so bloody depressing - he thinks its all new-minted and that we can have no understanding of him.
Have toyed with sending it to him but a) I don't think he'd bother to work out all the abbreviations in it and b) wouldnt think it applied to him.
I did send it to SIL though and she recognised it all mightily...

Dryjuice25 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:12:46

My bet is he will have to learn the hard way unfortunately....

Nothing you can do will get him to peel the scales off his eyes and he will probably behave in the manner similar to that of a love struck teenager

SisterAct Wed 03-Oct-12 23:12:49

I suppose I am just hoping that I could head him off at the pass with some well placed explanation of how scripted he is being. But also realise that this is likely a misplaced hope.

izzyizin Thu 04-Oct-12 01:23:11

Short of living his life for him, there's nothing you can do to save him from himself and, given that he's away with the fairies living in lalaland and getting his legover with an ow who boosts shares his ego hobby, he's not going to be saving himself any time soon.

Concentrate your energy on your sil and dns; hopefully, they will recover from the shock of being abandoned in his quest for fool's gold without incurring any lasting harm and will go from strength to strength.

One practical thing you can do for your sil is to encourage her to post here where she can vent, sob, offload, despair, and be given support and advice that will enable her, in time, to see him leaving as a blessing rather than a curse.

gingerpig Thu 04-Oct-12 02:31:45

I don't think it will work tbh. my sister is currently the OW of a married man, and when she tells me what he says, any comments I make about it all sounding a bit cliched evokes a very defensive response and her withdrawing. they dont want you to burst their fantasy soul-mate bubble

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 04-Oct-12 08:25:34

The only way is for him to experience LOSS.

Loss of his home comforts, his family life, the respect from his friends and family.

This means your SIL getting tough and kicking him out.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 04-Oct-12 08:26:39

And then he may realise what he has lost, motivating him to fight for his marriage.

SisterAct Thu 04-Oct-12 08:27:39

So if there is no hope of seeing sense any time soon how do we go on in the meantime? He is lazy about communicating with his family even at the best of times and certainly won't want to open himself up to conflict.

I can see that eventually SIL may very well he fine without him but what do his mother and siblings do? We want nothing to do with the OW. They all live a long way away and so do we just never see him again? DM is worried to death that he is sleepwalking away from his life and children and indeed us all, but has no idea how to proceed.

SisterAct Thu 04-Oct-12 08:29:49

Sorry Mad missed you while posting. SIL has kicked him out and he has shacked up with ow. His children are very angry with him but he is just "hurt" by this he says as he thinks they should understand he deserves happiness and we should all be accepting of OW. It's so cruel.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 04-Oct-12 08:33:22

He's a grown-up and he's decided to move on. It's sad but it happens and it doesn't have to be attributed to a mid-life crisis. Neither is it 'all going to come crashing down' necessarily. You're entitled to feel angry with his decision but this is a private matter, nothing to do with you.

SisterAct Thu 04-Oct-12 08:34:04

It is to do with me. I am part of his rejected family. As is his poor mother.

adrastea Thu 04-Oct-12 08:35:31

Is there anything we can do or say to make him see that destroying his family over a fantasy is not a great idea?
But you don't know that's the case. He may be acting like a selfish twat, and may have gone about it all in the wrong way, but that doesn't mean that nothing he thinks or feels is valid. You can't force someone to fix a marriage if it's really over for them, and it's perfectly possible it was over for him before OW.

He is still your DB and you and your mum might find it easier to preserve your relationship, and get him to behave better, if you don't judge and make your minds up he doesn't have anything valid to say.

MadAboutHotChoc Thu 04-Oct-12 08:39:04

Sorry but all you can do is nothing except to support SIL and the family. Hopefully he will come to his senses one day.

Asrastea - if his marriage was really over before the affair then he should have ended the marriage before moving on. What he did was very selfish.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 04-Oct-12 08:40:03

He hasn't rejected you or his mother, he has rejected his wife. You have no idea how their relationship really was up to this point or what his motives for moving on may be. You're assuming it's some silly infatuation and it could be anything but. Reject him by all means if it makes you feel morally superior but don't kid yourself that he has rejected you...

adrastea Thu 04-Oct-12 08:46:12

Asrastea - if his marriage was really over before the affair then he should have ended the marriage before moving on. What he did was very selfish.
Of course. That is what people should do. Everyone knows that.

I acknowledged he could be/is acting like a selfish twat. But someone behaving badly/being selfish etc does not mean that there were no valid reasons for them to leave or that the marriage should've been saved or had a chance. You can't judge the latter from the former.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 04-Oct-12 08:53:14

How many times do we read on this board some poor woman, trapped in a miserable marriage and desperate to get out who tells us that they are only staying because their family & friends would never understand or would never forgive them if they left? Routinely the advice is that they are not married to their family or friends and shouldn't let others pressurise them into putting up with something that isn't working. How would your SIL feel, for example, if you succeeded in returning your DB to her and he was only there under suffrance, doing you and your mother a favour? She's better off without him...

fluffyraggies England Thu 04-Oct-12 09:09:34

There is a right way to do things, yes. But as has been said, going about things the wrong way doesn't mean what you're doing is wrong necessarily.

The knock on effect when someone leaves a long standing well established relationship is a wide spread thing. Apart from the spouse and any children it will of course adversely effect parents, grand parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, friends and anyone else close to the person/s involved. In many cases it will be unexpected and people will feel angry and hurt.

That in itself isn't a reason to for a person to stay in a marriage though. A marriage is a very personal thing.

As an aside - what age is 'mid-life' anyway? I left my DH in my 30s. If i'd left it another 7 or 8 years would i have simply been having a 'mid life crisis'? Or is it 50s?

SisterAct Thu 04-Oct-12 09:10:32

The difference here is that SIL still loves him and wants him back.
Please stop trying to imply I am enjoying being outraged.

adrastea Thu 04-Oct-12 09:17:53

The difference here is that SIL still loves him and wants him back.
That is often what the situation is when a relationship ends though. We've probably all been broken up with when we didn't want to be. Only one person needs to end the relationship for it to be over - it's an often traumatic part of life unfortunately. Not sure why this makes it 'different'. Different to what?

That SIL still loves him and wants him back does not mean:
a) that he was wrong to end the relationship (even if he did it in the wrong way)
b) that continuing the relationship would be the best thing for her

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