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Need Answers...husband's MLC has destroyed our marriage!

Hi Noel, you have no idea how much this forum has

helped me to understand better, although still suffering from my husband's mid-life crises, or at least I think that's what it is - all the symptoms I read describe him precisely!
He is 39 and I am 45. About 6 months ago he
said we needed to separate. We've had ups and
downs but I've always been a really great attentive and loyal wife to him and a great mother to our son who is almost 7. He's always been a little moody, however 6 months ago, he started to blame me with nasty accusations...saying that "I ruined his life". I have given him everything, i have always done everything for him. We've been married 10 years and throughout the years, he's often made comments about me leaving him. It seems
he's always had that fear. In fact, when we got married, he suggested that we sign a contract stating that if one of us leaves the other, we loose everything. Of course I thought that was ludicrous. He eventually never brought it up again. It almost feels like he feels "not good
enough" for me. All our mutual friends keep saying that I'm a true life Superwoman... I'm a pro photographer, a chef, a Taekwondo Instructor, i work full time and basically did everything and did it well. He's always made remarks about "why" I decided to marry him?

But lately, he just went nuts.., started
going out with friends, retreated to our basement, started
training almost every nite, chatting with girls online, and had an affair or rather, a fling. He came to me a few months ago and said he wanted to talk about divorce - I was devastated. He said he felt something "dead" inside. Said he didn't want the responsibility of thinking about anyone else in the future and just wanted to be alone. Talked about how uncertain the future is...doesn't know if he'll have a job tomorrow or if he'll
even be alive! However, he insisted that we continue to live together for our son's sake (not sure if that's really the reason though!). He swore there was nobody else in the picture. He went ahead and filed for divorce. We
settled financially, I bought a condo and just
recently moved out, it's been 3 weeks. We've been
working on communication and we were seeing each other with our son 2 to 3 times a week (we live 5 min. away) and it was nice... He was being really nice to me, even thanking me for supper (something he never did!).

I was enjoying the reconnection even though it was a platonic one. I still kept making his favorite ice-cream, kept inviting him for the big pancake breakfast on weekends, and basically was being very kind and generous with him.
Until the other day... He drops a bomb and tells me that one of his friends (a girl) is coming to visit him and will be staying at his house for 2 weeks! I find out that the girl is a beautiful 23 yr old. No idea what she sees in him though, don't mean to sound mean but he's nothing
great at all and he's 39.

Anyway once again, i was hurt like crazy and cried for 2 days!! I spoke to my sisters and
best friend and they said I should cut all ties with him and that he has the best of both worlds - the young girls and the caring wife that's always loyal to him. So I did.

I completely disconnected...have had little or no
contact since (it's been 3 days) and he's sending emails, being really nice, inviting me over etc.. But I decline.
I changed drastically... I'm hurting and that is why I think I should disconnect. My question is this:
Does this sound like MLC to you? Am I doing the
right thing by disconnecting completely? Why
do men going through MLC have a tendency to want to stay close to their wives??? ... But yet still want to have their fun alone as single men??? can it be that they still love their wife regardless of how drastically they've
changed? Many times I feel he still cares about me but I'm so confused... Been through so much the past 6 months...just cried myself to sleep so many nites.
Do the majority of men come to their senses and regret what they've done? Do they realize and understand eventually? What are the chances that he hooks up with someone and it lasts? Wouldn't it be like a rebound relationship? Our divorce should be finalized in a few months. Personally, I believe he also has unresolved issues... Sometimes I think he's having a depression + MLC... At times I even thought he
may be bi-polar.., i don't know what to think anymore.
I feel very sad most days.. And even though he's
chatting with girls, going out and living the single life...etc when I look at him - I sometimes feel sorry.
He looks empty...lonely. I'm not sure that even the most beautiful girl can fix that. Maybe temporarily with some great sex... But I think he'll need more than being with other women, to resolve his issues.
Anything you can tell me is so greatly appreciated.

Noel's response

I don't know whether cutting off all communication with him is the best idea, but I do think you are going the right thing by not 'looking after' him in the sense of having him over for meals, etc.

You might want to let him know that you are two separate people now that you are living apart and he wants a divorce, so you will be happy to talk to him about things related to your son, but for all other purposes, you are no longer in relationship. This might cause him to see what he is looking at in reality.

I suspect you are right in thinking he is having a midlife crisis and that he is depressed, which often goes with a midlife crisis.

Some men have affairs that turn into long term relationships, but many have affairs that end after while. I cannot advise you as to what might happen in his case. Men often look outside of themselves to find happiness (e.g. the young woman and great sex), but eventually, if they are paying any attention to their own lives, they realize happiness has to come from within.

The ones that never figure this out, and there are many, end up being 'grumpy old men', who are angry that the world didn't make them happy.

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