To be truthful, I have been so swamped that I was only peripherally aware that Braveheart had been in the news again. Then, last night on the phone, V says, “Haven’t you heard the tapes? Oh, C, you should!” Well, no….
But I have now. Oh, dear! This man is so off…he is a danger to this girlfriend and to his little baby. That picture above is of the couple in happier days. If you notice, she is sporting what Mel calls her “alien bodies” which is his demeaning reference to her breast implants-probably one of the very attributes that attracted him in the first place.
If you care to hear the second tape, it is here, but I warn you: It is strong and vile. He should never be left alone with his child; he is not in control of himself, and there is no telling what he might do. Talk about doors unhinging…
Mel is now going on 55 years of age. I think he’s gone into what I call “the Fifties Slide.” I, myself, am a victim of this syndrome—I mean, my husband is, and it’s caused a bobble in my life, for sure. I’m not a mental health professional, but as a divorce lawyer, I see it enough that I do feel it is a “syndrome.” One day my sister/paralegal intoned, “Should I be worried? My husband will be 50 in a few…and after all I see around here…” She was joking, and BIL knows he’s dead-meat if he doesn’t watch it (are you listening, here, BIL?), but it was a reference to what she and I see all too commonly.
So, back to Mel. Didn’t you used to like him? Be honest, here. Isn’t he chiseled handsome, with piercing blue eyes and a heart-stopping, resonating voice? Yes, he’s all that, but part of his attractiveness for me was his appearance of depth. He spoke freely of God and his religion, he had been married forever to the same woman. They had a passel of kids. He just kind of looked perfect. Was he? Did he change, or is it just coming out now? I don’t know him, can’t speak to that for certain, but I can speak from what I have learned in my profession and, sadly, from my life.
As I write this post, I began to give you anecdotes from women (and men, although they are less forthcoming with details) in my practice, but it just became too lengthy. Let me say this: Good, upstanding, lifelong Christian men with community reputation and good marriages (yes, it’s true) just sometimes seem to crumble into some sorry mass of sex-driven foolishness when they start moving toward old age. I cannot tell you how many times I have had tearful wives say, “This is not the man I married…this is not the man I knew even ten years ago.” or “I never saw this coming. I tell you, we had a wonderful marriage, he was a good, Christian husband.” I believe them, I’ve lived through the same.
Back to Mel: He had been married 29 years to his wife at the time of their divorce. And he left her for a woman who’s age just about equaled the length of that marriage. And I think there is a telltale sign. It’s about aging, and it’s all wrapped up in sex. And it rarely leads to anything good. Now Mel, in his mid-fifties, has a sweet little innocent baby who is saddled with a cracking-up, aging father. So selfish. And GF, Oksana, just wasn’t thinking this through, which is a whole ‘nother syndrome I see. I bet she’s thought more than once, “What have I gotten myself into?”
In my own case, my husband was a lot like Mel (okay, this doesn’t mean that he looked like Mel, but he had that upstanding, successful aura). Like Mel, he had a good thing going: great, stable family life, reputation in the community, etc. But when he was in his early 50’s his business folded and, though we were making it on my earnings, he had trouble finding his footing again. He found that he was not commanding the attention from prospective employers or, preferably, prospective business partners that he once commanded…and then along came a 29-year-old honey, and he lost footing completely.
So, here’s what I think about Mel, from my distant perspective: If you are brave enough to listen to those tapes, you may hear the same things I did. I heard insanity (truly), I heard viciousness, I heard vile racism, but I also heard other things. I heard hurt. And I heard fear. Just listen and see if you don’t agree.
And fear, I believe, is the salient factor. When they’re 50, the faces (like ours) begin to line…look at the progression of Mel pictures through this post. Those abs just won’t stay so much in 6-pack condition. The hair starts to thin. Like my husband, they find they just are not as “in demand” as they used to be.
And how do they prove to themselves that this just isn’t happening to them? Well, just pretend that they are not aging, of course! Act like they did in college (see, right) and find a young, beautiful woman to make them feel desirable and wanted and important. To prove that they are young studs, still. Let me give you a true quote my husband from my own real-life drama, “I need to be someone’s hero.” Oh, my! Sad, isn’t it. It even embarrassed me for him when he said it… Poor guy.
Is there a way to teach ourselves—and especially our men folk—that life’s seasons are going to occur; that the changes we find with the changing seasons are not signs of our worth but are, indeed, signs of our progression through life? I don’t know. Myself, I don’t like the aging process either, but I’m learning to roll with it. May as well. To try to swim up that river just leaves a wake of devastation.
Poor Mel. But, Oksana, run!. And former wife, Robyn, breathe a sigh of relief that he is no longer your problem and sit back and enjoy your changing life seasons on what I hope is a huge settlement.
And, Mel: Karma’s a b---h, isn’t it? C